Saturday, August 16, 2008

Critics of Lakeland 'Revival' Vindicated

Our deep suspicion of Todd Bentley has been further vindicated by the news that this supposed 'Man of God' is to separate from his wife. The false revival at Lakeland in Florida is over, and as the post mortem examination begins, the great question that Charismatics are asking is: "How could we be so gullible?" Here is a good example:

"Why did God TV tell people that “any criticism of Todd Bentley is demonic”?

This ridiculous statement was actually made on one of God TV’s pre-shows. In fact, the network’s hosts also warned listeners that if they listened to criticism of Bentley, they could lose their healings.

This is cultic manipulation at its worst. The Bible tells us that the Bereans were noble believers because they studied the Scriptures daily “to see whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11, NASB). Yet in the case of Lakeland, honest intellectual inquiry was viewed as a sign of weakness. People were expected to jump first and then open their eyes.

Just because we believe in the power of the Holy Spirit does not mean we check our brains at the church door. We are commanded to test the spirits. Jesus wants us to love Him with our hearts and our minds.

Because of the Lakeland scandal, there may be large numbers of people who feel they’ve been burned by Bentley. Some may give up on church and join the growing ranks of bitter, disenfranchised Christians. Others may suffer total spiritual shipwreck. This could have been avoided if leaders had been more vocal about their objections and urged people to evaluate spiritual experiences through the filter of God’s Word."


We have been deeply suspicious of the movement since we first heard of Bentley's claims, since we tend to treat claims of revival with caution. An examination of Bentley's teaching and behaviour convinced us that this was not the real thing, and so when Justin Peters reported that Lakeland 'healings' were nothing of the kind, we merely nodded and prayed for those who were thus deceived. And it wasn't only people in the Charismatic churches. God willing, this coming Lord's Day we shall be attending the chapel where we first heard of Todd Bentley and the goings-on in Lakeland. We may have some words of advice for friends.

John Piper has a good article on the subject. His advice to test claims of Revival with doctrine must be heeded.

While we applaud the editors of Charisma magazine, we have to ask, why did it take Bentley's marriage breaking down for them to print a critique of the man that was true whether or not he separated from his wife?

Let us also praise God that He has taken this false prophet out of the way. And let us pray that Bentley will repent of his spiritual wickedness.

We were alerted to these articles by Rhett of Rhett's Rants.

2 comments:

Lorikate said...

"While we applaud the editors of Charisma magazine, we have to ask, why did it take Bentley's marriage breaking down for them to print a critique of the man that was true whether or not he separated from his wife?"

Because everyone's busy covering their tracks and washing their hands. Sadly enough, many are still defending him. You'd think this would wake people up, but I guess the blind are still busy leading the blind.

Highland Host said...

Lorikate, you've hit the nail right on the head.

Hypocrisy sickens me, and when I see 'Charisma' magazine being all timid over Bentley's excesses until his marital integrity is questioned, I feel distinctly queasy.