Saturday, June 28, 2008

Criticising Moves of God? Think Carefully ...

I noted previously that City Church International held a series of "Miracle Healing Meetings" in Hong Kong. The Sunday morning was a particularly incredible time of heavy anointing and of the manifest Presence of God. I've drawn attention to Rob's prophetic song - and I do URGE everyone to listen to it. The message was vintage Rob - and he was addressing Pharisees and legalists. He wasn't happy. But I do believe it is a message whose time has come (and will shortly be transcribed and published on the Rob Rufus blog). The Pentecostal/Charismatics traditionally have been criticised by the Reformed section of the church for not being "Word-based" enough. The emphasis and demand for orthodoxy has been overpowering.

Yet I have been reading John MacArthur's New Testament commentary on 1 Corinthians and I remain puzzled as to why no one applies the same stringent "tests" to a so-called academic who is held in great esteem by people such as C J Mahaney. For example those who "eagerly desire spiritual gifts" (as being obedient to 1 Corinthians 14:1) are told by MacArthur;

"The Corinthians were to stop seeking gifts because to do so is both persumptious and purposeless".

"God does not bypass men's minds either to reveal or to teach His Word. There were no ecstatic, bizarre, trancelike experiences related to divine action or the prophet, such as occured and occurs with demonic revelation".

Did he not read the book of Acts where Peter fell into a trance just before going to Cornelius's house? We can therefore safely assume that ANY trances or ecstatic experiences that occur within the church today would be classed by MacArthur as demonic (and I guess that answers his views on the Lakeland Outpouring). Yet bizarrely enough MacArthur does seem to believe that there is a demonic counterfeit to spiritual gifts;

"People do not counterfeit what is not valuable. Satan counterfeits the Spirit's gifts because he knows they are so valuable in God's plan".

I don't understand how MacArthur can be so inconsistent in his exposition of pure Scripture and yet be very quick to point a finger of judgement at the flaws of men such as Todd Bentley or Rodney Howard-Browne or Bob Jones. Rob Rufus doesn't either. He said this:

"Isn't it amazing that as God begins to focus on what He is doing in Florida and He is breaking out across the world and the church has cried out for decades for a mighty move of God's Presence and healing - that when God brings it, some of the church is not happy with who He is using and they are not happy with the package or with tattoos on the man and go and dig out all the snot and all the stuff about Bob Jones's past. People are sending emails about what I must go and look up about Bob Jones and the sin he did in his past.

I am NOT interested! What I want to know is - is that God there? If God chooses to use Todd Bentley at the age of 32 then I say as a 53 year old - thank You Lord for Todd Bentley! Thank You for a new generation carrying the message of healing!

How can you listen to Bob Jones - do you know what he did 10-something years ago? How can you read the Psalms? That guy who wrote the Psalms is a weirdo - I tell you. Watch out reading the Psalms - you know you are reading the writings of a man that God was inspiring to write - that man saw a beautiful chick on a rooftop that he manipulated and connived as the king of Israel to get her? And he had illegitimate sex with her! Oh! Then she fell pregnant! Oh! Big problem now! What is she going to do when her husband finds out? Who happens to be one of the king's best friends?! So he betrayed his close friend and called him back from the battle and makes his friend drunk. Oh! Made his friend drunk!? So his friend would be so drunk and would go in and have sex with his wife and then he would think he made her pregnant!

You are reading the Psalms of a guy who wrote them and yet did this?! The husband said; "I'm not going in to be with my wife because my friends are out on the battlefield and I am not going to have that privilidge while they are out there". So he goes back to the battlefield and David arranges for Uriah to be murdered. Sure great was his repentance and David realised how serious what he had done and he repented from the depths of his heart and never did anything like that again in his life and when he died, God said; "This is a man after My own heart - who served My purposes in My generation".

We have got Pharisees in the church world and we have got Sadducees and I tell you - this is a true saying. If you are bleeding don't swim with the sharks. If you are bleeding and you are swimming with the sharks, do not let them know you are bleeding. I wouldn't want to fall into serious sin in much of the modern church because they will rip into you and rip your reputation apart. They will display your dirty washing across the internet and over email. They will disqualify you forever standing in ministry again. I felt the Holy Spirit say that He is getting quite angry with this. He said that these people who are always criticising the ones that I am using - He said, I am going to start scrutinising their lives and bringing out their dirty washing because when you operate in self-righteousness and pride then you forfeit the protection of grace because God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble.

All these criticising, judgemental people have got stuff in their own cuboards that they are covering up. It is coming out in the open. The Holy Spirit is going to bring that stuff out. So I bless what God is doing in Florida - I bless Todd Bentley and I bless Bob Jones! I bless the prophets of God - I bless the work of God - I bless the fact that 25 people have been raised from the dead!".


Don said...

I do wonder if God is going to magnify his blessings toward Bible-practicing ministries like Todd's, and expose the barrenness of some other, "Bible-believing" ministries.

lydia joy said...

Amen, excellent post Dan, and now I must go listen to this message.
"I wouldn't want to fall into serious sin in much of the modern church because they will rip into you and rip your reputation apart." - Umm, ouch, but this is so true, extremely sad but totally true!

Don, I wonder too!!

Dan Bowen said...

It's hideously true isn't it Lydia, as many of us can testify ... sad but true. I just found the point about not letting the sharks now you are bleeding to be very striking.

Rob made a point slightly later in the sermon;

"The God of miracles is turning up and people have the audacity to criticise it ... incredible! No fear of God at all! They have become main-stream thinkers - they are main stream and everything to the left or right of them is error and they are "it". God didn't die and appoint them to be the doctrinal policemen of the Church. The heresy hunters don't know that the Holy Spirit is hunting them down and He is going to smoke them!".

God didn't appoint them to be the doctrinal policemen of the Church!

Peter Day said...

Really excellent post. I find it quite disturbing that the so-called "reformed" camp can make such blatant unscriptural statements and contradictions and yet be regarded as great authorities when they criticise a genuine move of God. They clearly don't have anything but a blinkered view of God's Word. They will not see the supernatural presence there for every single believer in the word of God, and so every move of God is automatically critised.

If Paul came back into their churches and spoke in tongues and laid his hands on the sick, he would be thrown out.

I am tired of hearing unbiblical grace-less critism of others. Of course we are called to test the spirits, but when the lame walk, the deaf hear, the blind see and the dead are raised and people are being saved, it is totally clear Who is moving. It is God, and we give Him the glory - and dive into the river. Let it flow!!

janelle said...

The great thing is...there are such things as Reformed-Charismatics. Yay for doctrine AND charisma! They really aren't exclusive!!!