Wednesday, April 24, 2013

English reporter looks at Todd Bentley in the same way that they would look at a used car

Posted at Bene Diction Blogs On July 28 2012

It’s going to be increasingly hard for evangelist Todd Bentley to make a living, judging by some recent press coverage.

He seems to have settled down to a level of work and prominence of the sort that he had before Lakeland with some minor changes. He’s not based in Canada any more, and ministers here infrequently. Ministering anywhere near his old ministry base, in Abbotsford B.C., near where his kids may still, presumably live, seems to be something he won’t be doing soon.

He’s keeping the habit of not ministering in many big Cities, with the attendant possibility of media coverage. Rather, he works close enough to cities and airports so that a fan, if they are determined enough, can come see him.

He seems to be ministering outside of North America with the same frequency as he did before he became famous to the average Christian. But his history is tagging along behind him like a little puppy as readers of a small English newspaper realized about a week or so ago.

I’m guessing that this comes from the local newspaper in Croydon , England. Croydon is one of the southern suburbs of London, inside the region of London.

Bentley is scheduled to hold a series of meetings there from August 30 to September 1. And I think, judging by what they wrote, the reporter will be waiting for Bentley when they show up.

There are no new quotes from Bentley, but the reporter has done their homework. They refer, high up in the story, to Bentley’s claims to heal people by beating them up and his time in jail as a teen after he molested a child.

The “face-kicking faith healer” reference relates to one night at Lakeland, when Todd Bentley started talking about the odd things that “God” would have him do when praying for people on other occasions. It’s probably his most infamous clip on YouTube, in various forms.

The reporter could have easily quoted this particular video clip where at 0:40, Bentley starts to say this:

“…And I’m thinking why is the power of God not moving? And He [God} said, ‘Because you haven’t kicked that woman in the face’ {Shot of Stephen Strader in the crowd, laughing] And there is this older lady worshipping right in front of the platform and the Holy Spirit spoke to me. The gift of faith comes on me. He {the Holy Spirit] said ‘Kick her in the face with your biker boot. I inched closer and I went Bam! {Makes full hard kicking motion with his right leg] and just as my boot made contact with her nose she fell under the power of God…”

[Radio apologetics  Todd Friel, playing this and other clips from the same sermon on his program was not only dismayed, but puzzled too. He said “What are they laughing at, exactly? He’s hurting people…” ]

The writer for the Croydon Advertiser was no doubt also warned by the national Express tabloid newspaper, which has done fine coverage of Todd Bentley. Most recently, last December, their story on his first visit to Britain in years ran with the headline “Beware of the tattoo preacher

The newspaper had also written critically on Bentley before this so hopefully a bit of a meme has been created in the English press.

Interesting note at the end of the story. The Croydon conference center that Todd has rented for his meetings is owned by a local church, Folly’s End Community Fellowship. Bentley is listing the church as a co-host of the meetings, the story reports, but the pastor of the church is paraphrased as taking pains to note that they merely hired out the facilities to Bentley and nothing more.

The church has “nothing to do with the event”. Thus the church’s name might prove to be prophetic, one could say.