Monday, May 16, 2011

May 16th – Proverbs 16: BAM! Down Goes the Tower!

“Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” – Proverbs 16:18

This is a rock solid principle in scripture that if you watch carefully, you can see play out time and time again in life. The scripture could be translated: “A great swelling and growing sense of self-importance comes before a great crash of destruction and an exultant, lofty spirit before the teetering tower comes to ruin.”

This scripture reminds me of the Todd Bentley fiasco in Lakeland Florida in the summer of 2008.

In early 2008, reports started circulating around the church of a move of the spirit taking place at Ignited Church in Lakeland, Florida. This move of God was being led by Todd Bentley, the heavily tattooed Canadian evangelist who was no stranger to controversy. His unusual methods for praying for the sick and constant use of the word “BAM!” when ministering to folks gave the meetings a carnival atmosphere. Several weeks into the meetings, I received a phone call from one of Todd’s associate ministers and he told me that Todd was “working it” and it wasn’t a Sovereign move of God, just a lot of energy being expended in try to get “something” going.

A couple months later I watched as God TV televised a service where John Kilpatrick and Steve Hill, the leaders of the Brownsville Revival stood on stage and proclaimed “The glory is here!” Now, I may not necessarily agree with everything that John Kilpatrick and Steve Hill do, but I believe that they know what the glory of God is all about. I attended the Brownsville Revival for a couple nights in 1995 and was greatly impacted by the presence of God in those meetings. So when these men proclaimed that God was doing something, I quickly organized a group from our church and we went down there expectant. What we experienced was a profound sense of the Lord’s presence in the worship.

Enter Todd Bentley.

No sooner had Todd taken the mic than it seemed that the life of God was sucked out of the place. The carnival atmosphere took over and the theatrics started in force. We were greeted by outlandish reports from Todd and his team, taking credit for 25+ resurrections and thousands of miracles, most of which they had little to no evidence to support. Todd at one point proclaimed that this was perhaps the “greatest revival in history” since it was being televised on God TV and “100 million+” were watching. The kicker for me was no sooner than the TV cameras were shut off, Todd did one of the most offensive and manipulative offerings I have ever witnessed. They would honor and pray for the truly committed ones that gave a “$1,000 revival seed” in the offering.

I knew then and there that this “revival” was doomed.

The straw that broke the clown’s camel’s back was the praise of men (Proverbs 27:21). In June of 2008, many leaders in the Charismatic movement coronated commissioned Bentley and recommended him and the move of God in Lakeland to the Body of Christ. What they didn’t know (and have yet to apologize for) is that they were endorsing a man who was an alcoholic and adulterer. The tower had crashed and they didn’t even know it. Just a few weeks later, the news was out, Bentley was divorcing his wife and in an adulterous relationship with one of his female interns. The “revival” quickly ended in total disgrace and the dust has yet to settle on the charismatic church.

But for anyone who understands this Proverb, you could have seen it coming miles away.

None really, I’m still waiting for an apology from the leaders that endorsed and recommended Bentley to the church.

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