Charismatic Dualism? Lets talk about that.
Dualism – the division of something conceptually into two opposed or contrasted aspects, or the state of being so divided
Gnostic Dualism is the heretical teaching that says all physical matter is evil thus shunning it and only adhering to spiritual world.
Charismatic Dualism can be described as the belief that the soul-life is bad and the spirit/Spirit life is good.
This isn’t a wide-spread issue that I personally know of however from time to time I do hear the phrase “They were in the spirit and then dropped back into the soul” meaning what they were doing was good but now that it’s the soul it’s not good anymore. Spirit = good and soul = bad. This is not so in my opinion and I believe Scripture supports it.
Another common sayings could be, “Oh he is just operating from the soul” or “That person is so soulish.” What I think is happening is that people mistake soul with flesh or carnality. They are not the same thing. “More of Him and less of me” is also a common one. Personally I don’t like that term either. Number one reason for not liking it is because people base that off of John the Baptist says in John 3:30, “I must decrease and He must increase”, when the context was John the Baptist forerunning Jesus’ coming and Jesus’ ministry. Some of us take it as we don’t matter and we need to crucify the soul. Both are wrong.
3 John 1:2 says,
Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.
Soul in the Greek is psychē and simply means the seat of the feelings, desires, affections, aversions, etc. So here Paul is saying he wants us in good health and prosperous just as our soul prospers. So our souls must prosper and if so, how can they prosper if we equate the soul with flesh, evil, etc? God gave us a soul and it is the life of God. God made it and gave it so His original intent was and still is for good. The soul operates with the organic body. Mind with brain, emotions with chemicals (generally speaking), and will with brain (conscious or subconscious). The soul can only operate as good as the organic operates. That is why when there is a chemical imbalance in the body, emotions, will, and mind do not operate the best. With the soul we do believe, have faith, reason with the Lord and others, have strongholds (whether good or bad), and affect the body. Our souls must be healed, cleansed, restored, set apart, and grown. Our souls carry a strong redemptive gift (see http://www.sandylandry.com) and with that redemptive gift is a birthright, authority, and redemptive quality God has given us to affect the world around us. The soul is good because God originally created it good and once saved it becomes good. But the most important factor in our soul’s growth, stability, wholeness, and essence is when the soul is led by our spirit (of course the Holy Spirit as well).
1 Thessalonians 5:23 declares,
Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Do you see how it’s listed? Not body, soul, and spirit but spirit, soul, and then body. I have a hypothesis about why the body is listed last and not first but that’s for another blog.
God has designed the spirit, as the light of God and made in the very essence of God, to lead the soul and body. This is why I believe Moses, Jesus, and others could have not eaten or drank water for 40 days yet survive. Their spirits were leading and in charge of their soul and body.
Spirit in Greek is pneuma and simply means the part of us never referred to as a depersonalised force but the efficient source of any power, affection, emotion, desire, etc. Oftentimes the spirit and soul get combined together as one so we longer are a trinity like God (thought we are created in His image) but a dual being of sorts. However, Hebrews 4:12 dispels this argument and says that there is a division that happens and must happen. But this division is not for dividing to separate and remove but to distinguish mode and function.
For so long we have operated out of our souls in most of our spiritual activities. Our souls have been trying to do the work of our spirit and vice versa…and it’s not our soul’s fault not our the fault of our spirit per se. It is the fault of inadequate teaching of our spirit’s role, design, and function. Our spirits have an incredible database of things spiritual, soulful, and bodyful (is that a word?). Our spirit is light and light can and does carry data. “Really?” you ask. Yes, really. Think fiber optics. Data is put into light, then transferred to then be used. Same as our spirit. “In Him was Life and that Life was the Light of Men,” says John 1:4.
Only when our life, mode of being, and priorities are lined up spirit, soul, and body will we see ourselves prosper in ways never dreamed of. Our souls have a function and our spirits have a function. Each has different functions and some functions being very similar. Each has its own emotions. Our spirit loves differently than our soul does. Did you know our spirit has a voice just like our soul? Our body also having a voice. Three Scriptures that have jumped out at me ever since learning about the human spirit are 1 Corinthians 2:11, Proverbs 18:14, and Proverbs 20:27 and they really give a broader picture of the place of our spirit.
The spirit and great and the soul is great. It’s all about alignment. Next time you hear someone speak bad about the soul just know that our souls need work but they aren’t bad…they just need direction and leadership from our spirit. Our souls give us context to the natural world whereas our spirits give us context to their spiritual world both of which are and should be under the Will and Want of Father God. And when we beat up our soul for not doing the spirit’s job then we are missing the mark.
Charistmatic Dualism should have no place in the Church. Another aspect of Dualism is that our spirit and soul are one and the same, but that is a whole other subject.