Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Life After Bentley

Now that Todd Bentley is headed for the divorce courts J. Lee Grady is finally confident enough to state what many of us have known since Todd Bentley showed up on the scene. From today's Charisma News:

Here are few of my many, many questions about this fiasco:
Why did so many people flock to Lakeland from around the world to rally behind an evangelist who had serious credibility issues from the beginning?
To put it bluntly, we’re just plain gullible.

...Why didn’t anyone in Lakeland denounce the favorable comments Bentley made about William Branham?
This one baffles me. Branham embraced horrible deception near the end of his ministry, before he died in 1965. He claimed that he was the reincarnation of Elijah—and his strange doctrines are still embraced by a cultlike following today. When Bentley announced to the world that the same angel that ushered in the 1950s healing revival had come to Lakeland, the entire audience should have run for the exits.

Why didn’t anyone correct this error from the pulpit? Godly leaders are supposed to protect the sheep from heresy, not spoon feed deception to them.

...Why did God TV tell people that “any criticism of Todd Bentley is demonic”?
This ridiculous statement was actually made on one of God TV’s pre-shows. In fact, the network’s hosts also warned listeners that if they listened to criticism of Bentley, they could lose their healings.
This is cultic manipulation at its worst. The Bible tells us that the Bereans were noble believers because they studied the Scriptures daily “to see whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11, NASB). Yet in the case of Lakeland, honest intellectual inquiry was viewed as a sign of weakness. People were expected to jump first and then open their eyes.
Just because we believe in the power of the Holy Spirit does not mean we check our brains at the church door. We are commanded to test the spirits. Jesus wants us to love Him with our hearts and our minds.

...Why did a group of respected ministers lay hands on Bentley on June 23 and publicly ordain him? Did they know of his personal problems?
This controversial ceremony was organized by Peter Wagner, who felt that one of Bentley’s greatest needs was proper spiritual covering. He asked California pastors Che Ahn and Bill Johnson, along with Canadian pastor John Arnott, to lay hands on Bentley and bring him under their care.
Eventually another "move of God" is going to hit the scene. People are going to flock to the "revival" and unquestioningly embrace it. It happened at Azusa, it happened in Toronto, it happened in Brownsville, and it happened in Lakeland. It will happen again and people will not learn from the past.

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