[Originally posted at Bene Diction Blogs On, Oct. 30, 2009]
A YouTube poster has spotted something interesting in some footage of Todd Bentley preaching at a minor league baseball stadium last year in Lakeland Florida.
Being a city mouse, I wouldn't have been able to spot that the birds featured in the videos as "eagles" are actually osprey, a similar looking bird. Various local Lakeland residents knew the difference right away. (Even if they had been eagles, I know from visiting my parent's house that eagles always nest in the highest available perch. Also, if this was the time of year that local fish return to spawn, then eagles naturally return like clockwork. Bentley could have been preaching when the local fish spawn and die, which will always attract birds such as eagles.)
This is a fine job of debunking in this video:
There is something possibly even more interesting here, however, that other YouTube commenters seem to see as well.
Stephen Strader is the pastor of Lakeland's Ignited Church, which served a the de facto host church of the revival. If you read his book from last fall on the Lakeland "outpouring" you get a sense that he wants to argue that there was "something in the water", as it were, that the revival would have perhaps happened anyways without Bentley. For a book on the revival, it doesn't talk about Todd Bentley as much as you would expect.
This is something that has been quietly carried on since then, as e-mails directed to the church's e-list subscribers try to imply that the "outpouring" is carrying on in a low-key way.
If you have another look at the video, though, see who that is at 2:16, coming off the stage and being ssshed by someone when he says. "Those are osprey!" He evidently then walks away.
I wonder if this man is Stephen Strader. Sure looks like him, and other YouTube commenters think so too.
If it is Strader, it would be very interesting if he was willing to let a lie be spread, when he could have taken the mike and said, "Sorry, don't get excited, these aren't eagles."
Why didn't the man in the video do that?
Birds of a feather flock together. So the saying goes.