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Archive for August, 2008

Still in the storm

As some of you know, I’ve been in the middle of a storm. I’m still there.

It’s going to be interesting to see what develops over the next 6 to 12 mos. in our personal lives, our nation and economy. Due to the downturn in the construction market, my perspective may be a bit skewed. I’ll admit that. It seems that Oregon is always the first state in and the last one out during tough economic times. So, I may just have a locally skewed perspective.

However, there are a LOT of people without jobs in our area right now. Over the past several weeks I have received many calls from men out of work, looking for work. I’m even getting resumes sent to me by folks looking for jobs, which is not normal. I can’t help them. (more…)

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My good friend Ric Vargas and his mission’s minded traveling companion, Lou Pressman, recently returned from a trip to Africa. Ric is a little insecure about his height, thus, is standing on the sign platform 😉 They traveled specifically to Kenya and Burundi. Ric has promised to provide a reflective summary of his time spent there. Just from the initial testimony I have received from him, their time was both fruitful and challenging. I’m also hoping that Lou can provide a summary of things from his perspective as well. Needless to say, many brothers in Christ were refreshed and encouraged in the Lord along the way as their travels took them into several different areas. Lou took some nice photos, I’ll be including more as they forward them to me. I’m including email summaries that I received from them during their travels. This first post will feature photos and testimonies from the Kenyan segment of their trip. (more…)

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Well, I’ve decided that my participation in the Todd Bentley saga is over, as far posting any more personally written articles, & commentary on my blog. I had made the decision some time back, however, after this recent news of Bentley was released, I decided to post up a few things related to the matter. I am saddened over this whole thing. I do and have prayed for Todd and his family. God knows that I have feet of clay.

My belief is that it is now incumbent upon those men and women, especially Leaders, within the renewal movement to begin to speak out about these things and clean it up yourselves. For some of you, it may mean having to make a clean break, especially in light of the fact that it appears that from most of the top tier Leaders, it’s going to be business as usual. If they do begin to speak up, I will post their statements up as a broader range of interest.

It does the movement no good when men like Bill Johnson identifies folks who have been sounding the alarm since the beginning of this Lakeland movement as, “Accusers, sharks, shooters, religious, rigid, political, throwing out the baby and operating in a denominationalistic spirit.”

It may help to save their own public image and calcify their own agenda and base. However, as someone looking from the outside in, it really only serves to reinforce the perspective that many of us have that these men are elitist, arrogant snobs. So, Bill, knock it off and just show some humility and grace. An “I’m sorry” would go a long ways.

It appears as though the core foundational belief structure and world view of men like Joyner, Johnson, Ahn, Wagner, et al, is so entrenched, I don’t know that anything in the short term can be done to rectify the situation. They have all clearly demonstrated that they are more interested in saving face and covering their own hind ends, which is sad. That’s exactly how I have taken every single statement from these men since Bentley announced through his Board that he’s stepping down. Here’s continued proof of that reality.

So, with that I’d like to recommend two sites that do an excellent job reporting on items related specifically to Bentley, I’m sure most have already accessed these sites anyway. These two have the most exhaustive coverage of these things as anyone on the net. Here are the links:

http://endtimespropheticwords.wordpress.com/

http://pjmiller.wordpress.com/

The Phoenix Preacher has written some great observations as well. In addition, that site probably has the most active reader participation on the subject.

Feel free to check in from time to time as I will try and address items that are broader in nature and not specifically focused on the recent Todd sightings 🙂

Scott

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Update: For those of you that wrote me and told me I was spreading lies and gossip about Bentley, here you go. Straight out of ‘Apostle’ Peter Wagner’s mouth: “First of all, Todd has been removed from public ministry until further notice. He has resigned from the ministry he founded, Fresh Fire, so he is no longer a part of that board. It has become clear that he indulged in periodic drunkenness. He has no intention at the moment of reconciling with Shonna, nor does she with him. Their marriage has been torn for years by his emotional attachment with at least one other female whose physical contact went beyond hugging and kissing and holding hands. Enough said-maybe more details will be revealed later-but it was clearly immoral. All of this was skillfully concealed by lying and by swearing close associates who had observed his behavior to secrecy.”

Read his full statement dated August 25, 2008 here.

The Phoenix Preacher comments on this on August 26, 2008 here.

Thanks to PJ Miller at Sola Dei Gloria for posting this up over at her blog.

After reading this post read my post “I’m moving on

Robert is a member of Peter Wagner’s group called the ICA. He has been sounding an alarm for over two mos. now. Thanks Robert. *NOTE* If you have any questions about Bentley’s ‘other women’, write Robert, not me. I’d like to stay on track regarding the substance of the many excellent points of concern he outlines.

by Robert Ricciardelli
Robert@vision2advance.com
http://www.vision2advance.com

Robert wrote the following story:

Todd Bentley’s moral failure was publically exposed this week. There is more that has come forth from young women and pastors from his home town and around the world, so more information should be forthcoming, unfortunately. (more…)

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I have some things on my heart I’d like to share. As a side note, I’d like to say that this week my life was rocked. As if things weren’t already difficult enough, things went from a category 1 storm to a category 5, in a span of about 60 seconds. What’s the old adage? “When it rains, it pours!” Jesus confirmed what Job had already proclaimed thousands of years prior, “As sparks fly upward, so are the troubles of man.” Christ said, “when” the storms come… not, “if” the storms come.

Little did I know that my musings on “In the boat with Jesus” were a precursor of an even more tempestuous storm. You’ve been there, right? What else can I do? I must fall on the rock, my foundation. He alone is the rock that is higher than I. The Holy Spirit spoke to me so beautifully through Psalm 61 this week. If you think about it, remember to pray for us.

The word of the Lord to Israel through the prophet Amos in Chapter 5:4-5 was as follows:

Seek me and live;
but do not seek Bethel,
and do not enter into Gilgal
or cross over to Beersheba;
for Gilgal shall surely go into exile,
and Bethel shall come to nothing
.”

These landmarks highlighted by God, held an historical and spiritual significance in the life of Israel. So much so, that the life of the nation was inexorably tied to them. Unfortunately, these had become places of idolatry. Gilgal, the location, became more important than the God of Gilgal, and as such, God is warning the people that in spite of the historical importance of these landmarks and subsequent encounters with God in these places, they are ultimately, in of and themselves, insignificant. “Seek me and live.”

Much like the Ephod the priest wore. Instead of seeking the God who was manifest through the Urim and Thummim, the people began to worship the Ephod which contained in a pouch the Urim and Thummim! (more…)

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After reading this post read my post “I’m moving on

I received this word tonight from someone close to this whole situation. He made the following comment in his email as a precursor to this letter from Fresh Fire Ministry. I trust what this man has written about this. I’ve known about this for over two mos. and have chosen not to write about this in public, concerned that it would be spreading gossip. I implicitly trust my friends observations and reporting of what he’s been told about this. He’s been right on with everything else he’s told me to date.

After you read these statements, and if you have a chance, read my article called “Seek me and live.”

“Here is some info, but according to what we have heard from several sources, this is much more than just an emotional relationship. According to staff And former staff members, they claim that Todd is a pathological liar. The board privately has said that Todd has been lying to them all along. We are praying for those around Todd to demand for him to get the help he needs before thrusting him back into ministry like they did 2.5 years ago when he had an affair with a different staff member. We are praying for Todd, his family, along with others that have been impacted through this”.

From the Board of Directors (more…)

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John Piper on Lee Grady’s critique of Lakeland

Test Revival with Doctrine

August 14, 2008 | By: John Piper
Category: Commentary

Lee Grady, the editor of Charisma, one of the main charismatic magazines, has written a lament and critique of the Lakeland “revival” which is now in a tailspin over the leader’s announced separation from his wife. Grady’s summons to pray for the church and our nation is right, and among his commendable questions and observations are these:

  • “Many of us would rather watch a noisy demonstration of miracles, signs and wonders than have a quiet Bible study. Yet we are faced today with the sad reality that our untempered zeal is a sign of immaturity. Our adolescent craving for the wild and crazy makes us do stupid things. It’s way past time for us to grow up.”
  • “True revival will be accompanied by brokenness, humility, reverence and repentance—not the arrogance, showmanship and empty hype that often was on display in Lakeland.”
  • “A prominent Pentecostal evangelist called me this week after Bentley’s news hit the fan. He said to me: “I’m now convinced that a large segment of the charismatic church will follow the anti-Christ when he shows up because they have no discernment.” Ouch. Hopefully we’ll learn our lesson this time and apply the necessary caution when an imposter shows up.”

Charismatics will not be the only ones who follow the Antichrist when he rises. So will the mass of those who today in thousands of evangelical churches belittle the truth of biblical doctrine as God’s agent to set us free (John 8:32).

Discernment is not created in God’s people by brokenness, humility, reverence, and repentance. It is created by biblical truth and the application of truth by the power of the Holy Spirit to our hearts and minds. When that happens, then the brokenness, humility, reverence, and repentance will have the strong fiber of the full counsel of God in them. They will be profoundly Christian and not merely religious and emotional and psychological.

The common denominator of those who follow the Antichrist will not be “charismatic.” It will be, as Paul says, “they refused to love the truth.”

The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12)

Our test for every Lakeland that comes along should first be doctrinal and expositional. Is this awakening carried along by a “love for the truth” and a passion to hear the whole counsel of God proclaimed?

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