Loving God, Equipping People, Mentoring Leaders, Reaching Nations
There is a lot of controversy being stirred up over what is going on in Lakeland, Flordia. I am asked, almost on a daily basis, what I think of what is going on. That is really not the key question: The key question is – ‘What does God think of what is going on in Lakeland?’
I personally am in the ‘test the spirits’ stage. I understand that God’s ways are not my ways and so I don’t want to write off anything that may be God working in ways I don’t understand or approve of. I have some serious questions about the teaching that is going on – much too subjective, based on apparently untested experiences, visions, visits from angels, third heaven visits with Paul, King David showing up in the physical in a hotel room and chatting for hours … much too subjective for my liking and too little Word – too little Bible teaching. In fact, some of the teachings and experiences are contrary to the things the Bible states. And what little Bible that is used is out of context and thus can lead to error.
J. Lee Grady who is editor of Charisma Magazine had a great blog recently. He was discussing the Lakeland “revival” and his concern about the teachings. He commented that the previous time he had written about his concerns he had received a lot of negative mail labeling him a Pharisee and a “Religious Policeman”. Well, someone needs to police these situations and bring some sense of accountability to them. This is impacting the Church worldwide (a friend of mine in Ukraine watches this thing every night).
Lee Grady calls upon the apostolic and prophetic men and women who lead networks and who are fulfilling these five-fold ministry callings (careful – just because they call themselves an apostle does not mean they really are) to step in and form some guidelines for Lakeland and other similar happenings around the world. Not sure any true apostle or true prophet has that kind of clout but I agree that it is time for someone or a group of someones to set some guidelines as did the council in Jerusalem in Acts 15.
I did agree with his list of concerns that need to be addressed… and I just list his titles. The full article by Lee Grady can be found at the Chaisma Magazine web site entitled “An Appeal for Unity in a Divisive Season”.
1> Biblical guidelines about angels
2> A proper theology about the dead
3> Pastoral guidance about exotic spiritual manifestations
4> Clear guidelines concerning the restoration of fallen ministers
I would add – a correct understanding on how to preach from God’s Word – so there is much less proof texting and much more accurate teaching of God’s Word … a text out of context makes a pretext.
You can’t find or make up your theology (understanding of God and His actions) and then pick a verse to back it up. Your understanding must arise from a proper understanding of God from all of God’s Word – understanding that it speaks for itself and interprets itself. We are woefully ignorant about how to preach God’s Word accurately and correctly.
I believe J. Lee Grady is serving the Church well with his editorial. I hope those who are helping to lead Lakeland heed his concerns. But, I am leary about any “council” making decisions and proclamations because there are many too many apostolic councils and prophetic councils in North America which are self-appointed and not accountable to the wider Church and whose makeup consists of self-appointed and self-proclaimed apostles and prophetic voices when obviously (at least to me) they are no more apostolic than my dog is. My dog is cute and great company but not in the least bit apostolic or prophetic.