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Holy Spirit Etiquette and Praying with Violent Faith – Todd Bentley, Lee Grady, and Charisma

Somebody sent me Lee Grady’s recent article (posted below), which I agree with in part. Undoubtedly unusual occurrences and methods are at times prompted by the Holy Spirit, but the normal practice is to walk in the fruit of the Holy Spirit while yielding to and giving place to God’s mighty manifestations.

I remember when I was ministering throughout France one guy came to the altar with a spirit of pride and began speaking in demonic tongues. I felt led by the Spirit to hit him in the stomach and dislodge the demon troubling him. I gave him a good beating to say the least, but honestly the breakthrough never came because of my fleshly violence. The breakthrough came when I simply asked (well, kind of commanded in the spirit of boldness – to the joy and perhaps embarassment of his wife) the man to get on his knees.

Once the man was on his knees and surrendered his life to Jesus, then the drama stopped and the gentle Holy Spirit powerfully did his work in the man’s heart. How do I know the Spirit led the unusual altercation at the altar which was unordinary for me? Well, the man wasn’t offended in the least and went away happy. Perhaps he was simply so hungry for God that he was gracious to get ahold of the Lord any way possible. Nevertheless there was something accomplished with boldness and gentleness simultaneously.

We therefore must be led by the Spirit to love and lift people into the loving Presence of a living God. (Romans 8:14)

Check out my France video for a good laugh and a lesson in spiritual dynamics – www.DreamMakerMinistries.com

Paul F Davis – author of God vs. Religion

www.PaulFDavis.com

RevivingNations@yahoo.com

 

BAM! POW! WHEN PRAYER MINISTRY Gets VIOLENT
-by J. Lee Grady (Charisma).

Lakeland Revival leader Todd Bentley’s unusual prayer methods
have triggered questions about Holy Spirit etiquette. For weeks the
blogosphere has been sizzling with comments, pro and con, about
the unusual ministry style of Todd Bentley, the leader of the
Lakeland Revival in Florida. Thousands of people have watched the
tattooed evangelist shout “Bam! Bam!” as he prays for the sick and
interviews those who say they were instantly healed.

Nobody could ever accuse Bentley of lacking zeal. And he always
gives Jesus the credit for the healings he announces on God TV
every night. But he has come under fire because of video clips
from a sermon in which he says the Holy Spirit told him to use
violent means to heal people.

The sermon, preached in Lakeland and posted on YouTube,
features Bentley demonstrating how he (1) banged a woman’s
crippled legs “like a baseball bat” on a stage; (2) tackled,
mounted
and choked a man to free him from a demon; (3) shoved a Chinese
man to the ground to pray for him (causing the man to lose a tooth);
(4) kicked an older woman in the face with his biker boot to heal
her; and (5) “leg-dropped” a pastor—a professional wrestling
tactic,
popularized by Hulk Hogan, in which the aggressor jumps in the
air and lands on his opponent with one leg outstretched.

When we asked Bentley about his unorthodox methods, he
assured Charisma that none of the people were hurt and that
many were healed. He also explained that British evangelist Smith
Wigglesworth, a legend in the hall of fame of Pentecostal
preachers, used similar methods.

So if Wigglesworth healed a man by punching him in the stomach,
and Bentley sees similar results by using techniques borrowed
from the World Wrestling Entertainment, does that mean we
should teach all altar workers to become more aggressive?

I know that people have been healed in the meetings in Lakeland. I
know of a woman from South Carolina who was healed of cystic
fibrosis while sitting in one of Bentley’s services. (She was never
touched by anyone.) I also know a man from California who was
healed of sleep apnea while watching the Lakeland revival on
television. Jesus is most definitely still in the healing business.

I also know that Bentley is not performing Hulk Hogan stunts from
the stage in Lakeland every night. But because his comments
about violent prayer have been so widely broadcast, we need to
call a timeout and make it clear that hitting people is wrong, period.
Bentley’s teaching on unorthodox prayer methods should include a
disclaimer: “DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME.” Here are three reasons why:

1. The Holy Spirit is gentle. Jesus boldly drove the moneychangers
out of the temple with a whip. But when He prayed for sick people,
there is no record of Him head-banging or leg-dropping anyone. He
rebuked evil spirits authoritatively, but He never hit, slapped,
choked, mounted or kicked a person. He was meek, which means
He knew how to control His strength, and He never threw His
weight around.

When He commissioned His followers to heal the sick, Jesus told
them to “lay” hands on them (Mark 16:18). Since gentleness is
part of the fruit of the Holy Spirit (along with kindness—see Gal.
5:22-23), any ministry we do should be tempered with mercy and
concern.

2. If we minister in the flesh, we will reap flesh. Several years ago I
was standing near the stage in a large meeting when a visiting
evangelist said he wanted to pray for all the ministers in the room.
Immediately some ushers yanked me up to the platform and the
man of God raced over to “pray” for me. Before I knew it, I was
assaulted in the name of the Lord.

Whack! The guy hit me so hard that I fell down and held my face in
my hands to hide my grimace. The skin on my neck was stinging.
When I finally went back to my seat, a friend ran over to
congratulate me, saying, “Wow, I saw you go down under the
power!” I had to grit my teeth and ask the Lord to help me forgive
the preacher who inflicted pain instead of a holy impartation.

Why do we think that more bodies on the floor equals “more
anointing”—especially when the evangelist shoves people to the
ground or slaps them silly? To build a ministry on such foolish
theatrics is to trust in the arm of the flesh.

3. Somebody’s going to get hurt. We reported last week that a
Tennessee man sued his charismatic church because its pastoral
staff did not provide the proper “catchers” when he fell down
during
a prayer meeting last year. Matthew Lincoln of Knoxville said he
struck the hard floor of the sanctuary with his head and aggravated
a disc problem in his back, resulting in the need for surgery.

I don’t know the specifics of the situation in Knoxville, Tenn., and
it may be that this church has done everything possible to provide
a caring atmosphere in their meetings. Plus, the man suing the
church does not say anyone hit him or knocked him over. But
serious accidents are bound to happen if we don’t stress the
importance of ministering with gentleness and wisdom.

In our zany charismatic world we often let our zeal run wild. I’ve
been in services in which all kinds of injuries happened. Once I
watched a 300-pound man fall on a frail woman. I’ve seen heads
hit metal chairs. I’ve seen evangelists step on people’s arms and
legs. We may say the Holy Spirit is moving, but—more often than
we want to admit—our chaos may be a sign of our immaturity.

Please understand me. I desperately want the power of God to
invade our churches. I’ve been in meetings in which the Lord’s
glory was so thick that no one could stand up. I have felt the
weight of His presence fall like a blanket on a congregation. And I
remember falling to the floor when I got within four feet of a humble
Indian preacher who barely touched people on the forehead when
he prayed for them.

We don’t have to force things to happen. God’s power is real. May
we never settle for a man-made imitation.

~J. Lee Grady is editor of Charisma.
SOURCE-  http://www.charismamag.com/fireinmybones/

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Charisma Editor Lee Grady questions Lakeland Florida Revival expressing concern, caution & warning

Charisma editor Lee Grady takes a conservative & cautious look at the Lakeland, Florida Revival.

http://www.PaulFDavis.com
RevivingNations@

gmail.com

On May 14, 2008 Charisma’s editor stated “honest questions” & concerns below. Thereafter Paul F. Davis an international minister & author of God vs. Religion; Supernatural Fire; & Waves of God gives his thoughts and admonition to Grady and Charisma.

Grady: “…But as the noise from Lakeland grows louder and its influence spreads, I’m issuing some words of warning…”

Davis: “What you call ‘noise’ Lee is the roar of the young lions breaking forth in the earth with the zeal of the Lord. They may not speak, dress, act, or maneuver according to the clever dictates of professional men within Christendom, but they possess faith that works by love which casts out fear and throws caution to the wind.”

Grady: “‘Beware of strange fire. The name of Jesus is being lifted up in the Lakeland revival, and three people came to the altar for salvation the night I attended. Larger numbers have come to the front of the auditorium to find Christ every night since then.”

Davis: “If the name of Jesus is being lifted up in Lakeland, we need not worry. If man’s name is being lifted up, let us beware. The two services I attended in Lakeland, Todd was careful to exalt & uplift Jesus. Should his heart, manner of ministry & focus change the glory will leave. God doesn’t share His anointing with carnal & vain men. When God’s glory leaves, the people will as well. As long as both are present, let us rejoice in the risen Christ.”

http://www.PaulFDavis.com

Grady: “Yet I fear another message is also being preached subtly in Lakeland—a message that cult-watchers would describe as a spiritual counterfeit. Bentley is one of several charismatic ministers who have emphasized angels in the last several years.”

Davis: “Cult-watchers should not be our concern, as they are not discerning themselves. True discernment begins with awakening to that which is good (Hebrews 5:14), not merely hunting that which is evil (see Romans 16:19). When we are enamored with evil, we ourselves become evil. We become what we behold (see 2Corinthians 3:18). Ultimately we attract & attend to what we ourselves are, as our perception leads to our personal detection & projection.”

Davis: “What a man or minister did several years ago, need not have any bearing upon what they believe or do today. Shall we ask what you did several years ago? A person’s past does not have to dictate their future. As for angelic visitations, these are common throughout Scripture. We should seek God, not angels. Yet should the Lord choose to send an angel to answer our prayers, we should not limit the holy one of Israel.”

Grady: “…Paul was adamant that preoccupation with angels can lead to serious deception.”

Davis: “Agreed, heard, understood & acknowledged.”

Grady: “We have no business teaching God’s people to commune with angels or to seek revelations from them. …We need to remember that Mormonism was born out of one man’s encounter with a dark angel who claimed to speak for God.”

Grady: “Beware of bizarre manifestations. …where do we draw the line between legitimate experience and fanatical excess?

Davis: “Christ never called ‘we’ His disciples to ‘draw lines’ but to love and lift people. Jesus said let the wheat and tares grow together. The Lord Himself can remove the weeds and pluck up that which He has not planted” (see Matthew 13:30; 15:13). To my knowledge Bentley isn’t teaching ‘God’s people to commune with angels,’ neither to seek them.”

Grady: “…Paul called for discipline and order …In other words, Paul was saying that no one under the influence of the Holy Spirit should act out of control.”

Davis: “The apostle Paul said ‘let all things be done decently and in order’ (1Corinthians 14:40). Before trying to harness, discipline, and order a move of God; first let it flow and ‘be done’ before endeavoring to structure and order it. Grady and Charisma can write about revival, but until they can birth and do revival they should not criticize, nor seek to contain it.”

Davis: “People under the influence of the Holy Spirit respond in innumerable fashions. Since where the Holy Spirit there is liberty (2Corinthians 3:17), people can respond to God freely and don’t need Grady’s permission to do so.”

Grady: “In many recent charismatic revivals, ministers have allowed people to behave like epileptics on stage… such behavior feeds carnality and grieves the Spirit.”

Davis: “What feeds carnality and grieves the Spirit is the arrogance of men like Grady who fight a move of the Spirit rather than supporting and birthing one. Casting out demons and healing the sick is not always pretty to the professional eye.”

Grady: “…emotional euphoria doesn’t guarantee a heart change. …When we put bizarre behavior on the platform we imply that it is normative.”

Davis: “Being a Christian critic and unbelieving believer doesn’t produce a heart change either. A heart of unbelief breeds evil and causes people to depart from the living God (see Hebrews 3:12).”

Grady: “Beware of hype and exaggeration.”

Davis: “Beware of embracing an evil heart of unbelief and becoming a Pharisee who knows the Scripture, but not the power of God” (Matthew 22:29).

Grady: “The church is in a backslidden state and our nation has rebelled against God.”

Davis: “Perhaps you and Charisma magazine are as well. Yet if you will rend your hearts and go hard after God with humble desperation, the Lord of life will revive you with the power of the resurrection.”

Grady: “In our longing for a holy visitation, however, we must be careful not to call the first faint breeze of the Spirit a full-fledged revival. If we do that, we are setting people up for disappointment….”

Davis: “Instead of trying to label and name a revival, call out for it in prayer in your own life. I find no disappointment in revival, only in those who try to deny and restrict it.”

Grady: “Some of the language used during the Lakeland Revival has created an almost sideshow atmosphere. People are invited to “Come and get some.” Miracles are supposedly “popping like popcorn.” Organizers tout it as the greatest revival in history.”

Davis: “According to your faith, be it unto you (Matthew 9:29). Better to go to God’s show than Hollywood’s. Better to get ‘some’ of God’s glory than dead religion. If Charisma and Grady don’t like ‘some’ than let them change the name of their magazine to Jesus instead of promoting their ‘some’ and new ‘someone’ on the cover every month.”

Grady: “Let’s stay humble and broken before the Lord ….miracles and crowds alone don’t guarantee a revival. …It was the few disciples who followed Jesus after Calvary who ushered in a true revival—one that was bathed in the fear of God, confirmed by signs and wonders, tempered by persecution and evidenced by thousands of conversions, new churches and the transformation of society. We should expect nothing less.”

Davis: “Thanks for providing the persecution Lee. We’re almost there! Now, please teach us humility and brokenness. Perhaps you can match the commitment of Mormons to go overseas for 2 years to birth a true revival of your own. Until you can win as many souls, birth as many churches, and transform societies be quick to hear and slow to speak. As Jesus said the fruit speaks for itself (see Matthew 7:20). I pray we all keep our hearts and eyes on Jesus. Beware of trying to steady the ark or seeking to straighten the flow of God’s Spirit lest you be swiftly judged (1Samuel 6:6-7; Micah 2:7). If this revival is of men, it will cease and be brought to not (Acts 5:38). If however it is of God, it shall continue unhindered full force with signs and wonders as God confirms His holy Word with power (see Mark 16:20); Hebrews 2:4).

http://www.PaulFDavis.com
RevivingNations@gmail.com

Paul F Davis is a worldwide minister who moves in the miraculous to touch & transform humanity.

Paul has a unique ability to hear the voice of God, naturally bring forth the supernatural in a playful & heartfelt fashion, unlock & simply explain divine mysteries, impart life changing revelation and usher in powerful manifestation bringing heaven to earth.

Paul has touched over 50 countries of the world. Paul builds dreams, transcends limitations & reconciles nations.

http://www.PaulFDavis.com

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