The Voice Magazine Reviews Lakeland Revival Lessons
Released on: August 18, 2008, 12:47 pm
Press Release Author: The Voice Magazine
Industry: Non Profit
Press Release Summary: The Voice magazine's editor reviews the cautious warning and the next steps in the wake of Todd Bentley's fall.
Press Release Body: HALLANDALE BEACH, FLA. (August 18, 2008) - The Lakeland Revival. So famed was it that Canadian evangelist , appeared on the Fox News Channel and MSNBC. People purchased URLs and built websites like TheLakelandRevival.com and RevivalLakeland.org. And even Wikipedia, the popular social media-style online encyclopedia, chronicled the event for historical purposes.
Some leaders are now back pedaling ferociously from previous support to the Lakeland Revival and others are spiritualizing the recent calamity as just a necessary \"spiritual adjustment\" like when a rocket ship enters orbit and drops off it\'s booster rockets. The troubled Bentley, who recently filed for separation from his wife Shonnah is reportedly in an unhealthy relationship with a female member of his staff. Bentley has since stepped down and agreed to undergo a season of counseling before returning to public ministry. The Lakeland \'outpouring\' is over, but many hurting people are left in the wake asking lots of questions.
\"Are there any lessons for us to learn from all of this?\" asks Jennifer LeClaire, editor of The Voice magazine. \"They say hindsight is 20/20, but so is Holy Ghost insight and there was little, if any insight, offered into the goings on in Lakeland.\"
LeClaire reviews a few of the statements of concern about the Lakeland Revival and Bentley\'s peculiar operations. These are just a small sampling that met with backlash and called critical, judgmental and even religious.
Dr. George O. Wood, General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God gave some sound counsel to the Body of Christ. Regarding revivals he said, \"....a doctrinal test for any revival is whether the content of the preaching is the same as Jesus and the apostles. The Word of God stands over personal viewpoints.\"
Wood also said that revivals should content for the faith, \"Any Biblical revival must \'contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints\' (Jude 3). If so-called truth is being proclaimed that cannot be found in Scripture, then that proclamation violates the specific announcement of Scripture that the faith \'was once for all entrusted\' and such a proclamation also deviates from the apostles\' fidelity to preach the Word, and from the early Church\' s devotion to the apostles doctrine.\"
Reggie Scarborough, pastor of Family Worship Center in Lakeland, a charismatic congregation that frequently practices faith healing, told the Lakeland Ledger that he saw a lot of passion from Bentley, but there was too much hype. \"I just don\'t feel I can endorse something that\'s being exaggerated,\" said Scarborough. \"We hear about the dead being raised, but we don\'t know who they are or where they are.\" It\'s easy to get caught up in the hype, but it\'s also easy not to if you stay rooted and grounded in the World.
When it comes to the Lakeland Revival, there were plenty of mature Christian voices and organizations, including The Voice magazine, trumpeting the need to proceed with caution, to measure the very public prophecies and esoteric visions given at the \'outpouring\' against the written Word of God and to remember past historical lessons of unscriptural revival errors - and avoid a repeat performance.
LeClaire suggests considering the words of Jack Hayford, pastor of The Church on the Way in Van Nuys, California: \"With time, whatever is taking place in Lakeland and through activities issuing from its happenings will either verify or discredit the source of the manifestations.\" Indeed, Hayford\'s words ring prophetic. What\'s interesting is it didn\'t take long, LeClaire says. Hayford made that statement on May 20, 2008. In less than 90 days, the fruit of Bentley\'s personal life was manifest to the world.
\"While many were slow to discern the goings on in Lakeland, no one can defend an extramarital relationship that causes a married couple to separate. We do not yet know the extent of the \'exaggerated\' healing and miracle testimonies that came out of the Lakeland Outpouring. Nor do we know the extent of Bentley\'s character issues. These things will continue to unfold over the coming days, weeks and maybe months,\" LeClaire says.
\"I can only think of how all of this grieved the Holy Spirit and how many people were hurt and feel cheated by this whole experience. As leaders in the Body of Christ, we must point people to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith, not to a man, an angel or an outpouring. Hopefully we will learn some lessons here. If any repentance is in order this must surely be the time for it.\"
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