Can you be charismatic without modern worship music?

These days when you think about the charismatic movement, you often think about worship style. And to be honest, in most “charismatic” churches that I’ve been to recently there is no sign of the gifts being active. Granted, I don’t go to a lot of in-your-face charismatic churches, but this is my impression of most [on-paper] charismatic churches like the Vineyard, Calvary Chapel and Sovereign Grace.

What many high-church or Baptist folks mean when they decry charismatic churches is simply ‘happy-clappy’ worship. So from within the charismatic churches and without, the identification of a ‘charismatic’ church is via its style of worship music. But this seems utterly wrong. For one thing, this style of soft-rock worship music now dominates almost every church, from Missouri Synod Lutherans to Southern Baptist mega-churches to Calvary Chapel and the Vineyard.

The 1st century Church wasn’t worshiping with guitars and drum-kits, and yet they had regular outpourings of the Holy Spirit. You can trace the presence of the gifts throughout Church history on and off through the ages. None of these time periods used our style of worship music either (obviously). So there is no causal relationship between the charismatic gifts and singing Hillsong music in church.

I don’t know of any churches today that have Gregorian chant and speaking in tongues. Generally, the more outward manifestations of the Holy Spirit that you see, the wilder the music is. But I can’t see any objective Biblical reason for this to be necessary.

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