Defending the Indefensible… Todd Bentley Apologetic
Recently I received a response to my online article “Todd Bentley…the New Simon Magnus” which directed me to an online paper called “Biblical Reasons to Receive God’s Glory and Give it Away in Power Evangelism”. The paper purports to “give people permission to get on board and fully commit to receiving God’s glory…” to be used in power evangelism. The author, Gary Greig, PHD, is an associate professor of Old Testament and Hebrew at Regent University.
Greig’s paper answers 10 objections to Todd Bentley’s ministry, validating Bentley and the current manifestation of the ‘experienced based Christianity’ that Bentley is a proponent of. In the opening paragraph, Greig admits that he himself was a participant in both the Toronto and Pensacola revival movements.
“Thousands of Christian leaders from almost 40 countries have visited the Lakeland meetings, and millions around the world in 214 nations have watched on live television through God TV and the internet, as multiple lame people have gotten out of their wheelchairs and walked, as blind eyes have received sight, as deaf ears have opened, and as of this writing, up to 20 accounts have been reported of clinically dead people being raised to life through the prayers of people who have visited the Lakeland meetings. The Lakeland meetings not only bear similarities to the Argentine revival of the 1980s-1990s and the Toronto and Brownsville awakenings of the 1990s (each of which I personally witnessed or experienced), the level of God’s power being poured out in the meetings is extraordinary, to say the least. It is clear from the daily broadcasts of the Lakeland meetings that scores of people are putting their faith in Christ and many are being healed from all kinds of diseases and conditions.” (Greig, Biblical Reasons…pg 2) www.freshfire.ca/UserFiles/File/drGreg_biblicalperspective2008.pdf
Before answering the ten major objections to Bentley, Greig takes the obligatory swipe at “Heresy Hunters” who criticize what they don’t understand. Contrary to appearances, we are assured by professor Greig that,
“Todd Bentley is no fly-by-night Bible teacher, “with an untutored grasp of
Christian theology,” as one theology professor erroneously claimed. I beg to
differ. I have personally followed Todd’s teachings (on CD’s and on the
internet), his books, and his ministry for the last eight years, and I have
never found a biblically and theologically untrained evangelist or ministry
leader over the past twenty years who accurately interprets and rightly
handles the Scriptures as well as Todd Bentley has done in his teachings and
writings. “ (ibid)
MANIFESTING AND ‘LOOSING THE SPIRIT’
Objection three in Greg’s paper is listed as:
“The manifestations, shaking, vibrating, laughing, talk of electricity, and
weird behavior didn’t happen in the Bible and cannot be from God. Todd Bentley
has an obsession with the paranormal.”
*Ephesians 5:18 teaches us not to be drunken or in excess, but rather to” be being filled with the Spirit”, in other words being Spirit filled is not an alternative drunkenness, but the very antithesis of drunkenness! To be filled with the Holy Spirit is to be self possessed, sober minded, thankful and submissive.
* I Samuel 1 is the story of Hannah, who was so desperate for a child, praying in the temple, and yet accused by the backslidden and half blind priest of being drunk. Hardly a support for spiritual drunkenness.
*Finally, his reference to I Samuel 19 is an unfortunate reference to Saul, seeking to murder David, and in the process, arrested by God and made naked, prophesying! Doesn’t look like a blessing, I believe that it is rather a judgment!
These are the same misguided defenses for the phenomenon known as spiritual drunkenness that we saw and heard in the Toronto and Pensacola heresies. Greig uses what the mockers said in Acts 2, misuses Paul’s call to true spirituality in Eph 5, (forbidding drunkenness), as well as the mistaken judgment of a corrupt and backslidden priest in I Samuel 1, Eli, to bolster his defense of this “category of manifestation”. The last reference is to the judgment that fell on a murderous King in I Sam 19. I would hardly call falling down publicly, naked and prophesying to be a blessing.
Be advised, I do believe there is a spiritual drunkenness, as I explained in my book, WEIGHED AND FOUND WANTING - Putting the Toronto Blessing in Context. Spiritual drunkenness is real, but it is not the blessing Bentley and friends would have you believe, it is instead a very definite judgment of the Lord!
Isa 29:9-10 Stay yourselves, and wonder; cry ye out, and cry: they
are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink. For
the LORD hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed
your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered.
In Greig’s rebuttal to objection five, which states that,
Col. 2:18-19-- Let no one who delights in humility and the worship of
angels pass judgment on you. That person goes on at great lengths about what
he has supposedly seen, but he is puffed up with empty notions by his fleshly
mind. He has not held fast to the head from whom the whole body, supported and
knit together through its ligaments and sinews, grows with a growth that is
This is from Mike Oppenheimer of “Let us Reason” ministries article entitled” When the Angel Came” -
Bentley says: “Then on December 5, 2000 an angel appeared to me and said
he was the angel that appeared to me in April 1998 (before the Lord Jesus
Christ came to me in the kitchen). He said that the day he came to me in 1998
was the day he was assigned to me. This time (on December 5th) the angel said,
“I am the angel that has been assigned to your life. I am a healing angel . .
. You are going to take miracles, signs and wonders around the world.”
Why would an evangelist be told to preach angels, rather than Jesus? Let
Bentley explain it in his own words…
“I’m releasing it back to where it all started in 1948 I’m releasing it back.” Y’know I told the lord why can’t I just move in healing and forget talking about all that other stuff, he said because Todd, you got to get the people to believe in the angel. I said, God why do I want the people to believe in the angel instead about getting the people to believe in Jesus, he said the people already believe in Jesus but the church doesn’t believe in the supernatural. The church has no problem believing in Jesus what we don’t believe in is the supernatural we don’t believe in angels, we don’t believe in the prophetic.” healtheland.wordpress.com/2008/05/23/todd-bentley-jesus-christ-is-not-supernatural-but-angels-are/
THE REAL OBJECTIONS GO UNANSWERED
My biggest problems with Todd Bentley have to do with who his own self-confessed influences are. William Branham, Bob Jones and Paul Cain among others. How could someone who emulates Branham be anything but false? This isn’t about whether or not there are miracles, or angels, or whether or not people “believe in the power of God”. Bentley in no way distances himself from Branham, he actually believes He is being visited by the angelic author of the 1940’s healing revival.
Bob Jones, Bentley’s elder prophet mentor, is a huge problem. This false prophet taught that there would come a holy bloodline of miracle workers -
I have called the best of every bloodline in earth unto this generation...
I have elected to bring them forth in this generation... the elect
generation... even the bloodline of Paul... of David... of Peter, James and
John... They will even be superior to them in heart, stature and love for
me'...Your children will possess the spirit without measure... They will move
into things of the supernatural that no one has ever moved in before... coming
into the divine nature of Jesus Christ... a Church that has reached the full
maturity of the Godman! This generation... is going to see the beginning of
this world wide new order.