Missing the stirring
WORLD's Dec. 20th feature article on the Brownsville Revival ("Shaken or stirred") completely missed the mark and somehow managed to portray a biblically based, repentance-centered, Jesus-exalting, society-impacting revival as a hodgepodge of shallowness and emotionalism. Not only is the article riddled with factual errors, but its highly misleading descriptions and judgmental statements paint a picture of the revival that bears almost no resemblance to reality-as mature Christian leaders and serious believers who have visited the revival from more than 100 nations can readily attest. Worse still, WORLD chooses to repeat the accusations raised in a recent series of articles in the Pensacola News Journal, although even a cursory review of those articles in light of the church's published rebuttal would indicate that nothing in the articles that was scandalous was true and nothing that was true was scandalous. Yet WORLD seemed to put more stock in the one-sided reporting of a secular newspaper that was clearly out to "get" the revival-why else would the News Journal print maps to the church leaders' homes?-than in the testimonies of countless tens of thousands who have repented of their sins and surrendered their lives to the Lord at the altars of the Brownsville Assembly of God. To say the least, WORLD owes it readers an accurate report on the Brownsville Revival-and a sincere apology as well. - Michael L. Brown, President, Brownsville Revival School of Ministry
Your Dec. 20th issue featured an article on the Pensacola revival that was incredibly poor journalism more worthy of the tabloids. It was sensational, biased, and laced with catch phrases and "quotation marks" guaranteed to polarize your readers. There is much about this revival that could be legitimately questioned, but your reporters missed the mark completely. - Bob Morrisson, email@example.com
My husband and I have been to Brownsville twice and followed its progress since the beginning. In the services there is sound teaching and preaching from the Bible; and yes, salvation by grace is preached through faith in Christ's atoning death, burial, and resurrection. The fruit is there-changed lives and love for the lost. - Cindy Carlson, Lakeside, Calif.
If it is of God ...
Two things come to mind concerning the Brownsville situation. First, Gamaliel's advice to the high priest's council in Acts 5:38-39: "If this plan or action be of men, it will be overthrown; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them; or else you may even be found fighting against God" (NASB). Second, a wise elder told me that while we are not to judge, we Christians are to be fruit inspectors. My contact with the fruits of Brownsville worshippers has been a demonstration of the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control that only God can give. - Mike Heinen, Cedar Grove, Wis.
Just the facts
The Pensacola article contained too much inflammatory language. Comments like, "to catch the spirit of this Christian Oprah show," "gaggle of gigglers," "geriatric cheerleader," give a negative flavor while appearing to state facts. - Linda Simms, Oxford, Ct.
At times in the article on the Pensacola revival I wondered which was more on trial, the Pensacola revival or time-honored Pentecostal practices. I will admit that as a thinking charismatic, all too often I am embarrassed by the seemingly never-ending excesses of those within our tradition. However, much of the content of this article was a questioning of these practices- an issue very much outside the scope of the issues raised by the Pensacola News Journal articles. I was more disturbed by the reporting than what was being reported. Pity, since what was being reported is quite serious and merits serious discussion inside and outside Pensacola. - Fred Anson, firstname.lastname@example.org
When I saw Brownsville on your cover, I wondered if WORLD would attack as so many others have done. Instead, I went on to read a relatively unbiased report. Thanks for recognizing that Christians are thinking people who can make their own judgments with the Holy Spirit's leading. Thanks for giving us the facts-only. "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another" (John 13:35). - Lorraine Curry, EZschool@aol.com