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If Angels Weep…


I don’t know if God’s Angel’s ever weep or not: we know from the word they rejoice, so its at least in the realm of possibility they can weep. This news item from a Tampa Bay news org. brought  Shakespeare’s words to mind:

“But man, proud man, drest in a little brief authority, most ignorant of what he’s most assured, his glassy essence, like an angry ape, plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven as to make the angels weep”

****

On the 84th night of the revival, the air was charged with collective energy and the floor shook from pounding feet. A spine-tingling roar rose from the crowd. They were calling to God for oil and fire.

They had come from all around the world, bringing walkers and wheelchairs and chronic pain. They were here for the Florida Outpouring in Lakeland, the hottest thing going in religion these days, and some wore T-shirts that said It’s Hell Without Jesus.

Above them stood their spiritual leader: Todd Bentley, 32, a stout, balding Canadian with flames tattooed on the back of his neck. He was known to boast about healing through violence. He had been videotaped telling stories about kicking a woman in the face, slamming a crippled woman’s legs against the stage and knocking out a man’s tooth. This was done, he claimed, on behalf of the Holy Spirit.

“Kaboom-boom!” he shrieked. “God’s been pouring the gas. And then the match. KABOOM-BOOM!”

Bentley paced the stage as he spoke, head sometimes jiggling like a bobblehead doll. He said his staff was working overtime on a catalog of healings and resurrections, verified by X-ray and blood test.

“The devil is shaking in his boots!” he bellowed, and whatever he said after that was lost in the clamoring of the crowd.

• • •

In the Christian blogosphere, Bentley has been demonized. Religious observers say his methods veer toward New Age mysticism and the occult. Many call him a false prophet. In any case, his style has more in common with Austin 3:16 than its biblical antecedent: It seems borrowed from Wrestlemania.

“Bam!” he said, in the meeting’s fourth hour, in an open field next to an airport, as God TV propelled his face into homes across the planet. “Bam bam bam bam ba ba bam bam bam!”

Get out your credit cards, he said. Write a check. Click on the blue button on the Web site. “You reap what you sow,” he said. “Generosity and the anointing go hand in hand.”

Some guests took this as their cue to walk outside for a burger and a $3 lemonade. They returned to find Bentley surrounded by fellow preachers, in the midst of a formal religious commissioning.

“Your power will increase,” said Peter Wagner, a white-haired minister from Colorado. “Your authority will increase. Your favor will increase.”

Bentley grinned, hands outstretched, head still bobbing, as another pastor anointed him with oil, special revival oil FedExed from Africa, and slew him in the spirit so he fell to the stage.

He was down for nearly 15 minutes. The prophets prophesied: One said Bentley was a tugboat breaking the ice of religious tradition; one spoke of glory issuing forth; one blew wind from her lips and shook her head so fast that her hair was a golden blur.

Bentley twitched as he lay there, occasionally raising his hands in triumph. Early in the fifth hour he stood up and the crowd rushed in to form what resembled a mosh pit. Someone wheeled an old woman on stage and he touched her for a while before she was whisked away.

“Let the wind of your spirit stoke the fire,” Bentley said.

A long-haired man writhed on the stage. When Bentley touched him he began walking like a fiddler crab and nearly knocked the lectern into the pit. Bentley made a wide sweeping motion with both hands, directed toward a thicket of people on stage, and they recoiled. People lined up and he knocked them down, bodies cascading like dominoes. “Bam! Bam! Bam!”

He wiped his face with a white cloth.

At 11:43 he checked his watch, and then he was gone.

• • •

Fire of God!

Two human walls formed below the stage, and thousands lined up to walk through and be touched by Bentley’s associates. Fire of God! the associates yelled, rubbing heads, pushing shoulders, blowing in faces. People cackled and convulsed.

Ellie Carroll, 45, a breast cancer survivor from Texas, sat and watched. She said the power is real: Sometimes her skin burned, sometimes she felt glued to the floor. Sometimes it seemed as if she was drowning in liquid butterscotch. “When the fire of God comes on you, it is violent,” she said. “It took a while for me to be okay with it.”

Carroll was once a youth counselor and a wedding planner. She sold or gave away her possessions to join the movement. She gave Bentley’s organization nearly $1,000.

Weak from the cancer and a scorpion bite, she needed a walker to get around. But she knew she would be healed.

At 12:38 a.m., as bodies littered the floor, a man with a microphone told everyone to go home. Carroll was still waiting.

“Guys!” the man said. “You can minister and pray to each other outside the fence.”

Carroll struggled to her feet. Another man brandished a megaphone.

“I’m gonna cut on the siren,” he said. “Five. Four. Three. Two. One.”

Carroll thought she might handle things differently if she were in charge here, but she had no complaint; she believed God was directing their every move.

She hustled toward the door, gripping her walker, and behind her the siren howled.

Todd Bentley’s revival in Lakeland draws 400,000 and counting By Thomas Lake

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12 comments on “If Angels Weep…

  1. Haaa!! That quote from Shakespeare DOES come to mind. I’ve been quoting alot of Macbeth and Hamlet myself these days.

  2. Yes, I agree…It’s Hell Without Jesus

  3. I’d recommend anyone reading this story by Thomas Lake, to leave a comment. Pro or con. If people express that they are reading and taking note of stories like this, the powers that be, will send reporters back out into the field to do additional reporting and follow up.

    I’m hoping that the news media will grill this rascal, especially over the violence component in this Bentley fellow. Kicking, slapping, leg dropping, knocking people’s teeth out, etc, in the name of Jesus is despicable and abusive. And I personally hope this fraud is run out of town on a rail!

  4. Scott i do agree with you, it would be good if the media would start putting him and this entire outpouring under closer scrutiny.

    But…that could back-fire also.

    Having observed these so-called wacky ‘new moves’ over the years–beginning with Toronto, these folks can at times, ‘relish’ a media attack.

    It gives them the chance to climb upon a cross of their own making and decry “I’m being persecuted by the world…woe is me, but that’s ok, i do it for you and Christ!”

    They use the attack to try and prove to their followers that they must be right–because:

    “blessed are those who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness”

    I watched the July 1st program last night on GodTV.

    Todd was manipulating and JUSTIFYING himself to all those present by going on and on about his critics. It was sickening. He focused on “leadership” and how those who do not accept it (him, in particular im sure) cannot expect to be healed…etc etc etc..

    What is really needed is for the Church to openly denounce this ‘movement’ and him openly.

    We little blogger voices are good–but well known respected leaders and Pastors, or leaders of denominations, need to step up to the plate.

  5. I was watching July 1 also. I found it interesting that he said we should busy ourselves doing what God has told us to do (reaching the lost, etc.) instead of worrying about whether Lakeland was a move of God or not. Meanwhile he was continually encouraging everyone to come to lakeland or watch lakeland to receive an impartation. I am a pastor in the Detroit, MI area and we have people who have already flown down to lakeland and even started attending meetings in MI by people who received an “impartation.” Yet, Bentley tells me that I shouldn’t waste my time worrying about whether this is a move of God or not!

    I (and the elders of my church) must worry about it. That’s our role as elders and shepherds of the flock. I’d encourage anyone investigating Bentley to read his book: The Reality of the Supernatural World. It really spells out his beliefs about angels and visions. The most disturbing sentence in the book was this one: “When these supernatural events begin to happen, you won’t even need to preach the gospel because it will be apparent to the unbeliever that there’s a living God in heaven.” (p. 50 RSW, Bentley)

    I think it’s pretty obvious the many problems with that statement and that mentality is what concerns me most about this movement and where it is headed.

  6. “When these supernatural events begin to happen, you won’t even need to preach the gospel because it will be apparent to the unbeliever that there’s a living God in heaven.” (p. 50 RSW, Bentley)

    That seems to be his constant cry–no Gospel is needed, only signs and wonders.

    When he or anyone else relegates the Gospel to a back burner, and openly admits it, that should wave such a HUGE RED FLAG over any and everything he says, does or teaches.

    I (and the elders of my church) must worry about it.

    Praise the Lord Jeremy that Pastors like you and others are seeing the need to be very concerned!

    When so many from all areas of not just the US but other nations are going to “get some” [as Bentley puts it} bringing it back into their home churches, Pastors and leaders better be prepared. I watched something similar occur at my old Church–but it was the Pastor’s themselves who began visiting a Church [out of State] and who brought heresies and teachings of demons back with them…

    What a mess! We had demons openly manifesting during services every week. And im not talking about people falling out or rejoicing in the Lord–or the gifts of the Spirit in operation; im talking about full blown demonic manifestations accompanied by hissing like snakes, growling and roaring like a lion.

  7. pjmiller, yeah, I agree that these Dudes pull the old martyr card.

    He’s the biggest cry baby I’ve ever seen. I mean really, he promotes himself as God’s man of power for the hour, and than puts on front last night like he’s really loving and caring towards those cancer patients. He’s obviously reading the blogs and the press he’s getting. However, he’s already been weighed in the balance and found wanting.

    I’m sure that his handlers are extremely concerned about the kneeing of that poor Guy in the gut who had colon cancer. I still can’t get over this! Why in the heck would ANYONE stay in there after that? Seriously.

    You people who are justifying this in the name of Lord are really off your rockers. You need to get back to your local churches, serve and just be faithful where you are.

    Humble yourselves in repentance and humility. Ask the Lord to refresh your life right where you’re at. You don’t need to travel hundreds of miles to go “Get some”. Imagine that, reducing the precious Holy Spirit to “some” thing and experience. Like he’s some sort of tangible goo that makes you feel warm and fuzzy on the inside!

    We must repent and strengthen the things that remain! The Lord is coming in judgment against us. We must buy of Him gold tried in the fire, eye salve for our eyes. We say that we have become rich and increased in goods! However, the Lord says that we are poor, blind, miserable and naked!

    Can’t you hear the clarion call of His Spirit? He’s standing at the door! Not with the manifestations that are being purported at Lakeland! He’s standing at the door with a sword of judgment! A day of darkness and gloominess will soon be released upon this nation. The Spirit is exhorting the church to make sure that our lamps are filled with oil and that our wicks are trimmed.

    These men like Bentley are false prophets. And those that continue to support him and to follow him will be turned over to a spirit of delusion. The warning is being sounded even now in the church. Turn back! Turn away from these men and women who have given themselves over to a seductive spirit! If you don’t, you will be swept away in a river of filth which will lead to your destruction.

  8. You watched it too Scott?!

    Yes it was quite a display wasn’t it…

    At first i thought it was so odd how he went from “cancer cancer cancer” to having the people call out repeatedly about raising the dead, to whining about how people on the internet were daring to question his actions or teachings, until it became obvious he was leading up to his ‘exhortation’ on leadership and authority. Since the evening of his ‘knighting ceremony’ i’ve noticed he has been talking more about ‘prophetic and apostolic leadership’…how its here now, and that people should listen and take heed (another word for obey) to these newly appointed leaders.

    I’m sure that his handlers are extremely concerned about the kneeing of that poor Guy in the gut who had colon cancer.

    I was telling a friend about that today. What i’d like to see is someone find out who this poor guy is and do a follow-up on him.

    You don’t need to travel hundreds of miles to go “Get some”. Imagine that, reducing the precious Holy Spirit to “some” thing and experience. Like he’s some sort of tangible goo that makes you feel warm and fuzzy on the inside

    This is one thing i don’t get at all….how sane Christians ever got the idea that they have to travel to some ‘place’ to receive from God. Its not only not supported by the bible, its not even logical!

    Its like saying that only those who can make the trip receive, while those who can’t are just out of luck!

    Also the depersonalizing of the blessed Holy Spirit–it makes me cringe to hear Todd and all his followers refer to the Holy Spirit or His anointing as ‘it’.

    Amen to your warning Scott.

    Turn away from these men and women who have given themselves over to a seductive spirit! If you don’t, you will be swept away in a river of filth which will lead to your destruction.

  9. “Get out your credit cards, he said. Write a check. Click on the blue button on the Web site. “You reap what you sow,” he said. “Generosity and the anointing go hand in hand.” ”

    There it is, from his own mouth. The motive. Ladies and Gentlemen, follow the money.

    Wonder if he ever read about Simon who tried to buy the power of God?
    Acts 8
    20 But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.
    21 Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.
    22 Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.
    23 For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.

    Yet that sounds like what he’s encouraging people to do, doesn’t it?
    You give and God gives the ‘anointing.’
    WRONG

    and the sheep keep getting sheared…(Ezekiel 34)
    God Help Us

  10. Zech 4:6 “‘Not by might NOR BY POWER, but by My Spirit,’ says the LORD of hosts.”

    Gal 5:22,23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, JOY, PEACE, LONGSUFFERING, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS, GENTLENESS, SELF-CONTROL.”

    The New Spirit Filled Life Bible includes a word study on “kindness” – chrestotes (Strong’s #5544) which defines kindness as “goodness in action, sweetness of disposition, gentleness in dealing with others … The Holy Spirit removes abrasive qualities from the character of one under His control.”

    What else can be said?!!

  11. “Get out your credit cards, he said. Write a check. Click on the blue button on the Web site. “You reap what you sow,” he said. “Generosity and the anointing go hand in hand.” ”

    There it is, from his own mouth. The motive. Ladies and Gentlemen, follow the money. — pjmiller

    “I go chop you dollah,
    I make you money disappear;
    Four-one-nine just a game,
    You be the Mugu,
    I be the Mastah…”

    — “I Go Chop You Dollar”, Nkem Owah (?), Nigerian music video

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