Friday, July 02, 2010

How "persecution" may play into Todd Bentley's hands

[Originally posted at Bene Diction Blogs On, Feb. 10, 2010]

Evangelist Todd Bentley may think that protestors, of the kind that came and gave him a public rebuke last Friday at his service, might work well with his plans.

My apologies to my readers for not spotting this yesterday when I was blogging on Rick Joyner's latest statement on the Todd Bentley restoration. I suspect that any criticism of Rick Joyner and Todd Bentley might confirm, in their mind, that they are correct in what they are doing. And this is why I suspect that to be the case.

Rick Joyner, in the statement, is planting the idea that what is happening might be the start of a great revival. He then writes this:

"Regardless of how right we are, if we are about to see a major revival break out, the persecution will also break out on a correspondingly high level. This too “comes with the territory” as the Lord Himself taught. With the increase of power and impact in Jesus’ ministry, the persecution went up accordingly. With the undeniable resurrection of Lazarus, the Lord’s enemies determined that it was time to kill Him. I have no doubt that the persecution will ratchet up dramatically with the increase of the favor of God...."

Is Todd Bentley Jesus? Can the comparison be exact?

Although I know that there are some places where persuction leads to revival, such as in the apostolic church or in China today, I can think of historical revivals in Wales, England and the U.S. where the society at large welcomed what was happening for the most part.

Think of how Rick Joyner refers to criticism in his statement. In the statement, he clearly thinks that if he reasons with Bentley's critics or even upbraids them (as he did in the case of Charisma's Lee Grady) that he might be able to bring what they think in a correct line with Scripture (as he sees it).

Wouldn't it logically follow, then, that Bentley and Joyner could be corrected in a similar way in turn. Joyner was quite firm with Grady, I recall.

In another place in the statement, Joyner adds that he plans to call things as he see them, when he thinks that people are being unfair to Bentley, as is his right. But does it only work in one direction?

The excerpted statement above, however, implies that Joyner and Bentley see "persecution"--whether the neutral would see it as persecution or not, as a badge of honour. But what if the "persecution" is, for--please understand--argument's sake, an attempt to speak truth to Bentley and Joyner in a way they cannot ignore? It looks like the pair plan to forge on ahead, regardless.

I am certain that Todd Bentley is very immune to criticism. He fields it in public with calmness and reserve, hoping that he is Teflon-coated and that his audiences pay no attention. If he doesn't react, he may think, neither will they.

Rick Joyner is setting up for the future, planting the idea in the mind of Bentley's friends that criticism is automatically a sign of God's endorsement and favour. And fair minded, neutral observers, would agree that that is not the case.

Joyner has given Bentley's audience a valid seeming excuse not to pay attention at all to criticism of Todd Bentley. The wise should, Bible in hand and a prayer on their lips, carefully weigh what both Bentley and his critics say. Use discernment and sound Biblical teaching to weigh both sides.

"Come let us reason together, and your sins shall be white as snow..." the Lord is quoted as saying in the Bible. Seems to me like better advice than what Mr. Joyner is offering...