It has now been over thirteen months since the launch of the Lakeland Outpouring with Todd Bentley.
What a difference a year makes, eh?
As the aftermath (both good and bad) continues to unfold, I found myself reflecting on some of the lessons that we hopefully have learned during the days that have followed Todd Bentley’s downfall. I’ve written them out in a post over at Examiner.com. I’d love it if you were inclined to go over and take a peek.
At the same time, I wondered what lessons you might want to add to my list as you’ ve reflected on the events of the "Lakeland Outpouring."
Or is this a dead horse, better left alone?
What a difference a year makes. In just a few days, it will be the one year anniversary for the launch of what became known as the Lakeland Outpouring. In my opinion, God graciously used that series of gatherings to encourage, motivate, heal, and speak to many around the world. Some will tell you that the ministry extentions (direct and indirect) are still having great impact in numerous places across the globe even now. As the Lakeland event progressed with Todd Bentley last summer, however, there were serious errors made, some in doctrine, some in practice, some in behind the scenes character issues. Character trumps "anointing," every time, and eventually the Outpouring imploded. In my book, that doesn’t necessarily nullify the good that was done, but it certainly demonstrates how the Kingdom can be temporarily hampered and besmirched.
Todd Bentley, now remarried, is in the midst of a restoration process under the leadership of Rick Joyner. Yesterday, Rick released the following public statement, "Todd Bentley Restoration, Part II." It is rather lengthy, but I am reproducing it below in it’s entirety as an added place of record. To find the original post, CLICK HERE.
Also – I’ve just discoverd that Joyner has released a series of video interactions with Todd dealing with all of this. I haven’t had a chance to view them yet, but you can find them HERE.
Charisma magazine reported yesterday that:
Todd Bentley, who became well-known for leading the Lakeland Outpouring until he stepped down after announcing he was divorcing his wife, Shonnah, has remarried.
He has also entered into a restoration process led by MorningStar Ministries founder Rick Joyner, it was announced Monday.
Joyner said Bentley and his new wife, Jessa, married "several weeks ago" and have moved to Fort Mill, S.C., where MorningStar is based. Jack Deere of Wellspring Church in Texas and Bill Johnson of Bethel Church in California will assist Joyner in overseeing Bentley’s restoration process.
Editor J. Lee Grady, in a separate column, had this to say:
…we charismatics still seem to have a habit of elevating gifting above character. It’s almost as if the end justifies the means. (So what if a preacher ruins one marriage and makes a hasty decision to marry a younger woman—the important thing is that we get him back in the pulpit to heal the sick!) That is a perversion of biblical integrity. God can anoint any man or woman with the Holy Spirit’s power; what He is looking for are vessels of honor that can carry that anointing with dignity, humility and purity.
Amen, Mr. Grady.
Here is a copy of the latest newsletter from Freshfire Ministries.
In his blog, Charisma magazine editor, J. Lee Grady, reflects on lessons learned in the aftermath of the Lakeland meetings with Todd Bentley.
Here are some excerpts:
Freshfire Ministries published an update on Nov. 28, 2008, regarding accountability issues with Todd Bentley. Freshfire is the ministry that Bentley founded and the letter reflects their current position and understanding. It is their first update since August 15th.
Originally published on their ministry web page, I have reproduced it below.
Chris Cole, the UK and Ireland Regional Director of God TV and founder of the Cross Rhythms website, recently posted the final(?) statement from C. Peter Wagner regarding the Lakeland Outpouring and Todd Bentley. The original post, including Mr. Cole’s preliminary comments, can be found here.
Wagner’s lengthy statement follows below.
Charisma magazine is reporting that what was dubbed the "Lakeland Outpouring" has officially come to an end after six months of continuous meetings and more than two months after Todd Bentley stepped down from leading it due to various character flaws.
Interestingly, though, it seems that various aspects of the "revival" are continuing in other churches, both in the Lakeland area and in places around the globe. What will yet transpire? Time will tell!
For the full article, CLICK HERE.
Ministries Today released an article today by R. T. Kendall called A Final Verdict. It provides his assessment of the "outpouring" in Lakeland, Fl.
Instead of merely linking to that article, or copying it in full as I have done with some of the other reports and assessments offered by other leaders, I thought I would attempt to interact with it as presented. To that end, the article follows in italics, with my interspersed comments interjected in regular type. Hopefully, this interaction will lead to broader perspective and clarity.
For more on R.T. Kendall, visit his website: http://www.rtkendallministries.com/index.html
My earlier post, Todd Bentley and Ministry Accountability, included a report from C. Peter Wagner. It was lengthy, but also perceived as the first of perhaps several yet to come. On August 25, Wagner released a new update that is more detailed. I received it as an email forward from a local church member a few moments ago. I’m including it below, and when I find an online link, I’ll include that as well. Overall, it confirms that the leaders recognized on June 23 as being in place to speak to Todd regarding accountability issues (and more) are actively involved in the situaiton. Second, it lets us know that "revival" in Lakeland is continuing…with an apparent emphasis on submission to Christ.
This update, like the previous one, is rather lengthy. Here it is in full: