Leah, I think this is a great question and one that’s become more personal to me over the last year or so. And, I’m assuming when you say “gifts” you mean the more visible gifts like tongues, words of knowledge, prophecy, etc. because there’s not much controversy surrounding the gifts of preaching, teaching, hospitality, and the like. I think, like most issues, there’s probably more than one reason behind the disbelief of the gifts. Some key objections may be an abuse of the gifts, lack of knowledge, lack of experience, and even a dis-allowance by worldview. I understand those reasons, I even held them to some degree, but when we press into each objection it becomes a little less formidable.
To give some example, consider abuses of the gifts. Have they been abused? Absolutely, but that doesn’t mean we should toss the baby out with the bathwater? No, it means we should stop abusing the gifts. We don’t deny the accuracy of the scriptures if a pastor abuses them, so why the gifts? Or, how about the lack of experience? It’s not a good argument because even though I’ve never been to Canada doesn’t mean that it isn’t a real place with people and culture. Similarly, a lack of knowledge nor not having space in a worldview doesn’t impact the validity of the gifts.
I think you nailed it when you said we’re human and we mess up. You even cite preachers misteaching scripture, which happens almost daily across the globe because no person is all-knowing or infallible when interpreting God’s Word, and that is an excellent example. You also state the need to have a high bar and I think I agree with you. The bar that I’ve commonly found to be set is two-fold. First, the gifts cannot be operated without the power of the Holy Spirit. If the Holy Spirit isn’t present it usually means we’re acting on our own and Jesus said, ‘I do nothing on my own accord but only what I see the Father doing.’ It’s no bueno to be contrary to Jesus. Second, the gifts affirm the character of God and do not contradict the scriptures. For example, when someone says, “God told me _____” it shouldn’t be in opposition to biblical teaching or make God evil/unloving/etc. So, if the Holy Spirit is present and God’s character and Word are being affirmed I think we can be open to whatever happens through the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
I didn’t grow up in a tradition that embraced the charismatic visible gifts. When I encountered them I didn’t have a framework to deal with what I experienced. That led me to study the gifts and I was surprised by what I found. Not only is there sound logic and good theology but there’s also life-giving power when operating in the gifts through the Holy Spirit. In fact, there’s so much power in the Spirit that I know of individuals who have been healed in my local church (unfortunately, I didn’t get to be a witness of the process).
If you’re looking to lean into the gifts more, I’d like to share some resources that helped me: JP Moreland’s book “The Kingdom Triangle” was helpful, especially the last 1/3 which focuses directly on the gifts and his many youtube videos like this one. And, two more books “Suprised by the Power of the Spirit” and “Suprised by the Voice of God” both by Jack Deere. Those materials paired with being around people who God regularly uses through the gifts have changed my walk with Him.
I apologize for the wordiness but I hope you find this helpful