Todd Bentley takes a break

Yesterday I received the following from God TV, which is also at this web page:

Fresh Fire Ministries announced yesterday that Todd Bentley would be taking some time off to refresh and to rest from the Florida Outpouring after nearly one hundred days of ministry. The Lakeland meetings will continue and Todd will remain the leader of this move of God.

So Todd Bentley is taking a well deserved break. Perhaps his critics will also take a break. Perhaps some of them will conclude that their campaigns against his ministry have been successful, and rejoice. But this would be premature. I suppose that all the criticism has added to the stress which Todd has necessarily been under after keeping up such a heavy schedule for three months. But I’m sure he will be back. Indeed the announcement from God TV suggests that his break will not be a long one, as well as confirming that nightly meetings will continue at Lakeland, although without Todd and without TV coverage:

but until then, you can continue to enjoy the nightly meetings LIVE at www.god.tv/stream

Meanwhile there has been an interesting report about Todd in USA Today. This is generally reasonably sympathetic, considering that this is in the secular mainstream press, but it is unfortunate that Todd’s staff cannot come up with even one convincing authenticated healing for the press to report. Here is an extract:

To those who doubt the healing claims, he asks: If you believe in the Bible’s miracles, why can’t you believe they’re happening today?

“Miracles and healings are evidence,” Bentley said. “They are signs of the Kingdom, and if we don’t have signs then all we have is a bunch of theology. How one individual wants to interpret Scripture and how another individual wants to interpret Scripture.”

At this point I interrupt the quote to note that, despite how Eddie Arthur interprets this, Todd is not saying that miracles and healings are the only signs of the Kingdom. They are clearly the signs which Todd is concentrating on, but he says nothing to invalidate the other kinds of signs which Eddie mention, which are also helpful in getting interested people beyond “a bunch of theology” to an understanding that God is real and at work. I could add that Todd’s eschatology may be over-realised (we should expect victory now), whereas Eddie’s may be under-realised (we should expect suffering now), but that issue needs another long post to do it justice.

The revival is similar to yearslong events in Toronto and Pensacola, on Florida’s Panhandle, in the 1990s, said Vinson Synan, a professor of church history at Regent University and sympathetic expert on Pentecostalism. The difference is Bentley’s focus — more on healing, less on conversion — and appearance, he said.

“What I see is exhortation — encouraging the people to worship and to praise, exhorting people rather than teaching and preaching, in the traditional sense,” Synan said. “I told my class he’s the most unlikely evangelist you can imagine, compared to the curly haired Billy Grahams and Oral Robertses, who were attractive people. This guy’s kind of short, fat and bald, with tattoos on his arms. He looks like a hippie. … In a way it’s a positive, because he’s very much of the common man.”

Meanwhile Richard Steel posts an interesting defence of Todd’s strategy, which he presents as essentially one of evangelism:

I agree with what I’ve heard from Todd Bentley, John Arnott, Mark Stibbe, Jerame Nelson, Charlie Robinson, Trevor Baker, John Laframboise, Patricia King, Bob Jones, Paul Keith Davis, Keith Miller, and many other notable speakers that this revival, this outpouring is for the harvesting of souls. It is to empower the church for harvest. Yes we need God’s love and compassion. But we need something that will show people that Jesus Christ is God, and the only way to Heaven. …

It needs to be emphasised that this move of God is for all the body of Christ. A powerless church is not going to be effective. With so much pornography, violence, and degradation available on the internet, isn’t it time that we as the body of Christ showed people The Kingdom of Heaven invading earth? … Do we want to see outpouring turn into genuine revival? Then let’s seek God and pray fervently, but also take the fire out there with much love and compassion onto the streets, our communities, in our workplace, amongst our family, friends, and neighbours. …

Let’s all be encouraged to take a risk for Jesus. He died for you and me. Let’s give Him everything we have, and remember how valuable every person is to Him. Let’s also love and encourage each other to step into all that God has for each one of us. The Lord is building His Kingdom, and to Him alone be all the glory, the honour, and the praise!

Amen!

0 thoughts on “Todd Bentley takes a break

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  2. Great post! My thoughts exactly.

    After the enormous level of stress he must have endured, Todd deserves to live the rest of his life in obscurity and peace, perhaps like Evan Roberts, the spearhead of the legendary Welsh Revival.

    Who knows what will happen, but I hope Todd can at least decelerate, survive re-entry, and live a normal life for as long as suits him and his family.

    God bless you, Todd!

    Enjoy your break, friend – you earned it!

  3. Did I read correctly in your post there have been no confirmed authentic healings?

    In regards to this quote; “The difference is Bentley’s focus — more on healing, less on conversion — and appearance, he said”

    How can you defend this way of ministering when the scripture clearly states the focus is to be on repentance through Jesus Christ and not on a man with a spiritual gift? Can you deny that thousands of baby christians could possibly be mislead into worshiping the man and his deeds instead of Christ?

    Show me in the NEW Testament where it supports an evangelist/prophet/disciple or anyone else standing in front of large masses conducting themselves as a Leader…….that is focusing only on healing and not repentance. The example of Jesus doesn’t count.

    That place of revival should be filled with the tears of repentance and people coming to Christ, not the puffed up arrogance of a man who “thinks” God tells him to kick people in the gut, or smack them in the face. Tell me where THAT is in the scripture?

    “You shall be known by your fruits” and apparently Todd’s “fruits” don’t last beyond the meeting because no one has been “healed”. Not only have they not been healed but if they are Christians, their faith has been led wayward by Todd, and if they are new Christians, they are left wanting, because the focus was on the spiritual gifts of a mere mortal instead of where it was supposed to be.

  4. Doozie, I did not say “there have been no confirmed authentic healings”. The truth seems to be that most doctors are too scared, probably of lawsuits, to speak to the mainstream media about this. So there is an issue with independent authentication of healings. But you are quite wrong to say “no one has been “healed””.

    Where do you find that “the scripture clearly states the focus is to be on repentance through Jesus Christ”, which scripture, what focus, and in what circumstances? Would you level the same criticism at Jesus for many meetings like Mark 1:32-34, and at the apostles for healing encounters like Acts 3:1-10? Could not the lame man at the gate have been misled into worshipping Peter and John rather than Jesus, despite the fact that they like Todd explicitly healed in the name of Jesus? Would you criticise a pastor who, conducting himself as a leader, preaches to a congregation of Christians a sermon in which the focus is not on repentance? I see your point about the importance of repentance, but that does not imply that every meeting has to be focused on that. Nevertheless Todd does preach repentance through Jesus Christ.

    Show me in the NEW Testament where there is a description of a typical traditional church service with hymns, prayers, notices, and one man preaching a sermon while everyone else listens quietly. The Bible simply doesn’t give us a blueprint for the details of church meetings. But it does tell us to imitate Jesus, and you admit by making an exception of him that Todd is doing more or less what he did.

    “The example of Jesus doesn’t count”? Really? Doozie, are you a Christian at all if you say that? Have you ever read 1 Corinthians 11:1? The example of Jesus is the greatest possible one for Christians. See this post.

  5. But you are quite wrong to say “no one has been “healed””.

    It’s quite right to say that so far there is no independent verification of any healings and that evidence offered by Freshfire Ministries has been less than convincing.

    “The difference is Bentley’s focus — more on healing, less on conversion — and appearance, he said”

    1 corinthians 2:2, 1 corinthians 15. Paul speaking into a situation that is in some ways reminiscent of Lakeland.

  6. TC, thanks. But it is not so exclusive, I had already read this at Bene D’s blog.

    Chris, in 1 Corinthians 2:2 Paul was speaking of what he did in one particular situation, not what he considered prescriptive for all situations. And he was talking about when he first came to Corinth which was in a situation totally different from Lakeland, one in which no one had even heard the name of Christ, whereas the vast majority at Lakeland are at least nominal Christians and probably most have already heard the gospel presented clearly and have accepted it – although many may be backslidden in one way or another. But note also verse 4: Paul does not take the approach of most preachers by relying on the persuasiveness of his words, but demonstrates the truth of his message with the Spirit’s power, which I would interpret as healings and other miracles.

  7. Chris, in 1 Corinthians 2:2 Paul was speaking of what he did in one particular situation, not what he considered prescriptive for all situations.

    Yes – the first reference is to Paul’s behaviour when he first came to Corinth. Though the fact that he returns to it in chapter 15 – after dealing with a load of abuses of the faith suggests that it has more than just particular application. There’s certainly much more justification in applying it outside the scope of that particular situation than the counsel of Gamaliel.

    whereas the vast majority at Lakeland are at least nominal Christians and probably most have already heard the gospel presented clearly and have accepted it

    Peter – If they are nominal Christians then the thing that they need *is* the Gospel. All of life is repentance, because every sin is a breaking of the first commandment.

  8. Yes, Chris, Paul gives a few verses at the end of 1 Corinthians to the death and resurrection of Jesus, as he has given a few verses at the beginning. Not exactly the focus of this letter. Todd probably mentions Jesus a lot more than Paul does in this letter.

    Yes, the nominal Christians need the Gospel. And they are getting it at Lakeland. They are just getting it in a different way from what they hear preached but ignore every Sunday.

  9. This is what you said and I quote:
    “but it is unfortunate that Todd’s staff cannot come up with even one convincing authenticated healing for the press to report.”

    Isn’t that the same thing as I paraphrased?

    I just brought up a couple points I wanted reference to, but I can see you are the type to argue back and forth about what you said or didn’t say, and turn it back around on me. I have this to say and I won’t be back because I do not argue on useless matters. You will figure it out soon enough if you have any credibility or discernment at all.

  10. This is what you said and I quote:
    “but it is unfortunate that Todd’s staff cannot come up with even one convincing authenticated healing for the press to report.”

    Isn’t that the same thing as I paraphrased?

    It doesn’t have anything to do with doctors!! All they have to do is interview someone and ask them if their “stage 4 colon cancer” is gone? Why are you twisting this around to defend this clown? You seem like a smart guy, but come ON

    I just brought up a couple points I wanted reference to, but I can see you are the type to argue back and forth about what you said or didn’t say, and turn it back around on me. I have this to say and I won’t be back because I do not argue on useless matters. You will figure it out soon enough if you have any credibility or discernment at all.

  11. Yes, Chris, Paul gives a few verses at the end of 1 Corinthians to the death and resurrection of Jesus, as he has given a few verses at the beginning. Not exactly the focus of this letter.

    “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received”

    Not the immediate focus of Paul’s letter, but certainly the focus ultimate focus of his ministry among the Corinthians.

    Yes, the nominal Christians need the Gospel. And they are getting it at Lakeland.

    I see no evidence that they are, either in what people come back saying, what people watching God TV say, what I glean from hours of watching God TV myself or from what I can read on Todd’s website. Those first two are perhaps the most obvious markers.

    Time will tell – it shows all the signs of turning out like the Toronto Blessing. My question with all these new movements are, where are the new converts? Making lapsed christians seek miracles and signs doesn’t count.

  12. Whilst I try my best to follow the arguments on this blog (with an illness that impairs mental function), I would really like to hear any responses from Peter to Doozie’s quote from this blog post itself, namely that “Todd’s staff cannot come up with even one convincing authenticated healing for the press to report.”

    I personally feel these were the parts most damaging to Bentley in the Nightline and USA Today reports; if there were legitimate reasons for why he could not provide evidence of healings (such as doctors not cooperating), he could have cited them in the interviews. But he didn’t. If Todd wants publicity yet cannot fulfil what seems to me a reasonable request from the press he either has some legitimate reasons or is a fraud? Hope I am not being too simplistic.

  13. I would agree with you, Vanessa.

    Todd and his supporters are claiming literally thousands of healings at Lakeland. I’m not expecting all of these to be authentic, just as I wouldn’t expect that all the people who respond to an evangelistic invitation will actually become christians.

    But I don’t think it’s unreasonable that there should be at least some healings that can be verified and authenticated. If a tiny proportion, say only 1%, of Todd’s supposed healings were in that category, it would give some weight to his claims. We haven’t even had that – to date, the percentage has been precisely zero.

    I am not saying, by the way, that a small number of verified healings would prove anything – illnesses do occasionally spontaneously disappear, and even the enemy can do miracles. Also the concerns about Todd extend to many other areas as well as healing.

    But healing is a good area to focus on because it has the ability for some degree of objectivity, especially in the eyes of the world’s media.

    I think the “revival” has been going for three months or so. The fact that there hasn’t been a single authenticated healing in this time says quite a lot and gives considerable weight to the view that Todd is a fraud.

  14. And, by the way, to borrow a famous quote, “I want to believe”.

    I am a christian with charismatic views. My theology states that God is at work in the world and the gifts of the Holy Spirit are for today.

    I would much rather be saying that Todd is a man of God who is being powerfully used for the Kingdom. But everything I’ve learned overwhelmingly points to the fact that he’s either a deceiver or very deceived himself (maybe even both). This does my cause no good whatsoever.

    One related thing I’ve recently concluded is that many (probably most) of the high-profile charismatic christian leaders (certainly in America) also have very serious issues along the same lines as Todd. I suspected this previously, but hadn’t checked it out in detail. Again, this saddens me deeply.

    I’ve chosen “CharismaticSceptic” as my screen name for this reason. Charismatic and pentecostal christianity attracts con-artists and so a sceptical and discerning approach is essential if you are not to be taken in.

  15. Chris, the ultimate focus of Todd’s ministry is also to glorify Jesus. I agree that it would be good to see huge numbers of new converts, and I am sure there are in fact quite a lot. But don’t despise the ministry which James commended in 5:19-20.

    Vanessa and CharismaticSceptic, many things are true which cannot be proved. It is well known in all kinds of academic study that absence of proof is not proof of absence. There are good reasons why doctors are reluctant to verify claims of healing. But there are many personal testimonies of healing etc on the web, including this one from a medical professional. Why are you prepared to believe only reports from the non-Christian media and not ones from your Christian brothers and sisters?

  16. Peter,

    Yes, the ministry seen in James 5:19-20 is important – reaching out to Christians who have, in whatever capacity, lost their first love and whose lives are not continuing in a full relationship. We cannot neglect anyone when it comes to the Gospel and if we start cutting of bits we are at risk of preaching another gospel, which is no gospel at all.

    As for “…Why are you prepared to believe only reports from the non-Christian media and not ones from your Christian brothers and sisters?…” – good question for all of us. “Whose report shall we believe?” It can happen so often (and in far wider capacities than healing) that we look to the world to provide evidence or backup for spiritual things. Again, this also takes us into dangerous territory where we can begin to place human reason above scripture itself, which then causes all kinds of problems (apparently people are having a hoo-haa about women bishops or something…. hmmm..)

    Healings happen across the world today. Where they do it is because of God, not people, not culture, not circumstance, but because God chooses to work how he does. Let’s not put Him to the test. What are we looking for when we ask for ‘proof’? Is it so that we can then tell our friends/neighbours etc with backed-up evidence from professionals about what God is doing, or something else? Perhaps we are just far too eager to criticise other Christians and pull others down.

    Are we more interested in what Todd et al are doing rather than how we can love our neighbours where we are?

  17. Thanks, Jamie. Good comment.

    I can understand Christians looking for medical evidence in order to persuade non-Christians to take Christian healing etc seriously. But in fact I think most people are going to be more convinced by personal testimonies, ones which seem realistic. If they still are still somewhat sceptical, these people need to be invited to the meetings themselves, or to watch them on TV. Of course there are some who won’t believe anything without complete proof, but it is probably better to move on from such people to find more fruitful ground.

  18. Peter,

    Todd had said “people are getting healed”. He is effectively claiming that illness and disease is disappearing and he is the catalyst that makes it happen.

    It should therefore be easy for the medical profession to confirm this, after all, it’s based on physical facts. I’m not looking for proof in a scientific sense, just some reassurance that Todd is not a fraud. Such scepticism is necessary because history is littered with examples of false healers, including Christian ones (ever heard of Marjoe Gortner or Peter Popoff?).

    To date, there’s been not one confirmed case. The example you link to is not a healing (yet?) – his antigen count has gone down (praise God), but he’s not been healed.

    But, as I’ve said, out of the thousands of healings that Todd claims, I would have thought there would at least be a few who could go to a doctor and it could be confirmed that a physical pathology has disappeared.

    As I said in an older comment, the catholic church has a high standard of proof required for a miracle. I’m not expecting every healing to meet this, but given the large numbers of healings that are claimed at Lakeland, surely some will, if only a tiny proportion. The fact that none do again rings big alarm bells.

    I’m not looking for proof in an academic sense, and I hope I never said this. In fact, let’s dispense with the word and replace it with “evidence”. Where is the evidence that people are being healed? It seems to be completely lacking. All I am looking for is something substantial (ie evidence-based) to support Todd’s claims.

    I’m not opposed to personal testimonies, although they need to be taken with caution. It’s one thing to have an experience in a frenzied revival meeting and testify to a healing. But do you still feel the same way a few days later? Even these are not widespread – the internet isn’t exactly awash with reports from people saying “I was healed in Lakeland”.

    It’s all very sad and it continues to amaze me how easily people can be deceived.

  19. First of all, Peter I was in Lakeland between 20 and 29 May and believed everything I saw, so I’m not trying to be anti-Todd here.

    I commented on your blog because my brother did not go and harbours the doubts I mentioned about Todd. It would help me greatly therefore if I could provide Todd’s ministry with some sort of defence.

    I would really like to know more about the reasons why doctors are unwilling to verify healings. I understand the ones about lawsuits and loss of business and non-believer doctors. But even secular doctors sometimes report seeing growths etc disappear over time so all Fresh Fire has to do is ask the patient to provide a scan of the growth from the doctor before he was healed, then a scan after he was healed to prove the growth has gone/shrunk. Is that not doable? After all Todd has called out MANY NIGHTS now about growths disappearing and shrinking.

  20. Doozie, you write “All they have to do is interview someone and ask them if their “stage 4 colon cancer” is gone?” Well, don’t you realise this is what they have been doing night after night, people testifying on stage to all kinds of healings? If you are not requiring medical verification, watch God TV or look at a site like this, or Google “healed Lakeland” or similar.

    CharismaticSceptic, there have been many testimonies given at Lakeland from people who have been healed days earlier and have had medical confirmation of this, as you will find by following my advice to Doozie. The issue is with getting doctors to provide documentation, which, as I have said before, is doubtless because they are afraid of legal action if anything should go wrong later.

  21. Vanessa, I’m sorry to lump you in a bit too much with CharismaticSceptic, who claims to agree with you but in fact takes a very different position. I agree that Todd and his team should be able to do better. But would your brother really believe if he saw evidence? Consider Luke 16:31.

  22. To put it bluntly, Peter, whether my brother would be convinced or not is irrelevant. The process I mentioned above, collecting scans before and after the patient was healed, can be done independently of the doctor (unless the doctor refuses to give the patient the scans–and how can he? There must be some law about a patient’s right to medical records) and would not endanger the doctor’s position in any way. The doctor needn’t be dragged into it; at least I see that as far as re: growths. Someone who did not attend the revival would have these scans anyway and someone who did would just be making them available to the public.

  23. Just to add:

    It is not a strong enough reason not to go through this healing-verification process because people may still not believe (re: Luke 16:31). If Fresh Fire are so desperate for people to get saved, even things that may have a chance of swaying people should be done. How can people be swayed about signs, miracles and wonders unless they’re REALLY proven to be signs, miracles and wonders and not something false like what Popoff did in the 80s (sorry but I have to bring him up)? It helps Todd’s cause to provide evidence! Thus one wonders why he seems to be lacking fervour in this department.

  24. Vanessa, I don’t know what exactly was in the information packs given to USA Today and ABC, but the ABC report does mention “incomplete medical records” which probably included scans of just the kind you suggest. But ABC seems to have rejected this evidence as not “independently verified”. It looks to me that Todd’s people are doing all they can, within ethical limits which stop them providing details of doctors which they have not been given permission to give.

  25. What about the case where the hospital explicitly denied the report?

    http://charismamag.com/cms/news/archives/0522081.php

    “One of the cases involves a 3-year-old girl, dead for two days, who allegedly woke up and coughed as she was being wheeled into a room to have her organs harvested, Strader said. The hospital denied the report.”

    A ‘no comment’ would have sufficed to cover them legally – in fact an explict denial of something that was true would be dangerous (not because anyone might believe in resurrection, but because it could lay the hospital open to a charge of malpractice)

  26. Well, Chris, can you enlighten us as to what the hospital actually said? Did they say anything more than “No comment” or perhaps “We have no record of a case like that”? Or perhaps they said that the girl was wrongly declared dead, which of course they would have had to do if they found she wasn’t!

  27. Well, Chris, can you enlighten us as to what the hospital actually said? Did they say anything more than “No comment”

    In which case CharismaMag – cheerleaders of the Lakeland movement – would have said something more along those lines.

    Or perhaps they said that the girl was wrongly declared dead, which of course they would have had to do if they found she wasn’t!

    Quite so – though if she was dead for two days there would be some kind of incidental documentation in existence that would confirm this. So all we have is a claim and a counterclaim.

  28. Even in his taking a break we see evidence that he has been the center of attention. God Tv doesn’t want to cover the broadcast without Todd, what a surprise! I hope this is the end of this very deadly deception from the pits of hell.

    We seem to have forgotten the past so-called revival movements that all ended in major church splits and many heresies especially those of Latter Rain and Word-Faith theology. We also forget the cult built around one of the originals, William Branham, to the point that when he died people stayed at his gravesite convinced that he would rise from the dead.

    In the latter half of the twentieth century, there was a very charismatic faith healer that arose. People were amazed at his abilities to discern their lives and to heal the sick. He was originally a Methodist youth pastor, then was ordained as an Assembly of God pastor, and later with the disciples of Christ. 30 years ago this November marks the anniversary of the greatest cult suicide in history- Jim Jones and the People’s Temple.

    Like Jones, Bentley displays many signs and wonders- yet very very little focus on the scriptures. People around the world have fallen for this great ruse because they have a spirit of religion which has led them to believe that the sign that Jesus has already given them in his death, burial, and ressurection is not good enough for them- that they need more to confirm it. Their god is their stomachs- God has handed them over to their delusion.

  29. Pingback: Gentle Wisdom » Todd Bentley follows Jesus’ example

  30. Chadwick, I wondered whether to delete your comment for suggesting that Todd’s ministry is “from the pits of hell”. But I will content myself with pointing out to you the link to my new post which follows your comment. See especially my pointer to what Jesus said about those who attributed his work to demons.

  31. I find it very strange when people claim that Todd Bentley rarely teaches from the Scriptures. You only have to go to the Fresh Fire website and study the many written teachings posted there, and you will find that Todd’s teachings are saturated with Scriptures! Of course whether you agree with his interpretation of them is a matter for you. Personally I have been incredibly blessed by both Todd’s teachings and his ministry.

    God bless you all

    Loz

  32. One particular Bible verse has struck me just reading through recent comments – I’m sure it has already been mentioned, but anyway….

    Luke 11:29 (read the whole chapter for context) – it’s a “wicked” generation that asks for a sign. The only sign around is the sign of Jonah. I would be concerned with anyone seeking signs of the Kingdom, which is already being established. What Jesus then goes on to say, especially to the Pharisee, is interesting, especially when it comes to being clean inside or out.

    This obsession with events ‘over there’ (or ‘over here’ if you are reading this in the States) cannot be healthy. Yes, we all have opinions. Yes, some people have very grave concerns. Yes, we feel we have to speak out on important matters. But what is being neglected in all this? Is it simply because Lakeland is so more visible than other things around the world? More intriguing? There is always a danger of a true revival going bad – weeds growing around good crops if you like. It doesn’t make the whole bad necessarily. If we have an opinion about Todd et al, do we sincerely pray for everything that is happening, and for those at the centre of it all? Honestly? Without our own prejudices but truly praying God’s will be done? Sometimes it becomes easy for us to become self-appointed judges and juries of every move of God there is. Best to remember who God is and how we should be before Him. “God is God and I am not”.

    Let’s look to our own harvest fields, our own churches, our own work. There is plenty there for us to do.

  33. Jamie, thanks for this. But this verse cuts both ways, also against those who insist on medical verified “signs” before they will accept the validity of Todd’s ministry.

    Yes, there is plenty of work in our own harvest fields. And plenty of harvesters are sitting around not harvesting, or using blunt tools, or trying to harvest over and over again the same small corner of the field. If Todd is offering us the spiritual equivalent of a combine harvester, are we wrong to have a look?

  34. Peter,
    I do not need to click any link to see what Jesus said. I know you are twisting that passage to accuse me of Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. Todd and the other leaders of these false revival movements have conditioned us to do that to cover up the fact that it is they who are actually blaspheming the Holy Spirit. Scriptures are clear. 2 Corinthians 11:14, “For Satan himself masquerades around as an angel of light. So is it any wonder if his disciples transform themselves into apostles of righteousness.” Matthew 7:22-23, “There are many who will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not drive out demons in your name and in your name perform many miracles,’ and I will say to them away from me you evildoers, I never knew you.”

    You have been beguiled Peter in the same way, that the serpent beguiled Eve. You reveal yourself clearly as having a spirit of religion- because instead of focusing on the deviation of Todd Bentley away from gospel truth you focus on the power of the signs and wonders he is claiming to portray- holding to the deceptive and hollow philosophy that we need any more of a sign than what Jesus already given us in His, death, burial, and resurrection. That is the very reason for His words in Luke 11 where he says, “Woe to you who look for a sign, no sign shall be given you except the sign of Jonah.” And further in Luke 16 where he says, “They have Moses and the Prophets- if they don’t believe them they will not believe even if someone goes to them from the dead.” Quit seeking the sensational signs- and seek God in the way he designed- through the reading of His word and that the application of it to your everyday life without taking it out of context to justify the extremities like Todd Bentley and other false prophets are doing. God bless!

  35. Chadwick, how am I to tell if it is Todd and friends or you and friends who are Satan’s disciples or the evildoers of Matthew 7? That is a serious question. You suggest that Todd has deviated away from gospel truth, but I have seen no substantiation of that in him. But I see plenty of evidence that critics of Todd are “evildoers” in the hateful attitude they show towards Christian brothers and sisters. And it is people like you who are looking for signs in the form of external attestation of God’s work. Even if you saw someone raised from the dead in front of your own eyes as a result of Todd praying for them, would you believe? Seriously, how do I tell?

  36. Peter,
    I don’t need to see Todd Bentley raise anyone from the dead, because my faith is not in Todd Bentley. If I did see him raise someone from the dead, that would maybe prove that he has miraculous power- but it would not prove that he is sent from God.

    How do you know who is deceiving? It is simple, read God’s Holy Word- the Bible. I am not the one who is claiming to have been caught up to the third heaven, to have the angel of “false prophet” William Branham guiding my ministry, to have spoken with the apostle Paul, Abraham, and other Old Testament saints, to have spoken to dead heretics like Sadhu Sundhar Singh who taught that in the end all will be in heaven with God.

    Todd Bentley rarely teaches from the Bible, and when he does he uses it as a tool to promote his extremities as if they should be normal. Call me whatever you want, but if I must be called a critic for not drinking the kool-aid- then so be it.

    When I heard Todd live he and his associate Jerame Nelson repeatedly echoed the phrase “Gospel confirmed by miracles, signs, and wonders.” These men worship signs and wonders more than they worship God. So what if they speak of Jesus. Plenty of people acknowledge the name who do not know Jesus, just look at the kingdom of the cults and the occult. Jesus is revered there.

    Peter, I pray that God awakens you from this delusion. I’m beginning to question where you stand in your faith and what your doctrine is. I pray that you are a sincere believer in Jesus Christ but your promotion of Todd Bentley makes me wonder if you’re a person entangled with your own fleshly desire to have your emotions appeased- concerned about the temporary instead of the eternal.

    Do your homework and look into the heresies of the Latter Rain Movement of the 1940’s which Todd and his associates hold to. If you are going to continue to be skeptical of me being skeptical you are only adding to my skepticism of your ability to discern what a move of God is truly all about so that you will be aware when counterfeits like Bentley come onto the scene.

    As a little bit of background for you, I have been part of this movement before as I firmly supported Penscola and Toronto until 1997. It was a miracle of God that I was humbled and awakened to the importance of essential Christian doctrine and to the exteremities and dangers of these pseudo-renewal movements- these movements that appease our emotions more than feed our faith in God through Christ.

    Don’t forget what recent history taught us in terms of the dangers of these leaders. It was not too long ago that Jim Jones used these same tactics to gain a huge following which eventually resulted in the greatest cult suicide in American history. You seem to have forgotten the past, and in such are bound to repeat it. Need I say more.

  37. Chadwick, thanks for this. I have now looked at your own two blog posts as well as your various comments on this post and the other one. I appreciate it that you have made a real effort to research Todd Bentley including attending his meetings in your locality.

    I am of course aware of the danger of false teaching, of gifted and initially orthodox leaders like William Branham and Jim Jones going seriously astray. I think and certainly hope that Todd has support mechanisms around him of those he can trust, not those who seek to tear him down, who will keep him from going astray. In fact you noted on your blog that he has toned down his references to angels at the request of a leader he trusts.

    The problem with all of what you write is that there is no substance behind your charges that Todd is a false teacher. All you really have is accusations of guilt by association with Branham, Singh and (very remotely!) Jones. The phrase you object to “Gospel confirmed by miracles, signs, and wonders” is clearly based on Mark 16:20.

    Salvation for the lost should be the focus of any ministry or revival.

    So much for 90% of the Christian “ministries” in the USA and the UK who are ministering to Christians in various ways or meeting practical needs. Are all of these invalid? So much for churches, most of which are ministering almost entirely to the saved. Is it wrong to nurture and teach believers? But see this post for the gospel as preached by Todd.

    I note that you yourself had to tone down your criticism of Todd when you actually heard him:

    He wasn’t as extreme as I expected though in the little bit of time that he did talk he did say a few things that brought cause for concern. His testimony indeed was powerful and compelling. At the same time even in the midst of giving his testimony, he could not resist talking about miracles, signs, and wonders … He brushed over the topic of angelic encounters.

    In other words, you didn’t find much to object to which goes beyond Mark 16:20, Acts 5:12-16 etc. After all, you did write

    I do believe in healing. I believe in miracles, signs, and wonders.

    So what is your objection to Todd talking about them? But you don’t seem to have considered that what Todd actually said might be evidence that the one deceived was not Todd but yourself, so deceived by the one-sided reports of Todd’s teaching that you have read elsewhere that you could not believe the evidence of what you actually heard from his lips.

  38. Peter,
    As I believe I said in my blogspot post, one time in contact with a teacher is not enough to truly discern them. If Todd Bentley was here more than one night, I would have been there for that, and I am certain I would have seen the extremities. But at the time Strader had had a talk with Bentley about toning down the references to his angelic encounters because the Assemblies of God having seen many wolves in sheep’s clothing like William Branham, Jack Coe, A.A. Allen, and even Jim Jones in the past half century were becoming increasingly concerned. Praise God for the Assemblies of God having discernment.

    Thanks for putting out Mark 16 and Acts 5. These men are apostles meaning they actually walked with Jesus and actually saw him resurrected in the flesh. So when we compare what Todd Bentley is proclaiming upon his ministry we are talking about apples and oranges. Two totally different things.

    I am shocked that you yourself are not more concerned about his associations. If he were to say that he had a vision in which he came into contact with Joseph Smith (founder of the Mormons), would you have the same stance? Yet you have no problem that he claims William Branham or Sadhu Sunhar Singh to the point that he says he has the same mantle on his ministry as Branham.

    There are many of false teachers out there. Bentley was very closely associated with a church that is affliated with false teacher Kenneth Hagin of the Word of Faith Movement. One of Bentley’s first reads was Good Morning, Holy Spirit written by Benny Hinn also of the Word of Faith Movement.

    What I can not and I will not judge is Todd Bentley’s motives. I don’t know what they are. I am convinced that he is either deceiving the masses as a false apostle of rigteousness or that he is deceived by others into embracing a pagan Jesus that has misled him into misleading the masses.

    It quite frankly disturbs that your discernment level is so very low so as not to see past the ruse. But at the same time I was at that place eleven years ago. I know what I experienced, and I know what imbalances were caused in my faith because of my chasing after the wrong things.

    I witnessed first hand how a movement of this kind ripped many churches like my home church in pieces and divided it. As a question for you Peter are you at all aware of the Latter Rain and the Word of Faith Movements? If not you need to do some research, because if you don’t I believe God will hold you into account for ignorance.

    I hold full confidence that if you do research the Word of Faith Movement and the Latter Rain Movement you will be convinced in the same way I was of the dangers of this deceptive and hollow philosophy and that it will drive you to have a passion for God’s word like never before- so that from now on when counterfeits like Todd Bentley come onto the horizon you will recognize them instantly.

    To answer your question, if Todd Bentley was providing credible evidence for all these miracles that are taking place- I wouldn’t mind so much him talking about them as long as he was also giving a clear and adequate presentation of the gospel. But in the words of Hank Hanegraaf, “For Todd, the Devil is in the details and that is because Bentley has no details.” My problem is not necessarily him talking about signs and wonders. My problem is that even if the midst of his testimony he could not resist “How he though all Christian walked in the power of miracles, signs, and wonders and had frequent angelic encounters. In defense of Todd Bentley Rick Joyner of Morningstar Ministries released states the following on his website “The Bible talks about angels far more than anyone. Seeing angels and receiving messages from them is far more normalfor God’s people in Scripture than not seeing them and not receiving messages from them. Biblically this lack of experience should be more of a concern than not having them.” (http://www.morningstarministries.org/Publisher/Article.aspx?id=1000034608).
    For the record angels are mentioned in less than 1 % of the scriptures and people actually having encounters with them is less than .1% of all scripture. That is my problem with the way Bentley has exploited such encounters with the way he has exploited the attention on his signs and wonders.
    It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that the center of attention is Bentley not Jesus. We don’t have to go to Bentley to receive an impartation of the anointing because the anointing is not a tangible force that can be passed on like its some kind of product. Rather the anointing which is only mentioned one time in the New Testament in I John 2:20 was given to us the very moment we trusted in Christ as our Lord and personal Saviour. It is not tangible, but rather the intangible equipping to carry out God’s work in our lives.
    Furthermore, I remain firm in my stance the Bentley that Jesus is promoting is a very pagan Jesus. I have not yet seen a clear and adequate gospel presentation not even when I saw him live. Any references he makes to scripture all focus on validating his healing ministry. If his ministry is of God, that it will validate itself. But I think quite clearly by the nature of his false visions and false prophecies, he has already invalidated himself and his ministry. It’s unfortunate that the body of Christ has become desensitized to doctrine that they water down the failures so that they can continue to have their emotions appeased.

  39. Chadwick, I am pleased that Strader was able to put Todd right on a point on which he was in danger of losing the proper balance. It is of course a good thing that Todd is more accountable and more teachable than some who went before him who did lose their balance. I don’t call Hinn and Hagin false teachers although I don’t agree with all of their teaching, nor for that matter all of Todd’s.

    Have you ever read Matthew 28:20? The apostles were commissioned to make disciples who would do all the things which Jesus had told the apostles to do. But it seems that you are not only saying that Todd shouldn’t do what Jesus did but also that he shouldn’t do what the apostles did. What should he do? Sit in a pew and shut up?

    Todd does give “a clear and adequate presentation of the gospel”, maybe not every night when he is preaching to Christians (just as in many very sound churches the preacher does not give “a clear and adequate presentation of the gospel” in every sermon), but certainly on some occasions such as this one.

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