The purpose of this brief article is to clarify my position on the miracle gifts (miracles, healings, prophecy, tongues, interpretation of tongues; also visions and dreams). I talk about this elsewhere, but I thought it good to discuss this in a separate post in case someone misses it, and misunderstands.
In regard to the miracle gifts of the Spirit (the sign gifts), I’m a cessationist. That means I believe that the miracle gifts ceased with the Apostles, the completion of the New Testament Scriptures and the full establishment of the Church.
However, in places where Christianity is new and undeveloped, God may choose to employ any or all of the gifts in those areas. For example, in places around the world where Christianity is outlawed and Bibles are rare, God may choose to activate the miracle gifts as needed, because these types of situations are much like what we had in the early years of the Church where Christianity was being established and the NT Scriptures were being written.
Accordingly, an adjustment must be made in regard to the normal interpretation and use of the gifts, in order to make allowance for unusual situations that mirror the early days of the Church when it was just beginning.
Dictionary definition of adjusted: “adapted to surroundings or circumstances.”
Therefore, my position on the miracle gifts may be properly termed as: adjusted cessationism. And I, as an adjusted cessationist.
To be clear: God still works miracles where Christianity is fully established. The issue is in regard to the miraculous gifts of the Spirit.