Few observers of the Church scene would deny that the 1990s proved to be a critical period for the charismatic movement.
The publication of books and articles speaking about a crisis within the movement proliferated. Hank Hanegraaff in Christianity in Crisis (Harvest House, 1993) carried out extensive research of the teaching given by a number of prominent charismatic leaders. He looked at their statements in comparison with Scripture and found that many of them were contrary to the Bible.
There was growing anxiety, not simply among reformed evangelicals, but among many within the charismatic movement, concerning a serious drift away from biblical principles. Of course, there will always be differences of interpretation and textual exegesis. But differences in interpretation cannot account for statements which are directly contrary to those found in the Bible.
The charismatic movement has been a tremendous blessing to millions of Christians who have found a new freedom in worship and a deeper personal relationship with God which has strengthened their faith and enabled them to participate more actively in the work of the Gospel.
However, the emphasis upon personal experience which broke the icy grip of traditionalism in most branches of the Church has also had its down side, as charismatics have been carried along on waves of excitement into deeper realms of experience. Any movement or teaching which offers the believer a deeper personal experience with the living God is highly attractive. Yet when experience parts company with sound biblical teaching, there is grave danger for the believer. There is strong evidence that this is what happened within the charismatic movement during the 1990s and, in various waves and guises, has continued since.—the Author, Rev. Dr. Clifford Hill.