Redneck Review

WARNING: This clip contains offensive language and statements. If you are concerned about being offended, don’t watch it. Consider yourself warned.

I thought this might amuse The Three Amigos, Bob, and Mike.

Reading recent posts about revival and charismania, I have given a lot of thought this past week to charismatic/pentecostal manifestations, ministries, and meetings. With hype and sensationalism taking center stage, there are some things that I would definitely like to address.

By definition, the supernatural is beyond our ability to control and can occur outside of our carefully constructed theories. Certainty that God will remain within the boundaries of what one considers practical, decent, and orderly is likely just as mistaken as the check-your-brain-at-the-door mentality.

Where do you weigh in on this stuff?

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11 thoughts on “Redneck Review

  1. First off, I did enjoy the video because that is some crazy … ahem.
    I attend a charismatic Lutheran church (no that is not an oxymoron). By that I mean that we believe the Holy Spirit is active today just as he has been since Pentecost. The gifts are still active and necessary today.
    You said it well, “By definition, the supernatural is beyond our ability to control and can occur outside of our carefully constructed theories.” This means that we very well may see stuff happen that seems weird or outside the ordinary. People responses to being filled with the Spirit will also vary, that is not the fault of the Spirit.
    That being said, abuses do occur. I was playing around with Daughter Inheritor the Youngest the other day, holding her head 3 Stooges style as she tried to tickle me (her arms are shorter than mine) and I decided to teach her about prayer ministry. I said, if you go up for prayer and someone puts their hand on your forehead like this, don’t let them do this… and promptly pushed her over onto the couch. I said that is not anything to do with the Spirit, that is just plain being pushed over.
    Also, with all these huge revivals happening over the recent years, where are all the obedient new Christians that are being made? What are they all doing to change their neighborhoods? Is church growth exploding?

  2. I highly recommend a book called MegaShift by James Rutz. A lot of it is testimonies from groups and individuals in countries where revival has been going on for years. It takes the supernatural – and puts it in the hands of common Chrisitians (like its suppose to be). You can’t read this book and not be affected by it.

    There are Healing Rooms (Cal Pierce – Spokane, Wa – HealingRooms.com – springing up in various parts of the country (US) now (maybe Canada too) – we like teaming up with these people when we can find them. Mostly they’ve attracted the workers of mircales and gifts of healings people (1 Cor 12:28). One of those houses is right next to a Walmart – their testimonies were really awesome. Now that would be pretty fun standing in front of the pharmacy at Walmart and praying for people. I was just in one of those yesterday – wow – talk about culture shock.

    Lastly – there is guy names Henry Wright (pleasantvalleychurch.net) – where they have some diseases they claim to have 100% success with. Here’s the kicker though – it’s a James 5:16 type of ministry. Repent from your sins – and God will heal you. They lay it out very graciously – and it is wonderfully effective in certain illnesses. Breast Cancer is one they’ve had a whole lot of success with. (i.e. Bittnerness toward your mother is one cause – there are others – Repent for the bitterness toward your mom – and miraculuously – God removes the cancer)

    In the case of Cal Pierce, and Henry Wright – these people have pretty much dedicated their whole life to seeking the healing provisions of the scriptures. Not too much hype there – just tons of prayer and a lot of hard work.

  3. “Hell, I can barely speak English” – actually laughed out loud!

    I just made Marsh/Husband look at a video posted on Zoecarnate (he is interviewing John Crowder – New Mystics) (excellent interview btw) In so many ways I love some of the things that John is saying but I was simply sickened by the video. But Marsh gives really wide berth to the whole thing. He always has a “Yeah, but what if..” something to add to the discussion. He really has very few boxes and therefore it drives me nuts. I think that personally, I’m not going to go to a meeting and participate in it but neither am I going to throw stones at it anymore if I’m not directly invovled and responsible for it.

  4. Grace,
    You made my day. I’ve a huge grin plastered across my fat face. Thanks!

    Here’s a good quote from John Armstrong from his blog this morning, (referring to the apparent love of young people for Obama)

    I just wish the Church was so in love with Christ, and then with one another and our kingdom message, that we offered them a far better (eternal) alternative by which to make a huge historical difference. Unless the Lord creates real renewal, and I mean congregation changing awakenings all across the land, I do not expect this young generation to see the Church very positively in the near future. This could all change, and I think it will at some tipping point, but it does not yet appear to be the case in the immediate future.

    I’m not sure that the Crowder gang or TB are the “real revival” the church needs. They may be fun, like the circus is fun – but in the end, when the circus leaves town – who gets to deal with the elephant poop? (Perhaps that last line is indicative of why I haven’t been blogging much lately.)

  5. Grace,
    I wrestle with the kinds of meetings and hoopla that happens in places like Lakeland because I know I would not be where I am today without some of the crazy encounters I had with God in meetings just like them. I like so many am trying to not throw the baby out with the bath water. Would I go to Lakeland? No, neither do I go to the meetings in my own area that promote this kind of atmosphere. Do I pursue the power and gifts of the Spirit? Yes, I would be dead in the water without the empowerment (and sometimes for me that comes in the middle of prayer where my body responding to the Spirit, shakes, somewhere deep in my being I begin to groan and I choose to pray in the Spirit) of the Divine to do the work He has called me to as well as the ability to obey his commands.
    I understand the need to critique and “notice” what is whacky…I do wonder if by some people focusing on the critique only they lose any openness to this:
    “the supernatural is beyond our ability to control and can occur outside of our carefully constructed theories”
    I have seen both sides of this…the circus show that seemed nothing more to me than people caught up in getting their Holy Spirit “fix” and those seem people were some of the most mean-spirited people I know (their meetings and what was happening reminded me of manna that had turned rotten)…but and this is a big but, I have seen the Spirit’s power in my own life able to heal, deliver (seriously deliver from Lupus) and in others in a way that I cannot deny the power of the Kingdom inbreaking into our everyday, ordinary life. So much can be written on this….it’s not simple. I agree with a friend who says, the answer to abuse is not disuse…
    Grace thanks for hosting the conversation. I so want to find a way forward in experiencing all God has in the power of the Spirit, embracing both contemplative and charismatic practices.

  6. Ya, the hard part is that both those who say, “This is not God” and those who say, “God is moving” claim to be exercising the gift of discernment. And both sides kind of try to pitch an “all or nothing” (it’s all God, or none of it is God) assessment. I don’t agree with either. Things are never that black and white.

    I feel uncomfortable when people try to pin me in one camp or the other. (If you don’t agree with me, and accept everything that’s happening here as God, then you’re religious. If you don’t agree with me, and are open to the possibility that any of this is God, then you’re controlling – trying to say “judge not!”).

    I think we need to hear from God ourselves on this one. In that way, we could all take this opportunity to ask God to develop and mature our own discernment, rather than relying on others. So, by all means – everyone judge for yourself. But I may or may not come away with the same conclusions as you. And there’s freedom for that! :)

  7. Ha! I love it. I’m afraid I’ve been reflecting on this all week; I just did my final post with John Crowder, discussing charismatic experience and contemplative prayer. Please, let me know what you think.

  8. inheritor,
    My charismatic background has included a mix of both the real thing and of hype. I think it’s great that you are teaching your daughter the difference. All of us should be able to recognize and decline involvement from false or abusive ministry. ” What about the fruit” is a good question.

    jerry,
    I haven’t read MegaShift, sounds great. I have great respect for those who take their spiritual gifts and go out and serve instead of setting up a ministry and attempting to build a name for themselves.

    barb,
    My husband says when God’s spirit touches flesh, crazy stuff is bound to happen. I’m pretty open to whatever crazy stuff might happen, but I am quite skeptical about the people on stage directing and profiting from it all.

    bill,
    What saddens me the most is to have this presented to the world as the picture of revival. I still believe there could be something so much more powerful and so much less ridiculous.

    rose,
    I really appreciated your comment. That is exactly how I feel about this. There is no denying the real experiences of healing and transformation that can occur in the midst of crazy encounters with the spirit.

    Perhaps adding a missional perspective would help to resolve the abuse – empowering for the purpose of mission. That may initially be about individual healing and deliverance, yet directed towards greater wholeness for the purpose of loving and serving others.

    Amen Sarah!

    mike,
    I left a comment on one of the earlier posts. It pretty much covered my thoughts on the subject.

  9. It is beyond our understanding, yes, but it also is beyond our flesh and should always be about God. When I’ve watched Lakeland or when I’ve been in meetings involving “ushering in the Holy Spirit” I’ve had that nagging feeling that much is being done in the flesh. Loud yells by the leader of “More, more” while waving his arms in someone’s face and making sure they have a “catcher.” People standing for long periods of time with their eyes closed, which physiologically creates an environment of lost equilibrium and any touch to the head can cause a loss of balance, particularly in a loud, chaotically noisy environment….

    God is more powerful than our imagination, our flesh is very deceptive, and the enemy has great deceptive powers – add all that up and it’s hard to know what’s “real” or not. At the same time, we really aren’t to pur ourselves into the position of judge. The whole thing definitely makes my head spin.

  10. Since my DLB (denomination left behind) is Southern Baptist I think the video is quite funny and says more about Baptists than it does about Pentecostals.

    Grace, I am pretty much where you are on this. I think whether it is this issue, or any other issue in the church, there are people who are sincere in their beliefs and actions, but mistaken (indeed at some level we are all in this on some issue, just different issues for different folks), those who are charlatans and there is the active work of the Holy Spirit.

  11. Bryan and traveller,
    I am sad about being cynical about Lakeland, but my inner feeling is that it is a farce. In spite of that, I believe that people will encounter God because of their expectation and His gracious willingness to meet us where we are.

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