Loving God, Equipping People, Mentoring Leaders, Reaching Nations
I repent. For a number of weeks now I have been totally quiet about The Lakeland, Florida “revival”. I don’t believe it is or was a revival so I usually put that word that others use to describe it in quotation marks.
I repent because I should have kept expressing my concerns. For almost three weeks I have had a page from the August, 2008 Charisma sitting on my blogging pile – and have, intentionally, ignored it. The article is titled: “Revival Leader Gains ‘Apostolic’ Oversight”.
What was it I wanted to say about the article? I wanted to ask who appointed those involved as apostles. Bill Johnson from Redding, California – woosh! Read his books and his theology is very questionable in a number of major areas as is that of his assistant (Kris Vallotton) who runs their ministry school. Peter Wagner – the self-appointed expert and apostolic overseer of the “new Movement” of apostles and prophets … Who is not an apostle and should not be on an apostolic council of any sort. His writings on apostles (many books) leaves much to be desired re. biblical foundations. Wes and Stacey Campbell – whose own Church they founded removed them as pastors; Rick Joyner whose MorningStar Ministries has published DVDs and CDs of Todd Bentley’s heretical teachings about his visions and visitations and whose resident prophets also leave much to be desired as they teach about communicating with the dead. Che Ahn (good man and good books as far as I can see); John Arnott – a fine man heading up a number of ministries that prop up a now dead move of God which was also never a revival ….
But then who am I – just a small ministry on the flat prairies where little ever happens and who ministers in small churches and is never invited to be part of anything that appears to be the most recent “God-thing”. Which is good because I run from them and never towards them. And, when I speak prophetically few even know I have spoken (the web page has all my prophetic insights for the last 10 months and it is amazing how many are coming true…)
You see, I felt like a voice in the wilderness crying out “be careful”. In my circles I was one of very few speaking negatively or in a warning manner about what we were seeing and hearing. A number of places that were thinking of inviting me to minister have backed out because I was being negative about a man of God and a movement of God (both self-proclaimed, I may add). One potential overseas trip to Asia was probably not going to happen because I spoke out about my concerns regarding Lakeland.
And, when you speak out the labels are quick to be applied -because we were suppose to simply “swallow and follow” and not discern what is of God and what is not. As Lee Grady states:“The message was clear: ‘This is God. Don’t question.'”
Well, now it has all blown up and become a blight on the Charismatic Church. Todd Bentley has handed over the reigns to others and is leaving Lakeland. He and his wife are separating. Things are not right on the homefront and have not been since long before the “revival” broke out 100+ days ago. Do me a favour – don’t hand over the reigns – just shut it down permanently before it does more damage to leaders, believers, and local churches.
When will we ever learn – character before charisma (giftings). Hype is hype, yelling is yelling (and Jesus never yelled except at the hypocrites in the Temple and religious leaders). Theatrics are theatrics. Blind obedience and failure to question everything going on and being taught leads to mindless believers who swallow and follow … and we are to love the Lord with all our hearts and all our MINDS. Why do we hang our brains on a peg and just blindly follow? Incorrect teaching should be confronted. Non-biblical experiences have no place in the Kingdom. The Word should be the standard for everything and not subjective experiences of angels and winds and William Branham’s anointing and experiences – as he claimed, before his death in 1965, to be the reincarnation of Elijah.
So, I repent of having stopped being a “voice in the wilderness” during the past month. I guess I was just tired of swimming upstream when many others, in my opinion, were attracting crowds by simply floating downstream. But then even dead fish float downstream.
I have learned that I have a calling as an apostle and that includes proclaiming truth and prophetically declaring what I sense to be the Holy Spirit’s voice to the Church today. And, to do so even when it is not the popular stand nor being received by the Church in general or my own circles in particular. A voice is a voice even if no one is listening (reading).
So, lesson learned – and I’m back!