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an online resource for Reformed Charismatics, Pentecostal Calvinists, & Empowered Evangelicals

Some days it strikes me as particularly strange…

Some days it strikes me as particularly strange that so many who claim to believe in a good wonder-working God, who – listening to them – apparently wants to shower us all with financial blessings and success, often tend to pray – or rather, beg and plead (or “cry out”?) – as though either God doesn’t really want to help and needed convincing, or is simply unable to do a thing apart from them personally “stirring up their faith”, as though He needed it like I need a cup of coffee in the morning.  Just a note: if this is you, go on and say your God is a God of blessing and abundance all you want, but your actions betray you: it sounds to me as though you don’t trust Him, and trust IS faith.

Of course, it also strikes me as absolutely bizarre that there are also a great many who claim to worship and all-powerful, sovereign God – who recognize to the full extent the real miracle that is the salvation of lost sinners (it’s not as though God just sits there with open arms: we don’t want Him, and don’t know we need Him, apart from His miraculous work in us…) – who, in spite of the extent of His absolute sovereignty over everything, don’t expect much out of God at all.

Please tell me something is wrong here?

Filed under: Charismatic, Contraversy, Doctrine, Holy Spirit, Reformed, Theology, , , , , , , , , ,

Some challenging blog-love worth considering…

Well, I’ve been overwhelmed by the number of recent blogs on Lakeland, given the recently publicized moral failures of Mr. Bentley.  I have been quiet on the matter because I really see this as a very sad occasion – one where prayer for the fallen is far more needed than a pointed “I told you so“.  However, it is a fact that bad theology results in poor life choices – that is to say: THEOLOGY MATTERS.  Whether we like the word or not, we all have a ‘theology’, and what we believe about God, the world, and ourselves plays out in what sort of decisions we make, and how we go about making those decisions.  Personally, I hope Todd’s marriage is restored – I hope and pray that he grows to trust Christ more fully, love God’s Word more wholey, and serve him more devotedly in the coming years.

That having been said, though I may not entirely agree with the following blogs on all matters, I cannot deny that the messages contained in some of the following seem to me almost prophetic for the charismatic movement.  Listen/read closely, friends – this is important…

First, the sad news…

Then, the wisdom gained…

CERULEAN SANCTUM shares some bold thoughts in Burned & Cleansing the Charismatic Crackup & Cleansing the Charismatic Crackup part 2.

Lee Grady, of Charisma magazine responded to these events in Life after Lakeland

R.T. Kendall, one of my spiritual heros, on the Lakeland Revival, as reported by MY SPIRITUAL JOURNEY.  The original article can be found on his site in ‘Ministry Today’

That said, please be in prayer for Todd, his family, all who have attended the Lakeland ‘revival’, and for the glory of God in all of this.  Blessings…

Filed under: Bible, Charismatic, Contraversy, Debate, Doctrine, , , , , , , , ,

The Lakeland “Outpouring”: I have gone, and these are my thoughts…

I’m sure some of my friends leaning further into the ‘reformed’ camp will immediately question me for having gone, and I can entirely understand why: a scattering of unBiblical teachings from the ‘pulpit’, a number of examples of overblown claims, and some practices that are questionable at best.  Don’t worry, folks – I’m still with you on those, but please hear me out.

Overall, I was really challenged and blessed there.

You heard me right: I was – generally speaking – challenged and blessed by attending 2 nights of the Lakeland Outpouring.  

Now, what that DOESN’T mean is that I withdrawal ANY of my earlier blogs on the subject (see BE THE REVIVAL, MIRACLE WORKER, SOUND DOCTRINE, CURRENT THOUGHTS, QUENCHING, & AGAINST), though it definitely puts them in a new, broader perspective.  It doesn’t mean, in fact, that I’m even convinced that Todd Bentley has a gift of healing, though I DO suspect he has a strong gift of faith, and the two are sometimes, though not always, related.

Honestly, I went – primarily for two reasons:
1.) My wife is significantly more open & less suspicious (that is not to say she has no discernment – the opposite’s true, but she is far more ‘open’…), and was very interested in attending, and it looked as though it would work out to be a ‘family vacation’ of sorts for us all.  Her family has a history of involvement with the various revivals in this area over the years, so Lakeland was a draw for her.
2.) My brother-n-law, who I’m proud to say is also one of my best friends, is a current member of SonicFlood, who were leading worship both nights, and I wanted to go show him my support.

First, though I can’t speak for the other worship leaders who have been part of Lakeland since it initially broke out, Rick & SonicFlood led a particularly God-honoring, Gospel-saturated, Christ-centered worship set both nights.  In fact, until Lakeland I had hardly HEARD anything by SonicFlood – they weren’t really on my musical radar.  Not only were they technically a great band, but it was a powerful time of worship.

Then came the prayer time.  I was very pleasantly surprised to discover that – at least on the nights I attended – though Todd Bentley was present and involved, it was clearly NOT the ‘Todd Bentley show’, as I had originally feared.  Maybe in that way that cameras of GodTV have actually misrepresented Lakeland, since he is so captivating – he has such a strong presence.  The stage was filled with various volunteers and pastors ministering, speaking, and praying – there was a significant team actively involved, and most of the time I was barely even aware of Bentley.  I was very blessed that even the most extreme cases were welcomed to the stage for prayer, and when some of these individuals stood there in need for a touch from God, my heart broke, and I have not petitioned God with such passion in very long-time.  I was face-to-face with a Holy, and powerful God, begging Him to intercede – to show His power, and in such an atmosphere of faith it was not hard to be convinced that God can do whatever He wills.  Tears well up in my eyes even thinking about it.

Then Todd stood up to ‘teach’.  Teaching is not Todd’s strong-point (everyone I talked to, in fact, emphasized this), and let me just say that I was about 50%/50% – when he was ‘on’ he was dead-on, and I wanted to shout “AMEN!’, but much of the time he was ‘off’, and there was a clear influence of various theologies that I think not Biblical (I’d encourage all of the teachers at this revival to study Carson’s “Exegetical Fallacies”, in fact).  However, and though some may find this sad, others will sigh with relief: many left at the beginning of, or during the ‘teaching’, and many others there had enough discernment to sift it for the good, and even the not-so-good was at-least half-true.  I know it sounds like I’m letting the guy off the hook, I’m not, however I don’t think this “Outpouring” is really about Todd, so it doesn’t concern me quite as much as I thought.  I believe there were, and are, many being touched here, sometimes in spite of him, quite honestly.  Yes, there are some with little or no discernment who may grab hold of and be led astray by some of what he says, but if it weren’t him, they’d find someone else to ‘whisper’ in their ears – without the true guidance of the Spirit any of us would do the same.  However, I came, sincere God-centered worship took place, and God was encountered by many.  

Personally, I am glad I went.  You can proceed to pick your jaw up off the floor now.

Though I still don’t think it’s necessarily Scriptural to chase revivals, I will be praying for Todd more, and criticizing Him far less from now on.

Filed under: Bible, Charismatic, Continualist, Contraversy, Debate, Doctrine, Emotionalism, Flesh, Gospel, Hermeneutics, Holy Laughter, Holy Spirit, Lakeland Revival, Pentecostalism, Prayer, Revival, Signs of the Spirit, Theology, Tongues, Word of Faith, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Prayer is not Magic: approaching Aslan…

A few years ago I was emailed an excellent essay by my old friend, Julie. So many aspects of what she had written struck me as so very true – and rarely heard – that I felt it necessary to quote her. Please be encouraged and challenged by her words of wisdom…

“Every time we bend our knee to petition God for the healing of an ill, we open ourselves to a Person Who is neither manageable nor fully known, and what is at stake in this exchange is nothing less than the integrity of our working theology and the endurance of our friendship with this God. When we petition God, our deepest beliefs about God’s goodness, God’s power, and God’s kingdom are laid bare. And when we petition God, the solidity of our friendship with this God is the very ground on which we tread.”

“How often when we pray do we remember: God is not safe. Like Aslan, God cannot be made to perform tricks at the flick of a wrist or the click of a rosary bead. ‘Our God is in the heavens, He does whatever He pleases.’ There is a wildness in God.”

“…how often are the ‘ends’ we beg for very well conceived, either? Our culture has seduced us into thinking that personal wealth, happiness, and general well-being is the chief end of man.”

Julie reminds me that we were created by and for God – not the other way around. Be humbled. Pray accordingly.

Filed under: Bible, Prayer, , , , , , , ,

God should be praised…

We should always praise God for the outcome – no matter what it be – of God’s response to believing prayer, whether His response be what we desired, it’s opposite, or something else entirely. Discuss.

Filed under: Calvinism, Charismatic, Doctrine, Holy Spirit, Reformed, Theology, Uncategorized, , , , ,

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