Learning from the Todd Bentley Disaster

While I was sick and recuperating, there was a lot going on.  One of the saddest, if somewhat expected, was the thundering crash of the Lakeland revival led by Todd Bentley.  It was always a building built on the sand of unsound doctrine and bad theology instead of the firm foundation of Jesus Christ, so it isn’t a great surprise that the crash came, but it is still a saddening day for Christianity as this is the face that some took for the real deal.  There is a lot of disecting going on in the blogosphere as the fallout hits.  Much of it is very good.  There are voices from within the charismatic movement that are calling for discernment and wisdom and a returned focus on Jesus Christ in handling the fallout and preparing for future pretenders.  The news coming out keeps getting worse as the days go on and there are many who are wondering how so many could be deceived so completely.  The Fresh Fire board has issued an apology (I found it quoted at Northwest Musings but you can see it on their site) to those who have been affected and wounded by this betrayal.  Many have written critiques better than what I would put forward and I have tried to link to some of those here, but I want to echo the most important theme that I have seen in these posts.  The most important thing in Christianity is Jesus.  It is all about Jesus.  If we lose that perspective or focus, we lose our reason for living, ministering, serving, or doing anything at all.  The Jesus Paradigm makes this point much better and with great cautions about the things that can take us off the rails.

I am also finding that I really like Jared Wilson more and more.  I wrote about him and his church’s radical giving program a while back, but his take on this fits my feelings exactly so I wanted to quote him here:

This is not about piling on Bentley. This is about rebuking his staff, his friends, his fans, and his defenders. You got the hero you deserved. You traded the truth for a lie, you cashed in the all-surpassing worth of Jesus for an unrepentant lying adulterer and his lame magic show, and you didn’t flinch when the evangelical world warned you it was gonna be a disaster.

I’m saying “I told you so” as a plea to you to stop — for the love of God! — idolizing these charlatans and their witchcraft. I say that as a continuationist. This isn’t about the charismatic gifts.

It’s about truth. It’s about The Truth. And Jesus is The Truth.

What we need is a radical re-commitment to zeal for the Christian’s sole satisfaction in Christ and His work. Nothing else.
Those who drift into Jesus + ____________ have their reward.

Amen brother.  It’s all about Jesus and Him alone.  The next time some guy comes along talking about promoting angels because “everyone already believes in Jesus” or tries to elevate anything over knowing Jesus Christ crucified, run the other way with all speed.

Categories: Christianity, False Teachers, Heresy, Kingdom | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “Learning from the Todd Bentley Disaster

  1. zeb4801

    I support Todd Bentley and the Lakeland Healing Revival and I think it is a awesome move of God, with many people healed and even raised from the dead. Sure, there may be some problems but no one is perfect you know. Revival has broken out worldwide. I think the most balanced view on the revival I’ve read has recently came from L.D. Oxford of Joshua Apostolic Prophetic Network, he is so right we must pray and show our love to each other in this time, because the world is watching. Here is what his newsletter reported on it, as he was part of the ministry team at the revival and also lives in Lakeland Florida. He was there to see all that went on, because too many people judge this from television!

    Moderator Edited: There was a letter from L.D. Oxford included with this comment that made it longer than the original post. I tried to find a weblink for this letter but was unsuccessful. If you would like to link to this letter please feel free to do so. I didn’t edit it out for content, only for length.

  2. I would like to also note that I read the full letter. There are a couple of comments that I have. This post is not intended as a slam or a judgment of the Lakeland event. I have already made those statements based on Todd’s teachings (not the events of the Lakeland services themselves). If we cannot judge the content of a person’s teaching/theology then we might as well pack up and leave now, because anyone can say anything and who can say if it is right or not. I placed Todd’s teaching and statements against the Bible and found them lacking in truth and said as much. With this post, my desire is to point out the lessons that can be learned from the fallout that is now occurring. I have included links to friendly and critical voices both in the original post. The letter talked about the responsibility of the board to be accountable and to hold Todd accountable and it appears that is where the failures lie based on the accounts I have read. And the letter itself acknowledged that there were “real problems” during this revival. I am not throwing stones or casting aspersions here. I am praying for Todd and those associated with this. I pray that God would be first in their life and ministry and that He would be given all of the glory. He will not share it with another. Thanks again for the comment and please share a link to the content of the letter if you can.

  3. scott771

    Dutch Sheets is ‘repenting’ on behalf of the whole Charismatic movement leadership. What do you think about “Identificational repentance”?

    Feel free to comment here to if you’d like

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