Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Todd Bentley's Revival Meetings in Lakeland, FL

I first heard about Todd Bentley when a well-meaning, sweet natured (but obviously gullible) woman asked me if I'd been to the ongoing revival in the city of Lakeland, Florida.

I hadn't heard of it (and frankly, I am highly suspicious of such events) but she was so eager to press the information on me that I took a scrap of paper, handed to me by fervently shaking hands, with the single name of "Todd Bentley" written reverently upon it.

The woman swore to me that all "godly" Christians were going there. Being what I hope is a godly Christian didn't make me feel at all obligated to go: I smelled a rat.

Perhaps that's because I knew a major traveling evangelist in the recent past, and I know what con artists they almost invariably are (with the exception of a very few). You see, I have greater faith in someone that establishes himself in a home church, instead of roaming about the country in search of new prey. Accountability is a powerful deterrent.

So, upon investigation, I certainly have to say that Todd Bentley doesn't disappoint me. He's every ounce the huckster that one could possibly expect.

What sorrows me is seeing the people who are flocking to his tent meetings, with the desperate hope of being healed. This includes children with severe diseases who are hoping beyond all hope that they will be among the number that walks freely out of that tent revival. And yet, not everyone is healed.

In general, these faithful sheeples seem satisfied to believe that the healing process is beginning. Of course in the Bible, no healer began the healing process. No! When someone was healed, they were healed immediately: Pure and simple.

Of great concern is Todd Bentley's criminal background in Canada. He apparently had a strong criminal record as a juvenile. Not many people know for certain what he did, as juvenile records are sealed. However, it was reported by a valued news source that Bentley was a child molester (among other criminal behaviors).

Here are two YouTube videos. The first one is a documentation of how seriously abusive Todd Bentley is. This can hardly come from God. No one in the Bible healed others through abusing them.

The second one is Todd Bentley's confession that he's been demon possessed while he was supposedly a born-again Christian at the same time. Again, this is a doctrine completely contrary to any Christian beliefs based on the Bible. In the Bible we read "No servant can serve two masters..." (Luke 16:13 and Matt. 6:24). I am happy to cite further evidence on this, if anyone is interested. There is overwhelming evidence that the Bible considers a Christian being possessed to be an impossibility.

Here Todd Bentley admits to his abusive 'healings' that he performs:

Here Todd Bentley says he's been demon possessed:


Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

I can't draw a line between this guy and any other evangelist, they are all extreme, they are all unhinged and they are all clearly mad beyond belief, as are the desperate deluded people that follow them and believe that God passes through these sorry excuses for humanity and into them to be healed.


exMI said...

Are you saying that possession by demons is not biblically based or someone who had been possessed later becoming a minister?
And as for childhood crimes, well do you disallow the value of repentance?

I have never heard of the fellow and suspect you may be right in your evaluation of his worth. But the reasons you cite don't do much for me.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Are there still people who believe that people can be possessed by demons?

What century are we in?

Repenting and confession sounds like trap-door thinking.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Exmi, I revised that a little because I didn't word it properly. This guy claimed to be demon possessed AFTER he became a Christian. And, if you aren't convinced that he's a lunatic after seeing his FIRST video, I don't know what can convince you...?

As for repentence, I believe that it exists. However, studies show that there are some crimes that people just don't seem to return from. For instance, serial killers rarely just 'get better' one day. Child molestors are another batch that just don't easily reform. Possible? Yes. Probable? No.

Daniel, Speaking of possible vs. probable: Many of us Christians do believe that demon possession is POSSIBLE but I certainly don't believe it's PROBABLE even among unbelievers! Most common-sense non-charismatic/pentacostalistic Christians agree with me.

It's become the glamorous thing to claim in some of these creepy/crazy circles, though. In fact, demons are so commonly 'seen' in these types of groups that they're always coming up with new ones. I would think they'd be yawning in boredom by now: "Oh, a NEW demon? What happened to the demon of... [fill in the blank here]"

Confession isn't something we do in Protestant circles, but the Bible does encourage us to repent and let others know we've done so. I do not know of any such renunciation that this guy has made.

This guy is especially creepy, but most TV evangelists are a little better. Note that I said a little.

Caron said...

Justin Peters was on Way of the Master radio regarding this as well as Ingrid Schleuter’s “Crosstalk” on VCY America. They are both archived. This is what he wrote on his experience of Lakeland:

And here is his site: - be sure to see “demo.”

He spoke at my church and comes highly recommended by my pastor, Dr. John MacArthur.

The Lazy Iguana said...

Of course he is a fraud. Probably a wealthy fraud. How much does he collect from each revival meeting?

If I ran the world, or just the State, then I would have the State Attorney sue his ass off for deceptive advertising practices. He advertises to be a healer. Well then if not everyone is healed then he sold a false bill of goods. I can not sell a mint condition 1968 Corvette on E-Bay Motors and then deliver a ratty 1989 Dodge Daytona in its place - for that would be fraud. I advertised one thing and sold another thing. You can not do that.

Unless you claim to have magical healing powers, activated by kicking old ladies in the face while wearing biker boots. Imagine how healed the old lady would be if he had kicked her with steel toe work boots!!

If it would not land me in jail, I would like to go to one of his tent shows and crack him in the leg with a solid steel pry bar. Shatter a leg bone or knee. Then just watch in amazement as he heals himself right before my very eyes! Come to think of it I should do that. If he can heal himself instantly it was not really assault!

But the people going to his bullshit are never going to be convinced otherwise. Not until they give him the last of their money, and still walk away sick. And even then they may well die thinking the healing has begun. BZZZZZZ!

The scary part is that these people will be voting. We know who they voted for in 2000 and 2004 - the idiot who can BARELY speak English properly.

And then they want to send anyone who no can not speak English somewhere else. I never really got that part.

The Lazy Iguana said...

By the way - have you rented Jesus Camp yet? Am I going to have to rent it from Netflix again and mail it to you?

Saur♥Kraut said...

Caron, I have GREAT respect for Dr. MacArthur, whose book "The Charismatics" is positively brilliant - I hope you've read it. Of course anything the man produces is top-notch, IMHO. And thanks for the two links - I am very impressed with Justin Peters!

Lazy, You know what, I HAVE to rent that and I will do so today if at all possible. You keep hounding me to do that (rightfully so) and I know I want to see it!

Yeah, he undoubtedly makes TONS of money. The evangelist that *I* knew told stories of revival meetings where hysterical women would throw their jewelry into the collection plate. Afterwards, he would allow his mother and wife to pick through it and keep whatever they wanted before it was turned over to be sold. :P

As for assaulting this particular guy, it is tempting but you'd have less of a leg to stand on, legally (pun intended). What *I* would do is go there with body armor on, show up in a wheelchair (that seems to be a biggie), struggle out of that wheelchair to get on stage, let him assault me (perhaps encourage him in some way) and then sue the crap out of him.

undergroundlogician said...

Corrupted and extreme forms of religious practice does NOT cancel out the true forms of religion. The tendency is to equate all Charismatics with this guy, and though I appreciate Dr. MacArthur's concern over the extremes found in Charismania, one can also fall into an extreme of anti-supernaturalism, as I think he does. As in any case, let's avoid extremes, and for those who are Christians, let Christ dictate what we believe.

Today, as a result of religion of science, we see an approach to the Christianity that is technical in nature, a textualism that withdraws from the supernatural and reduces Scripture to mere text that can be parsed and interpreted at will. One of the alarming trends out of this movement is the increasing doubt in the existance of the demonic. People such as Daniel see this belief as barbaric...something tribal and not relevant and beneath us post-moderns. This idea piggy-backs the same false notion that undergirds the argument against the existence of God; since we cannot prove the existence of the devil scientifically, he must not exist. This is foolish and dangerous thinking.

Nuff said.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Religion is an extreme practice

And I'm all for anti-supernaturalism if it means people waste less time on the devil and God and more time on making humanity the best it can be.

Uncle Joe said...

Good grief.
i've been waiting for you to heat the pot up and you have done a fine job!
You probably don't need my help stirring though.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Uncle Joe, You know me! ;o) I can't seem to stay out of trouble.

Daniel, If it were only that simple. The problem is, how do you define what is best for humanity? Where do we come up with these beliefs? We need a set of ground rules. We tried to do that in the USA, with limited success. But then it comes down to issues where you can't help but have a divide - there is no way of getting people to agree on any one concept, I'm sorry to say (perhaps with few exceptions).

Underground, But IF we let Christ dictate what we believe, then there is little room for certain practices. I'm not saying that I agree 100% with MacArthurs' belief that there is NO genuine charasmatic. But I think there are many frauds out there, and I think all Christians should read his book to get his perspective on things. I DO agree that we need balance of both head knowledge and heart knowledge, but the Bible should always prevail, of course (I know you agree).

undergroundlogician said...

Yes, there are frauds and Christ warns us of them. We know them by their fruit and we stay clear of the bad ones. I'm not sure what you mean by your statement: "But IF we let Christ dictate what we believe, then there is little room for certain practices."

Christianity has as its model, Christ. He's our Life, our Model, our Guide. I don't see this as limiting. In fact, it's a huge challenge, don't you think? I'm challenged beyond words!

Saur♥Kraut said...

Underground, Oops! Sorry - I was very tired last night and shouldn't have been writing, I guess!

What I meant was that many people SAY that they're letting Christ dictate what they believe. In other words, they are going by their FEELINGS and WISHES and not what Christ may REALLY be telling them. That's why we have the Bible to serve as the cornerstone of our faith.

In other words, what we THINK we should be doing cannot conflict with what the Bible says we should be doing. And we need to always check our motives.

The Lazy Iguana said...

More people need to stand up and tell the obvious frauds to shut the hell up. Bottom line.

By not acting, people are allowing frauds and hucksters to take over. And they have. The frauds have been allowed to become mainstream. People like this goof.

Saur - have you obtained the movie yet?

doozie said...

Two words.....


That guy needs to have the faith of God descend upon him with a good old fashioned stabbing. Maybe I feel the faith of God coming upon ME to go ahead and stab him right through the voice box so the world can be rid of his drivel

Saur♥Kraut said...

Doozie, *LOL*

Lazy, Very true. But I am happy to say that there are many Christians who are now pushing back, and declaring him to be a fraud (or worse).

The Lazy Iguana said...

Well they need to declare that LOUDER. And closer to the tent.

Saur said...

Lazy, Well, many are (go to YouTube to see some) but the problem is finding the time to get down to Lakeland to boycott it, for one thing.

And some Christians are mistaken in thinking that speaking out against it would be 'divisive', just as some Republicans don't like to go against the current neo-cons even though they don't espouse the party values. That's very wrong thinking, of course.

In MY case, I dislike this creepy guy a lot, and I hate to see what he's doing, but *I* am not going to be travelling to Lakeland to set up camp because I don't have the time or energy. HOWEVER: I am happy to discuss this with anyone and more than happy to shout my warnings from the internet.

And... truthfully... I wonder if it would make any difference to the ignorant sheeples who are flocking there en masse?

I suppose a street preacher who stood in front, yelling counter-scripture from a megaphone might make some impact...?

Paul Nichols said...

I watched a few seconds of each video. I clicked them off. This is not my idea of a spiritual leader. A spiritual leader is humble first. Willing to wash feet, not bang them up and down. A spiritual leader is a student of the Word and has the wisdom to share it without circusry. A spiritual leader can often be found in hospitals, nursing homes and hospices: places without microphones or money.

This man was recently featured on one of our local TV newscast. I didn't watch it; only saw the ad for it.

Watchman on the Wall said...

Todd Bentley is most definitely not led by the God of the Bible. For more information, please go to my blog
where I've collected quite a bit of info, videos, etc. God bless you!

CrazyCath said...

This is scary, that people actually believe this guy. That people actually laughed at his violent "healing".

He is no more acting in God's power or in His name than Satan himself.