Todd Bentley Raising the Dead
Todd Bentley, the discredited healing evangelist of “Lakeland Outpouring” infamy, is back at it. Now he claims to be raising the dead in Pakistan. A “healing” crusade in Karachi was allegedly attended by 500,000 Muslims, 290,000 of whom “accepted Christ as their Saviour.” The highlight, though, was the raising from the dead of three people, including a boy who had been dead for “20 minutes.” In a YouTube clip, Bentley says, “The Archbishop over the Anglican, Presbyterian and Methodist churches of Pakistan was on the platform. And he came like the Pope himself to Pakistan to welcome us into the country” (“Controversial Evangelist,” Christian Post, Dec. 18, 2015). Bentley was the “evangelist” of a Pentecostal healing “revival” at Ignite Church in Lakeland, Florida, in 2008, where he made all sorts of outrageous claims, such as a man being able to see out of a glass eye. His ministry was unable to document any of the healing miracles. After weeks of hoopla, the meeting shut down when it was learned that Bentley had an “unhealthy relationship” with a female staffer and was engaged in “excessive drinking.” He subsequently divorced his wife and married the staffer. Bentley’s meetings have a sideshow feel with raucous music and the grossly-tattooed “evangelist” crying out, “Come and get some,” and “[Miracles are] popping like popcorn.” He claims to know what is happening in the audience, calling out things like, “Someone’s getting a new spinal cord tonight.” He “flings” the Spirit upon people while weirdly yelling, “blah, blah, blah, blah.” “Holy laughter,” spiritual drunkenness, violent shaking, and “falling under the power” are an integral part of the “revival.” Bentley claims to have seen many angels, including “financial angels” who spread prosperity to him and those who attend his meetings. One of his angels is named “Emma,” though there are no female angels in Scripture. My friends, God is not dead, but He has given us clear instructions in Scripture about healing. If someone is sick, he is to call the elders of the church and confess any sins, and they are to anoint him with oil and pray over him (James 5:13-16). This assumes, first, that the individual is born again through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. It assumes, second, that he or she is a member of a Bible-believing church. James 5 does not describe a “healing crusade.” We believe in divine healing for today through prayer, but we don’t believe in Pentecostal showmen. See the reports “I Believe in Miracles” and “Todd Bentley and the Lakeland Deception” at www.wayoflife.org.
(Friday Church News Notes, December 25, 2015, www.wayoflife.org, email@example.com, 866-295-4143)
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