Like a dog that returns to its vomit Is a fool who repeats his folly. prov.26:11
It has happened to them according to the true proverb, “A DOG RETURNS TO ITS OWN VOMIT,” and, “A sow, after washing, returns to wallowing in the mire.” 2Peter 2:22
Here is an excert from the Western Standard Blog…
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Mr. Bentley enters his rehab
At last, new trophy wife in tow, Todd Bentley, the Canadian evangelist who has been having many problems over the past year (to put it lightly) has entered rehabilitation. Over seven months after the collapse of his internationally famous revival in the U.S., he has at last gotten around to going to North Carolina to come under the mentoring of charismatic leader Rick Joyner. Mr. Joyner is to help him return to ministry. Yet, already, in the annoucements and videos that are coming out with Mr. Bentley, there’s more backspin than at a convention of billiards players evident, which is not a good omen for those hoping that Mr. Bentley can return to his work with integrity and a good character.
As videos began to be released a couple of days ago, there was a flurry of commentary and a bit of news coverage. Blogger Miriam Franklin has already weighed in with several pointed critical posts on Mr. Joyner and Mr. Bentley. I’d defintely agree with her on one point she has made, namely that people are concentrating too much on Mr. Bentley’s divorce and quickie remarriage to Jessa, whose affair with the evangelist seems to be the proxinate cause of the “Lakeland revival”. Not so. The affair was a symptom not a cause. That is to say, Mr. Bentley had a character problem that exhibited itself in lying from the pulpit about, for example, raising people from the dead. There were some aberrant, heretical things being said and done at Lakeland. And he was canoodling with a younger, prettier intern while his wife was either watching the kids or taking the pulpit herself to promote what her husband was doing. Marrying Jessa will likely not fix what leads to these sorts of actions.
My blogging friend Bene Diction makes an excellent point in a post that notes that many prominent charismatic groups and churches are slumping in the amount of people that are logging on to their sites. This relates to several things that I have been seeing on The Elijah List, an e-list that caters to charismatics, to the effect that people with alleged prophetic insight are commenting that God will bring Christians through the current economic woes, or bless them in amazing ways financially. There are reports of layoffs at ministries, and the tone of requests for donations has been stepped up. All this backs up Bene Diction’s suspicion that there may be a lot of pressure to get Bentley out on the road prematurely so, as the “star” of the “Lakeland revival”, he can start to draw the crowds again.
Mr. Joyner’s first letter, announcing that Bentley and new wife had arrived, also noted that Mr. Bentley has a new ministry, Fresh Fire USA, which is organized under Mr. Joyner’s own ministry for now. Those wanting to help Mr. Bentley were offered Fresh Fire USA’s address. So, I had to smile when religion editor Frank Lockwood of the Arkansas Democrat, on his religious news blog, titled his note on Mr. Bentley’s restoration process: “Sorry about the adultery. Please send $$$” .
Charisma, the magazine of record for charismatic Christians in the U.S., is covering this too. Their own story has an intestesting note. At the tail end of Bentley’s time in Florida, a team of charismatic leaders and ministers lead by C. Peter Wagner held a special commissioning service for Bentley which was broadcast worldwide via Internet, in which the “Revival Alliance” members predicted that Bentley would go from success to success. They welcomed Bentley as a member of their group and even gave him a special ring, but Charisma’s story quotes Revival Alliance member John Arnott (known for pastoring the “Toronto Blessing” in the 1990s) as saying that Bentley is no longer considered a “member in good standing” of their group. Mr. Wagner and Mr. Arnott revealed some of Bentley’s misdeeds in the aftermath of his leaving the revival, so Mr. Bentley has evidently decided to form alliances with those who are more sympathtic to him, such as Mr. Joyner.
Mr. Joyner features in another Charisma item as well. Charisma editor J. Lee Grady, in his latest column, is disgusted with the rush to bring Bentley back too quickly, calling it a “travesty”. Mr. Grady is righteously indignant, but what I find telling is Mr. Joyner’s response. He writes, in part:
Lee, I love some of the things you write, but I also feel that some are straight from the mouth of the accuser.
I’ll need to translate this for non-Christians. Mr. Joyner is referring to Revelation 12:10 which mentions that Satan is the “accuser of the brethren” (i.e. christians). So, what Mr. Joyner is saying here is that Mr. Grady, editor of a charismatic Christian magazine, is channeling Satan, basically. http://westernstandard.blogs.com/shotgun/2009/03/mr-bentley-enters-his-rehab.html