Tag Archives: Todd Bentley

“Elmer Gantry Was Drunk” Written by Cliff Dunn and Pier Angelo Guidugli

That’s the opening sentence of the novel Elmer Gantry—the most scathing satire Sinclair Lewis ever wrote.

It tells the story of a young, narcissistic, womanizing college athlete who becomes a Methodist minister and spends his life as a false prophet, until his “con act” finally leads him, and many followers, to misery.

The novel, written in 1926, created a public furor. The book was banned in several states and denounced from pulpits across the USA. One cleric suggested that the author should be imprisoned for five years. And like with the ayatollahs’ “fatwa” against Salman Rushdie for his 1988 book, The Satanic Verses, there were also threats of physical violence against Sinclair Lewis.

The novel could easily have been written today. It satirically represents, and brings to life, the hypocrisy behind the multimillion-dollar industry of religion. Elmer Gantry remains unpopular with most evangelical Christians to this day.

It hits too close to home.

SFGN has compiled “The Hypocrisy A-List.” It features preachers and Republican politicians who get caught in unholy scandals of one type or another—preferably of a sexual nature.

These people tend to be extremely homophobic in their sermons and their politics.

“The Hall of Shame”

Part 1: THE PREACHERS – FALL FROM GRACE

(Part 2: The Politicians will follow)

BILLY JAMES HARGIS, early 1970s. A prolific author and radio evangelist. Formed American Christian College in 1971 in order to teach fundamentalist Christian principles. However, a sex scandal erupted at the college, involving claims that Hargis had had sex with male and female students.

JIMMY SWAGGART, 1987. The Self-Appointed Judge of America’s Televangelists found himself the penitent when he was caught patronizing a prostitute.

MIKE WARNKE, 1991. A popular Christian evangelist and comedian during the 1970s and 1980s. In 1991, Cornerstone Magazine turned up damaging evidence of fraud and deceit. The investigation also revealed the unflattering circumstances surrounding Warnke’s multiple marriages, affairs, and divorces.

JIM BAKKER,1991. The founding father of the Praise the Lord Club was involved in a sex scandal with Jessica Hahn. Around the same time, various improprieties in the business dealings of PTL were uncovered. He wound up being sentenced to a 45-year term in prison for fraud. His wife Tammy became a favorite gay icon.

ROY CLEMENTS, 1999. Prominent figure within British evangelical Christianity. In 1999, he revealed he was in a homosexual relationship, resigned as a pastor, and separated from his wife.

JOHN PAULK, 2000. Former leader of Focus on the Family ‘s “Love Won Out” and former chairman of the board for Exodus International.  In September 2000, Paulk was found and photographed in a Washington, D.C. gay bar, and accused by opponents of flirting with male patrons at the bar.

EARL PAULK, 2007. (no relation to the above) was the founder and head pastor of Chapel Hill Harvester Church in Decatur, Georgia, from 1960 until the 1990s. A number of women from the congregation came forward during the 1990s claiming that Paulk had sexual relations with them. Some of these claims have subsequently been proven correct.

PAUL CROUCH, 2004. Founder and president of the Trinity Broadcasting Network, the world’s largest evangelical television network. In September 2004, the LA Times published a series of articles raising questions about the fundraising practices and financial transparency of TBN, as well as the allegations of a former ministry employee, Enoch Lonnie Ford, that he had a homosexual affair with Crouch during the 1990s.

TED HAGGARD, 2006. Was the pastor of the New Life Church in Colorado Springs and was the president of the National Association of Evangelicals. Haggard’s position allowed him occasional access to President George W. Bush. In 2006, it was alleged that Haggard had been regularly visiting a male prostitute who also provided him with drugs. Haggard admitted his wrongdoing and resigned.

PAUL BARNES, 2006. Founder and former senior minister of the evangelical church Grace Chapel in Douglas County, Colorado. He confessed his homosexual activity to the church board, and his resignation was accepted on December 7, 2006   This scandal was notable because it was similar to Ted Haggard’s (above), it occurred in the same state (Colorado), and around the same time (late 2006).

LONNIE LATHAM. In 2006, Latham, the senior pastor of South Tulsa Baptist Church and a member of the powerful Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee, was arrested for “offering to engage in an act of lewdness” with a male undercover police officer.

COY PRIVETTE, 2007. Baptist pastor, conservative activist, politician in North Carolina, president of the Christian Action League, and a prominent figure in North Carolina moral battles. In 2007, Privette resigned as president of North Carolina’s Christian Action League and from the board of directors of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, following revelations on July 19 that he had been charged with six counts of aiding and abetting prostitution

THOMAS WESLEY WEEKS, III, 2007. Married fellow evangelist Juanita Bynum in 2002, but they separated in May 2007. In August 2007, Weeks physically assaulted Bynum in a hotel parking lot and was convicted of the crime in March 2008. The couple divorced in June 2008 and Weeks remarried in October 2009.

JOE BARRON, 2008, one of the 40 ministers at Prestonwood Baptist Church, one of the largest churches in the United States, was arrested on May 15, 2008 for solicitation of a minor after driving from the Dallas area to Bryan, Texas, in order to allegedly engage in sexual relations with what he thought to be a 13-year-old girl he had met online. The “girl” turned out to be an undercover law enforcement official.

TODD BENTLEY, 2008. Rose to prominence as an evangelist at the Lakeland Revival in Florida. In August 2008 he stepped down permanently when it was revealed he was separating from his wife, Shonnah, and was in a relationship with Jessa Hasbrook, a member of his staff.

TONY ALAMO, 2008. Federal agents raided Tony Alamo Christian Ministries headquarters as part of a child pornography investigation involving allegations of physical abuse, sexual abuse, polygamy, and underage marriage. In late July 2009, Alamo was convicted on ten counts of transporting minors across state lines for sexual purposes, sexual assault and other crimes. On November 13, 2009, he was sentenced to the maximum punishment of 175 years in prison.

GEORGE ALAN REKERS, 2010. Baptist minister, co-founder of the right-wing Family Research Council, and a member of the notorious National Association for the Research and Treatment of Homosexuality, took a 10-day trip to Europe with a 20-year-old male prostitute.

A special entry for wackiness is reserved to:

PAT ROBERTSON and JERRY FALWELL

In 1999, Jerry Falwell suggested that Tinky Winky, ibe of the Teletubby characters, was gay because  “.. it has the voice of a boy yet carries a purse. He is purple, the gay-pride color; and his antenna is shaped like a triangle, the gay-pride symbol..”

After the 9/11 attacks, Falwell said:  “I really believe that the pagans, the abortionists, the feminists, the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America. I point the finger in their face and say ‘you helped this happen.'” Fellow evangelist Pat Robertson concurred with his sentiment. Falwell further stated that the attacks were “probably deserved.”

On June 10, 1988, Pat Robertson said Orlando, Fla., should beware of hurricanes, since it and Disney World allowed Gay Days to be held there.

“I would warn Orlando that you’re right in the way of some serious hurricanes, and I don’t think I’d be waving those flags in God’s face if I were you,” Robertson said on his TV show, The 700 Club.

In the months following the statement, Orlando was spared, but hurricanes Charley and Frances made landfall in Texas, dumping heavy rains, killing over 14 people, and hitting the town of… Corpus Christi. Apparently even God has a sense of humor.

http://www.southfloridagaynews.com/editorial/political-editorial/1606-qelmer-gantry-was-drunkq.html 

The Above Article was first published by SFGN. 

I pray people calling themselves “Christian” and proclaiming to be follwers of Jesus Christ will stop giving various media outlets and individuals fuel for the fire!

Rick Joyner Heals And Restores Todd Bentley?

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