Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Whaz Supppp?

Well, its been two months since a post. Like life, apologetics has its ebbs and flows. I think many of who worked overtime on the Lakeland fiasco are taking a break.

So I've been working my bird dogs, and spent a few weeks on the political blogs. Interesting times there are..

On the apologetic front, it seems that C. Peter Wagner has outsourced his Todd Bentley restoration project to Rick Joyner and his review of the state of the prophetic church to Dutch Sheets. Concerning the review, I'd like to really study that situation before making any comment.

Arnott, Ahn and Johnson were originally charged with Bentley's discipline. Of Joyner, they state:

Rick Joyner’s wisdom, along with the strength of the Morningstar community of believers, will be a great support to Todd as he deals with the heart issues that brought about his failures.

Rick Joyner, as you may recall, is the one who came to Bentley's defense AFTER things started falling apart in Lakeland. He wrote, on August 8:

I did not hear that Todd was going through a personal crisis until the day before our meeting with him here. When I saw him Wednesday night, he immediately wanted to share with me about his personal problems—especially about his recent separation from his wife. Todd did not share this in a way to try and justify himself, but he wanted me to know what was going on with him to give me an out if I did not think he should minister the next day. I greatly appreciated this.

I still do not know all of the details of his separation, but I did ask him if there had been any immorality on his part, or if he had affections for someone else that was causing this. He assured me that he had never committed adultery, and that there was no “other woman” that caused his separation. Some of his leaders who I talked to also confirmed that Todd had not been in any immoral relationship, though they were all grieving over Todd’s marital problems.

A few days later, it was revealed that there was another woman; apparently Bentley BS'ed his way through his little heart-to-heart with Rick Joyner.

Most troubling is Joyner's take on divorce, spoken regarding Bentley:

So, should someone who is divorced be disqualified from ministry or from leadership in the church? How can we disqualify someone from ministry or leadership for something that would disqualify God? In Jeremiah 3, we are told that God gave Israel a certificate of divorce. God is divorced. Nearly half the people in our churches have been divorced. A good many Christians now stay away from the church because they have suffered a divorce, and they feel condemned by the church for it. This is an issue that we need to address for the church, not just Todd.

All I can say is "This is the man charged with restoration?"

Quoting Dutch Sheets:

We, the leaders of the charismatic community, have operated in an extremely low level of discernment. Frankly, we often don't even try to discern. We assume a person's credibility based on gifts, charisma, the size of their ministry or church, whether they can prophesy or work a miracle, etc. (Miracles and signs are intended to validate God and His message, not the messenger; sometimes they validate the assignment of an individual, but never the person's character, lifestyle or spiritual maturity.) We leaders in the Church have become no different than the world around us in our standards for measuring success and greatness. This has contributed to the body of Christ giving millions of dollars to undeserving individuals; it has allowed people living in sin to become influential leaders—even to lead movements, allowing them influence all the way to the White House. Through our lack of discernment we built their stages and gave them their platforms. We have been gullible beyond words—gullible leaders producing gullible sheep. When a spiritual leader we're connected with violates trust, is exposed for immorality or falls below other accepted standards of behavior, it does not exonerate us simply
to say we don't condone such behavior.

Certainly Bentley should get help from those he can respond to. I hope he does. I don't care if he ever ministers again, and I suspect God Himself is less concerned with that as opposed to the excessing drinking and inappropraite behaviour. We esteem ourselves too highly when we think that God cannot raise others up as He wills.

Joyner will be working with Jack Deere and Bill Johnson. Joyner and Deere, of course, are already know for their successful work with Paul Cain.

And then there this one last issue that few have raised. A lot of people "sown into revival." About 500K of that money was spent on a residence for Bentley in Lakeland - away from his wife. When will the biblical principle of "restitution" come into play? Talk about an economic stimulus package for the church!

Wagner's Lakeland Update
Joyner on Bentley - August '08


  1. "Joyner will be working with Jack Deere and Bill Johnson. Joyner and Deere, of course, are already know for their successful work with Paul Cain."

    Uhhh... the 'lie to the whole world and say you've led a celebate life' type of success??? LOL!

    And then have people by the boatload defend Cain's remark despite the fact that it's well documented that he has not led such a life... oy...

    I guess Hitler said it best when he said "If you tell a lie long enough, loud enough and often enough, the masses will believe it."

  2. Amanda,

    Indeed, Wagner acknowledges this in his statement which is linked at the bottom of my article:

    "While Cain was
    there, he took the opportunity to announce, among other things, that he had been
    living a chaste life and that rumors about him were not true.This event drew criticism
    from many observers who knew something of Paul Cain's recent experiences. It turned
    out that he had been living a secret life which involved problems with drunkenness and
    homosexuality. Three Christian leaders who had been long-time friends and colleagues of Cain, namely Rick Joyner, Mike Bickle, and Jack Deere, attempted to bring correction and restoration privately, but to little avail."

  3. Valerie in CA11/20/08, 12:18 PM

    Bill, thanks for getting back online. I like reading your blog, and I was looking for something fresh to ponder since the greycoats are going bonkers about abortion lateley...

    I've read and re-read this newest letter from Wagner. On top of all of the confusion and trash, I am still struggling with one issue.

    I have watched Paul Cain's infamous moment on stage at Lakeland over and over again (courtesy of YouTube). While I am absolutely no fan of his whatsoever, I actually think he was trying to give a prophetic word to those in the audience who have been waiting for a spouse. I honestly don't think he was making a claim for himself, rather he used a phrase to describe the type of person he was trying to speak to. I am really convinced about this! You can watch it on YouTube, I think he's talking to people who "I've been a celibate all my life and I've wanted to get married". He wasn't speaking clearly and was stumbling over his words (perhaps had one too many w/ Todd before the night started?) which is I think what caused this whole fiasco.

    If this is the case, I am amazed at the level of confusion and chaos in this movement. Paul Cain has been a frustration and an embarassment but they just can't quit him because of his 'seer gift'. The scapegoating of him in this letter is amazing. All of this sick cultspeak about 'protocol' is so awful. The backtracking and self-contradiction is stunning.

    I'm wondering if Wagner's trying to prove that they're 'tough on sin' if they're given the chance but if people refuse to 'submit to apostolic protocol' then its out of their hands. I wonder if he's sensing that Todd Bentley is kicking at the goads and will soon be launching out on his own without the apostolic oversight/control that they're trying to exert? Maybe he's trying to set the stage and further distance himself from all of this?

  4. Valerie,

    The actual comment was "You know..I've been a celibate all my life and I've wanted, I wanted to get married." Many of us do know, "you know," that he did want to get married. The the total context, it does not sound like he was voicing the desires of those he was propehcying to.

    Compounding this was the fact that he also stated that “allegations and rumors circulating about him were not true."

    I often do not agree with Rick Joyner, but concerning Cain, he is spot on:

    "I kept that hope until Paul spoke in Lakeland about “the allegations” about him and his assertions of having lived a celibate life. That was pretty overwhelming evidence that he has still not repented of these serious transgressions. What Paul called “allegations” are abundant and overwhelming evidence, which Paul has admitted to. However, admitting something is not the same as repenting of it. As long as there is blame-shifting, an attempt to cover them up, or dilute the seriousness of them, the restoration process has at best fallen far short of its purpose."

    Paul Cain is not the only prophet who has shopped for accountability after we caught in gross sin. I can think of several others. Yeah, I think they are pretty fed up with that sort of stuff.

    So maybe its just a warning shot across the bow for Todd.

    More pertinent, at least to me, is the perception that Cain is really "moving in his 'seer gift'."

    I have to wonder if Cain has such a "seer" gift why he made a statement about how pure of heart Bentely's interns were. All the while Bentley was involved in "inappropriate behaviour" with one of them.

    Of Bentley, he stated "I've never met a man with more...cleanness in his very soul than this man."

    Regarding the propehcy to the young man concerning the romance of a lifetime, it probably has no more credibility than his word about Ann Goll- "that the Lord will add years to your life." (She died 4 months later)

    This is "itching ears" prophecy as addressed by Dr. Brown in a recent article.

    Worth reading.


  5. Well, this is timely. Seems that Ted Haggard is back in the news.

    Haggard, the former president of the 30 million-member National Association of Evangelicals, agreed to leave the Colorado Springs area after the scandal broke in 2006. He then entered a restoration process facilitated by New Life Church, which agreed to pay his $138,000 salary through December 2007.

    He moved his family to Phoenix in May 2007 to attend Phoenix First Assembly of God, whose pastor, Tommy Barnett, was reportedly a part of Haggard’s restoration team.

    Earlier this year Haggard severed his ties with New Life’s leadership, who in turn released a statement saying the “process of restoring Ted Haggard is incomplete” and the church “maintains its original stance that he should not return to vocational ministry.”

    New Life’s leaders also said an “accountability relationship” would continue between Haggard and the Phoenix-based Barnett. Haggard has since moved back to Colorado Springs.



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