Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Visit to Dudley (part 5)

This is the fifth and final post on my visit to Revival Fires, Dudley (part 1, 2, 3 & 4).

So what did I make of it all? Here are some thoughts in order of how I thought of them (or no order at all)

  1. Why are nightly meetings important? Is it somehow more special because they're doing it every night? So was the fact that it was 'night 53' significant? I'm already beginning to wonder if 'interest' has peaked, although a visit from Todd Bentley to these shores will spike it again, that's for sure.
  2. Was it really for everyone? My eyes told me it was about the ministry of Trevor Baker, not saying that was wrong - but the claim that this was something for everyone, wasn't backed up
  3. Why do we not bring gifts better together? So I think Trevor quite probably does a gift of healing and prophecy. But just as someone else led worship, why not add in a team of gifted teachers to bring some teaching of real depth and substance in connection with the charismatic gifts? There's something ingrained in our pysche which says the one who preaches is the most important, therefore we must get the ministry man to do the preaching. I felt the same about Rob Rufus, a man amazingly anointed to impart the Holy Spirit to others, couldn't really follow what he was saying when he preached. Hey maybe, it's me.
  4. These revivalists still haven't learned how to take up an offering properly
  5. There's the usual silliness like, 'there's power in the kick' and the 'hidden manna is Jesus Christ'. Quite how the one who publicly declared himself to be the bread of life is hidden manna, I don't know.
  6. But God is at work, raising faith for healings and increasing a desire for His presence
  7. We need to be careful of the influence of the media - TV isn't evil but few things have greater power to legitimise anything than TV. Car of the Year 'as seen on', Personality of the year, 'as seen on' and now revival of the year, 'as seen on'.
  8. We need to continue the hard work of reaching our neighbourhoods, preaching the gospel, praying faithfully for those that need it, building churches full of disciples who own Jesus as Lord and not just Saviour. For that we undeniably need God's power, to seek Him is a godly pursuit to seek shortcuts to revival is probably less of a pursuit. It becomes about what we think would glorify God in our nation rather than what God thinks would.
That's it. I'll keep my eye open to events at Dudley and Lakeland but I think I'm going to let it drop for a while on the blog. Feel free to chip in with any comments though...


Peter Kirk on 25 June 2008 at 22:25 said...

Thanks for this series. In the end your experience wasn't so difference from mine. You witnessed a smaller meeting, perhaps because it was midweek; better "worship"; nothing very special in the testimonies and preaching; a slightly dodgy offering; and although you didn't feel anything at the main impartation you did later feel "a surge like an electric current passes through me".

So, surely, we can agree that this is valid but not perfect. Maybe Trevor Baker is trying to spin this out when perhaps he should take a break, or at least allow someone else to lead sometimes. But that is a matter for him to decide.

Your final point is a good one. But how do we know what God thinks would glorify him in this nation? You seem to imply that "shortcuts to revival" is not this. But if what is happening at Dudley is at least partly from God, then presumably it is what he thinks is right for this nation. But I fully agree that "we undeniably need God's power" "to continue the hard work". If Dudley helps to give us this power, as it seems to have done for you and for me, then surely it is good.

Anonymous said...


let me add my tahnks for your thoughtful and insightful series. I resonated strongly with your closing comment on Rob Rufus, I can't srgue with his immense annointing, but I have trouble following his strongly exhorational messages.

keep up the good work

Phil Whittall on 26 June 2008 at 13:21 said...

Thanks Jason & Peter for your comments. Peter, you're right, what Trevor does in his church, to a degree is up to him. I guess my position is cautious but not disengaged.
Your point that if it is 'at least partly from God, then presumably it is what he thinks is right for this nation" is partly right, because I think it is partly what we need, but certainly not everything. But as you say I don't think we're very far from each other here.
I've yet to see here anything that can be called Revival and perhaps even to say this is an 'outpouring' in the way that Toronto was is still yet some way off.

Blue, with a hint of amber on 26 June 2008 at 15:33 said...

The underlying caution with all I have read and my own trip to Dudley is that history itself should be the judge of whether something is an outpouring, a revival or whatever.

The naming rights do not belong to the marketing men of a media organisation or a ministry's own website.

My great fear is that Todd Bentley needs God TV for his revival. God TV needs Todd Bentley's revival for its channel. Therefore organisations fall into a symbian circle of reliance for their own existence and what God is / was / might be doing becomes blurred.

Some people may be deeply disappointed if this revival ends up not being all it was cracked up to be. That would be a crying shame given that we may be witnessing a wonderful outpouring of blessing and signs and wonders.

I also find it slightly irksome when UK Christians are willing to fly to Florida to catch a revival, when they are not willing to cross the pavement to tell their neighbours they are a Christian. I wonder how much more of a revival we would see if we stopped watching our TVs and made firends with people who do no yet know Jesus and explained our faith to them. And could God TV be used as an agent to encourage all christians to do that? Or is "Wham Bam" on the stage in Florida better for viewing figures?

Anonymous said...

Thankyou for this section. The Dudley outpouring is still going strong, with this coming week's meetings to be broadcast by GOD TV LIVE from September 18th for six consecutive nights. Recently one man shared a testimony in one of the meetings about a man resurrected from the dead here in the UK! You can see that and more in my blog miracles on the streets of Dudley

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