Another feature of the video released this morning by evangelists Rick Joyner and Todd Bentley is that Mr. Bentley is now professing to mend his relationships with friends of his in ministry.
Bentley began by citing a recent meeting with members of the Revival Alliance, who came down to formally ordain him into their group before the implosion of the "Lakeland revival" last year. Although it's been pretty conclusively shown that Bentley lied about his past formal relationship with the group, he completely ducked that side of the issue. How he chose to phrase it was that these were friends that he let down.
Rick Joyner added that Bentley would meet with other "Christian leaders' to try and make amends for what he had done. "We are not saying that they are endorsing anything," Joyner said. But if people fail to catch this distinction, so much the better for Mr. Bentley, perhaps.
"I want to repent to some leaders that I have had relationship with that took hits, that have taken bullets for me. So some of this we're going out to clear the air and I'm saying these relationships, whether I ever preach again for them again or not, whether they ever endorse my process or not..." Bentley said, "Some of these leaders, I want to go and say that I am sorry for the mess that I created..."
"...but how can we help the body of Christ recover from, again, another leader that tripped up? That's my focus," Bentley said. (His critics may respond to this: "How about trying another line of work?")
At the beginning of the video, Joyner had commented that Bentley's rediscovered mentors in the Revival Alliance were sure to be strict. "These are people that have a sincere heart. They love Todd and they love his ministry, but they also want to see things done right,"Joyner said. "They are going to be hard and they need to be."
If Bentley is hoping to be repentant and mend his fences, that certainly would be a fine thing. But we need to remember that this contrite spirit is in the public eye.
When it comes to something that might be a little more private and a little less obvious, a different spirit on Mr. Bentley's part might be apparent.
Have a look at what recently happened on his iamtoddbentley Twitter feed:
Yesterday, a Twitterer calling themselves LawGrace started to address some pointed questions and at Bentley. I am not LawGrace (who is apparently a Marcus Pittman) and I don't necessarily agree with what he "tweeted", but the exchange deserves to be saved due to its behind-the-scenes revelation:
You'll need to read it in reverse, from the bottom up, as that is how Twitter works:
LawGrace: was blocked by @IamToddBentley 1 day ago from web
LawGrace: @IamToddBentley in light of God's word. People did not get kicked in the stomach in the Bible. Repent. People are praying u get saved 1 day ago from web
LawGrace: @IamToddBentley I suppose you shall block me at any moment. Go ahead I expect it. However I beg you to reconsider what u have done in light 1 day ago from web
LawGrace: @IamToddBentley you have conned many men, but God cannot be scammed. You hate God and love your greed. Humble yourself before Christ. 1 day ago from web
LawGrace: @IamToddBentley there was no Biblical Gospel there. No Repentance, No Turning from Sin. It was a false revival. Beg God to Save you. 1 day ago from web
LawGrace: @IamToddBentley anyways your marriage asside, you need to Repent to God because of all the people you scammed in Lakeland. I was there... 1 day ago from web
LawGrace: @IamToddBentley According to God, you are still married to your first wife. 1 day ago from web
LawGrace: @IamToddBentley If you separated for any reason other then adultery or death you are now living in adultery. Gov Papers don't decide Divorce 1 day ago from web
LawGrace: @IamToddBentley may I ask why you divorced? 1 day ago from web
LawGrace: @ktacey yes, @iamToddBentley is married to the woman he cheated on his wife with. Thus as Jesus says... Still involved in Adultery. 1 day ago from web
LawGrace: RT @IamToddBentley I announce the beginning of Phase 1 My Release back into Local Church Ministry. HEALING SCHOOL EVENT info on website too. 1 day ago from web
What happened is that Matt peppered the evangelist with some pointed questions and Bentley "blocked" him, which is Twitterese for refusing to listen to anything more that LawGrace types at him.
Why is that? Hasn't Bentley been just about to release his statement on his theology of divorce and remarriage for weeks now? As of a couple of weeks ago, Rick Joyner was saying that the only thing preventing its release was Joyner himself lacking the time to look at it.
We have two Bentleys here. One meets with the Revival Alliance with humility and a contrite spirit. That is great, but we also need to be realistic to remember that Bentley, in a way, needs their help to be re-established in ministry. Without their help, the big collections will no longer be his. In a way, he must bow and scrape.
Then we have "LawGrace", who gets the back of Bentley's hand. A Twitter "get lost". Bentley doesn't need to be polite here, or give any answers to this fellow in the same way that he would need to answer a John Arnott, say. But, I wonder, is this the way that Bentley would like to respond more often to critiques, if he felt that he could get away with it?
Does a "real Bentley" still pop out in more private venues, just as it did in Lakeland?
One thing I do know, he wouldn't have "blocked" a Che Ahn or a Peter Wagner "tweeting" in a critical way. And isn't that the problem?