Worth Repeating

The following quotes about revival are from posts written earlier this year, the first two before Lakeland started in April, and the third post presents my initial feelings about the Florida Outpouring.

Excerpts from A Prophetic Word for 2008 (Jan. 2008 )

Revival as I hear it depicted takes the responsibility off us to be salt and light…We really have to stop this nonsense talk about taking the world for Christ when most of us don’t even know our own next door neighbours.  (Andrew Hamilton)

The revival to come does not demand obedience now. We can feel all warm and fuzzy about the wonderful word and clap at what God will do while conveniently forgetting that where ever people are simply obeying Jesus they are seeing the Kingdom multiply now…Revival is not about platforms and performances. It is about relationships, sacrifice and obedience.  (Steve Hill)

The deeper we went in our quest for the things of the Spirit, the further removed we became from knowing and relating to those who do not yet know Jesus. We cannot stay bunkered in our walls praying for revival. How can we accept that mentality when Jesus’ example and command is to go?  To continue to pray for revival without immersing our lives among the lost is ridiculous. 
(from my article Why Charismissional?)

Excerpts from Temple Tantrum (Feb. 2008 )

The problem of “selling” religious experiences is this. How do you get the folks who came to your last conference to come to your next? What new experience do you offer to them? The problem about selling stuff is that you always have to have something new to sell!

The prophets and the apostles are to be the foundation of the church. They are to be first in pioneering new areas for the Kingdom of God. They are to be the first in suffering, first in sacrifice, first in obedience. These are not platform ministries. These are plowing the field ministries.”  (Steve Hill)

I’d like to suggest that real ‘apostles’ don’t need to trumpet their status or try to get people to agree to be ‘under’ their authority. They just serve and people recognize their authority based on character and not on their need to have people ’submit’ to them. But if you want another potentially provocative statement, try this:

“Real apostolic people might actually be held in contempt by those whose mindset is caught in an authority-based understanding and agenda.”  (robbymac)

Rather than true apostolic function of a person sent to build and plant, serving and equipping churches as they develop, false apostolic ministry comes into existing church groups and attempts to pull them under an umbrella of authority. It is not a grassroots expansion of the kingdom through the growth and spread of the gospel, but rather a pyramid-type structuring of control and financial support building the ministries of certain individuals. (grace)

Excerpt from Healing Revival (May 2008 )

While the atmosphere of revival often builds faith, it also creates the notion that one must go to a special location to receive from God. Once there, people will do almost anything to be touched by the guest minister. It is in this fertile soil of desperation that sincere people are ripe for being taken advantage of, for being abused, and for being led into false teaching.

The charismatic, prophetic, and renewal movements are heavily influenced with false teaching from various other movements – Latter Rain, Dominionism, Kingdom Now, Restorationism, and the New Apostolic Reformation. While you might not be exposed to these teachings at special meetings, one should be aware that this is the background of the ministers who are involved.

In the meantime, I wonder what revival would look like apart from the package of church revival culture – special speakers, special meetings, special offerings.

8 thoughts on “Worth Repeating

  1. Thanks for the work you’ve invested in your series of posts giving us an interpretive framework to understand Lakeland and revival and “apostles” from a more holistically biblical perspective.

    If we became more content with finding God’s extraordinary providence amidst the ordinary events of our days, would we need the regularity of spectacular manifestations to keep us going?

    If we did better at persevering through the sufferings and discernments and obediences of everyday life, would we even need these kinds of revivals?

    If we developed local leaders of mature graciousness, wisdom, discernment, Spirit-led decision-making ability and accountability, would we even need these kinds of so-called apostles?

    One of my prayers from the midst of these messes is that we will repeat history less and less so that the Kingdom, as developed by faithful everyday disciples, will become manifested more and more.

  2. Many years ago I ordered “The Third Wave of the Holy Spirit” (by Peter Wagner) from CBD. When my copy arrived it looked great on the outside but the inside was 100% blank: not a single page had any ink on it. I should have kept it but I was a poor student and sent it back for one with some contents. It turns out that it was not just the book that’s blank but also the apostle. I would like to return this apostle from whence he came. I never ordered him, he just sort of appeared, speaking for me and Jesus and countless others. Dang, I just realized that I supported him by buying that book. I’m going to find my copy and return it to him. I want a refund!

  3. Well done Grace. Your series represents a ‘fair and balanced’ reaction to a ‘happening’ (of sorts) that many only desire to hear a one-sided view of because it’s such a great short-cut for the church to take in manifesting the Kingdom. God did not send His Spirit to show ud the short-cuts. He sent His Spirit that we might bear the charachter of His Son – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. This should be the ‘list’ we use to check off to test the authenticity of a move of the Spirit.

    Because the gospel was in the mix, there was some fruit, but most of it got burried in the midst resounding gongs and clanging symbols.

    Thanks for doing this.

  4. When revival’s an event or an experience instead of a person (Jesus) – it’s not long for this world.

    The morality police are the undertakers of any move of God. Good thing for us Paul wrote all of this letters before the vultures arrived and saw what was really going on there.

    Real revival is way too messy for most holy people – they can’t handle the fact that an awesome and holy God would stoop so low as to interact with drug dealers, prostitutes, perverts, blasphemers, etc. And that some of these people in the process of getting cleaned up actually would walk in a considerable amount of anointing. When the fascade finally does get removed – it’s like Oh yeah – that really was just Todd wasn’t it? If you see thru the fascade – it really doesn’t have much affect on you. The Charismatics have been wearying “The emporer’s new clothes” for over 15 years.

    I pray the Lord will remove all of our fascades and we can all be just ourselves – and we’ll be able to facilitate a move of God together in all our weakness – instead of burying it.

  5. Grace, I’m grateful for you and others who wrote these words of wisdom earlier in the year. Especially your comment about “revivals” giving us the notion that we have to go somewhere to receive from God. That thought came to mind a few weeks ago (before everything hit the fan) when a friend asked if we wanted to drive down to LA to see Todd Bentley. I passed. If God has something to say to me, he’s perfectly capable of getting it across here in the hinterlands. Often enough he does — through you and some other voices of sanity in the blogosphere.

  6. brad,
    Great thoughts. I think you will recognize a similar sentiment expressed in my latest post.

    Perhaps the empty copy was the more accurate edition.

    I think the fruit of the spirit is a good guideline. Even the fruit of claimed miracles can be deceiving, but there is no reason we shouldn’t step back and examine whether ministry reflects the fruit of the spirit and the nature of Christ.

    Thanks Amy!

    Maybe if we put Jesus on the pedestal instead, we could avoid the crash of the next broken vessel.

    Like you, I’ve been processing my thoughts on this all along in the midst of friends who were both pro and anti Lakeland. I am grateful for the post-charismatic voices in the blogosphere that allowed me to feel confident in not jumping on the latest bandwagon.

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