Several good sibs-in-Christ have asked what I/we think about the Florida (or Lakeland) Revival. I'll not speak for my bros-in-blog. But here's what I think about it.
Oh, first, just one disclosure before I begin: I don't know anything about it specifically. Not one thing. Haven't read an article, haven't listened to an anecdote, haven't heard a podcast or sermon or phone-in commenter. I think a friend said something in an email... but I've forgotten it.
All I know is that there is supposed to be one, it's the latest buzz, and people as far away as England are wondering about it.
Otherwise, don't know a thing. So now let's....
Yes? You wanted to say something?
"W... wait, wait just a minute. Wait. You're telling us you don't know anything about it? But you're going to tell us what you think about it? Without knowing anything?"Yes, that's absolutely right. Odd, eh? I am, in fact, making a point not even of reading my usual blogs that might comment on it. I'm going to offer these thoughts with almost tabula rasa ignorance about the specifics of this latest claim to revival.
Oh, I suppose I'll have to look at it eventually — after I write this. Just like I'm going to have to force myself to labor through the so-called "Evangelical Manifesto." But not yet. So now....
Yes? Something else?
"But don't you know the names you'll be called for doing it like this? What The Usual Suspects — who only turn up when you guys write about Da Gifts — will say?"Yeah well duh, of course I do. But I have a very specific, deliberate purpose in doing it like this. My challenge to you: tell me what that purpose is.
So now, HSAT, here is what I think about "The Lakeland Revival," going in:
- Believing in the sovereignty of God and having read (and believed!) Acts 2, I know that it is at best extraordinarily unlikely that it will manifest any revelatory or attesting gifts that have not been in regular evidence among Bible-believing Christians over the last 2000 years (1 Corinthians 12:11) — which is to say, not any. For that reason...
- I know that any claims to revelatory or attesting gifts will likely fall short of Biblical standards. This really, really matters to God (Deuteronomy 13:1-11; 18:20-22), so it should really, really matter to me. Specifically:
- I know that if the majority of unbelievers aren't, without any massaging or special sauce from the "revival's" advocates, goggling in slack-jawed and clueless astonishment at undeniably supernatural events, and desperately scrambling for explanations, any claimed miracles are nothing like real miracles (cf. John 11:47-48; Acts 3:9-10; 4:16).
- I know that if it doesn't center on and exalt the person and work of Jesus Christ, it's not Holy Spirit-breathed revival (John 16:14; Colossians 1:18).
- I know that if it wasn't produced by the preaching of the Word of God, it's not Holy Spirit-breathed revival (Nehemiah 9).
- I know that if it doesn't produce greater conformity to the written word of God, it's not Holy Spirit-breathed revival (Psalm 138:2; Matthew 28:18-20; John 8:31-32; 2 Peter 1:19-21)
- I know that if it doesn't produce holy living, which includes adorning behavior and specifically self-control, it isn't Holy Spirit-breathed revival (Galatians 5:22-23).
- I know that if the leaders of it aren't men well-known for embodying/pursuing the pastoral traits of 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9, and specifically for being in subjection to, and for soundly teaching, the whole Word of God, it's unlikely to be a Holy Spirit-breathed revival.
"Sounds like your mind is closed."Well, yes. My mind is closed, to the best of my ability — to anything but a Scriptural perspective (Ephesians 4:13-14).
Is there something wrong with that?