-After a revival, it begins to peter off during the third generation and finally allows heresy into the churches and Christian organizations during the fourth and fifth generations.
-The heresy is always the same, in the philosophical language of the day since it follows the worldly philosophy of the day.
-The heresy always has the same elements, although it can insert new ones as it mirrors the current philosophical thought. These heretical elements include, a softening and then ultimate denial of original sin, the substitutionary, redemptive atonement for the individual, the Bible as the Word of God, the virgin birth and divinity of Christ, miracles and healings, etc.
-The heresy replaces the above list with such things as, Jesus as a moral example, "the Bible has some good things to say but don't take any of it literally;" People are essentially good and just need a "hand up;" Jesus came as a moral example, or to bring social justice, or to bring revolution, etc.
-After the heresy begins there is a revival that God brings. These true revivals consist of conviction of sin, mass conversions and often supernatural gifts such as healing.
-The timing, beginning with the heresy and ending with the revivals, span 50 years and usually begin in the '90s and go into the next century through the 40s. The exception so far was the pattern in the late 19th century which began in the 1870s and ended in the 1920s.
-Often occultism, masked as the Holy Spirit, will enter churches. This is happening en masse today through something called "contemplative spirituality."
- Denominational and parachurch leaders usually don't "get it" as they refuse to step in and stop the heresy. This could be due to ignorance of the true situations and/or worrying about people leaving their churches.
This is particularly worrying to me because the really only effective way to stop these heresies is through the leadship. If they do not deal with it because of ignorance, or they are playing the church numbers and power games, then there is little pastors and congregants can do except to band together and threaten to leave the denomination. I find that always gets denominational leaders' attention (that is, in the evangelical churches. It doesn't seem to get the attention of leaders of liberal denominations). A very interesting case in point happened in 1999 in the Assemblies of God denomination. Several of their pastors were very concerned about this so-called revival coming into their churches (i.e. Brownsville AG in Pensacola, FL). They tried to get their denominational leaders to listen but to no effect. They felt that these "revival" churches were making the Latter Rain heresy mistake that the AG went through in the late 1940s. In other words, they were simply trying to get their denomination back to their faith statement. This, then, is the real problem. Leaders allow their churches to stray far, far away from their faith statments, which usually are basd on major Biblical passages and doctrine. So, at their 1999 convention, these pastors offered a resolution (Resolution 18) which simply ws really asking their denomination to simply follow the point about the Latter Rain doctrine that was passed in 1949 and was a part of their Statement of Faith. I think it is very sad when pastors have to instruct their denominational leaders about their own Statment of Faith, but that is what is happening today, and in every one of these eras.
I would appreciate commnets as to how we can resolve this problem. Do we all need to walk out of our churches? Stay and hope for the best? And where do we go if we leave? So many churches are into this stuff today, in some areas of the country like mine, it is almost impossible to find a good church.