The charismatic and contemplative traditions

I have been introduced to the thinking and ministry of Brad Jersak by a friend. I began listening to podcasts where he was interviewed and I have been wonderfully impacted by his thoughts thus far.

This particular podcast is an interview done on the Nomad podcast (which is new to me as well). The interview starts around 17:00.00. This is a lengthy podcast, clocking in at around 2 hours. We need these kinds of podcasts because it helps take the time to unpack a subject.

In this particular podcast Jersak gets into his background as a charismatic who had come out of a cessationist movement and how he grounded himself as a charismatic by embracing the contemplative movement. This intrigued me because that is a similar journey for me. I was raised in a Pentecostal movement (the Assemblies of God) but then embraced the contemplative streams of spiritual formation later in my ministry and have now moved into the Anglican Church. (Jersak was in the Vineyard and then the Eastern Orthodox Church.)

Jersak had some experience with the Toronto Blessing. I had experienced a bit of the Brownsville Revival.

Jersak offers pointed critiques of the charismatic hype without abandoning the truth that spiritual gifts are real and healing does happen. What he wants to steer clear of is the “grandiosity” we were sucked into in revival meetings.

My heart is pierced listening to this podcast. There was so much hype at times when there didn’t need to be hype. We put things on stage for the world and cameras to see when we could have prayed over people privately and they still would have been healed. We love the grandiosity, NOT for the glory of God, but for our own egos. It has been harmful and Jersak moves through that noise to a place where he is still praying for people to be healed while embracing a groundedness given by the disciplines of the contemplative life.

I look forward to hearing more from Jersak in the months ahead.

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