Dunn & Crowder: Charismatics Reaping What’s Been Sown?

charismatic-chaos.jpg I’m not always the best at responding to comments here on the blog, but I read everything. Sometimes I compose responses in my head, which only helps on those occasions when I get it out through the keyboard and into the comment space. Then something comes along like, oh, Christmas, and I get sidetracked without ever having properly replied. So a week or more ago, my critical review of the Dunn/Crowder CD prompted a more serious discussion. First, Barb asked me a direct question in her comment on the post, and I wanted to be sure I responded… and it’s a good question. She wrote,

Bro. May, could you answer a question for me. I can’t get anyone to sit still long enough to have an intelligent conversation about this.

Four Years of Blogging, and I Have a New God

birthday4.jpg This weekend, on November 30th, I will mark four years of blogging. And just today, I’ve discovered that I’ve been nominated for “Best Religion/Philosophy Blog” in Canada. Wow. And voting closes tomorrow, so what can I say? Vote now? I’m kinda late getting my “campaign” started, but I only just found out I was even in the race at all. Shows how oblivious I can be — but thanks, whoever nominated me. I even get a fancy badge of honour to display. Now, in the unlikely event that I actually make the cut into the final round of voting, I’ll need y’all to go and vote again next week, okay?

A Pathetic Prophetic Response to Obama Victory?

obama-change.jpg Earlier today, my wife mused aloud, wondering what those “prophetic types” are saying about Barack Obama being elected in the USA. I thought Grace choking on her scone in response to an appalling snippet of conversation concerning the rise to power of Barack Obama, “almost exactly like the Left Behind books.” No wonder she choked on her scone. I mentioned this “end times” idea to my wife as a suggestion of what these prophetic types might be saying. She made a mental note to ask a friend who tends to get told these things by people who thinks she cares. At least, that’s how my wife put it. So a few hours ago, Frank Viola tweeted a link that brought this whole question up again. Now by the way, Frank’s blog post today not only offered his view on the recent presidential election, he also named who he considers the top six Christian bloggers around, including yours truly. I’m not sure if I’m actually that good or if Frank’s a little deranged, but I figure it’s best not to press to far, just in case I don’t like the answer.

‘That’s harsh,’ he said.

pour-a-beer.jpg It’s a snippet of conversation I had a few weeks ago with a friend. Sitting across the table with beers and dry ribs, it was the first time we’d gotten together like that in more than a year. A lot can change in a year, and for me it was one in which I became increasingly entrenched in the post-charismatic camp. For him, it was a year overseas, away from church, family, and friends. He has an occasional habit of recording sermons by a local pastor at another church when they air on television, and sometimes he ends up recording the program that comes on afterward as well. The second program was our seguay. The preacher is head (I would say pastor, but it’s more a CEO thing) of one of the biggest churches in town, and it’s one with a prosperity stripe.

Stacey Campbell Apologizes, but Doesn’t Own Up

stacey_campbell.jpg You know, I really wanted to leave it alone, but it’s soooo hard… I started out adding this to my Saturday links post, but the line or two of commentary that I wanted to make with it got a little out of hand. Hey, it happens. So I read Stacey Campbell’s apology for the prophecy given to Todd Bentley at his commissioning-alignment hands-on-hands-off I-did-it-no-I-didn’t extravaganza event back in June. Well, she didn’t exactly apologize for the prophecy… what she said was, “I am truly sorry for any confusion my prophecy may have brought to the Body of Christ.” And that’s good insofar as it goes — I think for many who were directly affected by the Lakeland thing, it did cause confusion. For others, not so much. She doesn’t actually say that the prophecy was wrong, but in a sense she stuck to her guns, saying “I believe that it is God’s will for Todd Bentley to walk in the glory of God.”

Reinterpreting the Lakeland Fallout

fallout-shelter.jpg I called it “Apostolic Fallout” a couple of weeks ago, and a few days after that I asked, “Is Bently Taking the ICA Down With Him?” Before I go further, I want to clarify that this is not really about Lakeland, or Bentley, except insofar as they illustrate symptoms of a larger problem. That’s where we need to focus our deep consideration at the moment. Leadership of the Lakeland revival-thing has been passed back to the local leaders and Bentley has properly been removed from ministry at least for a season. Now is the time to consider some bigger questions.

Vignettes from the Life of Brother Maynard

theatre-stage.jpg Even my Wife is Cynical
A friend was telling us about a recent encounter that a mutual acquaintance from our CLB had had — this out of some desire to not let their handling of the coals from the Lakeland fire (or however they put it) fizzle without becoming in some way evangelistic. Our friend thought about a book she picked up about how to stop making God look bad and I characterized it as a drive-by prayer-bombing, but apparently the subject in this case was quite touched and began coming to church. Allowing that God genuinely seems seems used the encounter in this case, I said that I still had a hard time making a pattern of an exception. My wife said that “of course,” this encounter is the one that will be continually touted as a testimonial, ignoring the other “fruitless” encounters (the ones that make God look bad). “Of course,” I replied. “It’s the post-conversion embellishment.” What a phrase, eh? If it resonates, what does that tell you?

Charismatic Cleanup Part II

pyramid-restoration.jpg Yesterday I began reviewing some of what’s been wrong in the Charismatic movement over time. Although present discussions going on all around are sparked by the Todd Bentley / Lakeland revelations of the recent weeks, this is not my prime concern here except insofar as the issues there fall into a pattern which should have been avoidable based on past experience. In essence, I am suggesting that there are certain weaknesses in the charismatic movement which make it susceptible to the kinds of abuse and excess which have caused the downfall of leaders and confusion or injury to some of the followers in the movement.

As I was wrapping up my post yesterday, I offered the observation that the types of issues could be summarized as falling within three primary concerns: