Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Todd Bentley Update

If you follow the news about the Lakeland Renewal, by now you've probably heard that Todd Bentley and his wife Shonnah have filed for legal separation in Canada. Details available here, here and here. I've got just five quick comments.

1. I hope everyone who promoted Todd as the next great preacher and this movement as the next great thing will stand by him as much in the pit as they did on the mountaintop. I hope those who publicly laid hands on him to assume responsibility for him will follow up on that commitment with prayer, counsel, love, compassion and loving rebuke where necessary. Let this be one case where the Church of Jesus Christ acts like Him and does not shoot our own wounded. Faults and all, Todd did accomplish some great things and I hope that after some down time and counsel he can be restored to more effective and long lasting ministry.

2. I hope those who have criticised Todd Bentley all along will resist the temptation to say "I told you so," and instead pray for him and his wife. If Todd is your brother, you are required to love him. If Todd is your enemy, you are commanded to pray for him. You don't have to agree with him or endorse him, but we all do have to love and pray for him.

3. This may demonstrate that something was wrong in Todd's marriage relationship, but it does not mean that God was not moving in his ministry and that the Lakeland meetings were phony. The Lord can touch hungry and thirsty people through fallible and sinful instruments (otherwise we are all up the creek without paddles).

4. I hope all of us who are married and in any form of ministry or Christian leadership will take this opportunity as a reminder that our marriages are more important than ministry, and foundational to any effectiveness in ministry, and consider the state of our own marriage. I, for one, am going to go home tonight and tell my wife how much I love and appreciate her.

5. Let's all pray for Todd and Shonnah, for the restoration of their marriage, for healing of broken hearts, and for God to bring good out of what the Devil means for evil. Jesus is large and in charge, and bigger than Todd's sins, my sins or yours.

(Some of my previous comments on Todd Bentley and Lakeland can be found here, here, and here.)