Don’t know how many are keeping an eye on Florida these days (for more than political reasons) but things are still going strong on the Florida Outpouring. In fact, if you want you can even hook yourself up with the daily preachings, see undeniable accounts of people being raised from the dead, or even get yourself a Florida Outpouring wallpaper. Pretty nifty stuff. However, as i began to dig in a little bit, i found typical-yet-troubling reports of the things being said. Various passages of Scripture were being taken out of context, doctrine was overrun by emotions and feelings, and nothing was being questioned as legitimate (at least from internal sources). At this point, however, the Florida Outpouring is gleaning such popularity that it is planning on continuing through the summer, according to its leaders. Plans are in place to aquire a 10,000-seat arena, and hold services twice a day through the summer.
So my question in all of this is where is the doctrine? Oh, God is claimed to be in the middle of the whole thing, running the show. According to Todd Bentley, the “revivalist” who is running the show, it’s all about God, it’s not about him. He says he wants to be out of the way, and to just let God do His thing. So my question: is He?
When God communicates with His people, and makes certain claims about life and about Himself, are they true? When He says you already have all things necessary for life and Godliness (II Pet. 1:3), is He lying, or is He telling the truth? Before this Outpouring, did i have everything abundantly (to use one of “their” words) in Him? Further, if we are going to speak about fillings, what does Ephesians 3 say is the prerequisite to “being filled with all the fullness of God (Eph. 3:19)?” Is it an experience? Does He demand that we be experientially-driven to gain this filling? Colossians 3:16 demands that the “word of Christ dwell in you richly.” We must know, understand, and be driven by His Word. If this is not so, there is no abundant filling. Filling is according to knowledge. And the fulness of God is not a mystical, charismatic driving force of supernaturality; rather, it is the filling of godly character traits. It is for this purpose that the Holy Spirit is even with us – that we may be conformed to the obedience of Christ (Rom. 8:29; 12:12)
Furthermore, is it not against the very nature of God for the Holy Spirit to be acting in such a way that He is drawing undeniable attention to Himself? Does this not contradict the unique character of the Holy Spirit (John 16:13-14)? So if, as Christians, we see a movement calling attention to the Holy Spirit distinctly, ought not doctrine rule our minds and we resist such a movement, rather than allowing emotions to run us and we embrace said movement, for “God is there”? Is God really there?
As a manner of post-script, i would love to hear a Biblical definition of terms being thrown around such as “impartation,” “come and get some…,” “full and overflowing,” “release people into revival,” and last but not least,
“The Lord told me…”
This i believe is the most dangerous claim out of everything i have heard. Claiming personal, divine revelation denies the doctrine of the completed canon, denies the doctrine of revelation at its core, and brings God into question over claims stated earlier.