The Shotgun Blog
Saturday, January 10, 2009
Read your Bible, Todd
If Richard Nixon were alive, sheepishly sinful Canadian faith-healing evangelist Todd Bentley could perhaps have already heeded any advice that the former President had to give. Mr. Bentley, according to a story in the latest print edition of the charismatic magazine Charisma is managing to "stonewall" quite nicely. He remains in a relationship that he has with a former staffer while still being married to his wife. Also he has been about to enter a "recovery" program--for about six months now--under the direct supervision of noted U.S. charismatic evangelist Rick Joyner.
Alas for Mr. Bentley, he apparently has his own "Deep Throat". The text of seemingly confidential letters to Rick Joyner--which are alleged to be from Todd's father, Dave Bentley and from the evangelist himself-- have been leaked to the Internet. If they are accurate, it appears that a nasty public fight is developing between Shonnah Bentley's family and Todd Bentley and his allies. The gloves have been dropped and the benches are clearing. Game misconducts all around.
These letters can be easily found. What cannot be easily found is a book I have that shows an interesting perspective on Mr. Bentley's woes. If I were to say to Mr. Bentley, "Read your Bible..." I would not be talking about the Bible that most people have in their house. I mean his Bible. The Open Heavens Bible that was published by his ministry, with study notes by Mr. Bentley. Specifically, his teachings on "lust" and "sexual sin".
What has bothered me about the Internet discussions of Mr. Bentley and his affair with his intern is that people seem to be confusing the cause and the effect. As I have mentioned, I first learned that the evangelist was not all that he seemed to be over seven years ago. My editors at The Report magazine allowed me to catch the evangelist in a grave lie, which he then repeated the following year. The sequence was clear. A character failing on Mr. Bentley's part led to lying. So, I was dismayed, but not surprised, to see Mr. Bentley lie and lie again. (Several of my posts here go into his most recent fibs.) What I hope that Mr. Joyner sees is that there is a basic issue of character that needs to be fixed when he counsels Mr. Bentley, lest a lack of honour or integrity threatens what he does in the future. You don't want to just fix the "affair" and then have the evangelist do other woeful public sins or expound faulty theology or use the wrong methods in his evangelism. You want a change of heart and mind, so that these things don't happen again.
You may recall that I noted that Todd Bentley claims in his autobiography that he received a special message from the Lord that he was to marry Shonnah Andres...which he did. He wrote:
“…the Lord had actually shown me an open vision of Shonnah. It was my first open-eyed vision. I was in my living room and my fireplace opened up, kind of like a TV screen, and I saw us embracing in a wheat field that was ready for harvest. We were both weeping and I was wearing a tux and she was wearing a wedding dress. As the vision unfolded, her friend Roswetta (who was now my friend) was talking with me in the living room about Shonnah. I described the open vision to her as it happened. The presence of the Lord fell and we both wept. Roswetta said, ‘I can’t see it but I can feel goose bumps.’ During this vision, I also received an anointing of creativity, poetry and writing. In fact, I even received a three-page prophetic poem that I read at our wedding. I still write prophetic poems for my wife to this day.”
If I had received such a direction from the Lord, I would be very apprehensive about going against His will. But if you listen to Mr. Bentley now, he will tell you that his marriage has been troubled for many years and that his wife Shonnah Bentley is a shrew. Shonnah, in particular in her remarks at Ignited Church last spring, has often said that she felt most comfortable being a stay-at-home mom with a husband and family. Perhaps, if this was a valid vision, what God intended was that Todd Bentley hold back somewhat on his desire to be another Billy Graham who also happened to knee cancer victims in the stomach and boot old ladies in the head. Rather, instead he would be well grounded emotionally and have a travelling ministry closer to home, good friends that he could depend on to give him good counsel and a home church. With this sort of partnership, Mr. Bentley could have avoided his well publicized burnout of a few years ago, and lapsing into excessive drinking and an extra-marital affair. Two halves of a team.
Then again, he could have made the vision up to fool Shonnah Bentley into marrying him. He's acting like he never saw anything, at any rate.
Which brings me to the Open Heavens Bible. It's not unusual for evangelists to commission a special edition of the Bible. In 2006, that's what Todd Bentley's ministry did, working with Thomas Nelson to bring out a very limited special edition of the New King James Version, with special study notes by Todd Bentley based on his very charismatic theology. It never made the bookstores and I would be very surprised if more than two or three thousand copies were printed. It is now out of print.
It is Todd Bentley's Bible, in a very personal sense.
Mr. Bentley in his Bible, is eager that his readers avoid spiritual pitfalls, such as the 'Curses" that believers can bring on themselves. "Often when I speak of curses, people become afraid that they're going to get one or that they already have one. You can't pick up a curse at the supermarket or Wal-Mart," Mr. Bentley writes. "Curses don't have an effect without a cause (Prov. 26: 2)....The widest open door for curses in our life is disobedience."
The evangelist has a full page (page 778) on curses due to sexual sins. I quote it in full:
Curses: Open Doors of Lust and Adultery
Different kinds of sickness are sometimes rooted in lust. "But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart." (Matt 5:28). Looking at a woman's beauty isn't necessarily lust; lust is more than an appreciative glance--it is accompanied with the thought: I want her, or involves fantasy. Soon lust takes root and we become bound by it.
While men struggle most with lust of the eyes, women struggle more with the emotional aspects of lust. Romance novels or soap operas captuire the imagination and create unrealistic expectations. Some woman long for romance and satisfy their emotional need for it by feeding on the fairy-tale love lives of others.
In such instances, the doors of resentment, bitterness, and disappinment with her own life and partner grows. She begins to vet what she doesn't have. Single women also develop unrealistic expectatiosn for their "Prince Charming". Every fairy-tale idea about love, marriage, life and relationships that's allowed to settle in the mind--Hollywood glamour, movies, romance, sex and beauty--takes root in the imagination and becomes a form of lust.
Proverbs 2: 16-19 describes the dire consequences of falling into lust. It says that those who are ensnared by lust do not regain the paths of life.
The spirit of lust and adultery saps strength and life. It pulls its victims down paths that lead to the place of death. "Remove your way far from her, and do not go near the door of her house, lest you give your honor to others, and your years to the cruel one" (Prov. 5:8,9). Our honour is our strength and vigor, but when we fall into lust and adultery, we give our years to the cruel one.
Lust can actually cut life short, or cause sickness. 'Now therefore lisetn to me, my children; pay attention to the words of my mouth: Do not let your heart turn aside to her ways, do not stray into her paths; for she has cast down many wounded, and all who were slain by her were strong men. Her house is the way to hell, descending to the chambers of death." (Prov 7:24-27)
The Proverbs writer continued to warn his reader abut the dangers of lust: "But he does not know that the dead are there, that her guests are in the depths of hell." (Prov. 9:18). It's amazing what kind of demonic powers and demonic spirits work with the spirit of lust--adultery, sexual sin, perversion, and pornography. Don't give your strength, your years, and your vigour over to the crual one or to the spirits of death that are released in the midst of sexual sin. Flee from lust and the curse of sexual sin--choose to live a life of purity, as a vessel of honor, fully consecrated to God.
Can you imagine what Todd Bentley, the author of these words, would have to say to the Todd Bentley, who fell into an affair with a younger woman--an employee--because he didn't fell like being married to his wife any longer?
Readers who appreciate irony would also note that the first two full verses on the facing page to the above note are Matthew 6, verses 31 and 32. The headline given these verses: "Marriage Is Sacred and Binding".
What is sad about all this is that there are some useful insights in these notes, but will anyone pay attention to them now if Mr. Bentley doesn't apply them to his own life? "Do as I wrote, not as I did," is hardly the advice that any religious leader should be offering.
This is why Mr. Bentley must be forced to have a change in his character before resuming any public ministry. "Preach the gospel always; if necessary use words", Francis of Assisi once said. Without a life to back up what he writes in his Bible, or speaks from the pulpit, Mr. Bentley risks letting his words fall to the ground, empty of purpose and devoid of any real value to anyone.
TrackBack URL for this entry:
Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Read your Bible, Todd:
Bentley is a convicted homosexual pedophile sex criminal who was imprisoned for molesting a 7 year old little boy, who now professes to have been ‘Born Again’ and to have had physical visitations from Jesus personally, as well as a female angel ‘Emma’, and then had his body covered with a gross array of tattoos after supposedly becoming a saved Christian. Apart from his sex pervert criminal history as a convicted homosexual child molester from before he says he was a Christian, the histories of sexual immorality and sexual perversion of his mentors are in no sense “pre-Christian”.
One of his mentors, former Kansas City Prophet Bob Jones, was found to be sexual predator with vulnerable women whom he would have strip naked in order to sexually fondle them, and “prophesy over them”. Another KC prophet Paul Cain is an alcoholic and homosexual. This deranged soul described by the late John Wimber and his pastor Mike Bickel as ‘the best wine saved for last’ has never been anything other than a drunken homosexual sex pervert. Yet these publicly proven sexually immoral perverts are Todd Bentley’s extolled heroes and role model
Posted by: susan | 2009-01-31 11:45:36 AM
Fresh Fire Ministries Canada dies, dies, dies!!!
The same charletons will rename to "Transform"
ministry. How New Age, in name and practice.
Posted by: randy | 2009-02-05 9:20:53 PM
Can't anybody see that Todd is just a good-time rock an roller? He likes to have FUN! Get drunk on the "anointing" (and sometimes alcohol). Have fun with girls, Harleys, ultimate fighting, heavy metal, tats, old fashioned gospel preaching, and money. Who can blame a guy for wanting to have a little fun? Very likable guy. Too short and fat to be much of a celeb though. Needs to change that a little.
Posted by: Roy Hoff | 2009-02-11 11:45:42 PM
Todd the Fraud marries mistress,
after years of adultry.
Leaves disabled wife for young girl.
Is that a christian?
Is that what the Bible is about?
How horrible for ALL true christians to see this.
How horrible for ALL the unsaved to see this.
After all, the 'christians' are now 'sinning' more than the sinners!!!
What a slap in the face of Jesus.
Posted by: Randy | 2009-03-06 8:38:41 PM
Todd Bentley and his 'other woman', the adulterer,
Jessa Hasbrook, marry.
The ink on Todd's divorce papers wasn't even dry.
Pedophile divorces older wife for young girl.
The Bible says this is Adultry. Permanently.
The Bible says NO Adulterer shall enter the Kingdom of God.
Thus Todd and Jezebel are sinning against God every day,
and are destined to burn in Hell forever,
the Bible says.
Todd Bentley is the most disobedient, profane, depraved,
and perverted liar I have ever seen deceive christians.
How many, deceived and blind, still follow Todd?
Wake up people!
Posted by: Randy | 2009-03-07 8:26:59 AM
Charisma Magazine declares WAR on Rick Joyner and
Charisma Magazine just wrote: Lakeland
was a "scandal" and a "disaster"
Rick Joyner responded with threats.
Posted by: Randy | 2009-03-14 5:28:46 PM
Censorship hits Charisma Magazine!
One commentator wrote:
Rick Joyner's Reponse
Why was the link to Joyner's comment to Grady and all comments regarding it removed? Was the Joyner statement fabricated? Are we being censored? What's going on?
Does the knight of matla, the sinner, Rick joyner
wield that much evil power? That he can shut down, shut up, censor, and dictate to Charisma Magazine, what they can and cannot do???!!!
God help us!
Posted by: Randy | 2009-03-15 11:36:59 AM
The comments to this entry are closed.