There’s been lots and lots written about the so called Florida Outpouring in Lakeland, some by people who have been, some not, some by those sympathetic to this sort of thing, others not. I thought it was about time I documented my thoughts and rounded up what I have read.
How are we to make sense of them? My concern is not with what is happening – God is certainly able to heal people and he does it a lot more often than we might think or see. But I worry about the showmanship of Todd Bentley – why does he need to push people in order for them to be slain in the Spirit? I also worry if there is a theme of money that seems to go with some of the visions, the significance of angels in what is happening, and whether the Jesus is really central – is he being worshipped and is there biblical input. And are the recipients of the outpouring actually being changed? I do not know the answers to these concerns, and perhaps it is still too early to say
So anyway, here’s some stuff that I have read about it:
First, a very-pro-Todd charasmatic from the UK defends Todd Bentley’s ministry.
An American charismatic makes some great points in expressing some reservations.
The Church Times carried an article some time ago about the lasting effects of the Toronto Blessing.
Also what is this phenomenon of people travelling to a place which is having a so-called revival in order to bring them back to wherever they live? Does God’s Spirit really work out of locations like that? I don’t think the Welsh revival of the late 1900s had many people travelling to it in the same way as we have seen with Kansas, Toronto and Florida. I’m sure TV (which has been invented since the Welsh revival) is having some effect here.
Yes, it is important to think about how God may be working in other places and learn from that. But fundamentally, whatever we think of this, it seems clear to me that wherever we are, our job is to get on with God’s work in our location by following the leadings of the Spirit as He leads in the appropriate way for our culture.