Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Revival or Jesus?

There is A LOT of chatter on Christian blogs at the moment about revival, stirred up by the events at Lakeland, Florida and Todd Bentley and the events at Dudley here in the UK. To be honest, I've not been that interested. Hype puts me off not draws me in. But, people are church are starting to hear, people I know have visited Lakeland or Dudley, it's becoming hard to ignore.

So for a first hand report of a trip to Dudley read Peter Kirk's account here which is informative for a number of reasons - the worship was OK, the sermon was forgettable and the moment of ministry was brief, yet the final verdict - was very positive.

Anyway my intention is not to be critical, that's too easy and well none of us are perfect. But a few things have bugged me - the charismatic urge to go where the noise is - what's with that? Yet revival has been happening in China in the underground church for 50 years and we've not flocked there. OK so language makes a difference, but then so does TV and this one is on TV. Not that I can or have seen it. The thing is, if we really DO believe in the omnipresence of God, then He is just as much here as He is there. The difference is not with Him it's with me.

Now I accept the principle of blessing through the laying on of hands, don't understand it but I do accept it. So the idea of receiving something from someone else is not bad. People flocked to Jesus to receive the healing he was able to give being just one of numerous examples. And the reports are that healings are taking place - who's going to knock people getting out of wheelchairs? That's life changing stuff, worthy of praise to God.

But I see people being more interested in the anointing than they are in Jesus. Trevor Baker from Dudley, while in Lakeland, made an unfortunate statement. Todd Bentley was praying, all excited about this coming to England and said 'it was all about Jesus'. Great. Then Trevor said 'and the transferable anointing'. Oops. We'll let that one pass due to excitement. But it made me nervous. Nothing and no one stands alongside Jesus who is not a member of the Holy Trinity.

Anyway, I'll visit at some point I'm sure. Being an armchair sceptic won't help anyone, even the Pharisees went in person to investigate Jesus. But what I'm concerned about, is the glory of Jesus. Seeing people come to know Him and follow Him with their whole lives. I'm not interested in noise, or fruit that doesn't last. At the end of the day, seek first the kingdom.

So we shall see, I don't want to miss what God is doing in our nation or be harsh towards those who believe this could be revival at the same time, I believe the Bible when it tells me I lack nothing I need in Christ. (2 Peter 1:3) so I'll look to Him first, if that's OK.


thebluefish on 21 May 2008 at 15:02 said...

wise words. thanku.

Peter Kirk on 22 May 2008 at 00:15 said...

Thank you for this mostly wise comment.

I could argue that "the transferable anointing" is in fact the presence of the Holy Spirit working in power, and so is a member of the Trinity. Trevor's wording does appear unfortunate, I agree, but on a way it is a corrective to "it was all about Jesus" to remember that it should also be all about the Holy Spirit, and the Father. The church here in the UK needs all three!

My final verdict was positive because I believe I did receive the transferable anointing. I don't understand it either, but others I have prayed for since my visit to Dudley have clearly received something through me.

ianjmatt on 22 May 2008 at 06:59 said...

Hey Phil

There are some things that just leave me a bit uncomfortable:

1. Todd Bently talking about this angel called 'Emma' who apparently ministers in his revival meetings.

2. The Gnostic overtones of special knowledge and revelation.

3. The seeking after 'blessings' - it seems to distract from the 'business' of being the body of Christ to a needy world.

I'm not sure - I don't want to judge, but I am concerned that we will all get pulled off track from doing what is really important - helpiong the poor and needy, loving the lost, caring for each other etc.

Phil on 22 May 2008 at 08:19 said...

Peter, thanks for your comment. I agree we do need to be Trinitarian, I certainly need the power of the Holy Spirit in my life. I guess if I'm going to be pedantic, that the 'transferable anointing' isn't quite the same as the person of the Holy Spirit. It's a bit like me loving my wife because she's a great cook but not because she's a great person.
Anyway, I hope the fruit in your life and in those in your church is of greater love for our great God.

Phil on 22 May 2008 at 08:22 said...

Hi Ian
Yeah the angels thing is a bit worrying isn't it. I'm not sure about that at all, makes me nervous although I'm not quite sure why. I guess I see angelic visitation as very rare - birth of Christ stuff and hardly anywhere else, so bit worried about angels giving revelation. Will think some more on this.

thebluefish on 22 May 2008 at 09:01 said...

I guess to some extent the test of all this will be the longer term fruit... Sam Storms 'Signs of the Spirit' would serve us well.

Peter Kirk on 22 May 2008 at 17:02 said...

Ian, I have heard rumours about Todd's angel called Emma, but no details or evidence of this. Can you point me to a specific report of what he said about this?

As for special knowledge and revelations, do you accept that God does speak through prophetic messages? In that case surely prophets have special knowledge and revelations, not for themselves but to pass on to others.

Phil on 22 May 2008 at 23:56 said...

This link gives I guess some of what Todd thinks
and here
and on you tube
but I haven't watched that one yet.

At the end of the day he won't be the first modern revivalist used by God but with some pretty funny theology.

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