Most people are aware of the Toronto experience as well as the Brownsville/Pensacola revivials that have taken place years back. Most claim that these are authentic moves of God with many coming to "repentance" while others have criticised the movement for unbiblical manifestations. Let me tell you this, I repudiate Toronto and Brownsville. After listening to others about Toronto itself and of course looking for myself, I fail to see how it's an authentic move of God. What is interesting is in a conversation with Keith Thompson I had. We were speaking of Montanis in passing. He quoted from Eusebius to show that what Montanis did. And judging by the quotation, Montanis certainly was off his rocker to put it mildly. Here are some of what Eusebius said:
"They had many suspect views and practices including some of their members writing and distributing their own epistles where their alleged prophetic oracles were recorded (Eusebius, Church History, 5.18.5)."
"According to the 2nd century bishop of Hierapolis in Phrygia, Apollinarius Claudius, their leader Montanus “became beside himself, and being suddenly in a sort of frenzy and ecstasy, he raved, and began to babble and utter strange things, prophesying in a manner contrary to the constant custom of the Church handed down by tradition from the beginning”" (Apollinarius of Hierapolis, quoted in Eusebius, Church History, 5.16.7).
"It is also reported in early church writings that Montanus’ followers were demon possessed by a false spirit and mention is made of two women who talked wildly and unreasonably reviling the church and were even reproved in an exorcism fashion (Eusebius, Church History, 5.16.8-9)."
We can see that from these quotations how much of a mad-man Montanis really was. His practices were not from an apostolic tradition at all, in fact it was even CONTRARY to this. What makes these quotes interesting is this is the similiar kind of nonsense that you find in counterfeit revivals, such as howling like a wolf, uncontrollable laughter, being "drunk in the spirit" as some people call. How can this be fruit of the Holy Spirit at all?
I have seen video footage of the Toronto Blessing for myself as well as some footage of Rodney Howard Browne and I am just amazed on how anyone can accept this phenomena as being of God. I was even shocked by the quotations of Michael Brown on PFO.org's article dealing with the objections that Brown brought up. One of his quotes was:
"[Critics] will watch a video of a powerful meeting attended by thousands of people and go ballistic because one person at the altar suddenly falls to the floor, totally ignoring the fact that Jesus is being preached in clarity.".
If this is in context, Why is he defending this kind of behaviour? Its one thing to fall down in awe of God, but its another thing to collapse on the floor like what is seen at a Todd Bentley or Benny Hinn 'crusade'.
I am not attacking Brown personally, I harbour no hatred of the man. I can appreciate what he has said regarding bringing Jews to Jesus, but regarding his defence of Pensacola, how can he defend the falling down phenomenon? Moreover as others claim, how does one know that an altar call is even genuine? Someone may be converted through an altar call but I would not see an altar call as evidence of a changed life. I remember when I was confirmed by a bishop years back, but there was no repentance at that time. God did show me mercy much later in 2010, but years before, it was merely emotional feelings when I was confirmed.
There wasn't anything fancy at that confirmation but the same feeling you get at altar calls was there. Anyway, Having revivals like this doesn't prove anything, ANYONE can claim a "descision" to follow Christ yet that is not a sign of their regeneration, their FRUITS are a demonstration of this. I have watched a Benny Hinn crusade in London where he didn't call people to repentance, he called them to "receive the anointing". No fruits of repentance what so ever.
Although I have been looking at some objections Yisroel Blumenthal raised to Brown, I have expressed concerns about Brown in the past before with respect to certain ministries, such as those of Mike Bickle, Lou Engle and Cindy Jacobs, all renowned false prophets. Again, Just because a certain revival teaches repentance, we are not to automatically assume they are from the Lord, because repentance is not the only criteria of truth. It's Brown's attitude to these ministries that makes me hesitant support his ministry, if not compels me not to support him at all. As fivepointbaptist AKA. Chris Gatreau, one of the authors of Reformed Apologetics Ministries had stated when Michael Brown and Jerry Johnson discussed Charles Finney's false teachings, Gatreau noted that even Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons tell others to repent but that doesn't make them true. The context of Gatreau's words can be found in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-cFkpCZe2i0
Although this strange phenomena may or may not have been seen in Brown's videos of the revival, I would need to look at it again, the fact is you did have strange phenomena at Brownsville and Toronto in other contexts.
People acting in laughing, drunken hysterics is not even a fruit of the Holy Spirit at all. The fruit of the Holy Spirit is self-control, that's what it is, not acting in a crazy manner. Kundalini Yoga has similiar fruits where people are acting in this insane manner, it's just ridiculous to suggest that these are holy fruits.
James White has noted that Muslims like to take this sort of video as a tool to tell people "If this is the Holy Spirit, then keep away". Jacob Prasch, a moderate Pentacostal as called this "Charismania" and he is correct on this phenomena, it is certainly not biblical charismata.
It is just astounding how many Christians are being mislead by this and it does pain my heart that this even happens. Charismania is increasing at an alarming rate and sadly is taking root in many churches, even false groups like Vineyard Movements are bringing new age practices into the Church under the guise of Christianity. I am even disgusted with the infiltration of the Kansas City Prophets into the church, putting their listeners into fear, making them think they are attacking the anointed of God if they do speak out against their reprobate falsehoods. In other words the "Don't Touch God's Anointed" ploy allows these Kansas City Prophets to be unassailable and continue to perpetuate their falsehoods.
I hope this warning from me is taken to heart by you guys, but I can't make that choice for you at all. Thanks for reading.
Addendum: PFO's article can be found here: http://www.pfo.org/ragriver.htm