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Burlington Revival Defenders
Updated August 10, 2016 (first published August 8, 2016)
David Cloud, Way of Life Literature, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061
For related reports also see:
Burlington Tent Revival Ends
Burlington Tent Revival Follow Up
3. Burlington Revival Defenders (this report)
Burlington Tent Revival Leaders and Sincere Men of God
Burlington Tent Revival Correction and Update

have been told that the Burlington Revival leaders are sincere men of God who love God’s Word, and I earnestly trust that is the case. The crying need of the hour is for such men who can lead the churches in a Scriptural path.

From Scripture I believe we can assume the following things about sincere men of God:

Sincere men of God acknowledge that preachers have a biblical responsibility to measure their ministries by God’s Word.

Following are just some of the Scriptures that give this responsibility:

“The simple believeth every word: but the prudent
man looketh well to his going” (Proverbs 14:15).

“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither
can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?” (Matthew 7:15-22).

“These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so” (Acts 17:11).

“Would to God ye could bear with me a little in
my folly: and indeed bear with me. For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him” (2 Corinthians 11:1-4).

“Prove all things; hold fast that which is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21).

“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine” (2 Timothy 4:2).

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8).

“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1).

I am not saying that the Burlington Tent Revival was guilty of preaching a false gospel or false christ. I am saying that we are taught in Scripture to be exceedingly careful about spiritual and doctrinal matters and to test everything by God’s Word and to reprove that which is wrong.

The very fact that a large number of Independent Baptists, including a lot of preachers, take offense at proving and warning, holding the principle that “the good outweighs the bad” and error should be ignored for the sake of the good and for avoiding division, is evidence of widespread heretical thinking.

Sincere men of God who love God’s Word acknowledge that public ministry should be measured and critiqued publicly.

Public ministry is not a private matter. When men influence multitudes of churches and church members by their YouTube, FaceBook, and Twitter ministries, that is not a private matter and it is not a “local church matter.” It is a public matter that must be dealt with in the public forum. A private reproof for a public error is ineffectual to help those who are negatively influenced by that public error. A public error is not dealt with by the principles of Matthew 18, because it is
not a private matter between two church members.

Sincere men of God who love God’s Word are not offended by biblical reproof.

“Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them” (Psalm 119:165).

Sincere men of God who love God’s Word take to heart reproof from a fellow man of God.

“Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee” (Proverbs 9:8).

“A scorner loveth not one that reproveth him: neither will he go unto the wise” (Proverbs 15:12).

“Smite a scorner, and the simple will beware: and reprove one that hath understanding,
and he will understand knowledge” (Proverbs 19:25).

“He, that being often reproved hardeneth
his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy” (Proverbs 29:1).

I am not saying we should agree with everything a reprover says. I am saying that the sincere man of God will receive it and take it to heart before the Lord.

Yet those who tried to give a word of warning or correction to the Burlington Revival leaders were cut off and ignored and treated as enemies of revival. Any “criticism” was removed from the Burlington Facebook pages and Twitter accounts.

Sincere men of God who love God’s Word will acknowledge error they have committed, and if the error was committed publicly it will be repented of publicly.

In response to my warning, the photo of evangelist Townsend with the Billy Graham people was removed from the Burlington Facebook page, along with his comment about being “honored” to have them. But no one publicly repented for honoring and promoting (by having one of its vice presidents lead the revival crowd in prayer from the platform) an organization that has done much harm to the cause of Christ in this generation. The Billy Graham Evangelistic Organization has led the way in ecumenical yoking together of Baptists with Roman Catholics, including Mary-venerating popes, and theological modernists and every other type of false “Christian.” This principle has been
hugely destructive wherever it has been adopted.

If evangelist Townsend’s example is followed, it will spell the death knell to any biblical separatism that still exists in the churches he influences.

This is no small matter that can be swept under the rug even if 1,000 people actually got saved.

Billy Graham’s Sad Disobedience and New Evangelicalism: History, Fruit, and Error, which are available in print or as free eBooks from Way of Life Literature,

Further, the leaders of the Burlington Revival cannot gainsay my warnings about the great biblical and spiritual weakness of most Independent Baptist churches, and a sincere man of God will acknowledge this and express unity with me in the desire to see the type of revival that would change the very character of these churches from top to bottom.

Sincere men of God who love God’s Word would correct their supporters for attacking a preacher for trying to do his God-given job.

I published some of these attacks in “Burlington Tent Revival Defenders,” August 8, 2016.

Sincere men of God would correct the women in their revival meetings and churches who try to teach and reprove preachers.

“But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence” (1 Timothy 2:12).

A large number of the emails I received were from women who ignored God’s Word in their rush to correct and instruct me.

When I told one lady that 1 Timothy 2:12 forbids her to teach men, she replied as follows. (Consider how that her first sentence belittles the biblical instruction I attempted to give her and which she utterly rejected.)

“Thank you, also, for the clarity on Scripture. I wasn't aware that giving caution was the same thing as being in an authoritative position :) I also wasn't aware that because you're older and a male meant that God couldn't use me (a young female) to encourage you to be cautious. When Paul wrote those words, he was warning against the ladies in EPHESUS to not teach because they were all young Christians who allowed themselves to be influenced by the world, more times than not. There are many times in Scripture that we see a lady encouraging other men. I certainly hope you read Esther, even though she led the children of Israel :) Also, I hope you wouldn't denounce Priscilla for teaching Apollos.” (from a young lady named Emily).

I replied to her along the following line:

“Women of God are very valuable in the churches and the Lord’s harvest fields, and I thank the Lord for our women, but your lack of biblical understanding is frightening. 1 Timothy 2:12 is in the context of a pastoral epistle written to instruct all churches. Timothy was laboring in Ephesus at the time, but the instruction in chapter 2 has nothing to do with any particular situation at Ephesus. The bottom line is that Paul plainly forbade a woman to teach a man, which is exactly what you are trying to do in your emails, regardless of the smiley faces and light attitude. Paul didn’t say that a woman can teach and reprove a man as long as she is not in a position of authority. She cannot teach a man NOR usurp authority over a man. Those are two separate matters. Priscilla was a helper to her husband in their own home under her husband's authority (Acts 18:36). That's a completely different situation. As for Esther, she did not lead the children of Israel. I would hope that either your husband or your pastor will help you in these matters. Bro. Cloud”

For related reports also see:
Burlington Tent Revival Ends
Burlington Tent Revival Follow Up
3. Burlington Revival Defenders (this report)
Burlington Tent Revival Leaders and Sincere Men of God
Burlington Tent Revival Correction and Update

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