Saturday, May 19, 2007

A Coming Charismatic Blogging Resurgence?!

One of the things I love about fellow like-minded Christian bloggers is that they frequently express what I have been thinking about and wondering - but perhaps am sometimes too timid to write. Jesse's latest post had me jumping about the room!! (Well I am a charismatic after all ...). It's called "Charismatic resurgence through the blogosphere" and he has this awesome thought;

"... if blogs could contribute to a reformed resurgence, could not the blogosphere also contribute to a charismatic resurgence, particularly by increasing people's faith for gifts such as prophecy, faith, miracles or healing?".

Another thing that constantly amazes me is the similarity in mind and vision between some of the charismatic blog sites that I read - and again with my own train of thought. Pete Day quoted from Terry Virgo's book, "The Tide is Turning" and presented the challenge that faces those of us who long for more of the demonstration of God's power. Note this in particular (quoting Terry):

"On the whole we too have grown up in a generation that has not seen the mighty acts of God as our forefathers did. We have not seen revivals during which thousands flock into the churches to get right with God. Unlike our fathers we have not known whole towns change, with demonstrations of power and incredible manifestations of the glory of God. The majority of our generation knows nothing of these things so we may closely identify with the Israel of Gideon's day".

So it seems to me from what Jesse has written that the challenge is to raise people's faith and expectation in our blogging. To commit to posts that search the Scriptures and the whole host of church history so that we can point anyone who reads what we write and say "Look! This is that ..". But we have a difficult task ahead if Terry Virgo is right. Most of us (and especially Jesse, Pete and my generation) haven't seen the revivals, the miracles that he spoke of. So we do not have personal experience (yet) to draw on.

What then can we do? Here's a few suggestions that came to my mind.

1. Continue to believe in a God who intervenes in time and space.

2. Continue to believe in a Word of God that is applicable today.

3. Continue to pray and fast for the turning of the tide and the coming of the tidal wave of revival.

4. Continue to search church history through the vaults of libraries to find great men of faith.

5. Continue to write on these things and resist the temptation to write controversy that will attract hits and comments just for the sake of it. Pete Day writes quite rightly; "Are we guilty of spending so long defending reformed doctrine at the expense of living in the good of it?".

6. Continue to report on conferences, churches and news that will build faith and "fan into flame the gift that is in you". For example, the awesome Rob Rufus is going to be at the Newfrontiers Prayer and Fasting Weekend in Derby. I imagine it's going to be a pretty significant time and will set the tone for the coming "Together on a Mission" conference in July! By the way - have you booked in yet? You won't get to go to another conference that fires your faith more!

7. Make use of the internet blogs and go read the blogs of people who long for God to move in our day!! My favourites and my daily reading list includes; Pete Day, Jul Morris (Newfrontiers), Jesse Phillips (SGM), Luke Wood (Newfrontiers), Jon Cressey (Newfrontiers), Gavin White (MwB), Mark Heath (Newfrontiers), Janelle Phillips (SGM) and of course Terry Virgo himself. None of them would claim to be any theological heavyweights but the one factor that I love and appreciate about each and everyone of them is that they are HUNGRY!! No, DESPERATE for God! And that alone is faith inspiring!

Here is my contribution for today! It's an interview I have published before but feel I must draw attention to again with the great Dr Ern Baxter and it is on the subject of William Branham. Controversial he may have been - but no one could deny the signs, wonders and miracles. Go read it! These things happened less than 100 years ago!! And they can happen again today!! Here's a quote from the interview to give you a taster;

"Branham had a tremendous word of knowledge. Before praying for a person, he would give accurate details concerning the person’s ailments, and also details of their lives - their home town, activities, actions - even way back in their childhood. Branham never once made a mistake with the word of knowledge in all the years I was with him. That covers, in my case, thousands of instances ... to try to remember or to pick out a few outstanding supernatural occurrences with Branham is somewhat difficult because it was just a parade of the supernatural".

Let me close by agreeing deeply with Jesse's comment:

" ... if those who sense this expectation and anticipation for God to begin to move in more powerful ways through the reformed-charismatic church could begin to perpetrate the blogosphere with faith-filled perspectives on what the Holy Spirit is capable of doing, and wants to do, then we may have a broader influence throughout our churches. That, in turn, may raise people's expectations, and we may begin to see God responding to our faith in a way that scripture indicates He likes to".

Amen!! Let it be so Lord! And let's be about seeing the resurgence come!


Luke Wood said...

Great post Dan!

Another one for your list: 'have a go'. Although most of us wouldn't advocate experimental church, if we have a confidence about what the Bible's teaching is, say, on healing, I think we have permission to be bold and to pray for the sick and see what happens.

At Front Edge North I experienced this personally. Though I've often prayed for sick people, there's never an immediate effect. But on that day I was on the team so was asked to pray. I ended up with one of the trustees of our church who is a GP. He had had tennis elbow for ages, couldn't pour a kettle etc. I prayed, and he was healed! I stress (as did Terry in his articel in the magazine) that there was nothing special about me - I didn't sense that I came with any more faith than usual, but he ended up on the stage saying "I'm a GP, can tell you exactly which ligaments etc. were affected, but the pain has gone!"

I'm so glad I stepped out and 'had a go' (not such an experiemental thing after all - scripture is very clear!). It's really built my faith for the future! I'd recommend it to anyone! The 'keep-going' factor can't be stressed enough, as you've alluded to in your points.

Baxter's Boy said...

Thanks Luke!! "Having a go" is an EXCELLENT point. I think my background has led me to miss that too often. Doctrinal orthodoxy was prevelant and in a sense that's right. But actually Scripture seems to speak again and again into "stepping out in faith" - and we see that throughout church history. It's something I have reflected on again and again since my post on "Charismatic Calvinists" - that God simply will NOT reach down and open our mouths and MAKE us prophecy, or MAKE us speak in tongues, or MAKE us lay hands on people!! He's given us His Spirit! WE have to step out and "have a go".

Interestingly enough I'm just watching the new "Together for the Gospel" video thingy out of academic interest, and Al Mohler made a comment about the youth content at the conference and how surprised the four gentlemen were at them being there. I know Mohler was referring to the youth interest in Reformed theology and the Gospel but I think the same is true for Charismatic life and this resergence that Jesse has led us to. Our generation isn't content to sit on Dad and Mum's shoulders and hear stories about the Dales Bible Weeks and the Charismatic Renewal - we want more! We want to go further!

So thanks again Luke for that vital reminder - "Have a go" and "Keep going" if all doesn't happen straight away!! Let's step out in faith and see the faith come as we grow!!

Anonymous said...

I'm so blessed that there is a resurgence that has finally been vocalised among the young. Your fathers have failed you in terms of either swinging to charismatic excess and ending up in moral failure or going to the other extreme into rabid cessationism and doctrinal orthodox-obsession. I am so grateful to God that there is a deep heart cry among you that you will not give God any rest - that you will not settle for preaching the Gospel WITHOUT signs accompanying!!

My urge to you is - DON'T give up!! Don't give Him any rest until He makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth!! Don't give Him any rest until He gives gifts of power to make His Name mighty and glorious in the earth!!

You've made me an excited man.

Dr S A J Burgess.

Michelle C said...

I'm impressed you sat through the whole "T4G" video! I loaded it up but couldn't be bothered listening to the whole thing. The loud laughter kinda distracted me from following.

janelle said...

Yet again an excellent post. Thanks for your enthusiasm, it is very inspiring!

Baxter's Boy said...

Thanks Janelle!! Your encouragement means heaps! Well I promised that I would be on the hunt for things to fan into flame this charismatic resurgence and I believe I have found something which is a MUST ...

It's a T-shirt from the "Prophetically Speaking" Shop with the slogan; "I am Not Drunk as You Suppose". I LOVE it!! Although I would prefer mine to say "I am not drunk as YE suppose" as I do prefer the KJV.

I think we should all buy em!! ;)

James said...

Yere Jesse ... do you ship international to us in the UK!?! I reckon all us guys going to Together on a Mission ought to wear "I am not drunk as you suppose" T-shirts!! It would be soo cool!!

janelle said...

Yeah, I saw those too. He doesn't have any women's styles yet, but he told me he would design one for me. I'm definitely going to get one!

SJ said...

I really, really like the clean-up on your site!! Awesome!!

Peter Day said...

This is a totally amazing post. It fits with all that is on my heart. A charismatic resurgence! Amen!

I only started my own blog in response to the Lord's call to publish and now I find that there are many of us out there hungry for God and our posts are step by step together.

And I love what Luke said above about "having a go." A few weeks ago the Lord told me to invite prayer for healing at the end of every morning service. No-one has responded yet, but I intend to keep doing it.

I think it was John Wimber that said that if you don't pray for the sick they won't be healed, but if you do pray some will get healed. So lets pray for the sick!

Praise God for this blog site!

Jesse P. said...

I believe that my products can be shipped internationally. Thanks for your interest and wonderful feedback!

- Jesse

Baxter's Boy said...

Thanks for comments Pete and Jesse!! I love the principle that God always has "other prophets" hidden in caves waiting to be brought out at the right time!! We are never truly alone even if at times the feeling of isolation is hard. I think that the blogging resurgence should and does bring such awesome encouragement - to seek out and find and establish friendships with like-minded people and discuss matters that will only and always "fan into flame the gift within us".

Maybe we should share testimonies of how God has used us graciously to edify the church through gifts, such as Pete you sharing when people do (and they will) start coming and being healed! I was so encouraged for example to hear about Jesse speaking in tongues in your church. I've never done it, although I have prophesied but hearing that made me determined to go and do it, if God gives me one!

Like the example of the burning coals in the fire, let's make sure we stay close, and keep that fire burning!!