By Nicola Menzie
John MacArthur, influential author, pastor and seminary president, has kicked off the Strange Fire conference at his California church this week and reportedly stated during his opening remarks that the charismatic movement "dishonors God" and "offers nothing to enrich true worship."
MacArthur, a cessationist, has long been an outspoken advocate of weighing the claims and activities of those in the charismatic movement against Scripture, and tied the conference to the release of his latest book, Strange Fire: The Danger of Offending the Holy Spirit With Counterfeit Worship. In a series of promotional videos leading up the conference, the 74-year-old Calvinist minister insisted that the Strange Fire conference would focus on "the false worship" coming from the movement, and is not about worship styles or preferences.
In explaining the concept of "strange fire" in one promotional video, MacArthur points to Leviticus 9 and 10 in which acceptable worship and unacceptable worship are contrasted.