The Awakening Hope Revival Assessment
Exodus 20:1-7 (1) And God spoke all these words, saying, (2) “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. (3) “You shall have no other gods before me.
(4) “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. (5) You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, (6) but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.
(7) “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.
I attended the Awakening Hope Revival in Brainerd MN, on Saturday, March 25, with a fellow church member and watched the video from March 26. After discussing this with several other discerning Christian laymen and pastors, here is my assessment of the Awakening Hope Revival: It was an exercise in Idolatrous, false worship, which is both forbidden by God’s revealed word and will lead to destruction, according to the 2nd commandment.
God not only declares That we are to worship him only (1st Commandment), but that we are not to worship God as the pagans worship their gods.
We are not to worship the True God with images, or idolatrous representations of God which misconstrue his majesty, holiness, freedom, and transcendence, instead in we are to worship Him spirit and truth, with preaching the Scripture, prayers, singing of Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, confession (I Timothy 4, Colossians 3), the ordinances of baptism and communion…all in good order (I Corinthians 14), with clarity for all the saints to build up the church (Ephesians 4)
False Worship or idolatry was, and is, in essence, going beyond Scripture for the immediate gratification of making an invisible God tangible, present, and physical. It was a demand for instant assurance on man’s terms.
It is entirely man-centered for it demands God speak to us, bless us, and appeal to us, according to our demands. Idolatry makes feelings and preferences holy, and then we use God for our desires, rather than bringing, through honest confession of repentance, our sins to a Holy God by faith under the declared Gospel of Jesus Christ.
We are not to presume that God speaks to us according to our imaginations or through means other than Scripture.
While Worship is not restricted to the Local Church’s weekly gathering, it should never counter that which God has declared.
God speaks in Scripture, in worship, and we respond with repentance and faith in Him. This Awakening revival did in effect the opposite. The leaders declared and then God was expected to respond to them on their terms in their time frame. This is the opposite of the pattern and ethos of Biblical Worship.
*Declaring that a bat flying around is evidence of the devil.
*Spiritual and Demonic Deliverance lines with no specific call for repentance.
*The speaker referred to his wife as “smoking hot” multiple times.
*The Gospel was given under the guise of means for my own power and influence, as opposed to the power itself for salvation.
*Faulty and instant assurance was spoken to those who walked the aisle.
*Undermining and even making insufficient the regular church.
*Songs that were both man-centered and unsingable.
*The instant testimonies of miraculous healings which could not be verified other than the testimony of the one who claimed to be healed.
*The presumption to heal a sick person outside of the prescribed means of James 5.
*The numerous times we heard “God told me,” “God spoke to me.”
*Partial healings, prophetic declarations over individuals by individuals.
*The use of Scripture terms and Christian images out of their context.
*Jesus’ name was constantly invoked. but as a means to an end.
It was not enough that this “event” was idolatrous in nature, it was also irreverent, taking the Name of God in Vain. God was constantly misrepresented from being Holy and Transcendent to being beholden to the whims of the speaker. His name was uttered often, but carelessly, out-of-context, and without caution, as a stamp of approval on whatever the leads declared “He has told them.”
It was driven by the leaders and their personalities, rather than a sobering reading and singing and declaration of Holy God, according to his holy Word.
It was also very therapeutic for the 21st century, appealing to the confusion of identity within. It was the type of self-help message for those who imagine a whole category of “inner psychological unhealthiness” apart from the Scripture. The healing was psychosynthesis rather than actually medically verifiable.
Why does this matter? Bad Theology, particularly in the place of what is supposed to be true Worship, harms people. It creates faulty means of assurance, keeping true Christians insecure, immature, angry, and weak, as they look for the next high and emotional uplift. It gives false assurance to the unregenerate that they have true faith based upon some peer-pressure generated actions (altar call, deliverance lines, etc), thus inoculating them from the need to truly repent and believe, being born again by the Spirit. There is a corrosive and confused pattern, which affects the church.
There is a warning in Scripture for this—Exodus 20:5 You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me,
Galatians 6:7 Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. Gal 6:8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.
1Co 4:6 I have applied all these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, brothers, that you may learn by us not to go beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up in favor of one against another.
If your view of God is off, then everything is off. If you think God is less than who he is and we are more than who we are as dead sinners, you will miss the Gospel.
The Gospel is the Person and Work of Jesus Christ, the 2nd adam, born of a virgin, living a perfect life, and dying a sacrificial death upon the cross to redeem sinners and restore his curse-laden creation. God’s wrath was satisfied and the price was paid. The Gospel happened in History and when Jesus rose from the dead, New life is given and imparted to each sinner who believes and repents. This is the Good news. This is the actual work of the Holy Spirit. It doesn’t need our help or our improvements.
Romans 10:8-10 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim)because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Rom 10:10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth, one confesses and is saved.