I have been playing around with changing the name (and domain) of the blog for some time but I really had to think about it because it is not good to lose over 50,000 organic views a month. Changing the domain normally means you are back to Day One. The only benefit is you have a lot of content ready to go. However, I feel it is important that Latter Rains becomes Azusa Report.
The vision of the blog to tell the story of revival to the world remains unchanged. It is still about the power of God transforming lives in every day life. None of that changes.
Three reasons that we are now Azusa Report
If I could break it down, I would say there is at least a few reasons that the change is needed. It is important to understand the heart of the ministry to grasp why all of this matters. The truth is that it does matters.
People misunderstand Latter Rains
The blog is about revival. I was born again in the Brownsville Revival. I love the outpouring of the Spirit. I believe that latter rains will be greater than the former. There is no getting around that. It the at the core of everything we do. We want to every tongue, tribe and nation experience the raw power of God.
As a ministry, we are apostolic and prophetic in nature and that leads to open questions about where we stand on the Latter Rains revival of 1948 that broke out in Canada. The reason for the questions is really not that out of line because we believe in the prophetic, impartation, angelic visitation, and victorious eschatology. We hold many things to be true that they did.
However, there is some major idealogies of that move that I wholeheartly reject such as spiritual releases over places and days. God does not get overly excited because it is a Jewish feast and he is bored when it is not. The overly “spiritual Irseal” idealogy is one of the things that I rejected from.
Add to that, the claims that we will walk through walls for entertainment and we can just transport through “portals” to another region of the world. Things like this have happened but they will never be on demand or even common place.
We affirm that many friends that we do have that are stronger on the more radical elements of the Latter Rain revival of 1948. Below is the testimony of the only known living elder from the church in Canada where it happened.
We are unshamedly Pentecostal
I was raised in the Assemblies of God. I was saved on the floor at Brownsville Assembly of God. I believe in the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. I believe in praying in tongues. I believe in divine healing. I believe in the end time revival. I am, without reservation, Pentecostal.
Even though that I have deep roots in the renewal that broke out in Toronto and was in the midst of the International House of Prayer movement, I have not forgotten my spiritual heritage. I have spend much of the last decade doing missions outside of the Pentecostal church (mostly charismatic churches) but I never forgot where I came from.
In the last six months, God has been giving prophetic words to me through many people about coming “full circle.” I have also felt it is very important to stand up and publicly proclaim that I am Pentecostal!
Changing the name of the website that is a statement of Pentecost. It is a reminder of the Azusa Street Revival that most Pentecostals are somehow connected to in some way. It was out of that outpouring that movements like the Assemblies of God, Foursquare Church, Church of God in Christ, and Open Bible Churches came out.
While there is some “show boating” in the Pentecostal movement that annoys me greatly, I believe we can still return to our heritage of crying, “Behold, the Bridegroom Cometh” with our head in egg crates like William Seymour did.
The goal is to be more breaking news than a blog
This blog has been written and inspiring people to go for revival. That has served us well with over a million visits. However, I want to take it to the next level and to do that, a new name would make more sense.
One of the things that I want to do is report mission world being done by Pentecostals and giving a Spirit filled perspective on news in the movement. I would like to see the website become more of a news source that it is has been.
I would like to see the website to truly be a report about what is happening with people whose heritage is out of the Azusa Street Revival. That is ulitmately where the new name, Azusa Report came from.
Too many people struggle to believe in the power of the Holy Spirit to transform society. I am saddened by the amount of believers that hold to the “doom and gloom” view of eschatology. This is NOT what the people during the Azusa Street Revival believed. They thought the whole world was going to get set ablazed by revival fire!
When I was in university, I was at one time a philosophy major. One of the things I studied a lot about was Greek Mythology. In it was the story of the Pheonix. It is a bird creature that is in the ashes but in the end, it raises up and flies above all creation. It is truly the story of beauty for ashes or having rags to riches.
In some ways, I see this change to be like a Pheonix. Out of the ashes of Latter Rains will come the victory of Azusa Report. It might not make sense in the short term to do it but I truly believe that it will ultimately be blessed by the Lord and soar even higher.
This also leads to a point that I want to make. Colossians does not tell use that secular philosophy is evil and wrong. I said to not be given to philosophy build on traditions but rather that which is rooted in Christ. We should not demonize philosophy; we should redeem it!
I am not, in any way, saying we that conform the world’s way of life but we are to be the salt and light of culture. We are to change culture, not make our own sub-culture. Just saying.
What will Azusa Report look like?
Well, it is going to be more than just a blog read by thousands of people. That much is clear.
- Primary focus on Classic Pentecostal churches
- Books and teaching on the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and divine healing
- Camp meetings around the country
- I will be a fixture in Pentecostal conferences again.
One of the things that is unclear is, when I move back to the United States, is where I set up camp. While returning to Kansas City is on “the table” and of course, I have deep roots in Tulsa as well. Both of those remain an option but I am considering moving to Springfield as well because it is a hot spot for classic Pentecostals. That is up in the air at this point.
Welcome to the Azusa Report!