Todd Bentley was the Canadian faith-healer of last year’s Lakeland, Florida, “outpouring” who said God told him to kick an old lady in order to miraculously touch her (and he described other, equally strange stories, too). Since the Lakeland “outpouring” dried up, Bentley has been in a “restoration” process with Rick Joyner and Morningstar Ministries of Charlotte, N.C., following Bentley’s divorce and other issues.
Even though Joyner says in a video message that Bentley is still in a restoration process, Bentley has a new book and a new Web site.
So Bentley has had trouble in his personal life, and he’s not fully restored, but he’s still written a book and got a Web site going, one that Joyner urges us to check frequently.
In the introductory video message presently posted on the home page of Bentley’s new Web site, Joyner says, “We’re coming to the days when we’re gonna have to live by miracles.”
The hopelessly outdated Scriptures say, “the righteous will live by faith,” but in the Joyner/Bentley movement, faith has to equal miracles.
The Bible indicates that our faith does not always see a miraculous actualization in this life.
Consider this passage from the Epistle to the Romans: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? … For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:35, 38-39). This is a reassurance for our thought lives, a comfort, not a promise of temporal victory over everything that comes our way in a fallen world.
Notice how the Biblical view of faith is oriented in an entirely different direction than that of Joyner/Bentley: a belief in the love of God despite circumstances versus bizarre voices telling an unhinged man to kick an old woman so she can get a special dose of the Holy Spirit.
Unfortunately, Bentley’s stories of God telling him to do such things became, in certain circles, their own proof of veracity: it’s just so crazy, it must be from God!
But sometimes, it’s just so crazy, it is crazy.
With the new book and the new Web site, we’ll have to wait and see if God tells Bentley to kick more people. (See video clips of the outrageous claims he made last year.)