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servant_andy
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Joined: 2004/5/20
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 We Should pray for REFORMATION not revival

The author Herman Hanko demonstrates:
1. "Revivalism" is an extension of mysticism
2. Mysticism is unscriptural, a form of emotionalism, promotes careless and false doctrine and scorns true humble struggling Christianity.
3. Revivalism should not be prayed for.

Here are some excerpts from his article "Ought we pray for revival?"...
"All the trappings of mysticism are present in revivalism.

The idea of "the dark night of the soul" has become known as "being under the conviction of sin"; the experiences according to which one defines genuine conversion are the experiences of the mystics; the rapturous joys that grip one and that carry one to realms unknown and into union with God are the rapturous joys of the mystics of the Middle Ages.

The emphasis on visions and dreams, special, extra-biblical revelations, the guidance of the Spirit through these revelations – all these things belong to the tradition of mysticism."

DID YOU KNOW?

1. "It may surprise you to know that prior to his Aldersgate experience, at which time John Wesley considered himself to have been converted, he steeped himself deeply in the writings of Roman Catholic medieval mystics, read them avidly, devoured them, as he says, and was even instrumental in publishing a great number of these Roman Catholic works. That mysticism stayed with him all his life. "

2. "In Middle Age Roman Mysticism the last step that was to be taken before union with God could be achieved was called by the medieval mystics "the dark night of the soul." It was as if the steps to union with God led first of all downward to the dark night of the soul, only then to spring out of the dark night into that rapturous, joyful. other-worldly union with God." [has the "dark night" become "convinction of sin"?]

3. "It is interesting that a crucial and integral part of mysticism was also the performing of miracles – exorcism and miracles of healing. I say this because that immediately ought to bring to our minds the obvious relationship between revivalism and the charismatic movement. These two have much in common – so much in common, in fact, that those who promote revivals even go so far as to say that before a revival can come it is necessary that the church have a second outpouring of the Spirit. This is charismatic language indeed! In fact, those who promote revivals have, in many instances, been, if not supporters, then encouragers of the charismatic movement, and unwilling to condemn it. Are you aware of the fact, for example, that Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones was himself a strong supporter of the charismatic movement? You can find that in several of his books. You can understand some of what he says, for example, in his sermons on Ephesians, especially Ephesians 4 and 5, if you are aware of his leanings toward the charismatics. There has always been the closest relationship between revivalism and the charismatic movement because both are characterized by mysticism."

4. "Throughout his book "The Memoirs of Charles G. Finney", Finney consistently repudiates and even mocks Calvinism and all it stands for. He speaks openly of free will and of universal atonement, and even embraces the Arminian doctrine of perfectionism – that the converted man can free himself from all known sins. Interestingly enough, he even explains that he adopted what is today known as "the altar call" (which he called "summoning sinners to the anxious seat") because he believed that this method would be a solution to the constant backsliding of those who earlier had claimed to be converted. Revivalism substitutes emotions for sound doctrine."


5. "When revivals took place, that those who supposedly came to this pinnacle of rapturous joy when the soul was united to God had to undergo a very rigorous examination on the part of the ministers and the elders of the church to determine whether such a conversion was indeed genuine. The ministers and elders, especially in the Great Awakening during the time of Jonathan Edwards, would, surprisingly enough, claim to be able to tell with almost one-hundred percent accuracy, whether the conversion of a particular individual was indeed genuine or whether it was devil-inspired. So many were the conversions and so busy were the ministers and elders that sometimes these examinations went on, during periods of revival, day and night. There was no time for preaching. There was no time for pastoral work. There was no time for sermon preparation, because of the vast amounts of time which were consumed examining the character of conversions.

Further, such conversions, sudden and profound, not only became the test of whether one was a genuine Christian, but also served as the ground of personal assurance of salvation. Indeed, without such extraordinary experiences, assurance was impossible."

SOLUTION
Let's pray for Reformation
"The Reformed faith teaches that the church is not composed predominantly of unconverted people. The Reformed faith teaches, as Calvin did, that on this Earth the church always has hypocrites in her midst, tares among the wheat; nevertheless the church is composed of believers and their spiritual seed. It is not composed of unbelievers and unconverted people for the most part."

"Church reformation is the calling of all the people of God always. But church reformation begins with the child of God on his knees confessing his sins. There is not anything more important in church reformation than this. If it does not start with the Christian daily confessing his sins, there will not be church reformation. "

"In confessing his sin and hastening to the cross one has the beginnings of true church reformation. On our knees we seek the welfare of Zion. On our knees we seek the peace of Jerusalem. We do not pray for revival, unusual outpourings of the Spirit, but we pray for the courage and the grace of the Holy Spirit to be steadfast in the battle; not to waver, not to compromise, not to be overcome with fear, but to stand fast in the cause of the truth."

-- Quotes from Herman Hanko "Ought the Church to Pray for Revival?" Trinity Foundation
Journal May 1991
http://www.trinityfoundation.org/reviews/journal.asp?ID=079a.html

 2004/5/20 23:55Profile
ravin
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Joined: 2004/5/6
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 Re: We Should pray for REFORMATION not revival

every thing heaven has the Devil has a counterfeit. welcome to the site.

 2004/5/21 0:26Profile
jeremyhulsey
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Joined: 2003/4/18
Posts: 777


 Re: We Should pray for REFORMATION not revival

My vote is to pray for revival and a true reformation. (By reformation I certainly don't mean the teachings of Calvin who derived his doctrine from Augustine who derived his doctrine from Plato) I think your article is biased and falls way short of being objective.

Edit: you should read more of Jonathon Edwards. You would be surprised about what he called a "Living Meeting" with God. (Now that's a reformed minister I could listen to)


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Jeremy Hulsey

 2004/5/21 0:37Profile
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 Re: We Should pray for REFORMATION not revival

I actually read right through that entire exhaustive article by that man and it grieves my heart. First off I have been going to Reformed Presbyterian Church for 7 years and fully know much of what Calvinsim and the reformed faith is about. Many of the puritan authors mentioned: Thomas Boston, Robert Murray Mcheyne, Horatious Bonar, etc would not fit themselves into a strait jacket set of doctrines to hinder the ungency of the gospel message. They broke boundaries and did things in their own volition. How could they let a whole world go to hell? Surely we can't just say God has His elect and He is able to redeem them. God has placed Himself in us and we as God's ambassadors emplore ALL men to be saved. Let them crawl over our bodies to hell, but let not one be warned.

Quote:
1. "Revivalism" is an extension of mysticism


There is much mystical about spiritual life and if you don't believe God is active and working and that he can't be sought and found as in the days of old then thats your quandry. I would not say that 'Revivalism' is an extension of mysticism but rather there can be mystical experiences in anyone's Christian life when they are seeking [b]whole-heartly[/b] God in His fullness. I would also be weary of how you define 'mysticism?'

Quote:
2. Mysticism is unscriptural, a form of emotionalism, promotes careless and false doctrine and scorns true humble struggling Christianity.


What is Christianity? is it surely the presence of God on earth in His redeemed people. The scriptures call this the body of Christ, where Jesus is the head. Surely God doesnt struggle His plans are perfect for His body which is [b]being[/b] made perfect. Did not Jesus say 'take cheer I have overcome the world'? The devil is the originator of all false theology and doctrine because its not according to the truth.

[b]1 Timothy 4:1-2[/b] - The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.

[b]1 John 2:27[/b] - As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit--just as it has taught you, remain in him.

Even the fellow quoted Jonathan edwards and did not edwards write a fantastic book called "Religious Affections" where he proves quite accuratly from the scriptures that there is to be enthuasm and emotion in religon. Without it you have a dead formalized religion that bears no fruit! :-o

Again how are you defining 'Mysticism' ? :-? Surely Christian spiritual experience is mystical and out of the ordinary?

Quote:
3. Revivalism should not be prayed for.


One thing that grieved my heart is the inaccurate description of what revival really is! To revive something is to bring it back from death to live. Its to make a corpse alive. 'Revival presuposes declension'. Revival can be defined as spiritual awakening. It is very true that the word 'revival' is not found in the bible. There are some counterparts used such as 'revive us' but the basic idea is that it describes a spiritual mode in spriture of being brought from a place that is far from God to a place that is close. Revival could be classified as a doctrine of the bible and there is ample scripture to be shown that this is so.

I actually like to use the word 'spritual awakening' and though revival can be 'an unusual' work it is really a getting back to the normal Christian life how God instituted it! There are excesses in revival but surely there is always excesses of anything in any mode or form. Cold or Warm? I would rather be warm. But God forbid lukewarmess for the body of christ in our day.


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 2004/5/21 1:00Profile
KeithLaMothe
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 Re: We Should pray for REFORMATION not revival

Quote:
"Throughout his book "The Memoirs of Charles G. Finney", Finney consistently repudiates and even mocks Calvinism and all it stands for. He speaks openly of free will and of universal atonement, and even embraces the Arminian doctrine of perfectionism – that the converted man can free himself from all known sins.

Finney had far stranger doctrines than those, and while I don't call it "perfectionism" (though I understand why some do) I believe in the doctrine of Holiness that God can and will free us from all [b]known[/b] sins, and that if someone is persisting in willful known sin despite the reproof of God, they aren't on the way to Heaven. I could quote a bunch of Scripture, but I think an unbiased reading of 1 John would do (when you get to 1 John 1:8, remember the word I bolded; I'd dispute the concept of unknown sin, but that's not the battle I'm looking to fight here).

Quote:
Interestingly enough, he even explains that he adopted what is today known as "the altar call" (which he called "summoning sinners to the anxious seat") because he believed that this method would be a solution to the constant backsliding of those who earlier had claimed to be converted.

I'd like to see some evidence, but as I recall it was reported (by others than Finney) that something like 80% of those converted under Finney's minstry were continuing in the Christian life 7 years later, which is in astounding contrast to the usual 10% (or 5%, or 1%, or even 0.5%) retention rates (even over 1 year) in modern times.

Quote:
Revivalism substitutes emotions for sound doctrine.

Some forms of it do, and that is a grievous error. I prefer conviction and repentance focused "revivals" (if the term must be used), with firm and repeated preaching of sound doctrine, and only the emotions that God deems fit. I'm a fairly unemotional person, though, so it's easy for me to say.

Quote:
Further, such conversions, sudden and profound, not only became the test of whether one was a genuine Christian, but also served as the ground of personal assurance of salvation. Indeed, without such extraordinary experiences, assurance was impossible."

Past moment-based assurance" is something we should definately avoid. 1 John clearly teaches that assurance of salvation is based on present-tense obedience to God's commandments.

Quote:
The Reformed faith teaches that the church is not composed predominantly of unconverted people.

The true church doesn't have a single unconverted person in it, I'll agree there.

Quote:
The Reformed faith teaches, as Calvin did, that on this Earth the church always has hypocrites in her midst, tares among the wheat; nevertheless the church is composed of believers and their spiritual seed. It is not composed of unbelievers and unconverted people for the most part."

Again, no hypocrites are in the true church, either they never entered or they left. If the reference is to the "visible" church, i.e. the membership of the evangelical/bible-believing churches, most of them are probably not right with God and not presently on their way to Heaven.

Quote:
"Church reformation is the calling of all the people of God always. But church reformation begins with the child of God on his knees confessing his sins. There is not anything more important in church reformation than this. If it does not start with the Christian daily confessing his sins, there will not be church reformation. "

True. Interestingly, I believe that statement would also be true if each instance of the word "reformation" was replaced with the word "revival":

Church revival is the calling of all the people of God always. But church revival begins with the child of God on his knees confessing his sins. There is not anything more important in church revival than this. If it does not start with the Christian daily confessing his sins, there will not be church revival.

Quote:
We do not pray for revival, unusual outpourings of the Spirit, but we pray for the courage and the grace of the Holy Spirit to be steadfast in the battle; not to waver, not to compromise, not to be overcome with fear, but to stand fast in the cause of the truth."

I'm not looking for "unusual outpourings of the Spirit," conviction of sin is a very usual work of the Spirit. All the other business with tongues and manifestations I don't really care about.

Please don't look at the excesses of certain instances of "revivalism" (a very broad term, by the way) and thing the whole idea is wrong. Satan loves playing the "look how stupid those guys are, everything they say must be wrong" game, and we repeatedly fall for it.

God's grace be with you all, in Christ Jesus our Lord,
-Keith

 2004/5/21 1:22Profile
philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
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 Re:

SOLUTION
Let's pray for Reformation

This is the equivalent of re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

"the body without the spirit is dead," (Jam 2:26 KJV)

...even the tidiest body!


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Ron Bailey

 2004/5/21 4:50Profile
Matthew2323
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Joined: 2004/5/17
Posts: 235
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 Re: Revival!

A good read on the subject by a life-long student of revival, Richard Owen Roberts:
[url=http://www.rorbooks.com/home/home003.htm]Revival[/url]

Here's a excerpt:

From Revival: "The most wonderful aspect of the breaking and the remaking and the pouring forth of true revival is that God does it all. if men could produce revival, they would stand back and glory in their handiwork. But when God who is dependent upon no man or chuch does it, every single revived individual will have cause to praise Him without ceasing. Here is the very reason the Psalmist prays, 'Wilt thou not revive us again: That Thy people may rejoice in Thee?'

Revival is indeed an extraordinary movement of the Holy Spirit producing extraordinary results. May the God of revival deliver us from contentment with the ordinary while He stands ready to do the extraordinary."

His book 'Salvation in Full Color' is also worthy of serious consideration!

God bless,
Matthew


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Matthew

 2004/5/21 11:36Profile
Mattc296
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 Re: We Should pray for REFORMATION not revival

I agree on the point that emotions alone are not a solid basis for making decisions, nor is the pursuit of some religious fantasy a valid substitution for the Glory of the Gospel.
However, Revival is all about God reaching down and breathing life back into lifeless souls, and starting a work at a particular time in a particular place that is uniquely blessed. It is primarily directed towards the laity, and people are saved "en masse".
Reformation, on the other hand, is about God using one man to challenge the institution of the Church when it becomes burdensome or strays from Biblical doctrine. It is aimed primarily at the Clergy, and their formulas and traditions.
From what I read in my Bible, it seems that we are called to pray for both our leaders and our brothers and sisters.
Besides, why, when there is so little prayer being lifted up by the average person in America, should this person be discouraging prayer for anything? We need to pray more, and harder, for our Nation to repent and return to the Almighty God, and for our Churches to be places where His name is lifted up, that many may be blessed.

 2004/5/21 15:26Profile





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