In view of Revd Dr Clifford Hill’s critique of the Day of Prayer at Wembley Arena on 26th January, and expressions of concern I’ve received from several people, I’m grateful to Dave Chapman and his wife for responding over the weekend to my request for a brief report of their impressions from the event, especially for permitting a wider publication of their personal observations, thereby adding to comments at ProphecyTodayUK.:
‘Richard, greetings in Jesus name.
‘I have to be honest and say I was surprised to see Dr Hill there. He was introduced as an old friend by David Hathaway.
‘I suppose I have seen him – rightly or wrongly – as a Jeremiah type, as opposed to an Isaiah type over the years. I’m sure it was good he was there. Clearly his endorsing the need for repentance was a fine one, though for me revival and repentance go hand in glove and each can follow the other! One black Pastor even shared that his/their church baptised 5,810 people last year, has 100 coming to Christ every Sunday (in London!) and was asked by the Police what they were doing or giving these people in that they’re so drastically reducing crime! He told them “We give them Jesus”!
‘I noted his remark on the day about the church in the 90’s falling about in laughter rather than repenting, in the morning. But the state of the church in that era certainly needed a baptism, or refreshment, and bringing into new things which we were very happy to join in with, in fact we went to Toronto to find out whether this was God or not in October of 94. We got in the river!
‘Personally, I found the Day to be the most significant gathering I have been in during my lifetime (incl 56 years born-again). In trying to quantify why, I’d say it was because of the embracing of the prophetic by all of the participators as a normal part of their ministry, and the spiritual warfare that took place. The latter mirrored the kind of approach we have been in whilst on some of our visits to Uganda. They just go for it ’til breakthrough, passionately, and with great endurance! It could be there were some there on the Day who would not want to be part of that next time! But we shall want to be there if possible.
‘As for the asking forgiveness of white to black and vice versa, personally that is not one I see as the problem so much as the issue of culture difference, which he mentions. It’s one of behaviour, approach or practice, style, and not colour itself. But hopefully the publicly and mutually given forgiveness worked something.
‘Of course, we have not replaced Israel and I wholeheartedly agree with him that Replacement Theology needs to be taken from the Body of Christ, root and branch.
‘Not sure why he had a go at the ‘NAR’ in this piece of his, and though it could easily be there are human weaknesses in practice in their make up, where the core of that is going, and what they stand for, in seeking transformation here on earth is definitely where we are at. Perhaps it’s what is needed to do away with the lack of vision he sees in the British charismatic and pentecostal churches he refers to!
‘I would suggest though, this difference can be to do with an eschatological stance over at what stage ‘’the Kingdom of God” (already here in our lives) can come in its fullest form, and Christ’s rule is possible in the earth now. Perhaps the one emphasis concentrates almost wholly on getting the church ready for the bridegroom (and their rapture), but the other on seeking to bring in Christ’s rule and reign now as a mighty ecclesia – like a John the Baptist preparatory ministry! The first stance can miss the great revival harvest, and the latter can step into a wrong understanding of authority and practice!
‘Nevertheless, David Hathaway said his friend Clifford Hill said to him before he left the Day, “I’ve been waiting for this gathering for 50 years”!’
PS: Thank you too, to Rosemary Piercy for commenting today via Thursday’s post:
‘Richard, did you know that Clifford Hill and David Hathaway have had a constructive meeting in which many difficulties were cleared up? I can’t speak on what happened at Wembley, because I was not there, but I do see that the basic premise of Prophecy Today’s concerns – that we are unlikely to have any sort of revival unless it is preceded by repentance – is Biblical. Clifford Hill himself recently wrote that he felt we are on the cusp of something life-changing, but that we still need the focus on repentance which is really hammered home in both the new and the old testament. Bless you lots!’