Abraham, David, Peter and Todd Bentley

Abraham was a man of faith who did great things for God. He was also a fallible man who treated his wife badly at times and took a concubine. Yet he is the only person in the Bible called the friend of God – both in the Old Testament (Isaiah 41:8) and in the New (James 2:23). And he became the ancestor of God’s chosen people.

King David was a man of faith who did great things for God. He fell into an adulterous relationship which led him to murder. But through the intervention of Nathan and a period of repentance he was restored to his kingdom and his relationship with God. Yet God called him “a man after my own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14, Acts 13:22). And God promised that his royal line would last for ever.

The Apostle Peter was a man of faith who did great things for God, even walking on water. He denied his Lord, but when he met that same Lord risen from the dead he repented and was restored to an even greater ministry. He is now recognised as the greatest, after Jesus, of the founding fathers of the Church.

Todd Bentley is also a man of faith who has been doing great things for God. But he is also fallible. Following the news I reported earlier that he is separating from his wife, there has now been issued a further statement which includes the following (please read the whole statement before commenting):

We wish to acknowledge, however, 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.

This relationship appears to be non-physical and so not adulterous, but is also clearly wrong. The Board of Directors to which Todd is accountable (don’t believe those who have accused him of being unaccountable!) have done the right thing by suspending his public ministry and taking steps intended for his restoration.

Let us expect and pray that as Abraham, David and Peter were, through painful experiences, restored to their ministries, so Todd also will, in the right time, be restored to his ministry and do even greater things that will make the Florida Outpouring look like a mere sideshow.

And let us also remember this, taken from the latest statement:

Todd’s own words, “What God is doing is bigger than one man”

As one man is temporarily taken out of the way, that way is left open for many others to take over where he left off, to be men and women of faith who do great things for God.

Meanwhile let’s continue to pray for Todd and Shonnah as they work through these issues.

Again, as an exception to my normal comment policy, I will not allow any comments on this post which are negative about Todd or Shonnah. My other posts about Todd, except for the one before this one, remain open for comment.

0 thoughts on “Abraham, David, Peter and Todd Bentley

  1. Pingback: Todd Bentley is an Adulterer - Period. · Notes From Off-Center

  2. Peter,

    Really? Really I mean… I’m almost speechless… really? A one to one correlation to Abraham, David, and Peter? Really?

    Can’t we just pray for the man without resorting to this sort of foolishness?

    You’re ability to speak into this situation with any sort of clarity is clearly affected and should be a muted voice at best.

    LST may want that “theology” degree back.

    Wow…

  3. Peter, Jesus made it very clear that it didn’t have to be physical to be adultery. Just the thought entering your mind is counted as the same as if you had been physical.
    I am all for repentance and restoration, but lets not try and make out that adultery hasn’t happened here.

    As to being comparable to Abraham, David and Peter, I really don’t think so. The possibility of restoration is about the only aspect that would count.

  4. Thats the point though isn’t it, quote “this is bigger then one man” It wasn’t,all you ever heard was about one man…

    Smith Wigglesworth a truly Godly man,with a documented lifestyle of holiness,devoted to his bible and praying,even with all that said shortly before his death i will die God will take me away…

    Why??

    Because it had become about him,it had become about people thinking it was him, they would travel to see him as if Gods didn’t live in their post code..

    This all revival was about a lot of things, but unlike with Smith or the Welsh revival or Shetlands, it never seemed about Christ or sin it turn’t into a slotmachine revival rol up roll up get ur blessings

  5. I have to say, whether one supports Todd per se or not, these comments simply do not, in my view, reflect the grace, love and teaching of Jesus. Jesus’ teaching on adultery was, orthodox Christianity would say, intended to show exactly how sinful we all are and how in need of His grace we all are. From this perspective, one can see that is it thus the antithesis of Jesus’ teaching to use it as a tool to ‘amplify’ someone’s sin and point more fingers. Can any of the posters above certify that they have never looked at another person lustfully?

  6. Drew, if in fact there is adultery here in the physical sense (which I will allow to be mentioned in a question only), that makes little difference. What Todd has done, while apparently not physical adultery, is a serious sin. But it is not as serious as David’s sin of physical adultery and murder. Yet David was rebuked and prayed for by Nathan, repented, and was forgiven and restored.

    Scott, I am not suggesting “A one to one correlation to Abraham, David, and Peter”. I am suggesting only that biblical principles of how Abraham, David and Peter were forgiven and restored should be applied to any Christian in ministry who falls into sin. But my position is extremely clear and is that of Jesus (read the Sermon on the Mount and John 8:1-11) and of many streams of historic Christianity although not that of the Pharisaic legalism which seems to count these days as Christian: that we are all sinners but we can all be forgiven and restored – but that God will not forgive us if we do not forgive our brothers and sisters, Matthew 6:15. While I would not go as far as saying that those of you who are not prepared to forgive Todd will not be saved, I would say that you should look very carefully at where you might be heading if you cannot accept this teaching of Jesus.

    Glenn, and Drew in your linked post, you are of course right that Jesus called the kind of thing which Todd might well have been up to “adultery … in his heart”, Matthew 5:27 so in the same sermon where he told us to forgive one another. What Todd has done is apparently not physical adultery, but in some senses it is just as bad. I do not condone it, but I am prepared to forgive it.

    Andy, if you look at past revivals you will see plenty of evidence of people travelling to take part in them. Todd and his associates have tried hard not to make this all about him. It is the people who flocked to Lakeland, but stayed away or stopped watching TV when he took time off, who made it all about him. You can blame Todd for that only if you can find evidence of him encouraging it, and I don’t think you can. Maybe God has had to take him out of the way so that his work can continue without the personality cult.

    Jonathan, I am not allowing your comment because it accuses Todd of something which has not been reported, without the qualification “in his heart”.

    Integrity, thanks for your comment and for living up to your name!

  7. As a woman, I would have to agree with Drew’s assessment. Simply because nothing “physical” happened does not mean that it wasn’t adultery. We are told to guard our hearts, and I think that part of that is to prevent things like this. I think that most women would agree that it would be just as emotionally devestating to find out that their partner were having an “emotional” relationship with someone as if they were to find out that they were having a “physical” relationship with someone else.

    Peter, in a comment you wrote:
    “What Todd has done, while apparently not physical adultery, is a serious sin. But it is not as serious as David’s sin of physical adultery and murder. Yet David was rebuked and prayed for by Nathan, repented, and was forgiven and restored.”

    As far as I can tell, Todd is being rebuked and prayed for within the Christian community, but I think that what we’re all waiting for is for him to publically repent. From my perspective, when someone has a very public ministry, it’s important that when they have a large moral failing, for them also to be just as public in their repenting. My guess is that b/c there hasn’t been this “public repenting” is what has so many Christians upset. I believe that many Christians (if not most) who are having “issues” with Todd right now would be all about standing behind him, forgiving him, and helping to restore him if he would actually repent of his behaviour. My guess is that is why so many people are up in arms about it.

  8. Rhea, what Todd has done is NOT adultery without qualification. It is apparently what Jesus called adultery in his heart. That does not mean that it is less serious than physical adultery. It is just different – and less serious than murder. As I just wrote in a comment on Drew’s blog,

    The American Heritage dictionary defines adultery as “Voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and a partner other than the lawful spouse.” This is not the same as what Jesus called “adultery in his heart”. Both are serious sins, and I am not claiming that one is more serious than the other. But there is a distinction between them, and an important one in language, law and morality.

    Yes, we are waiting for news that Todd has repented. Of course we don’t know what is going on behind the scenes. As his sin is personal, I would not agree that his repentance must be public, but it needs to be accepted as genuine by responsible Christian leaders. Bob Jones, to mention one example which has come up in discussions of Todd, has been through such a process, and has been restored to his ministry. I hope and pray that in the right time Todd will also be restored.

  9. Peter, Jesus did not define the two as different. He defined physical and “in the heart” as the same.
    I fail to see why you are attempting to split hairs over something that is so plainly laid out.
    I point this out not because I am full of forgiveness, but because you seem to be trying to create a false dichotomy.
    So it IS adultery (to paraphrase your emphasis) with or without qualification;

    Mat 5:28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

    Non of this is trying to subvert forgiveness.

  10. Sir,
    Your post lives up to the title. Thank you for excellent words.

    Apart from the Bentley’s restoration, the most important thing that can come of this is a maturation of the bride of Christ to love as Jesus did, and stand in the gap and cry out in intercession for the couple.

    Nothing else compares.

  11. Hi Peter,

    I took you off my subscriptions and haven’t stopped by regularly since you questioned the virgin birth of Jesus, but I can’t help but agree with you about the demonstration of “christian” stone throwing at Todd. 🙁

    We should all be doing this:

    1 John 5:16 If anyone sees his brother commit a sin that does not lead to death, he should pray and God will give him life.

    I really hope and pray that God will do something about the state of Christian marriages and Christian men who want to “preach Christ” without much of any reflection of Christlikeness behind closed doors at home. I really believe that biblically, GOD’s purpose is for Christian marriages to be a GOOD witness. Though today’s news seems to contradict that purpose, perhaps it is another step on the pathway to hitting bottom so that reformation may begin? The marriages in the church should be so characterized by Christian love that they are a beacon of hope drawing broken people into the church that they too may partake of the tree of life which feeds such a wonderful marriage. I hope and pray that perhaps GOD will get hold of Todd and his wife and bring about a radical transformation to that end.

    I found this clip of Todd on youtube very interesting. He addresses someone struggling in marriage and I think he should take his own words to heart:

  12. Glenn, if Jesus was defining looking at a woman as adultery, why did he add “in his heart”?

    SJS, thank you.

    Charis, thanks for your comment, also for the video link. Yes, indeed Todd needs the same sort of touch on his marriage that he was offering this Californian pastor. I hope he knows it – I am sure Californian pastors like Bill Johnson have been telling him. Just to clarify, I do believe that Jesus was born of a virgin mother; see what I wrote here.

  13. Okay, I have been silent since this whole “revival” began. But I cannot keep silent in light of the new recent revelations. And I believe more is going to be revealed.

    I pray that Todd repents of this sin and that his family is completely restored. That is my prayer. But even greater than that, I pray for the hearts of all the believers and non-believers alike that were “taken in” by this. The damage that has been done has the ability to crush those who were already weak and that grieves me terribly. It is time for us to circle those who have been affected and help them recover from this.

  14. I think that Susan has hit the nail right on the head here. We definitely need to be keeping in mind all of those who are now probably feeling “duped” by this. The last thing that we want is anyone to have a more strained relationship with the Lord because of this.

  15. If you’re not allowing my comment then you had better delete it because it is still there!

    Integrity, I doubt that anyone would claim not to have committed adultery in their heart. And for the record, that is what Todd Bentley is reported to have done. But this is not just a lustful look, this is a ‘relationship’ – to quote directly. This is an ongoing, serious situation.

    Christ expanded the commandments to show that ‘adultery’ is a broad sin, just as murder is a broad sin and includes hatefulness. I am not for a moment suggesting that TB has committed physical adultery.

  16. Peter wrote:
    Glenn, if Jesus was defining looking at a woman as adultery, why did he add “in his heart”?

    You’re splitting hairs, Peter. Jesus didn’t add “in his heart” to categorize this as a different class or level of adultery. He was just saying that though the man may not have committed adultery in the bed, he was guilty of the same sin because of the eveil inten of his heart.

    It’s we mere mortals that try to classify and create different grades of sin. In God’s eyes, every sin is equal – they all separate us from Him, because they are all a rejection of His commands.

  17. Jonathan, your previous comment now has the status of being held for moderation, and will remain there for now. That may allow you to see it, although there should be a note about moderation, but others cannot see it. I am glad that you have now retracted your previous claim.

    Brian, I am not trying to say that physical adultery is worse than “adultery in his heart”, just that it is different, and the English language allows ways to distinguish between the two. Not everyone, not even all Christians when they choose to, accepts Jesus’ identification of these two sins. If the title of this post were brought to a libel court, Drew might try to defend himself by quoting Jesus’ words but I doubt if he would get away with it.

  18. Andy said, about 600 comments ago,
    >>Thats the point though isn’t it, quote “this is bigger then one man” It wasn’t,all you ever heard was about one man…<<

    Given that people who were pro-revival were also talking about Steve Strader, Ryan Wyatt, Bobby Conners, Roy Fields, Heather Clark, and countless other ministers… as well as talking extensively about Jesus being glorified, and all He is doing… and people who were anti-revival were talking about Todd Bentley, Todd Bentley, Todd Bentley… I can see clearlywhy people would think the revival was all about Todd.
    /sarcasm.

  19. Pingback: Rupert’s Blog » Todd Bentley, Lakeland, meetings and marriage

  20. jesus said if you look at a womon with lust you have commited aduitery with her in your hart so if i walk down the road with my wife or with out my wife or with out a wife being single and i look at a woman with lust then i have commited aduitery with that womoan in his own hart tod has done this with one of his team so he has committed aduitery……………….. so what is aduitery having sex with a woman when your not married becouse you have to lust her in to bed or if you are
    married and sleep with a diffrent woman you have commited aduiltery so are we all agreed tod did commit aduiltery. but god will forgive why becouse no matter what humans say god dose not lie and gos said he will forgive anyone if they repent and im hoping he will god wont just forgive him a bit when he dose he will wipe it from his memory bank becouse he loves tod his son and has made a covernent with him that when he dose sin he will be forgiven if he ask for forgivness and god with forget forever aboute it and will never hold it agaist tod and tod willmove on with his life knowing god has forgiven him and god is in the bissness of mending and restoring so im hoping tod with be repersenting for god again.

  21. Michael, I will allow your comment (despite the bad spelling) because although it accuses Todd of adultery it does insist that even if this is true he can be forgiven and restored. However, I deny that Todd has committed adultery. There is no evidence that he has done so in a literal sense. As for what Jesus calls “adultery in his heart”, the translations which mention “lust” here are quite misleading, the words are literally “the one who looks at a (married) woman in order to covet her”, the same word used in the tenth commandment and clearly implying that the sin here is much more than just spending time with a woman. Anyway the latest evidence suggests that Shonnah left Todd before he had any involvement with another woman.

  22. Brad, I am not allowing your comment because it breaks the specific comment guidelines for this post. If you would like to repost your quote from Ricciardelli on a different post without these special guidelines, and give a URL or other source, I will allow it. However, I will not allow John Arnott or Bill Johnson to be accused as you have done without evidence.

  23. What? A great man of God punches and kicks people to help them get the spirit (which spirit?) This creepy emotional drivel he dishes up appeals to the Lowest Common Denominator in churchianity. God is insulted as he takes money for teaching people to astral project and get into all sorts of spiritual whoredoms. Have nothing to do with the unfruitful works of darkness, Christians, that ye partake not of his future judgment. Repent, the Judge is at the door!

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