Monday, July 28, 2014

Todd Bentley denies God's omnipresence?


Posted at Bene Diction Blogs On June 10, 2014]

One of the tenets of charismatic theological thinking is that the Holy Spirit may work today as He did in the days of the Apostles.

Unless you are at a Todd Bentley meeting, then all bets are off.
In Todd Bentley's confrontation with Justin Peters, Bentley says something odd at):25 of this video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=854RV7r1Xxo

that I suspect people will miss.

To get rid of Peters, he says "I'm not giving you my anointing because I have nothing to give."

Uh, Todd, aren't Christians indwelt by the Holy Spirit and always have something to give, even if it is the size of a "mustard seed".

People may fairly disagree about whether the Holy Spirit works today as He did in apostolic Times, but for Bentley to say that nothing can be done is theologically inaccurate and implies that the Holy Spirit is not present at all times and may act. (However you believe that he does.)

If anyone believes that the Holy Spirit is omnipresent it should be a charismatic like Todd Bentley.

He meant "I'm NOT praying for you!" and should have said as much.

Oh, you may say, Todd was having a bad day. But his ministry has the same problem, as shown by this e-mail featuring Todd' new wife Jessa

http://www.freshfireusa.com/email-template/email-banner/6-09-2014-email-blast.html

The June 9 "e-blast"is sent out by Fresh Fire, so assume it is how Todd Bentley wants to be represented:
TESTIMONY! Sue: On May 31st Hi could u please pray for my sister she has been told she has a fast moving cancer. Shes in intensive care, I'm scared. They dont know the source of the cancer. Its bad, I'm scared and I know God can heal but why doesn't he heal all? Jessa: Answers back during the service before ministry time I'll have Todd pray tonight "live" on the feed when the anointing is on him to pray!!! Sue : Oh thank u! That makes me cry, it means so much!

"I'll have him pray", full stop would be okay. But why does she have to wait for "the anointing" to be on Todd Bentley for something to happen. Five seconds before the anointing, the poor lady is out of luck?

Clearly, Todd Bentley wants an out when his prayers don't work. "I had chili cheese fries before the service, so I didn't have the anointing, just gas, when I prayed for you," he might say.

Slick.

Do you recall when Peter and John were put on the spot in a similar way in the Scriptures?

"Silver and gold have I none..."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFZJFXvuv0A

Justin Peters can't expect to leave a Todd Bentley meeting "walking and leaping and praising God" if Bentley is too annoyed to even try, can he?

Justin Peters and Todd Bentley, mano a mano


{Posted at Bene Diction Blogs On June 10 2014)

It was second time lucky for evangelist Todd Bentley as he appeared on the *second* episode of Miracles Decoded last week. I'm working on an indepth post on that, but for now there's another fuss about Todd Bentley

Todd Friel is the host of the theologically conservative radio program Wretched Radio [and the accompanying TV show Wretched TV]. Evangelist Justin Peters, who tends to be cessationist in his theology and suffers from cerebral palsy, has been occasionally featured on the Wretched shows. [He protests, however, that God can heal today. However He usually doesn't--"it is much more the exception than the rule. He does it, but it is not common."]

Peters snuck into a recent meeting held by Todd Bentley and had a friend videotape his encounter with Bentley. It's on YouTube

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=854RV7r1Xxo

Bentley doesn't know Peters by sight, so Peters was able to get access to the mike. Peters cites Matthew 7 talking about "workers of iniquity."

Peters: "This man is a worker of iniquity."

Bentley: "Which man?" Peters: "You."
Bentley is quick on his feet, and does a bit of a buck and wing. He doesn't directly reply to what Peters says but argues that the passage Peters cites applies to people who don't know the Lord "in intimacy." That would apply to Bentley, Peters would have likely said to Bentley, if he wasn't being pulled away from the mike. (at 1:10)

Bentley didn't pray for Peters. At 0:25 he says "I'm not giving you my anointing because I have nothing to give."

Peters has since said that he was taken away by police, but that's not on the video.

Friel's programs will no doubt draw attention to Peters calling Bentley out. At the end of the Wreched Radio broadcast which I heard on June 9, he played the audio of the video and commented that Bentley never really addressed the question of whether Bentley himself was "a worker of iniquity".

Of course, we never expected that he would, did we?

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Tonight! Todd Bentley on History TV Canada! Or perhaps not!

[Posted st Bene Diction Blogs on May 26, 2014]
Canadian-born evangelist Todd Bentley will appear on the History TV Canada program "Miracles Decoded" June 1. Unless something happens as happened on May 25, when the episode Bentley was on was pulled from being broadcast, perhaps at the last second.

My Mom, who loves Canada's equivalent of the "History Channel", tipped me off about the program. [For American readers, History TV Canada is available across the country, and is the equivalent of being on nationwide TV up here.]

So, I was looking forward to watching the program on May 25 at 10 PM Pacific Time. Sometimes, however, Canadian networks mean 10 PM Eastern Time in such contests, so I had the channel on at 7 PM just in case. I was recording.

An episode of Pawn Stars was on, and then came the first commercial break, about 10 minutes in.

History TV Canada aired https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AmCXq80g4Vc&feature=youtu.be

this promo ad for Miracles Decoded at 10 PM my time:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=AmCXq80g4Vc&feature=youtu.be

As you see, Todd Bentley is all over this ad. Please note that the episode with Todd Bentley was certainly planned to be the first episode of this new series. [The ad had been airing heavily on History TV Canada over the previous few days]. It uses GOD TV footage of the Lakeland Revival.

Starting at 0:28, the announcer says (emphasis mine) "Miracles Decoded! Series Premiere, tonight at 10, on History!

Came 10 PM, however another episode of Miracles Decoded aired as the "premiere episode" with a magical "Black Madonna" icon, an exorcist shaman from Mexico, and snake-handling churchgoers from Kentucky. No Todd Bentley at all, although towards the very end of the show--which reaired starting at 3 PM Pacific the next day) they had brief footage of Todd Bentley with a voiceover that he would appear on the next episode. Which will air June 1.

As I write right now, I have History TV Canada on. They've showed an ad for the next Miracles Decoded featuring footage of the "obscure" Todd Bentley.

Let's look forward to that, but in the meantime, look at History TV Canada's gaffe.

For some reason, Todd Bentley could not appear on History TV Canada On May 25. Perhaps they needed a release for certain footage that they had planned to use. Perhaps they needed to reedit the section of the program about Todd Bentley.

Would be interesting to have been a fly on the wall, don't you think?

"The Welcome to Mississauga!" New Testament

gre
(Posted at Bene Diction Blogs On May 13 2014)

I come across interesting things in thrift stores, such as this New Testament.

Its title: The Greatest Is Love." Published in 1971 by the Canadian Home Bible League, as it then was, it's interesting for at least two reasons.

I wonder if there is anyone still at the Christian Reformed Church of Clarkson remembers back to 1971 when they were Clarkson Christian Reformed Church and handed out this and other copies of *this* New Testament

I say this, as it was specially commissioned by the church, with a breezy "Welcome to Mississauga!' blurb on the back inviting them to the church.

It's directed to people who are new to Canada, as it has pictures of Canada in two page sections throughout. I wonder if any of these specific testaments are distributed domestically still?

I live on the West Coast. I should not have ever seen and acquired this. But I am pleased, after all these years to remember this outreach tool.

As does Jesus.

Rick Joyner downsizes, Todd Bentley upsizes?

{Posted at Bene Diction Blogs on May 8, 2014)
Excited e-mail from Todd Bentley on the morning of May 8, as he is starting up his new-to-him revival center with a little conference this weekend, to be broadcast live over the internet.

http://www.freshfireusa.com/email-template/email-banner/5-07-2014-email-blast.html

The location is at Fort Mill S.C. on the same property as Morningstar. Stay at the Heritage International Ministries Retreat Center.

So, is Todd picking up Rick Joyner's mortgage for this particular piece of property? Is it a part of the old PTL property that Joyner doesn't need, which would mean that Joyner would be Bentley's landlord? (Or maybe things have really gone pear-shaped for Joyner and he sold out to someone who will let him him borrow his old facility back?)

Well, at least Bentley isn't going right to subscriber-only content. But donations will be needed to cover this weekend's events.

Todd and Jessa had mentioned wanting to have their own kids in addition to Todd's starter kids, so perhaps this is a model that will allow Todd to do that. Jessa puts her foot down--look you're not going to be on the road all the time.<.br>
This tends to be confirmed by a May 14 e-mail. Part of his latest hand out appeal is a request for money for huge video screens. Bentley's idea is that he will stay at home and the video screens will be set up in places like India for major crusades overseas. Bentley will stay home and preach at a camera, and the camera will send a signal overseas for the people there to react to.

"A revival [will] hit your land [Canada] that will be a hundred times more powerful than all historic revivals put together."


{Posted at Bene Diction Blogs On May 6, 2014]

Since April of 2013. Faytene Grasseschi has felt led to boost the idea of a great Canadian revival. One so great that it will spread worldwide until the "return of Jesus".

It's a bit of a meme among a certain group of charismatics. But although this idea seems to be something that is widely spoken out loud in an auditorium, finding the tracks of the idea, online, seems to be a bit of a task.

But we need to offer thanks in advance for Canadian evangelist/activist Faytene Grasseschi, who has done a nice jobs of reporting for us as part of a Halifax N.S. sermon that she preached back in April 2013 as part of the Miracles in the Maritimes. conference. [Sermons by her which are not behind subscriber walls are increasingly hard to find.]

But as I mentioned, we owe her thanks for passing on what she learned. In the sermon, she explained that her purpose was to encourage he listeners to be hopeful for revival, as she had been feeling led by God to spread the word about upcoming revival, according to several prophecies that she cites.

Not so much by Grasseschi herself. According to a printout I did off the net a few years ago, from 2007 to 2010, Faytene gathered and received prophetic words, grouped by year, that she had shared on the net. Alas, I did some poking around, also using the Internet Web Archive, but they have disappeared into the internet atmosphere.

That said, I was able to find one word from 2007 that was noted by a church in Iqualiut. Faytene's word is very nice, but hard to weigh unless you have been going to that church, or one in the region, and paying close attention for 7 years.

Nevertheless prophesying about large groups of people is not her forte. But, she wanted to encourage her audience and did a good job of reporting while doing so. We owe her thanks for that reason.

So, back to Faytene in April 2013. You may hear it at:

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/59072142/M.I.T.M%20Day%201%20pt%201.mp3

To begin, she cites several examples of what she believes is God speaking about the destiny of the whole nation of Canada that people believe they heard before the 1920s. An old e-mail or blog post does well in covering the same ground that she shares about. You may see it here
br/>http://www.mts.net/~beamish/ThisTime.htm

Turning to more modern times, Faytene combined two prophecies by Charles Price and Smith Wigglesworth.
Faytene says:
"....this was in the [19]20s [that they prophesied]... [They said].....There will be a revival that hits the nation of Canada in the mid 1900s and it will be so powerful that it will be literally not only impact Canada but it will go around the entire world. But after a few years that revival will be shot down because of mixture and because of strife, that kind of stuff...."

In other parts of her sermon, she cites the Latter Rain revival as significant, so I suspect that she thinks the Latter Rain revival is a fulfillment of this prophecy, especially given her note of the revival dying due to "mixture".,br>
The "Latter Rain", notes Anton Hein in his

http://www.apologeticsindex.org/l05.htm

entry on the subject, was quite problematic, mixing poor theology with whatever God may have been doing. The lasting effect of the Latter rain could perhaps be a "mixture."

So any repeat of Latter Rain could be a problem.

Faytene then turns to two prophecies, in the '20s. by Charles Price and Smith Wigglesworth. She said:
"[T} was in the 1920s...there will be a revival that hits tha nation of Canada in the mid 1900s and it will be so powerful that it will literally not only impact Canada, but it will go around the entire world. But after a few years that revival will be shut down because of mixture and because of strife, that kind of stuff... ...listen to this 'But after 50 years there will come another revival that will be many times more powerful than that revival... of the 50s....And it will hit the nation of Canada like a tidal wave. It will be much more powerful than the revival that hit in the middle of the century and it will not diminish until the return of Yeshua, until the return of Jesus."
1948 plus 50 is 1998. The revival that will usher in the return of Jesus seems overdue. William Seymour, leader of the Azusa Street revival, has a prophecy too, Faytene added. She said:
" [He said] that there would be a wave of revival that would hit 100 years after Azusa--I think he prophesied it between 1905 and 1910--that there would be a wave of revival that would hit that would be many times more powerful than anything the earth had seen before."

1910 plus 100 equals 2010. Since there's no qualifying "or thereabouts", may be firm then?

And how about predicting things to happen after you are long gone?

After briefly citing a prophecy by David Yonngi Cho, she return to the two prophecies while trying to encourage her audience, specifically their prediction of a revival around the middle of the 1900s:
"....Did that happen? It was called The Latter Rain Revival. Was it shut down after a few years? Absolutely. If God fulfilled the first part of the prophecy, do you think he's going to fulfil the entire thing? If we can find a people that are willing to say God...I am willing to believe that you can d0 it again a hundred times...

That assumes it was fulfilled the first time. What if they got the second part wrong, or that the first part is yet to be fulfilled with a wrong year?

And then on to Christian speaker Alastair Petrie. As Christianity.ca noted back in 2006, his idea of a great upcoming revival is explained by him on the DVD From The River to the Ends of the Earth.

Faytene paraphrases him his way:
" [Petrie said] ...God, years ago, said to many saintly people in Canada, that the time would come--come on you guys--God years ago said to many saintly people in Canada. This was speaking of the prophecies that I've [Faytene] already reiterated--that the time would come when a revival would hit your land [Canada] that will be--are you tracking with me--that will be a hundred times more powerful than all historic revivals put together."
She then tries to use that to rally her audience.
"I just want you to dream with me for a second. A hundred times more powerful. Why not just honour God with our faith. I mean, why not? Why not dare to believe? What do we have to lose. Nothing right? Zero."

Then she turns to a prophetic word, by noted American charismatic evangelist Cindy Jacobs from 2004.?

What is interesting about this is that I gave it a try and I have been unable to find it online. Certainly this is the prophetic word that you would want to have in black and white so that people could be encouraged by it.

Or perhaps you might not want to, in case you get it wrong./br>
Faytene on Jacobs:
"Let me give you one more: Cindy Jacobs. I love this lady--she's awesome--she prayed us into The Cry Hollywood. She said God's going to change the economy of Canada. She prophesied this in 2004. I'm going to finish up with this...God is going to change the economy of Canada, says Cindy Jacobs. Now you may look at that and wonder 'How is that going to happen?' But God has a way for that to happen...and then she went on to say this 'one day Canada will be so blessed that she will lend to many nations and not borrow.' We're in that time. "There will be a day that the Canadian dollar will be more than the US dollar." Now that's mind boggling isn't it? No Is It. At the time it was..."

True, last year, the Canadian dollar was around par with the US dollar. But as I write a year later, according to a newspaper I have around my computer, a Canadian dollar is trading at a worth about 91 cents. My guess, although she did not say those exact words that Jacob meant that the Canadian dollar would be above par with the US dollar due to the context of what Faytene quotes her as saying.

Faytene continues:
"...But I'm setting this up for a reason. Revival takes finances...it takes lot of money. You're going to send relief all over the world [she paraphrases Jacobs as saying] Canada will be the poor, will be the breadbasket that will send out wheat and all kinds of relief across the nations. Again, it sounds like Paul Yonngi Cho's prophecy, but this is the part that I get most excited about. 'And this revival'--come on--'this revival will go to the ends of the earth. There will be a day, there will be a day where most of the people in Canada will be saved." Will be saved! There will be a day in Canada where most of the people will be saved! I think that God did the dollar thing just to build our faith for the second part of this...Is he going to do the first part of that prophecy and not complete it? Not if he finds a people of faith. God is looking for a landing pad..."

Thanks to Faytene for being a reporter for us. You'll note that none of these prophetic words are hers.

Like you, I would eagerly welcome a true, orthodox, revival in Canada.

But I have two concerns.

Are these words being weighed and tested, in our eagerness for revival?

Why do we have to trust the kindness of Faytene Grasseschi? Surely if these things are valid, they should be shouted from the housetops?

It should be easy to find these things in black and white, or online.

Unless there is a reason to keep these matters under wraps until people can try to bend them somehow into being fulfilled.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Two odd things about Bob Jones visiting from heaven

[Posted at Bene Diction Blogs On, April 24, 2014}
Bobby Conner believes that the late "prophet" Bob Jones visited him in a vision. I'd suggest there is reason to go "I dunno" in response. Perhaps even two.

Conner, using The Elijah List, excitedly shared his experience yesterday [April 23] by e-mail. You may read it here
http//elijahlist.com/words/display_word.html?ID=13358
He states that he is well aware that Jones has passed away. But he passes on what "Jones" has to say for encouragement, namely that there is a big revival coming. Conner grants the message great credence and validity.

Let's grant, for argument's sake. that Christians can have heaven-related experiences and should seek them. [I know that many do not agree. But, I hope to suggest that even by Conner's own standards, there is reason to wonder.]

Conner's description of "Jones" may puzzle. He writes (emphasis mine):
Bob simply stepped into my study. I did not need to open the window, he just walked right in. His appearance was incredible: He was firm and fit, and he was dressed in a wonderful, soft, beautiful, elegant, white robe past his waist down below his knees, like a long shirt. His hair was extremely white and glistening. I was amazed at his skin: It was without blemish, white and soft, and his smile was truly radiant and beautiful. His eyes were bigger than normal and extremely clear, sparkling like that of an excited child.
In various accounts where people say they have visited heaven, they say that the people therein are in the prime of their life, say in their late 20s or ealy 30s, in perfact phsyical shape. Colton Burpo, subject of Heaven Is For Real. met his great grandfather in heaven, an the great grandfather appeared to be around 30 years old in appearance.
It would be logical, if you discount Burpo, to assume that the "you" in heaven would be a perfect, adult "you".

Well then, why does "Jones" have "white" hair like the Man From Glad? If he still old in heaven?

I'm also reminded of the Biblical example of The Witch of Endor's encounter with Samuel, called back from the afterlife. Let"S assume The Bible means what it say and says what it means here.

Let's note 1 Samuel 28:15, where Samuel complains to Saul: “Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?”

Evidently Samuel was called away from a very pleasant place,wherever he was. He had been "disturbed" by being called away to answer a whiny, doomed king.

Let's compare that to the reaction of "Jones" in Conner's vision.
I was so excited to see my dear friend, I said, "I've been expecting this meeting! And looking forward to it." He quickly replied in an excited tone, "Me too!" His next words were, "You are doing fine!" And he said, placing both hands on his chest, "And I am doing wonderful."

Samuel, in the Biblical account, is perturbed. "Jones" is "looking forward" to being called away from the pleasures of heaven like a waiter at a diner with an eagerly awaited overdue order of cheeseburgers.

If people I know and love are in heaven, I'd understand if they were not bothered in order to cater to me.)

Todd Bentley: I need $10,000 Now!

{Posted at Bene Diction Blogs On April 23, 2014)
Well, perhaps it wasn't stated as bluntly as in my headline. But Todd Bentley put on the pressure a couple hours ago by e-mail. And he only has about 45 hours to go.

Is he paying a ransom to kidnappers? Owe 10 large to gangsters? No. he's trying to meet a deadline for a down payment on an "apostolic kingdom center" If he can come up with $10,000 US to meet the 48 hour deadline, he can have the facility, complete with 300 seat sanctuary.
Thus the e-mail tonight at http://www.freshfireusa.com/email-template/email-banner/4-23-2014-email-blast.html He's quite excited about the possibilities.
Bentley, we may recall, has been under the mentoring of Rick Joyner since the collapse of Lakeland. Bentley writes in the e-mail that he has been waning for several years to have his own facility eith offices, etc., so he coud hold events in Charlotte, N.C. etc.

If Joyner's Morningstar holds the mortgage paper that Bentley would be assuming, that would be one thing. And that I do not know. But, after being helped by Morningstar for years, this facility would offer Bentley total defacto independence. Depending on what you think of Joyner's mentoring, that could be an ominous portent.

I think that a little of Bentley's excitement may be joy at the prospect of being able to snap his fingers at everyone, if he so chooses.
>Let's see how it plays out. Certainly, if he pulls it off, he will have to end his sabbatical to pay this mortgage. Whether he is ready or not to do so.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

hyperlink format San Antonio Express-News

Blogging to be light that week

{Posted at Bene Diction Blogs On April 23, 2014]
Reporters were watching The 700 Club broadcast on Monday, where Pat Robertson broke the news that a huge asteroid will hit the earth, and perhaps destroy it, as soon as next week.

The San Antonio Express-News is on the story this morning as I write:
“So, hey, just get ready,” Roberston said. “Get right. And stay right with the Lord… It could be next week, it could be 1,000 years from now. But nevertheless, we want to be ready whenever the Lord says, 'I'm wrapping it up, and it's time to come home.' ”

Robertson was careful to qualify, but the paper was savvy enough to notice that Robertson was promoting his book The End of The Age.

Also, john Hagee, who has been talking about the evil portents of an astrological coincidence of a series of "blood moons"--which started April 15--also has a new book out.

Who woulda thunk it?

Your "Nazis equal gays" candidate for Massachusetts governor

{Posted at Bene Diction Blogs on April 3 2014)

Today as I write, I heard, over the Internet, an independent candidate who is running for governor of Massachusetts speaking at an all-candidates meeting organized by the LGBT community

Scott Lively, a very conservative Christian activist, naturally tried to make the case that governments should try to be more neutral on homosexuality. His audience wasn't pleased.

Before I moved on, I was thinking "Where do I know the name 'Scott Lively' from?" Oh Right, he co-wrote The Pink Swastika. a book which argues that Nazism in Germany was rife with homosexuality.

Has someone put two and two together and realized that Lively is running for governor? Boston magazine was well ahead of the curve, http://www.bostonmagazine.com/news/article/2013/02/26/scott-lively-anti-gay-uganda-governowriting on him when he was just thinking of running.

They report that Lively was in Uganda helping several leaders in Uganda who would go on to pass anti-gay legislation in that country. Interesting precedent should he, by some fluke, be elected.

I wonder if someone brought a copy of The Pink Swastika to the candidates meeting.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Fred Phelps dies

{Posted at Bene Dictio Blogs On March 20, 2014]

Fred_Phelps_10-29-2002 WikipediaFred Phelps, the former pastor (as he had recently been excommunicated by his extremist Westboro Baptist Church), died today.

The National Post,/br>
http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/03/20/fred-phelps-dies-at-age-84-westboro-baptist-church-founder-was-suffering-from-health-problems

reports that he passed away in the wee hours of March 19-20. He was in a hospice and had been suffering from serious health problems recently.

No doubt you are well aware of the infamies of his ministry, but if not, Wikipedia has a useful introduction.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_Phelps
Phelps had been banned, along with other members of Westboro Baptist

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/church-members-enter-canada-aiming-to-picket-bus-victim-s-funeral-1.703285

from entering Canada in 2008 after announcing his plans to stage an anti-Canada protest at the funeral of a Winnipeg man.

Also, it was rediscovered last fall that

http://www.benedictionblogson.com/2013/09/24/fred-phelps-prairie-bible-institute-alumnus/

Fred Phelps graduated from Prairie Bible Institute.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The "Filipino-Canadian priest" who is front page news

{Posted at Bene Diction blogs On March 20, 2014)
The name of Father Fernando Suarez may be familiar to Catholics in the Toronto area. But Filipino community readers across Canada will certainly now know of him as he is the cover subject of The Filipino Post

Father Suarez, the Vancouver based free paper notes, made a bit of a splash in 2002 and 2003 when he was based in Ontario. He retains a Canadian-based non-profit charity, Mary Mother of the Poor. But he is probably best known, though, as the "Healing Priest", who conducts faith-healing masses that, according to the Filipino Post, bring cities in the Phillipines to "a standstill."

Suarez is still a priest in good standing in the Diocese of Ottawa but the Filipino Post notes that Suarez has been expelled from the Toronto Catholic Archdiocese, where Suarez was an associate priest at St. Timothy’s in North York in 2002 and 2003."

Suarez returned to the Philippines a few years ago, and gained clout in the Catholic Church, as well as politically and financially. The Post adds that this apparent power has raised "fear and apprehension."

He's front page news in the Philippines in the past couple weeks, as the English-language national newspaper there, The Philippine Daily Inquirer, has done a series of stories on Suarez. [The Filipino Post story has "the Inquirer" all over it, so it seems they are trying to do a "matcher" story following the Inquirer's work]

Fortunately, the Philippine Daily Inquirer has a website, so I can direct you to two of their recent stories. Here, Suarez, defends himself against criticism of 'how his Mary Mother of the Poor (MMP) Foundation has been handling its finances and to allegations that he is living a lavish lifestyle."

Another story reports on how the "so-called healing" priest's plans for a major building project in the Philippines was set aside by a local planning authority.Father Suarez had planned to include in the project a Marian shrine with a statue of Mary bigger than the Statue of Liberty.

The "Toronto Blessing" 20 years later

(Posted at Bene Diction Blogs on March 8, 2014)
Interesting article from Christianity Today in my inbox this morning. Time flies, and it has been 20 years since the revival broke out at the former Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship. Now, the magazine has sent journalist Lorna Dueck back to Catch The Fire (Toronto) to see if there is lasting fruit.
br/>You may find the article here. Some things that jumped out at me, which may jump out at you too...

1. Dueck writes that at the time, she felt compelled to allow herself to participate in what was going on. It made such an impact on her that she divides her spiritual life into before and after the events there.

2. James Beverley, author of a 1995 book on the "Toronto Blessing", is now giving qualified support of its lasting effects:

Nearly 20 years later, Beverley strikes a more appreciative tone, emphasizing the positive and lasting impacts of the revival. "Whatever the weaknesses are, they are more than compensated for by thousands and thousands of people having had tremendous encounters with God, receiving inner healings, and being renewed.".

Fair enough. But why does he say this? Beverley continues (emphasis mine):)

"....The whole thing is an indication of how much people want to feel close to God and have a sense of his presence. This does not excuse or explain everything.... To know it in detail, you would have to inspect story after story, but there is no doubt that the vast majority of people have been helped, and there have been radical conversion experiences and radical renewal in many lives."

Sitting on the other end of the country, I'd probably agree that some people may have been blessed.

But, assuming that Beverley is still in the Toronto area, well I am heartened by his frankness, although I find it a little dismaying.

You see in order to have a conclusive opinion, he'd have to do in depth interviewing and research.

And that would require work, and stuff.

3. In recent years, Dueck notes, Catch The Fire Toronto has aligned itself with the Revival Alliance. I recall the group from their efforts to clean up the crash-and burn of the Lakeland Revival, but Dueck doesn't seem to.

We may recall that towards the end of Lakeland, Revival Alliance pastors came to Lakeland to "commission" Todd Bentley and bring him under their authority.

At first, Bentley tried to say that he was not under their authority, but eventually felt a need to apologize to the Revival Alliance for some reason. The video of his rhetorical acrobatics is still on YouTube, and is gone into in the linked post.

So the Revival Alliance has a pronounced interest in people being able to grab the spotlight through spectacular works.

Thus their interest in Catch the Fire Toronto, as the Dueck article explains:

When asked about unorthodox elements or exaggerated claims of spiritual power among members of the Revival Alliance, Clark responded, "Our unity is not based on doctrinal agreement. Our unity is based on the experienced presence of God and how it renewed us and our commitment to a gospel of the kingdom."

Hmmm.

No Oscars for Dominionists?

[Posted in Bene Diction Blogs On Feb. 26th, 2014)
In the run-up to the Oscars, you may have noted that a song in the film Alone Yet Not Alone was nominated for an Oscar this year.

It was though to be quite a feather in the caps of the filmmakers, all ostensibly devout Christians. So, Christians were dismayed when the nomination was recently rescinded by the Academy. The makers of the song had broken Academy rules in campaigning for their song among Academy members voting for songs.

There was a bit of hue and cry. Hollywood is biased against us Christians! This rule would never have been enforced this way against...! As you would expect.

But, I want to bring attention to this issue in order to cite Peter T. Chattaway of the Patheos website. His follow-up post on the disqualification of the song, I think perhaps in this case points to what Paul Harvey used to call, on this radio show, "The Rest Of The Story."

In a few years, it could explain a lot.

Peter chattaway, unlike pretty well everyone else I have seen on this subject so far, connects some dots for us.

As he briefly notes in his post, the makers of Alone Yet Not Alone, tend to be hard core Dominionists. He has links as well.

In one paragraph of his post, he notes that "the film appears to have been backed by far-right activists known as dominionists or reconstructionists". Moreover, the film was made by a now defunct company named Vision Forum. The former head of that firm, Doug Phillips, had a prominent told in Alone Yet Not Alone, along with two of his daughters. Phillips appears to have been now edited out of Alone Yet Not Alone, according to blogger Katie Botkin, who has lots of useful background on the film.

Sorry for doing a "matcher", but I wanted to take the opportunity to speculate a little.
What follows is a guess. Imagine for a moment that the Academy's leadership had only found out about the documented leanings of the filmmakers after the song had been nominated. A perfect storm happens. The song wins, Then the filmmakers get up on the Oscar stage and talk about something like "we're taking back the mountain of Hollywood so Jesus can come back!" So, there perhaps was incentive to strictly enforce an Academy rules regarding this song. And Academy leaders, I imagine, Looked up gratefully to heaven and said "thank you Jesus." If I am imagining well, then. you can't tell me there is no prayer in Hollywood.

Todd recycles

(Posted at Bene Diction Blogs on, Feb. 19, 2014)
A new e-mail may imply that Todd Bentley's sabbatical may start out to last at least a couple of months.

He's staring an e-mail series on "The Father's House", as I write. This is about a series of visions that he relates about intimacy with God.

He doesn't spell it out, but this is quite old. He's sharing the booklet The Father's House, which I am guessing is roughly 8-10 years old. (I have a copy of the booklet that I obtained back then and it was one of the first things on his "book table", if memory serves.) This online cite confirms that The Father's House is well before Lakeland.

Todd may keep on recycling old material to avoid lapsing into radio silence and having his friends forget about his ongoing needs. No harm in that, perhaps, but I suspect he may be coy about when these revelations were supposed to have happened.

Bob Jones dies

{Posted at Bene Diction Blogs On Feb. 17, 2014)
Charisma News is reporting that "prophet" Bob Jones passed away on Valentines Day.

In the Charisma piece. Rick Joyner is quoted as the expert on Jones, as the latter was closely connected to Morningstar in recent years.

Jones was prominent and instrumental in the "Kansas City Prophets".

Jones was occasionally noted for the vague sort of prophecies that could not be confirmed. In this prophecy about the 2040s and 2050s, for example. Jones could not be personally assessed for his prophetic gifting unless he had lived to be well over 100 years old.
br/>Let Us Reason noted an odd quote by Jones, in which Jones says that the Devil told him that if he would just stay away from fighting abortion and homosexuality, Satan would let Jones do all the "signs and wonders" he wanted to:

Jones relates his concern about the rise of abortion and homosexuality, and a conversation he had with a devil: “He told me the next time that I prophesied and told anybody about it, he would kill me. He said, 'If you knock that off we'll move back into all the signs and wonders you want to. You can heal people and you can prophesy day and night if you want to, if you leave these two subjects alone” (Mike Bickle, Bob Jones, Visions and Revelations, 1988, found in Vengeance is Ours by Al Dager)


He was removed from ministry for a time for having women take off their clothes to "stand naked before the Lord". Jones would then give them a "prophetic word".

Apologetics Index, which notes that Jones was a promoter of the "Latter Rain" and "Manifest Sons of God" theologies, has a fine rundown of Jones' aberrant tendencies on their website. This ApostasyWatch piece may also be of interest."

Baby Baby

{Posted at Bene Diction Blogs On, Feb. 18, 2014]
It may be of passing interest that Faytene Grasseschi, a regular subject here, is now letting on that she is pregnant on Facebook. She's now in her third trimester.

Congratulations and hope all goes well. Cue up the Amy Grant song.

"But hey, if she's gonna run off with another man, why not Jesus, huh?"

{posted at Bene Diction Blogs on January 29, 2014) One short clip from Nicolas Cage's upcoming remake of Left Behind has made it out on the Internet.
You can check it out here, if you like.

Canadian University Press plays to the grandstands

{Posted at Bene Diction Blogs on Jan. 18, 2018]
Please permit me to address a bit of a different topic for myself.

As an old student press hand back in the day, I was stunned to see something on the Internet yesterday. Something that has caused a bit of an Internet stir, so it merits brief mention. So I hope that Bene D will indulge.

It was my experience back in the day that it was usually students with progressive views who wanted to do the self-sacrificing work of being a student journalist. I would imagine it to be the same today. So, as the years went on, it made sense that I was never made an editor of the student newspaper I worked for.

Not to fault my friends. I made dear friends, some of whom I retain to this day. Stand up people with great hearts, who just think differently than I do.

I became the BC stringer for Canadian University Press, and at the 1990 CUP National conference, I lost an election to become the top editor for CUP, their National Bureau Chief. It wound up being all good, as during the next year that I would have been working in Ottawa, I found both my church and where I would work as a journalist.

I gather that in subsequent years, CUP has ambled along, only to find that as budgets are shrunk at student newspapers, a wire service like CUP is seen as an unnecessary frill.
Given the historical point of view of CUP, I was frankly amazed to see this, namely that the very conservative Sun News TV host Ezra Levant delivered the keynote address at the recent Canadian University Press conference in Edmonton.

Now, I like Ezra. I even blogged for his magazine, The Western Standard.
br/>But I have to ask CUP, at least on behalf of my old student press pals:

Are you insane?

Commenters on the Internet are wondering this too. Montreal Simon, a McGill Daily alum, was Flummoxed. A student journalist at the link went "Whaaa?".

Back in November, when the choice of Ezra, was announced, CUP found that it had to explain why. Their explanation is here
,br/>As a student journalist who became a conservative journalist, I'd like to make a couple of observations.

The first choice of CUP's who-should-we-ask canvas was Robyn Doolittle of the Toronto Star. Ezra came second. This should have said that CUPpies would have liked to hear a keynote from a somewhat liberal reporter known for her coverage of Rob Ford.
.
But CUP picked Ezra Levant. Now I like Ezra, and have heard him speak. But I think that most CUPpies would not be fans of his. Just a guess, looking at their preferred first choice for the keynote speech.

The organizer who helped pick Levant added that:
More importantly, Levant exemplifies a brand of journalism that is proving more relevant than ever. Politics and ideology are seeping into contemporary journalism and consumers are eating it up. It begs the question, what is considered journalism today? Or better yet, does objectivity still exist? How do politics factor in? Levant is one of Canada’s most recognizable partisan commentators and people are familiar with his work. We feel he’s highly suited to tackle these questions.
 
How could student journalists not already be savvy about this? I was, even before joining my student paper, was aware of related memes on the subject.

These memes are up to 40 years old. The progressive meme tends to be that corporate interests and big money bias the news.

I'm more familiar with the conservative meme that the news has a liberal bias. Having read "Hysteria 1964", which argues that there were pot shots taken at Barry Goldwater, and Edith Efron's "The News Twisters" before I started working for my student paper, I knew that these ideas dated back to the 1960s.

Ezra Levant, I'd say, believes in the conservative meme. His concerns that the "Media Party" has a pronounced liberal bias are a frequent feature of his show.

So, I could have predicted that what Eye On A Crazy Planet kindly notes for me would happen when Ezra Levant spoke at the CUP conference. He attacked what he saw as the liberal bias of the Canadian news media, so much so, per Eye....that he had angry delegates confronting him.

Who woulda thunk it?<.br>
Perhaps CUP thought that the Edmonton Sun would have covered Ezra's remarks? Doesn't seem to have happened.

I wonder if any CUPpies thought to report on it? I did a full page report on Mark Starowicz's remarks to a conference I attended, but I guess I was an odd bird.

A hat tip to my old student press pals. I was dismayed on their behalf. I'll get out a mop and bucket for their barf, if needs be. :)