Charismatic movement: God’s Spirit on the move today

Recently, Peter Kirk has stepped-up his blogging at Gentle Wisdom about charismatic issues, particularly about Todd Bentley’s ministry; and John Hobbins and David Ker have also blogged a bit about charismatic issues. Perhaps this was sparked by Pentecost Sunday. I’m glad someone is blogging about what is going on around the charismatic world.

Apparently, there is a spiritual revival happening at Lakeland, Florida with Todd Bentley’s ministry, and also in Dudley, England. I’m not familiar with what’s been going on in Dudley, England and Brownsville at Pensacola, Florida, but I have personally been a part of the Toronto Blessing at the Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship. I have also heard Todd Bentley speak and experienced his ministry two times. The charismatic movement has been gaining momentum and is roaring full steam ahead in the world and is making an impact for God’s kingdom. There is a definite spiritual revival. God’s Spirit is leading many people to Christ and into a deeper relationship with Christ.

I recall my own experience with God the Holy Spirit. It was at summer camp at a Pentecostal church during my teenage years when I felt the fire of God flow through me. It was nothing like I had ever experienced before. I felt completely flooded with a joy. As a teenager, I felt for the first time, God’s holiness and my own human sinfulness, both at the same time. It was then that I realized how much of a sinner I was and how much Jesus loved me and how much I needed God’s forgiveness. The bible suddenly became a living reality to me and I no longer read it as a dry history book. I began to devour the word of God and read it with a passion and an understanding that the bible was the inspired word of God. I think this is where I got my passion for God’s word, even today. When I look back, I can say that it was a life changing experience because my faith was much stronger as a result of the infilling of God’s Spirit. The fruits resulting from this baptism by fire were life changing for me. I was transformed into a teenager who had doubts about God’s reality into one who was unashamedly a Christ-follower.

All though I am a charismatic, I am not a follower of the prosperity gospel. I do feel that there is error in this prosperity teaching. Some Christians get blinded by the teaching that God only brings prosperity and that persecution is somehow ungodly and unspiritual. This is a wrong understanding of prosperity and blessing. I believe that God has promised believers blessings but I believe it is blessings of a different type. God’s blessing is an inner blessing, as well as, an external blessing. God’s blessings also come in the midst of happiness and adversity. God’s blessings also come in the midst of joy and persecution for keeping one’s faith in Christ. The early church would have understood this very intimately. The church in revival in Asia and Africa understands God’s blessings but Christians there also understand how it feels to be tortured, ridiculed, and treated unjustly for their faith in Christ.

In spite of some false understanding and theology in the charismatic movement, there is a great moving of the Holy Spirit around the world that is unprecedented. Millions more are being drawn to Christ through the calling of God’s Holy Spirit. The charisms (gifts) of Holy Spirit are being given to believers to edify, strengthen, and bring healing to believers. It is for the extension of the reign of God on earth.

I have wanted to share this aspect of my Christian life publicly on this blog for a long time but did not know how to approach this. I want to thank other biblical bloggers who have blogged about this subject. It has motivated me to make this a more public part of my life.

5 thoughts on “Charismatic movement: God’s Spirit on the move today

  1. Peter, I don’t know why but being a charismatic is not always easy. I’ve shied away from making it public. I’ll be blunt here. Maybe it’s because we charismatics have faced so much criticism from cessationists and have heard so many arguments against the use of charisms (gifts) for today, and that those who practice the charisms must otherwise be working with the powers of darkness. Also, there is a false perception that charismatics are anti-academic.

    I was a part of the Toronto Blessing for three years and since I moved away from Toronto, I’ve heard that they no longer have daily meetings in the evenings. It has simmered down quite a bit from its spiritual peak. I really don’t know anything about Lakeland, FL except from what I’ve read from what you’ve written about it. I’ve heard about how the revival has spread from Toronto to the UK. But from what I gather from you, the spiritual revival in the UK was ignited from Lakeland. It is good news to hear about the revival there.

    Nathan, I look forward to your post about this sometime in the, hopefully, not-too-distant future.


  2. Thank you for sharing Kevin, perhaps I’ll post my own story some day. I still have some reservations though.


  3. Thanks, Kevin. I’m glad to have helped bring you out of the closet as a charismatic!

    Just to clarify, the main outpourings at Toronto and Brownsville were more than a decade ago. God is continuing to move in a mighty way in Toronto, I don’t know about Brownsville, but this is not news. What is newsworthy is the events in Lakeland, Florida (several hundred miles from Brownsville), which are still going on, and I have written a lot about them.

    The outpouring in Dudley is a kind of spin-off from Lakeland and probably one of several of various sizes around the world. Todd Bentley seems to have a vision of lighting fires of revival everywhere, even in the darkest places, not just in the fertile fields of Florida.


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