Friday, April 26, 2013

Well, Todd, you shouldn't really complain when people assume you are truthful

[Posted at Bene Diction Blogs On August 20, 2013]

Editors at Canadian newspapers think that the British MP's efforts to ban Todd Bentley from entering the United Kingdom later this month to evangelize are newsworthy too.

The Daily Express, of the British press, has been first and loudest in worrying about Bentley, but as noted here, the Daily Mail newspaper has chimed in as well. They quoted an MP from Croydon England, where Bentley plans to go, who wrote Britain's Home Secretary to ask that Bentley be banned from entering.

All this was because of a sermon from Lakeland--which has been saved online. where Bentley told some fabulous tales of times that he had healed people by striking them violently. I'm surprised that they didn't go right to videos like this famous one where he knees a cancer victim in the stomach {"I don't do this very often!" "Why did the preacher just knee you in the gut"]

You'd think that "Look at him actually striking people instead of merely talking about it,' would be pretty damning. Perhaps they just don't know about it.

Since then, the local newspaper in Croydon, England has done a follow-up story on what the Labour MP is trying to do.

As Bentley plans to minister at a church in County Armagh, N. Ireland short after his time in Croydon, Northern Ireland papers have picked up the Violent-preacher-is coming-here idea for their own stories. Belfast's News Leader did a story quoting a local Presbyterian minister who was worried about Bentley's ways of "healing". Meanwhile the Irish Sun--local edition of Britain's Sun tabloid-- did their own story, which quotes who I suspect might be a local organizer for Bentley's event there. He's trying to argue that God has used Bentley "in a certain way for divine healing" while the Irish Sun reporters are clearly aghast.

Yesterday, August 19, I was surprised to see a story on Bentley on Page A24 of The Province newspaper. The story, by Randy Boswell of Postmedia News, is a little different in the online version, but essentially the same as "Brit MP wants Canadian preacher blocked" that ran in the newsprint edition.

While he is not really an "Abbotsford [B.C.] preacher" any more, having moved to the U.S., his Canadian--specifically B.C.--background gives a strong hook for the story. As he was a little know out this way even before Lakeland, the Vancouver Sun picked up this particular story too, at least in the newspaper's website. PostMedia, I am guessing, is the new version of Southam News, so it could have been picked up elsewhere in Canadian dailies too.

The story quotes the letter from Labour MP Malcolm Wicks asking for the ban, goes into some background on Bentley and why people see him as controversial. Bentley himself isn't talking any more, but, laudably, the press has decided that this will not deter them. An "unnamed man" at Bentley's US ministry base is quoted deep in the story that the meetings in England will take place. "Controversial things--they are what they are," he said to the reporter.

Bentley has not always been so reticent on this controversy.

He had told The Daily Mail "Kicking people in the face is not a practice of our ministry and I do not see this happening in the UK."

It may not be something that 'is" practiced, but what people are seeing and reacting to is that it "was" practiced. They could even see the video that I link to above where "god" overwhelms you will and "makes" you knee the cancer victim.

Bentley can't say "I've never done that" as there is video evidence that he has. Also, an "I was making all this up" will lead the wise to check out what else he has made up. The "healed" people who went on to die of their sicknesses will no doubt come up. Those brought back from the dead that some unnamed doctors refused to define as coming back from the dead may as well.

The Christian Post's story on all this --Thanks to them--records an interesting exchange that I would like to quote:
When asked by a Twitter user about the Daily Mail's report this week that claims he "'cures' cancer by kicking people in the face," Bentley responded: "This story is truly a huge media sensation. It is so wrong and the furthest thing from who we are and how we minister. Sad!"

Further questioned by others concerned by the claims of violence, the minister, while calling the recent reports "misleading," acknowledged that he has kicked a cancer-stricken woman in the face. He added however, that his Fresh Fire USA ministry no longer operates that way.

"UK friends and partners. Please do not believe everything you read in the Media. It is a true misleading report. Hope to see you soon," Bentley wrote at one point.

Confronted with a video clip of him claiming that the "power of God" wasn't moving because he had not kicked the woman in the face, Bentley replied, "It happened 12 years ago. She was healed if (you) saw the unedited clip. This was one incident and not how we operate at all."

Some comments: One incident? Bentley mentions several in that Lakeland sermon, which would reasonably lead you to understand that it is not unknown that such things can happen. Just ask the cancer victim he kneed on video. That makes two incidents.

If this had been pieced together from dozens of videos, Bentley could claim that it could be "misleading" but he apparently spent much of an entire evening talking about this one subject--my wacky ministry.

If he wants to dwell on it, and was not compelled to talk at length about it--can anyone be fairly blamed for giving this issue now the significance he gave it them?

Where is Bentley confessing that he blew these stories out of proportion, or made them up, if that is the case?

Where is Bentley's fervent and public repentance and apology for even talking about such things? If that is not who he is now, shouldn't he get on this quickly.

Bentley should be telling every reporter who asks how wrong he was, if he believes that. But he may not.

A promise that in order not to distract, he will never touch anyone when praying for them again, who totally wipe out fears that he will hurt someone while praying for them in Britain. Would he promise this?

Perhaps he needs to appeal to those curiousity seekers--thinking anything can happen, didn't Bentley say so himself--wondering if Bentley has something amazingly theatrical up his sleeve.

Step right up. Hurry, hurry, hurry, see the evangelist kick a woman in the head...

Nothing will happen, I am sure. But people coming to see him need not be told that...