Saturday, July 03, 2010

Todd Bentley repents of “hype”, only to use hype moments later

[Originally posted at Bene Diction Blogs On, May 29, 2010]

What is new with Canadian evangelist Todd Bentley, trying to make a comeback in the U.S., after the collapse of the Lakeland “revival”?

Well, Bentley gave evidence a few weeks ago that he is up to his old tricks. But I would think that publicly repenting of using “hype” and then, a few minutes later, using hype again would be a bit brazen, even for him.

I refer to his “Kingdom Authority and Healing” talk of April 10, at the Morningstar complex in the United States.
If you would like to follow along, the full video is here.

Bentley is on stage, warming to his topic, promising that, naturally, he has a “special authority” to speak that night.

He’s telling “war stories” and at roughly 1:48, he says this:

“The church is tired of the word ‘miracle healing service’ I get on Facebook and everybody and their cat and dog is having a miracle healing service. I mean we, the currency of the Kingdom has been so lowered to get numbers. The way that we market and promote, and advertise and put the word ‘prophetic’ or whatever. Just anything to get the people. We have so cheapened—I believe that there’s a great disappointment and discouragement in America when we talk about signs and wonders. We believe, as believers. But If we got honest about it, our churches and ministries are not walking in the kind of Kingdom authority and power that we know and read about in the gospels and that we’ve seen glimpses of.”

And why would this be, Todd? Could it have something to do with Lakeland and all the people that your said were healed, and then subsequently died?

“I know the kind of anointing we saw in Lakeland, and it’s still not here,” he adds.

Given the fruit of Lakeland, may we hope not?

At 1;49:50, Bentley says

“When God—when He opens up the heavens…People ask why are you doing these Saturday nights with hundreds, when In Lakeland you had five, ten thousand a night? When the anointing begins to show up again like that, where we can see twenty wheelchairs in one service healed—I don’t even see a wheelchair in the building, there might be one. But you see, the sick aren’t really healed. There might be a few that need a healing, but the desperate really aren’t here. And I’ll tell you why they aren’t here. Because they really aren’t convinced that anything is going to happen different than anything that happened all the other times they have been to revival.”

If only we could get to the state, as in Lakeland, where the “desperate” start to come, Bentley says. Chilling. And what about all the people who came to Lakeland, only to have the same lack of healing happen to them?

If Todd is wise, he’ll start to apologize and make amends. And, at Bentley starts to cultivate the impression, at the 1:50 mark that that is what he is going to do:

“So, I want to get honest about it. Say ‘God we need you’. And I want to get honest about it tonight and say God, no more fluff. We want the raw power of God. I give my whole life for this message. And I’m sure there’s different cities and churches maybe even nations we could be at right now—and we will be. We’re still making plans to go to Haiti, and the miracles that will happen in Haiti will be the kind of miracles that you read about in the Book of Acts. And I’m telling you that there will be cities this year and next year. We know it’s just a matter of time, and the Lord will send us out….”

“No more fluff” Care to explain when in the past you shared “fluff”, or do you care to leave it to your critics.

I’m sure that the Haitians will be grateful for Bentley’s visit, but is it right—in almost the same breath as “no more fluff”—to say that there *will* be book of Acts miracles in the country. Trying for them, yes. They *will* happen? Potential “fluff”, especially given that desperate Haitians will be hoping against hope that they will be blessed, unlike the many other times that they may have been at a revival and got nothing.

At 1:53:40, Bentley says:

“Can we just get honest for a moment and say ‘Oh God, forgive us, forgive me’, I want you to repent with me on behalf of the church for all of the fluff and hype. You know, I’ve been guilty of it over the years. I know I have. Every one of us. And God, we want the raw power of God again. We want to get honest and we want to say this. We want to say this. We want to say ‘God we don’t want to act like we’ve got more than we really do.’ It’s okay to say we have this measure and trust God for more….”

“….Can you repent with me? ‘Cause you need to repent. Because if you think you are walking in authority right now, you’re really not….you’re only walking in a measure, because I haven’t heard about your shadow healing the sick yet, I haven’t seen you on CNN. Your miracle ministry isn’t turning cities upside down. I’m sure I’d know about it by now.”

Well, technically, Lakeland didn’t quite pass Bentley’s own criteria, unless someone is brought forward whom Bentley’s shadow healed. And nice attitude on Bentley’s part towards his fellow hard-working ministers who didn’t happen to be the “flavour-of-the-month” a couple of years ago.

Bentley is being shrewd here. He knows that there are some things that he needs to repent of regarding creating something out of little at Lakeland. So much so, that a lot of people in his audience probably conduct their ministry in a more ethical way than Bentley has. So, what he needs to do is bring them down to his level. No one is absolutely perfectly honest, so Bentley knows that he can bring everyone down to his level by appealing to perfection.

So, his audience, in the seats and elsewhere, has to hold him to the same standards of repentance that they would hold themselves to. This is a bit sneaky, as I doubt that anyone he was speaking to, while they are also imperfect, committed the same scale and kind of mistakes that Bentley did.

And who says that people can’t be doing great works for God without Bentley and the media knowing about it? That is just hubris on Bentley’s part.

What about not letting your right hand know what you left hand is doing? I understand that is in the Bible somewhere.

Bentley continues:

“….There’ll be a thousand more times that you’ll hear me ask for your forgiveness because…there was an anointing and a favour, when we were in Florida, and we lost, the body of Christ around the world lost some momentum when Lakeland ended. It wasn’t just the end of Todd Bentley, but when that wind came out of our sails—I know whole churches where revival just stopped when Lakeland was over. There were miracle ministries just went went whoompf. They are still going for it. But we lost something around the world. As far as the level of the river of God and the level of faith corporately in the Body of Christ. If you were a part of it, maybe you were just post-Lakeland, if you don’t know what I am talking about, good. But If you’ve been tuned in at all, the past couple of years to the body of Christ, there was a momentum rising. We weren’t there, but it was rising, the wave was high. And I feel not only for Todd Bentley and Fresh Fire, but I feel for the body of Christ, a lot of ministries took a kicking because you stood for Florida, you stood for signs and wonders, you stood for revival….”

Here, Bentley throws his fellows who act and share the same theology as he does under the wheels of the train. Surely, there are some of them who do their activities in an honest and ethical way that would have allowed them to keep tooting along once Lakeland crashed? But no. If Todd, post-affair, post-lies, etc. can’t have his revival continue, neither can they. His revival has to be the best, even in retrospect.

“If you don’t know [about Lakeland] , good.” ‘Cause you wouldn’t want to judge Bentley’s past fruit before trusting him now.

This is the crucial part here, at 1:57:52. Watch, as Bentley, who has repented just minutes beforehand of using “fluff” and “hype”, uses “fluff” and “hype”. Emphasis mine.

“We were seeing resurrections. We had 31 testimonies of the dead raised. Over 22 of them were medically verified. Twenty- two. Two independent doctors verified 22 of the claims of resurrection stories and they called them ‘miraculous resuscitations’. Scientifically unexplainable. Twenty-two. The stories were found to be unexplainable. 31 stories.”

Oh Todd, you are so slick. If you don’t listen to what he says carefully, you’ll miss it and think that these two doctors said that these 22 people were raised from the dead. Not so.

The first thing that needs to be said here is that we would like the doctor’s identities, their full report, and all the names and relevant details so that the work of the doctors can be checked. If Christ, who sent the 10 lepers--who He really healed-- to be checked out by the local priest, in a public way, we can ask Todd Bentley to do all this in a fully public way as well.

Won’t happen, but we can ask.

The words "of them" refer to the 22 that were "raised from the dead". But in the same paragraph, it slips out that that is not exactly what the doctors say.

Let’s parse these sentences to see what Todd does.

“seeing resurrections”

“the dead raised”

“resurrection stories”

“miraculous” which is right next to and qualifies


“Scientifically unexplainable”


The word “resuscitations” is intended to be the filling of his rhetorical “resurrection” sandwich. Six wordsand phrases that lead you to think “raised from the dead” around “resuscitation”. But if you went to Subway and they gave you a “resuscitation” sandwich when you asked for a “resurrection” sandwich, you’d ask for your money back.

Todd Bentley is hoping that you don’t listen carefully, as resuscitation doesn’t mean resurrection.

A Princeton University online dictionary offers a very interesting definition for our purpose:

(n) resuscitation (the act of reviving a person and returning them to consciousness) "although he was apparently drowned, resuscitation was accomplished by artificial respiration"

I’ll bet that these two doctors and their report, commissioned by Todd Bentley and his friends, will never see the light of day.
Doctors X and Y are playing it very safe. I’ll bet dollars for doughnuts that they don’t use the exact phrase “miraculous resuscitations”. I’ll bet it is “resuscitations”.

It could refer to a miracle, but the doctors are playing it safe. “This person was apparently unconscious and is now conscious. We do not know why,” is probably a layman’s explanation of what they are trying to say.

And Todd Bentley takes it and runs with it, swaddling what the doctors were willing to say in “back from the dead” verbiage.

And this is within 5 minutes of leading his entire audience in a prayer repenting for using “hype”.

Bentley may say “I only said resuscitate!” But will people hear it in such a context.

I’m afraid that all Bentley’s repentance and honesty talk might have been a strategy to get his audience to think “Okay, he can’t possibly be brazen enough to pull a fast one virtually in the same paragraph…” when he had a whopper in his back pocket, meaning to mislead.

I guess that Rick Joyner’s restoration program must be coming along swimmingly in regards to Todd Bentley’s honestly. Pardon me if I prefer to stay near the lifeguard.