Bless You, Dutch Sheets! Finally, somebody in the Charismatic movement has the guts to not spin the issue and point out what is wrong with the "morally soft" (Peter Wagner's description) Charismatic movement. Maybe this thing can be turned around.
Concerning Lakeland, what was called the “greatest revival since Azusa Street” has become possibly one of the greatest reproaches. We, the leaders of the charismatic church, are responsible. For not accepting and acknowledging our responsibility, for caring more about our own reputation than Christ’s, I repent to God and ask forgiveness of the body of Christ.
Leaders can live in sin—adultery, homosexuality, financial wrongdoing, drugs, etc.—for years without it being realized. They can offer completely unacceptable lifestyles for the body of Christ to follow and still keep their TV programs and lavish lifestyles. In the name of grace, compassion and forgiveness we have lowered the standard so much that often there isn’t one. We have bought into the lie that true discipline is “shooting our wounded.” We have made a mockery of biblical restoration, making “ministry”—not healthy individuals, marriages and families—its ultimate goal. The fact is, integrity matters. No, we don’t need legalistic, pharisaical standards, but we must have standards.
Read the full statement here.
I did find it interesting that Bill Johnson has updated his website (see previous post). Johnson now states:
I did not go to Lakeland and stand on the platform with Todd Bentley because he was perfect in character or because we agreed with every aspect of how he conducted the revival in Lakeland. I went to Lakeland because of his enemies. The relentless criticism and opposition, coupled with the grueling and sometimes unwise schedule, were bound to take their toll on this young man—emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually.
Compare this to another portion of Sheets' message:
We, the leaders of the charismatic church, spin our involvement and fail to acknowledge our responsibility when other leaders fall— all of which stems from our self-preservation and pride. Enough of the spin—we're no different than Washington, DC. Every time another embarrassing and disgraceful situation is exposed, the dancing begins. It seems that no one bears any real responsibility except the man or woman who actually commits sin. Incredibly, we even blame "revival" itself—the pressures, attacks, weariness, the "revival is messy" argument, etc., saying it is responsible for the failures. This is disgusting.
Yup. I agree.