Friday, August 15, 2008

The Dangers of Losing Discernment

Charisma magazine editor J. Lee Grady has written a fantastic piece reflecting on the fallout from the sad debacle in Lakeland, Florida over the recent months, which has just come to an end with news that revival leader and faith healer Todd Bentley is separating from his wife. An excerpt...
"But among those who jumped on the Lakeland bandwagon, discernment was discouraged. They were expected to swallow and follow. The message was clear: “This is God. Don’t question.” So before we could all say, “Sheeka Boomba” (as Bentley often prayed from his pulpit), many people went home, prayed for people and shoved them to the floor with reckless abandon, Bentley-style...

...Many of us would rather watch a noisy demonstration of miracles, signs and wonders than have a quiet Bible study. Yet we are faced today with the sad reality that our untempered zeal is a sign of immaturity. Our adolescent craving for the wild and crazy makes us do stupid things. It’s way past time for us to grow up."

I have a whole host of concerns with the charismatic/pentacostal movement, but I applaud Grady here for putting a finger on a problem that's crippling the American church, and not just the pentacostals - the danger of zeal unpaired with careful discernment. From the start of the "Lakeland Revival," the Scriptures were abandoned and cheapened in the name of "the work of the Spirit." When a man seriously contends that God told him to heal an elderly woman by kicking her in the face, that should probably send up a couple red flags. If we truly want to know God, then we need to be carefully searching the revelation he's given us through his Word rather than following the fanciful constructions of our own minds.

HT: Desiring God

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