Good teaching for Todd Bentley on divorce and remarriage – on Facebook!

Among the many comments on my post about Todd Bentley’s remarriage there have been several questioning whether Todd had proper biblical grounds for divorcing his first wife Shonnah and contracting a new marriage with Jessa. I don’t want to defend Todd’s actions here, especially as he himself has admitted that what he did was wrong. But I do want to say that it is by no means as clear as some suggest that Todd’s new marriage should be called adultery. This is because the biblical teaching on divorce and remarriage is not as simple and clear-cut as some people seem to think.

I wanted to point my readers to the teaching on this matter of David Instone-Brewer, who is a research fellow at Tyndale House, the evangelical research centre in Cambridge. Unfortunately Instone-Brewer’s main website about divorce and remarriage is out of action at the moment, possibly only a temporary glitch. But I did find a link to a summary of his teaching, at a site called Playmobible which, amazingly enough, uses cartoons in Facebook photo albums to summarise Instone-Brewer’s teaching! I’m not sure if this is an example of Facebook being smart for once or of Facebook dumbing down even Bible teaching.

Anyway, I would recommend those of my readers who think they can easily condemn Todd Bentley for his remarriage to look at the album of teaching on The Four Biblical Causes of Divorce and the one on Roman Divorce. Don’t miss the notes underneath many of the images. These albums are not produced by Instone-Brewer but are endorsed by him. It would of course be better still to look at Instone-Brewer’s main site, but sadly that is currently not possible.

So, according to Instone-Brewer’s teaching, is Todd Bentley’s divorce and remarriage permissible? I would claim that it is on the grounds that he was apparently deserted by his first wife; he has been deprived of his marital rights and so can go free, according to the teaching of Exodus 21:10-11 at least if allowed to apply to men as well as women. Of course if Shonnah left Todd because of his adultery, that would be a different matter. But I have never seen any convincing evidence that Todd ever had sexual intercourse with a woman he was not married to. So, while Todd has admitted to mistakes in how he handled the matter, I cannot agree with many of my commenters that he has actually committed adultery or should be treated as if he has.

In the circumstances Todd should be allowed to start his new married life in peace, and to go through the proper restoration process which has already started before returning to public Christian ministry.

By the way, don’t treat too seriously this comment I made on the Lingamish blog.

0 thoughts on “Good teaching for Todd Bentley on divorce and remarriage – on Facebook!

  1. I would claim that it is on the grounds that he was apparently deserted by his first wife; he has been deprived of his marital rights and so can go free, according to the teaching of Exodus 21:10-11 at least if allowed to apply to men as well as women. Of course if Shonnah left Todd because of his adultery, that would be a different matter. But I have never seen any convincing evidence that Todd ever had sexual intercourse with a woman he was not married to.

    I have a bit fo an issue with your handling of this whole issue Peter

    With regard to Shonnah leaving, there is relative silence as to the merits and causes. Yet you appear (by the comment above) come down in favour of Todd.

    Yet with Todd’s “adultery” or lack of it, from the same silence and lack of details, you come down in favour of Todd.

    i.e. “Until you have proof” Todd has had sex with another woman outside of marriage you won’t believe it. Yet your portrayal of Shonnah does not do her the same service, in my opinion.

    If Shonnah and the children have left Todd, the method of fixing that situation is not marrying another woman then saying you were sorry. Especially if all along the accusation is that the other woman has been on the scene for quite some time. All that does is add some whopping circustantial evidence to the claims of his critics.

    I don’t think we can pick and choose which silences or lack of details we use to back up what we think.

    I certainly do not think Todd should have remarried because it is way too soon, with the girl he was accused of adultery with. Not only on the base level did it not give their relationship time to grow and develop, it also removed any possibility of restoration with Shonnah.

    Obviously, like you, I don’t know the ins and outs of it. But surely Todd would have been better advised to jump on a plane to Canada and / or get some help alone.

    Divorcing and remarrying in such a short space of time seems very very strange, no matter what verse gets plucked out of exodus. For all your “Unless I see some evidence”, the circumstances I see make your reading of the situation look pretty naive to be honest, in a way I dont understand given the way you are usually spot on with stuff.

    If Todd needed a break from ministry to recouperate and be restored (as you suggest), jumping into a new marriage with the girl in question is not the way.

  2. Blue, I don’t mean to condemn Shonnah by coming down on Todd’s side, but rather to allow to both sides the benefit of any doubt unless and until the facts are established. It’s the old legal principle of innocent until proved guilty, and the biblical one of not entertaining an accusation unless there are two or three witnesses. I do not accept as witnesses pseudonymous blog comments such as the ones alleging that Todd and Jessa had a sexual relationship before Shonnah left Todd, something which Todd has explicitly denied.

    I accept that I do not have the two or three witnesses for Shonnah leaving Todd. So I am not accusing Shonnah of anything either. Anyway, it is not for you or me to accuse either of them, but for God and on his behalf for their church leaders and those whom they are accountable for their ministry.

    I would agree that it would very likely have been wiser for Todd to delay his marriage to Jessa. But then I do not know why they chose to marry so quickly after the divorce – there may be reasons which we don’t know about.

  3. Pingback: Shonnah Bentley to blame for Todd’s Adultery says Peter Kirk « The Church of Jesus Christ

  4. Peter, I think your righteous desire to honour Todd is biasing your normally sound judgement. Since I have no desire to judge Todd et al, let me ask you a hypothetical question.

    If a Christian leader, in active ministry, who was experiencing marital conflict over several years, yielded to the desire to intentionally conduct over a period of time an emotional, loving and caring relationship with another woman, who was not his wife, would you call this adultery of the heart?

    And if that relationship became physical, perhaps cuddling and kissing, would you consider that adultery “in spirit”, if not in “letter”?

    And if the said leader then divorced his wife, and married said woman, to consumate their emotional and spiritual relationship, would you not join in with Christ in calling that new relationship adultery, of the very real and physical kind?

  5. Alastair, this is a different scenario from the one we see with Todd, at least as I reconstruct it from the limited reliable sources. Now I might concede that Todd has committed adultery “in spirit” or “in his heart”, but not that he has done so without any such qualification, as so many have accused him of without a shred of evidence. But Todd has admitted that he has sinned, and what matters more is genuine repentance, not what name is given to the sin.

    Note that I have long supported Instone-Brewer’s teaching on marriage, which lies behind what I have blogged on this subject in the past, especially several posts from April last year, before Todd Bentley became prominent. So it is not true that I have adjusted my view of marriage to fit Todd’s case.

    Nevertheless I can’t help wondering what the reactions would be if what Todd has done had happened instead to a prominent “Reformed” preacher. I’m sure some of the same people who are now blasting Todd would be defending their favourite on the basis that a wife’s refusal to submit to her husband, like Shonnah’s refusal to move to Lakeland to be with Todd, is grounds for divorce. But that is not Christianity but Xerxeanity.

    By the way, David Instone-Brewer’s Divorce & Remarriage site is now working again, having been fixed in response to an e-mail from me with a link to this post. I will now have a look at the site.

  6. I’m sure some of the same people who are now blasting Todd would be defending their favourite on the basis that a wife’s refusal to submit to her husband, like Shonnah’s refusal to move to Lakeland to be with Todd, is grounds for divorce.

    That line of thought is just plain weird Peter.

    Firstly: we don’t know Shonnah refused to move to Lakeland do we? Again, reading something from silence in favour of Todd.

    Secondly: if this is a deliberate anti-complimentarian cheap shot, which it sounds like, then Todd was hardly being “head” of his household when he upped sticks and moved to Florida without fully covering the needs of his his wife and children. Even less when he entered and inappropriate relationship with a woman who was not his wife.

    Thirdly: I would be interested in seeing anyone suggesting “lack of submission” is grounds for divorce?

  7. Nevertheless I can’t help wondering what the reactions would be if what Todd has done had happened instead to a prominent “Reformed” preacher

    If my favourite reformed teacher (Mark Driscoll for those that don’t know me) divorced his wife for any reason, including infidelity, I would be seriously disappointed. Reformed teaching is very clear on this matter: a husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church. As the Apostle Paul himself said in 1 Cor 7:10, “To the married I give this command … a husband should not divorce his wife.”

    Reformed or hyper-charismatic, it doesn’t really matter. Sin is sin.

    I take it you agreed that my hypothetical situation was adultery? And that your position is that this situation is not the same as Todd’s?

  8. Blue, we do know that Fresh Fire purchased a family house for Todd and invited Shonnah to Lakeland in June, that she came, and that soon after she returned to Canada and refused all contact with Todd. That sounds to me like a refusal to move to Lakeland. I accept that I have not seen lack of submission put forward as grounds for divorce among Christians. But it was the grounds used by King Xerxes in Esther chapter 1, and verse 22 of this chapter is the source of the common complementarian teaching that “every man should be ruler over his own household”.

    Alastair, suppose Driscoll decided to move to Edinburgh, to pastor your church (I’m sure you’d be very happy), without consulting his wife (which at least some complementarians would defend as the right thing to do), and she refused to follow him. I’m sure many complementarians would teach that she was completely wrong and sinning to do so. Would none of them even suggest that Driscoll would have the right to divorce her?

  9. Peter: an interesting hypothetical situation! Alas I cannot speak for other reformed/complementarians. I am sure some immature and ignorant complementarians may give inappropriate or downright wrong counsel. I freedly admit and expect that. But surely that is not the debate here.

    The Mars Hill policy on divorce and remarriage is explained here. As you can see, they take a pretty strict stance on the whole issue. See for example:

    Scripture is clear: marriage is a covenant relationship that should not be broken even under extreme circumstances of betrayal such as adultery. It should be restored through repentance, forgiveness, and reconciliation. Paul instructed members of the Corinthian church who separated from their spouses to remain unmarried, so reconciliation could occur. Reconciliation is the priority (1 Corinthians 7:10).

    From this document alone, it seems they would judge Driscoll in sin if he divorced his wife due to not accompanying him. In fact, by the standards in that document, he may be thrown off the eldership board. Regardless, I would refuse to submit to him and would have no respect for him, if his wife was not behind him 100% in his ministering here.

    I think citing King Xerxes is clutching at straws(!): divorce teaching needs to come from King Jesus, and its Jesus’ teaching on this issue that is in discussion here.

  10. we do know that Fresh Fire purchased a family house for Todd and invited Shonnah to Lakeland in June, that she came, and that soon after she returned to Canada and refused all contact with Todd. That sounds to me like a refusal to move to Lakeland

    This is why we cannot judge this issue, as the context of this refusal is everything. Perhaps, as you say, she refused to support Todd in his ministry, and went back to Canada. Or perhaps she was so fed up with the alcohol abuse, the innappropriate movies he was watching constantly at home, and blatant flirting with his office staff, his breaking of his marital vows by not emotionally and physically being available for his wife and kids, that she finally had enough, and returned to Canada at her wits end. We cannot judge Shonnah returning without knowing the reasons why. For all we know she may have caught Todd and Jessa fooling around in the very house that was bought for Todd and his family! We simply do not know the facts to make a call.

  11. Thanks, Alastair. I’m glad that Mars Hill has such high standards. I agree that husbands should not make major decisions which affect their families without their wives being fully behind them. I agree that we should take our teaching on marriage from Jesus, not from Xerxes. You are right that we cannot judge Shonnah without knowing the full circumstances, but in just the same way we should not judge Todd. But Todd has denied “fooling around” with Jessa until after Shonnah left him, and we have no reason to disbelieve his word on this matter. The problem with this whole debate is that no one knows all the relevant facts yet so many people seem quick to condemn Todd.

  12. Rick posted the following comment on another blog, and also sent it to me by e-mail (a slightly different version). I don’t want to answer on the other blog as that thread is populated by anti-intellectuals who are not prepared even to consider opinions which go against their naive reading of the Bible. But I did think this was worth responding to.

    Peter Kirk–

    I would tend to agree more with Polycarp than with you on divorce and remarriage in general, but if we can set aside that broad question, I have something regarding Mr. Bentley’s remarriage that I would like your opinion on, given that you seem to think that his remarriage is okay.

    (I certainly do not want to pick on you. It’s just that I don’t think that Joyner and Bentley will ever address what I explore below and I wonder what someone who sympathizes with Mr. Bentley to a certain extent–as I think it is perhaps fair to say that you do, to some degree–would think of my line of reasoning. I just am interested in you point of view on this.)

    Mr. Bentley writes in his autobiography that his wife-to-be, Shonnah Andres, initially saw him as just a friend. Furthermore, she was interested in another fellow, and thought, after prayer, that she would marry this other man.

    Then, Todd had a “vision from God”. I quote his book:

    “…the Lord had actually shown me an open vision of Shonnah. It was my first open-eyed vision. I was in my living room and my fireplace opened up, kind of like a TV screen, and I saw us embracing in a wheat field that was ready for harvest. We were both weeping and I was wearing a tux and she was wearing a wedding dress. As the vision unfolded, her friend Roswetta (who was now my friend) was talking with me in the living room about Shonnah. I described the open vision to her as it happened. The presence of the Lord fell and we both wept. Roswetta said, ‘I can’t see it but I can feel goose bumps.’ During this vision, I also received an anointing of creativity, poetry and writing. In fact, I even received a three-page prophetic poem that I read at our wedding. I still write prophetic poems for my wife to this day.”

    Shonnah’s friend then went off to tell her about the vision. Shonnah gradually fell in love with Bentley and they married.

    Mr. Bentley is alleging that he received special direction from the Lord to marry his wife. Moreover, that he received special help from God to enable him to show love to her. Would Mr. Bentley not be going against the revealed will of God in what he is said to have seen…if we assume this vision actually took place?

    I do realize that often Christians divorce and remarry for various reasons, some of which may be valid. If we keep in mind that Mr. Bentley is a charismatic, and therefore should perhaps be held to the standards that that wing of Christianity holds itself to:

    1. If this was God speaking in the “vision” would this imply that not being married to Shonnah would be out of God’s will?

    2. If it is true that Todd at one time received special help from the Lord to bless and be kind to Shonnah (a gift of writing poetry, for her etc.), would this reinforce that God wanted Todd to remain married to Shonnah?

    3. If this was a valid vision, should Todd expect, in turn, a second vision or leading from God that he is to marry Jessa? (Given that if Todd Bentley is justified theologically that divorce and remarriage in his instance is okay, he is going to need something to counter those in the church who are very conservative in matters of marriage and divorce. As Bentley is a charismatic, he may want special direction from the Lord again…which he may need or want to pass on to those criticizing him. If I were Mr. Joyner and Mr. Bentley, I would be seeking the Lord’s direction here, right now.)

    I would think that a divorce and remarriage would be an especially grave matter for Mr. Bentley, given the above. If he has sinned in how he has handled his remarriage–it would perhaps be an especially grave sin given the providential nature of his first marriage, as described in this book?

    Also, in a comment of yours on a post on your blog, you write:

    “Blue, we do know that Fresh Fire purchased a family house for Todd and invited Shonnah to Lakeland in June, that she came, and that soon after she returned to Canada and refused all contact with Todd. That sounds to me like a refusal to move to Lakeland. I accept that I have not seen lack of submission put forward as grounds for divorce among Christians. But it was the grounds used by King Xerxes in Esther chapter 1, and verse 22 of this chapter is the source of the common complementarian teaching that “every man should be ruler over his own household”.

    Is this confirmed? I was led to understand that Todd Bentley never moved into that house, and that the visit was temporary.

    Shonnah Bentley could perhaps have had some valid reasons not to move with her children to Florida. Here are two things that come to mind.

    1. Her own visa. As the wife of an itinerant evangelist who, we are led to understand, only allowed in and out of the U.S. at the sufferance of customs officials, could she get the kidn of open ended visa that Todd Bentley gets? Could her children get this visa? Would U.S. customs officials be leery of Mrs. Bentley and her kids becoming a burden on the state and not grant such a visa. (I don’t know if this is the case, of course, but these are issues that could have come up.)

    2. School. Let’s assume that the revival would have continued into Septmber or October. This is possible and may have factored into Shonnah’s thinking last spring. Does she want her three kids to have to enter a U.S. school when they have been educated in Canada. Many things would be different in a U.S. school and she may not have wanted to do anything that caused her kids to fall behind in school, get poor grades, etc.. It’s a fair thing for a parent to think about.

    I’m interested to hear your imput on my observations.

    Thanks

    There are some good questions here. Let me try to answer:

    1. Concerning the supposed vision which led Todd to marry Shonnah: I expect that Todd and Shonnah would now say that this vision was not genuinely from God, or that it was misinterpreted. I would agree. I know that my own pastor is very cautious about people claiming that God told them to marry a particular person, and this is wise. If a marriage is based only on this, and not on real affection and love, that is a recipe for disaster. Sadly immature people, like Todd certainly was at that time, can easily mishear what they think is from God, or interpret it wrongly. That is why it is always important for prophecy, visions etc to be carefully tested. I suspect that something was lacking in this case. Perhaps God was speaking symbolically about a partnership between Todd and Shonnah, not about an actual marriage. We have to accept that anyone who claims to hear from God sometimes gets it wrong, especially when they are just starting, so this should not be taken as invalidating all of Todd’s ministry.

    2. Concerning Shonnah moving to Lakeland: I’m not sure whether her June visit with the children was intended to be exploratory or permanent. It would have been a good time to move the children as their school term in Canada would have finished or nearly so. I don’t know about the visa issue. What has been clearly stated is that she returned to Canada and refused all contact with Todd, which is not the response of someone who is trying to make practical arrangements for a move, or even of one who is trying to dialogue with her husband about whether the move is right. It sounds to me much more like a case of refusing even to consider the move and so of abandoning Todd. Of course we don’t have all of her side of the story, so I don’t want to condemn her. But we don’t have the evidence to put all the blame on Todd either. Best to accept that we don’t know, and leave judgment to God who does know, and to those intimately concerned with the situation who know a lot more than is public.

  13. Thanks Peter for your comments thus far.

    One thing I don’t understand though is your insistence that we must take Todd at his word, and that all allegations that he has committed adultery are wrong. That Todd had an affair seems an established fact to both his own (ex) ministry (Fresh Fire), the Canadian press, and to (some of) his own super-Apostle overseers (e.g. Robert Ricciardelli).

    The claim that But Todd has denied “fooling around” with Jessa until after Shonnah left him just does not seem to add up at all, and seems to be denied by others involved in Todd’s ministry and oversight. Why does Todd need restoration if his only sin was to not seek restoration when his wife left him?

  14. Sorry to persist in posting on this topic, but I found a link to a report by Peter Wagner, one Bentley’s overseers. Brief extract (emphasis mine):

    Their [Todd & Shonnah’s] 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.

    This report, and others like it which have come to light, and the reasons that myself and others cannot see the current situation as anything other than adultery and continued unrepentant sin.

  15. I have a different view on divorce simply because if divorce is sin, then God the Father is guilty of sin because He said He divorced Israel in Jeremiah 3:1, and He cannot sin.

    I posted a simple study on the Greek behind the verses in Matthew dealing with divorce at http://rahabsplace.wordpress.com/2009/03/15/todd-bentley-is-divorce-and-remarriage-sin/

    The short version is Jesus didn’t use the word for divorce in these passages, apostasion, he used the word apoluo, which means to send a woman away without a divorce. Any relationship either of them would have had after that would be adulterous because they were still legally married.

    This is still an issue in the Orthodox Jewish community. A man must give a woman a get or she cannot remarry. The women who lost husbands in 9/11 in the US are in this state of limbo. They don’t have bodies to prove their men are dead, and the man isn’t around to grant them a get. In the Orthodox community, any remarriage would be adultery in their case. You can research that on the internet.

    This is what Jesus was talking about, not a legal divorce. He does use the word for divorce when when he says a certificate of divorce, but then changes to a totally different word, apo (from) luo (to loose). It is separation without the legal divorce.

    By the way, what John the Baptist was nailing Herod Antipas on with Herodias was not being married to his brother’s ex wife, but living with his brother’s current wife. Herodias divorced Herod II, which wasn’t legal, and Antipas was still quite legally married to his first wife at the time.

    God gave regulations regarding divorce in the Law of Moses. Jesus said that not one jot or tittle of the law would disappear.

    Divorce is because of the hardness of the heart of man and because of sin. Divorce is like AIDS. To have AIDS from sexual immorality is not a sin; it is the result of the sin of sexual immorality. The same is true of divorce. Divorce and remarriage (the law was clear that a divorced person was free to remarry) is not sin, but rather the result of sin.

    The solution to the divorce problem in the church is not to forbid divorce, but start looking at how we look at marriage. There is such pressure in the church for people to be married. No one looks at the passages where Jesus and later Paul talk about it is a better thing to not be married at all.

    Do you realize that according to the rules in many churches, neither Jesus nor Paul would qualify for leadership because neither had ever been married? Does that alone not tell you that there’s something wrong with our view?

    When David committed adultery with Bathsheba, killed her husband and then married her, God sent Nathan to rebuke him. Notice that God did not impose the penalty of the law on David. The law clearly stated that both he and Bathsheba were to be taken out and stoned by the congregation. There was no option on that. Yet the Lord did not tell Nathan that. Neither did He tell Nathan to tell David that he had to send Bathsheba away. She may not have had a living husband, but David has several living wives. Please show me in scripture where God ever said having multiple wives at the same time was okay.

    In the US, over 50% of the church is divorced and somewhere between 20 and 40% of the clergy. I have to ask, do you guys treat the divorced people in your church (some of whom had actual full blown affairs that caused their divorce), the way you are coming down on Todd Bentley? Do you dare to say the things you are saying on the internet to the face of the people you are going to church with? And lastly, how many of you nailing on Todd were virgins when you got married? I think there is a tremendous amount of hypocrisy going on here.

    For those of you who are genuinely concerned about Todd and sincerely desire to see the church living at a higher standard, I apologize if I have offended you.

    There are others, however, who are merely using this to continue their hate-filled attacks on Todd, only now they feel fully justified in their hatred. See, we were right about him. And it is hatred that I have seen in many, many posts around the internet. There is no grief for a brother who has fallen.

  16. Why do I believe Todd about not having had a physical affair with Jessa before his announcement in August?

    When would the guy have had the time?

    Lakeland was insane. The city of Lakeland itself is not that big. It’s not like he could sneak off somewhere private – there wasn’t anywhere. Every motel room in the city was taken, and all in every hotel within easy driving distance. When I was there, I slept in my car in a parking lot because there were no rooms closer than Tampa, and that was in May. It got a lot more insane later.

    Todd would get to whatever venue they were at several hours before the meetings started to pray, and then be at the venue until the wee hours. I know when I was there he was still praying for people at one and two in the morning.

    Todd was continuously surrounded by people. Yes, he had security with him because there were threats made against him. He was working out daily at a local gym. Everywhere I went in town, they had seen the guy or knew about him.

    How do we know he had problems with alcohol? Because he was recognized when he was out. There was no where the guy could hide. If Jessa had been hanging at his house, the neighbors would have been talking to the news media about it. There was a local Lakeland reporter following the story from April.
    There were newsies all over the place when I was there in early May. It had to have been much worse as the meetings went on, and they were all looking for dirt.

    In my young and unsaved days, I was involved in several affairs. It’s not that easy to sneak around with someone in normal life. I can’t imagine trying to do so with someone involved in the madhouse that was the Lakeland Outpouring.

  17. Patsy, you seem to be saying I should trust your translation of the Greek over the established experts? Is that meant to be a joke?

    apoluo, which means to send a woman away without a divorce

    Where did you learn that? It means no such thing. I suggest you take a course in Greek! According to quick study I did myself, it would be translated literally as “put away”. However, the actual meaning, and connotation, is without any debate, “divorce”. There is a difference between what a word denotes and what a word connotes. And translation is not simply putting the literal phrase from the source language into the receptor text. Its about context, and the meaning of all words is ultimately found in their context.

    Peter is far more qualified that I to speak on this matter, so I will say no more.

  18. Patsy, regarding your second posting, thanks for this response. You raise some good points! But how do we account for statements such as the one given by one of his apostolic overseers “Peter Wagner” ? If Todd has no time to do it, what the heck is he talking about? Either Todd is lying, or Wagner is. Either way, a major charismatic leader is lying to the Church. Either way, the whole situation stinks!

  19. Alastair, there are no credible sources accusing Todd of adultery. Ricciardelli has stated that some of the comments on this blog to that effect in his name (now deleted) were not made by him. Peter Wagner admitted elsewhere that he knew nothing about Todd and only met him once very briefly, so his third hand testimony could easily have come from hostile sources and so must be dismissed. I insist on the biblical standard that no accusation should be considered unless there are two or three witnesses. I have seen no credible witnesses, just lots of rumours spread by people who showed their hostility to Todd and his ministry long before issues with his marriage became public.

    Patsy, thanks for your sensible contributions. I would need to look more carefully than I have time to now into the point about the difference between divorce and sending away. Thank you for the inside information on Lakeland, which is helpful. I think we can excuse Wagner from the charge of lying if we realise that he was deceived by people such as the fake Ricciardelli deliberately spreading false rumours.

  20. I insist on the biblical standard that no accusation should be considered unless there are two or three witnesses.

    So why do you keep on accusing Shonnah of leaving Todd? Of abandoning him? Of not being willing to stay with him in Lakeland?

    Do you know why she left? Do you know what she knew about Todd when she left? What are your reliable sources, except the same basic facts different people are drawing different conclusions from?

    In your requirement of proof would you say Todd was drinking heavily? Was he watching inappropriate stuff? Was he spending too much time with Jessa?

    It just seems odd that in your defence of Todd, you are breaking your own rules about proof to swing blame Shonnah’s way. How is that any better?

    Patsy: your point about Lakeland being a small place does not make any difference. Affairs can happen between people in the same house, let alone in the same town with someone you work really closely with. That is not to say they had an affair, but just to point out your reasoning does not hold much water.

  21. Ricciardelli has stated that some of the comments on this blog to that effect in his name (now deleted) were not made by him. Peter Wagner admitted elsewhere that he knew nothing about Todd and only met him once very briefly, so his third hand testimony could easily have come from hostile sources and so must be dismissed.

    If this is true then why doesn’t the real Wagner/Ricciardelli stand up and clarify this? Their (false/faked) statements confirming physical adultery have been picked up by half the Christian church, the secular media (see for example this article, and possibly many non Christians enquiring into this matter. And I was always under the impression that Fresh Fire asked Todd to step down because of adultery.

  22. Blue, I have said several times that I am not sure of the details of why Shonnah left Lakeland and so do not want to accuse her of anything. My point, reiterated so often that I would expect you to have got it by now, is that we who are outside the situation should not be accusing anyone of anything, because we only know a few of the facts and these can all be interpreted in different ways. This is a delicate pastoral issue. Surely you as an elder should know about such things, and how destructive it would be to your attempts to deal with an analogous situation in your church to have it discussed publicly on the Internet and around the town.

    Alastair, the real Ricciardelli did stand up and say this – see this post which refers to Ricciardelli’s words in comment 84 here. Peter Wagner should also admit his mistake. I understood that Fresh Fire asked Todd to step down because of his admitted inappropriate relationship; it is possible that the word “adultery” was used.

  23. This is a delicate pastoral issue. Surely you as an elder should know about such things, and how destructive it would be to your attempts to deal with an analogous situation in your church to have it discussed publicly on the Internet and around the town.

    I completely agree.

    Which is why I think the recent video interviews with Todd are more than a little odd. In my opinion they don’t answer his detractors and they don’t satisfy his supporters.

    The same can be said of the public statements from various people involved, the leaders who prayed for him and endorsed him. As are the discussions and articles in Charisma magazine and other things.

    The whole situation has been played out publicly.

  24. Peter, thanks for that link. It seems I will have to disregard all comments by Ricciardelli, as its impossible to determine whether I was reading the real Ricciardelli or the fake one.

  25. Alastair, I’m afraid that’s the nature of blogging. Nothing in blog comments can be taken as reliable evidence of anything. Probably not much on blogs anyway. Another reason why we should leave judging and apportioning blame to those with access to the real facts.

    Blue, I agree in finding the video interviews somewhat odd, but I think they go a long way towards satisfying Todd’s supporters, and most of his detractors would not accept any answers. As for Charisma magazine, I count them among the detractors, although far more moderate than many. But Shonnah has requested minimal publicity, and that, not a lack of care, is why she doesn’t get mentioned much. I don’t think Todd or Rick have ever wanted this to be played out publicly, but since it is being against their will they want to set the record straight. So do I.

  26. Alastair, I did take Koine Greek, that’s why I started looking at the passage. When I realized that throughout the verse in Luke 16:18 used apoluo throughout, but was translated two different ways, I knew there was something wrong. So I researched and found someone with seminary education who saw the same thing I did. His name is Walter L. Callison, a graduate of Park College and the Midwestern Baptist Theology Seminary.

    This is what he had to say:

    …he said, “Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery” (Luke 16:18). Whosoever does this commits adultery! This practice was cruel and was adulterous, but it was not divorce.

    This New Testament word, translated “put away” in the King James Version, is a form of the Greek word apoluo. It is the word in Greek, the language of the New Testament, which parallels the Hebrew word shalach (put away).

    There is an Old Testament Hebrew word for divorce, keriythuwth, and a New Testament Greek word, apostasion. The Arndt-Gingrich Lexicon of the New Testament cites usage of the word apostasion as the technical term for a bill or writing of divorce as far back as 258 B.C.

    Apoluo, the Greek word for putting away, was not technically divorce, though often used synonomously. In that age of total male domination, men often took additional wives, and did not provide written release when they forsook wives and married others. The Jewish law demanding written divorce (Deut. 24:1-2) was largely ignored. If a man married another woman, so what? If a man “put away” (apoluo) his wife without bothering with a written divorce, who was going to object? The woman?

    Jesus had some objections. Jesus even loved mistreated women! He told them that this earth would go up in smoke before the law requiring a written bill of divorce should fail (Lk. 16:17). And he said, when you put away a wife (without written divorce), and marry another (while still married), you are guilty of adultery (Lk. 16:17). Moreover, she who is put away is in real trouble. She has no divorce paper. She is abandoned, but still married. She would commit adultery if she married again (Lk. 16:18).

    ———————–
    So that is where I got it (the full article is up on my site.) Apo (from) luo (to loose). Every first year Greek student knows that. So where do you get divorce from that compound word?

    I also did a bit of research into the Orthodox Jewish community and found this same issue is still a problem.

    You know, Martin Luther got the same reaction when he said that the Greek said “repent” not “do penance.” Who was he to challenge the official interpretation of the church? He was just a monk.

  27. By the way, C. Peter Wagner has never been an overseer of Todd Bentley. Todd submitted to Revival Alliance. C. Peter has relationship with Stephen Strader, not Todd. Inviting him was, I believe, Bill Johnson’s idea.

    Todd said in one of the meeting he had body guards on his wife and kids because they couldn’t set foot outside the house without people being on them. Sneaking around in that kind of an atmosphere is just this side of impossible. You might once or twice, but in an ongoing fashion? I don’t think so.

    From the accounts I’ve seen from Todd and Jessa and Rick Joyner and Todd’s dad, there was not any physical intimacy. One of the intercessors at Morningstar said that Rick had told them the extent of the relationship was hand holding and that Todd had kissed her once. Period. Rick said in the latest video I saw that one of the reasons Todd and Jessa married is because Todd did not believe he could stay single and remain in purity, which is, according to Paul, a valid reason to marry.

  28. Patsy, thanks again for the info, which seems to come from a lot closer to Todd than some of what I have seen on blogs and elsewhere.

    As for what you say about divorce, how does it compare with Instone-Brewer’s teaching? He seems to see sending wives away without paperwork as a problem in Roman Corinth, but not in Judea where the practice seems to have been written divorce more or less at will. But perhaps Luke’s version of Jesus’ teaching, which you quote, has been adapted slightly to fit Roman practices.

  29. Patsy,
    Thanks for the additional info. Sorry if I sounded a little harsh in my first response. However I stand by my original comments. To literally translate “apoluo” passages would give us “put away”. But what does “put away” actually mean in the context? I would rather trust NT experts behind modern translations such as TNIV and NET than some random seminary graduate, no offensive. The overwhelming historical and scholarly conesensus is that “put away” refers to divorce in this context.

    So where do you get divorce from that compound word? Meanings of words do not derive from etymology but from context, and other lexical and grammatical usage, as I am sure you are aware. As Peter said, Instone-Brewer has done more research in this area than anyone else. Surely he would know what this seminary graduate knows, if it is true?

  30. Thanks for your reply, Peter…

    A couple of observations…

    Regarding the account in his book about the vision that he should marry Shonnah, I note that this vision was printed three times in the book. Twice in the self-published Fresh Fire versions, and once in the Destiny Image version last year. The currently available version has been edited for clarity, so I would suggest that if Todd Bentley belived that he was mistaken in that vision, he could have edited it out of his book entirely. But there it remains, even after the first marital breakdown when, presumably, Todd Bentley could have already realized that he was never meant to marry Shonnah and realized that his vision was mistaken. Why keep it in the book, unless he belived the vision to be true, or wanted to give the impression that he did?

    Aside from the debate on whether the divorce and remarriage was inappropriate, the vision is telling for me. If something is God-ordained, by open-eyed vision, you act like it is, if you are a charismatic as Bentley is.

    I’d like to see someone directly ask Bentley about this vision and how it relates to his actions. Probably will never happen, though…

    If there was nothing remotely resembling an affair, will we see Joyner and Bentley ask Ricciardelli, Wagner to formally apologize and retract what they said? It would be an appropriate step. (If they don’t feel that they know anything concrete about an affair, this should not be a problem.)

    Those are a couple things that come to mind, but I was interested to see your point of view. We don’t agree about some things about Mr. Bentley, but iron does sharpen iron…

    Thanks

  31. Thank you, Rick. Yes, there are a lot of things we would all like to ask Todd. Maybe Rick Joyner will ask some of them in his ongoing series of online interviews. It seems Todd still believed the vision was genuine, but that does not imply that it was.

    I have been in a similar situation where I believed God wanted me to marry a woman, and she also believed it or said she did – but then she changed her mind and broke off the engagement. What happened? Did we both hear wrong from God the first time? Did God want us to marry but she was disobedient? Where did that leave my own plans? I was in a real quandary, and an emotional mess, for some time. No doubt Todd is, or has been, as well. But it takes two to make a continuing marriage, and if Shonnah refuses even to see Todd we have to say that the marriage is over – although it is a different question whether that is biblical grounds for divorce and remarriage.

    Ricciardelli claims that he did not make the comments alleging adultery etc. And there is good evidence that he didn’t, that someone else was using his name. So no apology called for from him. I would like to see an apology or at least a clarification from Wagner.

  32. I am still studying and trying to come to a true understanding of the issues of divorce. I have not yet read Instone-Brewer’s teaching, but I will.

    My concern is that 50% of the church in America is divorced, and I know it is not the heart of God to throw them under bus. At the same time, divorce is not the highest and best option God has for his people.

    I think the church has turned marriage into a litmus test it was never meant to be. As I have said, the rules in many churches would disqualify God the Father and Jesus from ministry, as well as Paul. There’s something wrong with our understanding.

    As far as the vision goes, well, Samuel appointed Saul as King over Israel by direct command of the Lord. Saul was encountered by the Spirit of God and he was changed into a different man, according to Scripture, and we all know how that turned out.

  33. Patsy, I agree with you. Your point about Saul is helpful: it can be God’s will for someone to do something, including marriage, but human disobedience can thwart this because God doesn’t force people to obey him.

  34. I place these comments on this most recent post, though they could have gone on other recent posts on Todd Bentley’s problems.

    I indicated some weeks ago that I have always had strong empathy with the caution which Dave Faulkner on Big Circumstance had expressed last summer about Todd and the Lakeland work. To be honest, what has emerged since then has confirmed to me the wisdom of that stance. However for the most part I have kept my own counsel .

    Christians vary in their stance on divorce and remarriage, as recent comments on this site indicate. However at very least I feel Todd has shown regrettable haste in marrying his new lady so quickly. Surely a period of sober reflection and learning, under the supervision of those committed to his restoration, would have been more approriate. I note that others share that view. I ask myself if this as indicative of an atitude of impatience which ought to be dealt with before a return to such public ministry.

    The precise sequence and extent of events is not wholly clear. However it does appear that Todd’s marriage was in real difficulties when the Lakeland mission started, and it looks as if the “inappropriate relationshp” with Jessa was under way as well, though how far that had progressed is unclear. If so, should he have been allowed to go ahead with the mission? I come back to my regrets expressed on an earlier post at the seeming weakness in the oversight and support he has received in recent years, which pushed forward a young man with a very difficult and painful past, before he was sufficiently healed of that past, and better equipped to handle the pressures. I emphasise “sufficiently” healed – which I realise is a soft concept. The weaknesses resulting from the baggage he still carries may in part explain the more idiosynchratic elements of his preaching and practice. Yes I know hindsight is a wonderful thing.

    These concerns do not however suggest that God did not touch some (even many?) through the Lakeland events, in spite of the crazy mixed up state of Todd’s own life. I sometimes wish there was a more robust evidence base to support more of the claims – it would increase the level of confidence, given what has emerged since. But to draw from the principles of the Donatist controversy, and they way they are reflected in the CoE’s 39 Articles, the efficiacy and validity of ministry is not of necessity voided through the sin of the minister – thankfully for all Christians and for those of us who to varying degrees minister “up front”. God in his sovereignty can, and does, work through our weaknesses. Meanwhile I hope that we can all pray that Todd, and his family, will find real and lasting healing, peace, repentance and restoration, no matter how long that takes, and whether or not he eventually takes up again the kind of ministry we have seen from him.

  35. Colin, I agree that if I were Todd’s pastor I would not have recommended such a quick remarriage, unless there were special circumstances which I am not aware of. But I am not in that position. And even if I were I would not be able to condemn his quick remarriage as a sin, just as unwise. If there really is an underlying impatience which needs to be dealt with before Todd returns to ministry, then I trust Rick Joyner to bring this issue out and encourage Todd to deal with it.

    There certainly had been difficulties in the marriage before Lakeland. But Todd has denied that there was any “inappropriate relationship” with Jessa before July, and there is no evidence to doubt his word on that.

    In some ways I appreciate your point about young people not being pushed into ministry. But Todd is over 30! And he has several years’ experience of this kind of ministry worldwide. I consider that our Church of England has lost touch with a whole generation because of its policy, now partly reversed, of not ordaining many clergy younger than their 40s. If younger people are to be reached with the gospel, they need to be reached by younger people. Yes, it is a risk to put young people into ministry, but it also is with older people who, like me, are by no means without problems. There have been plenty of recent sex scandals with Christian leaders much older than Todd. Please let’s drop this ageist nonsense, which by the way would be illegal in secular employment in Britain.

    Thanks for your closing comments. Indeed Todd’s sin does not detract from the validity of his ministry.

  36. Peter, I appreciate your posting the link to David Instone-Brewer’s work. It gave me the other piece I have been looking for as far as what are biblical grounds for divorce.

    Historically, I think the issues I raise and the issues he raises are two elements of the same problem: Divorce for any cause. And I know that THAT was never the heart of God, any more than requiring His children remain in abusive or neglectful relationships.

    As far as it not being an issue, I think it was. If you Google the word “agunah,” which is a Hebrew transliteration for this (it means chained women) you will find that it is still an issue in Judaism today. But the problem with doing historical research 2,000 years after the fact is the lack of readily accessible records, so at best you’re only getting snippets of a society at a particular time. Too, there is the problem of accurately dating sources. We know from our own histories how radically society can change in 25 or 50 years.

    You know, really, the marriage situation is no different today. Only now, instead of the divorce certificate, society dispenses with the marriage certificate. I think one of the reasons it looks like the church has a higher divorce rate than the world is because so much of the world merely lives together without benefit of marriage.

  37. Patsy, you’re welcome. I believe God wanted Christians to live to a higher standard than the world, in marriage as in many other things. But he wanted us to do so out of love, not because we are forced to by laws etc, see Galatians 3:23-25. So in the sad cases when Christians cannot live up to these standards they are not supposed to be bound, but to be forgiven and free in Christ. Somehow those who try to apply detailed rules about divorce and remarriage to Christians, treating Jesus’ words as a new law, have completely missed the point of the gospel of grace, at least that’s how it seems to me.

  38. Hi Peter,

    I just read the post on the Lingamish blog. You said not to take it too seriously…but

    “I just sold an unreliable older one called Shonnah and bought a sexy little open-top model called Jessa.” is really in bad, bad taste.

    Do you really think this sad, sorry situation is fodder for jokes, and is it really ok to talk about women in this way? Come on, I thought we are meant to be Christians!

  39. Sarah, sorry if I offended you, but of course this was meant to be entirely a joke. I would never talk about a woman as “a sexy little open-top model”, but I might really say this about a car which is what I was talking about. In my opinion sometimes a joke is the best thing to defuse the tension in even the saddest and sorriest situations.

  40. Peter

    thanks for your comments back.

    I think your use of “unwise” and mine of “regrettable haste” convey the same meaning. I guess, though, that I am more firthright in hoping that the restoration will explore and if necessary, deal with it. The fall has been very public. The restoration will therefore require Todd’s support team to make suitable public statements as milestones are reached, so all reasonable members of the church can be assured that we are indeed moving on.

    I note your comments on what Todd may have said on when the relationship started. Your comment at the end of 241137 above is capable of a less precise understanding, or have I missed something? I have since read that Todd says the relationship did not start until he felt his marriage was not retrievable. The next question is when did he conclude that? If it is post the start of Lakeland, then I am happy my concern on that score falls to the ground, leaving us with a very unstable marriage. Which personally I still feel is enough to question the wisdom of starting something so big as Lakeland. If others do not feel that way, I am not offended!

    I take you point about using younger people to reach younger people. But your worry about “ageist nonsense” is wholly unfounded. I saw him as a young man who has fallen and needs to be picked up, not a man who has fallen because he is “young”. I suppose we should agree a definition of young man/woman. todd’s age is a public fact. To set the scene, heis around 1-2 years older than for some reason I thought. however he is still around the same age as my son in law’s eldest sibling. And 2.5 years older than my older daughter.

    He is not the first and won’t be the last to struggle in this way. But the Church really must grasp the lessons from this and other falls, and work to reduce the extent of such occurences and the damage thet cause. Any minister needs supervision, oversight, accountability, and above all pastoral support. The extent and depth of that will relate to the nature and scope of the ministry, and even the extent of negative baggage carried from a pre christian life. somone in Todd’s position, needs far more careful oversight than I receive as a Reader in a small suburban parish – but be assured I know who are the “elders” to whom I must give account! I only suggest that the fact of the situation we now face is evidence in itself that such oversight was too weak.

    To enter the fray on the question of divorce and remarriage, I apprecate Patsy’s comments and your latest response to her. I also ask myself if Jesus would have acknowledge divorce, as a concession to a fallen world, if he had not also recognised an implication that remarriage might not sometimes be accepted. no doubt some commenters here will throw a fit at that remark.

  41. Thank you for your reply Peter. I realise you were talking about cars – but you have named the cars after real people, Shonnah and Jessa.

    I wonder what Shonnah would think about the car named after her being called “unreliable” and “older” and being traded in for a new model.

    I doubt she’d find it funny…

  42. Colin, I think Todd has explicitly said that the relationship with Jessa didn’t start until Shonnah returned to Canada in July.

    Todd did not start Lakeland, God did! Do you question his wisdom? Of course there were human decisions involved, but events moved very quickly and it is clear that if Todd had withdrawn in the early days that would have been disobeying God.

    Colin, if you think of your daughter at over 30 as still a child who cannot be trusted in ministry because of her age, then I think you have a problem. And this problem is at the heart of the Church of England’s failure to reach a generation which does not like to be preached at and patronised by their elders. Yes, Todd needs better pastoral care, but not because of his age.

  43. Peter

    a final look on line before bed.

    I have checked back my 2 previous posts and did not seem to suggest that Todd started Lakeland. He started ministering at Lakeland.

    I would ask you to please read again and reflect on what I actually said on the young man issue, and not the dodgy agenda you seem to have seen. Not least read again that I saw Todd as a ” young man who had fallen and needed to be picked up”. I attempted to suggest how I came to see him in those terms. And a parent’s desire for the well being of their offspring never ends even after they leave, cleave and join their own spouse. My mother is 84 and she is as interestedin my brothers and I , in an apprpriate way as when we were all 40 years younger. I ‘m sorry if that caused you a problem. No offence intended.

  44. Colin, I’m sorry if I was insensitive in how I referred to your family yesterday. On rereading your comment I realised that I had misunderstood it.

    But you did write “Which personally I still feel is enough to question the wisdom of starting something so big as Lakeland.” That implies that you are questioning the wisdom of whoever started Lakeland, not of who started ministering at Lakeland. I believe that this was a work of God, and so to question the wisdom of the one who started it is to question the wisdom of God. Your take on Lakeland may be different. But remember that Todd was an experienced evangelist with many years of international ministry. So I really don’t think you ought to be questioning the wisdom of Pastor Strader who invited Todd to Lakeland. I don’t know if Strader knew about Todd’s marriage difficulties, but I suppose that he put more trust than proved justified in the ability of Fresh Fire Ministries to keep that issue under control.

  45. Peter

    Yes on reading it again, I realise I would have better said something more like ” question the wisdom of him starting to minister at something so big etc”. From here I can only go on that wonderful thing called hindsight. I have no way of doing more than guess who knew exactly what, so tried not to attach specific “blame” for want of a better word, in any definite direction. From a lot of time watching it on GodTV, as I think you have guessed, I have never been as confident or comfortable about it as you have been. But honest and open sharing of insights on blogs such as yours is good for all of us. Part of the refiners fire. Aplogies for the confusion I seem to have caused in that direction.

  46. Thanks, Colin. I am happy to agree that mistakes were made in the human handling of what went on at Lakeland, including the lack of proper accountability for Todd. This was eventually recognised and the apostolic team came together in later June, but by that time things had gone too far to be recovered.

  47. Search Your Bible, I hope your teaching about marriage (which I will not read) deals properly with the cases where God allows, and occasionally even commands, divorce – and where he endorses and blesses polygamy.

  48. Hi Peter,

    I am late to all the discussions that went before, however I am curious, would please sight the places in the Bible where God clearly endorse and blessed plogamy.

  49. Gregory, I note that many of the Old Testament characters whom God blessed with children were polygamous: Abraham, Jacob, David to name a few. The children of their polygamy were blessed by being in the line of ancestry of great tribal leaders and kings and even, in the case of Solomon, of Jesus Christ. There is not a hint of condemnation of the fathers for polygamy – David is condemned for adultery with Bathsheba, but not for polygamy by marrying her after Uriah died.

    Polygamy is even implicitly commanded in the case of levirate marriage, Deuteronomy 25:5-10, where there is no hint that being already married (which would have been the commonest situation) is an excuse for not marrying one’s brother’s widow.

    I don’t suggest that polygamy is an option for Christians now, but it does not seem to have been condemned in the Old Testament period.

  50. Peter thank you for taking the time to answer my question. I am not trying to split hairs, but let’s be clear with our words, this is your quote to Search you Bible;
    “Search Your Bible, I hope your teaching about marriage (which I will not read) deals properly with the cases where God allows, and occasionally even commands, divorce – and where he endorses and blesses polygamy.”

    You are right the Fathers were not condemned by God for polygamy, however neither were they commended. The verses that you referenced in Deut. 25:5-10 is silent on whether or not the surviving brother is already married, (it maybe implied) and as a result we should be careful how we treat with these verse in an attempt to demonstrate cases of God-endorse polygamy. I hasten to add God has never endorsed polygamy; he may have tolerated it, but never endorsed it. Polygamy is not sanction in the Old or New Covernant.

    With respect to children of polygamous unions being blessed, the children being blessed do not necessarily imply that the union is blessed. For example in Genesis 38:12-30, Perez the first of the twins, born of prostitution and incest to Tamar, nevertheless came into the messianic line, which went through Boaz and Ruth to King David (Ruth 4:18-22. Matt. 1:3). Perez is blessed being included in the linage of Christ; however the blessing of inclusion in the linage of Christ, does not bless the means of his conception.

    My brother I greatly appreciate and enjoy your work and labour of love, my cautions simply is let the Word speak, be careful not to imply it says things that it cleary does not say.

  51. Gregory, perhaps “God endorses polygamy” goes slightly beyond the evidence, because I have to accept a slim possibility that Deuteronomy 25 was implicitly restricted to unmarried brothers. But it is certainly true that God blesses polygamy in the sense of bringing his blessing both to the father and to the children of polygamy. Yes, to the father as well as the children, for God continued to bless Abraham, Jacob and David after they took multiple wives.

  52. What a joke Bentley is…But dont worry hell be back in a few months….Hanging his head with false humility and saying”Ill be a good boy”.I heard hes on the “path of recovery” with his 2 friends,Paul Cain and Rick Joyner (drunks and homosexuals).I think Bentley should get a job on either Daystar Network or TBN…He could be a promo man for the sacred nation of Israel.I can see him now…Looking into the camera,saying:”Heyyyy Christians!! Do you wanna enlarge your bank account and bless Israel at the same time? Then buy an olive tree to be planted over there! God will bless you and you will be enabling the Israeli army to buy better weapons to kill UNarmed Palestinain women and children with! Send your contribution TODAYYYY!!!”……….Yes,Im being sarcastic and I know Ill get alot of hate mail from all the “Israel-right-or-wrong” crowd but I dont care.

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  55. I just ran across this article but let me just say, that too many people are fooling themselves. Adultry is not only physical . In fact before it becomes physical, it has already been taking place. Lets not play games, we know when our intentions, motives and heart changes. We know when having lunch at the same restraunt is more about seeing the waitress than eating. We know when we want to see someone else more than we look forward to seeing our spouse. We make stupid excuses about having to eat to live etc but the truth is that an ADULTEROUS relationship has already started but since we like the way we feel around that person, we don’t stop, period. Does no one recall when Jesus said that even if a man looks at a woman with lust in his heart, he has commited adultery? Does it really matter if he didn’t have actual sex with her before he was married? Of course not. Christians aren’t supposed to be having premarital sex anyway. Have we adopted the worlds and apparently Bill Clinton’s definition of sex? Get real. God is not stupid. Silly word play may work in the court of man but not God. That’s why so many people don’t want to join churches or even be Christians; because they see us in our everyday lives and its a pathetic, hypocritical sight to behold.

  56. Indeed, Marie, “we know when our intentions, motives and heart changes”. But we don’t know when this happens for other people, including Todd Bentley. So let’s examine our own hearts and let other people examine theirs. With other people, we can judge only their actions, not their thoughts. And even then we should judge their actions only when they are proven and when we have the proper authority over them to do so.

  57. I see a lot of folks have already commented here. I’ll try to be brief.

    I disagree with your view that Todd’s wife abandoned him and so he’s free to make another marriage. I don’t know everything, of course, but even Todd and his new “wife” Jessa (read: homewrecker) have admitted that the way they started their relationship was wrong and a sin. Cheating on your spouse does not solely include sexual contact. An emotional affair is sometimes even more devastating to a marriage.
    Todd was at very least having an emotional affair with this woman. In that situation, the only one biblically allowed to remarry is Shonnah. Todd was an adulterer and NOT free to marry the woman with whom he was having an affair.

    I won’t even get started on Todd Bentley’s ministry. I don’t even want to use the word ministry. The man is a complete heretic. Anyone who can follow this man is NOT a Christian. Justin Peters has a great video series all interested in the Word of faith movement should watch, “clouds without water”. Word of faith is NOT Christian. It is new age. Don’t get me started, it would take all day long to explain it. Justin does it much better than I could.

    I am praying for all of Todd Bentley’s followers, because if they continue to follow him, he’ll lead them right through the gates of hell. Woe to this man on judgement day. False prophets who lead God’s people astray and blaspheme the name of the LORD will be sorely punished.

  58. Charlotte, I don’t want to reopen an old controversy. Are you saying that Shonna was entitled to walk out on her marriage because her husband had passing non-physical entanglement? Let’s just agree that neither you nor I know all the facts, and so neither you nor I are entitled to pass judgment on our brother. Meanwhile it would have been better if you hadn’t “even get started on Todd Bentley’s ministry”.

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