[anzac] CHARISMA QUESTIONS AGAIN!! -Lakeland Revival

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From: "REVIVAL List" <prophetic@...>
Date: Thu, 05 Jun 2008 20:37:42 +1200

ANDREW STROM:  Charisma Editor J. Lee Grady has waded into
the Lakeland controversy again this week with another interesting
article. He calls it, "An Appeal for Unity in a Divisive Season".

Near the start he makes quite an interesting point about the
'messiness' of Revivals: "Revival is messy. As much as we would
love for it to come in a neat and orderly package, history teaches
us that outbreaks of the Holy Spirit are often accompanied by holy
chaos. There may be conversions and healings in one corner and
demonic manifestations in the other. In seasons of revival you can
have miracles and mayhem. Holiness and heresy can erupt

My own comment is that - Yes - Revivals are often messy - but
they are messy around the FRINGES - not at the very heart and
center of what is happening. As many readers know, I have been
studying Revival history for many years and I have a whole chapter
on "Manifestations in Revivals" in my new book, 'True & False
Revival'. But the fact is, if you have demonic deception right at
the center of what is being preached or imparted, then you no
longer just have a "messy" revival - you have a deadly counterfeit.

True Revivals always have pure preaching of Repentance, Holiness
and the Cross at the center. They bring deep conviction and the
Fear of the Lord. There may indeed be weird stuff going on around
the fringes, but if it is allowed to take over then a true Revival is
finished. (-I give examples of this in my book).

The problem in Lakeland has been that there has been a weird
unbiblical 'anointing' at the very center right from the start. And it
has been imparted to thousands of people. In fact, Todd Bentley
has said that the whole thing is "about impartation" - and they
lay hands on everyone. The "angels" factor has also been at the
very center from the beginning. Angels are said to be heading
up the whole movement - doing the healings, speaking to the
leaders, etc. They are not a "side issue". Todd Bentley's angels
are at the heart of everything. And if you look at all his past
experiences with so-called 'angels', you truly have to doubt the
source of a lot of this "power". Did Emma and the "financial"
angels sound right to you? If they are "off" then most likely Todd
is dealing with false angels all the time.

As I said, we are not dealing with a movement that has problems
around the "fringes" here. The problems are right at the heart - ie.
they involve the central things that are being preached and imparted
to people from the front. And it has been that way from the start -
which is what makes this crucially different from a real Revival.
I hope, Lee, that you can see what an important distinction this is?

Let me quote the whole end section of Lee Grady's article before
commenting further:

"In recent days, people who were touched in Lakeland have started
similar meetings in Atlanta, Chicago, Charlotte, N.C. and other
cities. Bentley and his colleagues believe this is the beginning of
a worldwide healing revival that will cover the globe.

"But not everyone in the charismatic/Pentecostal community is
convinced. Some say this is the last end-time revival while others
maintain it is a demonic counterfeit. Cult-watchers and anti-heresy
bloggers post Bentley’s comments on YouTube as evidence of a
theological scandal. Revival advocates respond by posting
documented evidence of healings. It all begins to resemble a
childish competition.

"Still others worry that Lakeland represents a questionable mixture
of truth and error. Since the initial eruption of the revival, my inbox
has been full of messages from charismatic leaders who are
concerned about weighty issues as well as trivial ones: Everything
from Bentley’s tattoos and body piercings to his claim that he once
interviewed the apostle Paul in heaven.

"When I wrote an article in mid-May calling for scrutiny of some
aspects of the Lakeland Revival, I was labeled a Pharisee and a
“religious policeman.” People who said they had been deeply
impacted by the Holy Spirit in Lakeland used spiritual threats and
harsh terms to tell me that I had become the enemy.

"I refuse to go on the defensive, and if I need to retract any
statement I’ve ever made about this revival I will. But what these
nasty exchanges have shown me is that a divisive spirit is certainly
at work in our midst—and we need urgent prayer to short-circuit
what the devil wants to do.

"When the early church was hit with the issue of Jewish legalism,
Paul and Barnabas determined that the answer was to seek the
counsel of “the apostles and elders” in Jerusalem (Acts 15:2, NASB).
The church was being divided because the legalists were insisting
that gentiles be circumcised. But when the elders looked into the
matter, the apostle James settled the dispute by issuing this wise ruling:

“Therefore it is my judgment that we do not trouble those who are
turning to God from among the gentiles, but that we write to them
that they abstain from things contaminated by idols and from
fornication and from what is strangled and from blood” (v. 19-20).
In other words, James affirmed the gentiles’ access to salvation
and overturned the legalists’ bad doctrine.

"Based on this biblical example, I am appealing to the elders in our
movement. We need to hear from them in this hour. In a desperate
moment we need older, seasoned veterans to release the counsel of the Lord..

"Today the charismatic movement has become fractured, and
opposing camps have formed. On one side there are those in the
apostolic camp who tend to emphasize biblical order, proper
church government, spiritual warfare and the reformation of society.
On the other side are those in the prophetic camp who focus on
miracles, healing, mystical experiences and the reclaiming of all
the supernatural manifestations of the New Testament.

"Both of these camps are contending for valid, biblical truths. We
need the prophetic and the apostolic! We need miracles as much
as we need healthy church growth and societal change. Yet if we
do not have a holy intervention, we could bite and devour one
another—and cancel out our collective impact.

"A biblical council must include the leaders of both of these camps.
And leaders must address all of the difficult issues triggered by
the Lakeland Revival. Those include:

"1. Biblical guidelines about angels. Some people in the prophetic
camp speak of frequent visits to heaven, “third heaven revelations,”
and long conversations with angels who use names such as
Emma, Promise and Winds of Change. Are these indeed spirits
sent from God, or agents of false light?

"2. A proper theology of the dead. Some in the prophetic camp
claim they have had conversations with dead Christians—including
Paul the apostle. Is this within the bounds of Christian experience,
or is it necromancy?

"3. Pastoral guidance about exotic spiritual manifestations. In
some circles in our movement, unusual signs and wonders have
been reported in church services—including the sudden appearance
of gold dust, feathers, gemstones and oil. At the same time,
worshipers are vibrating on the floor, jerking uncontrollably and
acting intoxicated. How can we protect people from the abuse of
manifestations, and from demonic influence, while at the same
time leaving room for genuine encounters with God?

"4. Clear guidelines concerning the restoration of fallen ministers.
The appearance of one prominent fallen evangelist, Paul Cain, at
the Lakeland Revival in May unleashed strong reactions from
many sectors of the church. Many people feel unprotected when
they sense that church leaders have chosen not to enforce proper
discipline for a minister’s unbiblical behavior. In this adulterous
generation, how can we draw lines to protect congregations while
at the  same time offer healing and grace to a repentant preacher?

"These are some of the crucial questions we face as a movement.
May we proceed with a fresh gift of discernment, while at the
same time laying hold of all the blessings that revival will bring us."
[END QUOTE - Source- www.charismamag.com/fireinmybones ]

ANDREW AGAIN:  After reading those last four points, all I can
do is shake my head. Surely, Lee, you can see that if any
movement has traits like those four at the center, then it simply
HAS to be a dangerous deception? I mean, look at those four
things again. Each of them is so serious that they are a major
issue in themselves. And yet this movement has all four right at
the heart! How can it be anything other than a deadly counterfeit?
Is this the kind of revival we want in the Last Days? Is this what
we want spreading around the globe?

Your call for major leaders to come together and make a unified
statement is admirable - except I have not come across any
major leaders (apart from yourself) willing to actually warn of the
dangers of this movement. And anyhow, where is the "middle
ground" in this debate? I happen to believe this movement to be
a deadly deception. Other leaders praise it as being a "great
revival". How can there possibly be 'unity' between camps like that?

Brother, the fact is that I believe God is calling YOU YOURSELF
to be a "voice" for wisdom, common sense and discernment in
these days - and to be totally bold, unafraid and uncompromising
about it. Don't go looking for a "committee". You have a voice in
the Charismatic community. Speak out! It is impossible to please
everyone. Dear brother - please don't straddle the fence. What if
this turns out to be one of the great Last Days deceptions and
you spent all your time trying to be "moderate" and balanced about it?

Speak boldly, let your voice be heard, make a clear trumpet sound.

The Charismatic community needs you now more than ever, my friend.


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God bless you all.

Andrew Strom.