I recently had a picture or impression in my mind (some would say vision) of a dead fire. This was a picture of a camp fire which at first glance seemed old and to have gone out a long time ago. There was a top layer of grey ash which fortified this impression, but then the Lord showed me underneath the ash the embers, which were red hot.
This picture was in the context of the Florida Outpouring and its impact into the UK.
When I came back from Lakeland at the end of April / beginning of May, I was asked by Rory and Wendy Alec on one of GOD TV's programmes what my impression of this Florida Outpouring was. My response was that first of all it was amazing that these signs, wonders and miracles were taking place in the West (since we have known for decades that a 'Book of Acts Christianity' was a constant experience in Asia, China and Africa). Secondly that I felt it was challenging the spirit of unbelief within the Western church and thirdly, that the Gamaliel Principle was important to consider in order for people to approach this issue in a mature fashion. If it is of God it will prosper, if not it will die out.
Personally, the only hope I see for the UK, spiritually, is the type of outpouring witnessed in Florida. We are not going to win the day through social action or clever arguments. We need the power of Jesus Christ and a focus on the work of the cross. Changed hearts is a supernatural, spiritual transaction. You see Jesus hung naked with His reputation and respectability in absolute ruins on the cross for the 'joy that was set before Him'. The difficulty for some critics of this 'outpouring' is that their understanding of religious reputation and respectability can be more holy than Jesus. He hung there for love.
The message is still the message, regardless of the flaws of the messenger. This is a spiritual war we're involved in not a nice neatly packaged religious process.
During this outpouring I didn't keep my eyes on Todd Bentley, I kept my eyes on the thousands of precious souls receiving life from a Loving God. GOD TV received over 60,000 e-mails testifying to everything from salvation, healing, deliverance to just a one liner confirming what compulsive viewing this event was. When the story of Todd broke, I spoke to many senior church leaders in the UK who were conflicted and angry at Todd's moral failure, but still knew that there was something very much of God in the mix of it all. Wendy and Rory Alec and I were more concerned that the devil wouldn't close down what God had started in the UK because we had seen the fruit.
I'm writing this article because I want to bring to your attention an open letter written to the Body of Christ by C Peter Wagner which I would encourage you to read. I've never met C Peter Wagner, but I did watch GOD TV on June 23rd when he brought the word of alignment into Lakeland. I believe this ceremony was used by God to genuinely align what was happening and bring correction in terms of biblical authority and submission.
There is as major reformation going on in the body of Christ. In his book 'The Final Quest', (a must read in my opinion, which is available through Cross Rhythms), Rick Joyner prophesied a Christian Civil War.
This civil war is subtle and you need to read Rick's book to understand it, but it is real.
These are times when we need to take our eyes off man and put them firmly on Jesus. In a spirit of humility and a wise understanding of the true revelation of the 'fear of the Lord', we all need to start doing our own growing up spiritually. A very close friend of mine recently said to me "Chris, I put you on such a pedestal that if you fell off you'd have needed a parachute to land." The only one on a pedestal should be Jesus.
Please take time to read the following with a humble heart and keep open to what God could be saying to you. C Peter Wagner has put out in the public domain a letter of deep accountability to the Body of Christ. I want to bring it to your attention so that together we can learn and understand how amazing, yet serious this Christian life truly is. Remember the eternal is a greater reality than the 70 years down here and we all will have to give an account of our lives before The Father one day
Many of you are young and I know will be empowered with a Davidic heart to reach your generation. You have a fantastic future. This is what Cross Rhythms was birthed for. Did you know that this website is probably the biggest Christian youth website in the UK? 60% of the almost 250,000 people who log on to CR Direct or this site every month are under the age of 35. I'm sure the same applies to all those who listen to our FM stations currently broadcasting 24/7.
As the Founder of this ministry and an old Jesus Movement father in the Faith, I love you and believe in you deeply because I know the 'hero' who lives in you.
Whether Todd Bentley decides to submit to the relational covering C Peter Wagner encourages, or not, is important and only time will tell. It will take real humility and courage on Todd's part to submit to mature fathers in the Faith who have his best interest at heart. The danger in the West that C Peter Wagner alludes to is that if we don't like the discipline then we go and submit to others who will only hear our side of the story. This happens in church life every day. Find a community where God has told you to work out your discipleship and commit to it. If there are difficulties leave in a proper manner. This isn't heavy shepherding, it is Biblical community for real accountability and development.