Archbishop of Canterbury: ‘Every Christian Is a Charismatic’

ChurchLeaders | 1/22/2019 | Staff
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Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, who has made headlines for his practice of speaking in tongues, believes all Christians are charismatic—in the sense that they’re all “filled with the Spirit.” Welby, head of the Church of England since November 2012, says in a recent interview that praying in tongues is “part of my daily discipline,” not “an occasional thing.”

Welby downplays his 5 a.m. habit, saying, “It’s not something to make a great song and dance about.” He adds, “Given it’s usually extremely early in the morning, it’s not usually an immensely ecstatic moment because I’m sort of…struggling.”

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Welby also says he seeks—and is encouraged by—words of knowledge and prophecy. “I expect to hear from God through other people with words of knowledge or prophecies,” he says, “some of which I am unsure about, others I can sense there being something of the Spirit of God.” At his official residence, Welby receives many letters claiming to have a supernatural source.

The spiritual gifts of speaking in tongues and receiving words of knowledge and prophecy usually are associated with charismatic churches, such as Pentecostals. But Welby dismisses denominational distinctions, warning of “the danger of putting ‘charismatic’ as a tribal category within the church.” He adds, “All Christians are filled with the Spirit, so every Christian is a charismatic, in that sense.”

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Welby, who’s from the evangelical wing of the Anglican Church, once belonged to a congregation where speaking in tongues wasn’t uncommon. He...
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