Shaken and Stirred : A Toronto Blessing
Shortly after the laughing revival hit the UK, this group of Christians decided to warn others who were, unsuspecting, travelling long distances to attend meetings put on by Rodney Howard Browne and other proponents of the "revival". This is their testimony. It was written on 2nd June 1995.
Here is our account of the meetings we attended with RHB; Elim at Prestatyn, and David Carr/Randy Clark at Solihull Conference Centre.
As agreed beforehand, we ventured to the Aston Villa Leisure Centre on Friday April 21st, to give out anti-Toronto leaflets - ones we'd photocopied from the Bournemouth Branch of the Adullam Register.
On arrival we were "greeted" by Media Ministries people (Mike Price - Harbourne, Birmingham) as stewards, or more correctly, henchman (as it turned out). They appeared not too pleased to see us there handing out anti-TE leaflets. Having confirmed with the local police as to our rights, we proceeded to hand out leaflets to the drivers or passengers of the cars as they approached the entrance.
We were then moved upon by the stewards, sometimes acting with physical force, to restrain us from giving out the leaflets. At one point, one of our team was set upon, grabbed by the collar of his shirt and told that, if the steward knew where he lived he would throw a brick through his windows. One of our ladies stepped in to prevent any further aggression, only to find this same steward telling her he would not hesitate to hit her, or any of us, given the chance.(The steward in question belonged to the RHB ministries).
The stewards got quite uptight at our being there, and told us to leave, or they would call the police. They then did this, only to find that the police told both parties they would be arrested should a breach of the peace occur. The police confirmed our right to be there and to hand out literature. At this, the stewards backed down.
The next day we again arrived for the evening meeting, to find the stewards less aggressive. However at one point, a vehicle drove into the Leisure Centre recklessly and nearly knocked one of us down. On the whole, we handed out quite a lot of tracts and had some replies sent to our Box Number.
Following this meeting, we discussed going to Prestatyn. It was suggested we use posters with scriptures on, and stand at one entrance giving out leaflets. On the Friday prior to the opening day of the Conference, our Pastor received a phone call from Wynne Lewis (Elim Superintendent) and he asked to arrange a meeting. He agreed to do this and said he would therefore have to "veto" the arranged Conference protest, but would attend the Randy Clark meeting in Solihull, Birmingham on Saturday May 27th.
We felt it necessary to go to Prestatyn anyway, to give out the leaflets, as we were concerned about the people attending the conference being sucked into the deception, knowing full well that Elim endorses this madness and that Wynne Lewis would not back down in dialogue with our Pastor.
The meetings taking place at the time were in the Ballroom and in a Marquee. Three of us went to the Ballroom, to find all the seats taken, and a lot of people sitting in the surrounding areas. We thought it best to look around outside as to where to place the leaflets.
After this, we returned to the Ballroom. By this time, the meeting was closing, and the usual "altar call" commenced. Standing fairly close to the front of the stage, but outside the official "area" we noticed a minister we recognised, David Carr of Solihull Renewal Centre. At first my colleague noticed him walking with a limp. This we put down to some accident. However, on closer inspection, as he got nearer to us, our worst fears were confirmed - he was "drunk in the spirit". As we had heard and seen so much of this, to see a minister we knew in this condition was a real sadness to our spirits. I could have cried for this man, who was once so used of God, seeing him stagger around helplessly - and to think he believes this "an anointing from God". Later we heard he rejoices in having a permanent "limp in the spirit".
In fact, it only confirmed to us how much we needed to get these leaflets into people's hands, to warn them of this delusion. After lunch, we set about our task. Four of us put leaflets under car windscreen wipers, whilst the other three put the leaflets in the bookshop.
Later, we found out we had been "rumbled" and overheard a security guard say "It's ----'s followers" (our Pastor!) Two of us were then told not to give out the leaflets, and we were asked to leave the campsite. Another two were also told the same thing.
The three remaining went straight to the people, and gave them out on a one-to-one basis. By now it was getting late, and we decided we'd done all we could, and so went to meet our colleagues at the other end of the conference car park. Yet again we were brought into conversation with some people, only to find that we were told we had no right behaving in this way - the Hotel for the Conference Executive was only fifty yards away, so it was Colin Dye and Wynne Lewis themselves in person, and a couple of security guards who came to tell us this.
Wynne Lewis told us we should have contacted them first for permission to give out the leaflets. This would have been a waste of time, as even they acknowledged they would not have given permission!
By this time, feelings were running high and Wynne Lewis was hot under the collar. He told us we had ten minutes to get off the campsite, and not to disrupt the Conference. One of my friends replied "The earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof..." to which Wynne Lewis replied, "not the Elim Conference ground!".
We then had eight minutes left, according to Wynne Lewis, to leave the car park. He told us that, should we try to come to the evening meeting, he - Wynne Lewis - would put an end to any "hanky panky". Just after this, a burly security guard passed a comment that should we turn up for the evening meeting, we'd meet up with some people we would rather not meet! This was clearly a physical threat, by his attitude at the time.
During various conversations, some people thought our leaflets were put out by Banner Ministries!! Since seeing you (Tricia) on Thursday night at Crich Baptist, we have been to the Solihull Conference Centre where David Carr of the Renewal Christian Centre held a meeting with Randy Clark speaking.
We arrived at 7.10pm on Saturday night and handed out leaflets to the people as they queued up to enter. After half an hour or so, people came out as there was no more room. The place holds up to 900 seated. Around 7.30 David Carr came out himself to speak to us. In fact, he had a confrontation with our Pastor and told him, that should he print anything further in his newsletter about him (Carr) that may prove derogatory, he would, unlike Wynne Lewis, have no hesitation in suing him.
One of our group quickly reminded him of the Corinthian church's attitude towards their brothers and sisters, where the scripture tells us not to take such action. He replied that we were the unrighteous ones, in giving out these leaflets, and we would be better off just praying for the people if we felt they were being deceived.
Eventually he returned to his meeting and we were left talking to people as we could. What amazed me was the ignorance in the Pentecostal/Charismatic/Evangelical churches about the Word-Faith movement behind RHB and the TE.
On the Sunday, we arrived at 5.30pm to be confronted again by David Carr himself. By this time he was incensed that we were "acting unrighteously" by passing out literature outside his church. I commented that the plaque on the wall called it the "Solihull Conference Centre", and was not in fact "his Church" - but he said I was nit-picking.
Previous to this, I had unknowingly been talking to Randy Clark! He also told me that this is a move of God as stated in Acts 2, and people are drunk in the Spirit as they were then. He also said how God blessed them in Canada with the Missions. People are having more love for Jesus, a greater hunger for the Word, and a greater desire to witness to the lost. This "experience" is proof positive that it is a "move of God" as "by their fruit you shall know them".
One noticeable result (fruit) of people who have "got it", however, is that they are very arrogant, aggressive and rude towards you when you take them back to the Word and tell them they are being deceived, and tell them about the last days deception.
During the meeting itself on Monday night, we were told by people who "braved it" that David Carr wore black trousers, an open black shirt and a medallion! Later they danced the conga and had an erotic dancer on stage. And David Carr did his "John Travolta" impression. Randy Clark told people in order to receive the blessing all they had to do was not pray, as it hindered the blessing.
There is much more we could say but space prevents. One thing that does come to mind is that at Prestatyn we heard somebody from Wesley Owen Bookshops (national chain of Christian bookstores) greet a friend with the phrase "did you have a good laugh last night?" How sad to see the flippancy of people in this delusion!
May the Lord bless you in keep you in his protection
(E-mail to: Tricia Tillin, 21-Aug-1995)