Todd Bentley Separation Shocks Followers, Apostolic Overseers

Todd Bentley Separation Shocks Followers, Apostolic Overseers
Pastors within the apostolic movement, who commissioned Bentley as an evangelist in June, express shock over the breakup of revivalist's mariage.
 
Todd Bentley Separation Shocks Followers,
Apostolic Overseers
[08.13.08] Leaders of the apostolic movement are scrambling for answers after learning that revival leader Todd Bentley is separating from his wife.
 
California pastor Bill Johnson, who with pastors John Arnott and Ché Ahn represents Bentley’s apostolic “covering” under a group called the Revival Alliance, said he was shocked by Bentley’s announcement. “This is an obvious tragedy, both for Todd and Shonnah and the move of God in Lakeland,” Johnson said.
 
“They had problems a couple of years ago, and I got involved at that time to lend support and give counsel to Todd and his staff. In talking with Todd I was led to believe those issues were now in order. Obviously they weren't.”
 
During an impromptu meeting Monday, Bentley told the staff of his Fresh Fire Ministries that he and his wife, Shonnah, were separating. In a statement released Tuesday, the Fresh Fire board of directors said “an atmosphere of fatigue and stress” created by the daily meetings Bentley led until recently, “exacerbated existing issues in [his marriage].” 
 
Bentley did not respond to Charisma’s request for comment.
 
Fresh Fire’s board members stated that the meetings were not to blame for the breakup of Bentley’s marriage, that the separation was not due to infidelity by either spouse and that they hoped the marriage would be restored. “We know that many of you will have questions, for most of which we presently have no answers,” the board members stated.
 
Bentley has spent most of the last four months away from his home in Abbottsford, B.C., where his wife and three children reside. Shonnah Bentley has appeared on the platform with her husband in Lakeland periodically.
 
The news did not come as a total surprise to the top three members of the Revival Alliance, an apostolic group that Bentley submitted himself to during a commissioning ceremony on June 23 in Lakeland. “We are all of one heart in that we want to see their marriage restored, and just as important, see their hearts get healed from these points of weakness that have been there for years,” Johnson said.
 
At press time, Johnson said he had still not been able to make contact with Bentley.
 
C. Peter Wagner, leader of the International Coalition of Apostles, convened and officiated at the Revival Alliance’s commissioning ceremony in June. Wagner’s wife, Doris, said he was shocked when he received the news of Bentley’s separation while he was in Asia conducting a 10-day ministry trip.
 
Arnott, an alliance member and founding pastor of the Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship, said he was also surprised when he got word Monday of Bentley’s separation. “I had hoped that the previous troubles had been resolved and worked through,” he told Charisma, referring to marital problems he said the Bentleys had two years ago.
 
Ahn told Charisma the Revival Alliance is “doing all that we can do to bring correction and counsel to Todd.”
 
Stephen Strader, senior pastor of Ignited Church, where Bentley’s revival meetings began, told Charisma the separation was for “a period of time while [the couple] both continue to receive counseling.” Strader said he only recently discovered the counseling sessions between the two had been ongoing for the past three years.
 
“The outpouring has put a tremendous strain on their [counseling] process because the process, for all intents and purposes, was almost suspended because of the exaggerated distance and the exaggerated seven-days-a-week schedule,” Strader said.
 
According to Strader, Bentley turned the leadership of the revival meetings over to him on Aug. 6—more than two weeks before the Aug. 23 date Bentley previously said would be his last service. Strader said Bentley would officially depart the revival during tonight’s meeting in Lakeland, when Bentley is scheduled to thank the crowd and “commission his interns” to continue the revival. 
 
In their statement, the Fresh Fire board members said the ministry would focus on “growing the Global Outpourings” that have spread since April via GOD TV and the Internet.
 
Rory and Wendy Alec, founders of GOD TV, said that even though last Friday was their network’s final live broadcast of the Lakeland meetings, they believe the “outpouring” is a genuine move of God. “We believe that it is important to recognize and defend the authenticity of this outpouring by the testimonies of the countless thousands who viewed on GOD TV or attended at Lakeland and were healed, set free and delivered through Jesus Christ,” the Alecs said in a statement.
 
Patricia King, founder of Extreme Prophetic TV and a close friend of Bentley's, told Charisma she is praying for wisdom about how to help people process the news of Bentley’s separation. “I am heart-broken over the situation,” she said. “I love Todd. I will always love Him. I will carry Him in my heart and prayers and never let go.
 
“Right now, though, I am in pain, deep pain,” she added, “for the body [of Christ], for Todd, for his family.”
 
Johnson said the Revival Alliance leaders want to help Bentley heal and experience restoration. “None of the Revival Alliance members sweeps things under the carpet and ignore or deny tragedy,” he said. “Neither do we think great anointing is a replacement for character. We will now work hard to bring healing and restoration, considering it a privilege to stand with a brother in trouble, regardless of who is at fault.”

4 comments (Add your own)

1. mike fromdahl wrote:
This 'revival' has damaged the name of Jesus and the body of Christ just as Jim Bakker, Jimmy Swaggert in the 80's did. So many of us saw this coming but were disregarded by so many of the apostolic leaders and treated as 'less than' they. Our own fellowship has been damaged by this debacle as has others all over the country. Dutch Sheets saw it coming and his 5 page article said it all. Leaders like Bill Johnson should have seen it having first hand knowledge of Todd's previous failures. I saw a clip on Bill Hohnson talking to his fellowhip about Todd's failure and then going on a long lecture of the evils of denominations.

I found this rediculous that one who failed miserably in regards to discernment about Todd's doctrine and behvior would attack the rest of the body of Christ because we don't follow blindly people like him and Todd.

From the looks of it, Todd is going to be 'restored' very quickly and released again to do what he wants. I've seen firshand you don't restore someone in a few months or a year and turn them loose again. Todd got exactly what he wanted in that he didn't want to reconcile to his wife, start restoration with accountability until he got remarried and then turns on the switch and says now I'm ready.

There has been so much fallout from Lakeland the many still don't see the damage that has been done. I'm finding it really hard to trust the wisdom of some of these leaders because of their total disregard of the word of God. They say God needs to be let out of the box and when that happens, anything goes and we should not question anything because to do so means you have a 'religious spirit'.

I know a real move of God will be led by humble men and women who behind the scenes are also living godly live. People confused Todd's gifts with maturity and character and he's still a babe in these areas. He will need complete healing before he even begins to think of ministering again and that could take 2 to 5 years. Even then he will need constant oversight because of his glaring weaknesses.

My prayer is that the body of Christ will seek Jesus first and not some revivalist and begin to make a differance in our communities with true love of our fellow man and we all use the gifts that God has given us to fulfill our own call. We don't need another circus like Lakeland but each one of us has to finish what the Lord has called us individually to do.

In Him,
Mike Fromdahl

Sat, July 11, 2009 @ 9:50 PM

2. John wrote:
Mat 7:15 "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.
Mat 7:16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles?
Mat 7:17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.
Mat 7:18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor [can] a bad tree bear good fruit.
...
Mat 7:20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

Tue, May 25, 2010 @ 8:42 AM

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