Dagen reported about Todd Bentley‘s seperation…I found this out a couple of days ago and latest today I received a mail from a friend addressing the same matter. I feel compelled to write something too, one of those who have their opinions on matters. Here I go: This is only my second blog on Todd Bentley. In an earlier blog I wrote;
There is another reason too for the quick spread of this phenomenon; the sheer absence of the super-natural, the power and the ever present need for EXPERIENCE (a main factor to be reckoned with in our Post-modern, Post-Christian Western world) in our churches has created a tremendous void. So when something supernatural happens we are overly focused on it because we are destitute for it.
Since April I have followed almost every single development in Lakeland, my earliest letter with a journalist in the Lakeland area is already from that time. I have spoken on the telephone with leaders living in the Lakeland area… and have tested and read the teachings and experiences of angels, prophetic words, and visions while this information was still to be found as reference material on Fresh Fire’s homepage.
I have tested Patricia King’s and others involvement, their extreme prophecies and her flirt with “kundalini” dances and the blending with New Age Philosophies left me astonished about the lack of discernment of them and the body of believers that get their “spiritual” input from her and her likes.
Peter Wagner (one of my former favorite professors) and the apostolic team shocked me with their lack of discernment and Bill Johnson’s motivation why he was involved in such a controversial ceremony to affirm Todd Bentley’s ministry puzzled me.
The whole exploitation of God TV as they “launched” this revival and tried to keep it alive through false prophecies and even treats to those who might ask questions shows how deep we have sunk in our desperateness to “get some” power and our how commercially motivated our ministries are!
YET I have publicly been quiet about my observations. WHY? That’s a relevant question. On a personal level I have talked about and explained many of my observations to numerous people as I considered the time and situation right. Besides my many theological questions I have been hurting as I saw how people were treated as gadgets and props in a play which is foreign to me and (I believe) to my Lord.
I have been hurting as I recognized the lack of discernment and the eagerness to embrace anything which was but a weak and (at times) unrecognizable reflection of God and His Power.
Let me continue my line of thought about the why of my quietness. As I said I chose the occasions when to speak, I feel responsible as a pastor of a local church to maintain the focus on the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, His Word and the unity of this local church for which He makes me responsible. If I would have gone out publicly in Stockholm and Sweden I could have created disunity and gaps between believers. That’s why I felt the Lord told me to let it all pass… Time will tell, I wrote months ago, whether this move is from God or people. My conclusion: there was a lot of flesh in it!
And yet… God met with many people on a personal level. I have understood that the worship and adoration to God especially in the worship times through singing and praying might have been the most anointed times of the whole revival. I know God honors the honest search for Him, He recognizes the thirst and hunger in our hearts… But we have to realize that although we have been malnourished of spiritual power, that we cannot eat anything offered to us.
Among those who were touched by this revival there was the attitude to take it or leave. Or, “Don’t question God, “Don’t touch the anointed of the Lord” and “Don’t stand in the way of God!” Every question was unspiritual or showed an attitude of rebellion. We had to eat what was offered to us!
My friends, the fact is that we in the West are malnourished in regard to spiritual power BUT we have the responsibility, discernment and wisdom to not eat anything that is offered to us or shoved down our throats! It is very unhealthy of malnourished people to just eat anything because they lack discernment; they are just hungry and want to eat anything – (here my comparison stops).
After my first blog on Todd Bentley, I have addressed a number of times the issue and characteristics of leadership not necessarily mentioning Todd to avoid unnecessary splits . Here, here, here and here...I did feel from the very beginning as I studied him and his material that there were character flaws and I hoped that they would not blow up in his face and ministry… Unfortunately they did. The latest development where there seems to be a potential divorce on its way between him and his wife confirms this fact. Although some have written about the fact that four months of revival and absence could break down any marriage (on that I agree), we know that Todd’s wife and kids were brought over to Lakeland quite some time ago to avoid such scenario. The present separation had its roots long before the Lakeland period.
What can we learn from this? So much can be said about it… But let me consider a few pointers:
– Test everything; this is the responsibility God gives to the New Testament Church. He did not say “Question everything” – but test!
– Accountability is needed for every single believer; not only in matters of the heart and character, but also in ministry.
– Don’t eat anything that’s thrown at you when you are hungry!
– Learn from Church History, and recognize God’s actions and His ways… But look especially for Him!
– Don’t allow differences of opinions and style to create division and exclusiveness.
– Stay humble! This is say to me as well; I am only one decision away from stumbling! Lord keep me, Lord keep us, close enough to You to become or to remain receptive enough to listen and obey You!
– And let’s pray for Todd, his family and all the others that have been influenced for good or bad throughout this process.
That’s the Way I see it!