Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Burned Out District

There have been several blogs and commentaries regarding the "Lakeland Revival". Last May we were at a graduation ceremony for a Christian home school co-op when one of the graduates exclaimed that we needed to wake up and see God at work and that "there was a revival going on in Florida". I am always skeptical when it comes to charismatic "big tent" revival deals. SO, I was skeptical of the "outpouring" in Florida. Within the last week or so the leader of the meetings has come forward and announced that he is separated from his wife. Regardless of his beliefs in the miracle "business", he needs our prayer, he needed it before this but never the less it is never good when families break up.

There has been an article posted on Charisma magazine's site about the fall out of this guy's abrupt pronouncement. The article includes a hearty look at the discernment of charismatics and the embracing of this "revival" in particular. There are several telling statements. One thing that Andy pointed out to me and just kinda made me frustrated was this:
They sensed something amiss when he wore a T-shirt with a skeleton on it. They wondered why a man of God would cover himself with tattoos.
I find it appalling that this guy is called into question about bones and tattoos, but not terrible theology. There are other really sound arguments that J. Lee Grady makes in his post, however to quote that people had a problem with Bentley because of his tattoos and clothing choices is just sad. The comments are nestled in a larger paragraph that explains how people were reacting to Bentley's statements regarding angelic visitations and tackling people during prayer. I mean, the dude is wacky and so was a lot of what was going on in Florida at the "revival". But why is it that Christians (in particular) have this aversion to people with tattoos and the fashionable sense of skulls and skeletons? I realize that some people's hang ups are do to the stereotyping of people with tattoos being criminals or pirates (when was the last time you saw a real pirate, and Johnny Depp doesn't count). I know godly men who have tattoos. And I know that they love Jesus and are being used by Him to reach others and to glorify Himself with their lives.

John Piper has a great post on his blog about testing revival with doctrine.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Young Men

One of my duties that I delight in here (at Hope) is I get to disciple young men. Our Guys small group: D-Group, has started back with it's intimacy and intensity. For forty minutes or so these young men have to listen to me rant about something. Last year we dove head long into Biblical Manhood and studied Christian world view. Last night we began a survey of Colossians. We did a run through of chapter one. I emphasized the Gospel that changes lives and produces fruit (Col. 1:4-6), our need for a Savior (v 21) and the truths that Jesus was and is God and that He is the hope of Glory. (vs. 15-20 ; 27). Another truth that stood out was Paul's declaration that through the preaching of the Gospel we fill up what is lacking in Christ's affliction (v 24), namely the proclamation of this Gospel. Passing it on to others, the Good News or the Gospel reaches it's full meaning in the preaching of it. Jesus' death by itself is sufficent and lacking nothing for the salvation of man, however how will anyone ever trust in this sacrifice if they never hear about it? (Romans 10:13-15)

Well, young and older men need to be challenged with proclaiming the Gospel. And even though I agree with Francis of Assisi, that we need to "preach the Gospel and sometimes use words", I am confident that unless we use words that our friends and our enemies will not trust in this great gospel of grace.

"But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame." 1 Peter 3:14-16

So prepare yourself by reading this post at the Re:surgence 5 Dangers for Young Men