Todd Bentley and the Lakeland “Revival”

So some of us in the realm of Christianity have become aware of a “revival” taking place in Lakeland, FL lead by Todd Bentley. If you don’t know about this, simply go onto youtube.com and search Todd Bentley, you’ll find a bunch of videos both supporting and opposing Todd.

Let me just give you a little background on my personal church history. It started as an infant when I was baptized a Roman Catholic as my mother and her family were all dedicated Catholics. I don’t remember the baptism, and I barely remember attending mass, because I think around the age of 5, my mother began attending a Northeaster Regular Baptist Fellowship Church in Enfield, CT.

First Baptist Church of Enfield was at first a church devoted to supporting the community through provision and Evangelism. While I did not get saved at this church, I did grow up here (I became a Christian at the age of 9 while visiting a small Baptist church in Northern Maine). I spent my youth discipling under the guidance of strong, traditional Christians who loved their church, and their family. The church began to change when the original pastor left (called to plant a church in FL).

Around the age of 16, I began attending a Charismatic church in Windsor Locks. Living Waters Fellowship Church had just experienced what everyone deemed, a renewal. The Toronto Blessing (See Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship) had just begun, and this revival seemed genuine. In fact, I visited TACF numerous times with the youth group and felt the power of God. Unfortunately, in time, the Toronto Blessing turned inward and became focused on signs and wonders.

LWFC eventually split. The senior pastor felt the Toronto Blessing was not of God, while the assistant pastor (who I sided with) felt it was. Oh, the split was over much more than just that. The senior pastor was having some family difficulties and left the required sabatocal early causing a strife during the middle of the service. Truly a sad experience in my church life. Jesus was not happy there.

Finally the senior pastor gave the assistant pastor his blessing to start a church with a majority of the youth. We started Open Gate Ministries in 1998. I have some awesome memories and fond blessings that come from Open Gate. We were all on fire, excited, young, and ready to take on the world with God’s word. Under the wing of my youth leader, and senior pastor, I eventually joined YWAM for their Discipleship Training School. This too was a great experience that brought me into a closer understanding of God.

Fast forward a few years. I have moved away from my home church, living in NJ with my wife. We both consider ourselves Charismatic Christians (and do so to this day for the most part), but we can’t find a church that satisfies our needs. We visit one place after another, but seem to thirst more, as none can quench. Most churches are either focused on money, or on signs and wonders. This was enough to stop us from going to a church for sometime. Big mistake, please keep in fellowship.

Well, we found our home at a bible study started by Calvary Chapel Old Bridge. The Bible study eventually grows into a full time church. From our experiences here, we have again found love of the word. The study is refreshing, and the worship is simple, yet heartfelt. God is definitely moving in our humble church!

To get back to Todd Bentley, my point is, I have been there. I have seen folks who claim to heal people. I have experienced the shaking in the spirit, was slain by the Holy Ghost, and I spoke uncontrollably in unknown languages. I prophecied over others, and I laughed liked a drunkard. It got me nowhere spiritually. My armor was tarnished and weak. The temptation to seek after signs and wonders was overbearing at times.

Todd Bentley may feel he is genuinely doing the right thing, but he is doing things that make me scratch my head in wonder. Kicking a person in the stomach who has Stage IV Colon Cancer and claiming God told him to do this?! Laughing about knocking a person’s tooth out after punching him in the face? Poking a little girl in the eye who had lazy eye? These are not representative of Christ’s compassion and love. These are not found in His word!

This is no revival that is going on in Lakewood. This is simply a spectacle of freakish proportions. I would guard yourself against such actions before getting caught up in the energy of it all. A true revival shows people repenting for their sins, the church coming to a point of restoration, and people being moved by the awesome power and love of God. Nowhere in the Bible does God show Himself as a fool! He is the ultimate person of logic.

Todd Bentley seems to have found an easy way to gain money and fame. When confronted by the media about his healings, he has no evidence to back it up. Folks, that is a sign of a false prophet!

I want revival. I want our country changed like never before. I would love to see millions saved. This should be every Christian’s desire. I don’t want to go to a carnival freak show and experience “signs and wonders”. Fact is, a wicked and adulterous generation seeks these things.

In conclusion, we as Christians are called to love God, love our neighbors, and to know His Word! Throw away emotional experiences and open up God’s awesome and Holy Bible. When more American Christians begin to do this, we will know what a true American Revival is!

Advertisements

Tags: , , ,

14 Responses to “Todd Bentley and the Lakeland “Revival””

  1. mssc54 Says:

    Are you aware that Mr. Bently has recently submitted to pastoral over sighrt by two other pastors (not of his church)?

    Perhaps there is something fresh on the horizon.

  2. metaljaybird Says:

    Hi Mr. Bentley, can you be a little more specific? I wasn’t aware of this.

  3. Caron Says:

    Justin Peters visited Lakeland and this is his report:

    http://www.adventuresinchristianity.com/?L=blogs.blog&article=3494

    He was also interviewed on several radio shows about Lakeland.

    Justin Peters deals with false prophets in his seminar entitled “A Call for Discernment.” For an overview of his seminar, see: http://www.justinpeters.org and watch “demo.”

    Mr. Peters held this seminar at my church and comes highly recommended by my pastor, Dr. John MacArthur.

  4. mssc54 Says:

    My pastor has been following this and he just mentioned it as an aside in his message last Sunday. If you want you may be able to catch what he said on itunes (free) at “Legacycathedral.org)

  5. mjb Says:

    yI’ll try to check it out. I am highly skeptical of this church.

  6. mssc54 Says:

    Nothing wrong with being a doubting Thomas. You won’t be the first.

    My pastor is pretty savy and if you know how to read him he will say more then he is saying. For him to say he was encouraged by this oversight thing is something to take notice of. If you have time pick out a couple of his sermons and give them a listen.

  7. thenonconformer Says:

    … what people need firstly is getting the book of acts Pentecostal experiences.. and they will naturally next care for the poor people, act like real anointed Christians. http://groups.msn.com/HolySpiritCome

    …Many Christians are doing their own thing, trying to live a life without Jesus, without even taking to him now often too.. Jesus himself hath said without me you can do nothing.. nothing!!!

    http://anyonecare.wordpress.com/2008/08/02/great-links-great-christian-literature/

  8. John DeVito Says:

    Dear MSSC54,

    Bentley is clearly quoted opposing the written word of God. In one place he says that signs and miracles are necessary, that without them all we have is theology.

    Christ said that an evil and adulterous generation seeks after signs. Paul wrote that God would send strong delusion with signs and wonders to fool even the Elect, if possible.

    Thomas doubted Christ. I come out decidedly against that which is not of Christ. Big difference. When did Christ ever beat someone who sought Him? When did he engage in violence against those he dealt with? Ever? Please, show some Scripture. Perhaps when he beat the legs of the paralytic at the pool of Bethesda…Oh…bad example. Ok. How about when he did a full mount on the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4 and started choking her? Whoops, that isn’t there either. When He knocked the tooh clean out of the mouth of the woman caught in adultery? Uh…don’t think so. The demoniac at the Gergesenes? Surely he beat the daylights out of that guy? Didn’t He? Ah, c’mon. He surely must have slapped someone around somewhere. Bentley is acting Scripturally, no? Well, if not Jesus, then the Apostles did such stuff, right? Somewhere? Anywhere?

    Don’t take offense, but those who think Bentley is legit don’t know Scripture. I mean to “know” it beyond a cursory, intellectual knowledge. Wrath from God is stored up for those who He is angry with. Bentley smiles and bestows “god’s” “blessings” as being signs of favor and revival. The actions he takes are not God’s blessings, and the only reason he is smiling is because he enjoys beating on people without the threat of legal repercussion. the actions he takes are not consistent with Scripture or the recorded actions of Christ at all. Not one whit.

    I pray you, and all who think Bentley and the Lakeland Revival are legit. might receive the blessing of a gift of discernment.

    John

  9. thenonconformer Says:

    Most Christians still do not know God, Jesus Christ, Holy Spirit, and the Bible too.. less than 5 percent of Christians read their Bible 5 minutes a day, so they talk aboout things they really do not know, have not expereicned, and the Holy Ghost especially.. undeniably too

  10. thenonconformer Says:

    >>he says that signs and miracles are necessary, that without them all we have is theology.

    My real often reality is that even most so called Christians today when the see a miracle, they try to deny it, explain it away..

    but they did that also in Jesus time now too.. so what else is new?

  11. metaljaybird Says:

    So, kicking and punching is an act of a miracle?

  12. mssc54 Says:

    thenonconformer; whoaaaa man calm down. Where did I say this Bently guy was legit? I never said such a thing. I merely said that my pastor said that he had been keeping an eye on this and that Bently had submitted to pastoral oversight…. which of course being under spiritual authority is Scriptural.

    Although I am pretty Scripture does say something about back biting and such… what is a back biter likened too?

    All sin is equal in the eyes of the Lord.

  13. John DeVito Says:

    I took your statement that “Perhaps there is something fresh on the horizon” as expressive that he is legit.

    No backbiting here. I said nothing amiss. I merely illustrated from Scriptural comparisons that Bentley is most certainly not acting in a Biblical manner.

    Please accept my apology if I incorrectly concluded from your post that you thought he was legitimate. Understand that the charicatures coming out of Lakeland are bad for the cause of Christ, and therefore must be confronted with firm truth.

  14. John DeVito Says:

    I took your statement that “Perhaps there is something fresh on the horizon” as expressive that he is legit.

    No backbiting here. I said nothing amiss. I merely illustrated from Scriptural comparisons that Bentley is most certainly not acting in a Biblical manner.

    Please accept my apology if I incorrectly concluded from your post that you thought he was legitimate. Understand that the charicatures coming out of Lakeland are bad for the cause of Christ, and therefore must be confronted with firm truth.

    John

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: