New York Daily Photo Analytics

Monday, March 31, 2008

Street Revival

I've never seen anything like this on the streets of New York. I was taking a leisurely Sunday afternoon stroll along East 7th Street heading towards Tompkins Square Park when I noticed a line of people on the sidewalk. The block is quiet and this is a rather unusual time for a long line - I see no retailers that may be running a promo with a celebrity tie-in. So I ask and am told that there is a minister who will be coming out of an overcrowded church basement to administer healings and blessings on the streets. People are being moved forward to the edge of the sidewalk, facing the street and leaving space behind them (I incorrectly assumed to allow room for pedestrian traffic). So we all stood and waited in front of City Light Church (beneath St. Mary's Orthodox Church at 121 East 7th Street).
Out comes our greatly anticipated minister and we can see this is no ordinary minister - he is heavily tattooed and adorned with jewelry, earrings and piercings. He's having individual conversations, holding heads in his hands, pushing or blowing lightly and down they go, being supported and guided to the sidewalk by assistants behind them.
Some were trembling before he came to them, many remained lying down on the sidewalk as he moved to the next in line. One woman (see here) was crouched down for several minutes - I got down next to her and noted that she truly looked ill and was unable to get hold of herself.
This is Todd Bentley, a 32 year old man who heard the voice of God in his former drug dealer's trailer and was saved from a life of drug abuse (he overdosed three times) and prison. A new revivalist with edge. He is based in British Columbia, Canada where he heads Freshfire Ministries. Judging from his website he is a busy man - constantly touring. He has crusaded in over 55 countries and heads an orphanage in Uganda.
There are many new ministries, addressing various groups and demographics. The Christian theology is being repackaged and delivered via contemporary vehicles, themes and messengers. Joel Osteen is another example, playing to a large arena in Texas.
I make no judgements on the goings on in this event except to say something was definitely happening to these people. Of course, I'm a little naive - revivalist meetings have been going on for some time but a direct experience is new to me. I was invited to step into the end of the line - I only regret I didn't to see for myself ...

14 comments:

Lucy said...

this looks amazing, it is the old time religion with the style of goth about it, which is quite a combination...I think much of this is very psychological but we all know that can be the strongest motivation and force in your life that there is. If it helps, so be it, far be it from me to doubt or criticize...
I guess you were really in the right place at the right time to catch this one...

Therese said...

Always looking at pictures first I imagined that the main character was looking for the right spot to tatoo... soooo wrong. There is such a need right now for beliefs.

Inkster1 said...

Amazing photograph. I never know what to make of these things ... but I do wish you had joined the line.

Chuck Pefley said...

New York certainly touches and stimulates all of our senses. Good for you and good for them. Far be it for me to pass judgement or suggest this experience isn't real for them. I hope for their sakes it is a healing experience and process. For me though, cynicism and skepticism step firmly forward.

Dan said...

Great pic. I am personally a committed follower of Jesus but am highly skeptical of this. Like you I am fairly sure something is going on, maybe even something supernatural. But that does not necessarily mean it is God, IMHO

cohnsey said...

are those people punk rockers or church people? I am confused

Brian said...

cohnsey;
Church people that also look like punk rockers.

Mary said...

fantastic image--this is the sort of thing that makes me wonder how I could've ever lived anywhere else but New York City.

Just Roaming The Cities said...

Wow. Great photo. I admit the guy does look a bit scary with all the tat's and peircings. But to each his own. And if people are getting healed, all the better. Brave of you to step in for the shot. Makes me want to visit New York even more, seeing the interesting things you and others post about the City.

Johanna said...

Hi...I'm the lady in the picture & just had to post :) I had a good laugh when it was said that I looked "ill" :) but in fact I have never been better...at this "not-your-usual-church" service, I was feeling spectacular & felt the tangible presence of God so strong that I couldn't stand...my legs were jello :) It's so assuring to know in our ever changing world, there's a God who is constant, in His relentless love for us. He pursues every chance to make His love & His supernatural power known to those who are hungry & seeking for MORE in this life. In my opinion, Christians & the church have at times given Him a bad name...He's not the angry, full of religious dogma, rules' based God as people have misrepresented Him as. He is far more loving & compassionate than He gets credit for. I'm so grateful I've encountered His AMAZING GRACE...it's more than just a song! And I'm so content & blessed and couldn't imagine a better life...and btw I'm crazy about NEW YORK CITY & can't wait to see how God reveals Himself to New Yorkers...let's give 'em somethin to talk about!!!

Kristen said...

That's my friend Jeff that Todd's laying hands on! He was cured of colon problems that day! Glory! I go to City Light Church, and I can say that if you're curious about God, and about His healing power, and want to know more, this is the place to do it. Everyone is so friendly and non-judgemental. Jeff would be happy to give his personal testimony I'm sure! (Can't miss him, he's in the front row with the red hair!)

Anonymous said...

Todd Bentley is now holding daily revival meetings in Lakeland, FL. Thousands in attendance. Numerous daily miracles and salvations. This friday there will be muliplied thousands coming together in the local stadium. You can watch live on www.god.tv each night from 7-11pm. Everyone should check it out!

Anonymous said...

Matthew 24: 23-25 (This is Jesus Speaking)
"At that time, if anyone says to you "Look, here is the Christ! Or there he is, do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect -if that were possible. See, I have told you ahead of time."

1 John 4:1
Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU CHOOSE TO BELIEVE PEOPLE. I PRAY THAT THE HOLY SPIRIT WILL LEAD YOU TO SCRIPTURE, ONLY THERE WILL YOU FIND TRUTH.

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