Why Does J. Lee Grady Of Charisma Magazine Want To AVOID A Charismatic War?
Posted by Job on July 9, 2008
I am going to quote Grady’s post in full below because it looks like when he puts a new entry up it overlays the previous one.
Some leaders say the controversial Lakeland Revival is forcing us to choose sides. But I don’t believe God wants to split our movement.
It’s been more than 10 years since charismatic prophet Rick Joyner predicted in his popular bookThe Final Quest that believers would experience a Civil War in the church. Joyner’s book, based on a series of visions he says God showed him, describes in graphic detail a turbulent conflict that redefines Christianity as we know it.Other charismatic leaders have echoed this theme since Joyner’s book was published in 1996. They have predicted that our movement will be divided between “Blues” (those who constantly live in the supernatural realm of dreams, visions and miracles) and “Grays” (those who rely more on their intellect), and that the Blues will win and usher in true revival as champions of the Holy Spirit’s power.Even in early 2008, before the Lakeland Revival erupted in Florida in April, some charismatic prophets were declaring that a great rift would divide those who believe in “the glory realm” and those who have a more conservative, left-brained approach to their faith. When God TV began its nightly broadcasts of evangelist Todd Bentley’s healing meetings in Lakeland, the Civil War prophecies reappeared overnight on hundreds of blogs and e-mail blasts.
“Jesus prayed that we would be one. There is no record of Him praying that we would split over doctrine.”
I’ll admit I was not paying too much attention to these Civil War predictions 10 years ago. But I was jolted into reality in May after I wrote an online column in which I raised honest questions about some of Bentley’s teachings and techniques. Even though I celebrated his passion and zeal, and praised God for the healings that were reported in Lakeland, I was immediately branded a revival critic and banished to the Gray camp.I became the bad guy because, by asking questions, I was “relying on my intellect.” To those in the Blue camp, my skepticism made me an enemy of the Holy Spirit and all things supernatural—even though I believe that all the supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit are for today!I tried to laugh this off at first. Surely, I imagined, my Christian brothers and sisters do not really think it is wrong for a Spirit-filled believer to test the spirits (which we are instructed to do in 1 John 4:1), discern truth (see 2 Pet. 3:17) or evaluate prophecies and angelic encounters (see 1 Cor. 14:29, Gal. 1:6-8).But now I realize that some people really want a war. They want the charismatic movement to split right down the middle. They imply that all those who do not embrace 100 percent of the current movement in Lakeland are “old wineskins” that cannot be used by God in the coming revival.I can’t even describe how much this hurts because I love people on both sides of this conflict. I love the Blues and the Grays, along with every other color in the body of Christ. I refuse to believe that God is trying to split us. Division is the devil’s work.I want to plead with everyone in our movement to reconsider the whole Civil War scenario. Instead of rattling sabers and stockpiling gunpowder, maybe we need to take steps in the opposite direction:1. Let’s accept one another. The apostle Paul rebuked the Corinthians because they exalted certain gifts above others. He reminded them that every member of the body of Christ plays an important role, and that no individual part—whether eye, hand or foot—functions on its own. He rebuked this elitist attitude “so that there may be no division in the body” (1 Cor. 12:25, NASB).Most of us already acknowledge the importance of supernatural gifts of healing, prophecy, tongues and other demonstrations of God’s power. But in our zeal to recover these gifts, let’s not isolate those whose primary functions may be mercy, giving to the poor, teaching or intercession. We should cherish every spiritual gift—not just the sensational or the exotic.2. Let’s admonish one another. Christians have not always been the best models of conflict resolution. When tension gets high we either avoid it (usually by saying nothing and hoping the problems go away) or we overreact (by childishly picking up our marbles and playing somewhere else). But the Bible tells us to work things out in eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation.In the case of Lakeland, there are some doctrines and methods that have come under intense scrutiny. Heresy hunters are having a field day as they toss their grenades and label everything in Lakeland demonic. But because I embrace Todd Bentley as my brother in Christ, I must take a higher road even if I don’t agree with his prayer methods or his claims regarding angels. Anything I say, even if it is corrective, must be said in love (see Eph. 4:15).Thankfully a group of leaders from various charismatic camps (both “Blues” and “Grays”!) are discussing the contentious issues surrounding Lakeland—and biblical confrontation is occurring. I trust this process will result in correction where it’s needed, apologies when necessary and more humility on all sides of the debate.3. Let’s pray for one another (see James 5:16). Jesus prayed that we would be one. There is no record of Him praying that we would split over doctrine. So why in the world would any of us hope for a Civil War?Please pray for Bentley—and for the leaders who are speaking into his life during this season. And pray that the church will not only experience genuine spiritual revival but also true unity. Let’s work out our differences, support one another’s ministries and focus all our efforts on one common goal: To tell a lost world about the love of Jesus.
J. Lee Grady is editor of Charisma.
People, this is how detached from reality we often get as Christians. First of all, the problems with Pentecostal and charismatic Christianity did not begin with Todd Bentley, and it won’t end with him. Look, there isn’t anything that Bentley is doing now that people like Benny Hinn haven’t been doing for DECADES. Second, the Crouch family has a global television network. Hello! Third, you have TONS of charismatic and Pentecostal movements in Asia, Latin America, and Africa that are syncretizing Christianity with local animist and pagan religions. Fourth, you have charismatic and Pentecostal Christians in the west that are going ever so closer to joining up with the Roman Catholic Church. (And speaking of the Crouches, they are paving the way for African and Arabic charismatics to join up with Islam, and the Roman Catholics are working on joining up with Muslims as well so that is a strange east – west thing going on there coordinated by the Vatican.) Fifth, you have the massive broad apostasy in the Word of Faith movement that asserts the deity of man while marginalizing or outright denying the deity of God. Sixth, there are the charismatics involved with the Center for National Policy and Council on Foreign Relations that are using their doctrines to ready the Christian world to support the new world order of anti – Christ globalism. So yes indeed, Todd Bentley is just a small part of what is going on, which is why I have not dedicated any real attention to him.
Now I respect Grady as being a sincere fellow who wants Pentecostalism to be biblically based, and uses his forum to fight that battle. But he seems not to understand that with all of the documented heretical movements – to speak nothing of the scandals – that have dogged the Pentecostal movement FROM ITS VERY BEGINNING, choosing to go ahead and fight some battles so that you can separate the offenders (that is true Christians that are rejected by the world) from the pretenders before the world. This gives Grady an excellent opportunity to follow the example of Moses in Exodus 32:26 and say “Who is on the LORD’s side? let him come unto me!” We Christians need to see who are the Levites are that will stand up and be saved, versus those who will not: the bull worshipers are that will either outright support the apostasy, and who are the fence sitters that will watch the battle hoping to join the side of the winner.
By using his position of influence to make this call, Grady can A) identify himself as being on the Lord’s side and B) make it publicly known that there are leading charismatics that care about sound doctrine and right practice. B) is particularly important because the born again charismatics need to know that there are good Christians in their movement whose fellowships they can join and pastors they can follow. But saying things like “But I don’t believe God wants to split our movement” … first of all if the charismatic movement is real it is God’s movement and not his, and a plain reading of the Bible knows that God WANTS apostates driven from His church. Second, his saying “I don’t believe God wants” … what, he isn’t SURE? He hasn’t received a revelation from the Holy Spirit? He doesn’t have a clear understanding from reading the Bible on what do do? If either is the case, then why speak? Why not be silent until he is sure that he is speaking for God and God is speaking through him lest the words that he speaks reflect the desires of his own flesh (or the desires of Satan as it were, and since Satan is the prince of this world the desires of the natural man and the desires of Satan are going to line up more often than not).
I have to say that a great deal of Grady’s column seems to be straight from “the church of judge not” and the chapel of “touch not mine anointed and do my prophet no harm.” (All he lacks is a “sex sells especially in the church” reference and a “John Hagee slaughter every Muslim man and woman and rip up all their women with child so Jesus can come back” speech to make him 4 for 4.) I mean, his saying that we should pray for these false preachers … Grady is perfectly aware that the Bible says that we are not so much as bid apostate preachers God speed!
So what is his agenda? I honestly wonder if Grady fears that a split in the Pentecostal movement would be bad press, and harm the group’s respectability in the eyes of the public and respectability in the Christian community, and Grady is willing to abide the doctrines and practices of a bunch of neo – gnostics, spiritists, and occultists just to keep his movement respectable and influential. If that is the case, then the call “who is on the Lord’s side, let him come to me” has already been made, and Grady has already chosen his side.