Saturday, August 16, 2008

Todd Bentley Takes the Samson Path

Again scandal rocks the path of the Church that believes in the move of the Holy Spirit, Signs, Wonders and the miracles of God.

Todd Bentley has announced he and his wife are separating. The man has been the instrument of God for the current revival that many believed was the beginning of a new supernatural move of God in America.

Also there have been many critics of Bentley because of the strange oft violent ways the anointing flowed from God through Bentley to the healed. As usual with healing ministries the authenticity of healings and miracles was questioned. Then many critics who are believers in miracles questioned the origin of the signs and wonders because of the violence involved.

I myself have taken a wait and see path (see
HERE and HERE). If the Lakeland Revival spread across the nation and more than one person began operating under the healing anointed, then that would confirm authenticity for me.

That did not happen.

There are still defenders of the Bentley phenomena. Their defense is very compelling. People were healed and people were raised from the dead. Regardless of doubters I believe in the authenticity the miracles occurred.

Should Christians believe for the healings to dissolve or for the risen to die because of moral failure?

I have indeed learned it was a Bentley moral failure that is causing the separation (and probably divorce) between Todd and Shonnah Bentley. Todd caved into temptation and wasted God’s anointing on an extramarital affair with one of his staff members.

Supernatural Blog quotes a Fresh Fire Ministries news release:

We wish to acknowledge...that since our last statement from the Fresh Fire Board of Directors, we have discovered new information revealing that Todd Bentley has entered into an unhealthy relationship on an emotional level with a female member of his staff. In light of this new information and in consultation with his leaders and advisors, Todd Bentley has agreed to step down from his position on the Board of Directors and to refrain from all public ministry for a season to receive counsel in his personal life. (Emphasis: Supernatural Blog)

Below is a response from a believer in Miracles yet not necessarily in Todd:

Lakeland: So What Now?

Todd Bentley announced a separation from his wife this week. The blogoshere is full of "see I told you so’s" and "this proves that Lakeland was bogus" tirades including J. Lee Grady’s latest-
Fire in My Bones.

So what does this mean? Are those folks that were healed now required to give back the blessing? Those who where raised from the dead around the world in response to prayer, are they now required to give up and die? All the folks that I know who received a blessing from the Lakeland Outpouring–are they now supposed to deny that it ever happened?

This is a personal tragedy for Todd and his family. What really bothers me is how gleeful and celebratory some ‘Christians’ are in response to a brother’s difficulty–no it actually make me rather sad and angry at the same time!

The old adage that "we shouldn’t throw the baby out with the bath water" really does apply here. Let’s change the bath water so to speak and let the Revival continue.

Is Todd’s whole ministry and anointing now to be questioned? I was reminded this morning of some of the Judges in the Old Testament that had some personal problems and yet were blessed of God tremendously—particularly Samson. We haven’t heard the last of Todd Bentley and I am sure his future will include something more than just bring down the Philistine temple. My prayers go with him and his family.
Dr. Michael G. Davis 8/14/08)

Here is the opinion of a person who did not believe in Miracles:

Patricia King on Todd Bentley Marriage & “Other Problems”

Thanks to ‘InlovewithJesus’ for pointing me to this new video released by Patricia King of Extreme Prophetic on the Todd Bentley situation
here. Reading between the lines from what Patricia King says here, there are much worse Todd Bentley ”revelations” re: his personal life to come out over the coming days and weeks. Patricia King even warns us that such is the case: “[Todd Bentley's] … failure of the flesh - I am going to be honest - it is more than just a separation, there’s other things involved….. you’re going to be hearing some of the failure of Todd Bentley in this hour.” And what we already know for fact is bad enough.

It sounds like that at last what I saw many months ago, but could not speak of publically, will be out in the open. But it is distressing indeed - for everyone, but especially for the “innocent” concerned. There are no words really to convey the disgust and horror and upset of this situation - nor the damage it will do not just now but over the coming months and even years. And the disgust I feel for those people - leaders even - that allowed these things to be perpetuated right under their noses. But ‘touch not my anointed, right?’ Yeah, right!

Patricia King and others accuse the critics of crowing over this situation. I am not crowing, I am deeply distressed for the body of Christ being brought into such disrepute - even though Todd is evidently not part of the body, as he is a wicked man and preaches another gospel, the public will consider him as such and tarr the church with his public failures. It is no pleasure or reward to be proven right when one has seen the dreadful things for what they are before the time they are made public. What good neighbour crows when they are witnesses to a murder, and the murderer is caught and proven guilty? Most normal people only feel deep sadness afterwards. But it would be a twisted and crooked neighbour indeed who refused to speak out about the murderer, or identify him, because it would be “judgmental” and “divisive” “religious” and “unloving”.

On the video, Patricia King repeatedly refers to all the “division…. criticism… negative words…. a lot of judgment in the body of Christ” re Todd Bentley and Lakeland. She does not seem to understand the principle of the good neighbour refered to above, who speaks out for the sake of truth and righteousness as well as for the greater good. Nor does she even address WHY people have spoken out as they have - what Todd was doing that deserved the criticism he got - and more. If she can tolerate the vile acts that happened at Lakeland before the eyes of the world, and the vile acts as perpetuated by Todd under the cover of darkness, and …
And there is more venom

If you follow Patricia King’s ministry you might be interested in this:

For those who thought Todd Bentley’s problems were just about separation from his wife, you were wrong. No one has been a bigger advocate of Bentley than Patricia King. Well, it seems she is a lot smarter than people give her credit for. She released a video addressing the Bentley situation. In the video she states,

    I’m gonna be honest with you, it’s more than just a separation; there are other things that are involved too. There are other issues; there always is. When man fails there’s more than just one little thing, it’s usually a combination of different things..and I’m not going to say any more than that..Except to say that we are living in an hour where we cannot tolerate sin and we cannot tolerate unrighteousness; no matter how much we love an individual and no matter how much we love what God is doing.” (The On Going War Reason 8/16/08)

And here is a believer in miracles and yet way upset at Bentley:

Todd Bentley’s announcement that his marriage is ending has thrown our movement into a tailspin—and questions need to be answered.

It was not supposed to end like this.

Evangelist Todd Bentley had heralded the Lakeland revival as the greatest Pentecostal outpouring since Azusa Street. From his stage in a gigantic tent in Florida, Bentley preached to thousands, bringing many of them to the stage for prayer. Many claimed to be healed of deafness, blindness, heart problems, depression and dozens of other conditions in the Lakeland services, which ran for more than 100 consecutive nights. Bentley announced confidently that dozens of people had been raised from the dead during the revival.

But this week, a few days after the Canadian preacher announced the end of his visits to Lakeland, he told his staff that his marriage is ending. Without blaming the pace of the revival for Bentley’s personal problems, his board released a public statement saying that he and his wife, Shonnah, are separating. The news shocked Bentley’s adoring fans and saddened those who have questioned his credibility since the Lakeland movement erupted in early April.

“Among those who jumped on the Lakeland bandwagon, discernment was discouraged. They were expected to swallow and follow. The message was clear: ‘This is God. Don’t question.’ ”

I’m sad. I’m disappointed. And I’m angry. Here are few of my many, many questions about this fiasco:

Why did so many people flock to Lakeland from around the world to rally behind an evangelist who had serious credibility issues from the beginning?

To put it bluntly, we’re just plain gullible.

From the first week of the Lakeland revival, many discerning Christians raised questions about Bentley’s beliefs and practices. They felt uneasy when he said he talked to an angel in his hotel room. They sensed something amiss when he wore a T-shirt with a skeleton on it. They wondered why a man of God would cover himself with tattoos. They were horrified when they heard him describe how he tackled a man and knocked his tooth out during prayer.

But among those who jumped on the Lakeland bandwagon, discernment was discouraged. They were expected to swallow and follow. The message was clear: “This is God. Don’t question.” So before we could all say, “Sheeka Boomba” (as Bentley often prayed from his pulpit), many people went home, prayed for people and shoved them to the floor with reckless abandon, Bentley-style.

I blame this lack of discernment, partly, on raw zeal for God. We’re spiritually hungry—which can be a good thing. But sometimes, hungry people will eat anything.

Many of us would rather watch a noisy demonstration of miracles, signs and wonders than have a quiet Bible study. Yet we are faced today with the sad reality that our untempered zeal is a sign of immaturity. Our adolescent craving for …
More J. Lee Grady anger

Before a “Great Awakening” move of God happens in America again, Christians will have to do some self-examination and move beyond Blood Bought Redemptive Justification and reach for some good old fashioned Sanctification.

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