The Belfast Telegraph of Saturday 16th June 2012 carried an advert for “Revival ‘12”: ‘A celebration of music and faith’ to be held on Friday 28th September in The Odyssey, Belfast. It is being organised by ‘Revival Network UK’ and features musician Robin Mark and the man most associated with The Alpha Course, Nicky Gumbel.
As I write this article the Roman Catholic ‘World Eucharistic Congress’ is coming to an end in Dublin and Nicky Gumbel was an invited guest speaker at a pre-Congress meeting where he spoke on ‘Communion in our Common Baptism’ – based presumably upon the section in Vatican 2 that states in the “Decree on Ecumenism”, Chapter 1: paragraph 3 “in subsequent centuries… large communities became separated from full communion with the (Roman) Catholic Church… However one cannot charge with the sin of separation those who at present are born into these communities and in them are brought up in the faith of Christ, and the (Roman) Catholic Church accepts them with affection as brothers. For men, who believe in Christ and have been properly baptised are put in some, though imperfect communion with the (Roman) Catholic Church” – in response let me say loudly and clearly – I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and I have been ‘properly baptised’ in accordance with what the Scriptures teach and I am most certainly NOT in any sort of ‘communion’, imperfect or otherwise, with the Roman Catholic Church and furthermore no true Christian is either.
Earlier on 28th September there is a conference for pastors/ministers scheduled to be held in Lowe Memorial (Presbyterian) Church where the featured speakers will be Nicky Gumbel and George Verwer (Founder and former Director of OM – Operation Mobilisation).
Back in 2004 I shared some concerns about the ‘mixed-messages’ being sent out by OM and you can read about those concerns in the article that is located on
This “Revival ‘12” would appear to be just the latest in a whole series of what have turned out to be ‘false dawns of revival in Ireland’ over the last decade or so. Initiatives like ‘Power to Change’, Kingdom Come’ and ‘Celebration of Hope’ immediately spring to mind.
“Revival ‘12” appears to have ended up as a collaborative effort between the minister of Lowe Memorial Church, James Burnett and the minister of Willowfield Parish Church, David McClay, who himself, under the banner of ‘New Wine’, is hosting a 2-day gathering called ‘Co-Mission Conference: Reclaiming Ireland for Christ’ – this 2-day event is scheduled for Wednesday 26th September and Thursday 27th September – the 2 days preceding the advertised ‘REVIVAL ’12: A celebration of music and faith’.
As I read over all the items on various web sites about these planned events and who the speakers are and the inter-connectedness of it all my ‘spirit’ was greatly disturbed because underlying the history leading up to such events is one almighty ‘deceiving spirit’and that is the ‘spirit’ of the so-called ‘Toronto Blessing’.
Without going into great detail let me say that David McClay was heavily influenced by the so-called ‘Toronto Blessing’ during his time as a minister in Kilkeel, Co Down and as a result it led to many problems and distresses within his congregation and also with neighbouring church ministers. Likewise Nicky Gumbel fell under the influence of the ‘spirit’ of the so-called ‘Toronto Blessing’ and that deceiving ‘spirit’ is today perpetuated under the guise of the ‘Holy Spirit Weekend’ included in Alpha Courses – courses that are heavily promoted by Lowe Memorial Church and also by Carnmoney Presbyterian Church whose minister, John Dickinson, is scheduled to be one of the speakers at the ‘NEW WINE Co-Mission Conference: Reclaiming Ireland for Christ’.
The main speaker at this ‘New Wine’ event is George Kovoor and on this link http://www.trinitychurchbrentwood.org/home/rev-canon-george-kovoor we read this –
Canon Kovoor is the Principal of Trinity College in Bristol, England, a Personal Chaplain to the Queen of England, and the Canon of Worcester Cathedral. Other responsibilities include being the international co-coordinator of the Evangelical Fellowship in the Anglican Communion and having active involvement in the Orthodox family of Churches, the Church in China and the Black Majority Pentecostal and Charismatic Churches.
As you will see I have highlighted in yellow some features that I would consider to be disturbing for someone claiming to be an ‘evangelical’.
Yet again the notion and hope of ‘Revival’ (In Ireland) is being proclaimed and the supposed possible ‘agents’ or ‘instruments’ to be used for this notion and hope of ‘Revival’ are named. Much as I would long to see a genuine ‘Revival’, not only in Ireland but worldwide, I am fully persuaded that these men will not be the ‘agents’ or ‘instruments’ of such a ‘Revival’.
The ‘spirit’ behind ‘Toronto’ and ‘Alpha’ is a “seducing spirit” (1 Timothy 4:1) and the so-called ‘fruit’ of these events and initiatives has overwhelmingly failed the tests of time and scripture. You can read a few articles that I have penned about Alpha on
Recently my web master reactivated a YouTube facility for ‘Take Heed’ Ministries and it is located on
There you will find a video of my talk on ‘Alpha: Attend or Avoid?’ and in it I detail Nicky Gumbel’s involvement and the influence upon him of the so-called ‘Toronto Blessing’. I am hoping that in the next week or so the videos of my 2 talks on the so-called ‘Toronto Blessing’ will also be available to view on this YouTube site. These videos may be viewed by some as being ‘old hat’ but the sad reality is that the legacy of these deceptions is very much alive and active today in professing Christian circles.
A very revealing ‘confession’ and repentance by a pastor who was formerly supportive of the so-called ‘Toronto Blessing’ can be found on
Finally, in relation to the praise leader, Robin Mark, I wrote the following about him (and ‘Revival’) back in 2006 in an article located on
Additional comments by Cecil – One of those mentioned in the CFC advert is ROBIN MARK. His role is ‘worship leader’ at CFC in Belfast and on the CFC website there is an item about ‘worship’ part of which reads –
Revival In Belfast
In 1999 Integrity Music came to Belfast to record a CD that became known as “Revival in Belfast ”. It featured the songs of Robin Mark, and the voices of the congregation gathered in our 400 seater church on the Holywood Road in the east of the city. This CD has become one of the world’s best selling church based worship CDs ever
In August of this year  I had occasion to speak to a number of Christians in America and when they discovered I was from Northern Ireland they asked me if I knew of Robin Mark. I confirmed that I was familiar with his name and musical ability and then they asked me to tell them all about ‘the revival’ that had apparently taken place in Belfast through the ministry of CFC and through the music of Robin Mark. It gave me no pleasure to inform them that no genuine, biblical ‘revival’ had taken place but rather much spurious ‘spirit’ activity [E.G. ‘Toronto Blessing’] has been claimed and that CFC is very much to the fore in promoting false ‘ecumenical unity’ through initiatives like ‘The Alpha Course’ etc.
God‘s Word shows us that faithful public reading and proclamation of that very same Word are the ‘agents’ and ‘instruments’ that God by His true Spirit uses to bring spiritual ‘revival’ according to His good pleasure. May the Lord in His mercy be pleased to bless all faithful ministers who quietly week by week serve Him in such ways away from the glare of large, well-publicised ‘Revival’ gatherings.
Cecil Andrews –‘Take Heed’ Ministries – 16 June 2012