Thursday, July 16, 2009

Todd Bentley, adulterer

(Crossposted at The Shotgun Nov. 28, 2008)

Bentleyhealing Readers who recall my series of posts on Todd Bentley, earlier this fall, may be dismayed to learn that things are going from bad to worse for the faith-healing B.C. evangelist.

The current leadership of Mr. Bentley's ministry, Fresh Fire Ministries, issued a statement by e-mail this afternoon which is now posted on their website. Evidently they are somewhat exasperated with their "star", but, in journalistic parlance, the author has "buried the lede."

A salient point is this:

"....further silence on our part would be misrepresenting the truth by allowing you to believe that what we said in our first two statements (which were true to the best of our knowledge at the time of their writing) is still the case. Unfortunately that is not so....

....It also needs to be clarified that Shonnah has in no way initiated this divorce and has no present intention to do so at any time in the future. She is understandably hurt by Todd’s infidelity, but is not asking or pressing for a divorce. The legal separation from Shonnah was initiated completely by Todd and he has not seen her or the children since the last week in July. To our knowledge, Todd’s relationship with the female staff-member, who was a former intern and also, at his initiative, a live-in nanny in his house for over a year, is still ongoing. We believe that there are currently no biblical grounds for Todd to leave his wife and children. While it has been maintained that no physical contact happened between Todd and the former female intern until after he filed for legal separation from Shonnah, in the Boards’ eyes, the nature of the present relationship between Todd and his former staff member is that of adultery....."

One hopes that we will be spared footage of Todd Bentley on television saying "I... did... not... have... sexual... relations... with..."

Also, YouTube watchers may have spotted that internationally famous evangelist Benny Hinn -- whose critics (and reporters from CBC's The Fifth Estate for one) suggest may have his own issues with infamy or aberrant theology--has criticized Todd Bentley's Lakeland Florida revival as theologically unsound. This was in late October, well after Mr. Bentley had gone into seclusion, making it almost impossible for him to respond to what Mr. Hinn has to say.

The Hinn citique, which was broadcast internationally on Hinn's television program, has begun to appear on YouTube in sections over the past few days. A partial transcipt of Mr. Hinn's observations and remarks about Mr. Bentley has been made by Hinn critic Bud Press.

UPDATE: I note that blogger Miriam Franklin, who has provided a thorough critique of Mr. Bentley's theology and activities for many months now (and who also, I suspect, is not on Mr. Bentley's Christmas card list!) has issued a sentence-by-sentence dissection of the Fresh Fire board's statement for those who may be interested in it. Her opinions are hers, but her observations may be useful for those wanting to "read between the lines" here.

SECOND UPDATE : The St. Petersburg Times is reporting on the ministry's letter in their newspaper today. The Tampa Tribune has a similar story. The newspapers were unable to track down Mr. Bentley, so no quotes from him.