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January 08, 2004

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Well Bill Hamon has spoken about a "Saint's movement". He even may have a book out on it by now. I remember hearing about a "day of the Saints" future release. Anyway he's been one of the better voices on this sort of thing. Although, I've been following him pretty closely on his prophetic predictions (actual prophesies many times) and he's been very hit and miss (Lots of misses on the national and international front).

Anyone recall what the OT commanded be done with prophets who claimed to speak for God, but whose prophecies didn't pan out?

Yup. And it wasn't pretty. :)

"Anyone recall what the OT commanded be done with prophets who claimed to speak for God, but whose prophecies didn't pan out?"

... i'm glad we live in a time of greater grace for our shortcommings in all areas

Does that "grace" apply to those who claim to be the mouthpiece of God? We're not talking preaching or teaching here, but prophecy, the foretelling of future events. I don't think this is really a situation of "shortcomings," do you? If you're, say, Jerry Falwell, and you go public and say God told you George Bush is going to win the 2004 Presidential election, and then he doesn't (bear with me here), one of two things happened. Either (1) the "voice" you were listening to wasn't God's, or (2) God was wrong. Unless you're an open theist, there's only one option, right?

I mean, sure, we shouldn't go stoning "false prophets," but we certainly shouldn't listen to them anymore, should we?

the understanding of prophecy primarily as predictions of future events is very narrow and not very biblical. prophets had special "insight" or "knowledge" into the ways and will of God, but it wasn't mainly about predicting the future (that's not even a very helpful or beneficial thing compared to "knowledge" or "insight" into God's ways and will).

"what might the next (widespread) outpouring of God's Spirit look like?"

i may be just coming from a very different place in the kingdom, but is there really such a thing as a "widespread" outpouring? surely God showed up at pentecost in a big way... BUT modern day examples seem to have been marketed and promoted like the brownsville revival. this raises big questions about how much is the holy spirit and how much is good promotional strategy. is God doing impossible things, or is someone just spreading a new trend or fad?

i believe strongly in people's experiences of the holy spirit including forms i don't understand totally or know if i believe (tongues, being slain, etc.) but i also believe in people's tendency toward emotionalism in charismatic circles (i've been there) and their need to "belong" to the group. i read a good book a couple years ago called "the power of love or the love of power" by some charismatic dudes being critical of their own. good read, very interesting.

anyway... just my two silver dollars

Just a thought to follow Lucas - Seems to me that when the Holy Spirit is poured out outside the context of a promotional extravaganza, the church culture is poised to miss it. I feel that there was the birth of a revival among college students 5 years ago and when it was noticed, the industry usurped the music and made it impotent. When the church adopted the music that resulted from hearts drawn to God, they forgot to adopt the revival with it.
I know I keep saying this, but I feel the next big revival is going to take place "off-campus", so that churches not already in tune with the "out-of-box" workings of the Holy Spirit are going to miss it.

"The understanding of prophecy primarily as predictions of future events is very narrow and not very biblical."

I assumed that went without saying. But the kind of prophecy that Pavel was talking about was the other kind, "foretelling" as opposed to "forth-telling." God's word has some very specific instructions concerning "foretelling" prophets whose predictions don't come true:

"A prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded him to say...must be put to death. ... If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptiously." (Dt 18:20, 22)

"The prophet who prophesies peace will be recognized as one truly sent by the Lord only if his prediction comes true." (Jer 28:9)

(Deuteronomy 13:1-5 is also of particular interest here.)

My point (admittedly tangential to Chris' post) is merely that we must be wary of those among us who would claim to have divine foreknowledge of the future that doesn't come to pass. They should be openly acknowledged as false prophets by the church, and their words should not be given creedence in the future--both responses which are in line with the pattern of meaning of the OT commands.

Lucas, It's my personal observation that the the so-called "third wave" was overstated. I'm not seeking to discredit what happened in Brownsville or Toronto or among the Vineyard "signs-and-wonders" teams, but they seemed to be of different stuff than Azusa Street or the charismatic movement even more so -- probably because the later was witnessed throughout all three branches of the church (i.e. Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Protestant).

Yes, there were marketing endeavors -- what did you expect from Modern Protestants in particular who have tended to propagate the commodification of the faith?

Hey, all of you, my orthodox friends...
One of the answers I've heard in the past 5-10 years concerning my question about the next great move of the Holy Spirit has been focused on the Orthodox Church -- that it is where we can expect the so-called fouth wave. Has this, or any nuances to the same been contemplated in orthodox circles?

Very much so!

Orthodoxy, after centuries of persecution by Islam and Communism, is finally being discovered by Western Christians right at a time when western Christendom is (in many cases) falling apart around our ears.

With the stories of people like Charles Bell (now Fr. Seraphim) and Peter Gillquist leading entire congregations into the Orthodox Church, Orthodoxy is bursting onto the western Christian scene.

There is no doubt that people are really seeking an ecclesial communion that has a rich liturgical tradition that has not been corrupted; a way of life that is focused more on community and not infused with copious amounts of Enlightenment philosophy and Individualism; a deep tradition of prayer and an ascetic and sacramental vision that takes seriously the teaching of the Church Fathers; and most of all a holistic Christianity that is not merely *like* the early church, but *is* the early church!

But the danger is in seeng "movements" and "outpourings" in a general sense without asking ourselves very personal questions and digging deep to find the answers:

How can we fully understand and participate in the Christian life if we are not in communion with all of the saints who have gone before us (Heb 11:40-12:1)?

How could we call ourselves fully united to Christ, if we are totally disunited to all of the Church Fathers and saints both in practice and in belief, something St. Paul explicitly warns against? (2 Thess. 2:15, Gal 1:9 etc).

If Jesus is fully God and fully man, why would his body only be "spiritual" and not bodily and visible "without confusion or division" (As the 4th Council said)?

How can we trust the Holy Sprit in our lives, if we don't believe the Holy Sprit would preserve the fullness of the Christ's Body from the days of Pentecost unto ages of ages (John 16:13, Matt. 16:18) just as Jesus had promised his disciples? (John 17)?

Might this unbelief in the visible Church be the very thing St. Paul warns us against when he says "do not grieve the Holy Spirit?" (Eph 4:30)

Hmm. That's the closest you've come to convincing me, Karl. "Almost thou persuadest me..." =) Still, I question my own motives.

By the way, if you answered Chris' question, I'm not sure I caught it...can you rephrase?

Daniel,

Interesting you should say something about questioning motives...that is another great topic (the problem of truly converting to Orthodoxy and not simply becoming, as the phrase goes, "A Protesant who love the Liturgy"....)

I'd be curious to hear more about your motives in this regard...

But did I answer Chris' question? I'm not sure, actually! Quick try:

Do the O's think that a swell in interest in Orthodoxy is the work of the Holy Spirit? Yes.
Would we call it "The Fourth Wave"? No, since that title implies a pneumenology we don't subscribe to.
Have we talked and prayed for the unity of all Christians? Yup, ever since the Schism.

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