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A Lesson From the Lakeland Revival


Tim Challies of Informing the Reforming blog has written a very insightful article. The article is very good as well as many of the comments.

A couple of weeks ago I invested an hour and a half in watching Lakeland: The Movie, a documentary about Todd Bentley and the Lakeland “Revival.” You may remember that in April of 2008, a preacher and revivalist named Todd Bentley was invited to Ignited Church in Lakeland, Florida. The plan was to have Bentley there for five days of revival services. In the end he stayed for four months. What was meant to be a small, local event soon saw hundreds of thousands of people from 65 countries travel to Florida. Millions more participated through the Internet. Night after night Bentley would hold wild services full of singing, preaching, speaking in tongues, prayer for healing and miracles and, of course, the inevitable collection of money.

The revival was marked by what were said to be great manifestations of the work of the Holy Spirit—speaking in tongues, ecstatic prophecies, miraculous healings and even the claim that somewhere around thirty people had been raised from the dead. Just about every major media outlet covered it at one time or another. Most of them went looking for evidence that miracles had actually happened; not surprisingly, not a single miracle was ever verified. By August the revival was beginning to slow down a little bit and Bentley decided to leave Lakeland and to take the revival on the road. Teaching that the Holy Spirit could be passed from him to others by the laying on of hands, he would tour the country and take this outpouring of the Spirit with him. But no sooner did he leave Lakeland than the media exploded with reports that Bentley and his wife would be separating. Apparently he had been carrying on an inappropriate relationship with one of the women connected to his ministry. He and his wife soon divorced and shortly afterward he had married this other woman. The revivals and his ministry came to a screeching halt, at least for a time.

This documentary made me both angry and sad.

Continued Here

4 comments on “A Lesson From the Lakeland Revival

  1. You can watch the entire video, Lakeland: The Movie, at Bene Diction blog

  2. Thanks, but no thanks!

  3. I am with Gordon at this time when asked if I want to watch “thanks but no thanks”.. There may come a time when I will want to watch it and hope it will still be available?

    There’s a couple of things that come to mind after reading the article and also personally being convinced that Todd and his new wife, when they were having the affair talked about in the article and were visiting my area (I saw them walking through the big Costco Store).

    The first reality is there is nothing new with human nature as Ezekiel I believe wrote about about humans that we are but men/sheep. Having come from a family that were sheep herders raised sheep for slaughter and wool and having worked sheep at times doing summer work on a sheep ranch I can tell you I quite agree with the woman who stood up in my Church one Sunday morning wanting to tell everybody just how stupid and dumb sheep are not realizing she was speaking to God’s Sheep that morning!🙂 Sheep tend to follow in herds grouping together as nervous creatures at times over nothing at all but some noise in the distance.

    Anyway, the verses that seem to come to mind to cite today after reading this article are these:

    Mat 9:36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
    Mat 9:37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few;
    Mat 9:38 therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”

    and

    2Pe 1:10 Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall.
    2Pe 1:11 For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
    2Pe 1:12 Therefore I intend always to remind you of these qualities, though you know them and are established in the truth that you have.

    The emphasis I want to put on the verses from Matthew are about sheep without a shepherd harassed and helpless! You get a sense from reading the article just how devastating it must still be for some now realizing that Todd Bentley was on a roll back then those many days ago of what they all thought was a true Holy Spirit revival and because it wasn’t they too were duped by the hipe and emotion being drawn into the heard mentality that gripped them without discernment sharing the same fate as with so many others! It is sickening just to think what needless sufferings they went through and are still going through being dumb and stupid sheep harassed and helpless governed without a True Shepherd struggling to get away from the thoughts of the allurements of Todd Bentley and Ignited Church in Lakeland Florida!

    The second thing I wanted to emphasize was that descriptive and the powerful nature of it (these two words “eternal kingdom” in verse eleven of 2 Peter 1). I believe if we keep it in our daily life walking out this Faithful saying and adding to this Faith of equal standing with a True Shepherd (the Apostle Peter) who himself had similar struggles as all True Believers will have and have had walking out that same Faith once delivered to the Saints by vigilantly adding virtue and knowledge, self control and steadfastness to a “daily” and godly life full of brotherly affections and Christian charity in this world devils full. We have the Word of God. Apparently these people set the value of doing the Word of God in a daily lifestyle aside seeing an entrance into the eternal Kingdom of Jesus Christ will be richly provided to them!

    I was telling my nephew last night about my current struggles and that initially as I walked the walk of Faith I believed, falsely to be sure, that I would get better as a person and all my sin struggles would be less and less without any effort on my part.

    Well, that isn’t the case now since my heart felt prayer of repentance in July of 1975 looking back at those early zealous days of taking on the world for Jesus and seeing all the works of sin and the devil destroyed!

    Not only am I realizing my own ignorance these days about Life in Jesus Christ as the saying goes: “being educated continually (adding knowledge to virtue) is like a person slowly realizing progressively just how ignorant he is” or something like that supposedly a phrase coined by Edmund Lee, I see the world isn’t any smarter in these days trying to establish a peaceful world we all long to live in on this side of that eternal kingdom the Apostle Peter wrote about cited above!

    Oh well, praying constantly, fervently and daily anyone?🙂

    • Sheep tend to follow in herds grouping together as nervous creatures at times over nothing at all but some noise in the distance.

      Amen Michael. Some time back i did a small study on sheep…the natural sheep and the spiritual ones. It was a real eyeopener. You made some excellent points in your comment.

      You get a sense from reading the article just how devastating it must still be for some now realizing that Todd Bentley was on a roll back then those many days ago of what they all thought was a true Holy Spirit revival and because it wasn’t they too were duped by the hipe and emotion…

      Yes. One concern i’ve always had about these false so-called revivals was the spiritual condition many were left in afterwards.

      I’ve seen it time and again (even) here at the blog Michael: people who, for a season became caught up in the false (revivals, movements, signs and wonders, etc) who after having their eyes opened, turned totally away from ever desiring the “real”. Do you know what i mean?

      Not only am I realizing my own ignorance these days about Life in Jesus Christ as the saying goes: “being educated continually (adding knowledge to virtue) is like a person slowly realizing progressively just how ignorant he is” or something like that supposedly a phrase coined by Edmund Lee, I see the world isn’t any smarter in these days trying to establish a peaceful world we all long to live in on this side of that eternal kingdom the Apostle Peter wrote about cited above!

      Join the club. The more i learn about this spiritual journey, the less i know. How is that possible!?🙂

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