Counterfeit Revival -- By: David J. MacLeod

Journal: Emmaus Journal
Volume: EMJ 07:1 (Summer 1998)
Article: Counterfeit Revival
Author: David J. MacLeod

Counterfeit Revival1

David J. MacLeod2

A Review Article


Truth is so obscure in these times and falsehood so established, that unless we love the truth, we cannot know it. — Blaise Pascal

When principles that run against your deepest convictions begin to win the day, then battle is your calling, and peace has become sin; you must, at the price of dearest peace, lay your convictions bare before friend and enemy, with all the fire of your faith. — Abraham Kuyper3

One Sunday evening thirty years ago I went with a group of friends to an A. A. Allen meeting in Dallas. Our motives, I’m afraid, were not pure. Asa Alonso Allen was a famous Pentecostal healer, and we wanted to be entertained. The large congregation in the circus tent was made up of poor folk. The music was supplied by an organist and a pianist, and their pumping style made clear the source of the rock ‘n roll music of another Assemblies of God product, Jerry Lee Lewis. That night we watched a professional manipulator at work. He railed against tobacco and alcohol. He claimed the power to perform miracles and cast out demons. His song leader and musicians led music in a way that had the folks dancing in the aisles and by their chairs (we Brethren stayed seated!). At various times people would leave their seats and speak in tongues as they walked or skipped in a jerking fashion.

At one point during the meeting A. A. Allen announced that a young pastor in the audience had been called to the mission field. He was touched by the preacher and immediately fell into the arms of another man. His tie was blessed, and the people were told that if they touched his tie they would be blessed or healed. A crowd lined up to touch the tie, and pandemonium broke out when one woman grabbed the tie and bolted for the door (“Grab that woman, she’s got the tie!”).

After about an hour and a half of these strange sights we decided to leave. On the way out I picked up a magazine (Miracle Magazine) in which was a picture of a woman sitting next to a glass jar in which there were two frogs. The caption informed the reader that the frogs were demons that had been cast out of the woman.

We left the tent that evening confident that this huckster was only a bizarre sideshow of Evangelicalism.4 We were wrong! The sideshow has moved to the center ring, and the most unscriptural practices and behavior are being embraced by a growing number of Evangeli...

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