Todd Bentley

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Todd Bentley
Born (1976-01-10) January 10, 1976 (age 44)
NationalityCanadian
OccupationEvangelist
Spouse(s)Shonnah Bentley
WebsiteFreshFire Ministries.ca

Todd Bentley (born 1976) is a Canadian Evangelical Christian and evangelist. He is one of the main preachers who are part of the Charismatic revival meetings in Lakeland, Florida known as the Florida Healing Outpouring. Attendance at the meetings is now at as high as 10,000 visitors a night from around the world.[1] Todd Bentley is increasingly considered a false prophet by Christian communities.[2]

Early life[change | change source]

When Bently was a child he lived in Gibsons, British Columbia, a small place in west Canada. At the time when Todd Bentley's mother and father stopped being married, Bentley wrote in a book about himself that he made in 2008 called, The Journey into the Miraculous, that he had problems and did illegal drugs. He also said in this book that he had drank too much alcohol. Bentley said that he changed to believe in Jesus and be a Christian, and when he did that he did not have problems with drugs or drinking alcohol anymore. He became a Christian when he was 18 years old.[3]

What Bently believes[change | change source]

Bentley's beliefs are close to the Assemblies of God (AOG) and often speaks at meetings in AOG churches, although he is not under their authority.[4]

Arguments[change | change source]

Bentley's other beliefs and style are seen as being from "Spiritual Leader" to "False Prophet" by other Christian leaders.[5][6] He yells 'Bam!' during sermons,[4] He has an unusual appearance for a preacher such as tattoos and piercings.[7][8][9][10]

At greater issue is Bentley's mysticism and spirituality, which is nontraditional for the Pentecostal and Charismatic congregations he serves and counter to others. Two major points of contention are the manner and veracity of the Faith Healing he conducts in his services and an encounter he discusses with an angel that was a harbinger of financial wellbeing. Other major theological debates have arisen from Bentley's references to several trips he has made to Heaven and meetings with the Paul the Apostle.[5][6] These controversies were highlighted by the media coverage of the Lakeland revival.[11][12][13]

Faith healing[change | change source]

Bentley heavily features faith healing, a common feature of the Charismatic movement. His behavior in conducting the healings has come under fire for the violence with which it is sometimes done. Bentley most commonly places his hands on an individual's head or area of infirmity but sometimes has more violently kicked out or hit the volunteer while calling out for the power of God to descend.[5][10] In response, some people may stand and physically tremble, while others may literally fall down to the ground in what they call "falling under the power" of the Holy Spirit.[14] The medical corroboration of both the injuries sustained by healings and the healings themselves has been a common topic of dissension in the media.[6]

The Angel Emma[change | change source]

A controversy surrounds his alleged encounter with an angel he called 'Emma' at an AOG church in 2001. Bentley stated that the female angel gave him a vision of gold dust, and afterwards he received a breakthrough in terms of financial stability.[4] Among Assembly of God congregants, especially, there was debate about whether such a professed encounter was in line with AOG doctrine as set out in the 16 Fundamental Truths[15] The most persistent challenge was twofold; whether the experience of a specifically female angel who prophesied financial well-being was a Biblically recognized phenomenon, and whether preaching about such an encounter was theologically responsible - would it bring converts to worship such an angel rather than the God who sent her? Bentley has argued that it was God's choice, and not his own, that an angel appeared to him in that manner.[16]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Slain in the Spirit". Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal. Retrieved 2008-06-30.
  2. Is the Lakeland, Florida revival led by Todd Bentley of Fresh Fire Ministries a true biblical revival?
  3. Bentley, Todd (2008-01-01). The Journey into the Miraculous. Destiny Image. ISBN 978-0-7684-2606-9.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 McMullen, Cary (June 22, 2008). "Florida Outpouring Revival Concerns Pentecostal Leaders". The Ledger. Retrieved 2008-06-24.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Chandler, Charles (June 19, 2008). "Tattooed preacher says God heals through him". The Charlotte Observer. Retrieved 2008-07-05.[dead link]
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Lake, Thomas (June 30, 2008). "Todd Bentley's revival in Lakeland draws 400,000 and counting". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved 2008-07-05.
  7. Holley, Galen (2008-06-07). "Slain in the Spirit". Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal. Retrieved 2008-07-05. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  8. Strachan, Eric (2008-05-25). "A visitation from God in Lakeland, Florida". The Daily Observer, Upper Ottawa Valley. Retrieved 2008-06-09. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  9. Strand, Paul (2008-05-31). "Lakeland Outpouring Coming to Your City?". CBN News. Retrieved 2008-06-10. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  10. 10.0 10.1 Fene, Deanna (2008-05-09). "Thousands Flock To Lakeland Revival Nightly". ABC News First Coast News and Tampa Bay's 10 News. Retrieved 2008-06-10. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  11. McMullen, Cary (2008-05-15). "Florida Outpouring: Internet Draws Thousands to Lakeland Revival". The Ledger. Retrieved 2008-07-05.
  12. Kilpatrick, John (May 31, 2008). "Pastor Strader Speaks On Todd Bentley". Living the Way. Retrieved 2008-06-24.
  13. Rusty Leonard & Warren Cole Smit (June 28, 2008). "Same old scam?". World Magazine. http://www.worldmag.com/articles/14145. Retrieved 2008-07-02. 
  14. Rhee, Alice (2008-07-05). "Revivalist Claims Hundreds of Healings". MSNBC. Retrieved 2008-06-10. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  15. General Counsel of the Assemblies of God. "Our 16 Fundamental Truths". Retrieved 2008-06-24.
  16. "Biblical Foundation for Revival". Retrieved 2008-06-24.

Other websites[change | change source]