Monday, August 11, 2008

Lakeland, Florida Goes to the Nations!!

One of the criticisms Terry Virgo levelled at Lakeland, Florida was this;

"I have personally embraced what would tend to be the classic British evangelical view, namely a time of fresh activity of the Holy Spirit first among Christians, often leading to repentance and renewed devotion and prayer, this in turn developing into evangelistic breakthrough and conviction of sin among the lost leading to multiplied conversions and
ultimately resulting in transforming impact on the culture. What is being described in Lakeland is more of a phenomenal outbreak of
healings and powerful signs and wonders among gathered Christians".

I was particularly encouraged to take time to watch last night's Lakeland meeting and see that Todd Bentley devoted a considerable amount of time to hearing testimonies from the "Fresh Fire" teams that have gone out into Lakeland. I would suggest that Terry's criticisms are perhaps being met. Enjoy the clip;

This message of signs and wonders and miracles HAS to get out to the lost! They deserve nothing less than the whole gospel - one of not words alone but power and the Holy Spirit!


07000intune said...

loved the clip so much I've sent it to a friend in the church with an evangelist heart.

Hope you got the spirit of my last wasn't written to belittle either of you...but because I genuinely am examining the whole question of teaching in the church, comparing it to Jesus ministry and the first church.

I thought what I saw Todd saying last night was interesting...and certainly Juan Carlos Ortiz and Kenneth Hagin said similar things.

Todd said that in order to build himself up in faith for healing he reads all the gospels and Acts through in one block.
Hagin used to say that if anyone wants a ministry he should simply read the gospels on his knees seven times through, and at the end he'll have enough power to launch into action.


Dan Bowen said...

I did indeed get the spirit of the post - no offence taken! I always appreciate thinking through and re-thinking why I have said or written something. I wrote a response, but due to sleepiness or incompetence put it in the wrong post! Here it is;

Please don't misunderstand me that I am drawing "grades" in that expository ministry is best, and exhortative/prophetic teaching is secondary and "make-do". I used to think that admittedly and would proudly judge anyone who didn't match upto Stanley Jebb's theological impartation.

But I guess I've been freed somewhat from that judgemental view by understanding that each and everyone of the Ephesians 4 Ministries are for today - and each will bring a different form of teaching to the Body of Christ. Different but each as valuable as the other.

To my mind it would go something like this;

Apostles will bring fatherly correction, global vision, impartation of the Holy Spirit.

Prophets will bring a singular message that they feel is the Father's word to the Church at that particular time.

Evangelists will be motivated by a heart to see the lost gloriously saved, and the Body of Christ motivated to go out and complete the Great Commission.

Pastors will be concerned with the souls of their local flock and each sermon/message will be geared towards seeing their local flock come to maturity.

Teachers will be gifted to look at/examine and see the truths bustling to come out of the Word of God and will be singularly gifted to expound.

Now I don't and can't pigeon-hole them because there is a lot of overlap between the Ephesians 4 Ministries and that will come out in their preaching. For example;

Todd Bentley seems to be a prophet/evangelist and his messages at Lakeland reflect that - his heart is to see the nations covered with the glory of God and he has a prophetic word from the Father to do that.

Terry Virgo is an apostle/teacher and while he is gifted at unpacking portions of Scripture, his father's heart of correction and global vision often shines through.

Does that make sense? The point I was trying to make was that I grew up in a local church context that didn't really believe in the true power of the unleashed Ephesians 4 Ministries and it was a very typical independent evangelical church with no heart for being a family of churches or a movement. So the majority of teaching was of course expository - with a touch of pastoral teaching when Stanley Jebb's assistants or elders preached.

What I am trying to say is that since I have seen the restoration of Ephesians 4 Ministries, it makes it much easier to look at itinerant men such as Todd, Roy Fields, Bob Jones, Bobby Connors, and so on and notice the Ephesians 4 characteristics shining through and think; "Ah yes - that's their gifting - thats why they are teaching as they are - and here's what I can appreciate".

Where I do struggle I guess, is listening to other local pastors preaching to congregations I am not a part of - such as my parents SGM church - and obviously one has to remember the context to which they are preaching, and the external influences as to why they are preaching what they are preaching and understanding where a church such as my parents church is moving, or not.

Does that make it a bit clearer? Hope so!

Shawna said...

I loved this video clip too! I've been away camping, our bathroom has been demolished and semi-reconstructed, and I've seen my brother married over the weekend, but I've been checking in here to see what's been going on. I have a testimony to share that goes along with this video, hope you find it encouraging, and hope I can share it concisely.
My husband Brian has been "practicing preaching" most Friday nights since last October, to a mixed group (unchurched and those from various local churches) in our home and a sober house close by. It started as a kind of "face your fear of public speaking" challenge that his friend Shawn put to him, and it never stopped. Back in May Brian decided to share about miracles, gifts of the Holy Spirit, revivals, people that moved in signs and wonders in history, and end with showing a clip from Lakeland. I won't get into all the stir that it created among the Baptists that regularly came along, but it really shook some things up. We didn't know at the time but his friend Shawn had already made plans to go the next night to a meeting at a local church that had been projecting the Lakeland meetings live every night. The next day, Sunday, Brian, Shawn and others decided to go to Boston, when they learned that an associate of Todd Bentley's was having three nights of meetings there. Brian said that you could feel the presence of God so strongly there, it was the first time Shawn had ever experienced anything like it, he was filled with the Spirit, and he hasn't been the same since.
Jump to several Sundays ago..... Shawn and Brian decided to go out in the afternoon to see what God wanted to do, no agenda, just being available and wanting to encounter Him. Shawn started the above mentioned sober house a couple of years ago, and a little while into their trip out he got a call from someone that was in a desperate situation and need help detoxing. So they decided to go meet with him and see what they could do. After meeting they decided that Darold (the man who called) really needed to go to the hospital, and they went with him to see his family to explain what was going on. While there they decided to pray (the family aren't Christians) and the Holy Spirit was present in such a way that the wife said "this feels like a party." (!!!) While all this is happening I'm at home reading this blog and the comment that Chris left (in partial jest) for me that sparked the faith I needed to pray that God would breakthrough as he showed me he would in our area. I was sooooo pumped (to put it mildly), I prayed and I felt it was as good as done, something had broken. And I called Brian on Shawn's cell and said "ask God for whatever you want, go for it, something's shifted and you're going to see things happen". Long story short, on the way to the hospital (30 min drive), Darold was saved, was released from a demon that was connected to him from Satanic worship in the past, and was able to forgive his father for the first time. After several hours at the hospital Darold explained all that had just happened to him to the nurses, and they decided that he was going to be fine, and sent him home with some medication. He was experiencing some physical pain from the detox but he said his head and heart felt incredibly clean. He came with us to church the following Sunday, a baby in the faith, but definitely having experienced the real deal.
PS - Alphabet Soup came in yesterday too! I had to reorder it because I messed up the payment, but I'm glad that I did because I decided to get Norman Grubb's book "Who am I" and pay for the shipping all together. I've listened to half the tape in my car (the only tape deck we've got)!

Dan Bowen said...

Hey Shawna,

Welcome back and thanks so much for your testimony!! What an incredible encouragement ... I am beginning to understand what Rob means when he talks about miracles in the marketplace being far more thrilling than even miracles in the Church!

It's been great beginning to listen to the "Word and Spirit" Conference ... Michael Eaton's sessions are on revival - and just increases my hunger for the moving of the Spirit to errupt here in the UK.

Dan Bowen said...

Hey Shawna,

Welcome back and thanks so much for your testimony!! What an incredible encouragement ... I am beginning to understand what Rob means when he talks about miracles in the marketplace being far more thrilling than even miracles in the Church!

It's been great beginning to listen to the "Word and Spirit" Conference ... Michael Eaton's sessions are on revival - and just increases my hunger for the moving of the Spirit to errupt here in the UK.

Sheila said...

Dan, I love your comment re: the gospel, followed by signs/wonders/miracles HAS to get out to the lost. It made me think of what Jesus said, "The well don't need a physician." Whew.

Also - just to toss two pennies in. In the couple years, or so, I have read your blog, you have always seemed to have a good grasp of five fold ministries - a balanced view - and that is a good thing! (In a spiritual climate where so often the concept of "radical" is the fashionable thing, being radical for the sake of radical seems to be the "theology du jour", it can seem almost an insult to say that someone is "balanced". Certainly, one who handles the Word of God and is full of the Spirit of God, can easily be both radical and balanced. Why is this such a hard thing to conceive of?)

Keep up the good work of balanced integrity. It is indeed a good work you are doing.