The Florida Healing Outpouring  

If anyone speaks in a tongue, two—or at the most three—should speak, one at a time, and someone must interpret. If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the church and speak to himself and God. ( 1 Cor. 14:27-28)

Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said. And if a revelation comes to someone who is sitting down, the first speaker should stop. For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged. The spirits of prophets are subject to the control of prophets. For God is not a God of disorder but of peace. (1 Cor. 14:29-33)

Therefore, my brothers, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues. But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way. (1 Cor. 14:39-40)

Every time something like this Florida Healing Outpouring comes along I am absolutely amazed at the naivety of believers.  A simple reading of 1 Cor. 12 and 14 would show this disorganized, chaotic event to be the hoax it is.  I believe that the people who attend think it's real, but their leaders should be sharply rebuked for their lack of discernment. It appears they've been blinded by their own desire for fame and fortune.

And now people are traveling from all over the country (some say the world) to capture the Holy Spirit and bring Him home with them.  Since when do believers have to travel to some far away location to bring the Holy Spirit back to their church?  If the Holy Spirit isn't already in their church, do they think making a trip to Florida will change things?

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. (1 John 4:1)

We've had the Toronto and Brownsville blessings, the holy laughter and the barking and growling in the spirit.  Each of these was heralded as the beginning of a great revival meant to take the world for Jesus, but a decade later the Church is smaller and weaker than ever.

Now we've got more intoxication in the spirit.  It causes people to lose their inhibitions altogether.  The behavior gets more demeaning with each new iteration of these so-called blessings, and the claims get more outrageous.  We're told of angels walking among us, of visits to heaven where we learn that Paul doesn't occupy a mansion in the sky, but something more like a cabin on Walden Pond. We have angel feathers floating down and gold dust being sprinkled around.  All these things seem to be especially designed to show us just how gullible we have become, and how ripe for deception. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.    (2 Tim 4:3)

But how did God instruct his people to act? Paul devoted 4 complete chapters to the subject of order and decorum in worship. (1 Cor. 11-14)    This is consistent with Old Testament teachings that prohibited God's people from doing anything that demeaned their appearance or behavior.  They were supposed to act like royalty.  They couldn't bow before anyone but God.  They couldn't have unnatural haircuts or tatoos.  Their dress, their appearance, and their actions were all supposed to bring honor to God. Is God honored by people barking like dogs and acting like they're falling-down drunk?

Where is the Biblical precedent for this so-called spiritual out pouring?  Wouldn't the Book that's supposed to be our guide for behavior mention this somewhere? Except to condemn it, the Bible is silent.

Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. (James 3:1)

I don't know what to make of the claims of healing and raising from the dead. (These are not resurrections by the way, because unless they're raptured first these people will all die again.)  I know God heals people because I've seen Him do it.  I've prayed over people and the Lord has healed them and they've stayed healed.  I myself have been healed from knee problems that made it impossible for me to walk up or down stairs or even get up after kneeling. While I've read that these things exist, I have yet to see any first person accounts of healing from Florida, or confirmation of such from an independent source.  I hope and pray that folks are really being healed, because if they aren't untold numbers of seekers will be turned away from their search and God will have been mocked again by the very people who claim to be His own.  I wouldn't want to be in their shoes if that's the case. 

Unfortunately, the so-called Renewal and Revival Movement has not proven itself to be the most credible source in verifying the miraculous.  If this outpouring is real, and people are being healed, they should invite church leaders from outside the movement to help them substantiate their claims.  After all, Jesus sent the lepers He healed to the Temple for inspection by the priests. (Matt. 8:4)  Should we  expect any less today?  It's time for the church to get over our “zeal without knowledge” mentality and ask for some hard evidence. Asking for proof isn't demonstrating a lack of faith, it's holding people accountable for the claims they make in the Name of the Lord.  It's not only logical that we should do this, it's also Biblical.   05-30-08