Thursday, September 4, 2008

Spiritual Tsunami

The following text is taken from a Blog done by a Pastor in Canada – a friend of mine…. and now serving as a District Superintendent in Manitoba – Rev Jim Poirier. With recent radical changes that have taken place in the “Revival World” – affecting a number of my friends I felt that I should republish Jim’s words.

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Spiritual Tsunami
The big news this past month has been about the ending of the Lakeland Revival, the marriage breakdown of one of its leaders, and as time goes on, other not so good revelations. Sad.

I have followed these events with a bit of a detached interest. The interest has been in what has been happening and what is being said. There has also been the unique challenge that as a D.S. there is a need to pastor all of our pastors regardless of their opinion, viewpoint or stance on the revival and those involved.

Can we take a few moments and reflect on what has happened over the past few months and perhaps make a few observations?

There are some concerns that I would like to register:

1. The churches willingness to overlook strange teaching or new doctrines.
We have been introduced to teachings of Healing Angels, Debt-Reduction Angels, the propogation of new mysticysm (Trances etc.) and teachings which are far from the teaching of Jesus Christ and the Gospel we have believed and preached for many years. Some have even gone so far as to say these new teachings are "Anti-Biblical". Shouldn't this alarm us? When strange new teachings that cannot be verified scripturally begin to be propogated shouldn't we sound the alarm? Shouldn't it concern us when individuals take it upon themselves to appoint apostles and thus create their own hierarchies in the church? Shouldn't it concern us when we see these hierarchies crumble and the appointed apostles be seen for what they really are?

2. Overlooking poor doctrine and questionable tactics because there are miracles.
Take a look at Matthew 24. There is explicit teaching there about deception and the uprising of False Prophets who will perform great signs and miracles. Here is the is our duty and responsibility to judge the works, the teaching, the claims, the lives, the tactics and the doctrine of those who make claims or are performing miracles. Why? Because of the risk of deception.No where in Matthew 24:24-25 are we exhorted to overlook these things...but the concern is that even the elect could be deceived if that were possible.

Unless we are well prepared doctrinally and as Pastors and Teachers we prepare the body of Christ many will be lead astray in the days to come. The Bible is very clear and explicit about this. Jesus had great concern about people being deceived. He understood the intoxicating influence deceivers can have on sincere people who know and love God.

3. Experience Trumps TruthIn some circles experience definitely trumps truth.
The reasoning goes something like this, "Experience should not be questioned. Those who question, discern otherwise or doubt are ungodly, unspiritual or not enlightened." Inner voices, the promptings of the Spirit and the direction of anointed leaders should not take precedence over the word of God--ever.

4. The risk of Spiritual PrideIf there is any particular issue that God will take us to the mat on it is the issue of pride.
Spiritual pride is something that all of us need to be really careful to not allow in our lives. It is so incredibly subtle and covert in how it makes its way into our spirit. If you detect pride in your own life--deal with it. If you recognize it in others, even if they have great followings stand back.

Why am I writing all of this? It certainly is not because I have an axe to grind, nor am I trying to blog for the sake of blogging. It is simply this, as I travel and see the much bigger picture of the church there is something that concerns me. The church can easily be taken captive by a massive deception. The Bible is clear and explicit in its warning to the church of the coming of false prophets who perform signs, wonders and miracles. With the instant connection we have with happenings around the world deception can sweep into the church overnight. Are we guarding ourselves and the church from being overwhelmed from the next big wave? I sense that in the days to come we will see a spiritual tsunami like deception which will catch many off guard and sweep many away (I hope I am wrong). We need real, true men and women of God who can operate in the area of signs, wonders and miracles and at the same time remain committed to the truth and correct doctrine. The two are not mutually exclusive but should go hand in hand. We cannot afford to wink at little mis-truths because the minute we make allowance for them we open the door to much greater error.

The stage is set--the question is are we ready?

Your thoughts?

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