Revival or Circus?

It is interesting to see Todd’s before and after pictures.  Some find it fake and unnerving when a person makes such a dramatic change.  It is like the kid that showed up to school in cowboy boots and a big belt buckle one semester only to be a gangster rapper the next.  Is it just whatever works? 

How authentic is it to go from Todd in a tie to Todd in tattoos, from a two piece suit to two facial piercings. 

It has been said that it is all part of the circus act.  “Circus of God” actually:

Jesus under the big top
VisionTV’s Circus of God explores the unusual world of Christian tent revivals

If it’s not the greatest show on earth, it’s certainly the holiest.

The “tent revival” has been part of the North American Protestant tradition since the 1800s. In parking lots and playing fields, worshippers still gather beneath a roof of canvas to hear the fiery words of great preachers and be healed by the power of faith. But a 19th-century revivalist would scarcely recognize the modern-day version of this gathering.

Circus of God, a documentary by Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Chris Triffo (Dad), takes an eye-opening look inside the tent revival movement.

If you want an emblem for this “fast age,” look no further than Todd Bentley, a motorbike-riding evangelist from Abbotsford, B.C. who intends to “save a million souls” before he turns 30.

“I’m into anything loud and fast,” Todd says proudly – and that sums up his tent meetings, which are part evangelism, part showbiz extravaganza. Circus of God is there to capture the phenomenon in all its rock ‘n’ roll glory, from the brimstone sermonizing to the speaking in tongues. Todd’s particular market niche is faith healing (“Is there anybody here who has cancer that is terminal?”), and his very touch leaves worshippers convulsing on the ground in the throes of the Holy Spirit. (Or the throes of something, anyway) Sept. 6, 2006 http://www.visiontv.ca/Programs/documentaries_circus_god.html

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4 responses to “Revival or Circus?

  1. I think you should give it a shot- actually view the revival for a week and maybe consider going. I was there, and found it to be totally opposite to what you wrote- the interesting thing is…. you could be using Scripture to fight Scripture- for example in Acts 2, you would probably use the same Matt 7:15 against Acts 2, judging by your tone. If you want to be totally fair and sincere, tune in for a week or two- but take care. Don’t take shots at leaders/people who actually have more ‘revival’ (the true Life of Christ) than yourself, more souls saved, more orphans helped and more widows helped in Africa. As an African missionary, I think you need to be fair, instead of just critical- for example anyone can have a blog that criticizes leaders… but few people actually go out and serve others. Anyone can tear a house down, but few carpenters can actually build a good house. This doesnt mean we should not use discernment- but please, lets not shoot our own brothers/ soldiers in Christ! Honestly, the way some people talk on the internet (supposed ‘Christians’) they would never want to be ‘talked about’ like that– or their family, friends or churches.

  2. constantino garcia

    I would like use your “tent revival” image on a flyer I’m creating for our tent revival meeting. please let me know. Thank you.

  3. This Todd is some scum. Does he offer a Jesus retirement fund?

  4. I agree that any 19th century tent-revival preacher would be shocked at what is considered ‘revival’ today. It used to be anointed, holy music followed by anointed, holy preaching of the word of God-the saved were revived into greater service to God and the lost were revived from sin and death unto salvation-today its all about miracles, healings, tongues and the like. I have a tent meeting in the works, following the old paths, not the new.

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