UPDATE – Todd Bentley has now stepped down from ministry after separating from his wife.
UPDATE - Terry Virgo has also made the audio of his short talk on Todd Bentley available.
I wanted to continue to post some reflections on the events occurring in Florida. Terry Virgo has now posted the second part of his comments, so I thought I’d share all the links we have so far, and then end the post with some quotes from Terry’s latest post. There are also several more posts from Jesse Phillips which you can read by following the link at the end of the second post listed here.
My own reflections:
Jesse Phillips’ report:
- Worship at the Lakeland, Florida ‘Revival Meetings’
- What is Happening in Lakeland, Florida, by Jesse Phillips
Terry Virgo’s posts:
A quote from Terry’s second post follows. Terry begins by comparing current events with the ‘Toronto Blessing,’ about which I have written an extensive article previously. Terry says this:
“One of the features of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit that affected so many in ‘94/’95 was the fact that it was something that could be ‘caught’ or ‘transferred.’ People who attended certain meetings became ‘carriers’ of a kind of ‘spiritual contagion’ which subsequently broke out elsewhere.
It would be true to say that this has been a mark of historic revivals. People visited the 1905 Welsh Revival, for instance, and on returning home, found that God’s presence had accompanied them in an extraordinary way . . .
Various phenomenal responses were noted when the Holy Spirit’s presence seemed to be strong. Some fell, some shook, and some laughed. Some seemed to happen in an involuntary kind of way; others perhaps were imitation. The pressure to conform on these occasions can become very great.
What influenced me most significantly was not the extraordinary physical manifestations, but the extraordinary lasting change that I observed in the lives of people I knew. Many displayed a new love and devotion to God and a new sensitivity to the Spirit’s presence. Some embraced a new commitment to Christ and his mission to win the world for his name. The physical manifestations gradually faded, but the transformed lives have remained . . .
How do we evaluate? We must get our doctrine clear.
We often imagine that God’s gifts are proofs of holiness or marks of maturity given only to the most advanced Christians to demonstrate God’s approval of their spiritual progress. But this isn’t the case. God’s gifts aren’t rewards! If that had been the case in Corinth, the church would have been completely devoid of gifts because, as D. A. Carson declares, the believers were ‘wretchedly, unacceptably, spiritually immature’ (The Cross and Christian Ministry, Baker 1993). But Paul said that they ‘didn’t lack any spiritual gift’ (1 Corinthians 1:7). In spite of their immaturity and carnality, God gives gifts freely on the basis of grace. Christ’s righteousness qualifies you to receive amazing gifts of the Holy Spirit . . .
We should pray for 32-year-old Todd Bentley, whose high profile through exposure to daily television broadcasts circling the world would frighten the most experienced preacher. Some of his references to angelic visitations are at least vulnerable to misunderstanding and, tragically, stories of shipwreck associated with previously high profile ministries who spoke frequently of angelic visitation are well documented.
In the midst of what has been historically regarded as authentic and powerful revival, Jonathan Edwards found himself exposed to extraordinary phenomena on all sides. He neither dismissed it all nor accepted it all, but offered his own critique, sometimes defending and sometimes challenging what took place.”