August 23, 2008
By: Pastor Bill Randles
Why Bentley’s fall will not matter much…
“How long you simple ones will you love simplicity?” Proverbs 1
I hope I am wrong but I don’t think the fall of Todd Bentley will result in the repentance of very many of his followers and enablers. It should. There is a lot of guilt and anguish to go around. It is just as much of a sin to prop up a false prophet as it is to be one (see Jeremiah 5:31).
Shouldn’t those “spiritual leaders” who publically endorsed his ministry with the laying on of hands and much prophetic utterance, publically admit that they and their movement were wrong? Should there not be any soul searching among them, any anguish and zeal to right things? Che Ahn, Bill Johnson, Rick Joyner, John Arnott, Peter and Doris Wagner, Sharon Stone and Stacy Campbell were summoned to this “prophetic alignment” and proclaimed great things. Here is an excerpt from C. Peter Wagner’s “Word” -
“This commissioning represents a powerful spiritual transaction taking place in the
invisible world. With this in mind, I take the apostolic authority that God has given me and I decree to Todd Bentley, your power will increase, your authority will increase, your favor will increase, your influence will increase, and your revelation will increase. I also decree that a new supernatural strength will flow through this ministry. A new life force will penetrate this move of God. Government will be established to set things in their proper order. God will pour out a higher level of discernment to distinguish truth from error. New relationships will surface to open the gates to the future.”
Will there be an acknowledgement that the exact opposite of this prophesy is what actually happened?
Rick Joyner, another one who spoke great swelling words over Bentley at his “prophetic alignment”, now admits that he hosted a meeting with Bentley knowing full well that Bentley was in marital trouble. His rationalization for Bentley’s marital problems is audacious; he likens Bentley to the apostle Peter!
"The problems Todd and his wife have had getting along have been public knowledge for several years. I don’t know enough of the details to blame anyone, but I know Todd quite well, and being married to him has got to be like being hand-cuffed to a hurricane. Todd is so intense he makes Mike Bickle and Bob Weiner seem laid back. I think he is very much like the Apostle Peter. What makes him capable of such extraordinary faith also makes him prone to extraordinary blunders. Todd is an extreme manifestation of an emerging extreme generation. His wife may deserve to sit at the right hand of the Lord in the kingdom, and anyone who has worked with him should be up there close somewhere too." (History and Future of the Present Revival Part 8 www.morningstarministries.org
The reason Bentley’s fall will do almost nothing to dissuade his gullible followers is because in many cases as the first chapter of Proverbs warns, they love simplicity! In the psychology of the book of Proverbs, individuals either develop into wisdom or folly. Everyone starts out in life in the condition called simplicity. This is a reference to inexperience and naiveté. The simple are undiscerning. It is no sin to be simple, but it is utter rebellion to deliberately stay simple!
“How long you simple ones, will you love simplicity? And the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?” (Proverbs 1:22)
As you can see by this verse, in Proverbs, there is a continuum of folly - you go from simplicity to scornfulness to confirmed foolishness. In other words you don’t stay simple - you either turn at wisdom’s reproof and become wise - or you grow from simplicity to cynicism, called “scorning’” in the passage above. The followers of Todd Bentley love the idea that they are just “simple believers” open to the miraculous. They don’t want to be discerning, they wouldn’t listen to those who warned them before Bentley fell, those were just a bunch of “hypocritical Pharisees”! They loved their simplicity!
God has exposed their folly by the fall of Todd Bentley into immorality and the exposure of their other “apostles” as hypocrites (because they knew Bentley had fallen long before it came out, but promoted him anyway). Will they continue following the discredited “apostles” whose lack of discernment is now obvious to all? (2 Timothy 3:9) Will they hold on to their “simplicity” and keep on refusing to discern? The problem is, you can’t stay “simple”- you go on - either into scornfulness or into the humility of wisdom.
“Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit upon you, I will make known my words unto you” (Proverbs 1:23)
To the extent that they listen to the rationalizations of Joyner and the others, I predict that they will become cynical indeed and eventually arrive at the third phase of negative growth - the very hatred of knowledge warned of in Proverbs 1:22!
Yet there is hope. Wisdom says that if they would but accept her reproof, I will pour out my spirit unto you - (that would imply that it wasn’t the Holy Spirit that you were receiving through Bentley et al) and that I will make known my words unto you, (another challenge, all those “Words” that were being ministered unto you, were not the Word of God after all. This rebuke is tough medicine but it will save you if you but humble yourself to it!
Finally, there is an expression in this passage that would indicate the need for urgency - and that is the two words at the beginning of verse 22, How long…? This implies that there is not much time left - we have to repent.
The fall of Todd Bentley is not something to rejoice over, all who love Jesus can only weep! But it does represent an opportunity, perhaps one of the last for the thousands who have been swept up in this madness. God is the one who has exposed this travesty. God is also the one who exposed the utter presumption of Wagner, Joyner, and the other so called “Apostolic Alignment” as pretenders. This is a God given opportunity to repent - to “Turn you at my reproof” - I beg you in the name of Jesus, as a fellow Pentecostal believer in Jesus, to please see this for what it is and repent of following false prophets, false apostles, and the adulterous seeking after signs and wonders. God is good, He can restore, He can heal our wounds, He is willing to give us yet more grace and wisdom and will reproach us not, if we but turn.