[Posted at Bene Diction Blogs On, Oct. 12, 2010]
If Todd Bentley does manage to get a TV reality show on the Discovery Channel (at least in the US), I can imagine people wondering what the harm in it could be? After all, I can imagine them reasoning, people will see Bentley as an Elmer Gantry type. They’d think “He performs in casinos and in exotic destinations all over the world. He is flamboyant. He is entertaining.” People will view him as a “Christian” version of Chris Angel: Mind Freak.
Well, no. I am afraid that, even without meaning to, Todd will give people wrong ideas about Jesus and Christianity. If Bentley makes it onto Discovery, he could do a new level of damage. At least you had to go looking for GOD TV, or access it on the internet. Discovery is on basic cable pretty well everywhere.
I’ll show what I mean by briefly revisiting something recent.
You may remember this video shot by Roy Petersen. Presumably it may be part of his video documentary on Lakeland and Bentley, but for now it is on YouTube:
At 4:42 of the video, Bentley says something which I thought the rest of the ‘net would jump on. I transcribed Bentley as follows:
“You don’t need the measure [of anointing] that I have if you ain’t gonna be, you know, leading world revivals, you know. Not that my gift or your gift or his gift or anybody’s is better than anybody’s, but it all comes down to calling too, and season. Jesus didn’t get his great anointing until he was thirty and he was gone by 33, you know, in one sense.”
A question here—if Jesus is God, and was God incarnate in the flesh, why would he need a “great anointing” given to him? Wouldn’t he already have a perfect anointing as God?
We know why Bentley needs to say this. People need a greater level of anointing which Todd can supply. Perhaps not at his book table, but in other ways. "Sow into the anointing” as the collection plate goes by.
What about Christians who believe that they can get God’s help directly by praying for a friend to be helped or healed? By going directly to Jesus, who is perfect, they can hope that their friend can be helped in a perfect way.
This doesn’t work for a Todd Bentley. You need to get a “greater anointing” which he has in bucketfuls. How better to drive this home than to say that even Jesus was imperfect and needed "something extra.”
God cannot be imperfect or lacking in any way. Ergo, Jesus, per Todd, had to be an imperfect God while on earth and thus not God at all.
I suspect that the writer of Hebrews might have an issue with this too. Hebrews 13:8 reads “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever”, or basically the same thought, in all translations.
Matthew Henry writes:
[Hebrews] 13:7-15 The instructions and examples of ministers, who honourably and comfortably closed their testimony, should be particularly remembered by survivors. And though their ministers were some dead, others dying, yet the great Head and High Priest of the church, the Bishop of their souls, ever lives, and is ever the same. Christ is the same in the Old Testament day. as in the gospel day, and will be so to his people for ever, equally merciful, powerful, and all-sufficient.
All sufficient meaning "already having a 'greater anointing'."
Guess that Todd is stuck here, eh?
Roy Petersen, in a comment on my recent post about the video, says that he just filmed Todd and the lady talking and that it wasn't a formal investigative report. I get the feeling that this might be part of his approach, just allowing his viewers to see exactly what is going on. Perhaps he is thinking that what I have cited is kind of bad theology, but he is sure that his viewers will catch it. [I remember from my days as a reporter, not reacting when the person that I was interviewing started digging themselves into a hole. My not reacting allowed them to keep digging for China. I hope that's what Roy had in mind.]
Roy’s work will be viewed by Christians who have, hopefully, some wisdom. A Discovery audience, though, will be filled with people who lack Biblical knowledge. So any hooey that Todd Bentley says will be accepted by them as gospel truth.
And that is one reason why the idea of Todd Bentley having a TV reality show is kind of scary.