Charismatic Holiness Anabaptist Theology (CHAT) is an attempt to merge two growing movements within Christianity: The Charismatic movement which emphasizes the work of The Holy Spirit in the life of a believer and the Anabaptist movement which emphasizes discipleship and the imitation of Jesus, particularly with regards to the radical peace teachings of the New Testament. This is not a theology that will be based on a set of doctrinal statements but rather on the centrality of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
There are many contradictory Bible passages that need to be interpreted in context and in light of the full council of God. That’s why CHAT asserts all scripture needs to be interpreted in light of Jesus’ teachings. After all He is the fulfillment of the Law and the prophets (Matthew 5:17), He is the Word (John 1) and The image of the Father (Hebrews 1:3). Jesus is perfect theology. He is the hermeneutic key through which we must interpret the whole of scripture.
The Sermon on the Mount
Commentators through history have tried to downplay the Sermon on the Mount, either by saying it’s not possible to live out but only to show us our need for forgiveness; Or by saying it is only principles to live by and not to be taken literally. CHAT asserts The Sermon on the Mount is to show us our need for forgiveness, and to apply principles from and to live out literally, by God’s empowering grace.
Imagine if a solider forced you to carry their baggage one mile and you decided to go with him for two miles. The soldier might say "Great! You'll make a good slave, you dog! I'll keep you for life!". In that case, it would be probably understandable if you were to flee from your oppressor. On the other hand, he may be convicted by your unusual kindness and ask you what would cause you to do such a gracious thing. You would then have the opportunity to share the gospel with him. My point is, we often put all Jesus' commands in the too hard basket without even trying to live them out.
Even if Jesus did only intend for His teachings to be principles, we need to ask the question: Are we even trying to live them out in principle? These are complex issues without easy answers but it is of vital importance that we challenge ourselves and ask the hard questions. I will attempt to post encouraging sermon podcasts on this site from around the world. The speakers may or may not consider themselves Charismatic or Anabaptist but I will post them if what they have to say, resonates in any way with CHAT.
Baptism in the Holy Spirit
CHAT affirms all spiritual experiences which draw believers closer to Jesus and empower them to do the things He did. Rather than getting into an arguments about definitions of words and building doctrines around our personal experiences(or lack thereof) its time for us as believers to admit to a lack of Christ-likeness(holiness) and cry out to God for more of Him at any cost and be open to whatever He does.
Where to go from here?
If these ideas resonate with you, check out the links, listen to the podcasts and connect with us on Facebook.
Challenge yourself with the teachings of Jesus and engage with the person of Jesus. If Jesus fasted, we want to fast, if Jesus said love your enemies, we want to love our enemies too. Each week, try following one or two of the things Jesus said or did, starting with His acts and words in the book of Mathew and then going through all the gospels. Ask God, how you can apply these teachings or examples to your time and context.
Consider starting a discussion group with like-minded folks.
"To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps." 1 Peter 2:21