Posts Tagged ‘Todd Bentley’

I’m currently mulling over the question why does it seem that so many ministers fall? This started with the whole Todd Bentley/Lakeland revival thing. It seems that at least once a year, Christians hear of preachers, teachers, musicians, etc. who stumble into sin or have some secret uncovered that disqualifies them from ministry. Why does it seem to happen so often? I have a few ideas and will be sharing them over the next several weeks.

The first point I want to make is that the positions we as Christians force on our leaders (head pastor, Christian music star, worldwide evangelist and general “man of God”) are designed to fail. These people have so much expectation and pressure to perform, there is hardly any man (or woman) that can withstand it. People put them on a pedestal, looking to these folks (instead of Jesus) as the example of how to live out our faith. Who can handle that kind of pressure? Although Paul regularly defended his right to speak correction to the churches he founded, he never did so based on his own merit or qualifications.

Christians have been lazy. Instead of doing the work of the ministry ourselves, we have raised up people for ourselves to do the ministry for us. We’ve said we’ll go on about our own lives and we’ll pay you to do what we should be doing. We have sub-contracted out the work of the ministry and laid it at the feet of men and women who can’t bear the burden we ask them to carry. It is the body of Christ who is supposed to do the work of the ministry. Ephesians 4:11,12. Pastors, teachers, preachers, etc. are there to build us up so we can do the job, not do the job for us. Oh, its a great deal for us though. We can keep our jobs, reputation, and paycheck unblemished. But while the ministers do what the church body should be doing, many end up alienating family members (been around a preacher’s kid lately?) struggling with secret sin, and barely staying married.  All we have to do is show up once a week and pay them, just like the yard man. And if he doesn’t do a good job, we’ll find another.

Who can stand under that pressure? We created a system that destines ministers to fail and punishes them when they do.  Under this construct, Christianity becomes a belief system devoid of action instead of a lifestyle . In trying to please the ones who pay for their food, house and hobbies, our leaders have become professionals trying to earn their keep.

Wow, that’s cynical. But something to consider.

More to come…

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Ok, so a few weeks back I posted on how I was disgusted with the reaction to the news that Todd Bentley and his wife were separating. You can find that here. Basically I was upset that so many people had received this news with apparent glee since it proved their anti-Lakeland stances correct. No one seemed to care that a man was being destroyed (whether it was his own fault or not).

So now its been a few months and more information has come out – specifically, the separation was due to an emotional affair he had with a woman other than his wife. With this came realizations that this had been an issue in the past and Todd had been restored. Well, he slipped back again and now the Lakeland revival is no more. Services have stopped and Todd is on permanent hiatus. It seems to have blown up as fast as it blew in.

I received an email from a friend that Dutch Sheets had written about the whole incident. You can read that here.  He basically apologizes to the Body of Christ on behalf of…well, the Body of Christ. I thought it was a little self-serving but I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. He called for greater discernment among leaders and asked that we not be so quick to throw caution to the wind and embrace anything that looks like revival. I really didn’t mind the letter because it seemed pretty balanced and wasn’t either of the typical “I told you so” or “touch not God’s anointed” speeches that seem so prevalent.

But here’s what I want to get to: why did this happen? I’m not interested in being right. I’m not interested in who had a “check in their spirit,” who called it first or what anyone thinks about Todd Bentley. At best that’s inconsequential and at worst its godless pride. What I wanna know is how can a man who led others to the Lord, saw miracles and energized the charismatic church so quickly and effectively fall so far so suddenly? What about the countless others we’ve heard of – from Ted Haggard, Ray Boltz and Michael Guglielmucci to the glory days of Bakker and Swaggart. What about the many local pastors whom you and I have never heard of who slept with secretaries, divorced wives, stole money, and lived secret lives? What about the Christian musicians who do the same? Why does this happen so regularly to the leaders in the body of Christ?

I’ve been thinking about that and I will be posting several articles called “Why Do Ministers Fall” exploring the topic over the next few weeks.

For those of you who have been following the healing revival going on in Lakeland, you have, no doubt, heard that Todd Bentley and his wife are separating. If not, read this.

It was only a few hours after this announcement that I began to see several “I told you so” articles. Some who had been outspoken against the revival all along relished in the news as further proof of its illegitimacy are openly hoping this news puts the final nail in the coffin of the revival. Others who have stayed silent on the issue are now, with new (convenient) confidence, saying that we should’ve known all along. An example can be found here.

Didn’t take us Christians long to kick our wounded did it?

Ok, lets see if we can sort this out. Here are the facts as we know them: Todd Bentley and his wife are separating. And here is what this means to the body of Christ: Todd Bentley and his wife are separating.

Here is what this news doesn’t mean: 1) The revival was a fraud 2) Todd is a bad guy 3) Those guys that spoke out against Todd should be lifted up and praised (isn’t that what they thought was happening with Todd?) 4) Tattoos and black shirts are scary 5) Jesus slipped and fell of His throne.

Bottom line: Todd and his wife are separating. Thats it. No other information. It doesn’t effect you. We don’t even know why at this point. Why assume the worst? Why consider some grandiose conspiracy theory? Why seek this out as a way to prove yourself right? A man’s marriage is quite possibly falling apart and all we can think about is ourselves!

Why do Christians do this to each other? Simple – we don’t believe the bible. Oh sure, we know the verses that prove our belief system. We know how to disprove someone else’s theology. We have those memorized. We can talk down the Mormons or Jehovah’s Witnesses when they ring our bell. We can tell you all the stuff that’s supposedly going to happen before Jesus comes back. But what about love (1 Cor 13)? What about preferring others better than ourselves (Phil 2:3)? What about not believing accusations against those who have given their lives in ministry (1 Tim 5:19)? We don’t really believe those. If we did, we’d practive them. We’d hold them in as high esteem as the verses that say Jesus is the only way to the Father. Same book, same author. Yet, we treat those commands regarding how to treat others as secondary.

Yes, I personally have had some concerns about the revival. Yes, if there is infidelity or other agregious sin that lead to the seperation, Todd should step down and get restored. But let’s not hope for the worst in an effort to prop oursleves up as being right.

“I told you so” cannot be said in love.