It’s Over!

Todd Bentley

Todd Bentley

 

Two months ago, I wrote a post on the so-called revival that was taking place in Florida, called the Lakeland Outpouring.  This revival was being conducted under the leadership of Todd Bentley. 

Early last week, the organizers of the Lakeland Outpouring announced that Bentley was going to step down because he and his wife were separating.  Then last Friday, the Board of Directors of Bentley’s “Fresh Fire Ministries” acknowledged that Bentley had “entered into an unhealthy relationship on an emotional level with a female member of his staff.”  The future of the Lakeland Outpouring is obviously in question, although Bentley has commissioned his interns to continue the revival.

Bentley, and the spectacle in Florida, have come under fire from both the church and the secular media.  And the scrutiny was well deserved, as Bentley even claimed to have raised people from the dead during the revival.  ABC’s Nightline did a special investigation of it.  To their credit, ABC’s analysis was fair, and surprisingly, they did not mock people of faith, instead asking good objective questions seeking proof of the healings Bentley claimed to have been a part of.  No objective clinical evidence was ever provided.

Being a cessasionist (that is, someone who believes that the miraculous sign gifts of the Spirit ended with the death of the original apostles), and consequently suspicious of most of what takes place in these sorts of charismatic gatherings, I am far from objective enough to offer a post mortum on the Lakeland Outpouring.  But J. Lee Grady, editor of Charisma Magazine, IS just such a guy.  His thoughtful editorial can be read here.  As one who has deep sympathies for charismatic expression, Grady’s comments speak volumes for what was going on in Lakeland and about which many on the outside had their suspicions. 

And as it turns out, we were right.

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3 Responses to It’s Over!

  1. scott771 says:

    I asked if anyone in the renewal movement leadership was listening. Apparently, some are, and they’re beginning to speak out! http://northwestmusings.wordpress.com/2008/08/17/the-dancing-continues-can-you-do-the-twist/

    Alan Hawkins, a Pastor in the renewal movement is speaking out. He Pastor’s a Church in Albuquerque, N.M. called New Life City. He made this comment on his blog today:

    “I for one hope we play this out just as publicly as we played out the endorsement of Todd Bentley. Our repentance should be as public as our proclamation of revival. Let’s go on God TV and tell the world about our failure, our weakness and our courage to face problems openly and without fear. Todd will find forgiveness from his Christian family. The overseers will find understanding from the body of Christ. And we should expect to find them all open and transparent. I will have more to say about this.”

    Thank you, Alan. Your forthrightness is refreshing.

  2. Brandon says:

    You know, Chuck, it hurts to watch things like this. I pray for those deceived who think it was genuine. I pray for Bentley that he loves God himself, and not some false understanding of God. And I pray that the Holy Spirit’s name is not blasphemed because of the terrible things that went on his name.

    Let us pray that the church will “be filled with the knowledge of His will, in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God.”

    Amen.

  3. Mark 9:1 AND JESUS said to them, Truly {and} solemnly I say to you, there are some standing here who will in no way taste death before they see the kingdom of God come in [its] power.

    Mark 9:7 And a cloud threw a shadow upon them, and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, This is My Son, the [most dearworthy] Beloved One. Be constantly listening to {and} obeying Him!
    Mark 9:8 And looking around, they suddenly no longer saw anyone with them except Jesus only.

    Mark 9:17 And one of the throng replied to Him, Teacher, I brought my son to You, for he has a dumb spirit.
    Mark 9:18 And wherever it lays hold of him [so as to make him its own], it dashes him down {and} convulses him, and he foams [at the mouth] and grinds his teeth, {and} he [falls into a motionless stupor and] is wasting away. And I asked Your disciples to drive it out, and they were not able [to do it].
    Mark 9:19 And He answered them, O unbelieving generation [without any faith]! How long shall I [have to do] with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him to Me.
    Mark 9:33 And they arrived at Capernaum; and when [they were] in the house, He asked them, What were you discussing {and} arguing about on the road?
    Mark 9:34 But they kept still, for on the road they had discussed {and} disputed with one another as to who was the greatest.
    Mark 9:35 And He sat down and called the Twelve [apostles], and He said to them, If anyone desires to be first, he must be last of all, and servant of all.
    Mark 9:36 And He took a little child and put him in the center of their group; and taking him in [His] arms, He said to them,
    Mark 9:37 Whoever in My name {and} for My sake accepts {and} receives {and} welcomes one such child also accepts {and} receives {and} welcomes Me; and whoever so receives Me receives not only Me but Him Who sent Me.
    Mark 9:38 John said to Him, Teacher, we saw a man who does not follow along with us driving out demons in Your name, and we forbade him to do it, because he is not one of our band [of Your disciples].
    Mark 9:39 But Jesus said, Do not restrain {or} hinder {or} forbid him; for no one who does a mighty work in My name will soon afterward be able to speak evil of Me.
    Mark 9:40 For he who is not against us is for us.
    Mark 9:41 For I tell you truly, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to {and} bear the name of Christ will by no means fail to get his reward.
    Mark 9:42 And whoever causes one of these little ones (these believers) who acknowledge {and} cleave to Me to stumble {and} sin, it would be better (more profitable and wholesome) for him if a [huge] millstone were hung about his neck, and he were thrown into the sea.

    Mark 9:49 For everyone shall be salted with fire.

    Mark 9:50 Salt is good (beneficial), but if salt has lost its saltness, how will you restore [the saltness to] it? Have salt within yourselves, and be at peace {and} live in harmony with one another.

    Now recently, this week with Todd Bentley’s divorce announcement, I was reminded when I was a at week long seminar decades ago and the preacher was preaching great and I admit I started to hero worship the preacher but on the last Friday afternoon session the preacher had preached some falsehood.. and I was drastically horrified, dismayed, as to how this could be, could his whole week’s teaching now also be in error. Next I prayed and asked God how could that be? why did it occur? and God replied to me ” you had taken your eyes of me unto the preacher, and I had to show you what he, the preacher was really like.. many look up to man and not God.. we all need to focus solely on Jesus again and always.. .and even to get back to praying and fasting now too

    http://postedat.wordpress.com/2008/08/16/healing-todd-bentley-florda-lakeland-revival/

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