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LAKELAND FLORIDA REVIVAL - extract from USA church internal memo
"Hi staff, We need to talk, probably as a staff, and go through what I've found out. I had a long talk with Robert Ricciardelli. He's no revival critic... He loves revival, believes in healing, prophecy and all the rest and is delighted to hear about the healings we've had here. He's a close friend of Stephen Strader... He's in an accountability relationship with Lee Grady (editor of Charisma Magazine) and is a writer for Charisma on occasion. He's part of C. Peter Wagner's apostolic network, recognized by Peter as an apostle. I've seen the man's website and he's legit, not a heresy hunter.
"The reports he has given me are firsthand, not hearsay. I am deeply troubled, grieved and tormented at what I'm hearing. He attributes most of the anointing at Lakeland to Roy Fields (worship leader). I agree. Roy is nothing but clean and God shows up hugely when he leads worship. I can go into detail later about what is surfacing, but there are huge lapses of integrity going on... Much embellishment. Many claims have been made that simply are not true. The Charisma crew has researched it. I want to weep. My heart is breaking. For now, to be safe and for the sake of integrity, we need to stop speaking about the claimed resurrections. Three of them have been checked out with the doctors and EMTs involved and found never to have happened at all. Todd has been confronted with this and has not adjusted the numbers in his claims. Not a single one of the other claimed resurrections can be substantiated despite diligent effort to do so. Even after Stephen Strader brought it down to 13 (and even those couldn't be substantiated) Todd ran it back up to 27 and more. Misrepresentation and embellishment!
"On the financial front, Todd recently told the crowd that God had told him that there were 1,000 people who would give $1,000 and that they would be blessed 1,000-fold. Robert called Stephen Strader to confront the unbiblical nature of that appeal. It came out that Todd admitted he hadn't heard that from God, that it was just an idea he had so that they could raise money to build a big stadium. Robert challenged them to issue an apology the following night based on that false claim of being told by God and they refused to do it on the excuse that it's a different crowd every night.
"That's the flavor of what I'm finding. There's a lot more. I'm so grieved I can hardly think. I'm not saying the Lakeland Outpouring is not of God (God is bigger than the men involved), although good men whom I have respected all my life are saying just that (that it's not of God), based on what they know and have seen...
"What I am saying is that we need to back up and not identify ourselves closely with Lakeland and that we need to stop repeating claims being made on the air lest we end up getting splattered with the collateral damage when certain issues of false claims, embellishments and lapses of integrity begin to come out more publicly. By the way, no one is saying that some healings have not happened - only that many false, embellished or unsubstantiated claims have been made. A number of really good men, champions of revival through the years, are actually saying that the whole thing is of the devil and that even the healings are demonically inspired. I want to be clear that I'm not going there..." [-end quote].
At New Christian UK we offer some background reading in our Church Resources Page which contains articles on spiritual discernment