My Experience with Todd Bentley
After I was employed by the Elijah List for about a year, I had my first exposure to Todd Bentley.
Although Todd Bentley was fiery and charismatic in front of an audience, on a personal level (from what I could tell) he seemed to be a very insecure person. He wasn’t used to the notoriety that had been thrust upon him, but he definitely enjoyed it.
Over the course of time, Todd asked Steve if he wanted to send one of his (Steve’s) employees on a mission trip to Uganda with Fresh Fire Ministries (Todd Bentley’s ministry). Steve suggested to me that I should go, and even generously offered to pay for the trip and my wages while I was gone. At first, I was reluctant to go (I have never felt called to Africa), but after much prodding from Steve and my co-workers, I decided to go ahead and go.
To this day, the Uganda trip is still somewhat of a big “question mark” to me – I don’t know why God sent me, or if it wasn’t God at all, but a “man made” decision. I did make a few connections with people who are still very dear to me to this day, but overall it was a very strange experience.
Although I have no proof one way or another, it seems like plans were made “on the fly” and there were a couple of times where my life was in danger (or so I was told). One night, when my partner and I were out in the middle of the people praying for them individually, Dave Bentley (Todd Bentley’s Dad) started screaming at me from the stage “Kevin … GO! GO! GO! GO!” I grabbed my partner and we ran for the bus.
The next morning, he (Dave) told me that he had seen 2 people in Muslim caps coming toward us with spears. Needless to say, I was a little shook up, so that morning, I wrote Steve and asked for prayer. At the time, my wife didn’t have email or a cell phone, so I was hoping that perhaps my boss could contact her, but that didn’t happen. I learned later that he had immediately converted my prayer request to a post (since deleted from the archives) and sent it out as a prayer request to the Elijah List. That wasn’t so bad, but my wife did not hear about my situation until a friend of hers had read the post and had come over to console her.
During the trip, we were told that 2-3000 people gave their lives to Jesus, which would be great news normally. But from what I experienced when I talked with the people, they were still unwilling to give up their charms, idols, etc … or their ancestor worship. Like most American Christians, they wanted Jesus to be “one” of their gods, instead of their only object of worship.
After we got back, Todd Bentley lied (from the pulpit) to the Vineyard church and said that an even GREATER number of salvations, healings, and miracles took place than actually occurred (no I don’t remember the exact number he said, but it was way higher than what we were told). When I asked him later why he gave that figure, he said that more numbers came in from people who were listening to the radio and television.
I thought, “Can that many people afford radios and televisions in third world countries?” But, once again, I didn’t speak out because I didn’t feel it was my place to question “God’s prophet”.
Todd Bentley – Revival, The Divorce, The Cover-up
After the controversial Lakeland Revival and Todd Bentley’s subsequent divorce from his wife, the church was all-too-quick to point the finger at him and accuse him … and I’m in agreement, for a man to leave his wife and kids is a tragedy. For that same man to re-marry and be reinstated into ministry within a little over a year should be an outrage.
But the church has got to understand that it is just as much their fault as Todd Bentley’s that all of this went down. We have been trained for generations to look to man for our guidance instead of God. In essence, we are re-living the scenario in Exodus 19-20, where the Children of Israel were in front of Mount Sinai and God was offering personal, one-on-one communication with each and every one of them. The conditions were clear … Israel was to sanctify themselves (separate themselves from all things unclean). But when Israel heard this, and saw the awesome Fire of God burning on Mount Sinai they basically said, “No, that’s OK, you just talk to Moses, and we’ll listen to him.”
It’s the same today … rather than separating ourselves from the sin in our lives, and separating ourselves from the world, we would rather listen to somebody spoon-feed a message to us … satisfied with half-digested crumbs. To this day, God is longing for those who will forsake this life and become an enemy of this world’s system. Those who would be called a “friend of God” must do this (James 4:4). He is more than willing to give us pure, fresh Revelation from Heaven, if we would only look to Him. But, instead we desire and pursue the latest conference, the newest book or the next worship CD.
We’ll grasp at anything and everything to fill the void in our lives with a flesh substitute, even if it means taking a young, immature Christian, who may (or may not) have had an encounter with God and sticking him behind a pulpit. Being attracted to the new “show”, we reject God’s best (personal communication) … and then we pay the consequences. And, once again, the name of Jesus is mocked among the ungodly.
I was shocked that Rick Joyner was so quick to put Todd Bentley right back in front of a camera and into the limelight once again. But he, as well as all the other “prophetic elders” who had commissioned/anointed Todd Bentley only a short time before were (and still are) in “damage control” mode. In a sense, John Arnott, Rick Joyner, Peter Wagner, Stacey Campbell, Paul Cain and the others put their “prophetic reputations” on the line when they appeared on the stage with Todd to pray for and prophesy over him. But after this blunder, their credibility with the church took a hit, and they had to try and “bandage the wound”. A few tried to explain away the transgression and stress the idea that we need to have “grace” for Todd in this situation (meaning we should accommodate and/or forget about it), and others were strangely silent. But Rick didn’t waste any time in putting him in front of a camera, offering a token apology (with his new wife in tow).
I am all for forgiveness, restoration and grace … but in a year’s time? Something is definitely wrong with this scenario. Don’t tell me that a young minister can:
- Conquer the selfishness it took to leave his wife and children
- Conquer the lust it took to seek out another young woman
- Prioritize his life to where God is first, family is next and ministry is third
- Conquer the need for man’s approval ~ and ~
- Any other obstacle that could hinder the work of God in his life … in a year’s time (give or take)
I’m not buying it, and you are a fool, if you do.
Elijah List Testimony
- Elijah List - Intro
- In the Beginning
- First Impressions Crumble
- My Experience with Todd Bentley
- Dismantling the Wall
- Mortar in the Wall
- Wicked Roots
- Lack of Discernment has a Price
- The Next Generation
- My Way Home
- Post-Prophetic Rehab - How to Get Back on Track
For the Truth,