Friday, July 25, 2008

My attendance at a Todd Bentley Impartation Service!

On June 19, I did get to hear Todd Bentley live at the Cabarrus Arena and Events Center in Concord close to where I live. From that firsthand experience, I was able to register some observations and thus draw some conclusions.

Bentley did not talk much about angels that night. In fact, he didn't really talk that much at all other than when he was praying for people and talking about the offering. One thing he said that did bother me is that when he first became a Christian- he thought that all Christians had angelic encounters, healed the sick, and performed miracles on a regular basis. If healings, miracles, and angelic encounters are so rare in scripture, why should they be so normal among us today.

The little bit that Bentley did preach was might near a mockery. He went about it with a very nonchalant attitude as if he had to preach from the Bible so that people would not say anything bad about him. When he did preach, he made several references to the angel in the text of John 5. At the time Bentley had toned down his angelic references as Stephen Strader pastor of the church where the revival is taking place had conversed with him about it.

Even prior to Bentley's preachings, the worship was very repetitive. In over an hour and 15 minutes there might have been a total of 3 or 4 songs sung over and over. Singing repetitiously is known to put people in an altered state of consciousness where they obscure reality and enshrine absurdity. In addition to that one of the worship songs had the repeated phrase, "Honor the Lord, you heavenly beings." I am aware that that song is from the New Living Translation of Psalms 29. As that song was being sung, I pondered the question of what it meant by heavenly beings. Are they referring to humans as heavenly beings, or is the song designed to summon the angels? Either way, that brought much theological concern for me.

After preaching, Bentley started praying for healings and miracles. One woman came forward from the overflow outside and said that she was able to walk for the first time in 17 years and that God on top of that had given her a gold tooth. The woman's lack of enthusiasm, however was obvious. I was thinking to myself "if she is able to walk for the first time in 17 years, wouldn't she be more excited."

Later at offering time another woman came forward and said her husband had been healed of a long term medical condition. The woman explained how she had to quit her job to take him to the hospital and they were struggling financially. With the offering already having been announced Todd told his associates to get all her info so he could give her a seed out of the offering and then turned to the crowd and told them to keep that in mind. The few services I have watched of his in Lakeland he has had a promotion gig for the offering each night. I think that's exactly what this was, a promotion gig to increase the offering.

It seemed more to me like Todd Bentley was putting on more of a theatrical sideshow than anything else. In addition to the sideshow there were apparent fabrications such as the claim that he had faxed his documentation of miracles and healings to Geraldo's office and had received a phone call saying Geraldo was impressed. He further said that producers in Hollywood had called his staff to discuss the possibility of doing a reality show on the revival. While much of the rest of the crowd seemed suckered into applause by such comments, I was not drinking the koolaid and I am still not.

Since he was here that one night he has continued to claim resurrections from the dead including the resurrection of an unembalmed man who came out of his casket as the funeral home in which he was scheduled to lie in state turned on the revival. If indeed that did happen, would not the funeral home be freaked out yet at the same time have the story publicized. I know if I were that man, I would let everyone interview me. Not only am I going to be raised from the dead, I'm going to get money from all the magazines for their interviews with me. I would gladly show up a Todd Bentley meeting if that were to happen.

And so opinion is set that Todd Bentley has been putting on nothing more than a theatrical sideshow in Lakeland. The question of why still remains? Jim Jones used a theatrical sideshow to gain a huge following at the People's Temple. In the end it culminated in the death of 918 people in the greatest mass cult suicide in history. What if Todd Bentley is indeed leading his followers down the same path? Even if Bentley is not another Jim Jones, as long as this sideshow is able to sucker people in- it leaves open the possibility that someone like Jim Jones can indeed come along and lead us to a death toll of followers that we could have never imagined- much like Jones himself did in 1978.

Let me make clear that I do believe in miracles and healing, however I believe they are up to the will of God our Father. I'm always going to be skeptical of faith healing services but if I see one where the healings and miracles are being verified, and the doctrine and preaching lines up with scripture I'll gladly speak of it as a great move of God. Minus the fact that Bentley is without a doubt one of the most extreme heretics/false prophets that we have seen in our lifetime, the healings and miracles that he is claiming are not being verified. I hope that Christians wake up to the importance of testing the spirits and quit quenching the discernment of the Holy Spirit before a tragedy like that of Jim Jones hits us again.


Late Night Lisa said...

I appreciate your dilligence in following this movement. You blog builds from one thought onto another so it's easy to see how the pieces of this prophetic theology fit together.

I've only recently become aware of this movement-approx 1yr ago. Since that time I've been researching & following what
these people are up to.

There is a little more to Bentley's "Operation" boxes
in the stomache experience.I had
a personal "revelation of knowledge" regarding this one

Let me know if you care to go down that trail & I'll fill you in.



I would certainly love to hear your "personal revelation of knowledge" about the "Operation" boxes.