Monday, June 16, 2008

Danger Will Robinson!!

I have a friend who was telling me about a Lakeland, Florida 'outpouring' - a 'revival' to which tens of thousands of people are flocking from around the world. This friend decided to go down there to check it out for himself, so I decided to do a little research on what's going on.

The person at the forefront of this is a Canadian guy named Todd Bentley. He’s is scary, and not because of his appearance or any other superficial thing. He is quite literally deceiving people. He talks about kicking people in the face, banging their limbs around, punching them in the face, and drop kicking them in order to bring some kind of anointing for healing on them. And as if the violence of his methods weren’t enough, his teaching is not just heretical, but occultic. Here are some quotes from a teaching called “Open Heavens” posted on his ministry website (Fresh Fire Ministries):

Actually, we won’t experience the dimensions—what’s in heaven, the realm of visions and dreams and trances, the audible voice of God, revelations and visitations of the Lord, and angelic visitations, nor will we be aware of the ministry of angels—until the heavens are open.”

Trances? Angelic visitations? The ministry of angels? I have never read any encouragement in the Scriptures to seek these things! He says this in the context of Jesus being anointed by the Spirit at His baptism. Then he ties this to Revelation 4:1 and says this:

Just look at what John, the revelator, saw—a door standing open in heaven (Rev. 4:1a). Not a door standing open for John to only have a moment of revelation. But a door, I believe, that is standing, present tense, standing open, issuing an invitation of God’s Spirit even now, “Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this” (4:1b). Although the invitation to “come up here” was to one person; namely, John, I believe God is saying, “I’m now releasing in a greater corporate dimension, the experience of Revelation 4:1 (emphasis his).”

Notice how he says Although and then takes the verse out of context. Wow, talk about brazen heresy! The whole article is ridiculous and if it weren't such a serious error that is leading many people astray, I would just laugh about it. But this is seriously wrong and has an evil, purposefully deceptive feel to it.

Anyways, instead of detailing all my thoughts, here are some various perspectives on Todd’s ministry and this ‘outpouring’:
Charisma magazine’s editor Lee Grady writes after having visited one of the meetings:

This guy’s whole blog seems to have been taken over by articles on what’s going on in Lakeland:

The Assembly of God has issued a general statement on Revival:

Not related to this ‘outpouring’ but in reference to the “Toronto Blessing”, a former Toronto pastor opens up about the things that went on there:

I mentioned my friend who went down there to check it out for himself. I’ll see him Wednesday night and will get an eyewitness account of this event. If he says anything worthwhile, I’ll blog about it.


Ashlie said...

i would love to hear more of your thoughts on this. my mom's all into it thru some of her friends (not going, but being excited about it) - and is going to a meeting tonight wherein a friend of hers will be reporting on it... (although i think they will tend to a favorable report from what i've heard)

jamie said...

i'll wait and see what my friend Don says about it when he gets back to say more about this specific revival. in general though i don't know that these 'revivals' really bring glory to Jesus or usher in His kingdom.

Anonymous said...

Jamie, I can't wait for your friends commentary. Ron and I are sceptical also. I had a friend who went down about 2 weekd into it and said it was great, but that was before all of this other stuff came out. Our opinion of these meetings, (and I am not being critical) is that they turn into bless me meetings for Christians. Just my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Oh that was me, Mitzi on the anonymous comment.