The term "revivalism" popped into existence about 200 years ago:
revivalism (n): the form of religious activity that manifests itself in revivals; the tendency to revive what belongs to the past
revival (n): an awakening, in a church or community, of interest in and care for matters relating to personal religion; an evangelistic service or a series of services for the purpose of effecting a religious awakening
(See 'revivalism' & 'revival', Random House Dictionary, 2016, [dictionary.com]; See also Collins English Dictionary, 10th Edition, William Collins Sons & Co, 2012)
(Read "False Converts & Eternal Security" here at creationliberty.com for more details.)
It is my firm belief that the true church of Christ, the remnant of the elect, has never lost desire or motivation. It's always been there. The problem is we are plagued with false converts without repentance, and they are fooled into thinking they are part of the church, but without Christ and the true Holy Spirit (not the false christ and false spirit they typically speak of), they have to be "recharged." The reason there are so many "backsliders" is because they were never of Christ to begin with, and when the hard times fall on the false converts, they fall away, and must be reeled back in by the same worldly, unbiblical methods that lured them in the first place.
But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.
(Read "Is Repentance Part of Salvation?" here at creationliberty.com for more details.)
There are certainly many self-proclaimed "pastors" and self-proclaimed "prophets" that will condemn me for the few things I've stated so far, but I urge born-again Christians not to respect the person of their self-proclaimed titles by ignoring the information in this article. Please study the Scripture and compare them with the words of these revivalists to discern the truth of the matter.
(Read "Why Are Christians Respecting Persons? here at creationliberty.com for more details.)
Let's begin by looking at an advertisement for a revival tour, scheduled back in 2012, called "Ready For Revival," that was organized and led by a man named Mark Harris. I have cut out some parts of this video because it was originally designed to play on a loop for advertising, which means lots of repetitiveness, so to save time, I compiled his main points. The introduction to the video had this dramatic music behind it that Harris purchased for use, so there will be silence in the first half to avoid copyright disputes:
HARRIS "We're going to invite you to participate in the National Ready For Revival Tour. At each tour stop at Ready For Revival, we are committed to helping you and others commit or recommit your life to the Almighty. |
Some of this might actually sound very good and very Biblical to an unbeliever, or to a new Christian that doesn't have much experience in studying the Word of God and exercising discernment, but there's a few things we need to point out. First of all, notice that he was preaching to those who are "
(Read "Wolves in Costume: Rick Warren" here at creationliberty.com for more details.)
If you watched the first half of the video closely, you'll notice a Bible verse reference appeared on the screen to Joel 2:28 with the following words:
The Almighty Has Promised 'I Will Pour Out My Spirit Upon All Flesh'"
-Mark Harris, "The National Ready For Revival Tour Coming To A City Near You," retrieved July 8, 2016, [youtube.com/watch?v=JKiX4LMlCSs]
The argument from Harris is that the Lord God has promised Christians that he will pour out his spirit to everyone in the end times, but this is a cherry picked phrase out of one verse toward the end of Joel 2. If we go back and read the entire chapter to get the context, we can see this is talking about the very last days, the first sign being the trumpet sounding to pronounce the day of the Lord:
Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand;
The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.
And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:
(Read "The Beginner's Guide to Tribulation and Rapture" here at creationliberty.com for more details.)
I challenge any Christian to go into the New Testament and find a place that speaks of a "revival" of Christians before the return of Christ. When I read NT Scripture, I find the following prophecy:
Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
-2 Thessalonians 2:3
For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
-1 Timothy 4:1-2
This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power [i.e. the authority] thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
-2 Timothy 3:1-7
(Read "Why I Use the King James Bible" here at creationliberty.com for more details.)
Before we begin to analyze more modern-day revivals, let's look at the history of revivalism because it's only been around for a couple hundred years. Charles Finney is widely credited with ushering in the American revivalist movement in the 19th century, as the deceptive Christianity Today website asserts:
"And so began the new career of the man who would become the leading revivalist in the nineteenth century...
Finney is called the 'father of modern revivalism' by some historians, and he paved the way for later mass-evangelists like Dwight L. Moody, Billy Sunday, and Billy Graham."
-Christianity Today, "Charles Finney: Father of American Revivalism," retrieved July 12, 2016, [christianitytoday.com/history/people/evangelistsandapologists/charles-finney.html]
This should raise red flags with some of you who understand that Billy Graham is not a Christian because he has openly denied the Lord Jesus Christ on international television, and has believed and taught a false gospel for the past 60 years. Charles Finney gave false preachers like Billy Graham the system they needed to gain popularity, and it should be no surprise to discover that Finney did not believe in the Gospel of Christ either:
"But my studies, so far as he was concerned as my teacher, were little else than controversy.
He held to the old school doctrine of original sin, or that the human constitution was morally depraved. He held also, that men were utterly unable to comply with the terms of the Gospel, to repent [2Ti 2:25], to believe, or to do anything that God required them to do; that while they were free to all evil, in the sense of being able to commit any amount of sin, yet they were not free to perform any good [i.e. Romans 3:10-11]; that God had condemned men for their sinful nature [John 3:18]; and for this, as well as for their transgressions, they deserved eternal death [Rom 1:32].
He held also that the influences of the Spirit of God on the minds of men were physical [i.e. works as a result of salvation], acting directly upon the substance of the soul; that men were passive in regeneration [i.e. they cannot do works for their salvation]; and in short he held
-Charles G. Finney, Memoirs of Rev. Charles G. Finney, Applewood Books, 2009, p. 46, ISBN: 9781429018913
Charles Finney believed that man was inwardly good, and rejected the doctrine of original inherited sin from Adam and Eve.
Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
-1 Corinthians 15:21-22
"Foundation of the Justification of Penitent Believers in Christ. That is, what is the ultimate ground or reason of their justification. 1.
It is not founded in Christ's literally suffering the exact penalty of the law for them, and in this sense literally purchasing their justification and eternal salvation... that Christ suffered in his own person the full amount strictly due to all the elect, I say, That it was naturally impossible... Neither is the atonement of Christ the foundation of our justification... Nor is any thing in the mediatorial work of Christ the foundation of our justification."
-Charles G. Finney, Lectures on Systematic Theology, Fitch, 1847, p. 162-163, [University of Michigan]
This means Finney did not believe that Christ's sacrifice on the cross paid for the sins of man, nor did he believe that Christ's intercession on behalf of those who believe on Him (i.e. his status as the one and only mediator) is the justification for our sin that imputes righteousness to us.
Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator. Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one. Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.
By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament. And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death: But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's: for this he did once, when he offered up himself. For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, maketh the Son, who is consecrated for evermore.
And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.
The sinner has all the faculties and natural attributes requisite to render perfect obedience to God. All he needs is to be induced[persuaded]."
-Charles G. Finney, Lectures on Systematic Theology, W. Tegg & Co, 1851, p. 408, [University of Michigan]
Those familiar with Scripture may go to Corinthians to contend with me on this issue, specifically concerning my contention against Finney on the issue of persuasion:
Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.
-2 Corinthians 5:11
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
-2 Corinthians 5:10
But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
"Conditions of Justification. As has been already said
there can be no justificationin a legal or forensic sense, but upon condition of universal, perfect, and uninterrupted obedience to law. This is of course denied by those who hold that gospel justification or the justification of penitent sinners... They hold to the legal maxim [principle or rule] that what a man does by another he does by himself, and therefore the law regards Christ's obedience as ours on the ground that he obeyed for us. To this I reply... The doctrine of an imputed righteousness or that Christ's obedience to the law was accounted as our obedience, is founded on a most false and nonsensical assumption;"
-Charles G. Finney, Lectures on Systematic Theology, Fitch, 1847, p. 99, [University of Michigan]
Finney did NOT believe that a man can be sorry for his sin and believe on Christ as his savior and sole justification by faith alone. Finney believed that one must do the works of the law to be justified, and thus he taught a works-based doctrine that denied Christ; this is the man who invented revivalism as we know it today.
With this understanding of Finney's beliefs, it should be no surprise that revivalism and the charismatic movement fit so perfectly together. The "inward goodness" of Finney and the "feel-good" messages of modern tent revivals both work together perfectly in Satan's plan for the deception of false converts.
For example, I was looking around at tent revival videos, and even though it was sickening to listen to their showboating, I did my best to tolerate it so I could hear the words behind they're sanctimonious tones. One man, Ron Carpenter, started off his tent revival preaching by describing what he saw when looking at people around him:
people that are so unsure and insecure about where they're at in the world today."
-Ron Carpenter, "Tent Revival," retrieved July 12, 2016, [youtu.be/BwDQ3LWOYkQ?t=19s]
Of course, he gets those shouts of "AMEN BROTHER!!!" from the crowd after saying it, but I was shaking my head no when I heard him say it. I don't see people who are unsure and insecure; I see a nation of arrogance, blissful ignorance, and pride, which is exactly why people are not looking for a savior, and even if they do look for a savior, that savior is typically a man, like a government leader or a religious figure (i.e. pastor, priest, etc).
The Bible does not say that people are unsure and insecure; the Bible tells us that people are professing themselves to be wise, and they revel in the lusts of their flesh to have pleasure in wickedness.
Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
More evidence of Carpenter's true "purpose" is discovered when he said:
I'm not here to preach to the churched. I'm here to preach to unchurched."
-Ron Carpenter, "Tent Revival," retrieved July 12, 2016, [youtu.be/BwDQ3LWOYkQ?t=6m12s]
If that statement were true, and he were truly of God, then he would have given them the law to attempt to save their souls. Generally speaking, from a Christian perspective, that's what we believe that should be the primary objective, but that's not what Ron Carpenter was doing because he's not there to save souls; he's there to get the "unchurched" into his church. (i.e. bonus attendance and money)
The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
(Read "Wolves in Costume: Rick Warren" here at creationliberty.com for more details.)
While still almost yelling into the microphone, Carpenter continues to say:
"Some of this, you're not going to understand. All you're going to understand is that
there is a longing in your heart to live a different life."
-Ron Carpenter, "Tent Revival," retrieved July 12, 2016, [youtu.be/BwDQ3LWOYkQ?t=6m12s]
Of course, this was still getting a fervent "Amen!" from the crowd of willingly blind church-goers. It really shouldn't be surprising at this point, but Carpenter's appeal to the "unchurched" is actually about changing their earthly lives, which leads straight into the positivity message that helps attract a crowd and extra money in the offering plate. This "pastor" is claiming that these people are longing for God, seeking after God, and they just don't know it, so they need this fiery revival preacher to tell them about it, preaching a "Jesus-is-better-than-beer" mentality that creates false converts.
As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes. Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
Here are some more statements from Carpenter:
(Read "Is Repentance Part of Salvation?" here at creationliberty.com for more details.)
For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.
-1 Corinthians 1:17
Carpenter, at the beginning of his sermon, said that God directly told him to preach that message, but this preacher has the crowd in such a fit of emotion, he could say almost anything and the crowd would say amen, as if they could no longer understand his words. He's not bringing them any Biblical understanding.
For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.
-1 Corinthians 14:33
For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful... I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.
-1 Corinthians 14:14-19
Let all things be done decently and in order.
-1 Corinthians 14:40
For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.
Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
Revival of Religion Is Not a Miracle. A miracle has been generally defined to be, a Divine interference, setting aside or suspending the laws of nature. It is not a miracle, in this sense. All the laws of matter and mind remain in force. They are neither suspended nor set aside in a revival. It is not a miracle according to another definition of the term miracle -- something above the powers of nature. There is nothing in religion beyond the ordinary powers of nature.It consists entirely in the right exercise of the powers of nature. It is just that, and nothing else. When mankind become religious, they are not enabled to put forth exertions which they were unable before to put forth. They only exert the powers they had before in a different way, and use them for the glory of God. It is not a miracle, or dependent on a miracle, in any sense. It is a purely philosophical result of the right use of the constituted means -- as much so as any other effect produced by the application of means."
-Charles G. Finney, Lectures on Revivals of Religion, Leavitt, Lord & Company, 1835, p. 12, [Harvard University]
When I say "pragmatism," it's very similar to "practical," and in the way Charles Finney is using would be closer to "the end justifies the means," or in other words, he's saying the revivalists do whatever is necessary to achieve a desired goal, even if it goes against Scripture. When Finney says revivalism is "a purely philosophical result of the right use of constituted means,," he's saying that he is altering people's way of thinking by using an established method that he has invented, and by his preface, this invented method did not rely on Scripture and the knowledge of God, but rather by his own pragmatic interpretation of how to accomplish the goal he had in mind.
In fact, when Finney said "there is nothing in religion beyond the ordinary powers of nature," it means he doesn't believe in miracles. Not only he doesn't believe in miracles, but he also doesn't believe that God is much involved with the business of mankind, and that everything is simply operating according God's laws, but He took His hands off of everything after the creation. (It's very similar to what theistic evolutionists believe.) In combination with everything else we've read from Finney, this means he invented revivalism under the presupposition that men are "saved" in the very same way that you change a flat tire, that no divine intervention is involved, and this is further evidenced by his statement, "as much so as any other effect produced by the application of means," which means it is a man-centered "gospel message" that he built, which was handed down from preacher to preacher, and that's why we see these tent revivals as they appear today.
For a Bible-believing/studying Christian, if you've ever been to one of these revivals, or at least watched a video of one, and you get those red warning lights going off in the back of your mind that something is very wrong, Finney's statement here should explain why you're getting a discerning danger sense. The Lord God, via the Holy Spirit, is warning you by conviction that there is something seriously wrong, and the people emotionally engrossed in the revival event have been blinded to such a degree, God's Word warning against the feel-good messages being presented will fall on deaf ears.
Help, LORD; for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the children of men. They speak vanity every one with his neighbour: with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak.
This preacher started out telling everyone:
I want you to believethere's a miracle in here for you tonight... why don't you grab somebody's hand tonight in the name of the Lord and tell them there is a miracle here for youin the name of Jesus."
-Unnamed preacher, "Savannah GA Tent Revival," retrieved July 12, 2016, [youtu.be/ZzpBLQtd_ww?t=2m37s]
The problem is that this is incredibly vague. What is that supposed to mean, that there is a 'miracle' for them? Notice first he said that he "wanted them to believe" it, not that it's true, but that he wants their faith in what he said.
I don't believe this man for a second because not only is he lying, he's requesting that everyone else in the tent lie to one another. Unless the Lord God caused a storm that would tear the tent down, I don't see a miracle coming to that tent, especially after what we just read from Finney.
The vague statements are designed on purpose because|
the more uncertain the meaning, the easier it is to sell.
Just like every other revivalist preacher, this pastor tells everyone that God sent him there to preach a message to them. He also said there was a prophet among them, that delivered the Word of God to the Christians of Savannah, GA:
"A prophet has been in the midst of you, and that these things shall come to pass...
the lord said there's a great storm coming this way, to this city, and the lord also said that there's going to be a great explosion here on the waters, and that the people needed to be prepared early for it come."
-Unnamed preacher, "Savannah GA Tent Revival," retrieved July 12, 2016, [youtu.be/ZzpBLQtd_ww?t=3m58s]
For those of you who aren't familiar with the geography of Savannah, Georgia, let me show you a map:
(Image by Google Maps, "Savannah, GA," retrieved July 12, 2016, [bit.ly/29vgOsK])
I've counted no less than eight named rivers that surround the city of Savannah, which all drain into the coast line of the Atlantic Ocean. The Atlantic coast line along Savannah is famous as a hot spot tourist attraction. For a "prophet" to foretell the coming of flood waters in Savannah, would be like a "prophet" going to the Hebrew slaves in Egypt and "prophesying" that it was going to be hot tomorrow. The Georgia state website has a page dedicated to Savannah flood emergencies because they happen quite frequently, so not only is this common knowledge (i.e. not prophecy), but the so-called "prophet" gives no timing whatsoever, which means whenever the next flood happens, in the eyes of these ignorant church-goers, he suddenly becomes a "true" prophet of God.
(See Cith of Savannah, "Flood Protection Information," retrieved July 12, 2016, [savannahga.gov/floodprotection])
He told them that these prophecies, namely a flood coming to Savannah, was the gift of God, and then he said:
"As a matter of fact,
look at somebody and tell them 'That's my miracle.'"
-Unnamed preacher, "Savannah GA Tent Revival," retrieved July 12, 2016, [youtu.be/ZzpBLQtd_ww?t=5m15s]
First he said there was a miracle there for everyone, connected a "miracle" to the prophecy that there would be a flood in an area known for frequent floods (without any specific timing), and then had the people confess to each other THAT was their miracle they received. This was insurance for the pastor to make sure people wouldn't leave there thinking and saying, "I didn't receive any miracle," and I don't see how someone that deceptive could be of Christ. This was just the first three minutes, and we already see deep deception in what's going on in this revival meeting.
In another part, the preacher told everyone that the prophecies of God were not fortune-telling, and that they shouldn't have to pay for them, so they wouldn't be taking an offering. That sure sounds good at first glance, doesn't it? The tent, sound equipment, property, food, and everything else they provided must have come out of the pastor's pocket, right? I highly doubt he lifted a finger to pay for any of it; these things were provided by people taking offerings beforehand, which is fine, but the deception is in his attempts to disconnect the fact that the money is still coming directly from their giving.
Another preacher, Jason Kendrick, who travels with his family to these unbiblical revival tents all over the country to sing and dance, talks about the costs of them:
"Many have asked me how much a tent revival would cost. We have found that most churches
spend an average of $2,500.00 total on their revival expenses. This, of course, depends on how many preachers and/or if there are singers that have been invited and also the distance the rig and revival team must travel to reach the revival destination. This estimated cost is based on revival team and evangelist only. In today’s economy, one could not rent a tent with all the equipment offered for such a price. We come by faith on a love-offering basistrusting that God will meet the needs through the offerings of His people."
-Jason Kendrick, "Revival Expenses," retrieved July 12, 2016, [jasonkendrickfamily.com/tent-ministry.html]
The $2500 he's talking about is only an average, and that's ONLY for the team that leads the show. They still need to provide for the tent too. They have platforms, altars, electrical systems, P.A. systems, lighting, chairs, the tent itself, and any other accommodations they want to include that vary in cost (e.g. food, advertising, etc). These things get pricey very quickly, and all to spread false doctrines with a "feel-good" message.
At this point I'd like to let the reader know that I am seriously struggling watching/listening to these tent revival videos because they are filled with such wicked men that want to put on a show for the masses, it's making me sick to my stomach. I'm only suffering through these to demonstrate the point.
One man I listened to seemed to be teaching repentance to salvation, which seemed great on the surface, but then he pointed out through his yelling that they needed to put on a prayer shawl, which is a Jewish tradition not recognized by the New Testament Church in Scripture. In other videos, he also used the tradition of "altar calls" which are not also not found in Scripture and never recognized by the New Testament Church in Scripture. Even though repentance was being taught, the problem was that it was not being taught as godly sorrow, but turning from sin, which is a works-doctrine that says you must turn from all sin to be saved, but the Bible teaches us that we are saved while in our sinful state.
(See Bruce, "Tent Revival May 2009," retrieved July 14, 2016, [youtube.com/watch?v=f1hE-UZ6zEM])
And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. [i.e. That's repentance!]
The altar call is never found in Scripture, neither is the design of the bench found at the forefront of most church building sanctuaries. If it's not in Scripture, how did it get implemented? Sadly, the revivalist movement is the instigator of the problem.
The following author documents the history behind the altars:
"[I]n 1807 in England, the Methodists created the 'mourner's bench.'
-Frank Viola & George Barna, Pagan Christianity?: Exploring the Roots of Our Church Practices, Tyndale House Publishers Inc, 2010, p. 66-67, ISBN: 9781414341651
This means part of the design of the typical church building is centered around the revivalist movement by a man who didn't believe in the Christian God of the Bible.
(Read "Christian Symbols Are Not Christian" here at creationliberty.com for more details.)
Bringing people up to an altar call is a way to psychologically influence the crowd into accepting what they see as legitimate change or conversion. The evidence of real conversion needs to be witnessed by the words and actions of the convert to Christianity over a period of time, but that time frame is too long to accomplish Finney's pragmatic goals of "church growth."
Displays in front of a church crowd help to establish excitement in the heat of the moment, but most of the time, these so-called "converts" end up right back where they started a week later, and almost no one in revivalist church buildings is willing to talk about it. Even if they do talk about it, the solution is never to own up to the truth and abandon the unbiblical revivalist movement, but rather to "follow up" with people in a harassing manner to pressure them to "come to church," as if their constant monitoring of these people is what is going to save them.
Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.
The next man I listened to was incredibly fat; he likely weighed close to 300 lbs, and he has very likely never fasted a day in his life. It literally looked like he was going to have a heart attack because within 30 seconds, he was (with a red face) screaming into the microphone, and within 5 minutes, the preacher and his audience were screaming "JESUS!" over and over and over in vain repetition.
(Eric Henderson, "Eric Henderson preaching at the Tent Revival in Bowling Green," retrieved July 14, 2016, [youtube.com/watch?v=AGJ9uFjtFdA])
For example, this church building group is up on stage with microphones saying "Jesus" and "healing power" over and over in vain repetition, with people whooping and yelling in the background:
And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.
Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.
-1 Thessalonians 3:12
(Read "What's Wrong With Christian Rock?" here at creationliberty.com for more details.)
But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.
-1 Peter 3:4
The more unconfident and unfaithful|
a man becomes, the louder he gets.
The yelling and screaming is to try and shock people into a heightened state of emotion, not to help them gain understanding. If understanding is a man's foundation, then that understanding will be his motivating factor, but if a screaming revival is a man's foundation, what will he need for motivation?
It is for these reasons that false converts are being created by the thousands across the U.S. every week. The revivalist movement has been a large factor in contributing to the Laodecian, lukewarm blind church buildings we see today.
Some people may be confused at my saying that the revivalist movement, with all their emphasis on emotion, is causing lukewarmness. To the world, they think the revivalist movement is curing lukewarmness, but that's because they are blind to the truth. The problem is that the emotional states that people are being manipulated into are based on a lie, so when the emotional house burns down, the foundation of lies underneath is all that remains, and thus the false converts turn to put their faith in the preacher that led them into these lies in the first place. (i.e. Their true faith is in the preacher, not in Christ.) When the emotion is gone, all you're left with are bored people waiting to be entertained, and that's a huge source of lukewarmness.
I hope that Christians reading this do not think that exposing the revivalism movement is something new, because others at the beginning of the movement in the 1800s saw the exact same lukewarmness come out of the revivals. Although I do not support all the doctrine from the following preachers, I do want to point out that Charles Finney's revivalism movement was being exposed in the 19th century.
Charles Spurgeon noted the false converts being created from the revivalist movement, and it's extreme focus on emotion rather than truth:
"Sometimes we are inclined to think that
Everything in this age is shallow. Deep-sea fishing is almost an extinct business so far as men's souls are concerned.
The consequence is that men leap into religion, and then leap out again. Unhumbled they came to the church, unhumbled they remained in it, and unhumbled they go from it."
-Charles H. Spurgeon, The Sword and the Trowel, 1882, p. 545, [Oxford University]
What Spurgeon mentioned here is true, that the prodigal son had godly sorrow:
And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.
Robert Dabney noted the dangers of revivalism because they were falsely concluding their numbers to be higher than they actually were, and that they were leading false converts into the church by convincing the crowd that their fleshly emotions were the workings of the Holy Spirit:
"[I]t was asserted that in a given commonwealth where the Presbyterians could count only eleven thousand communicants [i.e. a person who is in communion with the church], a sister denomination, with an uneducated ministry, claimed seventy-five thousand. But when close inquiry was made of a competent and learned leader of that denomination in that State, he answered that those statistics had been gotten together irresponsibly upon a spread-eagle plan, and that, coming down to hard-pan, his denomination had about fifteen thousand actual commuicants! [i.e. only about 20% of what they claimed]
American Protestantism is characterized by
a peculiar evil which I may describe by the term 'spurious [false] revivalism.'It has been often called the 'New Measure System.' The common mischief resulting from all its form is the over-hasty reception into the communion of the churches[i.e. come one, come all, and don't forget your wallet], of multitudes of persons whom time proves to have experienced no spiritual change... The ill-starred artists stimulate natural remorse [not godly remorse/sorrow] and the merely sympathetic excitements of the natural feelings, and deceive themselves and encourage their victims to be deceived into mistaking these agitations for the real and saving work of the Holy Spirit with a criminal recklessness."
-Robert L. Dabney, Discussions: Philosophical, Presbyterian Committee of Publication, 1892, p. 563-564, [Pennsylvania State University]
Even the famous Jonathan Edwards noticed the problems with revivals, and spoke "in
"We have already given quotations from Edwards, in proof of
This is what happens afterwards; when all the emotion and hype of the events die down, the people not only go back to living their lives as they were, they are worse off than before. Why? Because the truth is that their expectations were not met. They got wrapped up in the heat of the moment, and then when their reasoning steps back into the driver's seat of their minds, they realize it was all a show, but many choose to suppress that truth and believe the lie anyway, putting their hope in false teaching.
This willful ignorance, or willful blindness comes over people because they are deceived by the devils that are in possession of these wicked preachers who know nothing of the doctrines of the Lord God and the Lord Jesus Christ. These wicked men (and women) have their devilish revivals and go from random person to random person laying hands on them, as you can see in the following video:
In this video, we clearly see men laying hands on person after person after person, and others who just walk up to people on the street to lay hands on them to pray, but the Bible clearly tells us:
Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men's sins: keep thyself pure.
-1 Timothy 5:22
It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart. Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth. It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools. For as the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of the fool: this also is vanity.
mirth (n): social merriment; hilarity; high excitement of pleasurable feelings in company; noisy gayety; jollity; mirth differs from joy and cheerfulness, as always implying noise
(See 'mirth', American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster, 1828, retrieved Jan 19, 2016 [webstersdictionary1828.com])
I'd also like to point out that tossing thorns into a fire creates a loud, annoying crackling sound. The Lord God is telling us in His Word that these people in these revival sessions are loud, annoying fools.
There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. Even in laughter the heart is sorrowful; and the end of that mirth is heaviness. The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways: and a good man shall be satisfied from himself.
I said in mine heart, Go to now, I will prove thee with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure: and, behold, this also is vanity. I said of laughter, It is mad: and of mirth, What doeth it?
He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.
Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep.
"There's an area happening right now with you and your wife and God said 'I'm going to heal it right now. I'm going to heal it today. This is your day.
I'm going to restore your marriage. In fact, I'm going to bring back broken relationships; people who have whacked you in the past, you've kind of pushed out, I see they're coming back in now."
This so-called "prophet" is speaking to a man who is clearly in his 50s or 60s (age-wise), and notice how vague he was in his "prophecy." These are issues that are common amongst almost all men in their 50s and 60s, and this is precisely what many mediums (pagan fortune tellers) do when they use cold reading techniques.
Often, these false preachers want you to believe they're legitimate men of God by telling you that they love Jesus, pray, and help people, but in order to spot a counterfeit, you need to compare the differences, not the similarities. Let's compare this man's vague charismatic verbal techniques with actual prophesying from the Bible when Daniel delivered God's Word to Nebuchadnezzar:
Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, The secret which the king hath demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers, shew unto the king; But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these;
Let's look at another famous prophet, Isaiah, and see what message the Lord God told him to deliver unto His people:
Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward.
Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, Return, thou backsliding Israel, saith the LORD; and I will not cause mine anger to fall upon you: for I am merciful, saith the LORD, and I will not keep anger for ever. Only acknowledge thine iniquity, that thou hast transgressed against the LORD thy God, and hast scattered thy ways to the strangers under every green tree, and ye have not obeyed my voice, saith the LORD.
And the high places of Isaac shall be desolate, and the sanctuaries of Israel shall be laid waste; and I will rise against the house of Jeroboam with the sword.
Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
-2 Timothy 4:2-4
Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you [to scorn and charge with fault], and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.
Many investigators and researchers have spent great deal of time looking into the claimed "miracle healings," only to find out they were a total fraud. For example, ABC's Primetime show aired multiple sessions on the "faith healers" and exposed them for what they are:
In this video, Sawyer's investigative team goes undercover, filming their undercover agents talking with preachers before the service, and during the service, those faith healers would come out and declare facts about these people as if it was a revelation from God. They would also use sleight-of-hand tricks, and hire actors to play roles, to make people believe they were miracles.
The video also covers a popular trick of making legs grow, which is supposed to heal someone's back pain. They pick people with back problems (common ailment), and say that the legs are not even. The preacher sits the person down, lifts their feet while simultaneously slightly slipping off the heel of one shoe, then while praying, slowly pushes the heel of the shoe back in, giving the illusions of "growth."
Let's compare these parlor tricks of supposed "faith healers" to actual miracles of healing performed by God:
And he entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there which had a withered hand. And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him. And he saith unto the man which had the withered hand, Stand forth. And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace. And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other. And the Pharisees went forth, and straightway took counsel with the Herodians against him, how they might destroy him.
We also need to notice that Jesus was angered by these Pharisees (i.e. the pastors of that day) because they were more willing that Christ should be killed than for the lame man to be healed. They were more interested in protecting their estates, wealth, and positions of authority, than to judge righteous judgment.
Let's look at another instance where Christ raises the dead, and compare that to these preachers' cheap tricks:
While he yet spake, there came from the ruler of the synagogue's house certain which said, Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master any further? As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe. And he suffered no man to follow him, save Peter, and James, and John the brother of James. And he cometh to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and seeth the tumult, and them that wept and wailed greatly. And when he was come in, he saith unto them, Why make ye this ado, and weep? the damsel is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn. But when he had put them all out, he taketh the father and the mother of the damsel, and them that were with him, and entereth in where the damsel was lying. And he took the damsel by the hand, and said unto her, Talitha cumi; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say unto thee, arise. And straightway the damsel arose, and walked; for she was of the age of twelve years. And they were astonished with a great astonishment. And he charged them straitly that no man should know it; and commanded that something should be given her to eat.
One of America's many fake "faith healers" is Morris Cerullo, who claimed he was called by God when angels led him away from an orphanage he was raised in. During one of his "healing" sessions, a young woman got up on the stage with him, believing his false message, and claimed she was healed of epileptic seizures, but a few days later she died during one of her seizures:
Audrey Reynolds suffered from epilepsyall her life. A congenital brain abnormality meant she would suffer seizuresif she did not take three tablets a day... In the summer of 1992 a poster advertising the imminent arrival in London of American TV evangelist Morris Cerullo caught the 25-year-old’s eye. 'Some will see miracles for the first time' it claimed. Audrey was intrigued and joined 80,000 people who went to Cerullo’s eight-day 'crusade' at the Earls Court exhibition centre. Having queued patiently for her chance to meet Cerullo, Audrey took the stage telling the preacher she believed his message of healing power had cured her. Six days later she had an epileptic fit and drowned in her bath."
-Paul Gallagher, "Controversial American evangelist Morris Cerullo returns to Britain for one final 'crusade'," Independent Aug 2, 2014, retrieved Aug 7, 2016, [http://ind.pn/1oieNhK]
According to the British article, great efforts have been made by Cerullo's staff to get videos of his fake healings off places like Youtube, and understandably so. There's a negative impact on his business when a four-year-old dies of cancer after claiming to be healed by Cerullo:
four-year-old called Natalia Barned suffering from neuroblastoma, a childhood cancer growing just above the kidney, arrives on stage clasping her mother in one hand and a tissue to wipe her tears away in the other. Cerullo descends on the pair and takes the girl’s hand. 'Can you feel any pain?' he bends down to ask. 'No,' the young girl replies.Natalia’s mother gives her a fist bump. Cerullo repeats the question. Natalia repeats her answer. Cerullo takes the girl’s hand and walks to the front of the stage to raucous applause. Cerullo asks the Earl’s Court audience to raise their hands and thank God. She died two months later, on 23 August 1992."
-Paul Gallagher, "Controversial American evangelist Morris Cerullo returns to Britain for one final 'crusade'," Independent Aug 2, 2014, retrieved Aug 7, 2016, [http://ind.pn/1oieNhK]
The death certificate of Natalia Barned, dated two months after Cerullo's "crusade" in the U.K.
Mark Haville is a British preacher that used to be a revivalist faith healer, but came out of it when studying the Word of God. Haville had his eyes opened by the Lord Jesus Christ that what he was doing was totally unbiblical, and in an interview, Haville describes the process as a form of hypnosis:
"People are suggestible as human beings. So what happens is by getting a person into
as we have them on television here in the U.K., there's a process that you go through, induction if you like, and
all you do is you just change the names for the audience. So you change it for the name of Jesus, the Holy Spirit, words which have some kind of supposed Biblical link; fire, revival, whatever... the best way to [get someone] into a state of hypnosis is to have long periods of music. So in this case we'll call it praise and worship. The best kind of music that will work will be one that mirrors bodily functions like cardiovascular, that kind of beat and speed of the music, so praise and worship fits very nicely into that nice relaxed heartbeat... obviously tunes that people know, so that they'll be familiar with the songs. Also because you have a large crowd of people, the dynamics that are involved in large crowds also make people more susceptible, and heighten experiences. It's kind of like, you're watching a comedy show on TV with your friends, and you really really laugh at all the gags and all the jokes, and then you watch the same kind of thing on your own, and it's not funny."
-Mark Haville, "Hypnosis in Christianity Exposed," retrieved Aug 5, 2016, [youtube.com/watch?v=hr8SHQejUyM]
And every revival I've ever witnessed, from small tents to giant stadiums, uses the exact methods Haville is describing; after all, he used to be one of the men who led revivals, so he knows something about the methods. The Lord Jesus Christ, His disciples, and the early church in the Book of Acts, did not need all these methods to teach the truth. These methods are created by men for the purpose of stirring up emotions, to convey a hypnotic message that will gain them popularity and wealth.
The ABC Primetime report in the video above had a man who was a close college buddy of Robert Tilton, a very well known revivalist, faith-healing wolf. He was protecting his identity on camera, but he gave testimony about his college days with Tilton:
TILTON'S COLLEGE FRIEND: "Robert Tilton, as I knew him, was practicing to become a salesman. That was his concept of success."|
DIANE SAWYER: "This man, who wanted anonymity, is just one of several old friends of Robert Tilton who talked to us. He remembers when they were in college
TILTON'S COLLEGE FRIEND: "And
TILTON'S COLLEGE FRIEND: "[in a sanctimonious revivalist preacher tone] 'Oh dear God-ah... come into this woman's life! Heal tonight! She has a neeeeeed-ah to find Chriiiiiiist-ah!'... I personally thought I was a lot better at it than he was."
SAWYER: "Tilton, who never finished college, admits he was a drug user; says he was saved when some people came to his house and explained Christ, but he never tells followers how he and his friends talked about running preacher scams and cashing in."
TILTON'S COLLEGE FRIEND: "
This is the truth, and it's exactly what Christ warned us about:
He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.
But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.
-2 Peter 2:1-3
For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
-1 Timonthy 6:10
I realize many people get wrapped up in emotions of an event, but let's come out of the desire of the flesh in emotion, and reason together to maintain the church as would please Christ rather than men.
Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: