Why do you think the Brownsville Revival is counterfeit?

Just read your book reviews and wonder why the Brownsville Revival is called counterfeit. I have a good friend who traveled there and said she really felt the power of the Holy Spirit. Now, I know our faith is not seeking after sensation, but if she was helped and drawn closer to Jesus through the experience what could be the harm? Also, I hear that over 30,000 have been saved.

There is another more critical reason to ask what you know of it as I am seeking the truth. There is a brand new Christian who has come to work for us in my department who has asked about this very thing. I told her about seeking sensation and explained that our faith is not based on "feelings" (temporal feelings- our fleshly emotions, I mean), but faith in Christ and what was accomplished on the cross. Also that I thought that sometimes God can speak to us from very unlikely sources (consider some of the people that God used in the Bible) although we should always be careful to test the spirits and test teachings according to the scripture. I think that was the right advice, but I would appreciate any further input from you. I pray almost everyday that I will in no way become a stumbling block to her. I also told her that there is "a way that seems right to a man"--so, be sure that what another is telling us is not just something that fits in with what we want to hear to justify ourselves, but that it really is the truth.

My response is in Green:

Well as you know from reading my review I was not the one who called it counterfeit. However, I will not back away from that label either. The author does a pretty good job (I feel) of explaining why he feels it is counterfeit, but I will try to use my own words to tell you why I agree.

First and foremost my basic problem with the "revivals" including Brownsville, Pensacola, and Toronto is that they focus on the wrong thing. They are focused on experience and on the Holy Spirit. Now you might not understand what the problem is about being focused on the Holy Spirit but I do believe it is a problem. The problem is that the revival is not focused on Jesus Christ.

Before He left this earth Jesus said this: (John 16:13-15 NIV) But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. {14} He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. {15} All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you.

See how everything the Holy Spirit was going to do Jesus said would point to Him (Jesus), yet in these revivals it does not, it points to the Holy Spirit. That is about all you hear, the anointing of the Holy Spirit, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, Holy Ghost glue (which puts people on the floor unable to move for hours), and it goes on and on. Where does any of this bring glory to our Savior Jesus Christ? I don't think it does.

Here is another example, people who are making animal sounds and squatting as if giving birth, or laughing 'uncontrollably' or even thrown across the stage by the power of the Holy Sprit. One pastor has made the statement that the 'anointing' was so strong from the Holy Sprit that he had to be careful or he could kill someone by just touching them. Does any of that bring glory to Christ? I don't think so. But even beyond that why would God's anointing ever be dangerous to His children?

God gave us the Bible to live by, to guide our lives, yet these revivals all stress "latter rain." In other words new revelation from God. Things that He did not see fit to tell the church for 2,000 years but has decided to tell us now. God never changes and the Bible clearly states that Jesus is God and that He and the Father are one. It also says: (Colossians 2:9-10 NIV) For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, {10} and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority.

Notice that Jesus was the fullness of God. Meaning that what Jesus did is what God does. Now look at the things that Jesus did while on this earth as compared to what (supposedly) the Holy Spirit is doing now in these revivals. Jesus was gentle and carrying and always told people to be self controlled. The 'being' who is acting in these revivals is taking control of people, gluing them to the floor for hours so they can't move, throwing them across the stage, causing them to make animal sounds, causing them to appear to give birth to who knows what (although they claim they are giving birth to more power of the Holy Spirit), causing them to laugh uncontrollably. Again where is the parallel between Christ and this being?

You said that many people have been saved at these revivals. Well there are two explanations for that. One is that God promises that if we look for Him with all our heart we will find Him. So even if the organized meeting is wrong or counterfeit, I believe God will still honor those who are there who are truly seeking Him. Second is a little harsher, but what do you know about the people who were 'saved' at these revivals? My point is where are they now, do their lives show any fruits of salvation or were they just people who got caught up in the moment and went back to their lives the next day? Maybe the answer is a few of both of those groups.

God works in the hearts of individuals and He can do that in some of the most unlikely places using some of the most unlikely people, some of whom are not even believers themselves. I am not trying to say these people are not believers who run these revivals, but at the least I believe they are immature misguided individuals. Some of them are in it for the money, and I am sure some are very sincere believers who have gotten caught up in this.

The Bible calls the Bereans more honorable because they eagerly heard the message of Paul and then checked it against God's word. We should do the same and if you can't find any agreement in the Bible with what is going on then reject it. I am sure it sounds harsh but eternity is in the balance, and we must guard our spiritual lives.

I think the advise you gave the new believer was right on the mark, but that is also exactly why I think the Vineyard revivals are counterfeit.



E-Mail Ralph (whose comments are in green)

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