Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Someone asked me the other day what I knew about the Florida revival. My blank expression told them all they needed to know. I seem to recall a Welsh revival (in the Christian sense, rather than a recovery of form for the rugby team)

I now know there are meetings (broadcast on God TV apparently) led by someone called Todd Bentley where healings and miracles are supposed to be happening. I took a look on youtube at a couple of clips, and it was pretty scary stuff. One was an edit from someone hostile, so clips were out of context, but it was hard to imagine a context where it would be acceptable. He just seemed to be describing being violent to people and somehow this bringing healing. The second just involved the camera being on him a lot and him talking up the meeting without anything obvious going on except him getting emotional.

Please don't misunderstand me. It's not that I don't believe in God being able to communicate with us - otherwise listening to God in silent prayer would be pointless, as would reading the Bible. I also believe that praying for those who are ill is important and makes a difference - I do it in every church service I lead. I just can't square violence and self-indulgence with what I see of Jesus healing people in the Gospels.

Todd's getting a lot of people excited, but excited about what?


Matthew McMurray said...

I am with you on your point about squaring it up with the Gospels. In Tokens of Trust Rowan William spoke about prayer opening a door into heaven that somehow can effect a change on earth (or something to that effect). Perhaps the 'hype' (for want of a better word) can tap into this? I am cynical of these 'Revivals' and such things but have to admit that somewhere God might reach somebody. Perhaps it is more about people genuinely reaching out like the woman who had bled for twelve years (to return to Sunday's Gospel) to not be disappointed. However, I am sure that that can happen in a fairly quiet Church where somebody has lit a candle as well as a Church which seems more chaotic.

Matthew McMurray said...

*Rowan Williams

Mike Peatman said...

What was really scary about this guy is the fact that he describes essentially acts of violence as means of ministering healing.

Bizarre and harmful

Matthew McMurray said...

Do you have a link to the videos? I would be interested to see.

Mike Peatman said...

see next post