Saturday, July 19, 2008

A Response to Todd Bentley...

I haven't commented on Todd Bentley and the revival in Florida. The heresy hunters and the skeptics and cynics have had plenty to say about what is going on in Florida. I read a response to an e-mail that Bill Johnson received. The e-mail said...
"How in God's name can you endorse Todd Bentley?"


Bill Johnson responded by saying...

“Have you spent time with Todd?
Do you know him?
Have you watched him with his wife?
Have you seen how he treats his kids?
Have you spent any time with his staff?
Have you been to his ministry?
Has he been to yours?
Have you laid hands on him and prayed?
Has he laid hands on you and prayed?
Have you grieved over tragedy together?
Have you celebrated victory together?
Has he sought your counsel and has he travelled great distance just to meet with you privately for advice?
Have you ever recieved his counsel?
Have you ever been in the room when God shows up on him, used him in stunning miracles?
Have you seen him operate in word of knowledge and the prophetic?
Have you met with his council of elders?
Have you personally benefited from his gift?
Has he benefited from your gift and ministry?
Has he ever honoured you for who you are in God?
Has he partnered with you as a friend?
Have you sacrificed for his welfare, for that of his family?
Have you sought God with him?
Have you ever worshipped the Lord with him?
I didn't think so. I have. And I'll continue to support those who I have walked with in life and ministry. He's my friend. More importantly, God calls him friend. And if you and I were ever friends in that level, and people hated you and turned against you, and started web pages to tear down your ministry, and criticized you to your friends, and wrote against you in Christian magazines, and criticized you on the radio and wrote emails to other conference speakers and authors, I'd still be your friend.

By the way - criticism in the form of a question is not a question. But to respond to your statement, "How in God's name can you endorse Todd Bentley?" It's easy. I do it in God's name.

Bill


Whatever you think of Todd Bentley, pray for him, that Jesus would work through him.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well said, spoken in maturity and love. God is bigger than all critics and in fact bigger than Todd. And I know that Todd is committed to the Lord. I have met him, many times here in the Abbotsford area where he lives, and his wife and his children and his parents and in-laws. They all pasionately love the Lord. Lets agree to leave the judging to God and trust in the Lord with all our hearts, minds and souls.

Ferg said...

Thanks for your comment.

weirdthinkers said...

Ferg, thanks for sharing!

We are having a Prayer, Worship, & Praise Outpouring service once a month at our church and it has been really great. We do this on Saturday night.

Last weekend we had our outpouring service on Saturday night, and the next day at Sunday morning service we had 7 people give their life to the Lord.

Also, worship, the message, everything about the service just seemed a bit different.

D.J. Williams said...

Perhaps Bentley is quite sincere and genuine. But that doesn't mean he's right. I would answer no to every question posed about Bentley - except the most important one that wasn't posed, "Have you heard his words?" I have, and they don't measure up to the Scriptures.

Mike M said...

WOW! Excellent! Thank you for posting this! THIS is living a life that Jesus would want, not the self-serving condemning types!

Bill Johnson has depth that most Christians can't have because of their self-righteousness/pride gets in the way.

Jesus didn't condemn the thief on the cross who had faith enough to believe in him, how can I condemn a guy who's going thru a tough time in his marriage??

THANK YOU!

D.J. Williams said...

Mike,

Do you really think that kicking old ladies in the face or punching a stage 4 colon cancer patient in the gut in the name of Jesus is living the life that God would want?

Check out J. Lee Grady's article in Charisma magazine - even many in the Pentacostal movement are now realizing that they've been duped by a fraud.

We need more Biblical discernment in the church.

Mike M said...

DJ, we were not duped. A friend of ours is being healed of stage 4 ovarian cancer/Lukemia. Duped? Tell our friend that!

People enjoy Smith Wigglesworth yet handily dismiss Todd. Yet they both did many of the same things. How can a Christian allow that sort of double-minded thinking?

No one was duped. Keep praying for Todd & his family.

D.J. Williams said...

I'll dismiss both Smith Wigglesworth and Todd Bentley as out-of-Biblical-bounds. No double-mindedness here!

I hope your friend is being healed. I absolutely believe that God can and does heal. And I do believe we should pray for Todd Bentley and his family. However, I believe that Todd Bentley's teaching is incompatible with the Scripture and dangerous and destructive to the church.

Mike M said...

DJ, believe what you will, but w/o this outpouring is responsible for her healing! W/O it, we wouldn't have prayed like we did.

If they are out of biblical bounds, then why do they produce so much fruit?

I wrote this entry this morning to a friend, I'm reposting it here. Later in this message, I refer to Bill Johnson's message at his Bethel church on 8/10/2008:

This morning, on the way to work, I was thinking about my emotional reaction to this news. The light bulb finally went on over my head: God knew about this all along, yet He chose Todd anyway before time began. He knew that Todd would pull a Peter (cock would crow 3 times) and yet God chose Peter anyway. Peter & Todd were probably a lot alike in their aspirations, attitudes, fire and demeanor. I felt that I didn't see the big picture before this morning, in that I only viewed what went on from at three-dimensional point of view rather than like God sees it: from four dimensions. It made far more sense now.

The church as a whole needed a visible outcast to work with, just like Jesus did with the lepers, the woman at the well, etc. Jesus didn't send them away because of their sins & shortcomings, rather the accepted them because of their faith. The church of today should be acting like Jesus with this 'outcast' of Todd, but instead is acting like a political organization for the sake of it's own political power in an election year. Jesus never played these games with people's souls, yet the church continues do so. Not much Jesus-living in many Christians. A clear warning.

Yet, many churches will continue on their man-made ways, paying homage to God only in the sermons. They are now on their own, no longer with God's full touch. They will continue to steer at the helm of their own destinies for their own purposes and delight in their own successes of ministries rather than sailing in the direction God wants them to go. All while saying "we knew this was a false revival!" They couldn't be further from the truth.

Where is God in all this? Bill Johnson's message that you viewed the other day. Bill already KNEW what went on, yet he gave those words of re-assurement, kindness and an understanding that is willing to work with him rather than disown him. THAT'S following Jesus. I love Bill's quote: "to follow the hand-washing mentality means allowing this: denominizationalism requires disassociation of the person in question to prove commitment to truth. By doing so, it fuels the very religious system that goes against God. Jesus didn't do this."

My apologies for being long-winded. I've seen more than a few people commit sins, those sin(s) come to light, then the church spits them out. It's perverse & wrong to not give people more than one or two or three chances. I applaud those churches that really work with people in the midst of their sins/shortcomings, therein abides the power of God.

As always, praying for his family. Again, accept my apologies for being long winded.


Mike

Ferg said...

"I applaud those churches that really work with people in the midst of their sins/shortcomings, therein abides the power of God."

Me too Mike. Thanks for sharing. I'm pretty devastated by the whole thing. I'm not questioning whether the whole thing was a sham, I don't think it was; and either way - people where genuinely touched by God, either through or despite Todd.
I just find it tragic that we're at this juncture and some blogs out there are tearing the man apart and saying this is God's judgment on him. I don't think God is in the business of destroying marriages. And even if this guy has caused all this himself, he is still a man who was worth Jesus dying for, so the least we can do is pray for him and his family that they find reconcilliation.

D.J. Williams said...

Mike said...
"If they are out of biblical bounds, then why do they produce so much fruit?"

That statement is just plain scary. If it works, it must be right, huh? What about the guy in Austrailia who just admitted that he lied about having cancer to push a hit worship song? People were moved, so what does it matter if lying is outside of biblical bounds? That logic elevates our fallible feelings above God's infallible Word.

I don't think the church should "spit Bentley out," or throw him under the bus or any such thing. I've never said any such thing. The man (and his familiy) needs prayer and solid counsel. However, I don't think he should have ever been driving the bus in the first place.

Either the Bible is God's revelation to us or it's not. Teaching and ministering contrary to Scripture is wrong, no matter how much "fruit" is produced. Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, and Musilms are experiencing a lot of growth. If they're out of Biblical bounds, then why do they produce so much fruit?

Mike M said...

"If it works, it must be right, huh?" No, it's not always right, as you point out, the guy lied to push a worship song through, that's not right, of course.

You mistakenly equate this guy who lied about his cancer with the Lakeland Outpouring. Todd didn't lie. He admitted he had sinned. Therein exists the difference: they one you mention did the lie for personal gain while Todd flat out sinned. There's no parallel between the two other than sin, which is part of man.

You may not think he should have driven the bus in the first place, you must temper your feelings with what was prophesied in '96: that a man named Todd would lead an large outpouring/revival in Florida. You'll have to argue with God about that one. :)

You mention about ministering contrary to the spirit. I agree. I watched over 90 days of the revival. Not once did I, and over a dozen friends could find a single contradiction to the spirit or God's word. Not one.

I believe what you speak of is not being able to see the book of Acts as a pop-up book that we experience 1st-hand daily, rather than something that was lived long ago...essentially something hands-off. This revelation (see Bill Johnson's Supernatural Power of the Transformed Mind, pages 70-75) is much different than the "this is the only way it can be" mentality many bring to the table. God is much larger than us, his ways are not ours, that's why He chose Todd before time began.

Todd stirred the lapdog church up, didn't he? Not only in his appearance & style, but in his sin, too.

I'm praying that not only Todd's family is healed, but that his kids aren't affected at all that's gone on in his life in the last few years.

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