It has been announced by Fresh Fire Ministries that Todd Bentley has separated from his wife Shonnah. Here is the relevant part of the statement on the Fresh Fire front page:
The Lord’s blessings and abundance have been so evident on the ministry during this season of intense activity and we rejoice in seeing and being able to participate in what we believe is only the beginning of a worldwide awakening. It is with considerable sadness then, that we must temper the jubilation we know you all feel with the sobering news that Todd and Shonnah Bentley are presently experiencing significant friction in their relationship and are currently separated. We want to affirm that there has been no sexual immorality on the part of either Todd or Shonnah, nor has there ever been. Undoubtedly the pressures and the burden of the Outpouring, which approaches 144 days on August 23rd, have helped to create an atmosphere of fatigue and stress that has exacerbated existing issues in their relationship. We wish to stress however, that the Outpouring is not “to blame” for the current chain of events and that in effect we have no interest in blaming anyone, but rather we deeply covet your prayers for Todd and Shonnah and for Fresh Fire Ministries during this time.
We know that many of you will have questions, for most of which we presently have no answers. We cannot see far down the path ahead of us, but we have quiet confidence in the One who sees the end from the beginning and promises to provide grace and strength for whatever lies ahead. We are hopeful that the outcome will include restoration, but we can make neither promise nor guarantee. We intend to take each day as it comes and look intently for the new mercies promised us each morning. We will watch and pray and ask each of you to do the same, knowing that you will pray as you are led by the Holy Spirit. …
With all of this in mind, we ask each of you to continue to pray with us, both for Todd and Shonnah and for this ministry, as we continue to bring the saving, healing, and delivering power of God to a dry and thirsty world, desperate for an encounter with the endless love of the living God.
We thank you again for your many prayers and support and we truly believe the promise of the Lord that He will indeed work all things together for our good.
With our sincerest blessings and gratitude,
The Fresh Fire Ministries Board of Directors
Michael Spencer reports a message from God TV which seems to be dependent on the above – and also noting that they are no longer broadcasting from Lakeland.
I have seen rumours purporting to give further information about Todd and Shonnah’s marriage difficulties, some of it from a former employee of Fresh Fire. This information may be true but if so the release of it was a breach of personal privacy and of confidence. As a Christian I am not prepared to pass on this gossip or link to it. I am saddened that bloggers who are not the usual Todd-bashing culprits have chosen to give credence and support to this kind of gossip by responding to it on their blogs.
One generally sympathetic blogger seems to imply that the current difficulties somehow prove right all the concerns of the critics “about the money, the angels, the use of scripture, the style etc.” This is the kind of rhetoric I would expect from those same critics. But compassion for Todd at this difficult time as well as simple logic should help us realise that these issues are independent. History proves that it is not only false teachers who have marriage difficulties. I think I warned months ago, and I certainly mentioned here, that the Lakeland meetings were putting a huge strain on Todd’s marriage and family. Indeed the Apostle Paul recognised how difficult it was to combine Christian ministry with a good marriage, 1 Corinthians 7:32-35.
I call on all my readers to join me in praying for Todd and Shonnah at this time, for a restful break from Todd’s ministry schedule, for a renewal of love and understanding between them, and for full restoration of their marriage. Please pray also for the children at this difficult time.
I at least will stand by Todd even when he is down and in the gutter.
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 remain open for comment.