This past week I attended the Perry Stone conference in Huntington, WV hosted by Christ Temple Church.
The greeters, ushers and staff of Christ Temple were warm and hospitable. The facilities were clean and comfortable.
The music was wonderful. Christ Temple choir led worship during the night services with special music by Larry and Gina Bean. Larry and Gina led us in the morning services. The music was upbeat, loud and energizing.
The reason I like Perry Stone is because he is charismatic yet doesn’t let services get confusing or out of order. Worship lasted for 20-25 min. followed by 10-15 of announcements and offering. He preached for about 70-80 min. and people were free to leave during the ministry time with no brow-beating from the front.
After having been away from the charismatics for about three years I found myself checking out everything and watching everything for signs of heresy. Surprisingly, I didn’t find any.
Yes there were differences of style from where I attend now (a SBC Baptist church) but there was nothing said or done that could be considered heretical. No one rolled on the floor laughing hysterically or barking like a dog.
Several of Perry’s sermons were on current event topics and what a proper biblical worldview on those topics would look like. He wasn’t afraid to call sin – sin but was also quick to extend Christian love and restoration for those caught in sin.
Several of the sermons could be considered pastoral in nature. One was on the sin of adultery, how one gets lead into it and why it is so destructive. Another was on the iniquity of homosexuality and focused on getting people set free from the bondage of it.
My thoughts on leaving the conference were that too many times we lump all charismatics together and call all of them heretics because of what happened in Toronto. Not every charismatic falls into that mold. I found people at the conference had a solid biblical worldview, loved with the genuine warmth of Christ and responded to the gospel message enthusiastically.
They are our brothers in Christ.