Friday, June 01, 2012

Todd Bentley returns to...Ontario

[Posted at Bene Diction Blogs On, May 7, 2011] Todd Bentley, who's calling himself a "native" of Canada these days, and not a "Canadian", was preaching in Canada this week. It's not exactly "returning for the first time in three years" as his ministry mentioned in an e-mail promoting the series of meetings last week, as he preached with Rick Joyner at meetings in Red Deer, Alberta, earlier this year. But it is a Canadian mini-tour, as they write. Bentley ministered at Mount Brydges, ON on May 2-3, London ON, May 4 and in Toronto May 5 and 6. But what is odd is where he is not ministering. Recall that Bentley is from B.C.'s Lower Mainland, and spent many years living in Abbotsford, in the heart of the Fraser Valley, the province's closest thing to a "Bible Belt." Doing a series of meetings here, where his first wife, Shonnah and three children from the marriage, would allow him to spend some quality time with his kids where they actually live. Seeing as though Bentley has brought his children down to the US for vacations, talks to them on the phone and on the Internet, isn't this something that he should want? Not to mention seeing his friends back there in the Abbotsford area, and various church contacts that he might want to bless. I think this won't be happening soon and I have a guess why that is. When Lakeland collapsed, the only national or Toronto paper to pay any attention to Bentley's woes was the National Post. Vancouver's main papers, the Sun and Province, covered the fall of Bentley and the collapse of Lakeland pretty closely. One of the Sun's stories on Bentley made the front page of the newspaper. The newspapers in Abbotsford itself would no doubt notice if Todd Bentley came to the city to preach. In fact, in August 2010, the Abbotsford Today newspaper reported that he was trying to make a comeback on Discovery TV. In his story, reporter Mike Archer mentions that it was local residents who had compelled the paper to do the story, worried that Bentley was going to get the Discovery TV show. Bentley, the story notes was doing what could be a dry run for a TV show on his website and adds this: "Some have expressed their unease on websites, in conversations and emails recently over what kind of an impact Bentley’s resurgence will have on Abbotsford’s reputation as “an evangelical hotbed*.” The paper even went to the trouble of calling the Discovery network to ask about a possible show. If Todd Bentley came to minister in Abbotsford, or anywhere close to Vancouver, no doubt the local press would be all over it. They'd know how to find Shonnah Bentley, or people who used to work for the Abbotsford-based version of Fresh Fire Ministries, as it then was. The press, in doing a "follow-up" story, would necessarily have to recount the reasons why Bentley left his work for a while. And all that would be rather inconvenient for Mr. Bentley right now. Perhaps, if Shonnah and her kids are really annoyed at Todd, we could even see a picture of them looking suitably disgruntled, with accompanying story, in The Province, say. And that may be why we won't be seeing Todd Bentley nearby his old stomping grounds anytime soon. At least, that is my guess.