Revival is by nature rarely respectable, usually unpredictable, and often messy. There may be mixture in such outpourings especially in the onset of an awakening; unity as well as controversy, truth, and error.
Genuine revival is “born, not of the blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:13). By its very nature, revival is upsetting to the normal order of things, and almost without exception, those involved challenged both the Church and the culture by their lives and ministries. Like all ordinary men and women who loved God and people in both Scripture and history, they sometimes had real faults and failings, both loyal supporters and angry detractors, companions in the radicality of their calling or outspoken objectors with their own critical cohorts. We may indeed find just cause to disagree with their methods, mannerisms, and sometimes even the message, but we cannot but honor those whose motive was to serve the Lord with a sincere heart in a grateful spirit with a genuine charity for the whole body of Christ.
Pratney, William, Steve Hill, and Tamara S. Winslow, eds. 2010. The Revival Study Bible. Singapore: Genesis Books.
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