Monday, July 21, 2008

Lakeland "Outpouring"


Once again I am going “where no man likes to go” I guess, lol! In this post, we’ll talk about what is happening down in Lakeland Florida where there has been meetings going on night after night for quite awhile lead by a young Canadian man named Todd Bentley. And the reason I want to talk about this is because whenever something like this sprouts up, there are ACTUAL sign’s friends we can look at to see if this is something that is just good intentioned or is it a “God thing” along the lines of a Azusa Street or what God did back in the 50’s when Billy Graham came to New York City. Bottom line is can we really check things out to see if they are genuine? I truly believe we can! Now I know many will say “Al, why even bring it up, people are getting healed & some good things are happening, aren’t you for that, etc”? Believe me I am friends! I want nothing more than to see the Power, Glory & Majesty of God show up in this World & through us & our Fellowships, but just because some “good things” are happening. That is certainly NO reason for us to turn a deaf ear when we see Godly principles & order being shrugged off because of what is taking place, always remember this Christian, THE WORLD IS FOREVER WATCHING US & we need to be accountable & so if various organizations, inside & out of the Body of Christ want to see if Todd Bentley has been accountable there along with the local leaders of that meeting, then there can be nothing to fear or hide from such an honest investigation, especially if it is a Christian organization! So we’ll allow the record to speak for itself. World Magazine is an excellent source of information & a magazine I would highly recommend & one who did try to contact Todd & the people there, but sadly what they were told was far from accountable…. Mr. Bentley was quoted as saying something to the effect of: “I just don’t have time for interviews & need to be about God’s business, etc. Also when World Magazine asked about the ATM machine’s being placed in the lobby for the offerings which ran approx. 30- 40 minutes each evening, per eyewitnesses of World mag. and also began to ask general questions about offerings & funds coming in, again they were given the “we’re about the Father’s business” answer.

The truth is friends, someone there needs to let those on the outside know exactly what is happening with the finances, as by all reports, massive amounts of money are flooding into their books there. You may not know this, but whenever Billy Graham has held a Crusade in an area, within a Month or so afterwards, they release a full disclosure of all the finances. Perhaps that is a big part of the reason that the B.G.E.A. has been so blessed throughout the years, because they have always been accountable. In this age of Ministries carrying Lear Jet’s in their arsenal & so forth, never has there been a greater need for accountability!
I am sorry, but ATM’s in the lobby trouble this person greatly, as does 30-40 minute offerings, regardless of what is happening there! Sadly, all too often Christians look at outward things like “sincerity” instead of inward things like integrity! Show me a place that is accountable & I’ll show you a place that is indeed seeing a move of God. Yes, there are great things happening there because of who our God is, even when we miss it, he promises to lead us still in the paths of righteousness & be with us simply for “His names sake”. (Psalm 23)

Back when a similar thing was happening in Brownsville in Pensacola, Fl. I never forgot that when they looked at the local statistics, they saw that despite the claim of “Revival”, the crime stats & all similar stats across the board remained unchanged! I think there was a simple reason for this, it was because what was really happening was that 70-80% of the people who were coming to Brownsville were from other areas! There was a revival alright, but it was a revival of people visiting & not so much getting saved! I am afraid, that although this is being called an “outpouring”, the main pouring has been people pouring in from other areas! I do rejoice with all those who have received from the Lord, but like many others, including MANY from Charismatic circles, which I include myself, there is much concern for the local leaders refusal to “open” all things up & be accountable. There have also been many questions about Mr. Bentley's rather "un-orthodox" methods of things ranging from kicking to slapping folks as well as more than once re-canting claims of healings, including rising from the dead, all things that God has & continues to do friends, but we must defer to Jesus & His example of love & humility & not "showmanship". So time will tell, but it may be too late because my guess is that Mr. Bentley will be taking his show on the road all over no doubt to a town near you!

Stay Tuned,

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