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.