Monday, August 18, 2008

Further thoughts on the Todd Bentley Affair

While we are glad that Todd Bentley's false revival, that has devastated hundreds, maybe thousands who were falsely told that they had been healed from life-threatening diseases and crippling conditions, we are deeply concerned that what is causing many people to distance themselves from Bentley now is in fact the false prophet's separation from his wife. Only now are these leaders in the Charismatic movement coming out and speaking about concerns about Bentley's doctrine and behaviour that ought to have been apparent at least from June, if not May. J. Lee Grady, who in April was declaring that this was a "Holy Ghost outbreak", is now bemoaning the fact that so many were taken in by Bentley. Thankfully he has been asking questions since May, but oh how timidly he began, even when Bentley's violent techniques became apparent! It seems that the assumption was that this was a genuine work of the Holy Spirit. In May he wrote:
"But I would be dishonest if I told you that I wholeheartedly embraced what I saw in Lakeland. Something disturbed me, but I kept my mouth shut for three weeks while I prayed, got counsel from respected ministry leaders and searched my heart to make sure I was not harboring a religious spirit. The last thing we need today is more mean-spirited heresy hunters blasting other Christians."
Now, apart from the fact that 'religious' is a perfectly good word, if Mr. Grady had these concerns from the beginning, why did he not just say nothing about the events in Lakeland for those three weeks, instead of immediately calling it a "Holy Ghost outbreak"? For weeks he was one of those encouraging others to get on the Bentley bandwagon, but now he is declaring that the whole thing was wildfire. What has changed? Bentley has separated from his wife. No new false teaching from the Lakeland platform, no new false prophecy. We have always based our criticism of Bentley on his public behaviour, and we have not changed what we are saying.

We hope that men like Grady will be more wary in future, but we really have no confidence that they will not be taken in by the next false revival. And please note, despite statements to the contrary, no organic condition has been certified as healed at Lakeland.

Others have expressed similar opinions. See here, and here.

33 comments:

Lorikate said...

Exactly. I get a lot of nonsense about the fact that I'm judging him b/c of his divorce/separation. I'm not. I'm judging his "fruits" from BEFORE his separation. I've thought he was a fraud from the beginning. It's sad that in some people's eyes, this event has given them more reason to defend him...not to question him.

Highland Host said...

It seems to me that it's others who are judging Bentley on his divorce/separtation, people like Grady who were oh-so-wary of saying that this was 'strange fire' before, but who are now madly distancing themselves from him.

AristotleAstonimous said...

Sadly, it appears that Joyner and some of the other so-called prophets would be defending Bentley even if he had killed someone. They would compare him to Moses or David or Paul just as Ryan Wyatt has currently compared Bentley to Christ, saying his critics are like those who cried, “Crucify him.” The sickness continues.

The common excuse — to blame God because Todd was allegedly overworked and stressed by “almost 100 days straight of constant ministry” is factually false as well as Spiritually erroneous. First, Bentley constantly took breaks from Lakeland, at first for weekends, but half-way through, he was gone for weeks at a time and guest speakers were common. Further, he did not work an 8, 10, or 12 hour shift. The services were never longer than a few hours, and most of that time was devoted to worship, not Bentley’s histrionics.

Most importantly, when God is moving, He does not overtax and weaken His people to the point they are caused to fall into sin. Instead, they are strengthened, empowered, and enlivened by the true Holy Spirit. Those of us who have been in real revival (which begins with repentance, not hype and “miracles) know that you can be involved every night for months and be surprised at the supernatural strength you find to continue in the Glory. In short, if God was really in it, Bently would not have been involved in an affair and drinking heavily while it was going on, and would not have fallen into sin in the midst of a true move of the Holy Ghost.

The obvious conclusion is that it was false from the beginning, as now verified by its rotten fruit.

Highland Host said...

It is my experience that all self-appointed 'gifted healers' are nothing more than charlatans and spiritual hucksters. They promise healing, and all they give in the end is heartbreak. Of course one would expect to find false prophets defending their own.

dancingismyfreedom said...

In regards to AristotleAstonimous comment quote:
"Most importantly, when God is moving, He does not overtax and weaken His people to the point they are caused to fall into sin. Instead, they are strengthened, empowered, and enlivened by the true Holy Spirit. Those of us who have been in real revival (which begins with repentance, not hype and “miracles) know that you can be involved every night for months and be surprised at the supernatural strength you find to continue in the Glory."

God definately does not overtax his people and weaken them- thats the devil's job to weaken God's chosen ones. On one hand Todd was strengthened by God, but because he was making an amazing positive impact on the world the devil's attacks grow stronger. There is a spiritual battle going on all around us and Todd was in the thick of it. He had to withstand constant temptations and whisperings from the devil, frequently encountering demons and having to say no, I don't want you in my life. I'd like to see how you or anyone else would stand under the pressure of such a fierce spiritual battle. God strengthened and helped him but that does not make him immune to the devil's attacks. People underestimate the power that the devil has. Todd is only human, I would not expect him to be perfect. That's why Jesus died for us- because none of us are perfect and we will all slip up under the pressure of the spiritual battles.

I have not once heard someone who has proved that Todd is not from God. Most of the comments I hear are "something just didnt feel right" and "he shouted all the time and was aggressive". I don't blame him for being aggressive, when you truly believe in something you want to shout it to the world because you just can't contain it.

Most people thought he was from the devil because quite simply they didn't like his style, not for any valid theological reasons.

I personally know many people who have been touched by God and have been healed by God through Todd Bentley. The fruits of this have been amazing. People need to put aside their prejudices and idealistic views about who a preacher should be and focus on God instead of pulling apart and judging people. Discerning is one thing, what people are doing to Todd is ridiculous.

Just because you weren't healed and touched by the revival doesn't mean others werent. There are so many reasons why people didn't get healed through Todd such as it wasn't God's timing or perhaps the sick person's heart was not in the right place, or the devil in that particular battle was stronger than the healing power in that room at that time, which is completely possible even in a revival.

Hang in there Todd, everyone sins, and people forget that you are human too, ready to pick you apart because you sin like everyone else. What you have done is not beneficial to your spiritual walk with God but it is so small compared to the horrors in the world today. Why don't people focus on the devil's real work in places where there is child prostitution, torture, whitchcraft, free masonry curses, and the like. The devil is just trying to distract you by whispering in you ear that these men of God are false prophets when the real false prophet is you.

I saw Todd Bently in Australia and there was repentance at that conference. There may not be repentance at every conference but that's because there is so much more to Christianity than repentance if we just focussed on that we would never draw close to God.

And whilst Todd only preached at night during the day he wasn't on vacation or anything. To be able to withstand the devils attacks and for God to be able to heal the sick through him Todd needed to spend an enourmous time praying, interceding and warfaring so that the night sessions would come about. Those weekends that he had "off" i believe he was often travelling to other venues and preaching at other places, then returning to florida.

For anyone to say that Rick Joyner is a false prophet indicates a severe lack of knowledge and wisdom about what a false prophet is and who Rick Joyner is. For anyone to say this is shocking to me.

I pray that the veil is taken off the eyes of those who cannot look past Todd's style and minor flaws to the giftings God has given him and the truth he speaks. Blessed are those who are persecuted for His name's sake. Your reward is in heaven, not in this word Todd.

Hiraeth said...

Dancing is my freedom, separation from one's wife is not a minor flaw, and it should never be described as one. It is a transgression of God's covenant. I only pray that Todd Bentley will be reconciled to his wife.

the Devil is never stronger than the Holy Spirit of God. I would suggest that a lot of hysterical phenomena have been in evidence at Lakeland, as well as a lot of the flesh. It is this that leads to such 'burn out', as in the case of Howell Harris in the Great Awakening, and Evan Roberts in the 1904-5 Revival. They were borne along on the wings of Angels for a while, but as more of self entered into the movement, so they began to work in their own strength. Just read accounts of the 1904-5 Revival, and the dreadful conclusion of that particular movement of the Spirit.

dancingismyfreedom said...

I didn't mean that cheating/separating from ones wife was a minor flaw, its major- but compared to what's going on in the rest of the world, it is so small.

Todd is merely a product of his environment and his genes which generated his choices. God understood that so he sacrificed his Son so that we may be forgiven for our sins. Its awful that Todd sinned in this way, but we can be joyful because God has grace and Todd can be forgiven.

Just think about how many times we have sinned- it does not make what we say invalid, or that we are not a genuine Christian, or that we do not have the Holy Spirit- it just means the devil found a way to get to us. Take note did you know if you sin in your mind thats as bad as if you were doing it in the flesh?

"Unhealthy relationships on an emotional level with a female" is one of Todd's weak points which is why the enemy targeted that point. If you have sinned in that way in the past, it makes it incredably hard to resist those kind of sins in the future. All the devil needs is a tiny opening.. a thought.. and he's able to manipulate Todd again. Very easy to fall into that trap, just look at the world today! In my Australian Anglican high school only about 10% of my classmates were still virgins at the age of 16. The media and our culture makes it so much easier for the devil to get to us, it is thrust on us every day as soon as we walk out on the street we have to see people in outfits that show alot of skin and shape. We turn on the television and see sexual acts and talk. Sexual sin is so much more common today its not funny.

Overall, we know who will win the war, but there are so many individual battles that are lost because the devil is very powerful and does sometimes win over the Holy Spirit. If you think hard enough I'm sure you can come up with examples in your own life and in the Bible where the devil has won over God. Just the fact that absolutely no one is perfect in the history of mankind excluding Jesus shows us how powerful the devil must be.

Todd sacrificed his life so that many people would give their lives to God and get healed, and many of us did. I just hope that more people turned towards God than away from God through this revival. Just as God works all things for good, the devil will try and work all things for bad, especially things like revivals and moves of the Holy Spirit.

Highland Host said...

So, dancingismyfreedom, is Todd Bentley still ministering after his fall? If so, what does he make of the New Testament requirement that 'the elder must be blameless'?

You said: :Todd is merely a product of his environment and his genes which generated his choices. God understood that so he sacrificed his Son so that we may be forgiven for our sins."

Really? Are you saying that we are not really responsible for our actions, and that is why god sent His Son to die for us, because we coulod not really help ourselves, so we weren't all that guilty after all? NO! (and I apologise if I get all preacher-ish here, but that's what I do), God sent His Son to die for willful sinners, for great sinners, for sinners who sinned with their eyes opened and 'wantoned with the wounds of God', as the hymn-writer put it.

I have a BSc, and some knowledge of Genetics, and I think that I have some knowledge of the Scriptures also, and let me say that NO MAN is "merely a product of his environment and his genes which generated his choices" He is a MAN, made in the image of God, and the soul is more than the genes and the environment. Where do you find your view in the Bible?

And may I repeat my greatest concern about the Lakeland affair: It is not the violence, or the emotional manipulation, it is the claim that hundreds were healed by the power of God. Now I believe that God can and does heal today, but I have a question in regard to Lakeland: How many medically-certified healings were there at Lakeland? And I need proof here, not just assertions.

dancingismyfreedom said...

'the elder must be blameless' where is this quote in the new testament? I would need to read it in the context to be able to answer you question. Often people take these type of quotes out of context. The church today is different to the church in the Bible. When the disciples of Jesus wrote the new testament they wrote it in their day and age for specific purposes- the Bible is not a step by step guide of how to live our lives today. For example, Paul says in the New Testament: "Let your women keep silence in the churches, for it is not permitted to them to speak". Some people thinks that applies to today. In reality there was reason behind Paul saying this. In those days, it was part of their culture that women were not allowed to learn or study. When Paul said this, women had recently been permitted to study and were wanting to start teaching. Paul said that they should not be teaching because they then still only knew very little about Christianity and the like because they had only just been allowed to study those things in depth.
Today is different as women in many countries such as mine are allowed to study as much as they want to, so when they teach, they actually know what they are talking about.

Sorry for straying a bit, I just wished to illustrate my point that the New Testiment needs to be read and studied in its context as it is not nessesarily directly applicable to today.

There are several meaning to the word blameless. Because of Jesus he washed our sins away and made us without blemish and pure again therefore making us blameless until the next sin. If we are Christian and tell Jesus when we are wrong and ask for forgiveness we are essentially made blameless again. But again I say, I would need to read it in the right context to be able to give a proper opinion.

Free will and choice is a funny thing you know. If a girl grows up being prostituted her whole childhood, is it her fault when she sins as a teenager and adult by becoming an adult prostitute? Its all she ever knew, its what she was taught.

"He is a MAN, made in the image of God, and the soul is more than the genes and the environment."
Can we help who we are, the soul we have, when we are born? Ponder on that for a moment. I believe that who we are when we are born comes from our genes, which come from God, for it is God who has "knit me in my mother's womb". Can we help who we are when we are born? From the moment we are born we are faced with choices. Minor, mostly, at that age. We feel hungry, so we choose to cry. We could choose to not cry, but crying seems best. When you get older the choices become more complex. Who you are affects the choices you make from the moment you are born until now. Some people have minds more open, some more stubborn, some more perverted, some more religious... and the list goes on. It's just who we are, and we can hardly help what we are given at birth. Then life circumstances change us into the person we are today. It can trip your head out a bit, but if you ponder it for long enough, it does make sense.

"Where do you find your view in the Bible?"

The bible isn't a comprehensive list to how to live our lives today. I believe it says something in the new testament about "There are many more things that Jesus did. If they were all to be written down, I suppose there would not be enough rooms in the whole world in which to put the books in". Perhaps what I have come to believe is in the Bible, I'm not sure, I have not memorised the whole thing. I do know that the people Jesus hung out with was the worst of the worst, because he knew they needed him more than anyone else. He understood why they did what they did. Doesn't make the sinful actions right of course!

We have to suffer the consequences of our bad actions, weather it is our "fault" or not. We did it, we have to cop the consequences. It's life, its not fair, we didn't ask to be put into a sinful world where there is a spiritual war raging all around us.

As for proof of the healings the proof is out there, you just need to go looking for it, because it isn't going to land in your lap.
Here's a U-Tube proof but really, are you ever going to be 100% sure unless it has happened to you or a close friend?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9MNF1BPDwE4

Apart from that I only know of friends who got touched by God and were healed through the Todd Bentley conferences, but this is of no help to you.

Todd is no longer ministering with Fresh Fire's Ministries. He does have some appointments in September that have not been cancelled as yet, we shall have to wait and see if he continues to preach or not.

Thanx for your post I found it interesting and challenged my knowledge of Christianity.

Highland Host said...

Dancingismyfreedom.

The text is found in Titus chapter 1. Depending on your preferred Bible translation it may say 'elder', Bishop', or 'Overseer'. It's the same thing.

Thank you for making the reason for our differences so clear. The Bible is my final authority, it is obviously not yours. What, then, IS your final authority? Is it modern science and culture, as it seems to be from your apparent embrace of a kind of genetic determinism?

In 2 Timothy 3.16, Paul writes that the purpose of the Bible is, "that the man of God may be completely equipped for every good work." But your view of the Bible is that it does NOT fully equip Christians, but that something more is required. That being so, it is no wonder that you disagree with me, because I take 2 Timothy 3.16 as absolute. But perhaps you will reply that the Bible WAS enough then, but it is not now.

If I held your view of the Bible, I would still be a liberal Anglican, and probably saying that the Bible's prohibitions against homosexuality were culturally conditioned as well. But I suspect that your ultimate authority is not a liberal Amglican view...

dancingismyfreedom said...

The Bible is my "final authority" but it must be interpreted correctly. The Bible is a historical document (or rather a collection of them) that has been inspired by god. We can learn much from it, but it must be read in the right context, as it is a historical document, a book, accounting the events of the things that happened any years ago. There are many things in the Bible that are meant for all time, such as the sins that are outlined in the Bible. I do believe that homosexuality and things like the ten commandments are sins, and sins don't change over time. I don't think it is possible to argue homosexuality as a sin meant for the those days only. What did change is now Jesus forgives those sins.

In the old testament they had to abide by strict rules such as sacrificing animals and only certain people were allowed to talk to God. When Jesus came along he abolished these rules, and became the bridge between us and God. There is one example of where the Bible can't be taken literally. Take rules from the old testament. Many of them were abolished by Jesus as you probably know.

As for the context of that quote:
"the elder must be blameless"
It explains the meaning of the word blameless in this context as "blameless— not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. Rather he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it."
I'd say Todd is all of these. Todd may have slipped up in certain areas, but it doesn't say he must be without sin, or not allowed to slip up now and then.

The above is a good guide for the church of today, though nowhere does it say that all churches for the rest of time must have these guidelines. It is written specifically to Titus for a specific time. Paul also says to Titus: "appoint elders in every town". This sounds like specific positions to me and not nescessarily applicable to preachers and missionaries. These guidelines are for the elders of towns by the sounds of it, what that would mean today is anyones guess.

"Jesus also did many other things, and I suppose that if every one of them were written down the world couldn't contain the books that would be written."
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father." John 14:12
Amazing hey? His disciples will go on to do the same and greater things that Jesus! As Christians, we are his disciples "followers". Once Jesus died, he gave us his Holy Spirit to teach us. This is why you will hear Todd Bentley say things that aren't even in the Bible! But the point to make is- he doesn't contradict the Bible and he also teaches what is in the Bible. The Bible teaches us, but it is a historical document and must be read in the right context and interpreted in the right way. The Holy Spirit also teaches us.

Can I ask you- as a follower of Jesus, i.e. a disciple, has God given you the power through his Holy Spirit to do the things that Jesus did, and even greater things? It's time to come into you inheritance.

Lorikate said...

Dancingismyfreedom,

Wow. I have no idea where to even begin. I find it sadly funny that you can tell anyone, with a straight face, that Todd is an "blameless elder". According to your definition - a blameless elder is: "blameless— not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. Rather he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it." Your words exactly.

Let's take this piece by piece, shall we?

"not-overbearing" - Anyone who claims Todd Bentley is not overbearing, needs glasses or a reality check. He's one of the most obnoxious, loud, overbearing people I have ever come across in all my studies of "revivals" and "faith healers" He covered himself in tattoos after his "conversions, and shoved that aspect of his physical appearance in everyone's face. The backlash and defensiveness was totally overbearing.

"not given to drunkenness" - yeah, well - we all know that's not true. Todd drank. John Arnott himself admitted to that.

"not violent" - oh, that's a hoot.I know I sound callous, but Todd Bentley himself was PROUD of being violent, told MANY stories/lies about being violent - and to top it all off, claimed God told him to do it!!!! Ok. If you say so.

"not persuing dishonest gain" - A revival set up in a tent with ATM's at every corner and entryway - does not strike me as a revival that has honest gain in mind. He got up on a stage, begged for money - and if you didn't have that, a check would be fine. And hey, for your benefit, he even accepts credit cards. That fact that none of these "faith healers" can submit to an honest investigation - well, you get my point. I'd love to see Todd Bentley's home. Does he live in a little apartment, a tiny house? Is every penny going BACK in to the "ministry"? I doubt it.

"Rather he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled" - well, let's look at his fruit. He was overly hospitable to a woman who wasn't his wife. I don't think that counts. And kicking old ladies in the face, leg dropping pastors and demanding God to come to him from heaven - isn't in the dictionary next to the words "love" and "good". And he certainly couldn't control his extra marital pursuits and his drinking. Moving on.

"upright, holy and disciplined" - see above comment about being self controlled and such. The same applies here.

"He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it." - Here's the kicker. He held to NO SUCH message. Angels of healing, trances, supernatural mysticism - not in the Bible. Not upheld by the Word of God. Not sound doctrine. ANd holding firmly? Well, he held on firmly to his load of total nonsense. Every message I EVER watched (and I watched PLENTY of entire "sermons" from him) held almost NO message of salvation.

You can throw around the "new thing" verse all you want. The "new thing" was Jesus dying on the cross. The "greater thing" is the time we're here, we're able to bring more to Christ then they could have ever hoped for during the apostle's time. Please don't talk about taking the Bible out of context, when you're tell everyone it's ok to do things that aren't even IN the Bible. Not only that, they're frowned upon, or outright not allowed. Ever do a Bible study on "mysticism" or "angel worship"? It's akin to sorcery and witchcraft - we all know where the Bible stands on that.

Even if you believe in the nonsense that the church is still "being established" and we're to have a "five-fold" ministry (we're not, by the way - church built, apostles are the foundation, foundation has been laid - can't happen twice. Look it up. Even the apostles ceased to heal and do miracles toward the end of their time.)it's better to be safe than sorry.

What happens if I'm right, and you're wrong about doing things not found in the Bible? You will have a price to pay for that, and you will have to answer for your actions. But what if you're right, and I just stick to the same 'ol boring story about Jesus and the Cross? I lose nothing. I will not have crossed any line, damaged any testimony, led anyone AWAY from God. Be careful what you do - actions have consequences - so think it through all the way before you act upon bad logic and knowledge.

dancingismyfreedom said...

Overbearing: Golly, I thought we were past the era of judging people for their appearance. That isn't the Christian way! He does talk about his tatoos and appearance at times. It brings out peoples true colours when people have a problems with his appearance. Overbearing for one person will be different for the next person, so this is completely up to individual opinion. He never forces anyone into anything, he is a passionate speaker, you can take him or leave him.

Drinking- Just because Todd drank doesn't mean he was given to drunkenness. To be given to something means to be addicted to. Having a few drinks does not mean you are given to drunkenness.

He's not violent towards people, he is violent towards the devil. Quite warrented, if you ask me. When people get demonised or get demons attached to them sometimes it takes a physical action to be able to get the demon to come out. Who knows what was going on in the spiritual realm when God asked him to do those things. Does this mean Todd is violent in nature? Nope.

"not persuing dishonest gain"
Financial reports have been released to the public revealing exactly where the money goes and how Todd Bentley lives. Go find them.
If I wanted to put money into Todd's ministry I would very much appreciate them setting up ATM's and accepting all forms of payment. Todd gets his wage, an English newspaper said he lives modestly. I doubt Todd could get up every day and do as much work as he does if he was living in poverty, even with the Holy Spirit he is still only human.

"Rather he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled"
Dude, he doesn't have to be hospitable 100% of the time, no one is that good and no one is perfect. The "violent" acts that God told him to do- they got healed didn't they? He loves what is good, thats why he wants to be God's vessel in healing the sick and helping third world countries. He has amazing self control and discipline. Yes, he made mistakes, that doesn't mean he doesn't have self control in his nature.

"upright, holy and disciplined" He made mistakes. He stepped down fron preaching. He repents. He continues to preach. Anything wrong with that? That sounds like the upright, holy and disciplined thing to do.

"He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it." Actually alot of the stuff Todd talks about is in the Bible- you just need to go looking for it. The stuff that isn't does not contradict the Bible.

I don't believe Todd worships Angels. Obviously that is silly as we must only worship God.

As for the practices of the New Age. Where do you think the demons learnt their tricks from? Everything orignated from God. Take meditation for example, which is a biblical concept. The devil took the concept and power of Godly meditation and used it for his purposes. Look at many forms of witchcraft and you can find a Godly version in the Bible. I believe it is the Godly, the original pure version of these practices that Todd talks about, not the polluted evil version.

"What happens if I'm right, and you're wrong about doing things not found in the Bible?"
Moses did things that had not been previously done in the Bible, because God told him too. Why is it any different today? If we play it safe we end up wandering around in the desert whilst the ones who choose to step out in faith will enter the promised land. I believe in Jesus and he forgives me of my sins. If I am sinning by believing that Todd hears from God well guess what- he forgives me. So I got nothing to lose, and I choose to be a Joshua and to trust God and his Holy Spirit. What if this is true and real? Yes, you will still go to heaven, even though you do not buy into it. But I don't want to wonder around in the desert. I believe my actions will have good consequences not bad, I have thought my beliefs through logically.

Highland Host said...

Dancingismyfreedom. Despite your claims, the Bible is bviously NOT your ultimate authority, something else is. That something else is your tradition, including supposed modern-day revelation.

You see, by saying that there are some things in the New Testament that are not for all time, you place yourself in a position of hopeless subjectivity. If Paul's prohibition of female pastors and teachers, even though the argument is based on the order of creation, was only for then, why is Paul's condemnation of homosexuality still binding? Why aren't the liberals right when they say that God is doing a new thing now, and therefore men and women in loving, long-tern same-sex relationships should be blessed by the church and allowed to be pastors?

After all, they argue, homosexuality in the ancient world was not like the sort of loving relationship that modern gays and lesbians have, it was a power relationship, where an upper-class man or woman abused a slave who was often no more than a child. That's not what modern homosexuals do...

It's really your argument, but used to support the sort of conduct that you disapprove of.

The elder must be blameless - 'the husband of one wife'. That's why every evangelical denomination that I know of disapproves of ministers getting divorces. But the bigger question is the one that you have brought up about the sufficiency of the Bible. Is 2 Timothy 3.16 for today?

Where do you get this idea that there's some sort of 'Christian witchcraft'?

dancingismyfreedom said...

The Bible AND the Holy Spirit/God combined are my ultimate authorities, but I suppose in a different way to what you would see your ultimate authority as. I believe the Bible is a historical document that speaks the truth, whether it be for all time or for that specific point in time.

"But the bigger question is the one that you have brought up about the sufficiency of the Bible. Is 2 Timothy 3.16 for today?"
I honestly do not know, it could lean either way. To find this out we would need to pray and do some research into the context of the book of Titus and more research into what commandments and rules apply forever and ones that were specific to a certain culture.

In saying this I am no way saying that God changes over time and therefore his rules change- God is the same, yesterday, today and forever. But WE change and our culture changes so in order for God to get the desired outcome he will set different guidelines for different cultures and generations. And then there is just common sense as in females werent allowed to be preachers in those times because they were not as well educated as the men due to their culture. Our culture is different, women are now educated, and therefore there should not be any problem with women being preachers.

I have not studied the book of Titus in depth so I do not know one way or the other whether what Paul said is for all of time or just for that time and what worked back then. What works back then may not work in our culture. Simple.

Some things are always going to be debatable, like homosexuality, but I think the vast majority of Christians know it is wrong. Homosexuality and other sexual sins have detrimental side affects to our spirit and our body. I don't think that is possible to change over time, but would need to be looked into in much more depth.

Oh dear there is no such thing as Christian whitchcraft. Whitchcraft is power from satan and Christian practices are from God. Satan immitates many Christian practices. For example when Moses came to Pharaoh and threw his staff down and it became a snake, the ones who practiced magic and whitchcraft did the same. But the snakes from the "magicians" were inferior because they were merely a copy and the power was sourced from the devil. As you would know, Moses' snake ate the others up.

If this happened today, would you think Moses was doing whitchcraft?
Many things that come from God can be mistaken for witchcraft, because many of the practices are similar to each other due to the devil copying God.

Lorikate said...

dancingismyfreedom,

I'm getting tired of the whole "God came first - therefore anything that looks like sin is just an imitation of something Godly" theory. It's foolishness. If we were to use that excuse for everything we want to do - well, I could do anything I want. Pagans used sexual rituals, so it must be ok for me to have sex when I want. I don't need to wait to be married. God created it first, and there isn't a "thou shalt not have sex" commandment. I could justify ANY action whatsoever with that kind of faulty logic.

Other than that, I see it's useless to try and discuss anything with you. You insist Todd is a holy, upright man - when the physical proof shows he's anything but. It's quite delusional actually - I am really sorry for you that you feel the need to follow this man so passionately.

Hiraeth said...

'The Bible and the Holy Spirit combined...'

Well, yes, but what does that mean? The modern liberal and supporter of homosexuality says just the same thing. If the Bible is not the final authority, how exactly are we supposed to know who is listening to what the Spirit is saying to the churches and who is just listening to their instincts/prejudices?

I would not dream of attacking the use of commentaries, etc, but what 'Dancing' is saying is a denial of the perspicuity of scripture.

2. Timothy 3.16-17:
'All scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.'

Do you agree that the above statement is still true for today? Speak to the question!

Highland Host said...

Dancingismyfreedom.

My apologies if I have misunderstood your initial comment about witchcraft. Thank you for your clarification. Obviously the Bible teaches that Satan is able to perform 'lying wonders', so I have no issue at all with that. I am a Christian, and that means that I believe in the reality of the supernatural - good and bad.

But as my brother Hiraeth has said, the question is 2 Timothy 3.16. It troubles me that your response to any Bible text is 'we have to read the context to see if it applies today'. 2 Timothy 3.16, if you recall, is the text that reads, 'All Scripture is God-breathed, and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, so that the man of God may be completely equipped for good works." (that includes verse 17 as well). Is the Bible actually able to COMPLETELY equip the Christian today? And is ALL Scripture profitable? Those are the questions?

It is all very well to say "the Bible and the Holy Spirit are my ultimate authority", but as Hiraeth has said, the way that you say that is actually a denial of the perspicacity (clearness) of Scripture. What truly amazes me is that your reasoning is almost identical to that of the liberals. In practice you make our modern-day culture the authority that decides which parts of the Bible you are going to follow, and which parts you are going to ignore. You just disagree with them over the results.

I know that you think that this is glorifying God, but really you are degrading the very words that He has spoken. It amazes me to find so-called evangelicals more and more embracing the sort of liberal view of the Bible that has destroyed thousands of churches.

dancingismyfreedom said...

Lorikate:
I believe you have completely misinterpreted what I have said. If you are going to have an attitude like that towards me and tiwst my words I do not wish to speak to you.

Lorikate said...

The Holy Spirit made me do it.


Ok, not really. But you come here, saying "The devil is just trying to distract you by whispering in you ear that these men of God are false prophets when the real false prophet is you." You excuse Todd's behavior with "Todd is merely a product of his environment and his genes which generated his choices". You claim Todd's sin is "small" - "I didn't mean that cheating/separating from ones wife was a minor flaw, its major- but compared to what's going on in the rest of the world, it is so small." You say that "The bible isn't a comprehensive list to how to live our lives today."

You say that "When the disciples of Jesus wrote the new testament they wrote it in their day and age for specific purposes- the Bible is not a step by step guide of how to live our lives today. yet you support a man who claims to be an apostle. Which is it? Is the Bible for today or not? You can't pick and choose.

So for a Christian - that type of thinking is faulty at best, delusional at worst. It's just a fact.

Come one, you have to ask yourself why you are getting so defensive over Todd. I go to other blogs that agree with my point of view, leave comments, discuss things, use my blog to try and convince the masses that there ARE false prophets out there. I don't go to pro-Bentley sites and leave comments trying to convince them of the truth. If everyone's so prepared to swallow every lie, fine, nothing I say will make a difference. But I'm not leaving ranting comments over the blogosphere - I have my own soapbox for that. So...why are you? What is it about an opinion like mine that makes you so angry? Am I pushing a button? Perhaps you know deep down that Todd Bentley is pretty un-defendable? I can happily agree to disagree with people like you - I have no problem with different points of view. But when you go to blogs that do not support Todd Bentley - and leave comments trying to justify his actions - using the Bible - you need to be prepared to be picked apart. We're going to do our best to help you see truth. If hoping and praying you see the light, and feeling sorry for you if you choose to remain firmly entrenched in your skewed beliefs bothers you - Well, I'm sorry. But there's nothing else I can do.

dancingismyfreedom said...

Hiraeth:
If the Holy Spirit is saying to me something that contradicts the Bible (taking into account that some scriptures were specific to that time) I know it's not the Holy Spirit. If it's not in the Bible at all, however, but it does not contradict the Bible, and the fruit of what the Holy Spirit is saying will have good fruit not bad, then I will step out in faith that it is the Holy Spirit. We have to have good discernment skills I suppose, just like the prophets in the Bible did. Many of the prophets in the Bible did things that had never been done before according to the scriptures. I don't think that God only did new things in the Bible days.

The Bible isn't a simple book. Anyone who has read this book would know that. It can be interpreted in so many different ways. Through thorough research, praying, and being humble, the Holy Spirit will reveal these scriptures to us. I don't believe the Bible is black and white like many people do.

'All scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.'
I have not yet studied this scripture in depth but I am particularly interested in the part that says "for reproof, for correction". Isn't this an argument FOR what I am saying, not against?
I can not say if this scripture is for today or not at this time of night (it is 11:55pm in Australia) but yes, it does sound like it at first look.

dancingismyfreedom said...

Lorikate:
It's not your opinion that upsets me, its the way you twist my words.

I am happily prepared to debate issues about Todd Bentley, but not if people twist my words and have a bad attitude towards me.

I believe to "convince the masses" about this issue it is best to go to the blogs that go against my opinion not for it. It also challenges my way of thinking which I enjoy actually, because that is how I grow. If I am purely around people who simply agree with me I won't grow nearly as much.

I am passionate about finding and revealing the truth, which is why I defend Todd Bentley.

Unless you change your attitude towards me I will not reply to any further comments from you as this is of no benefit to either of us.

dancingismyfreedom said...

Highland Host:
"Is the Bible actually able to COMPLETELY equip the Christian today?"
I was dwelling on this before and thinking about the scriptures that say things about the Holy Spirit. That is one of the ways that the Bible completely equips us- by giving us the knowledge to recieve the Holy Spirit, who then speaks and reveals things to us. So in that light, yes, the Bible does equip us fully for today, not always directly though as in the case of the Holy Spirit. Hope that makes sense.

"And is ALL Scripture profitable?"
Yes, if we interpret it right! lol. If we don't interpret it right it won't be profitable.

One example I suppose I can give where the Bible isn't literal is in some of the parables etc that Jesus taught. You know the one where he says if your hand causes you to sin, chop it off? how many of us actually do that, or believes that is literal? That is an obvious example, other's aren't so obvious. As I said in my previous post I don't believe the Bible is black and white like many people do.

You know what? I don't know which of us is right, maybe none of us lol, This is just what I believe and think is most probable.

:) goodnite (its late here)

Lorikate said...

That's just my point. I'm not twisting your words. You said them not me. Why is it "twisting words" when I'm just pointing out what you've actually said? Word for word.

I read a lot. I go to all kinds of blogs, I've read books written by Todd Bentley,Patricia King so on and so forth. My opinion is challenged all the time. You're failing to see my point.

If you oppose someone's opinion, be ready to be argued with. If my arguing with you about what you believe is "attitude" - then don't post argumentative comments.

I don't hate you, I don't dislike you. I just think you've been given over to a strong delusion, and I'm truly sad for you.

If washing your hands of me makes you feel better, feel free to do so. I hope someday you can see through all of the bad theology you're wading in.

dancingismyfreedom said...

Lorikate:

The way you re-phrased what i said to mean "God came first - therefore anything that looks like sin is just an imitation of something Godly" is twisting my words.

As I said, I have no problem with having a contraversial debate and I am prepared to have opposition.

It's your bad attitude, not your agumentative attitude, that puts me off wanting to speak to you, for example twisting my words as in the example above. It gets both of us nowhere.

Lorikate said...

No one's making you reply to me. No one's twisting your arm. And no one's twisting your words either.

It's not a bad attitude to tell the truth. Just because you don't like what I'm saying doesn't mean I'm having a bad attitude.

You're the one that said "everything originates from God". You said "Look at many forms of witchcraft and you can find a Godly version in the Bible." So I took a pagan practice and made an example out of it. How is that twisting your words? You said God came first. You said if it looks like witchcraft there's a "godly" version of it in the Bible. And there you have the "god came first - so sin is simply an imitation of something Godly" theory. I didn't twist anything. It's there in black and white.

You keep saying you won't talk to me, except you still do. But only to say I have a "bad attitude". I believe I may be pushing a button. If truth is making you angry - then there's something wrong with your version of it.

See, I don't have to defend my way of thinking. I don't have to defend my theology. It defends itself. I don't have to try and derive elusive meanings from the word of God. It's pretty clear. Witchcraft = bad. Abstain from all appearance of evil. Logic dictates that I say away form anything even resembling witchcraft, because I am not allowed to even resemble anything evil. No matter who did it first or where it came from. Yet so many of you are trying to use the Bible to justify doing just that - trying to allow yourselves to mimic pagan practices. Why? What's the point?

Better safe then sorry. And if you need theatrics and supernatural signs and wonders to sell people on your idea of God - somethings wrong. Why isn't the simple fact of salvation enough for anyone anymore? Why do people have to look so hard for something out of the ordinary - when dying on a cross, and rising from the dead is definitely out of the ordinary?

That's enough for me. It's supposed to be enough for anyone who's willing to accept the gift. Argue all you want - that's fact.

dancingismyfreedom said...

Lorikate

I said I will not talk to you if you do not change your attitude. For a moment there I thought you had, which is why I made the mistake of talking to you. Please do not speak to me again.

Lorikate said...

Wow. A bit touchy once I start mentioning the fact that Jesus should be enough for you. Is there something wrong with that statement?

Your defensive attitude speaks for itself.

There's no such thing as a "Christian version" of witchcraft, The Bible is the FINAL authority on everything.

If you can't see that - than I fear for more than just your bad logic. While I don't claim to know your heart - the things you've stated in these comments makes me seriously wonder which kind of God you worship.

You can accuse me of all the "bad attitude" you want to 0 it still doesn't change what the truth is. I hope you come to see that one day. Obviously sound doctrine and proof positive Bible verses aren't enough to convince you, so no matter what you say next - I won't be responding.

I am truly, and honestly sorry for you.

Hiraeth said...

I would quickly note two things:

The first is that it is pretty clear that these tent revivals, and especially these 'healing revivals' are not biblical. We do not see the Apostles coming to town and healing everybody in what is best described as a religious version of the old quack medicine show. There are healings, but these are for the most part a gateway, which leads to the proclamation of the Gospel. The problem I have with the modern signs and wonders movement is that too often the Gospel is hidden by the signs and wonders bit.

Secondly, I would reiterate the part about the elder being required to be blameless. While no-one is perfect, open and notorious sins should disqualify a person from leadership positions in the church, just as a banker who is found guilty of a breach of the banking code, or a businessman who goes bankrupt needs to re-establish his credentials before being again allowed to practice. Too often in Christianity there seems to be an attitiude of 'he's said he's sorry, that's repentance, who do you have to keep bringing it up?' Well, sin is serious. So serious that God's only begotten son had to die to cleanse us from it. Repentance is not just a brief prayer, it is a process, look at the agony of soul suffered by David and by Peter.

The difficulty with some defenders of Todd Bentley, such as the one who has been posting here is that they do seem to downplay sin, or at least his sin, as if it doesn't matter, given these healings. Classic 'touch not the Lord's annointed' stuff. But this does not apply to the self annointed, nor to those who have been led astry by pride and by the flesh. Such should be disciplined, just like the rest of us.

dancingismyfreedom said...

Hiraeth

"The first is that it is pretty clear that these tent revivals, and especially these 'healing revivals' are not biblical."
You see, that all depends on how we interpret the Bible.

Perhaps God has chosen season to heal rather than focus on the teachings. Of course, Todd still preached the Bible, I think to a reasonable extent. And when people get healed and touched by God they can join their local church. Maybe Todd is there mainly for the healing part and the churches there for the teaching part I don't know. We are all designated to do different things.

I completely understand the difference between "sorry" and "repentance". My father in law cheated on his wife when he was younger. He was sorry and apparently repented. But he didn't get any counselling or spiritual healing for it, and his issues never got solved. Last year he cheated again and they are now separated and divorcing. That's what happens when you don't repent properly. Awful stuff.

If they are sorry for what they have done but have not fixed their problems and repented they should ideally not continue to preach at such a high level. After counselling, emotional healing and repenting to God, I believe Todd will be right to preach again.

I believe that the ones who have sinned in major ways in the past, AND have gotten completely healed and repented, are the BEST people to preach, not be disqualified. It is very difficult to teach others how to work through their sins and be healed if you have never been through it yourself. Not impossible, but very difficult.

Todd's sin DOES matter, that's why he has stepped down until he has worked through his issues. He had huge enemy oposition- I can't imagine what it must be like to have demons relentlessly attacking you day in and day out, waiting for an opening, to the extent that Todd would have them attacking him. I feel for him.

I want to love people, not condemn them. I want to spend as much time with God as I can. I want to be open minded, in a wise way not a foolish way, so that I don't end up like the religious leaders who condemned Jesus and the other prophets. To me, Christianity is firstly about having a loving relationship with God and loving others. If we can get that right then we are going pretty well.

Somehow I doubt the rest of us are all that disciplined. It may not be cheating that is your weakness, but we all have our weaknesses and all sin- just in different ways. It's a sad part of life.

Highland Host said...

Dancingismyfreedom.

You wrote: "Perhaps God has chosen season to heal rather than focus on the teachings"

If you study the Bible, you will find that Jesus and the Apostles concentrated on the teaching, not the healing. The teaching was, and is, the main thing, not secondary. We have no warrant to believe that God will ever work in a way that contradicts the Bible. Jesus' healings were always about the teaching. He healed, and then He taught.

But then your view of the Bible is such that you can pick and choose the elements that you want to obey, and the elements that you want to ignore. So you say that when paul told Timothy that women ought not to teach or have authority over a man, that was for then, because women in that culture were not so well educated as they are today. But that is not the reason Paul gives. He says that it is because Adam was created first, then Eve.

What is more, in ancient Ephesus, women in the upper classes had far more educational opportunities than men in the lower classes. But that is not the point. The point is that Paul gives the reason why women are not to teach or have authority over men as the ORDER OF CREATION. Not levels of education. This is not culturally bound, but you say it is.

So you can say: 'well, Jesus taught the people and did relatively few healings because that is what people needed then. But now we need the healings. No, we need the Words that give eternal life (see John 6.68). A healed body will rot and decay, and end up in the grave. Eternal life never ends (that;'s why it's called eternal).

Yet your method of using the Bible undermines its authority in the same way that the Roman Catholics do when they say that you cannot understand the Bible without the Pope and the teaching authority of the Church of Rome. In effect, it takes away the words that give everlasting life.

I would not deny restoration to those who have fallen, but let them tarry at Jericho until their beards have grown. That is, let there be a decent interval of time for them to recover and to bring forth fruits that are suitable for repentance.

dancingismyfreedom said...

Highland Host:

"But then your view of the Bible is such that you can pick and choose the elements that you want to obey, and the elements that you want to ignore."
That isn't my view at all. I interpret the Bible differently than you and believe it should be read in the right context. There are things that I don't want to do but the Bible says that I must do them so I do. I don't pick and choose according to what I like and don't like.
"But that is not the reason Paul gives. He says that it is because Adam was created first, then Eve."
The words he used were "For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was woman who was deceived and became a sinner."
"For" does not necessarily mean "Because" in this case. I believe it is used as a connective word. This statement could be a metaphor that compares Adam's priority in creation to male's priority in teaching at Ephesus; and Eve's deception illustrates the deception of the untrained Ephesian women involved in false teaching. There are also many instances in the Bible in which women do teach and many verses that support women teaching and where women are said to be equal in Christ.

I'm not saying that we don't need the teachings of the Bible that give everlasting life. I'm only saying that we have prayed and prayed for our physical and emotional healings and now God has answered our prayers. Is there anything wrong with God blessing us in this way? Our body will rot and end up in decay but if God heals our bodies think of how much more we can do for Jesus! He loves us so much and wants to bless us through these healings.
In saying all this, was not all the credit given to God during this revival? He was given all the credit, which in itself brings people to Jesus and teaches people that God is love and is powerful.

Highland Host said...

I do seek to interpret the Bible in context, so that I do not try to impose a 21st century cultural perspective on it. What you are doing, however, is different, it is claiming that certain parts of the New Testament are so culturally bound that they do not apply today. Let me remind you that you brought this up first and foremost over my quotation from Titus concerning the qualifications of elders. When I quoted 'the elder must be blameless', you responded:

"'the elder must be blameless' where is this quote in the new testament? I would need to read it in the context to be able to answer you question. Often people take these type of quotes out of context. The church today is different to the church in the Bible."

Here is a verse dealing with something that is not bound by culture (the need for God's servants to be those of good repute), and you immediately reacted by suggesting it might be. In practice you have taken the idea of reading the Bible in context and used it to argue that, because we do not live in that culture, we are not bound by the Scriptures. I have already pointed out that those who defend homosexual relationships use the same argument. They argue that homosexuality in those days was really more like child abuse, and the Bible does not deal with relationships between consenting adults of the same sex. How would you answer that argument?

You say that in your opinion the word 'gar' (For) in Paul's argument does not necessarily mean 'because', but that it is a "connective word'. Yes, but what is the nature of the connection? To turn it into a metaphor for the cultural situation at Ephesus is very clever, but I would suggest to you that it is not the plain reading of the text. You are reading INTO the text the idea that Women were not allowed to speak at Ephesus because they were less well educated than men. But by that token Joanna the wife of Herod's Steward shoukd have been teaching, not Peter, because in that culture an upper-class woman would have had a better education than a fisherman out of Galilee. The simple fact is that the New Testament does not see the ministry as requiring a college-level education (for one thing, Peter could have read the Old and New Testament in the original languages, which he would have learned at elementary level).

A clarification. We are all one in Christ Jesus, and all equal. That is why it is fitting for female Church members to vote in the congregation. But that is not to say that there are not different roles for men and women in the Church, just as there are in nature. Men and women are both created in the image of God, equally so, but men cannot give birth or nurse children. They lack the necessary equipment. That's just not what God wants them to do. The Apostle Paul and Mary Magdalene were equally believers, yet (despite the DaVinci Code), Mary was not sent as the Apostle to the Gentiles. Did that make her less than Paul?

I know that this is difficult to say in our culture. Believe me, if it wasn't for the Bible's clear teaching on the subject, I'd be in favour of woman ministers too - our culture is. But our culture is also against marriage (expect for same-sex couples). Sometimes our cultural context is allowed to re-interpret the Bible. We must be careful to guard against that. We also have to be careful that we do not insist the Bible is so culturally conditioned that we effectively take it away from the common people and give it over to the scholars.

Let me be very plain. I was converted by the grace of God out of the Church of England, and out of theological liberalism. I am concerned that you are using the exact arguments that I used to accept when I was a liberal, arguments that i used to approve woman clergy and a surrender of the supernatural in the Scriptures. After all, it was reasoned, in those days everyone believed in the supernatural, so it was expected that a great man like Jesus would do amazing supernatural things, and so the Gospel Writers added these to the story. Cultural context, you see. I know you have not gone that far, but I am concerned that the next generation of evangelicals will. Previous generations did, after all.

It is not that I will not believe that the Lakeland healings are real unless they had happened to people I know. It is that they need to be medically verified. As I said, there are plenty of medical professionals who are Christians, and who believe that God heals today. It would be a simple matter to get some of them to verify Bentley's claims. It is notorious that there are those who thought they were healed at Bentley's meetings who are in fact no better, and in at least one case the man is DEAD.

The Christian Science cult and other false religions have claims of miracle healings as well. So long as what is going on under the name of Christianity has no medical verification, it does not bring glory to God, but reproach on the Church. If God is given the credit for supposed healings that have no medical evidence, it no more brings him the glory than it proves Mary Baker Eddy to have been a prophetess when she claimed to heal.