A couple of different people have sent me this article from Dutch Sheets in response to the revival in Lakeland, Fl.
I have to be honest, that most of the charismatic movement today makes me very nervous. (If you remember, Dutch Sheets is the guy in the "mess us up" video that we have talked about in earlier posts). Admittingly, I have never been a part of it and it is easy to dismiss things that you have never experienced. So, for that reason, I know that I have to be very careful not to judge something that I don't completely understand. My tendancy is going to be skepticism on this branch of Christianity, but then again I'm skeptical of most of modern Christianity anyway - so they shouldn't feel bad. :)
Additionally, I know that I am not the smartest guy in the room. I certainly can be wrong (I mean, hey, anything's possible) and I have to constantly remind myself that I am supposed to be quick to listen and slow to speak so that I don't embarrass myself or the name of Jesus.
Having said that, let me give a couple thoughts. Number one - I really liked what Dutch had to say. I thought his assessment of the charismatic church in general was very good. I appreciate his humble stance and his desire to remain in the center of God's truth. It's hard to disagree with someone who is accepting full responsibility for something. But let me do it anyway(Ha!)...
Overall, I appreciate the letter: content, tone, direction - everything. With one exception. He did not go near far enough. He said he didn't condemn the Lakeland meetings. It's great that he didn't endorse them (although later he says he endorsed some of it), that's going farther than most other Charismatic leaders would have done - but this meltdown didn't happen because mistakes were made by Todd Bentley or any of the people helping him. I believe it was the inevitable result of something that was never, even a little bit, of God in the first place.
Maybe I don't know enough about it to say that. I apologize if I am going too far - but everything I ever saw looked demonic in nature. The uncontrollable jerking and shaking, Emma the angel, the violent way He (supposedly) healed people, all the things that Pastor Sheets said made him "uneasy". He thinks God was still moving in spite of these things. It seems like a better explanation that fits the context of what was happening is these were counterfeit signs and wonders that the Bible says Satan can perform. (2 Thess. 2:9) What other conclusion can you come to when Todd Bentley is telling people to "believe in the angel (Emma)" if they want to be healed?
Anyway - that's my two cents.