Please forgive yet another post about Todd Bentley. In this one I attempt to sort out some possible confusion about what Peter and Doris Wagner, of Global Harvest Ministries, have written about Todd Bentley. There has been some uncertainty about this because they have sent out various statements by e-mail to their mailing list but have not put them on their website. Others have posted them on blogs and other sites, but with no link to the source and no assurance that they are genuine and unedited. At least one of these sites has indeed made some minor edits to the text.
Therefore, as I mentioned in this comment and this one, I wrote this morning to Global Harvest Ministries asking for confirmation that these statements are genuine. In reply I was sent copies of the three recent statements, which I have myself compared (using Microsoft Word’s Compare Documents facility) with various versions found on the Internet.
The earliest of the three statements which I received, entitled “The Lakeland Apostolic Findings”, was written by Peter Wagner and dated 11th August. This statement was published in full a few days later by Pastor Burt, the most reliable source I have found on the Internet for these statements. This statement precedes the revelations about the breakup of Todd’s marriage. It is a preliminary report of an investigation by a team of ten “apostles” into the alleged problems of the Lakeland Outpouring. The largest part of this statement is an account of how Peter got involved with Todd, and how Todd came under the apostolic oversight of Che Ahn, Bill Johnson and John Arnott – but not of Peter, Rick Joyner or the other apostolic leaders present, who did not lay hands on Todd.
The second statement was from Doris Wagner, but included shorter letters from Chuck Pierce and Peter Wagner. This was also published in full in the same post by Pastor Burt; Dan Curant posted the part of this by Doris herself, from which I quoted in a previous post. This statement was an initial response from Doris, in Peter’s absence on an international trip, to the news about Todd’s marriage breakup and taking a break from ministry.
The third statement is a new one yesterday from Peter Wagner. Again Pastor Burt, in a new post, is the best Internet source I have found for this. I read it originally in a version set in a hostile context from Antagoniz, and I was initially sceptical about the genuineness of this. Indeed this version has been edited, but only by the possibly accidental omission of a couple of sentences of little significance, and by the addition of a lot of tendentious underlining with no note that this was not original.
In this new statement Peter revisits a lot of what he wrote in the first one about how he came to be involved with Todd. The reason I was doubtful about the authenticity of the statement was these words, especially in the context given to them by Antagoniz:
Speaking of the public figure going down the tubes, Todd Bentley now carries the label of a liar and a deceiver. I’m sorry to mention it, but I felt personally deceived in the same way when Ted Haggard’s sin was exposed and he was immediately removed from ministry.
But to be fair to Peter, here he is giving his initial reaction, perhaps to inaccurate accounts, and not his considered opinion; and the label “a liar and a deceiver” was not given by Peter but by a hostile public.
Concerning the present situation, this is the main part of what Peter writes:
Since this is an update, I will share some of what I know about what is happening with Bentley, but not all because some things need more verification and it is up to discernment of Revival Alliance what and when this will be revealed. Suffice it to say that there is more than I am going to mention. First of all, Todd has been removed from public ministry until further notice. He has resigned from the ministry he founded, Fresh Fire, so he is no longer a part of that board. It has become clear that he indulged in periodic drunkenness. He has no intention at the moment of reconciling with Shonna, nor does she with him. Their marriage has been torn for years by his emotional attachment with at least one other female whose physical contact went beyond hugging and kissing and holding hands. Enough said-maybe more details will be revealed later-but it was clearly immoral. All of this was skillfully concealed by lying and by swearing close associates who had observed his behavior to secrecy. Stephen Strader, for example, knew nothing of this before June 23. Apparently some of his board members did, but they did not have the ability to deal with it.
I must say I wonder how Peter knows this, considering that he has apparently only met Todd on the one occasion. This seems to conflict with what Rick Joyner has written. The most serious charge relates to Todd regularly lying – although given the massive publicity at Lakeland it would be reasonable for him to ask his staff not to reveal his whereabouts during his time off. There is at least the possibility here that Peter has given too much credence to some of the hostile accounts which have been circulating. Indeed this information needs to be verified.
Peter finishes as follows:
Two separate things are going on. (1) The Revival Alliance is dealing with Todd Bentley and the fallout from his sin that has been and continues to be exposed. (2) I have told you previously about a group of 11 apostles that I have formed into the Lakeland Outpouring Apostolic Team. We no longer need to deal with Lakeland I and Bentley as such. However, we have a list of 24 serious issues that have emerged from that unpleasant experience which need to be thoroughly discussed with the conclusions circulated in the body of Christ. …
It will take time, but our Apostolic Team will get to work on the 24 issues after some of this present dust settles, and we will be back to you!
I look forward to their further report.