Friday, May 09, 2008

Strang On Lakeland Revival

Charisma's Steven Strang has weighed in on the so-called revival taking place with Todd Bentley in Lakeland, Florida. He writes, in part:

The latest outbreak of revival is apparently in Lakeland, Florida. It started with meetings with Todd Bentley on April 2 at Ignited Church pastored by my long-time friend Steve Strader....That was also the church where Rodney Howard Browne's ministry really took off in the United States with extended meetings back in the early 90's.

...Before I attended on Monday I was also beginning to get critical emails about the revival, expressing cautions, etc.

As I've covered the move of the Holy Spirit for the last three decades, I know that anytime there is a genuine move of God, it is guaranteed that certain people will automatically oppose it. These people oppose any move of God that is beyond their own religious experience. The sad thing is that some times they will have some valid criticisms that people like me tend to discount because they are so negative.

Some people also question Todd Bentley's past. He has quite a "testimony" that actually was first reported in Charisma several years ago. But there are those who feel that a person who is less than perfect can't really be used by God. Actually I believe that the Bible teaches that "God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise" (1 Corinthians 1:27, NIV).

Also, at one of the meetings recently Paul Cain was given a place on the platform. Unfortunately Paul Cain has disqualified himself from ministry due to various sins in his life he has confessed to including drunkenness and homosexuality. Other ministers have worked to restore him, but we are told that the restoration process has not continued.

...When I was asked later on to describe the service I heard myself saying rather extemporaneously that the first part of the service with worship reminded me of the worship at the Brownsville revival and Todd's style of ministry reminded me of a "Benny Hinn with tattoos." A couple people I've said that to have found it rather funny and have also found it a helpful word picture.

It's too early to really tell the long-term effect of this revival. My report today is neither criticism nor an affirmation. I have not had an opportunity to research any of the miracles or even to talk personally with Todd Bentley. Much of what I know has come from Steve Strader (whom I have known a long time and who I trust).
Yes, "certain people" do criticize these "revivals." They've seen the Toronto Blessing - in my case I went to many of the meetings to see what was going on. They've seen the Brownsville Revival. They've also seen the devastation that results in the lives of disillusioned Christians who rely on experiences for their spiritual food rather than on the Word of God.

If Strang wants to take out of context the passage that God uses the foolish things of this world to confound the wise, then I could give him a list of some very strange cults that God must be using today to confound the wise. Is that his measure of truth? Does he think allowing Paul Cain to speak at this "revival" shows discernment on the part of the leaders at Lakeland? His history is very well known in those circles.

No, give me the Word of God. Give me Jesus Christ and Him crucified. Give me His presence in Word and Sacrament. That's what He left us, not foolish experiences like we see in these revivals.

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At May 19, 2008 11:54 AM, Blogger george the genius said...

Revivalist Todd Bentley Loves and Supports Sexual Perverts

Any revival that has the involvement of sexual perverts, such as Paul Cain and Bob Jones, is from the pits of hell and not from God! These liars, deceivers and conartists at the Lakeland Revival, including Todd Bentley and Stephen Strader, only see and hear what they want to see and hear and that is so dumb because others are not dumb like they are! They see the truth about this so called revival is nothing but a farce and a joke devoid of integrity no matter how many people they might deceive!

In future articles, The Ledger will examine some of the controversies and claims of the revival, but if some of what is happening seems surprising to the uninitiated, the revival is following a well-worn path. It is the fourth lengthy Pentecostal revival in the past 15 years, and one occurred in Lakeland at the now-disbanded Carpenter's Home Church, led by Strader's father, Karl Strader.

The Toronto revival began at the Toronto Airport Vineyard Church under evangelist Randy Clark just as the Carpenter's Home revival was ending. It drew attention - and ridicule - for some practices that were even more unusual than holy laughter, such as people roaring like lions, barking like dogs or flapping their arms. Eventually, at the request of the Association of Vineyard Churches, the church withdrew from the association and changed its named to Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship.

At May 30, 2008 6:59 PM, Blogger Caron said...

Please see “A Call for Discernment” by going to Justin is an evangelist and in addition to expository preaching, also holds seminars on the “Word of Faith” movement. He has cerebral palsy and concurs with the apostle Paul, “My grace is sufficient for thee.”

To God be the glory!

Caron Strong
Los Angeles, CA


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