Monday, July 28, 2014

Two of the most scary video soundbites that I have recently heard

{Posted at Bene Diction Blogs On July 7, 2014)

It takes some doing for Todd Bentley or a friend/supporter of his to leave me a bit gobsmacked by something they say.

Let's turn a last time to Todd Bentley's appearance on the History TV Canada program Miracles Decoded June 1, 2 and 4

A couple of soundbites contained in the Todd Bentley segment of that episode of Miracles Decoded are a bit unnerving, to say the least. I'll try to save the relevant clips on YouTube, but in case they disappear, I'll type them out.

Todd Bentley says something unnerving at 35:15 of the show.">

He says this:

"I can't expect people just to accept that what I say and do is real. People need to have evidence and they need to have science. They need to have verification and we're good with that."

Frankly Todd, you don't act like it. I'll explain...

1. Thanks to the YouTube poster who saved and annotated this clip from the ABC Nightline profile of Todd Bentley during the Lakeland Revival.

Todd lies about praying for a little boy with Spina Bifida Todd lies about whether he said onstage, and on God TV, that the boy was healed. Moreover, Todd tries to argue that he boy had faith for healing. He had nothing really to do with it if you're holding him accountable for it. Shortly after the boy was healed, he still had spina Bifida according to his Mom.

If Todd is "good with" verification, why did he lave it for ABC News to do?

Did he explain what happened to the boy on the Lakeland stage? I'd bet dollars for doughnuts he didn't.

2. And then there is the noted World magazine article which noted that people that Todd Bentley's ministry proclaimed were healed died shortly after Lakeland of what they had been healed of.

If you're "good with" verification, why did World magazine do this and not you, Todd Bentley?

Accountability for what you do doesn't end once the person leaves your stage.

3. Todd Bentley addressed the question of whether he brought people back from the dead in a May 2010 video distributed by his mentor Rick Joyner.

Unfortunately the video is now behind a subscriber wall, but fortunately I quoted it at some length in this post.

Bentley appears to be quoting some kind of report about the 22 people who came back from the dead as of 2010--down from 31, I note at Lakeland.

We still don't know who did the report. No names so we can ask this or these doctor(s) directly.

Bentley, as far as I know, has never released this report. He has just quoted it once in this video. Allegedly.

I noted that the only thing the report's experts were willing to do was commit to possible resuscitations, not resurrections.

As I noted back then:
Todd Bentley is hoping that you don’t listen carefully, as resuscitation doesn’t mean resurrection. A Princeton University online dictionary offers a very interesting definition for our purpose: (n) resuscitation (the act of reviving a person and returning them to consciousness) "although he was apparently drowned, resuscitation was accomplished by artificial respiration" I’ll bet that these two doctors and their report, commissioned by Todd Bentley and his friends, will never see the light of day. Doctors X and Y are playing it very safe. I’ll bet dollars for doughnuts that they don’t use the exact phrase “miraculous resuscitations”. I’ll bet it is “resuscitations”. It could refer to a miracle, but the doctors are playing it safe. “This person was apparently unconscious and is now conscious. We do not know why,” is probably a layman’s explanation of what they are trying to say. And Todd Bentley takes it and runs with it, swaddling what the doctors were willing to say in “back from the dead” verbiage.

Todd Bentley says he is "good with" verification so that you will think that he is. He says it, must be true. But there is evidence he is not.

Release the doctor's report, Bentley. Unedited, with the names and contact information for the doctors.

The second one is where Summer M. Cottam comments on her Mom's "healing" with a presumed assist by Todd Bentley.

At the 57:00 mark of the show, she says:">

"I mean, it doesn't matter if it is true or not that she was healed by God. No matter what she was healed...however it came about. It can't be wrong or right."

Now, back in the days of the Apostles, healings--as part of signs and wonders--were intended to back up the preaching of the Gospel.

If we presume that this is a true healing, Summer has missed the central point of what has happened. And it is completely Todd Bentley's fault. A glaring fault of how he does ministry.

Anyone presumably healed should absolutely walk away from that with several facts. Onlookers too.

1. Jesus (or "God") must get credit for what happens, especially if it is good. Summer should know that "God" is to be praised. She should know that it is credited to Him, and that it was Him who is responsible.

Bentley does not talk enough about Jesus in his meetings,if those who are blessed in this way can be unclear.

Jesus being presumably responsible for the healing should have been drilled into Summer`s head again and again and again. She could have tried to figure out what happened, as she does here, but she should be able to recite why and how this happened as shared and taught from the front, even if she disagrees with it.
2. A miracle should lead to the preaching of the Gospel. Jesus did something even better for you, and now that we have your grateful attention...

3. A healing being either "wrong or right" addresses what the will of God in this case. Summer should not be led to think of this big question, when Todd Bentley as a non-cessationist charismatic, should properly believe that a healing leads to the preaching of the Gospel.

But when you have a bit of a show on your hands, some things have to be cut for time. Unfortunately.

Todd Bentley on History Channel Canada

[Posted at Bene Diction Blogs on July 4, 1014

(My main post on Todd Bentley's appearance on History TV Canada June 1, 2 and 4.)

Todd Bentley, the noted faith-healing Canadian evangelist, was featured in a History TV Canada program in early June.

The second episode ever of Miracles Decoded, which featured Bentley along with the late Padre Pio and what the show describes as the "white witches" of Poland.

Not that it wasn't a useful introduction to faith healing, which aired June 1, 2 and 4 for viewers across all of Canada. It was. But the wrinkle is this specific man who was featured. Todd Bentley, a native British Columbian now living and ministering in the US, who is in some ways is not typical, even of faith healers.

It would help viewers to have Bentley put into context. Once over lightly may mislead. So, what follows is a brief analysis of that episode for those who were unable to see it.

The Reno Outpouring site has pictures of the "History Channel" cameras at Bentley's visit to the church in 2013. This probably means that Bentley was interviewed at that time for this episode. Others featured in the show may have been interviewed at that time as well. But the various "experts" are filmed on their own.<.br>
That doesn't discount the possibility that a camera was sent down early *this* year to do interviews and re-enactments. So, if I make a reference to "2014" it is to this obvious follow up work.

Throughout the how, there are references to "now" or "today", so History Tv Canada was working on the assumption that things would carry on without change up until when the program aired.

I think that most of my readers missed the show, so here is my report on it, in some detail.

Actually Bentley was supposed to appear on the very first episode of Miracles Decoded the Sunday before. An ad with Bentley aired as late as 3 hours before the premiere of the show. Evidently it was pulled at the very last second, as that promo aired all that week.

Last second editing? Who knows?

Miracles Decoded is kind of a catch all show on the miraculous. This episode also had sections on Padre Pio and the "white witches" of Poland. The part on Todd Bentley, interspersed throughout the show, is all I will be writing about. [Time notations, such as 28:15, are cued from the start of this episode.]

The section on Bentley starts the show. He is filmed in Reno, Nevada. The narrator [0:41] says in a voice-over: "can Todd heal the sick or is he just a travelling showman?"

Now Pastor Eric Moen, Bentley's friend and a sympathetic expert.
Eric Moen, pastor of the River Rock Christian Fellowship, has been trying to get the Reno Outpouring going for several years.

Had the producers done a little research on Moen, perhaps they may have thought he may be not the best expert on Bentley. He may have an ulterior motive in speaking favourably of Bentley. (His opinions may well be valid and helpful, but some background may also help.

To briefly summarize, Moen is a self-described "friend" of Bentley's, who has ministered with him overseas. That is all right, but Bentley and Moen collaborate on what is likely a failed prophetic word--predicting the future wrongly--might hve been interesting to mention.

Also, I wonder--if the History TV Canada producers had known that Moen and Bentley in the past had collaborated on a "revival" in the past at a time that Todd Bentley was pitching the idea of a reality show to the Discovery Channel--would they fear that they were being played? Here's my audition tape for the show I want to do with you, it aired on History TV Canada as part of their show...

We do know that Bentley has recently acquired a little ministry complex with broadcasting facilities. Home every night and people travel to you to be on the "revival" show.

[An earlier post on what he obtained is here:
Following up on the first episode, the producers group Bentley with Padre Pio of the '60s, and the "white witch' whisperers of Poland. should be quite a how. All three segments are interspersed throughout the program, but I will only be discussing Bentley.

A caution before I get in to the program proper.

This is a "re-enactment" type of reality show. Unlike news, which would have, say, live footage of gunmen robbing a bank and a brave security guard stopping them, they re-enact what happened using actors.

I have a friend who is an actor. He appeared on the program Untold Secrets of the ER. He played a doctor, even though he is neither a doctor nor the actual doctor involved in these events. He was dressed in hospital whites and said his lines and played his part. Now, what he was relating could have been accurate, but it also could have been tweaked to make for good television.

The reason that I mention this is that the producers of Miracles Decoded had a "plan B" in readiness in case Todd Bentley was unable, or didn't want to, appear in the show.

I found this as it was one of the first links on Google related on the program. You may find it here.

The site Showfax is a resource for actors. Ihe page linked to shows that Miracles Decoded *casting director* Larissa Mair was looking for people to *play* several people on the show if necessary. One of the roles offered is "Todd Bentley".

If you were and actor with $1 US on your credit card, you could apply to have the "Todd Bentley" side sent to you, so you could apply to play "Todd Bentley" on the show!

I'm not a faith healer, but I play one on TV.

Cooler minds prevailed, and that is the real Bentley on the program. No doubt Bentley is well known enough that they felt they needed him in person.

But let's note that they have an "actor in mind here. Todd Bentley, in parts of the show may have been coached and directed. Todd Bentley, however, is theatrical enough that it should have been easy for the director to get what they wanted.

One note though. The end credits for the show credit "Casting Director" Muir, a "casting associate" and a "background casting director". My guess is that at least in Bentley's segment, the real people--Moen for certain-- wanted to be in the show and be on camera.

But bet they may have been coached as needed.

And now into the program proper. Time notations are correlated to the time things are done or said on the show.

Todd Bentley is in Reno Nevada, at River Rock Christian Fellowship where Eric Moen is pastor. We are also introduced to him in this post here.

The narrator of the program ponders out loud whether "Can Todd heal the sick or is he just a travelling showman?"

At 2;08 Eric Moen introduces Bentley this way: "His persona is very loud, very charged. I think that God like to use people Todd because they challenge people's ideas of what a man of God should look like.

Dr. Karen Stollznow, author of the book God Bless America, is the first quoted expert.

Don't know if she's ever seen Bentley live, but at 2:22 she has an interesting take on him.

"Todd Bentley is a very likable guy. You want to go to his service then have a beer with him afterwards. He's just very friendly, very reasonable," she says.

The narrator then says that Todd is not merely "colourful", as people believe he can channel the "healing power of God." Cut to Todd being interviewed about how he started yelling "Bam!' and striking people to that end. Please note that this is something he says, not a nickname of his. He's never referenced himself as a name with "bam", and as someone who has followed him for 13 years, I know this for a fact.

Next is Crystal R. Innis, of the Reno Nevada area, who during the course of this show will share how she was "healed" by Todd in the past.

Although she's shown on TV, the program cuts to her daughter, Summer M. Cottam who says that her daughter who explains that due to her mom having an alcoholism problem, her mom developed "pancreatitis". The narrator says this disease is life-threatening, which Wikipedia seems to agree with. {It can causes organ failure, which snowballs.)

At 3:44 Summer says "I had the doctors tell me 'I don't know if she's going to make it...her organs are shutting down.'"

Then the narrator says that Bentley's ministry is "on the rise" and Moen argues that Bentley's ministry built up from "a few hundred people at a conference".
If viewers aren't wise, they could think that where Bentley is now in 2014, is the best situation he has ever been in. Not so, and they would think this due to inexact editing.
The Lakeland Revival of 2008 is well known to Christians, but much less so to the general public who would watch Miracles Decoded. Much simpler not to get into that, I know, but that is more honest. Do we want to imply that Bentley has built from success from success when he has flared across the sky and then crashed and burned at least once?

But the producers of Miracles Decoded DO know about Lakeland. You know Roy Petersen's feature documentary on the revival, Lakeland: The Movie? The Miracles Decoded people mention "Lakeland The Movie" by name in the credits for this episode. And if they had at least watched in, as their mention implies, they would have known of the fall of the revival as Petersen finished it *after* the revival's collapse!

There are many voiceovers in this program, with footage of Todd Bentley doing his thing. It seems to be all Reno footage, and interestingly tight angles are being used at the "Reno outpouring". Under 100 there for sure, I'd guess.

The other two segments are introduced, and the show returns to Todd Bentley at 20:55. The next expert, Prof. Irving Hexham, explains the background of Bentley's charismatic Christianity, and the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

At 21:48, Todd is interviewed on camera and says: "Some people might call us (?) a faith healer. I don't really like that label. I do pray for people in faith and we hear some amazing stories and testimonies of lives that are changed."

If Todd backs away from being a faith healer and says "stories" and not "news" or "accounts", that's a neat disclaimer. Please note.

Introducing Crystal Innis, who gives another testimony here:

The narrator of Miracles Decoded introduces her in a voiceover at 22:01. " 2010 Crystal was diagnosed with severe pancreatitis brought on by drug and alcohol abuse."

Innis is at last on screen and explains how her plight led her to cry out to God for help.

What follows is a feature for both Innis and Kimberly Gomez. Both were healed at the Reno Outpouring at some time, but there is no live real-time footage of them being "healed" back then. So,there will be re-enactments with a director who is used to actors and knows what looks good on TV, overseeing how they re-enact what happened.

Please note that back in 2010, when Todd Bentley was also at the Reno Outpouring and angling for his own TV reality show.

And thus, for both women, it alternates between a re-enactment of what happened back then (my guess is in 2010) and their interactions with Todd more recently. Much soft focus, tight shots, to make you think, if you don't look too closely, that this is live and real-time.

For example, at 22:15, Innis' voice-over narrates as we see a montage of a out of focus shot of an empty church, then Innis' legs walking forward, then a close up of her face, then a close up of Todd's mouth speaking into a mike, then a close up of her face, then a close up of her face and Todd lays a hand on her.

Then the narrator says:

"All of a sudden something happens that will change her life..."

Makes for dramatic TV even though it's gussied up a bit.

Narrator: "As Todd lays his hands on Crystal, something happens that will dramatically change her life."

On cue, Innis is dramatically slain in the spirit and falls down. Good thing the Holy Spirit can take a cue. Oh, you mean she falls backward on purpose for the camera?

Then a rabbit trail. Todd talks about a "flash of lightning" that happens just then, This is nicely debunked at another blog's post here, but Miracles Decoded instead shows a screenshot of the picture Bentley is talking about.

Unless Bentley is recycling an old trick of William Branham's?

"It was like a supernatural sign!" Bentley says of his photo.

The narrator carries on over footage of Innis worshipping in church, asking whether she was healed by the "power of God" or is there "another explanation".

Next expert up is Andrew Galloway, the noted Canadian "addictions therapist". His take is that anyone going up on stage is "open to the idea of change." Whatever works for you to kickstart your change is "great".

There's footage Of Innis worshipping happily at the "Reno Outpouring" recently, At the front, she says at 23;49, "iwas honestly and truly healed!"

Well and good, but as the Reno audience is cheering and clapping, and she has the mike in 2013 or 2014, she is talking about her healing in 2010. Innis may have clarified this, but it appears to have been edited out of the 2014 revival footage we are seeing her in.

Innis: "All of a sudden it felt like all this twisting and everything and I was like..."

Todd Bentley, standing alongside her: "Electricity?"

Innis: "Yes! And when I got up and I got in line, I was like "i want some more!"
Audience: "Yeah! Yeah! (clapping)"

Innis is then prayed for and is promptly slain in the Spirit. Innis remembering what happened to her in 2010? Or did something else that is new happen to her in Reno while the Miracles Decoded cameras were there? If so, why not develop what happened recently, so it van be examined carefully?

Or did she carefully talk about her 2010 healing in a way that led her audience to think this was happening now. If so, was this so Miracles Decoded could try to get footage of the Reno Outpouring audience reacting to a live "miracle"?

Maybe I'm slow on the uptake, but I was a little confused here.

Andrew Galloway follows up on his point: "I don't think it matters what we connect to, if it's God, great> You know, I tell clients if reading the Yellow Pages works for you, every morning for an hour keeps you sober...whatever it takes."
Br/>[My theologically conservative friends would give pause here that an evangelist's actions would be seen that way. Miracles in the days of Acts brought people to Christ, but now we have "Whatever works" being seen as the important thing.]

Back to Innis, who is still on the ground "slain" being covered by a blanket. At 24.18 though, the camera catches an offscreen Todd Bentley saying, "I love testimonies of healing!"

Was he talking about Innis? If so, which healing and when? Or did Todd Bentley have a hunch that sloppy editing might imply that Innis was being healed right then in 2014 in front of the Miracles Decoded cameras?

Matthew Baxter, a "paranormal and supernatural investigator" has a take on Bentley which is also a voice-over over some footage of Todd doing his theatrical ministry at the front.

Baxter says: "he is a combination of a circus ringleader and a drunken hillbilly and that's a good approach, toe be honest because he acts like he's the everyman, the normal guy that God chose, and if God can choose *him* to become a healer, I could have that connect with God as well."

Miracles Decoded leaves Bentley to address its other subjects in this episode.

But at 32:49, the program reintroduces Bentley in Reno by saying "Hundreds of people have come to this evangelical revival in search fo miracles."

Hundreds? The few shots of the Reno Outpouring that we see in this episode, show that the facility they use seats well less than a hundred. Perhaps around 75 would be my guess, but it's hard to tell
As they are showing Todd, there is another insight by Dr. Karen Stollznow, which starts as a voiceover, but then cuts to her on screen.
,br/Sollznow says,: "These [evangelists} are people where often their services are like rock concerts. You go along and they've got a band playing, or they've got a choir singing, people clapping and shouting and singing, and testifying and they're very emotional."

The narrator then pipes up with "The star attraction is one of the most popular faith healers in North America, Todd Bentley..."

One of the most popular? Really in a lasting sense? Lakeland made Bentley a "nine day wonder", as they used to call it in newspapers, but like a meteor, in my opinion, he flashed across the sky and disappeared in the minds of the general public. Thus Miracles Decoded felt a need to introduce Bentley from scratch.

Then, the program turns to Todd Bentley about to call out words of knowledge, which he does. Prof. Irving Wrexham then comes on screen to explain the Holy Spirit gift of "knowledge and how Todd Bentley would use "words of knowledge" at his meetings. (Assuming he actually does, I am sure Prof. Wrexham would probably add in a caveat.)

At 34:01, Bentley himself comes on to describe how he gets "pictures" or "visions" to help him with prayer for healing.

As Bentley is explaining this, however, we have a cut to footage of Todd Bentley sitting at a desk with a Bible open before him. His eyes are closed.

Bentley: "I'll see a woman's face..."

{A close-up of the side of Bentley's face, his eyes closed.)

Bentley: "...The colour of her dress...

(A close up of Bentley's pen-wielding hand writing in his Bible)

It then cuts to Todd being interviewed on screen: "Things in my body..."

I get the feeling that the director of Miracles Decoded wants me to think that Todd is quite pious.)

Bentley welcomes a man responding to a word about "kidney failure" Bentley prays and the man is "slain."

The narrator then makes amends for the above by asking if Bentley really hears from the Lord, or whether this is "just a trick".

Dr. Karen Stollznow. first in a voice-over and then on-screen, then has a fine insight.
Stollznow: "Faith healers use a technique known as 'shotgunning'. And that is when you've got a large audience and you're wanting to whittle down that audience to ond audience member..."/br>
The producers of the show cut off her thought right there in mid-argument. My guess is that she was going to say that he would start off with something broad and then narrow it down with more details. Would have liked to have heard it though.

In Bentley's defense, though, his Reno audience is probably less than a hundred, so were he to get a real "word" which is specific. shotgunning may not apply here.

Matthew Baxter, the next expert, has a different explanation which may apply in this case.

Baxter says: "If people are coming to a place for faith healing, he can spit out a couple of different ailments and there's going to be people in the audience who have those ailments...because he's got an audience of people with ailments that are looking to be healed."

Then, at 35:15, Todd Bentley says something that is so stunning I'm dealing with it in a separate post. He says that he doesn't expect people to "accept" that what he says or does is real.

Then, at 35:31, Kimberly Gomez, and he 2010 healing, is introduced.

I think she is in one of the photos of Todd Bentley's 2013 Reno visit here.

Gomez apparently does some teaching. She's shown at 35:39 worshipping and then it cuts of a re-enactment of her accident. We see her walking from the waist down, she falls, and then there is only a shot of her kegs prone on the ground. Then there is a shot of her using a walker.

At 35:40, Gomez starts to explain what happened to her, first in a voiceover and then on camera. She says this: "I had had a mild stroke and I collapsed and I did a great deal of damage to my ankle and I had pain that went all the way up my ankle [She touches her left leg]. And it went all the way up, almost all the way up to my knee and I was in constant pain...
The narrator says she was "unable to walk and facing the prospect of painful surgery." Yet the accompanying footage at 25;56 shows her using a walker. Properly this would be "unable to walk without support".

Then in a re-enactment, she is using a walker at church. She says that she was skeptical at first, but decided to give the Todd Bentley meeting a try. (She had her accident in 2003, so when was this. Had to be when Bentley was in town, but when this was is unspecified.)

At any rate, Gomez says she was "looking at nine surgeries down the road."

Miracles Decoded goes to commercials. After the commercials, the episode discusses the other subjects of the episode.

The subject of Todd Bentley returns at 51;24. Bentley is on camera saying "We believe in the supernatural, we believe in miracles."

Narrator: "In 2003, Kimberly Gomez fell and badly injured her leg. Doctors told her she would need a series of surgeries.."

Gomez relates how Bentley called everyone with problems being ambulatory up to the front, with an accompanying tight shot of her using a walker to get up to the front.. She appears to be at the "Reno Outpouring" site. The camera is tight on her, so I can't tell if this re-enactment was shot during a meeting there, or whether the building was empty.

She relates how Bentley asked her if Jesus "heals today". she decided to go for it and Bentley prayed for her. She decided to gently jump up a little to see what happened "and it didn't hurt". She says she jumped higher and then higher, weeping and crying tat Jesus had healed her. This is accompanied by re-enactment footage showing this.

Cut to Gomez at an actual Reno Outpouring meeting. This is a jump cut right after the re-enactment footage and if you aren't paying attention, you might think this happened at the same time. Did they interrupt a later Reno Outpouring service to re-enact what had happened before? If so, was the later Reno Outpouring audience misled to think this was all happening live, right at that moment?

At this real, later, meeting, Gomez is shown being "slain", she is then covered by a blanket, as she keeps talking in a voiceover.

Gomez says: "The presence of the Holy Spirit is so strong on him [Bentley] and you physically cannot stand up, and once you're a believer, your life is changed."

The program then turns to explaining why Bentley's meetings look as they do.

Prof. Irving Wrexham explains it like this: "When you got for the first time [to a meeting] they look really wild and absolutely crazy. But then one realizes after a time that they are not wild and they are not crazy. There is an order. When you watch him [Bentley] long enough, you begin to recognize the order. This says something about the way the human mind works. The human mind thinks it some sort of order, but it also seeks the divine."

I have a question. The experts in the show are quite thoughtful about Bentley, but I am wondering what they are basing their observations on? Di they see him live? On video? Did the producers debrief the experts about Bentley and ask them to offer general comments o charismatics, specifically faith healers. Nothing wrong with that, necessarily, but it might affect what they have to say.

Matthew Baxter at 53:42 is responding to a question.

He says: "That's the big question. Is it hypnosis or is it God?" As he says this, Bentley is how holding a hand out at the audience. Commercial.

After the commercial break, Karen Stollznow explains how everyone at these kind of meetings "has their own emotional reaction."

Todd Bentley, on camera immediately after, argues well, what else would you expect?

Todd Bentley at 57:57 says, "When I pray for people, I'm thinking how can there not be some kind of reaction when the God of the Universe is moving through you with healing virtue>" That means something is going to be driven out with force. It's like putting your finger is a light socket. There's going to be a reaction."

About these reactions. When you are on the spot, as it were, you're going to want to be the sort of person that God's power flows through. So, you are going to want to co-operate, for good or ill, with whatever is going on.

"But is this ecstasy really miraculous?" asks the narrator.

Karen Stollznow had what I think is a helpful explanation. She says at 57:20:

"People aren't faking their experiences. These are very real experiences. However they're--that doesn't make them miraculous. They are following the social codes of everyone else there in the congregation. I call this a bit of pious peer pressure. It's important for them to participate. If they don't, they're going to be shunned by their group, they're going to be looked down upon. They need to play a part. So, there's an element of role playing and hypnosis there, where people are in the suggestible state, and they're all playing along."

The narrator adds while there always be skeptics, "believers like Crystal and Kimberley have no doubt."

Crystal Innis: "He (Bentley is an awesome man of the Lord. He is truly anointed. Truly anointed.

However, her daughter Summer chimes in with an "it doesn't Mom is healed" type a comment that is so disturbing that Im giving it attention in another post.

Kimberly Gomez, however, seems to be on surer ground as footage plays of her jogging with I presume her husband and dog. One is to infer that she is okay.

Gomez says: "I think God has given him [Bentley] the anointing. Absolutely, I do 'cause I've seen it. I believe God has given him the anointing to perform miracles."

Matthew Baxter is the last expert to speak. He says: "Frauds have been proven. So far, the 'power of God' has not. So it really comes down to a matter of faith."

Todd Bentley is given the very last words in the show.

Bentley at 59:01, says:

I always say to my skeptics. 'It's okay to be a skeptic. Uh, come and be a skeptic. Yu have nothing to lose but your sickness."

Imagine what you are losing out because you don't believe, I would paraphrase this as. God won't heal you unless you believe. *Don't* believe in me. I double dog dare you.

In the end credits, Larissa Mair gets a credit in this episode. Along with a "Casting Associate" and a Backgrounds Casting Director.

When I did some Extra work, I worked as part of the "background" in a program. I was coached regarding what I should do and how I should move while the main actors did their thing.

So, there is the possibility that when the "Bentley at the Reno Outpouring" parts were shown, the service was directed for a few moments by an "assistant director" and not the Holy Spirit.

The show received Canadian production funding credits, so it's likely to be a Canadian production. Americans may or may not see it, which may disappoint Bentley, as the US is now his bread and butter.

People who live in glass houses shouldn't star in documentaries

(Posted at Bene Diction Blogs On July 3, 2014)

Big thanks to blogger Peter T. Chattaway at Patheos, who brings us

the latest news about Hillsong United

Next Easter, Warner Brothers will release Hillsong: Let Hope Rise, a documentary concentrating on the worship band part of this church movement. Chattaway tells us all about it.

Bene D has written quite extensively about Hillsong. Such as their controversial ties to an Australian treatment center"> center"

resulting fallout from that. How back in 2006. various bloggers in Australia

perceived that not all was quite right with the church

How Australians feared that

the church may have tried vote-stacking on the Australian Idol TV show.
Br>I remember first reading about
Tanta Levin at BDBO < at BDBO. In 2007, she wrote the book People Who Live in Glass Houses, published in Australia, giving her "with the bark off" perspective on feeling the need to leave Hillsong due to the problems she saw with the movement. I had to buy my copy of the book from a bookstore in Australia as it got relatively little attention in North America. People, like Bene D, who were following Hillsong, knew of the book, but the general public didn't seem to pick up on it. There was a small flurry of press attention in Australia when Levin's book came out including this interview on an Australian TV program. I'm reminded of the quote in several slightly different versions, attributed to several different people. I heard it as "A lie can get halfway around the world while truth is putting on its boots. People will see the happy-clappy documentary next year concentrating on the famed Hillsong music, and not look at the possible other side of the story, which you have to dig a bit to find.

Todd Bentley's first try to get a reality show, and the angel that missed the plane

(Posted at Bene Diction Blogs on June 25 2014)

{The first part of what will probably be a lengthy post on Todd Bentley's appearance on History TV Canada July 1, 2, and 4)

Did you know that the "Reno Outpouring featured on the recent episode of Miracles Decoded with Todd Bentley could have had its own TV reality show featuring Todd Bentley...back in 2010.

Would History TV Canada have smelled a rat had they known this when Bentley was filing with them? Pastor Eric Moen of the "Reno Outpouring calls himself a "friend" of evangelist Todd Bentley and that helped him get some time on the episode of Miracles Decoded devoted to Bentley this month.

But had they did a little more research, I wonder if History TV Canada would have let Moen on the show.

Back in 2010, when Todd Bentley was trying to bring his ministry back from the dead, he and Moen developed a working relationship.

I first noticed Bentley's work there when he tried to start a revival out of a local casino's facilities.

Moen's church, River Rock Christian Fellowship--at least at that time--had access to another facility, but chose to take space for Todd's revival at the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino.

I found this

ruefully amusing.

but something interesting developed there, although it wasn't the full blown revival that Bentley was hoping for.

On October 6, 2010, he sent out this tweet on his personal Twitter feed.
Br/>It read
posting a picture of himself being filmed by "Discovery Studios", which we posted in this post. It was captioned ""Discovery Studios trailer shoot for potential upcoming reality series."

(Shortly afterwards, Bentley spent time pressing the flesh with pastors in the Reno area. Evidently, he was

preparing the ground if the revival took off. Dousing potential fires and such. However, back in 2009, Bentley had said that it was precisely this networking that helped to kill the Lakeland Revival.

So we have Moen. Someone who, and whose church, swung behind Bentley to build up a revival in 2010 to hopefully get Bentley a TV show.

Forward to today. Did History TV Canada know of this previous try for a TV show in this very church in Reno Nevada? Were they told?  Did they do work that would lead them to find this out?

I can see a producer thinking "Heyyy...they are using this episode of Miracles Decoded to make an audition tape for the future..."

Can't blame History TV Canada for not finding this failed prophecy by Eric Moen though.
Back in July 2013, Moen was speaking at his church on "Awakening". (It was posted on YouTube July 7 2013 and it looks to have been put up promptly based on the context.)

It's on YouTube

In his introductory remarks, Moen recalls his trip to South Africa in May 2013.  Four minutes in, he says:
Ìn the first week of May, the Lord told me to go to South Africa to be with my friend Todd Bentley....While I was there Todd and I got to renew our friendship...'

At 4:38, he adds this:
"As I was getting ready to leave he [Todd] had a prophetic word for me, several prophetic words, but one of the key ones was he said 'The Lord is assigning an awakening angel to you to bring back to the United Sates when you go.' Now bear in mind when I was down there I was the only pastor that I know of from the US.... [Bentley said] 'I'm going to send an awakening angel home with you.'"

Moen, noting that some things had been predicted at the Bentley events in South Africa and appeared to come to pass 90 days later implied that Bentley's prediction about the awakening angel would come to pass in "the middle of August [2013]"

If you need another citation, at 8:17, Moen quotes Bentley as saying,"You're going home with the awakening angel from Zechariah 4:1."

I haven't heard of a revival centered on Moen's church in Reno. Had one happened, we would have likely heard of it.

The angel missed the plane?

So much for sneaking into B.C....

{Posted at Bene Diction Blogs On June 24, 2014]

If Todd Bentley had been hoping to sneak into Langley B.C., that might not be happening now.

Douglas Todd, the veteran religion reporter for The Vancouver Sun, has noticed that Todd Bentley has announced his plans to minister in B.C. this week, for the first time in five years--or since the collapse of the Lakeland Revival--this week.

He has a detailed post on his blog, which you may see here:

And thanks to him for the kind hat tip. :)

Saturday! In a steel cage! (Or Justin Peters on Todd Bentley)

{Posted at Bene Diction Blogs On June 17, 2014)
Expect lots of listeners for this (internet) CrossEncounters Radio episode. I'm hearing about it days before it is to air!

Tony Milano is scheduled to interview Justin Peters about his confrontation with Todd Bentley this Saturday. Eventually, it will be stored here on their website:

(Sorry about the headline. This reminds me of ads for All Star Wrestling when I was a kid. :) )

"I'm NOT praying for you" doesn't mean "Sometimes people don't get healed."

Posted at Bene Diction Blogs On June 16 2014

Justin Peters' confrontation with Todd Bentley, blogged about here a few days ago, appears to be  a story that "has legs" as we used to put it back in my old newsroom.

Latest on it is the Christian Post, which moves the story forward by Quoting extensively from a video that Bentley has just cited on his website. Lots of talk about people not being healed , no matter hat you try to do.

But sadly, this latest information helps to reveal that Todd Bentley hasn't thought out his theology. He doesn't act as if he believes it. So Justin Peters had to leave as he interfered with Todd Bentley's "show."

But as the headline writer at Christian Post noted, Bentley told Peters at about

0:25 of the video, Bentley says "I'm not giving you my anointing because I have nothing to give." Meaning that he wasn't going to pray for him.

The video shows Peters being taken away from a mike. Bentley makes no motion to pray for him.

Bentley saying that he has "nothing to give


denies God's omniscience and omnipotence. Surely Charismatics like Bentley believe that God can heal at any time, and is not limited by circumstance?

If it is up to God, why not give it a try? Faith like a "mustard seed", you know, especially for charismatics.

And besides, isn't the Todd Bentley show based on miracles, so much so that he can promise them in his ads? "Bait and switch" is for used car salesmen.

Rather "I'm NOT" giving my anointing, properly understood means he will not do it, or he can't do healings. I interpret this as '"won't" as he doesn't qualify "my anointing" at that moment.

If "anointings" can come and go, then Bentley needs to let people know up front and let them leave his meeting.

"I'm not going to give you my anointing" implies a sureness in order to encourage his audience. Implying a sureness you do not feel--as evidenced by his new video. It is a bit dishonest.

Todd Bentley sneaks back in to British Columbia

[Posted at Bene Diction Blogs on June 15, 2014]

Todd Bentley is making a quick visit to his native British Columbia, the first quietly public activity here, since the collapse of the Lakeland Revival.

He grew up on B.C.'s Sunshine Coast and started his evangelism in the province. [Which led British Columbia Report to think him newsworthy and interesting way back in 2001].

But with Lakeland, the media here is now a bit, a little hip to Bentley. Which is why he's coming back his way.

On June 25 2014 at 7 PM, he will be at Windword Church in the Vancouver suburb of Langley. That will be a public meeting for "restoration, healing and miracles". Todd will also be meeting with "coffee and fellowship" that same morning at 10 A.M.

The public meeting is being pitched to the "Fraser Valley', B.C.'s Bible Belt. Even when he lived in Abbotsford, Bentley would stay out in the Valley. Coming into Vancouver proper would be very rare for him.

Aha! Windword's senior pastor is Brent Borthwick! Back in August 2011, he was helpful in

the formal welcoming of Todd Bentley back into ministry..

Bill Johnson noted that, at least at that time, Borthwick was the pastor of Shonnah Bentley, Todd's starter wife.

Johnson wrote back then:
One of the more important contacts in this process has been with Brent Borthwick. He is Shonnah’s pastor. Brent is a trusted personal friend of mine and represents Todd’s ex-wife and kids with compassion and wisdom. He has spent time with Todd since his move to Morningstar and has affirmed that from his point of view, Todd is doing well. He also told me he was pleased at how much at peace Todd seemed to be. Brent’s perspective is important to me, for obvious reasons. He was also able to verify that Todd has taken care of Shonnah and the kids financially in an honorable way and continues to do so.

Expect Bentley to visit with Shonnah and his kids while he is in Langley.

Having Bentley here would incidentally be useful for Bantley in this way. Langley is about an hour away from Vancouver, so I would guess that unless they are very determined, no reporters or cameras will show up. Back at the time of Lakeland, Vancouver's dailies, the Sun and Province, didn't cover Bentley until those editors realized that they had a local "hook" to the story which obliged them to write on it too.]

Thanks to Wolf Tracks for noticing this for me, which is a notice of how quiet this is. I *live* in the Lower Mainland and the first I heard of this was on that blog.

Todd Bentley denies God's omnipresence?

Posted at Bene Diction Blogs On June 10, 2014]

One of the tenets of charismatic theological thinking is that the Holy Spirit may work today as He did in the days of the Apostles.

Unless you are at a Todd Bentley meeting, then all bets are off.
In Todd Bentley's confrontation with Justin Peters, Bentley says something odd at):25 of this video

that I suspect people will miss.

To get rid of Peters, he says "I'm not giving you my anointing because I have nothing to give."

Uh, Todd, aren't Christians indwelt by the Holy Spirit and always have something to give, even if it is the size of a "mustard seed".

People may fairly disagree about whether the Holy Spirit works today as He did in apostolic Times, but for Bentley to say that nothing can be done is theologically inaccurate and implies that the Holy Spirit is not present at all times and may act. (However you believe that he does.)

If anyone believes that the Holy Spirit is omnipresent it should be a charismatic like Todd Bentley.

He meant "I'm NOT praying for you!" and should have said as much.

Oh, you may say, Todd was having a bad day. But his ministry has the same problem, as shown by this e-mail featuring Todd' new wife Jessa

The June 9 "e-blast"is sent out by Fresh Fire, so assume it is how Todd Bentley wants to be represented:
TESTIMONY! Sue: On May 31st Hi could u please pray for my sister she has been told she has a fast moving cancer. Shes in intensive care, I'm scared. They dont know the source of the cancer. Its bad, I'm scared and I know God can heal but why doesn't he heal all? Jessa: Answers back during the service before ministry time I'll have Todd pray tonight "live" on the feed when the anointing is on him to pray!!! Sue : Oh thank u! That makes me cry, it means so much!

"I'll have him pray", full stop would be okay. But why does she have to wait for "the anointing" to be on Todd Bentley for something to happen. Five seconds before the anointing, the poor lady is out of luck?

Clearly, Todd Bentley wants an out when his prayers don't work. "I had chili cheese fries before the service, so I didn't have the anointing, just gas, when I prayed for you," he might say.


Do you recall when Peter and John were put on the spot in a similar way in the Scriptures?

"Silver and gold have I none..."

Justin Peters can't expect to leave a Todd Bentley meeting "walking and leaping and praising God" if Bentley is too annoyed to even try, can he?

Justin Peters and Todd Bentley, mano a mano

{Posted at Bene Diction Blogs On June 10 2014)

It was second time lucky for evangelist Todd Bentley as he appeared on the *second* episode of Miracles Decoded last week. I'm working on an indepth post on that, but for now there's another fuss about Todd Bentley

Todd Friel is the host of the theologically conservative radio program Wretched Radio [and the accompanying TV show Wretched TV]. Evangelist Justin Peters, who tends to be cessationist in his theology and suffers from cerebral palsy, has been occasionally featured on the Wretched shows. [He protests, however, that God can heal today. However He usually doesn't--"it is much more the exception than the rule. He does it, but it is not common."]

Peters snuck into a recent meeting held by Todd Bentley and had a friend videotape his encounter with Bentley. It's on YouTube

Bentley doesn't know Peters by sight, so Peters was able to get access to the mike. Peters cites Matthew 7 talking about "workers of iniquity."

Peters: "This man is a worker of iniquity."

Bentley: "Which man?" Peters: "You."
Bentley is quick on his feet, and does a bit of a buck and wing. He doesn't directly reply to what Peters says but argues that the passage Peters cites applies to people who don't know the Lord "in intimacy." That would apply to Bentley, Peters would have likely said to Bentley, if he wasn't being pulled away from the mike. (at 1:10)

Bentley didn't pray for Peters. At 0:25 he says "I'm not giving you my anointing because I have nothing to give."

Peters has since said that he was taken away by police, but that's not on the video.

Friel's programs will no doubt draw attention to Peters calling Bentley out. At the end of the Wreched Radio broadcast which I heard on June 9, he played the audio of the video and commented that Bentley never really addressed the question of whether Bentley himself was "a worker of iniquity".

Of course, we never expected that he would, did we?

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Tonight! Todd Bentley on History TV Canada! Or perhaps not!

[Posted st Bene Diction Blogs on May 26, 2014]
Canadian-born evangelist Todd Bentley will appear on the History TV Canada program "Miracles Decoded" June 1. Unless something happens as happened on May 25, when the episode Bentley was on was pulled from being broadcast, perhaps at the last second.

My Mom, who loves Canada's equivalent of the "History Channel", tipped me off about the program. [For American readers, History TV Canada is available across the country, and is the equivalent of being on nationwide TV up here.]

So, I was looking forward to watching the program on May 25 at 10 PM Pacific Time. Sometimes, however, Canadian networks mean 10 PM Eastern Time in such contests, so I had the channel on at 7 PM just in case. I was recording.

An episode of Pawn Stars was on, and then came the first commercial break, about 10 minutes in.

History TV Canada aired

this promo ad for Miracles Decoded at 10 PM my time:

As you see, Todd Bentley is all over this ad. Please note that the episode with Todd Bentley was certainly planned to be the first episode of this new series. [The ad had been airing heavily on History TV Canada over the previous few days]. It uses GOD TV footage of the Lakeland Revival.

Starting at 0:28, the announcer says (emphasis mine) "Miracles Decoded! Series Premiere, tonight at 10, on History!

Came 10 PM, however another episode of Miracles Decoded aired as the "premiere episode" with a magical "Black Madonna" icon, an exorcist shaman from Mexico, and snake-handling churchgoers from Kentucky. No Todd Bentley at all, although towards the very end of the show--which reaired starting at 3 PM Pacific the next day) they had brief footage of Todd Bentley with a voiceover that he would appear on the next episode. Which will air June 1.

As I write right now, I have History TV Canada on. They've showed an ad for the next Miracles Decoded featuring footage of the "obscure" Todd Bentley.

Let's look forward to that, but in the meantime, look at History TV Canada's gaffe.

For some reason, Todd Bentley could not appear on History TV Canada On May 25. Perhaps they needed a release for certain footage that they had planned to use. Perhaps they needed to reedit the section of the program about Todd Bentley.

Would be interesting to have been a fly on the wall, don't you think?

"The Welcome to Mississauga!" New Testament

(Posted at Bene Diction Blogs On May 13 2014)

I come across interesting things in thrift stores, such as this New Testament.

Its title: The Greatest Is Love." Published in 1971 by the Canadian Home Bible League, as it then was, it's interesting for at least two reasons.

I wonder if there is anyone still at the Christian Reformed Church of Clarkson remembers back to 1971 when they were Clarkson Christian Reformed Church and handed out this and other copies of *this* New Testament

I say this, as it was specially commissioned by the church, with a breezy "Welcome to Mississauga!' blurb on the back inviting them to the church.

It's directed to people who are new to Canada, as it has pictures of Canada in two page sections throughout. I wonder if any of these specific testaments are distributed domestically still?

I live on the West Coast. I should not have ever seen and acquired this. But I am pleased, after all these years to remember this outreach tool.

As does Jesus.

Rick Joyner downsizes, Todd Bentley upsizes?

{Posted at Bene Diction Blogs on May 8, 2014)
Excited e-mail from Todd Bentley on the morning of May 8, as he is starting up his new-to-him revival center with a little conference this weekend, to be broadcast live over the internet.

The location is at Fort Mill S.C. on the same property as Morningstar. Stay at the Heritage International Ministries Retreat Center.

So, is Todd picking up Rick Joyner's mortgage for this particular piece of property? Is it a part of the old PTL property that Joyner doesn't need, which would mean that Joyner would be Bentley's landlord? (Or maybe things have really gone pear-shaped for Joyner and he sold out to someone who will let him him borrow his old facility back?)

Well, at least Bentley isn't going right to subscriber-only content. But donations will be needed to cover this weekend's events.

Todd and Jessa had mentioned wanting to have their own kids in addition to Todd's starter kids, so perhaps this is a model that will allow Todd to do that. Jessa puts her foot down--look you're not going to be on the road all the time.<.br>
This tends to be confirmed by a May 14 e-mail. Part of his latest hand out appeal is a request for money for huge video screens. Bentley's idea is that he will stay at home and the video screens will be set up in places like India for major crusades overseas. Bentley will stay home and preach at a camera, and the camera will send a signal overseas for the people there to react to.

"A revival [will] hit your land [Canada] that will be a hundred times more powerful than all historic revivals put together."

{Posted at Bene Diction Blogs On May 6, 2014]

Since April of 2013. Faytene Grasseschi has felt led to boost the idea of a great Canadian revival. One so great that it will spread worldwide until the "return of Jesus".

It's a bit of a meme among a certain group of charismatics. But although this idea seems to be something that is widely spoken out loud in an auditorium, finding the tracks of the idea, online, seems to be a bit of a task.

But we need to offer thanks in advance for Canadian evangelist/activist Faytene Grasseschi, who has done a nice jobs of reporting for us as part of a Halifax N.S. sermon that she preached back in April 2013 as part of the Miracles in the Maritimes. conference. [Sermons by her which are not behind subscriber walls are increasingly hard to find.]

But as I mentioned, we owe her thanks for passing on what she learned. In the sermon, she explained that her purpose was to encourage he listeners to be hopeful for revival, as she had been feeling led by God to spread the word about upcoming revival, according to several prophecies that she cites.

Not so much by Grasseschi herself. According to a printout I did off the net a few years ago, from 2007 to 2010, Faytene gathered and received prophetic words, grouped by year, that she had shared on the net. Alas, I did some poking around, also using the Internet Web Archive, but they have disappeared into the internet atmosphere.

That said, I was able to find one word from 2007 that was noted by a church in Iqualiut. Faytene's word is very nice, but hard to weigh unless you have been going to that church, or one in the region, and paying close attention for 7 years.

Nevertheless prophesying about large groups of people is not her forte. But, she wanted to encourage her audience and did a good job of reporting while doing so. We owe her thanks for that reason.

So, back to Faytene in April 2013. You may hear it at:

To begin, she cites several examples of what she believes is God speaking about the destiny of the whole nation of Canada that people believe they heard before the 1920s. An old e-mail or blog post does well in covering the same ground that she shares about. You may see it here

Turning to more modern times, Faytene combined two prophecies by Charles Price and Smith Wigglesworth.
Faytene says:
"....this was in the [19]20s [that they prophesied]... [They said].....There will be a revival that hits the nation of Canada in the mid 1900s and it will be so powerful that it will be literally not only impact Canada but it will go around the entire world. But after a few years that revival will be shot down because of mixture and because of strife, that kind of stuff...."

In other parts of her sermon, she cites the Latter Rain revival as significant, so I suspect that she thinks the Latter Rain revival is a fulfillment of this prophecy, especially given her note of the revival dying due to "mixture".,br>
The "Latter Rain", notes Anton Hein in his

entry on the subject, was quite problematic, mixing poor theology with whatever God may have been doing. The lasting effect of the Latter rain could perhaps be a "mixture."

So any repeat of Latter Rain could be a problem.

Faytene then turns to two prophecies, in the '20s. by Charles Price and Smith Wigglesworth. She said:
"[T} was in the 1920s...there will be a revival that hits tha nation of Canada in the mid 1900s and it will be so powerful that it will literally not only impact Canada, but it will go around the entire world. But after a few years that revival will be shut down because of mixture and because of strife, that kind of stuff... ...listen to this 'But after 50 years there will come another revival that will be many times more powerful than that revival... of the 50s....And it will hit the nation of Canada like a tidal wave. It will be much more powerful than the revival that hit in the middle of the century and it will not diminish until the return of Yeshua, until the return of Jesus."
1948 plus 50 is 1998. The revival that will usher in the return of Jesus seems overdue. William Seymour, leader of the Azusa Street revival, has a prophecy too, Faytene added. She said:
" [He said] that there would be a wave of revival that would hit 100 years after Azusa--I think he prophesied it between 1905 and 1910--that there would be a wave of revival that would hit that would be many times more powerful than anything the earth had seen before."

1910 plus 100 equals 2010. Since there's no qualifying "or thereabouts", may be firm then?

And how about predicting things to happen after you are long gone?

After briefly citing a prophecy by David Yonngi Cho, she return to the two prophecies while trying to encourage her audience, specifically their prediction of a revival around the middle of the 1900s:
"....Did that happen? It was called The Latter Rain Revival. Was it shut down after a few years? Absolutely. If God fulfilled the first part of the prophecy, do you think he's going to fulfil the entire thing? If we can find a people that are willing to say God...I am willing to believe that you can d0 it again a hundred times...

That assumes it was fulfilled the first time. What if they got the second part wrong, or that the first part is yet to be fulfilled with a wrong year?

And then on to Christian speaker Alastair Petrie. As noted back in 2006, his idea of a great upcoming revival is explained by him on the DVD From The River to the Ends of the Earth.

Faytene paraphrases him his way:
" [Petrie said] ...God, years ago, said to many saintly people in Canada, that the time would come--come on you guys--God years ago said to many saintly people in Canada. This was speaking of the prophecies that I've [Faytene] already reiterated--that the time would come when a revival would hit your land [Canada] that will be--are you tracking with me--that will be a hundred times more powerful than all historic revivals put together."
She then tries to use that to rally her audience.
"I just want you to dream with me for a second. A hundred times more powerful. Why not just honour God with our faith. I mean, why not? Why not dare to believe? What do we have to lose. Nothing right? Zero."

Then she turns to a prophetic word, by noted American charismatic evangelist Cindy Jacobs from 2004.?

What is interesting about this is that I gave it a try and I have been unable to find it online. Certainly this is the prophetic word that you would want to have in black and white so that people could be encouraged by it.

Or perhaps you might not want to, in case you get it wrong./br>
Faytene on Jacobs:
"Let me give you one more: Cindy Jacobs. I love this lady--she's awesome--she prayed us into The Cry Hollywood. She said God's going to change the economy of Canada. She prophesied this in 2004. I'm going to finish up with this...God is going to change the economy of Canada, says Cindy Jacobs. Now you may look at that and wonder 'How is that going to happen?' But God has a way for that to happen...and then she went on to say this 'one day Canada will be so blessed that she will lend to many nations and not borrow.' We're in that time. "There will be a day that the Canadian dollar will be more than the US dollar." Now that's mind boggling isn't it? No Is It. At the time it was..."

True, last year, the Canadian dollar was around par with the US dollar. But as I write a year later, according to a newspaper I have around my computer, a Canadian dollar is trading at a worth about 91 cents. My guess, although she did not say those exact words that Jacob meant that the Canadian dollar would be above par with the US dollar due to the context of what Faytene quotes her as saying.

Faytene continues:
"...But I'm setting this up for a reason. Revival takes takes lot of money. You're going to send relief all over the world [she paraphrases Jacobs as saying] Canada will be the poor, will be the breadbasket that will send out wheat and all kinds of relief across the nations. Again, it sounds like Paul Yonngi Cho's prophecy, but this is the part that I get most excited about. 'And this revival'--come on--'this revival will go to the ends of the earth. There will be a day, there will be a day where most of the people in Canada will be saved." Will be saved! There will be a day in Canada where most of the people will be saved! I think that God did the dollar thing just to build our faith for the second part of this...Is he going to do the first part of that prophecy and not complete it? Not if he finds a people of faith. God is looking for a landing pad..."

Thanks to Faytene for being a reporter for us. You'll note that none of these prophetic words are hers.

Like you, I would eagerly welcome a true, orthodox, revival in Canada.

But I have two concerns.

Are these words being weighed and tested, in our eagerness for revival?

Why do we have to trust the kindness of Faytene Grasseschi? Surely if these things are valid, they should be shouted from the housetops?

It should be easy to find these things in black and white, or online.

Unless there is a reason to keep these matters under wraps until people can try to bend them somehow into being fulfilled.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Two odd things about Bob Jones visiting from heaven

[Posted at Bene Diction Blogs On, April 24, 2014}
Bobby Conner believes that the late "prophet" Bob Jones visited him in a vision. I'd suggest there is reason to go "I dunno" in response. Perhaps even two.

Conner, using The Elijah List, excitedly shared his experience yesterday [April 23] by e-mail. You may read it here
He states that he is well aware that Jones has passed away. But he passes on what "Jones" has to say for encouragement, namely that there is a big revival coming. Conner grants the message great credence and validity.

Let's grant, for argument's sake. that Christians can have heaven-related experiences and should seek them. [I know that many do not agree. But, I hope to suggest that even by Conner's own standards, there is reason to wonder.]

Conner's description of "Jones" may puzzle. He writes (emphasis mine):
Bob simply stepped into my study. I did not need to open the window, he just walked right in. His appearance was incredible: He was firm and fit, and he was dressed in a wonderful, soft, beautiful, elegant, white robe past his waist down below his knees, like a long shirt. His hair was extremely white and glistening. I was amazed at his skin: It was without blemish, white and soft, and his smile was truly radiant and beautiful. His eyes were bigger than normal and extremely clear, sparkling like that of an excited child.
In various accounts where people say they have visited heaven, they say that the people therein are in the prime of their life, say in their late 20s or ealy 30s, in perfact phsyical shape. Colton Burpo, subject of Heaven Is For Real. met his great grandfather in heaven, an the great grandfather appeared to be around 30 years old in appearance.
It would be logical, if you discount Burpo, to assume that the "you" in heaven would be a perfect, adult "you".

Well then, why does "Jones" have "white" hair like the Man From Glad? If he still old in heaven?

I'm also reminded of the Biblical example of The Witch of Endor's encounter with Samuel, called back from the afterlife. Let"S assume The Bible means what it say and says what it means here.

Let's note 1 Samuel 28:15, where Samuel complains to Saul: “Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?”

Evidently Samuel was called away from a very pleasant place,wherever he was. He had been "disturbed" by being called away to answer a whiny, doomed king.

Let's compare that to the reaction of "Jones" in Conner's vision.
I was so excited to see my dear friend, I said, "I've been expecting this meeting! And looking forward to it." He quickly replied in an excited tone, "Me too!" His next words were, "You are doing fine!" And he said, placing both hands on his chest, "And I am doing wonderful."

Samuel, in the Biblical account, is perturbed. "Jones" is "looking forward" to being called away from the pleasures of heaven like a waiter at a diner with an eagerly awaited overdue order of cheeseburgers.

If people I know and love are in heaven, I'd understand if they were not bothered in order to cater to me.)

Todd Bentley: I need $10,000 Now!

{Posted at Bene Diction Blogs On April 23, 2014)
Well, perhaps it wasn't stated as bluntly as in my headline. But Todd Bentley put on the pressure a couple hours ago by e-mail. And he only has about 45 hours to go.

Is he paying a ransom to kidnappers? Owe 10 large to gangsters? No. he's trying to meet a deadline for a down payment on an "apostolic kingdom center" If he can come up with $10,000 US to meet the 48 hour deadline, he can have the facility, complete with 300 seat sanctuary.
Thus the e-mail tonight at He's quite excited about the possibilities.
Bentley, we may recall, has been under the mentoring of Rick Joyner since the collapse of Lakeland. Bentley writes in the e-mail that he has been waning for several years to have his own facility eith offices, etc., so he coud hold events in Charlotte, N.C. etc.

If Joyner's Morningstar holds the mortgage paper that Bentley would be assuming, that would be one thing. And that I do not know. But, after being helped by Morningstar for years, this facility would offer Bentley total defacto independence. Depending on what you think of Joyner's mentoring, that could be an ominous portent.

I think that a little of Bentley's excitement may be joy at the prospect of being able to snap his fingers at everyone, if he so chooses.
>Let's see how it plays out. Certainly, if he pulls it off, he will have to end his sabbatical to pay this mortgage. Whether he is ready or not to do so.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

hyperlink format San Antonio Express-News

Blogging to be light that week

{Posted at Bene Diction Blogs On April 23, 2014]
Reporters were watching The 700 Club broadcast on Monday, where Pat Robertson broke the news that a huge asteroid will hit the earth, and perhaps destroy it, as soon as next week.

The San Antonio Express-News is on the story this morning as I write:
“So, hey, just get ready,” Roberston said. “Get right. And stay right with the Lord… It could be next week, it could be 1,000 years from now. But nevertheless, we want to be ready whenever the Lord says, 'I'm wrapping it up, and it's time to come home.' ”

Robertson was careful to qualify, but the paper was savvy enough to notice that Robertson was promoting his book The End of The Age.

Also, john Hagee, who has been talking about the evil portents of an astrological coincidence of a series of "blood moons"--which started April 15--also has a new book out.

Who woulda thunk it?

Your "Nazis equal gays" candidate for Massachusetts governor

{Posted at Bene Diction Blogs on April 3 2014)

Today as I write, I heard, over the Internet, an independent candidate who is running for governor of Massachusetts speaking at an all-candidates meeting organized by the LGBT community

Scott Lively, a very conservative Christian activist, naturally tried to make the case that governments should try to be more neutral on homosexuality. His audience wasn't pleased.

Before I moved on, I was thinking "Where do I know the name 'Scott Lively' from?" Oh Right, he co-wrote The Pink Swastika. a book which argues that Nazism in Germany was rife with homosexuality.

Has someone put two and two together and realized that Lively is running for governor? Boston magazine was well ahead of the curve, on him when he was just thinking of running.

They report that Lively was in Uganda helping several leaders in Uganda who would go on to pass anti-gay legislation in that country. Interesting precedent should he, by some fluke, be elected.

I wonder if someone brought a copy of The Pink Swastika to the candidates meeting.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Fred Phelps dies

{Posted at Bene Dictio Blogs On March 20, 2014]

Fred_Phelps_10-29-2002 WikipediaFred Phelps, the former pastor (as he had recently been excommunicated by his extremist Westboro Baptist Church), died today.

The National Post,/br>

reports that he passed away in the wee hours of March 19-20. He was in a hospice and had been suffering from serious health problems recently.

No doubt you are well aware of the infamies of his ministry, but if not, Wikipedia has a useful introduction.
Phelps had been banned, along with other members of Westboro Baptist

from entering Canada in 2008 after announcing his plans to stage an anti-Canada protest at the funeral of a Winnipeg man.

Also, it was rediscovered last fall that

Fred Phelps graduated from Prairie Bible Institute.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The "Filipino-Canadian priest" who is front page news

{Posted at Bene Diction blogs On March 20, 2014)
The name of Father Fernando Suarez may be familiar to Catholics in the Toronto area. But Filipino community readers across Canada will certainly now know of him as he is the cover subject of The Filipino Post

Father Suarez, the Vancouver based free paper notes, made a bit of a splash in 2002 and 2003 when he was based in Ontario. He retains a Canadian-based non-profit charity, Mary Mother of the Poor. But he is probably best known, though, as the "Healing Priest", who conducts faith-healing masses that, according to the Filipino Post, bring cities in the Phillipines to "a standstill."

Suarez is still a priest in good standing in the Diocese of Ottawa but the Filipino Post notes that Suarez has been expelled from the Toronto Catholic Archdiocese, where Suarez was an associate priest at St. Timothy’s in North York in 2002 and 2003."

Suarez returned to the Philippines a few years ago, and gained clout in the Catholic Church, as well as politically and financially. The Post adds that this apparent power has raised "fear and apprehension."

He's front page news in the Philippines in the past couple weeks, as the English-language national newspaper there, The Philippine Daily Inquirer, has done a series of stories on Suarez. [The Filipino Post story has "the Inquirer" all over it, so it seems they are trying to do a "matcher" story following the Inquirer's work]

Fortunately, the Philippine Daily Inquirer has a website, so I can direct you to two of their recent stories. Here, Suarez, defends himself against criticism of 'how his Mary Mother of the Poor (MMP) Foundation has been handling its finances and to allegations that he is living a lavish lifestyle."

Another story reports on how the "so-called healing" priest's plans for a major building project in the Philippines was set aside by a local planning authority.Father Suarez had planned to include in the project a Marian shrine with a statue of Mary bigger than the Statue of Liberty.

The "Toronto Blessing" 20 years later

(Posted at Bene Diction Blogs on March 8, 2014)
Interesting article from Christianity Today in my inbox this morning. Time flies, and it has been 20 years since the revival broke out at the former Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship. Now, the magazine has sent journalist Lorna Dueck back to Catch The Fire (Toronto) to see if there is lasting fruit.
br/>You may find the article here. Some things that jumped out at me, which may jump out at you too...

1. Dueck writes that at the time, she felt compelled to allow herself to participate in what was going on. It made such an impact on her that she divides her spiritual life into before and after the events there.

2. James Beverley, author of a 1995 book on the "Toronto Blessing", is now giving qualified support of its lasting effects:

Nearly 20 years later, Beverley strikes a more appreciative tone, emphasizing the positive and lasting impacts of the revival. "Whatever the weaknesses are, they are more than compensated for by thousands and thousands of people having had tremendous encounters with God, receiving inner healings, and being renewed.".

Fair enough. But why does he say this? Beverley continues (emphasis mine):)

"....The whole thing is an indication of how much people want to feel close to God and have a sense of his presence. This does not excuse or explain everything.... To know it in detail, you would have to inspect story after story, but there is no doubt that the vast majority of people have been helped, and there have been radical conversion experiences and radical renewal in many lives."

Sitting on the other end of the country, I'd probably agree that some people may have been blessed.

But, assuming that Beverley is still in the Toronto area, well I am heartened by his frankness, although I find it a little dismaying.

You see in order to have a conclusive opinion, he'd have to do in depth interviewing and research.

And that would require work, and stuff.

3. In recent years, Dueck notes, Catch The Fire Toronto has aligned itself with the Revival Alliance. I recall the group from their efforts to clean up the crash-and burn of the Lakeland Revival, but Dueck doesn't seem to.

We may recall that towards the end of Lakeland, Revival Alliance pastors came to Lakeland to "commission" Todd Bentley and bring him under their authority.

At first, Bentley tried to say that he was not under their authority, but eventually felt a need to apologize to the Revival Alliance for some reason. The video of his rhetorical acrobatics is still on YouTube, and is gone into in the linked post.

So the Revival Alliance has a pronounced interest in people being able to grab the spotlight through spectacular works.

Thus their interest in Catch the Fire Toronto, as the Dueck article explains:

When asked about unorthodox elements or exaggerated claims of spiritual power among members of the Revival Alliance, Clark responded, "Our unity is not based on doctrinal agreement. Our unity is based on the experienced presence of God and how it renewed us and our commitment to a gospel of the kingdom."


No Oscars for Dominionists?

[Posted in Bene Diction Blogs On Feb. 26th, 2014)
In the run-up to the Oscars, you may have noted that a song in the film Alone Yet Not Alone was nominated for an Oscar this year.

It was though to be quite a feather in the caps of the filmmakers, all ostensibly devout Christians. So, Christians were dismayed when the nomination was recently rescinded by the Academy. The makers of the song had broken Academy rules in campaigning for their song among Academy members voting for songs.

There was a bit of hue and cry. Hollywood is biased against us Christians! This rule would never have been enforced this way against...! As you would expect.

But, I want to bring attention to this issue in order to cite Peter T. Chattaway of the Patheos website. His follow-up post on the disqualification of the song, I think perhaps in this case points to what Paul Harvey used to call, on this radio show, "The Rest Of The Story."

In a few years, it could explain a lot.

Peter chattaway, unlike pretty well everyone else I have seen on this subject so far, connects some dots for us.

As he briefly notes in his post, the makers of Alone Yet Not Alone, tend to be hard core Dominionists. He has links as well.

In one paragraph of his post, he notes that "the film appears to have been backed by far-right activists known as dominionists or reconstructionists". Moreover, the film was made by a now defunct company named Vision Forum. The former head of that firm, Doug Phillips, had a prominent told in Alone Yet Not Alone, along with two of his daughters. Phillips appears to have been now edited out of Alone Yet Not Alone, according to blogger Katie Botkin, who has lots of useful background on the film.

Sorry for doing a "matcher", but I wanted to take the opportunity to speculate a little.
What follows is a guess. Imagine for a moment that the Academy's leadership had only found out about the documented leanings of the filmmakers after the song had been nominated. A perfect storm happens. The song wins, Then the filmmakers get up on the Oscar stage and talk about something like "we're taking back the mountain of Hollywood so Jesus can come back!" So, there perhaps was incentive to strictly enforce an Academy rules regarding this song. And Academy leaders, I imagine, Looked up gratefully to heaven and said "thank you Jesus." If I am imagining well, then. you can't tell me there is no prayer in Hollywood.

Todd recycles

(Posted at Bene Diction Blogs on, Feb. 19, 2014)
A new e-mail may imply that Todd Bentley's sabbatical may start out to last at least a couple of months.

He's staring an e-mail series on "The Father's House", as I write. This is about a series of visions that he relates about intimacy with God.

He doesn't spell it out, but this is quite old. He's sharing the booklet The Father's House, which I am guessing is roughly 8-10 years old. (I have a copy of the booklet that I obtained back then and it was one of the first things on his "book table", if memory serves.) This online cite confirms that The Father's House is well before Lakeland.

Todd may keep on recycling old material to avoid lapsing into radio silence and having his friends forget about his ongoing needs. No harm in that, perhaps, but I suspect he may be coy about when these revelations were supposed to have happened.

Bob Jones dies

{Posted at Bene Diction Blogs On Feb. 17, 2014)
Charisma News is reporting that "prophet" Bob Jones passed away on Valentines Day.

In the Charisma piece. Rick Joyner is quoted as the expert on Jones, as the latter was closely connected to Morningstar in recent years.

Jones was prominent and instrumental in the "Kansas City Prophets".

Jones was occasionally noted for the vague sort of prophecies that could not be confirmed. In this prophecy about the 2040s and 2050s, for example. Jones could not be personally assessed for his prophetic gifting unless he had lived to be well over 100 years old.
br/>Let Us Reason noted an odd quote by Jones, in which Jones says that the Devil told him that if he would just stay away from fighting abortion and homosexuality, Satan would let Jones do all the "signs and wonders" he wanted to:

Jones relates his concern about the rise of abortion and homosexuality, and a conversation he had with a devil: “He told me the next time that I prophesied and told anybody about it, he would kill me. He said, 'If you knock that off we'll move back into all the signs and wonders you want to. You can heal people and you can prophesy day and night if you want to, if you leave these two subjects alone” (Mike Bickle, Bob Jones, Visions and Revelations, 1988, found in Vengeance is Ours by Al Dager)

He was removed from ministry for a time for having women take off their clothes to "stand naked before the Lord". Jones would then give them a "prophetic word".

Apologetics Index, which notes that Jones was a promoter of the "Latter Rain" and "Manifest Sons of God" theologies, has a fine rundown of Jones' aberrant tendencies on their website. This ApostasyWatch piece may also be of interest."

Baby Baby

{Posted at Bene Diction Blogs On, Feb. 18, 2014]
It may be of passing interest that Faytene Grasseschi, a regular subject here, is now letting on that she is pregnant on Facebook. She's now in her third trimester.

Congratulations and hope all goes well. Cue up the Amy Grant song.

"But hey, if she's gonna run off with another man, why not Jesus, huh?"

{posted at Bene Diction Blogs on January 29, 2014) One short clip from Nicolas Cage's upcoming remake of Left Behind has made it out on the Internet.
You can check it out here, if you like.

Canadian University Press plays to the grandstands

{Posted at Bene Diction Blogs on Jan. 18, 2018]
Please permit me to address a bit of a different topic for myself.

As an old student press hand back in the day, I was stunned to see something on the Internet yesterday. Something that has caused a bit of an Internet stir, so it merits brief mention. So I hope that Bene D will indulge.

It was my experience back in the day that it was usually students with progressive views who wanted to do the self-sacrificing work of being a student journalist. I would imagine it to be the same today. So, as the years went on, it made sense that I was never made an editor of the student newspaper I worked for.

Not to fault my friends. I made dear friends, some of whom I retain to this day. Stand up people with great hearts, who just think differently than I do.

I became the BC stringer for Canadian University Press, and at the 1990 CUP National conference, I lost an election to become the top editor for CUP, their National Bureau Chief. It wound up being all good, as during the next year that I would have been working in Ottawa, I found both my church and where I would work as a journalist.

I gather that in subsequent years, CUP has ambled along, only to find that as budgets are shrunk at student newspapers, a wire service like CUP is seen as an unnecessary frill.
Given the historical point of view of CUP, I was frankly amazed to see this, namely that the very conservative Sun News TV host Ezra Levant delivered the keynote address at the recent Canadian University Press conference in Edmonton.

Now, I like Ezra. I even blogged for his magazine, The Western Standard.
br/>But I have to ask CUP, at least on behalf of my old student press pals:

Are you insane?

Commenters on the Internet are wondering this too. Montreal Simon, a McGill Daily alum, was Flummoxed. A student journalist at the link went "Whaaa?".

Back in November, when the choice of Ezra, was announced, CUP found that it had to explain why. Their explanation is here
,br/>As a student journalist who became a conservative journalist, I'd like to make a couple of observations.

The first choice of CUP's who-should-we-ask canvas was Robyn Doolittle of the Toronto Star. Ezra came second. This should have said that CUPpies would have liked to hear a keynote from a somewhat liberal reporter known for her coverage of Rob Ford.
But CUP picked Ezra Levant. Now I like Ezra, and have heard him speak. But I think that most CUPpies would not be fans of his. Just a guess, looking at their preferred first choice for the keynote speech.

The organizer who helped pick Levant added that:
More importantly, Levant exemplifies a brand of journalism that is proving more relevant than ever. Politics and ideology are seeping into contemporary journalism and consumers are eating it up. It begs the question, what is considered journalism today? Or better yet, does objectivity still exist? How do politics factor in? Levant is one of Canada’s most recognizable partisan commentators and people are familiar with his work. We feel he’s highly suited to tackle these questions.
How could student journalists not already be savvy about this? I was, even before joining my student paper, was aware of related memes on the subject.

These memes are up to 40 years old. The progressive meme tends to be that corporate interests and big money bias the news.

I'm more familiar with the conservative meme that the news has a liberal bias. Having read "Hysteria 1964", which argues that there were pot shots taken at Barry Goldwater, and Edith Efron's "The News Twisters" before I started working for my student paper, I knew that these ideas dated back to the 1960s.

Ezra Levant, I'd say, believes in the conservative meme. His concerns that the "Media Party" has a pronounced liberal bias are a frequent feature of his show.

So, I could have predicted that what Eye On A Crazy Planet kindly notes for me would happen when Ezra Levant spoke at the CUP conference. He attacked what he saw as the liberal bias of the Canadian news media, so much so, per Eye....that he had angry delegates confronting him.

Who woulda thunk it?<.br>
Perhaps CUP thought that the Edmonton Sun would have covered Ezra's remarks? Doesn't seem to have happened.

I wonder if any CUPpies thought to report on it? I did a full page report on Mark Starowicz's remarks to a conference I attended, but I guess I was an odd bird.

A hat tip to my old student press pals. I was dismayed on their behalf. I'll get out a mop and bucket for their barf, if needs be. :)

Big News About to break with Todd Bentley?

[Posted at Bene Diction Blogs on Feb. 1, 2014]
I should have first realized that something may have been about to break in regards to Todd Bentley when I saw this in my inbox this morning.

He's selling everything on his own Sound of Fire website--not fresh Fire--for 50 per cent off for the month of February.

It's priced to move! As confirmed by this notice on Facebook.
Sound of Fire USA  
And so is Todd? Seems he needs access to potential money that only he himself would have access to. And he needs it NOW.

At the very least, he needs a quick influx of cash to keep the wolf from the door of his ministry, as Todd Bentley is taking another "sabbatical."

I wonder if he is almost about to sound like the home furnishings stores in Seattle Washington which were always "going out of business", which were parodied to good effect on the old local Almost Live! TV comedy show.

Also, both Todd and Jessa are withdrawing from ministry for a while, following the cancellation of his trip to Germany and Austria in November.

In a January 17 e-mail and posting on the Fresh Fire USA site, Todd states:
I did end up in the hospital where there were several tests done to find the causes of the shortness of breath, racing heart, pain in my chest, and other physical symptoms. I am still working with doctors toward a full recovery. In addition, I have been experiencing anxiety and panic attacks which add to the physical challenge. The bigger question is getting to the root of what is causing these issues. With much prayer and thought, this has led me and our team to believe that for a season, it would be best to take a continued break to recover fully physically, and spiritually, using time to pray, and get closer to the Lord. I've come to realize that there are some areas in my character that still need work. During the time of these physical challenges there were things revealed in my life that were sinful, the result of still having cracks in my foundation. These unresolved personal issues are being addressed, is being corrected, and now in the process of being healed before I return to ministry. I will be working to pursue deeper inner healing to be sure that there is nothing further in me that could be a snare and hinder me from living strong and victoriously. As many of you know, I've had two burnouts and health challenges in the past. This time, I want to be sure that I make the priority my health, my family, and walking fully in the light before the Lord in everything. This process will be done with doctors, intense counseling, and working with a trainer in the gym on my cardio and nutrition.

The big observation would be that "Wasn't this all fixed by the work Todd did with Rick Joyner?" During the Joyner restoration, he (Joyner) alluded to not wanting to do this restoration again if he could avoid it.

There's something in the statement from Jessa as well, who alludes to her and Todd wanting to have their own children.

Jessa states:
A Word from Jessa: I (Jessa) am so thankful for everything the Lord has done last year. Being apart of all the amazing fruit of salvations, healings, and miracles has caused me to be so blessed and honored by the Lord. I have realized in this time that I too need a break to search my heart and deal with some emotional conflicts about ministry, having a family of my own, and pressures of full time ministry. I also feel the need to fully recover from disappointment from the difficult season that began 5 years ago. Please understand that I am not in any way suggesting that Todd and I are having any marital problems. Todd and I are very happy, in love, and looking forward to preparing for a family. I will be supporting Todd in this season, as he is supporting me, to be refreshed in the Lord and come out of this season stronger and continue on in the ministry.

Two observations:

We don't want to read anything into Jessa emphasizing that all is well in their marriage, but the Shakespeare quote "The lady doth protest too much, methinks" comes to mind. Sorry.

Secondly, the issue Of Jessa's "disappointment" is interesting. We recall that Jessa and Todd wound up being on the way to a relationship during the Lakeland Revival in 2008. She mentions "five years" of disappointment, which would imply that she was uneasy with Todd not moving towards "one two, many Lakelands".

As has been mentioned, I have been following Todd Bentley for the past 13 years now, so it makes sense to me that Todd now has sort of returned to the level of prominence that he had when he was operating Fresh Fire Ministries out of Abbotsford, British Columbia. He would do overseas crusades and travel around the US and Canada, much as he does now. Except that now he doesn't minister around Vancouver BC and its suburbs anymore(where his starter children live). Also, he can now bill himself as "the Lakeland guy" with reflected fame from that.

So Jessa might be having to come to terms with being involved with a mid-level ministry. Todd has done this before and is used to it. Jessa is not. She might be having to realize that Lakeland was a "perfect storm" that made Todd merely a "nine-day wonder", to use an old newspaper term. What if the "good parts" of Lakeland winds up to be the highlight of Todd's ministry life? The prospect of tagging along as Todd goes from little church to little church might seem daunting.

A follow-up e-mail and announcement on January 23 notes that although Todd and Jessa are "on sabbatical", Fresh Fire USA is still hard at work, with their main priority for now being building a "prayer support network."

They write:

....Though Todd and Jessa are on a sabbatical, Fresh Fire Ministries continues in its operations. The Fresh Fire team and staff are still receiving prayer requests, answering phone calls and emails, and are available for any questions you may have about your continued financial support or how you may help Todd and Jessa during this season.....

Todd Bentley won't be on the road gathering donations, thus the "fire sale" announced this morning.

But everything at the Fresh Fire USA ministry is in a holding pattern, circling the airport and waiting to land.

For now.