How about this: I am a “de facto cessationist.”
Let me clarify something that might help you understand. Some of you have read about this on my blog. It might sound radical and controversial, but, if you listen, you will see it’s not.
Here’s my perspective: I don’t believe in a closed canon. I simply believe that the canon hasn’t been added to since the first century. Why? Because God hasn’t added to it through established representatives like prophets and apostles. It’s as simple as that. This is a de facto “closing.” We reflect on why it hasn’t been expanded, and we believe that Hebrews 1:1-2 might provide some insight. It feeds our systematic. theology on this area. However, we aren’t certain. God could indeed add to it if He wished. We don’t have the authority to close it. No individual or council can shut God’s mouth. History merely showcases His actions or the absence of them.
Regarding the charismatic issue, I don’t find any scripture that definitively “closes” the utilization of any spiritual gift. Some of them seemingly ceased on their own, de facto! This doesn’t imply that the underlying acts of these gifts have ceased. God can still prophesy, heal, or perform any miracle through anyone He wishes. We can’t restrain His power. We should always hunger for his fellowship in such a way. It comes from a desire for Him to return.
Based on my perspective regarding the “de facto cessation” of the gifts, I then refer back to the Bible to comprehend why they might have ceased. But one thing is clear: if God had maintained the use of these gifts throughout history and if modern Christianity was genuinely characterized by the profound manifestations of His gifts, we’d all be charismatic. If this was a standard practice in the church, even the staunchest cessationist would ultimately acknowledge and re-interpret the Scripture.
I’m confident in this: our beliefs in this area ultimately stem from our experiences. Again, the Scriptures leave the issues open. Yes, I said that: it’s our experiences, not the Scriptures. We’ve all witnessed the ceasing of the canon, and we all engage with the power and presence of God in our unique ways. The Scriptures might be ambiguous on these topics, but God’s actions throughout history are evident.