When Wagner's Prophecy Fails
Richard Bartholomew printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Sat Aug 23, 2008 at 03:13:17 AM EST
Back in June I noted support for revivalist Todd Bentley from neo-Pentecostal leaders such as C. Peter Wagner, whose "World Prayer Center" is described by Charisma magazine as a kind of "spiritual Pentagon" where prayer warriors battle Satan and demons around the world. Wagner, who is not particularly modest, gushed:
I take the apostolic authority that God has given me and I decree to Todd Bentley, your power will increase, your authority will increase, your favor will increase, your influence will increase, your revelation will increase.

"I also decree that a new supernatural strength will flow through this ministry... Government will be established to set things in their proper order...New relationships will surface to open the gates to the future."

Wagner was partly right, as one "new relationship" did indeed "surface": unfortunately, however, it involved Bentley and a female staffer. Bentley has now withdrawn from public.

From Todd Bentley's website, 15 August 2008:
From the Board of Directors

...we have discovered new information revealing that Todd Bentley has entered into an unhealthy relationship on an emotional level with a female member of his staff. In light of this new information and in consultation with his leaders and advisors, Todd Bentley has agreed to step down from his position on the Board of Directors and to refrain from all public ministry for a season to receive counsel in his personal life.


Divorce is also pending.

Stephen Strang, editor of Charisma magazine, adds some commentary:

Many of us who long for revival saw the hungry people coming to Lakeland and witnessed the powerful anointing. We recognize that God can use flawed people (because He uses us!), yet we had major questions about Bentley. But rather than censoring him, we wanted to help correct the problems.

Now is the time for Bentley to be corrected. But it would also be good for Arnott, Ahn and Johnson, as well as other leaders such as Wagner, to issue a statement to the body of Christ to help the tens and perhaps hundreds of thousands who were affected by the outpouring understand what is going on spiritually.

Because all of these men endorsed the revival, it might even be appropriate for them to issue an apology. Some of Bentley's critics say an apology is necessary.


In fact, Strang was also quite enthusiastic, and his "major questions" seemed more like minor concerns at the time:
I'm concerned when I hear references in Lakeland to the "healing revivals" of the 1940s and 1950s-- especially with A.A. Allen and William Branham. That's because those revivals did not really touch the mainstream of America and in those two instances the ministers fell into disrepute before they died.

The focus of any revival or ministry must be on Jesus and on changed lives, not on revival itself or on the ministries involved. I was glad to hear an emphasis on Jesus when I was in Lakeland. My spirit sensed that there was a genuine flow of the Spirit in the services.

However, criticisms are beginning to come about the revival--not so much from the secular media, but from leaders in the body of Christ who are unwilling to publicly criticize but who feel there are extremes (from their perspective) that could derail the revival.


(Hat tip: Ed Brayton)



Display:
The churches that supported his "revival" are the same ones who years ago preached at me that the reason my prayers weren't answered was because of sin in my life.  They never could say what the sin was, however (and I never found out- but we've been fighting poverty, bad health, and injustice every since).

They told me that "God doesn't listen to the prayers of a sinner".

Funny- but I thought adultery was a sin.  Ditto for stealing, lying, and other things I regularly hear that they've been part of.

OH... that's right... it's only sin for ordinary people and not for preachers or church leaders.

by ArchaeoBob on Sat Aug 23, 2008 at 11:16:34 AM EST



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