Todd BentleyLove him or hate him, it seems there is no escaping Todd Bentley and the latest revival taking place in Florida. I’m open to accept that amazing things might possibly be taking place, and if people are genuinely being drawn to Jesus through these meetings, then let Todd preach. However, having lived through the Toronto Blessing and Brownsville Outpouring , as well as a number of more local ‘revivals’, I can’t say I’m rushing to book my ticket for Lakeland. I guess I’ve come to feel that ‘outpourings’ are the spiritual equivalent of an economic boom and bust. It’s great that the boom happens, but the bust is inevitable, with the result that many Christians simply get depressed and either constantly hark back to the ‘good old days of revival’, become fixated with finding the next outpouring, or simply give up on a faith that in reality has to be lived out in mundaneness of everyday life.

I think part of the problem lies in the fact that we have come to believe that the supernatural and the miraculous are what make us like Jesus, when the thrust of the New Testament writings suggest that it is the more ordinarily human things – feeding the hungry, providing water for those who are thirsty, welcoming the stranger, clothing the poor, caring for the sick and visiting the imprisoned (Matthew 25:35-36). Unfortunately, such things aren’t getting people in my church excited, or hopping onto planes to catch an outpouring of patience, kindness or self-control. They want the ‘boom’, because it’s exciting, out of the ordinary and beyond the routine of their normal Christian existence.

What I’ve learned the hard way, is that the ‘boom’ and bust doesn’t make us like Jesus. Maturing into Christ-like human beings is a life-long process of the work of the Spirit in and through the ordinariness of life, hence the concern and title of my forthcoming book, A Permanent Becoming: A Contemporary Look at the Fruit of the Spirit – if I can be so crude in plugging it 🙂