LAKELAND, FL: My thoughts….(Part 6)

Posted by Gabriel (G²) on June 25, 2008

Regarding the Lakeland, Florida, I’m reminded of something my friend said on the issue:

Well can you give an honest evaluation of the state of the kids when they came home?

I went – I didn’t see Todd teaching the worship of angels. It was all about Jesus. The one young woman who went with us was radically impacted for Jesus. Time will tell what fruit has been produced but I was touched by her obvious willingness to share Christ

Good Thoughts——just like with examining the fruit a tree makes and how it takes time for the full fruit of the tree to be manifest, so it is with movements in the name of the Lord. Only when the fruit’s fully manifested and things can be fully seen can one conclude whether or not they were impacted by God (though on some things, one can tell pretty quickly based on when the Word says “If they do this, that means this…”)”

Matthew 12
Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand. 26If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then can his kingdom stand? 27And if I drive out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your people drive them out? So then, they will be your judges. 28But if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.29″Or again, how can anyone enter a strong man’s house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man? Then he can rob his house.30″He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters. 31And so I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. 32Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.
33″Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. 34You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. 35The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. 36But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. 37For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”
Luke 3:8
Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. The axe is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.”

Luke 6 <H5>A Tree and Its Fruit



43″No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. 44Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. 45The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.
The Wise and Foolish Builders 46″Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? 47I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice.


John 15The Vine and the Branches 1″I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[] so that it will be even more fruitful. 3You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

5″I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. 8This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

Galatians 5:17-23
17For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. 18But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.19The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
dEphesians 5:8-108
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9(for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth)



Many others besides this….but something which has been of great help to me ( as another Brother well said on the issue)

We need to start with humility. That is, biblical humility. Luke 14:11. We must recognize ourselves as sinners before the holy God. There is no other place to start.2 Chronicles 7:14– 2 Chronicles 7:13-15/ 2 Chronicles 7 describes who we should be before our God:

  • A Person of God (My People)
  • Humble ourselves
  • Pray and Seek God’s face
  • Turn from our wicked ways

To be humble, we must be the opposite of proud. See Psalm 10:4, Psalm 31:23, Proverbs 8:13, Proverbs 11:2, Proverbs 16:18, Proverbs 29:23, Obadiah 1:3, Matthew 23:12, and James 4:6 to start with.

2 Chronicles 12

So, see Isaiah 57:15 to see what God is drawn to.

15 For this is what the high and lofty One says—
he who lives forever, whose name is holy:
I live in a high and holy place,
but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit,
to revive the spirit of the lowly
and to revive the heart of the contrite.

“The essential vice, the utmost evil, is Pride. Unchastity, greed, drunkenness, and all that, are mere flea-bites in comparison: it was through Pride, that the devil became the devil: Pride leads to every other vice: It is the complete anti-God state of mind.” C.S. Lewis, Seeking Him, P. 25

The commentator also recommened me an EXCELLENT book called “Seeking Him: Experiencing the Joy of Personal Revival by DeMoss and Grissom.

very promising and if I’m able to get the $$$$$$ for it, would love to investigate—-But Nancy Leigh DeMoss is simply phenomenal, as I read one of her books entitled “BROKENNESS: The Heart God Revives” 3yrs ago at a youth camp before my upcoming Senior Year in Highschool.Brokenness : The Heart God Revives

..and of course, the book was phenemonal to read/really challenged me GREATLY. Ended up discussing it for a good while with others too and seeing MUCH FRUIT as I went through the Bible and began examining what a TRUE REVIVAL SHOULD LOOK LIKE—ONE GOD BEGINS AND WHERE HEARTS ARE CHANGED.

Some other resources which may be helpful

An excerpt from one of the resources:

Quote:The Toronto-related activities were not different in kind than what Finney or Spurgeon or Edwards saw in their times. However, the mark of those great revivals was not the signs and wonders. Those revivals became famous for the way they changed every aspect of the lives of those who came forward. Their new-found faith was manifested :

  • in the way they spent their money,
  • in the way they raised their children,
  • in their concern for the poor,
  • in their opposition to slavery;
  • in their rejection of drunkenness, and sex outside of marriage,
  • in their support of the public rights of women;
  • in their business practices and public administrations,
  • when they are turning away from their own evils;
  • in their community-building activities,

and so on. By changing lives, those revivals affected the whole nation, both believers and unbelievers. By that standard, the great number of people in the Blessing should have made a much greater impact.

I’ve said it before elsewhere, but that was very interesting to me, as many who’re for Revival like David and Leonard Ravenhill have spoken on the issue (like with Brownsville/TB )and said the same thing about revival—-if there’s not a transformation in lifestyle, somehthing’s off regarding whether or not it’s a Revival. And though many have been changed in many of the revivals occuring in the 70’s and on, many have also remained the same.
Something else from the site REFRRENCED EARLIER that was a great blessing


1 Corinthians 12:10
to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues.

Discernment is more than just a process. Even for the most ‘material’ or ‘nitty-gritty’ matters, there is a Spirit at work nudging us, leading us, even pulling us by the nose ring. Even for the most ‘spiritual’ matters, there are disciplines, methods, processes, means, and tools which the Spirit can work through to help us discern rightly. Discernment isn’t usually a sudden zap from beyond, but something which emerges from hard work.

Learn to discern. Yearn to discern.

“It is impossible to frame a doctrine of the Holy Spirit by taking all the data indiscriminately and forcing them into the Procrustean bed of a formal system. We have to discriminate between what is true and what is false, … between what is primary and what is secondary, between what is central and what is peripheral;… between testimonies concerning the Spirit which reflect different levels of apprehension, between those which belong to different stages of the divine economy, and between those which have relation to different moments in the dialectic of spirit.”
George Hendry, *The Holy Spirit In Christian Theology*, p.13

When the Spirit is on the move, it’s characterized by:

  • Christ-centered spirituality in every aspect of life;
  • Rejection of all prejudice, class/ethnic/educational barriers, exclusiveness, and denominational warfare. When it follows the Spirit, the Body of Believers knowingly chooses to counter-model prejudices by living without regard to them.
  • bringing attention and worship to Jesus Christ, and awareness of God’s/Jesus’/Spirit’s work.
  • an unusual level of passion, energy, or impact.

These are the main things to look for in discerning about something:

  • it is governed by love, for if it is not, it’s worthless ( 1 Corinthians 13:1-3);
  • it centers us onto Jesus the Christ and Lord ( 1 Cor 12:3), and His good news;
  • it directs us to Scripture, not away from it ( Isaiah 8:19, 20);
  • it builds up the church and its members ( Ephesians 4:11-12), giving it power, wisdom, character, boldness, and unity.
  • it helps create in us a love of righteousness, a heightened sense of sin, and a turning away from known evil.
“The mystery of Pentecost is that the gift of discernment is breathed into the world, enabling us to see the presence of the divine in the midst of the human — not as an aside or an afterthought, but as the main event of our lives”
Jay Rochelle, in *Christian Century*, 22 May 1985, p. 535

‘Discernment’ is sometimes used as a catch-word for speaking against others (as with some ‘discernment ministries’), or to defeat them in a struggle for power or influence, or just to pick at them until they quit or retreat. Discerning eyes look for whether something that’s labeled ‘discernment’ is done from love, or whether it just is a clanging gong or a noisy cymbal. Jesus didn’t call us to love ideas, he called us to love people. John put it as bluntly as he could :

“One who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” (I John 4:8)

When discerning, the Christian must keep in mind why he/she is doing it. Ask yourself, “If I raise this issue, how am I pointing people to Christ? How am I helping them grow in the Spirit? In what way am I loving them?” If there’s no answer to those questions, or if you have to stretch far and wide to come up with a complicated or weak answer, then it’s best not to speak. Indeed, it’s time to focus on listening, because it may be your time to learn.

Something else my friend brought up,
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I think people confuse the issue holiness. Holiness vs the common.
Holy people have within them ‘the common’ it is not unholy but just common. So when a Bentley goes BAM!!! it certainly doesn’t appear holy but its not unholy — just common.
For the nay sayers its food for the fire but it wouldn’t matter – Bentley isn’t a graduate of a seminary. He isn’t going to have a polished theological approach. It will be holy or common.

Personally – I relate to the common. I strive for holy but understand common.
Be blessed, andrea

Actually, I was seeing it from the angle of how many people see things which’re UNCOMMON as UNHOLY……the “BAM!!!BAM!!!” gig honestly doesn’t perterb me, as I’ve seen weirder but it was with folks who in their theology were QUITE ORTHODOX/ON POINT…Joseph Garlington being an example, who is the pastor of my pastor (www.libertychurch.org) since his style of preaching’s radically different from many—-sometimes he’ll be speaking a message and then midway or unexpectantly he’ll begin singing his message and including the audience in singing along, and from there worship will happen, and it’s cool seeing his gifted worship ministry has influenced churches of all types and worship styles, charismatic and noncharismatic. Should you do a Google Video Search, you should be able to find some clips of Him).

Smith Wiggleworth ( considered one of the most influential evangelists in the early history of Pentecostalism & also credited with helping give the movement a large religious audience, ), if I recall, once was at a healing ralley and punched someone in a Stomach who had cancer. Folks were shocked (As I was too), but the person got healed and served the Lord…..but that’s not necessarily recorded in the Word—and it’s not something he made into a “gimmick”/regular practice. Same with John G.Lake (though his supporting of William Brahnam on EVERYTHING I’m not cool with—as there were many things he was OFF on and should’ve been called out like his views on the TRINITY, but thankfully agreeing with some things he was for doesn’t equate to my agreeing with the man on EVERY issue just like I don’t agree with Lee Strobel and how he endorsed the “Purpose Driven Life”, despite his wonderful book “Case for Christ”….or Jack Deere, seeing that he associates with Bickle/others from the Kansas City Prophets even though previously his book “Surprised by the Power of the Spirit/The Voice of God” written during his trasition from a die-hard cessationist to one for the Charismatic Gifts was spot on….).

Other things he did also seemed interesting, like When he was forbidden to lay hands on audience members by the authorities in Sweeden and he instead developed a method of “corporate healing”, by which people laid hands on themselves. And as odd as that is, Jesus did odd things too. Spit in a man’s eyes, if I recall (John 9:1-7):

Same thing with with many folks from the Azusa Street Revival (John G. Lake being a notable example)…..and many folks from today like Heidi Baker, whose ministry with the children in Africa has seen some amazing things. Things like not having enough chicken/food to feed and the Lord doing something akin with what happened with Elisha and the Widow (II Kings 4)…..more of it can be found in her book:

Expecting Miracles: True Stories of Gods Supernatural Power and How You Can Experience It, Heidi and Rolland Baker ). People sometimes diss them on the basis that since what often happens in their ministry DIDN’T HAPPEN IN THE NT (had one person say, “So you’re gonna pick and choose from the OT, huh? Do AX HEADS still float around too?)…and the same goes for many of my friends who go out to highschools and have seen folks healed of many things in RADICAL WAYS (David Root actually did a series on the issue….)

And then there’s Jesus Himself

John 20:30
Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book..John 21:25
Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.

As John explained he had been selective rather than exhaustive in His testimony….and although selective, the truth revealed in John’s Gospel is sufficient to bring anyone to Christ/Faith in the Messiah and Son of God (John 14:26, John 16:13). But I don’t think that means there weren’t other things that Jesus did unrecorded which may’ve been a bit controversial/uncommon. Jesus Himself, if I recall, and others seemed to do healings/meeting needs in ways which seemed to be “odd” (including times where it seemed odd to “command” someone to do something, John 5:7-9
Luke 5:23-25 ,Acts 3:4-6 , Acts 8:6-8, Acts 14:8-10, Acts 28:7-9 ). We have narrative of what happened after they prayed for folks, but in many none of the finer details/descriptions of their facial expressions, energy, gestures, how long they prayed, whether they were low-key or serious, etc. What would that look like today? (and I wonder if many of us would have issue if preachers HAD instances went around doing these things too, as there seemed to be no logicial reason behind why Jesus did it—-plus the fact that it did INITIALLY seem outright nasty, IMHO):

John 9
Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind 1As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”3″Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life. 4As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. 5While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
6Having said this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. 7″Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means Sent). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.
Mark 7:30-56
The Healing of a Deaf and Mute Man 31Then Jesus left the vicinity of Tyre and went through Sidon, down to the Sea of Galilee and into the region of the Decapolis.[a] 32There some people brought to him a man who was deaf and could hardly talk, and they begged him to place his hand on the man.33After he took him aside, away from the crowd, Jesus put his fingers into the man’s ears. Then he spit and touched the man’s tongue. 34He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, “Ephphatha!” (which means, “Be opened!” ). 35At this, the man’s ears were opened, his tongue was loosened and he began to speak plainly.

36Jesus commanded them not to tell anyone. But the more he did so, the more they kept talking about it. 37People were overwhelmed with amazement. “He has done everything well,” they said. “He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”

Honestly, if Jesus did something as outrageous as this, that makes some pause at the myriad of other crazy things he could’ve done that the WOrd’s silent upon—-Same thing with other things prophets were called to do that seemed pretty outrageous back in the day, such as another mentioned with the issue of Isaiah and what God called him to do at one point:

Even I have some “quirks” on things that would trip some people out—such as the fact that when I’m praying and things begin to come in my mind, I get so excited that I sometimes pace around rapidly like I’m on the “hunt” for something or I may bounce around out of excitment. Being in Track & Field for 6yrs and having so much energy, there have been times when I’ve gotten so excited during a good ol’ fashion prayer meeting that I’ll go outside and simply RUN AROUND due to how much excitment I have (though generally, when I pray, I’m pretty calm/casual about it in praying what the Word says and letting God work). Some people when praying simply say “Hallejuah!!!” or “Thank you JESUS!!!!” ALOT…and others when praying begin acting as if they’re having a conversation with God, saying things like “That’s really cool Lord seeing what you did back in this Scripture—I praise you for that, and for sister Sallly, I pray you do the same…..” Some people shake their heads as if they’re given an “amen” to something or start chuckling to themselves when thinking on the Word of God and how cool it’ll be to see God move or when they think of how faithful/radical He is according to Scripture.

Some people when they’re praying will begin and then stop—as if the Holy Spirit’s saying something to them or they’re pondering something the Word says before praying again—and then they’ll go back to praying or even begin praying something completely different than what was asked for (and often it turns out that the thing they suddenly begin praying was an even GREATER ISSUE). And then again, I’ve also seen people be very quiet/meek when praying AND went straight through—but how powerful were their PRAYERS!!!

Some people when they’re

and on the flip side of things, I’ve also seen kats who were very reserved/smooth and yet when they opened their mouths, EVERY HERESY/ANTI-CHRIST mentality one could possibly think of came right on out—-and you probably would’ve never caught it due to how charismatic/charming they were and able to turn things around so that it seemed like all was cool. Of course, God’s Word talks about that

:Matthew 10:16
I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves


Romans 16
17I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. 18For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people. 19Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I am full of joy over you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil.
Watch Out for Those Who Lead You Away from the Truth

Of course, the issue isn’t whether or not one’s reserved/casual or eccentric as a sign of godliness/authencity—-but of one’s heart intent and the FRUIT of their actions/teachings that makes the difference….For example, when most people see kats like Jakes, Bynum and numerous others, they seen their preaching styles and methodologies alongside the erroneous doctrines they’ve brought out—-and consequently, go to say that EVERYTHING they did was off. If you’re hollering like they are, you’re simply being emotional. If you’re saying “touch your neighbor and say.___” then you’re working the crowd.

However, I don’t think it’s necessarily an “either or” scenario. For example, One of the most godly/GOSPEL-CENTERED fellowshipS I know of named Epiphany Fellowship once had a preacher teaching on Proverbs 7 and buddy, THE MAN COULD PREACH. But for every holler/scream he did, it was worth it due to how the GOSPEL WAS BEING PLACED FORTH. If the minister when praying started saying “Bam Bam!!!”, I wouldn’t of tripped as the rest of the fruit in his lifestyle would’ve been consistent enough to be cool with—and folks would know where he was coming from.

Nothing wrong, with a preacher who acts very energetic/animated when conducting a sermon (i.e. hoping/hollering, telling the audience “Turn to your neighbor and say……”, using eccentric humor/methods, etc……Being raise around it, I guess I’m used to it, and kind of like it too)…….but when all it is is just HOOP’N and theatrics, I gots a problem..

For the sake of humor, take note of something:
the way?

For the sake of a laugh:

The commercials with this dude where he walks in and literally a block-party starts with folk yelling “KOOL-AID!!!!” were HILARIOUS!!!! Funny Comical Enough as it is, it can serve to make ya think a bit.

As silly as it’d be for us to trip on the “KOOL AID” dude being “taken out even though he simply spilt some juice/it’s not ESSENTIAL TO LIFE, I wonder at times how often our responses to things are just as comical……”Ok, folks, we don’t want to push folks over due to how some elsewhere did that/that was jacked up….and some folks wrongly seek this thing, so make sure no one falls back at any costs so we don’t encourage it….and try to keep things calm, making certain no one acts crazy (and if it’s people we don’t know, tell em’ to shut up so things won’t seem weird) CRUD!!! Someone fell backward during THE SERVICE!!!! SOMEONE CRYING NON-STOP AND THEY’RE NOT STOPPING!!! SOMEONE DANCED VIBRANTLY DURING THE PRAISE AND WORSHIP!!!!! THEY’RE RUNNING AROUND!!!!! JUMPING/SHOUTING DURING WORSHIP SAYING HALLEJUAH/AMEN!!!!! NOW WE’RE IN SIN!!! THEY’RE POSSESSED/GOING TO HELL!!!! THEY DON’T/WON’T HUNGER TO KNOW GOD ANYMORE, NOR WILL THEY READ THEIR BIBLES AND STUDY TO SHOW THEMSELVES APPROVED, II Timothy 2:15!!!! THEY WON’T BE ABLE TO WITNESS TO THEIR NEIGHBORS/TELL OF THE POWER OF THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST!!!!”/ GOD’S NO LONGER SOVEREIGN!!!!!! NEXT, THEY’LL BE THROWING UP EVERYWHERE, CLUCKING OR BARKING LIKE DOGS!!!!!!! (You get the idea….)

Personally (THOUGH some of the things I’ve seen were indeed EXCESSIVE/SCARY), there are other things I’ve witnessed that seemed more low-key even when they were still a bit eccentric..and for a practical example, consider investigating this: http://video.google.com/videosearch?…le&sitesearch= (as this served as a SPRING BOARD for discussing appropiate behaviors at paticular meetings for Believers)

Many haD various feelings on the issue. For example, one kat against it said:
Another also said this:

As a singer, I can be on the verge of tears when and as I sing to some slow or mid-tempo tracks. I can also display exuberance when performing a fast track and/or one that is particularly rhythmic. The book of Psalms does give NUMEROUS instsances of when praise is given and the types of praise that is offered.Having established this premise, these ridiculous displays seen in church today of shouting, screaming, running, “tongues” and “dancing” to the point of sweating out one’s suit is absolutely pathetic. I distinctly remember walking out of a “service” early over 5 years ago because the pandemonium went on for more than 30 minutes (long before the offering would be collected and the message given). I was already tired of having to stand on my feet for near an hour for “praise and worship” before this hideous display came about. Those “officiating” the “service” were literally egging people on throughout the entire time.

I appreciate those that provided a succint argument on this subject. The bible is quite clear on what the standards are. There are just too many in the church that have simply bastardized what otherwise should be a beautiful thing

Others feeling the same said this:

I am afraid that he, and those like him, will show the same exact behavior at a church member’s funeral.“Oh, he graduated! He’s with the Lord!” Jump up and down and shout Hallelujah! Sing a rousing victory song. Yes, they certainly may be with the Lord; but why did the disciples make great lamentation for him at his death and burial in Acts 8? They were filled with the Spirit. Didn’t they know how to whoop it up over his victory? They knew for certain Stephen was with the Lord. After all, just moments before he proclaimed that he saw the heavens opened with Jesus standing (in honor, I believe). That was a glorious martyrdom, but his loss was keenly felt. Tabitha in Acts 9 had all the widows weeping at her death. Her loss was keenly felt. A Christian’s death should be mourned, not celebrated. They’re dead and you’ve lost a valuable member of the Body. Ok, I got off topic, but these strangenesses are related in Charismatics way too much. It’s an embarrassment. It is modeled by these flash and fire pastors who keep their people mesmerized by histrionics when they preach rather than teaching and modeling truth.
One of the best definitions of salvation that ever came into my mind was that salvation makes you normal. It is what is meant by God in Ezekiel 36 “I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”God gives us a heart of flesh, meaning He restores normal humanity after repentance, without the stoniness of sin any more – childlikeness without childishness.

So, I look for normalcy in people claiming salvation. No excessive or unnatural ways about them like this fellow showed. Christians should have a mature sense of occasion and keep it….

In the charismatic churches, the decorum of their services range from occasionally exuberant praise to relative quietness. They’re generally not much different than services in nearby Methodist or Baptist churches. The preaching is expository, or topical and is understandable.

The hyper-charismatic ones have the screeching preachers who can’t make two consecutive sentences without a sharp “Hunh!” They run around the stage gesturing wildly while their congregations get increasingly excited. There is cheap, staccato organ music punctuating every dramatic utterance of the preacher. The sermons are prooftexts strung together incongruously about receiving power and fire and breakthrough and deliverance. The Spirit has more focus than the Father in Heaven. They are much more likely to have women bishops and apostles than regular charismatic churches. They are the kind that would whoop it up at funerals. I even have an example of this. A nurse friend of mine, who now attends a local Methodist church, went to a funeral some years ago for the mother of a co-worker. The viewing was held in a holiness/charismatic church . Their raucous hollering, praising and dancing in front of the coffin unnerved my friend completely. She wanted to run out of there. Even though she had attended charismatic churches throughout her earlier life, she had never witnessed anything like that. Her evaluation of them was “They’re nuts.”

It’s these kinds of things that cause me to make a distinction between charismatics and hyper-charismatics.

I think the video is kind of funny. I do see all of the points that people have made about this kind of behavior. There is some validity in everyone’s response, but I don’t take this kind of stuff seriously. When it comes down to “emotionalism in the church”, everybody has their own way in expressing themselves. Now, there is a difference betwen expressing how you truly feel, as opposed to expressing yourself, because this is how the church is TELLING YOU to do this, in order to be “anointed(this word is a whole other story). Coming from a Pentecostal background, I enjoy the music, hand-clapping, and the foot-stomping. The Bible does talk about “praise through instruments and dance”. As a dancer, I think dance is a spiritual journey, whether it’s in church or not. What I don’t like are the mind-games that people in the church play on people to dominate people’s emotions. For example:”Touch your neighbor and say neighbor, God’s got a blessing for you, just dance on it”. “10 seconds of praise music, then it cuts off—–Alright ya’ll, we have to move one”. “The Lord is sending a money cloud over our way, let’s praise our way into our blessing”. LOL!!! I can go on and on and on. There is so much “self” involved in all of this “priming and pumping”, that people don’t even know why they are doing all of this. If you are not careful, you could fall into the trap of being a “mindless church zombie”.

Others, however, said in defense:

I was thinking about that this morning while I was on the elliptical machine this morning at the gym. I was listening to my praise music on my mp3 player. I just began to thank the Lord for all He is in my life and well to just praise Him. Not in a loud wild way, I was singing quietly where my neighbor could probably hear me. Was I too loud , or too public with my worship? I don’t think so but some may have been offended . I’m not sure I really didn’t care.Was I doing it to bring attention to myself, of course not. Who wants to see a out of shape sweaty brother singing Chris Tomlin songs. I have no doubt some may think my place of worship was inappropriate. Maybe others think I shouldn’t raise my hands in worship in public. I guess my point is we should we be careful at judging others motives when it comes to something as personal as worship/praise.
I understand your criticism of this brother; however, how do we define “normalcy in people claiming salvation?” For example, if a person cried everyday for a year after the death of a loved one-would that be considered normal? What if they cried everyday for two years (2 hours per day)? How do we determine what is “normal” human behavior? Also, what would a mature sense of occassion have looked like in this case? Moreover, what objective would have been used to measure it? By the way, I am not affirming the behavior exhibited in the video (lol).

On adressing the question of what’s normal, one person responded back:

@ PreacherK. The Bible defines certain aspects of the emotional life in humans as being wrong: Excessive affection, unnatural affection, and past feeling, (callous). These are all abnormal effects of sin on the soul. They are in various degrees in all of us because of sin and the general corruption of humanity.I don’t have some sort of yardstick to determine, say, how much grief is normal. The person’s overall behavior and personality would have to be taken into account in order to determine if his grief was normal. People who are given to excessive affections may very well display excessive grief. People who are past feeling may exhibit little to no grief. People with unnatural affections would whoop it up at a funeral.

I selected the word “normal” deliberately, and not “typical” or “usual” because it comes from the word “norm” which means “standard” or “natural.” God’s Word is our “norm” or “standard.” He tells us how we are to live. Even about grief, we are commanded not to grieve as the others who have no hope. So, God’s word places a reasonable limit on even that tremendous emotion. He does not want it excessive, otherwise, He would not have mentioned it in His word.

“Normal,” is something I think people know when they see it. The man in the video was clearly demonstrating unnatural affection because his behavior was unnatural to the occasion. Everyone, including his poor bride, was aware of it but him. I ask myself where he got that. Maybe it was his own personality aberration; but I believe his church and/or denomination is responsible. I know I can’t prove that his reaction to the trigger phrase “the power of the Holy Spirit” came from his church, but, if I were a gambling person, I’d bet the farm on it.

My big concern about this issue of normalcy is not so much about the individuals in the churches who have extreme or strange traits; it’s more about what they’re being taught and how they’re being handled by leadership. In my experience, some people that are undisciplined or out-of-control are given platforms of ministry by the pastors because that is the way the pastors are too.

To a degree, I can see where everyone’s coming from. As with many others, I’m grieved by the general lack of discernment exercised by many of our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ– many of whom may be sincere in their efforts even though they are misguided..and IMHO, it’s our responsibility to humbly challenge their claims on biblical and theological grounds. Unfortunately, the attitude that many of us display, including myself from time to time, prevents us from engaging them in meaningful and edifying conversations. Also, Granted that ORDER/DISCIPLINE are things within the Word of God during meetings of a significant kind…1 Corinthians 14:26-33 (Orderly Worship)

33For God is not a God of disorder but of peace.

Everything done in worship services must be done in harmony/with order beneficial to the worshippers. This principle touches every aspect–singing, preaching, and the exercise of spiritual gifts.
Those contributing to the service (singers, speakers, readers) must have love as their chief motivation….and must do things in a way that will strengthen the faith of other believers……

When there’s chaos, the church is not allowing God to work among believers as He would like…..but regardless of disagreements I may have on things, for me it wasn’t something to make into a matter of “RIDE OR DIE” (as they say on the streets), nor is it one where folks need to go to war over


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