Message: < previous - next > : Reply : Subscribe : Cleanse
Home   : January 2006 : Group Archive : Group : All Groups

From: "REVIVAL List" <prophetic@...>
Date: Thu, 12 Jan 2006 15:22:46 -0600
Note: TWO ARTICLES are below. Both are quite shocking.

-extracts by Terry Somerville.

Wow! Have I experienced some changes through the holiday 
season since my trip to Nigeria in December. As you will read in 
the report below, Nigeria has achieved what we are striving to 
become. Churches and ministries are everywhere. Preaching and 
praise on government transportation! Grounds for monthy prayer 
meetings of one million, seven hundred thousand people! Up to 
70% of the government is filled by Christians. It is a nation filled 
with believers and "power" churches, what more could we want?
Yet there is deep rooted unrighteousness - particularly among 
Christians! By far the biggest impact on me was looking in the  
mirror. The realization that we in the "power filled, Spirit anointed,
apostolic, prophetic, miracle working church"  have had spiritual 
power without repentance! 

For over twenty five years, as a "Spirit filled" pastor I believed that 
when people encountered the glory, experienced miracles, 
received prophetically, and were touched by the Father's love, 
they would have changed lives... and we would see revival. But it 
hasn't happened!  People have regular, real, power encounters with 
God, but never change their ways!  In fact, some go deeper into 
sin! (I won't tell the stories here, but they are astonishing!)  In the 
last few years I would go home from our "power church" utterly 
unsatisfied (and I was the preacher). I know many of you experience 
exactly the same thing! We've had it all! Miracles, prophetic 
worship, anointing, glory and signs! What is this deep disatisfaction, 
and even sorrow, in the midst of an awesome work of God? 

Isaiah 1 gives us a clue: "Bring no more vain offerings; incense is 
an abomination to me. New moon and sabbath and the calling of 
assemblies -- I cannot endure iniquity and solemn assembly....
Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your 
doings from before my eyes...."

Let's apply Isaiah 1 to us because "these things are written for us 
that we may not sin as they did". The Lord is growing weary of 
worship and iniquity mixed together.... It's time for a total change 
in the church!  In the New Testament, healing, miracles and 
preaching the good news of the Kingdom always ended in a call 
to repentance.


In early December I was off to Nigeria for my first ministry 
experience in Africa. I had been given all kinds of warnings but of 
course I had also received hundreds of emails from Nigeria telling 
me that "Total Change Ministries" was being given millions of 
dollars! I wanted to meet all these generous widows of Sultans and Kings!

Once I passed through immigration and collected my luggage my 
first encounter with the reality of Nigeria occurred. I was informed 
by an official looking fellow that I needed to pay him forty pounds 
to exit customs. I soon realized this was a bribe and managed to 
get him down to twenty dollars. As I waited outside the airport I 
had a steady stream of demands for cash and questionable 
services, all of which I resisted. Soon my host Ebenezer Oke 
arrived and we headed off across Lagos to get the bus to Akure.
Across Lagos there were churches everywhere! Signs advertised 
power ministries, churches and meetings. In fact, everywhere I 
went there were more signs advertising Christian events than any
product. Ebenezer said 50% of the people in this part of Nigeria 
are Christian, but they didn't live it. He said, it was likely the man 
in the airport who demanded the bribe was a Christian. Soon we 
began to discuss the purpose of my visit. To teach leaders in 
ministry and business about living their faith outside the church. 
As Ebenezer told me more about himself, I learned he had been 
a pastor for about ten years but the Lord called Him to start the 
Life Development Institute to train Christians to be salt and light
outside the church.

Soon we transfered to a van and the demands for more money 
because of the Yu- bow (white man). Finally we paid for an extra 
seat for my suitcase. As we pulled away a man jumped in the 
space at the door and I soon realized He was a preacher - bible in 
hand! He began a full blown church service as we bombed down 
the highway! He called us to worship God, then announced a 
hymn and began to sing (and a few others with him) then he 
prayed and read from the bible. Soon there was a message, an 
invitation, another hynn and a prayer for safety on the road and 
protection from bandits. Finally, just as we were pulling
into a gas station...an offering and blessing! Then he jumped out!
A series of thoughts went through me. I wan't sure what to make 
of all this but Ebenzer said it was so needed given the harrowing 
trips on the highway! Down the highway I saw what he meant as 
we went through armed checkpoints dozens of times, and passed 
hundreds of broken down, burned or wrecked cars. We travelled 
for three hours with worship filling the van! Quite an experience 
(especially since it was a government service). 

Finally in Akure we joined forces with Ebenezer's friend Gideon at 
his third floor Servant Leadership Institute.... After each session 
questions and answers would take place. Walking righteously in
Nigeria is obviously a very difficult issue. One man told us he must 
become King of his people, but this involved making a blood 
covenant with the demons and the witch doctor. He said that he 
would never dedicate himself to these gods (even though other 
Christians had!) and asked how he could take his place in society 
as a righteous Christian. Ebenezer answered refering to another 
King who was a Christian. He had refused to take any oath or 
dedicate himself to the gods. He told his people he would be their 
King if they would renounce their gods and make Jesus Christ 
God of their land. The elders conferred and agreed, and the whole 
people came to the Lord! The man was greatly encouraged.

Ebenezer and Gideon impressed me again and again about the 
situation in Nigeria. Christians are everywhere, and corruption is 
everywhere. They said many times "the church of Nigeria is a 
power church" and "the people are not living as salt and light".
Ebenezer also said that 70% of the government officials are 
Christian but it is filled with bribery and scandal. All this made a 
deep impact on me, because the need of the church is not more 
power, but honest repentance. 

We think if we can enlarge our churches, have Christian is key 
marketplace positions, and experience more of the power of God 
we will have revival. We are wrong. We are in the same position 
as the church of Nigeria.   ~[Source - www.totalchange.org ]
-by J. Lee Grady. 

Some American evangelists have given us all a bad name in 
Holland. Last weekend I begged Dutch pastors to forgive us. 

"Statistics show that in Amsterdam we have the highest 
concentration of churches in Europe," says Samuel Lee, an Iranian-
born church planter whose Jesus Christ Foundation Church in the 
suburb of Deimen boasts 500 members from 12 nations. 

But while this influx of Africans, Asians and Middle Easterners is 
helping to revitalize Dutch churches, the influence of some Americans 
has not had the same effect. I was shocked and embarrassed to 
learn that charismatic evangelists from the United States have 
earned a dubious reputation on the other side of the Atlantic.

During a one-day summit of pastors and church planters held in 
Amsterdam last Saturday, I discovered that several high-profile 
Christian speakers have worn out their welcome because of 
questionable financial practices and inappropriate demands.

One of Holland's most respected charismatic pastors, Stanley 
Hofwijks, says some American ministers are no longer welcome 
in his country. Hofwijks' 2,500-member Maranatha Ministries 
Church is predominantly Surinamese and is one of the largest 
congregations in Holland.

"These pastors come here and insist that they must take their own
offerings," Hofwijks told me. "Then they get up in the pulpit and tell 
the people that if they will give $1,000 each, all will be well and 
they will be blessed." 

Weary of what he considers financial manipulation, Hofwijks now 
has a new policy: If a visiting minister insists on taking his own 
offering, he is not welcome to preach.

Christian businessman and conference organizer Arie Templeman 
has many horror stories to tell about his dealings with American 
preachers. Their behavior outside the pulpit, he said, is as disturbing 
as some of their questionable public demands for donations.

Some visiting preachers insisted on pricey hotel rooms-including, 
on one occasion, a $10,000-a-night penthouse. Others made rude 
demands of hotel staff. 

"Many Dutch people look up to these men because they see them 
on Christian television," Templeman said. "If they knew what went 
on behind the scenes they would lose all respect for them."

On one occasion an American preacher who was speaking at a 
Dutch conference was asked if he could come to another city and 
address a group of pastors. Said Templeman: "[The evangelist] 
asked how much he would be paid for the ministry session. When 
he was told he would receive $1,000, he looked down at his shoes 
and said: 'One of my shoes costs more than that. I will not go.'"

Hofwijks' biggest concern is that American arrogance is infecting 
some younger Dutch leaders. "They want to be like the preachers 
on American television," the pastor said. "They are focused on a 
superstar mentality. It's very negative for our country because they 
fall and many people fall with them."

...I had no choice but to extend an olive branch to my wounded 
brothers and sisters. I shed a few tears as I asked them to forgive 
us for taking financial advantage of their people. And I prayed 
publicly that God would cleanse Dutch churches of the pride we 
export to them.

Making an apology was a first step. Now I can only pray that those 
of us who have misused our place of international influence will 
find the grace to model genuine humility and integrity before it is too late. 

God will not tolerate this sick, haughty spirit for too long. If we 
don't repent, plenty of men and women from other parts of the 
world are capable of stepping into our shoes to provide Christ-like 
leadership. And they will not need to wear $2,500 Italian-leather 
Oxfords to do the job.

~J. Lee Grady is editor of Charisma and an award-winning 
journalist. He writes a column for Charisma Online twice a week.
[Source:  www.charismanow.com ].