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A Personal View on Todays SoCalled Outpouring
by Fred London
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I have been a believer in the Lord since 1971. Of course, that doesn't make me infallible by any means as one who also is "looking through a glass darkly. I consider myself a perpetual student in The School of Christ and do not anticipate my graduation until the Lord returns or I go home to be with my Lord. I consider one of the worst sins to be that of an unteachable teacher. In recent years, I believe God has begun to transform me beyond the measure of specific giftings and has been cultivating within me the heart of a spiritual father. And so, it is from this father's heart that I wish to express a few thoughts.

As a point of personal reference, I have been with Charismatics and Fundamentalists, denominational and nondenominational expressions of the Church. I was saved during the move of God, popularly known as "The Jesus Movement" back in the late 1960's and 1970's. From that starting point, I saw the good, the bad, and the ugly, with a few genuine moves of God, and a great many movements of men. I believe in all of the gifts and ministries of the Holy Spirit, despite the misuse, abuse, misunderstanding and misapplication of these holy instruments of God. I have seen many who started with me who have truly gone on to maturity in the Lord and have seen many lost to spiritual shipwreck.

I have a Tshirt which says, "I have survived every wind of doctrine," which is somewhat indicative of the various popular fads, in teaching and practice, I have encountered over the years. I do not claim to have seen it all, so to speak, but I have seen enough, and at times more than I cared to see. However, the value of the experience goes beyond the individual, but rather, for the common good. I believe myself to be essentially an independent thinker, who in recent years, has existed primarily "outside the camp" of the institutional church.

As the saying goes, " Three strikes and you're out!" One could make the argument that no previous Christian generation has been blessed with more technical sophistication in the way of access to Scripture, Bibles in every form and translation, Bible studies and Bible study helps, teaching through mass media and so on, and yet been more spiritually shallow and lacking in discernment than any which has come before it. Now, that is quite an indictment.

Jesus, Paul, Peter and John for example, were relatively patient and compassionate towards the lambs and sheep. However, they were far more harsh with leaders, not only in reference to the Jewish religious system, but also leaders and teachers in the Church, "for to whom much is given, much is required." And when it came to blatant sin, including and especially, "false apostles, teachers and prophets," they tended to be ruthless when it came to protecting the sheep. What was the chief motivating factor? It was concern for the welfare of the Lord's sheep and the testimony of His House.

Among other things, they all exhibited a "father's heart," a true shepherd's heart. You could mess with them, but you could not mess with the sheep and get a way with it. More than that, they were more than willing to lay down their very lives for the sake of those sheep. Teachers and teachings are "a dime a dozen." Paul expressed it so well when he wrote to the Church at Corinth, "Though you would have many teachers, yet you would not have many fathers, for in Christ, I became your father through the gospel."

I only have three problems with this so-called "Revival" or "Outpouring." They are Scriptural, spiritual, and historical; Scriptural due to the unbiblical and extrabiblical words and practice, spiritual due to the strong scent of "strange fire" going out from its midst, a manmade concoction of impure anointing oil, and historical due to a gross absence of those characteristics which marked true revivals of the past, repentance, humility, brokenness, holiness, the overriding message of "Christ and Him crucified," and the preeminence of Christ and free reign of the Holy Spirit. As the saying goes, " Three strikes and you're out!"

When I was a younger believer, I generally had to just sit and take it, regardless of how I felt, even knowing in my spirit and heart that something amiss. Respect for authority was a valid reason, and so was peer pressure, authoritarian intimidation, and manipulation. I still have a healthy respect for Godgiven authority, and that is Biblically right and proper. But, no one is above accountability or scriptural examination or spiritual discernment. Now, that I am older, I don't have to just sit and take it anymore. "For solid food is for the mature, who because of practice, have their senses to discern good and evil." There simply is no substitute for "OJT" (on the job training).

Apply the Godgiven Scriptural mandate and process of "testing the spirits," "examining everything carefully," and the "passing of judgment," and you won't have someone like me having to warn you about "touching not the unclean thing." The Todd Bentley's of this world will not encourage you to implement this process and will continue to mock those who encourage you to do so. Why? If you haven't already, it is high time you discerned this for yourself.

Fred London

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