Lakeland Revival Notes

Lakeland Revival Notes

A number of my friends have commented to me on the revival in Lakeland, Florida at Ignited Church, some positively, some with questions, and some critically. Some have seen opposition that is already represented on the web, such as you find here.

I have not attended or watched the revival in Lakeland, and I don’t expect I will be visiting soon, though watching is more of an option. I have a pretty strong schedule of local involvement right now, and I believe that’s what I’m called to do. But for those who would like a first hand report, I asked a friend who attended meetings at Lakeland to comment.

Rev. Perry Dalton was the pastor of Pine Forest United Methodist Church at the time I returned to faith and church back in 1994. He was pastor of Pine Forest during the time of the Brownsville Revival, and has endured a great deal of criticism at the time. (You can see my own experience relating to the Brownsville Revival in this article on my personal testimony.) He is a friend and co-author with me of the book I Want to Pray!. He has attended services at Lakeland. I asked him to provide me with some comments which he did and graciously gave me permission to quote. I will quote his comments in full.

Please note that while comments on this post will be open, I’m neither going to defend the revival there nor will I join in any attack simply because I am not equipped to do so. The exception would be something that is based on an inappropriate theological starting point. I’m providing this comment for the benefit of my friends and other readers.

From Perry Dalton:

Thanks for your note. I’ll try to give you some things about my experience at Lakeland. I am getting ready to leave for NYC/UN to celebrate Israel’s 60th birthday. So it will be brief.

My experience at Lakeland was awesome. It is nothing like Brownsville. Everything about this move of God will drive everyone’s religious spirits crazy. Nothing fits the normal church theology. God just shows up and melts people. I was sitting there enjoying the worship and heard the Holy Spirit say “You are no longer retired”. The presence of God was so powerful I could hardly stand it.

Brownsville had more than its share of critics, but this is way beyond that. So far beyond it that the critics will not have to look for things to criticize. Todd Bentley does not preach. It just calls out healings. He will give an invitation. But the invitation is so simple and so short that it will seem inadequate and yet people make decisions every night. The invitation is simple, sweet and easy to understand.

If you have not seen Todd, he is tattooed all over. He dresses in jeans and motorcycle shirts. His interns as he calls them are people that appear to be right off the street with no training (maybe like the disciples). But, they demonstrate that they love the Lord. Since, I have been home I have continued to tune into God TV that is broadcasting this all over the world and moved their regular programing so that they can broadcast it. I have not heard any thing come from Todd’s mouth that is not biblical. It is different but still true to the Word.
Todd gives God all the glory.

It is almost as powerful on TV as being there in person, at least for me.

I recommend that everyone who wants to make a commitment of more of themselves to the Lord, to go! If you go as a spectator you will come away only with disappointment and criticisms, which only hurts the critic. The healings are awesome. Are some fake? Probably. Are some real? Yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was impressed with the number of really small children being healed and really old people 90 year olds being healed.

As long as God gets the glory, I believe this will continue to grow around the world. It is already broadcast into 214 nations with close to a 1/2 billion viewers.

You are welcome to use any or all of this. Just keep it in context. I am in no way a critic of this move. God is free to do whatever he chooses.

Many people are quite shocked to find out that I have anything positive to say about Brownsville because my theology is somewhat different from theirs. I’m not called either a “liberal charismatic” or “passionate moderate” for nothing! But part of my view of Christian moderation is the acceptance of God’s working in a great variety of ways. In my view all activities of the Holy Spirit will show both human and divine elements. I will not go through a list of doctrines, check off the ones with which I disagree, and then condemn the ministry or movement. I prefer discussing particular teachings or actions rather than people or whole ministries, and the fact that I disagree with a particular teaching doesn’t mean I condemn the person holding it or the ministry in which he or she is engaged.

Despite theological disagreements, my experience with Brownsville was positive, and my recommendation to anyone questioning at the time was to go check it out. I’d say the same thing about this one, sight unseen.

Let me provide a couple of links here.

  • Revival: Benefits and Dangers
    This is a cautionary article I wrote during the Brownsville Revival. Oddly enough I got favorable comments about it from both supporters and critics of the revival.
  • Ten Things I Believe about the Holy Spirit
    While I don’t like criticizing whole movements and ministries, it is rare that I find something I can endorse without qualification. This list from Dave Warnock, a Methodist minister in England, is on the mark. I agree with it 100%.
  • A Foundation for Thinking
    First of a two part series I wrote for my wife’s devotional list dealing with Genesis 1:1-2. You may miss what I’m saying about the Holy Spirit until you read the second part. Also available in an audio podcast.
  • Wind of God – Chaos to Order
    Second part of series. Podcast here.

10 thoughts on “Lakeland Revival Notes

  1. I haven’t had the privilege of going to Florida, and Perry Dalton is someone for whom I have great respect. His ministry has affected friends of mine wonderfully here in the UK. From what I’ve seen and read admittedly at a distance, I’m concerned, and have written at length about it. The particular concern I have in this post is one I’ve seen mentioned elsewhere, and alluded to in Perry Dalton’s testimony: where is the Word in the worship?

    Grace and peace to all,

    Dave

    (Edited to fix link-HN)

    1. Dave, Thanks for your note. I promoted the link to your post to one of my “Asides” posts so it would get more attention.

      Even though I’m in Florida I’m some distance from this event, I haven’t been there, and have no immediate plans to go. So I’m going to refrain from taking a position on it, one which I would certainly be unable to defend.

      Blessings!

  2. Henry,

    Thanks for fixing my mis-typed HTML and for generously promoting my link to one of your ‘Asides’. Looking forward to reading more of your thoughts on this and other matters.

    Grace and peace.

  3. Last Call
    End Time Ministries
    http://www.etm.org
    June 2008

    “Reaching the World with His Word” Mark 16:15-20

    Avoiding Deception in the Last Days

    1 Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron. 1 Timothy 4:1-2

    1 But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. 2 And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. 3 By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber. 2 Peter 2:1-3

    As we read the two above scriptures we see the Holy Ghost through Paul warning the church about end time deception that will come via demons working through false teachers and prophets. Peter says these false prophets and teachers will even bring in secretly destructive heresies. The Strong’s Concordance definition of the Greek word translated destructive in the NKJV means:
    1. destroying, utter destruction
    A. of vessels
    2. a perishing, ruin, destruction
    A. of money
    B. the destruction which consists of eternal misery in hell.

    Notice that this destructive heresy can lead one to the path of hell if adhered to.

    Another way that both Paul and Peter say that these false prophets and teachers will deceive is through deceptive words. They will lie while teaching, preaching and prophesying.

    According to Jesus and Paul these false prophets and teachers will have great signs and wonders. (Mathew 24:24; 2 Timothy 3:1-9) Pay particular attention to verse 8 which mentions that these false teachers will have the spirit of Jannes and Jambres who were sorcerers and opposed Moses. (Exodus 7)

    2 Timothy 3:13 says that evil men and seducers will grow worse and worse. According to Greek scholars the word seducers means sorcerer. That means that some false teachers and prophets in the last days will have great signs and wonders following them but it won’t be from God. They are designed to deceive the elect. (Matthew 24:24; 2 Thessalonians 2:9; Revelation 13)

    We should not try to discern if a man’s ministry is of God by signs and wonders. The devil imitates some of the things God does. Just read Exodus 7.

    Here are some biblical ways to determine if someone is false and teaching heresy.

    1) Use the Word of God to judge if what is being said and done is coming from God.(Hebrews 5:14; Psalm 138:2; Psalm119:105,130) God will never violate His Word or do anything outside of His Word. My covenant I will not break, Nor alter the word that has gone out of My lips. Psalm 89:34

    2) The Holy Spirit will bear witness with your spirit that what they are saying is true. (Romans 6:14,16; John 14:23,16:13; 1 John 2:20,27)

    3) Matthew 7:15-16 15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Jesus said you can recognize false prophets also by their fruit. 1 Thessalonians 5:12 says to know those who labor among you. Take time to check out a person’s ministry and character before you open yourself up to them.

    4) If you still are not sure speak with someone in your local church that is in leadership and is mature in the Word of God and ask them
    about a man’s ministry.

    While no ministry or minister is perfect a good minister will fit the above criteria. He will speak in line with the Word. He will be of Godly
    character and will be truthful.

    As I see the signs of all that Jesus, Paul and the other writers of the Bible said would be taking place in the last days before His return. It only
    shows me that we are very close to the coming of the Lord. Let us finish the race and obtain our eternal reward. (Mathew 24; Mark 13;
    Luke 21; Revelation 22:12-15)

    8 Watch out for people who try to dazzle you with big words and intellectual double-talk. 18-19 Don’t tolerate people who try to run your life, ordering you to bow and scrape, insisting that you join their obsession with angels and that you seek out visions. They’re a lot of hot air, that’s all they are. They’re completely out of touch with the source of life, Christ, who puts us together in one piece, whose very breath and blood flow through us. He is the Head and we are the body. We can grow up healthy in God only as he nourishes us. Colossians 2:8,18-19 (The Message Bible

  4. Hi.
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    the peace of God through Jesus Christ.

    Welcome to visit my Site.
    Allan Svensson, Sweden

    Why does the revival tarry? It is because God’s
    people tarry to obey the powerful command of
    the Lord in Rev. 18:4. This is the most powerful
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    http://www.algonet.se/~allan-sv/INDEX.HTM

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    http://www.algonet.se/~allan-sv/POWERFUL.HTM

    Why was the Pentecostal Revival stopped?
    http://www.algonet.se/~allan-sv/CRISIS.HTM

    As in the days of Lot, it is now. Lot was not interested
    to leave Sodom. God sent two angels to rescue him.
    One of the angels said to him: “Flee for your life sake …”
    Just like as Lot, God’s people are not interested to leave
    the great Babylon, but finally they must flee for
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    http://www.algonet.se/~allan-sv/PAGE88.HTM

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