The hallmark of the meetings and the renewal in general is not healing (although they certainly occur) but the presence of God. Attendees are hungry and thirsty for God, and the Lord is responding to that fervor with His presence.
During the meeting Bruce and Jeff prayed for a man seated near them who had a sore and partially imoveable shoulder. After prayer, the man began freely moving his shoulder and reported no pain.
The leaders of the renewal are training people to go out on the streets to evangelize and to pray for sick and hurting people. This is different from both Toronto and Brownsville- and a welcome change.
The leaders are actively trying to verify testimonies of healings. The first night they were there a phoned in testimony of someone being raised from the dead was publicly reported from the platform. The next night this report was publicly retracted after fact-checkers reported that it was not true. In fact, they discovered that someone who was opposed to the revival had called in a fake report in and effort to discredit the revival as phony. This action by the leaders demonstrates integrity that is (sorrowfully) frequently lacking in leaders of large movements like this.
The leaders of the meetings know that there are and will be tares among the wheat, that some people seeking attention will fake things, and that everything that happens cannot be attributed to the Holy Spirit. They are making efforts to discern and guide the meetings with integrity.
Bruce does not agree with some of the stylistic actions and/or ministry model of Todd Bentley, but nevertheless believes God is at work in these meetings due to the hunger of those attending.
See my previous post here.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Pastor's Lakeland Testimony and Comments
My pastor, Bruce Wimberley, visited Lakeland Florida this past Wednesday and Thursday to experience the Renewal meetings. Also with him was another member of our church named Jeff. Summarized below are some of Bruce's comments as presented to our church congregation last Sunday.