No US Post-Charismatic? Say It Aint’ So! And, Bentley Sadness

So Rob McAlpine pens this (from my early web-readings) thoughtful book, Post-Charismatic, and I’ve been waiting for a couple of years now to read it in book form in the U.S. I thought my friends at David C Cook USA were gonna pick it up, but apparently they’re not. Do me a favor: If you want to see this book in the US of A, go to Robby Mac’s post and comment up a storm, all of you. Then I’m going to go to Cook with that post and show them the demand of folks who’d like to buy a US version. Personally, I think the charismatic movement is hot, with friends and foes alike looking for substantial writing about it. Rob paints a balanced portrait of this stream, giving an accessible history and credible way forward.

Speaking of the volatility of our Spirit-filled brethren, Boston Vineyard pastor Dave Schmelzer provides a balanced take on the Lakeland revival, and Brother Maynard gives us a good (though difficult) account of the it and the Bentley’s marital separation. Let’s pray for the Bentleys, Lakeland Florida, the unity of the Church, and for all God’s people to cultivate a healthy appreciation for the beautifully subversive and transformative nature of both God’s power and God’s ideas (teaching, Scripture, doctrine…however you want to put it).

38 Responses to “No US Post-Charismatic? Say It Aint’ So! And, Bentley Sadness”


  1. 1 Michael August 14, 2008 at 12:00 am

    I first came across Rob’s work a few years back when he had it up on his web. Maybe we could sweet talk him into just putting it back up there? Or maybe we could all pitch in and buy him the latest pdf writer and then he could e-publishit himself! Whatever it takes, I think it is a great work and worth the read.

    And me being a pneumatic, Charisa-bapti-costal makes that last sentence extra-ordinare!

    (Gee, I can already here folks prayin’ for me . . .)

    ;-P

  2. 2 Michael Creel August 14, 2008 at 12:01 am

    I first came across Rob’s work a few years back when he had it up on his web. Maybe we could sweet talk him into just putting it back up there? Or maybe we could all pitch in and buy him the latest pdf writer and then he could e-publishit himself! Whatever it takes, I think it is a great work and worth the read.

    And me being a pneumatic, Charisa-bapti-costal makes that last sentence extra-ordinare!

    (Gee, I can already hear folks prayin’ for me . . .)

    ;-P

  3. 3 linda August 14, 2008 at 12:17 am

    thanks for the bentley links mike. the one by the vineyard pastor was good and balanced. i’ve also written a 2-part blog series on bentley as i saw him when he was here in los angeles. i just might be the only person writing on him in the ec who has actually gone to one of his services. lol

  4. 4 grace August 14, 2008 at 2:40 pm

    Mike,
    Hopefully Cook will change their mind. In the mean time, it is available through Amazon.ca or through private sellers at Amazon.com.

  5. 5 natrimony August 14, 2008 at 8:47 pm

    Alrighty now.

    I think I prefer J. Lee Grady’s article from his Charisma mag editorial blog http://www.fireinmybones.com . He basically outlines the situation, which ain’t pretty–doctrinally, scripturally, or whatever you want to call it.

  6. 6 Matt August 14, 2008 at 11:50 pm

    I read the Grady article as well, and I think there are some babies being thrown out with the bath water here. He paints it like it is an all or nothing deal–“oh, he has marital problems, so he must be a false prophet and this is a false revival after all.” I don’t buy it. Many astute and theologically saavy folks wouldn’t agree with Grady’s assessment of the poor doctrine of Bentley, either–it’s just a lot easier for critics to say now that he has the Evangelical scarlet letter hovering over his life…

    I assume Bentley has serious issues that need restoration in humility and repentance (as evidenced by his troubled marriage), but I also think that God has used him in spite of his sin and weakness. From what I’ve heard, his marriage isn’t over yet–maybe if the church rallied around him and prayed for him the mercy of Jesus would trump all of our petty differences. It would be totally lame (but sadly true to character) if the church as a whole decides to throw Todd Bentley under the bus and wipe their hands clean of him.

    One of the big downsides of the internet age we’re in is the haste to rush to judgement and the ease with which that gets broadcast into the blogosphere. How much do we really know about what’s going on for Todd and his family? I pray that we would all have wisdom and restraint in these days.

  7. 7 zoecarnate August 15, 2008 at 12:04 am

    Thanks for the feedback, all! And yeah, Matt, I agree – let’s keep the Bentleys in heart and in mind, that G-D would initiative a chrysalis-like process in their lives…and ours!

  8. 8 natrimony August 15, 2008 at 12:59 am

    Matt,

    The whole ‘thrown under the bus’ (God what an overused analogy) is being constantly applied to this whole scenario. The sad thing is, the people throwing Bentley under the bus now (C. Peter Wagner and co. in the NAR) are those who beknighted him just a few weeks ago on stage in front of God TV cameras ablazin’.

    Sorry to offend your pomo hatred of either/or but Bentley’s personal life may be reflecting the facade of his miraculous claims. Grady gives much more reason than ‘marital difficulties’ for steering clear of Lakeland/Todd Bentley. Needless to say, Grady has been consistently critical of Bentley, he hasn’t suddenly rushed to the other side. Don’t forget that many from within the prophetic movement have had misgivings about Mr. Bentley from the getgo. Also, I really don’t see any of your citations listed for those theologically savvy Bentley endorsements. Dr. Greig’s defense is the only one I’m aware of and it is simply power evangelism claptrap masquerading as scholarship.

  9. 9 Matt August 15, 2008 at 4:26 pm

    Nat,

    I agree that it is sad that Wagner & Co. are responding the way they are, and I think there were mistakes made in the whole ordination thing. To me, the whole system for how these things are forced to play out just stinks…but that’s another topic, I think.

    BTW, I’m new to this forum and not familiar with the term pomo. If you wouldn’t mind explaining, I’d love to know what I’m being labeled, just for my own reference. Thanks.

    I was referring to Grieg, as well as support by Bill Johnson.

    Hmmm…I have friends who recieved miracles through Lakeland…interesting facade.

  10. 10 zoecarnate August 15, 2008 at 4:44 pm

    Hi Matt,

    “Pomo” is short for ‘postmodern,’ postmodernity being one lens through which to see our present historical and cultural situation. ‘Emerging church’ folk are those wanting to follow Jesus amid postmodern culture, affirming what can be affirmed and living a prophetic difference among areas which must be denied. Our good Mr. Natrimony isn’t a huge fan of the emerging church conversation, and thus uses ‘pomo’ as if it were a bad thing!🙂

    He also thinks that some emergers think (or that maybe I think) that the emerging church milieu and the charismatic movement are one and the same – or are at least united in our ‘errors.’ This is also way more complex, but in brief, not true.

    To be fair, though: The Grey Coats blog has become more heartfelt and nuanced this past month or two, respectfully interviewing people with whom they differ, trying to seek more light on what God may or may not be doing in our world today.

  11. 11 natrimony August 15, 2008 at 8:14 pm

    Mike,

    You ole’ bridge-builder you (thanks for the plug–you don’t think we’re getting soft around the edges do ya?). I don’t lump radical Charismatics and Emergers into the same heretical pile. However, I think that forming propositional, doctrinal parameters after our ‘discussions’ with other faith expressions is not a violent or controlling pursuit. What we believe does more than define our societal grouping. Yes, I do believe that Narrative Theology is dangerous (although I am also strangely attracted to its communal emphasis) as well as radical Charismatic zeal (also strangely attractive due to exuberant, communal worship expression). I’m big on the community of faith. But, I will resist both camps attempt to change the face of Christianity–one through supernatural sophistries and the other via smug ambiguities(if anything this pursuit of redefinition is a ‘common error’). The church is not compartmentalized, nor is it revolutionized by the well-intentioned ground shakers of this generation. It is sophmoric, aggrandized, pride to attempt to readorn a lady whose dress has already been chosen and is being sovereignly altered to fit perfectly.

  12. 12 Matt August 15, 2008 at 10:46 pm

    Natrimony,

    Interesting thoughts. So who gets to define the face of Christianity? Reformed theology could be seen as a “re-adornment” of sorts, at least in the times in which it came forth. I suppose one could counter that it is a recovery (dare we say that no-no word, “restoration”) of a more scriptural expression of church life and thought. Perhaps Luther was accused of the same hubris that you see in current attempts to “reform” the church. To me, some (and I said some) of what Todd Bentley and others are leading out in are much needed reforms to the current church theology and practice, which do bring us in better alignment with scripture. I think Greig’s statement that the church in the west is full of “functional atheists” is largely true.

    As you, I’m also drawn to the good in all of these streams, though for the charismatic piece it’s not about “worship expressions” (as cool as some of them may be), but a lifestyle of the supernatural that I see promoted by scripture, especially in Jesus.

  13. 13 natrimony August 16, 2008 at 2:49 pm

    Matt,

    “To me, some (and I said some) of what Todd Bentley and others are leading out in are much needed reforms to the current church theology and practice, which do bring us in better alignment with scripture.”

    I respectfully and strongly disagree. They are simply resurrecting ancient error as functional ‘neo-Montanists’. Denying diamond dust=disregarding God? If the God of Greig, Bentley, and others is more interested in gold fillings, onstage antics, prophetic pretense, and pay to pray healing revivals then I would rather join Richard Dawkins fanclub this instant than follow such a silly, schizophrenic deity.

    I’m sure we could trade bible verses on this topic, but, needless to say I am quite certain that the spectacular phenomena which God has displayed throughout redemptive history is far from normative. Supernatural manifestations are not an end unto themselves. Instead, they display specific messages from God according to his will and good pleasure–the end of which we may not know until our glorified state.

    So, a supernatural lifestyle eh? Good luck. I tried it myself for awhile but couldn’t pull it off. Wasn’t spiritual enough I guess.

  14. 14 cathryn thomas August 18, 2008 at 5:28 am

    Didn’t Jesus address this stuff already, — ummmm somewhere about “throwing stones- and who is with out sin” thing… I’m one of those Pomo Charisma-tics – so i’m not supposed to be able to give a reference since, i don’t know my bible or scripture ……….. ;-0
    Warning would be, we tend to become what we judge- Last time i checked the Mercy Seat is above the Judgement seat. (oh i’m not supposed to know that stuff either, i forgot)
    Guess to me, i’ve seen a lot come down the pike and know people screw up royally – But with all of the out pouring and healing that has happened, i don’t automatically reject G-d being in things, cuz one of His sheep/shepherds #@*! up. G-d is the deliver, healer and all those wonderful names in Hebrew that are Ha Shem- not Todd, or anyone else for that matter. Guess folks wouldn’t fall so hard, had not people stuck them up on some limelight pedestal —– (hmmm perhaps that’s why it’s important to remember the stall and wise men thing)- now what was that verse about “My people humbling and repenting” – and what happens after that? –
    shalom ya all,
    cathryn

  15. 15 natrimony August 19, 2008 at 12:21 am

    No doubt you think that people like me are stuck in our doctrine. We are not to judge lest we put God in a box? Have I failed to realize that Jesus is bigger than my doctrine or that God is tearing down the religious spirit?

    How about a few more cliches:
    Love covers but judgment uncovers. If it is not of God it will fail but if it is of God you can’t stop it. Look at the fruit. Touch not my anointed. Truth is a person, not a doctrine.

    Cathryn, I’m sure that you have biblical chops, however, the passage you are citing (‘He who is without sin cast the first stone’ etc.) is widely disputed as being non-canonical. John 7.53-8.11 is not inspired testimony but a later addition to the text (even though I personally like these words attributed to Christ–but its not really about what I ‘like’ now is it). Even so, the judgment that this writing speaks to is a passing of judgment leading to condemnation–not discernment. If you back up a few verses to John 7.24 (universally accepted as inspired literature) then you would see an exhortation to ‘judge with righteous judgment’ to see deeper, ‘not according to appearance’.

    “Christians are to make decisions (appraisals, discernments, and even take corrective actions). But even judging in this aspect is intended to be remedial, and leaves the door open to the person for repentance and reconciliation.”–Apologetics Index
    http://www.apologeticsindex.org/j14.html

    I don’t pretend to know Mr. Bentley’s eternal destiny. Sure God is able to use messed up people–but is he pleased with their actions, tactics, or motives? I am more than certain that Christ is able to redeem bad doctrine and reconcile between alienated marriage partners. But, that doesn’t keep me from discerning Mr. Bentley’s theology as heretical and his character unfit for ministry. Discernment is not a feeling. In regard to an elder’s character look at Timothy and Titus. In regard to angel worship consult Colossians. William Branham denied the Trinity, Mr. Bentley claims to be influenced by the same angel which accompanied Branham. Consult the 2nd through the 6th ecumenical church councils to see the emphasis which Christianity places upon this doctrine. Each council progressively defined an orthodox understanding of the Trinity. Yes, they judged stuff.

    I will conclude with this good word from the (real) apostle:

    “But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one.” 1 Cor. 2.15

  16. 16 cathryn thomas August 19, 2008 at 5:17 am

    Ya know this rant could go on and on forever and even contend with the Angels singing “holy holy holy”- at least on this plane.

    “No doubt you think that people like me are stuck in our doctrine. We are not to judge lest we put God in a box? Have I failed to realize that Jesus is bigger than my doctrine or that God is tearing down the religious spirit?”

    even if i attempted to challenge those inferences – it does no good.
    But i’m more than willing to say, that Jesus is bigger than even the boxes I put Him in.- ( which is small scale in relationship to how He really is and how i “see” or pre- anything about Him.)

    And who is it that really decides what is “acceptable cannon”- the character of Christ always comes shining thru, no matter what is debated……….

    That is the bottom line here….. What is the character of Christ- in relationship to a fallen world and people.

    Just because i think that mercy is the flood gate that is needed to be unleashed in these circumstance, my opinion does not “avail much”-
    But more so His opinion -or His view, better put.———-

    I would hope that i have been acquainted in the ways of jesus to know the difference……………….

    The people that Jesus encountered ……… could be real and raw with their circumstances – and also knew on some levels that the decrees or judgments that He passed or spoke into ……… were fair, in so much as HE understood the fallen nature of man.

    Actually, Nat, – i would fear coming to your judgement seat, much more than i would fear … coming to “THE FATHERS”……….
    Why is that………

    Well first off is your tone is harsh, and your word manner contentious – even in the heat of battle, and the groan of my heart, i would not turn to you for – much of anything….. based upon your responses and thought process on this thread…..

    And for the record, on the Judgement part……….
    My father has sat on the bench for 38 years- so i’m a judges daughter X’s two…….. so i do know first hand, the importance of decrees and the what not in the grey areas……… so circumstantial evidence doesn’t often sway my decision making process.

    More so the Mercy of the Cross, and even more so…. that “He that had no sin – became sin for us”————

    You can “jot and title” all that you like, but if i were to judge the fruit of you diatribe and tone, based on the Fruit of it……. in how you extend mercy…….. i would find in a court of law, that your analysis of the situation is true – based upon your criteria, but your assessment, reflective in the heart of Christ, comes out wanting…….. and i’m wanting more of His Grace above all- than this fruit less ping pong match of espoused doctrine.

  17. 17 natrimony August 19, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    cathryn,

    So you’ve judged me uncharitable. Why would you think that wanting more of God’s grace–to see mercy at work–and arguing from a forensic position would be two mutually exclusive activities? I don’t see the necessary disconnect. I know that the apostle Paul didn’t.

  18. 18 curious August 19, 2008 at 8:01 pm

    “The sad thing is, the people throwing Bentley under the bus now (C. Peter Wagner and co. in the NAR) are those who beknighted him just a few weeks ago on stage in front of God TV cameras ablazin’.

    Just curious if someone could share the source or a confirming link to the above statement, as I am not aware of that being the case at all. If it in fact is the case, then I’ll be very interested to see how it was that I missed it. I can share direct links from “Peter and Co.” that seem to say the opposite.. Thanks.

  19. 19 natrimony August 19, 2008 at 11:51 pm

    Here’s a few to look at.

    http://www.injesus.com/index.php?module=message&task=view&MID=TB007ETU&GroupID=VB006FHZ

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEwsG4lsXq4&feature=related {Wagner speaks for a little over 6 minutes}

    http://www.charismamag.com/cms/news/archives/0624082.php

    Yeah, I know all about ‘Apostle’ Wagner’s official response to his role in Lakeland. The disclaimer that Wagner has posted is slippery. He’s a survivor who has been at this game for a long time. I guess his apostolic authority wasn’t enough to bring the government he prophesied about into reality for Mr. Bentley/Lakeland.

  20. 20 Thom Mac August 20, 2008 at 1:51 am

    So I have this friend who has a way to get self published books into the Christian Bookstore market. Feel free to email me Mike if you ant more info

    Thom.McGuire@gmail.com

  21. 21 curious August 20, 2008 at 4:20 pm

    Natrimony, thanks for the response, but perhaps I wasn’t clear.

    You posted on 8/15 concerning “the people throwing Bentley under the bus now (C. Peter Wagner and co. in the NAR”)…

    I posted that I would be curious to see some sources or confirming links to that effect, as I didnot believe that to be the case at all.

    You replied “to have a look at” three links having absolutely nothing to do with your comment whatsoever. One was a pre-commissioning announcement and itinerary from mid June, the other a Charismarag article covering the event dated June 24, and the other a youtube video from the event itself on June 23. So my original question concerning source and confirmation remains. The only thing that has changed is my doubt in your statement that Peter and company are throwing Todd under the bus. I now dismiss it completely.

    This event broke publicly on Aug 12. Three short days later on August 15 you yourself stated the bus analogy was already being “constantly applied to this whole scenario” (constantly by who…?) and was “overused” yet you continued to use it, and Matt agreed it was “sad to see…” Your replies confirm nothing except that saying something and it actually being so is not necessarily the same thing.

    You state you “know all about Peter’s official response,” and call it a “slippery disclaimer,” and manage to infer that he is slippery himself by virtue of having devoted himself to this “game” for a long time. Who or what is he disclaiming? Nothing like that is even remotely in his response. Maybe you have access to other correspondence from him…?

    As far as his “apostolic authority” is concerned, as of now, it’s too soon to say, unless you’ve already made up your mind. If down the road, this sad story has a redemptive end, and the “things that need to be set in order” come into order, then even your last statement will have been found to be false also.

    Interesting tho that the Charismarag general discussion site had to be closed TFN down due to the volume of rules violations by the tooth gnashers… Where now for fresh fodder?

  22. 22 cathryn thomas August 20, 2008 at 9:06 pm

    Guess i just think Tone matters when voicing things-

  23. 23 Matt August 20, 2008 at 11:31 pm

    I have looked into the situation a little more since responding to Nat’s comments re:Peter Wagner and others. Here is a helpful link from Bill Johnson about the whole situation, which I thought was a good balance of grace (Todd is our brother and we must work to restore him) and truth (Todd has sinned and needs to repent and change to be fully restored).

    http://www.ibethel.org/features/sermonoftheweekvideo/

    The actual truth is that Peter Wagner had little relationship with Todd prior to this, and was there to facilitate the oversight by Johnson, Arnott, and Anh. He has come under severe attack for even being involved, and his clarifications have been in response to those attacks. Of course the attackers choose to interpret it as slippery doublespeak.

    The amount of hatred spewing forth from the body of Christ right now is incredible, as though this sin (the hatred and unrighteous judgement) was any less serious than any other. I know it breaks my heart, I can only imagine how Jesus feels.

  24. 24 cathryn thomas August 21, 2008 at 12:53 am

    Matt,
    thanks for posting that … i like Bill’s stuff, and he is balanced.

    Nat, just kinda wonder where the 16 inches of gap really does exist –
    that would be the difference between the heart and the head. You might think that you are incapable of making some gross errors of judgement and discernment or even moral character…… but i’ve learned that everyone is vulnerable. Because i keep a keen eye on things, because i know my vulnerability and extend grace in things …….. bottom line is except for the grace of God – go i. so i gotta ask .. “where’s the luv bro?” What it feels like and or sounds like, and correct me if i’m wrong, but based upon how you phrase things….. it appears a bit smug and a bit of glee in seeing things pan out … this way. Seeing someone fall in to sin, should not stroke someone’s doctrinal opinion.

  25. 25 natrimony August 21, 2008 at 2:45 am

    Wow. Aren’t I the bad guy? Interesting. Good to see you guys taking a hard stand on something at least.

    curious,

    I thought you were questioning the validity of Wagner’s involvement in commissioning Bentley. You seem quite invested in endorsing these leaders (or perhaps just in refuting people like me–the judgmental types.)

    cathryn,

    I don’t quite know how you ascertain tone from the printed word. But, I am direct–and I don’t use emoticons as disclaimers alongside possibly offensive statements. I refuse to tack on “Well I could be wrong but…” prior to such statements either. I have made plenty of mistakes. But, I haven’t enlisted the trust of a wide swath of Charismaticism either. ‘Stroke someone’s doctrinal opinion’ how eloquent. You’ve impugned my motives again. You know I read somewhere that to we tend to become what we judge. Hmmm….

    Matt,

    Hi again. Is it all hatred that’s spewing or is there also some legitimate grievance leaking around the edges maybe?

  26. 26 cathryn thomas August 21, 2008 at 3:37 am

    ummmmm————- ” Good to see you guys taking a hard stand on something at least.”
    dude, ya can’t miss the tone of your words even if i wanted to… – but then, i went to your website, and was hoping to find something heart felt written .. on any of the topics at hand… so again… i still have to ask where’s the love? One of my favorite prayers, is God massage our hearts.

  27. 27 natrimony August 21, 2008 at 1:42 pm

    Cathryn,

    I’m glad you visited thegreycoats.com . Yes, we definitely don’t fit seamlessly into the emergent conversation. We make all sorts of heavy-handed absolute statements (spiritual violence?) supported by propositional reasoning. Yikes! At any rate, if you’re interested in massage you can learn how to ‘massage the annointing’ here–

    http://thegreycoats.com/2008/08/massaging-the-anointing/

  28. 28 Matt August 21, 2008 at 5:16 pm

    Natrimony,

    It’s not all hatred, there are many legitimate concerns on a lot of fronts. That’s why I thought Bill Johnson’s message was so right on…he’s trying to avoid the pitfall of overlooking sin and soft pedaling it, while still dealing firmly and lovingly with the sinner. He also had some great insight about the religious and political spirits that we are all vulnerable to, and that a situation like this is a test to whether the kingdom can advance in the face of adversity. If Todd Bentley is genuinely and powerfully restored (not in the superficial way that “restoration” is often handled, I’m talking about deep repentance and inner character transformation), this whole debacle can be a victory for the kingdom.

    My comment about the hatred is just my observation that it is there and has been surfaced by both the revival and Todd Bentley’s sin. The fact that another leader has fallen is a great problem pointing to the weaknesses of the western church, but so is the vitriol coming forth equally pointing to fundamental flaws in our faith. There are ditches on both sides of the road, the radical middle is the place we are often called to live.

  29. 29 curious August 21, 2008 at 5:17 pm

    “I thought you were questioning the validity of Wagner’s involvement in commissioning Bentley. You seem quite invested in endorsing these leaders (or perhaps just in refuting people like me–the judgmental types.)”

    Peter Wagner’s involvement has been very clear from the beginning, and I have no questions on that point. It was simply your still unconfirmed assertion that Peter and Co. have thrown Todd under the bus. That’s simply not so. It’s true the ball is in his court as to what he does next, but that’s a different issue.

    As far as what I seem to be invested in… All of the senior leaders involved in Todd’s commissioning need no endorsement from me or anyone else for that matter. I think it’s pretty clear that their lives and ministries to date constitute a sufficient track record, such that one can determine if they agree or not, and if they feel they can have confidence in participating or benefitting in some way from whatever degree of relationship they choose to pursue.

    I also visited your website (A. Strom…? rofl). You’ve obviously made it your mission to hinder that process in any way you can, especially by using a lot of big words. Fortunately for you, the internet makes this possible in ways that were undreamed of not very long ago. So let me know how that works out for you… (still rofl)

    As far as “just refuting people like you – the judgmental types…” What’s left to refute? You just said it best your own self.

  30. 30 natrimony August 21, 2008 at 9:10 pm

    curious,

    You really don’t like me do you? Aw, c’mon, I’m just a loveable fuzzball.

    Wagner’s official statement is clearly a move to distance himself and his empire from the poor choice he made in endorsing Bentley. Damage control. If you don’t see that then you choose not too. And these guys have a ‘a sufficient track record’, of what…aberrancy?

  31. 31 natrimony August 22, 2008 at 6:52 pm

    curious,

    Dutch Sheets, a prominent Charismatic leader, takes responsibility and apologizes for Bentley’s commissioning. Quite refreshing.

    “Some of my closest friends endorsed and participated in the
    Lakeland meetings. For them I have both criticism—all of us lose
    credibility at this point if we’re not completely honest—and
    affirmation. Should they have been more discerning and have
    listened to the warnings they received? Obviously. Should those
    who “aligned” Todd with spiritual fathers (which was a good thing
    and positioned him to receive help if he chooses to accept it) have
    realized to do so publicly was a mistake and could be interpreted
    by those watching in no other way than as a complete
    endorsement? Yes, they should have, especially when the event
    became a commissioning ceremony, complete with decrees and
    prophecies of going to higher levels, predictions of Todd’s
    increasing world-wide influence and leading a world-wide revival,
    emphatic and prolific endorsements of his character, etc. How
    could those watching believe the evening was anything but an
    aligning, endorsing and commissioning ceremony? It was. It really
    doesn’t matter who laid their hands on Todd—all share
    responsibility. This was unwise at best, naïve at least and at its
    worst, foolish. And should the leaders involved have realized that
    those of us connected to them relationally, ministerially, and as
    movements—some even in alignment with them apostolically and
    as sons and daughters—would feel minimalized, if not betrayed,
    by the fact that they were in essence taking us onto the stage
    with them? Yes. These feelings were inevitable, especially when
    we had such uneasiness and asked them not to. Should there be
    an acknowledgment of these mistakes to the body of Christ for the
    sake of accountability and in order to rebuild trust? I believe so,
    and remain hopeful this will happen.”—

    http://www.dutchsheets.org/index.cfm

  32. 32 curious August 22, 2008 at 7:17 pm

    Natrimony,
    I’m taking a guess here that the “official statement” from Peter and Co. that you refer to is in fact nothing more than a portion of the initial correspondence between he and the apostolic council of Ahn, Johnson, and Arnott, along with the initial response by Chuck Pierce to Peter. Those all started out as “in house” letters and memos to each other as the news about Todd broke. Doris Wagner finally collected them and added her own thoughts to them as a picture of how things were going for her first 3 days into it all, and sent it to the Global Harvest mailing list, where it eventually wound up in the cyber version of “Westworld”… Sorry if that’s a bit before your time.

    If I’m correct in that assumption, that’s a far cry from an “official statement.” I’m not aware of any official statement at this point beyond the one thing that has already been released. And I would expect that nothing forthcoming is of a nature that “throws ANYBODY under the bus.” But whatever, the “tone of your attitude” is set with terms like “clearly a move to distance himself, empire, damage control, aberrancy,” etc. blah blah. And this is so not about “liking you” or not. How petty would that be?

    It’s not even about you at all. Or me. Or Todd. Or any of the other high profile groups, founders, or beliefs involved in this latest chapter of the times. Did you notice I’m using language know that gives you less to carp about? Becuz if there is any one constant here, it is that you will carp about nearly anything. Your internet tracks across the various forums paint a pretty constant profile. So I do have you to give you props for consistency.

    Here’s the thing. Since you have taken the initiative in your response to Cathryn a few posts earlier of identifying yourself with a group of people you refer to as “we” this and “we” that, as in “we definitely don’t fit… and we make all sorts of heavy-handed absolute statements…,” then I’ll address this to the great and ominous “we” you represent.

    When this most recent escalation in the spiritual realm that may well have been initiated in Lakeland with Todd as the catalyst not only survives his absence but grows beyond Lakeland and every other dot on a map, when it expands beyond Todd and every other “brand name” websited 501.3c ministry vehicle with a mailing list, and truly begins to permeate and saturate the various levels of society and culture on this planet… then I think that may be your worst nightmare come true.

    How will you then castigate, castrate (that word applies to both sexes btw), and crucify those itinerant miracle workers and healers that you can’t dig up accusations on by Googling them because they don’t exist to any search engine? How will you wallpaper them all over the internet when they don’t have a face (Gal1:22-24)? How do you Google “guy at Wal-Mart heals sick people waiting in line at pharmacy?” How will you dissect their supposed heretical beliefs when you can’t possibly know what they believe becuz they’ve never preached or held a meeting? How will you know who to lay the hairy eyeball on when the “fragrance of their presence” just wafted around the corner looking for the next opportunity to represent heaven on earth?

    When the crippled war vet who greets you at the door to Wal-Mart jumps up out of his wheelchair healed by some unknown and ungoogleable(?) Kingdom citizen who’s just off about their Father’s business and the only coherent thing the healed guy can offer up is a 21st century version of John 9:24-34, then what? When the controversy over Todd has taken a back seat to an unstoppable tsunami of supernatural manifestation that can’t be localized, marginalized, or franchised, then what? Inquiring minds and all that sort of thing…

    Well, I’m going to pull an Acts 17:33 at this point. This is only my second foray into Forum World, and I hear my mother calling. I only happened onto this thread and your “under the bus” crack from a link to an interview with JC that was a lot of fun to read (in retrospect, I should probably be more concerned about who’s driving the bus than who’s getting thrown under it, reason being if I was driving and some one fell under my bus, I’d hit the brakes, not the gas…) Selah.

    I’m pretty sure I’ve overstayed my welcome and Prov 25:17 is so true. As I take my leave, I’d like to suggest a full reading of Acts 17:16-34 from The Message. My hope and prayer is that whatever my present and future faults and shortcomings, I never find myself in the camp of those that Holy Spirit took his leave of thru the person of the Apostle Paul. Selah one mo time…

    “That’s it for the day.” Final word is all yours Nat, I’m sure.

  33. 33 cathryn thomas August 22, 2008 at 7:22 pm

    cauf cauf cauf erm… ah hem, cauf, cauf – (sounds like Cat is coughing up a fuzzball)- “empire”- oh Please!
    And for the record – i am a Licensed Massage Therapist and Physical Therapist Asst. – been in the medical field for 20 years and work in pain management.— and Yes, i saw the video on massaging the anointing – No that would not be my style, and to me it’s a bit cheezy- but there are plenty of people that “practice” leading people to Christ like door to door salesmen – I’m sure some have even questioned Keith Green’s style…. or any altar call for that matter…. or even those TV evangelists that ask for a money vow.. (if you want a laugh google “farting preacher”-) who ever spoofed him had me rolling- but the sad part is you didn’t even have to spoof him to laugh, actually that type of charismatic witchcraft makes me cringe.
    But even the prophets of old would appear weird by todays standards- well, even for their time……….
    So i look at heart conditions and yes i often hold a raised eyebrow to some, but most times than not, Holy Spirit will Not so gently nudge, me back to the place that whenever i am slipping into a critical state of heart and mind, that it’s not Godly.
    My old pastor – had an incredible gift for teaching – and some pretty scary prophetic gifting…. I received more healing from sitting under his leadership for 7 years than i could ever have imagined – but like so many that the enemy targets, burn out has it’s tole and he fell. It was no small measure by any means- but the grace that he taught was not extended by leadership- and the lies just got bigger. How the church responded (except for a small group labeled heretics – because they took Restoration for the fullness that is Christ seriously) did more damage in the lives of he and his family. I’ve seen first hand how a critical and unloving spirit can just further the enemies advancement to wreak havoc in the lives of the God’s kids.

    Also flowing in any level of anointing can really give one a head trip… as can anyone get a head trip by the amount of knowledge they possess – Power and Pride tend to be bed fellows. So staying close to the Cross of Christ is imperative –

    One of the prayers that i pray when stuff is up- and i’m not seeing clearly, or viewing it from past hurts, rejections or whatever is vexing my spirit about things is- Lord i put the Cross of Christ between me and _____” fill in the blank-

    It’s hard sometimes to pray that – because i can feel justified by my opinions- but when i ask for the Cross- i have to look at the situation through that… and when i look into Jesus eyes and see that level of love and forgiveness – His hand massages my heart-

    I’m not saying i get it right all the time, by any means…. i can be loud, opinionated, harsh, judgmental, stubborn, unloving, – the list could go on (ask my husband)-
    But i do bring things to HIS FEET.

    So in all of it, even when i’m frustrated with the antics of His kids, i have to go to the place where i have to ask… God what do you want me to learn or know thru this.. As Graham Cooke likes to ask.. “God what do you want to teach me in this situation, that i could not have learned otherwise?”
    No matter what the heart conditions are with people serving in ministry or the what not.. what is He saying to MY heart- How can i stand in the gap better, how can i pray outside my personal opinions on the matter, what have i learned about my cynical heart that needs to be removed. 99% of the time it leaves me weeping and tangled in the Hem of His Garment.

  34. 34 curious August 22, 2008 at 8:25 pm

    PS. Natrimony, just saw that you had posted a portion of a statement from Dutch Sheets. My previous response does not apply to that, and I’ve not yet read it.

    Other than noting the irony of using responses from leaders who have been long and loudly dismissed as godless apostates and heretics to now support a particular point of view… well that’s just odd. Methinks that a bit of a selective cut and paste, no?

    This is much more about “knowing what spirit you’re of” than “I said, he said.” I greatly respect Dutch Sheets (do you..?) as a Teacher and will probably agree with much of what he says, especially anything having to do with learning from this time, healing, and recovery both for Todd and all those impacted by this event.

    But any “woulda, coulda, shoulda” stuff, I usually leave at the counter. My cart is already full.

  35. 35 curious August 22, 2008 at 9:46 pm

    And Cathryn… ditto everything you said.

  36. 36 natrimony August 23, 2008 at 12:09 am

    curious,

    I’ve enjoyed our dialogue and your latest diatribe (you really put some thought into that one). Wish you wouldn’t bow out so soon (I suspect that I will bump into you again). But, yes, the reality that you seem to wish for falls into a dominionist post-millenialism which is rather frightening.

    “When this most recent escalation in the spiritual realm that may well have been initiated in Lakeland with Todd as the catalyst…truly begins to permeate and saturate the various levels of society and culture on this planet… then I think that may be your worst nightmare come true.”

    The NT would suggest that there’ll be some powerful dudes around before the end, but they’re not all gonna be friendly. Unless your just spinning allegory then you’ve gotten in where you fit in. Good for you. Just be honest about schismaticism, or changing the face of Christianity–whichever. If you’re prophetic then the bluecoats win huh? We’ll see.

    Cathryn,

    I think that your desire to hear what God has to teach you in a given situation is admirable. I ask for the grace to take pause and do the same. Even so, I am adament that God uses imperfect people to criticize or rebuke other imperfect people. Criticism is not condemnation–neither is tolerance acceptance. Unfortunately these four have become mingled in their exercise.

  37. 37 cathryn thomas August 23, 2008 at 1:48 am

    Thankfully, for all of us – there is “grace to take pause”- if i took half the time i do on line with that pause, i’d say less. I’ll add to the above that we Love imperfectly as well…
    I do love the Message version of 1 Cor. 13
    I’m reminding myself here………

    If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. 2If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing. 3-7If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.

    Love never gives up.
    Love cares more for others than for self.
    Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
    Love doesn’t strut,
    Doesn’t have a swelled head,
    Doesn’t force itself on others,
    Isn’t always “me first,”
    Doesn’t fly off the handle,
    Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
    Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
    Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
    Puts up with anything,
    Trusts God always,
    Always looks for the best,
    Never looks back,
    But keeps going to the end.
    8-10Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled.

    11When I was an infant at my mother’s breast, I gurgled and cooed like any infant. When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good.

    12We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!

    13But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.

    I’m trying to keep things simple (they were fishermen right?)
    blessings.
    cathryn

  38. 38 Carrie Albright August 26, 2008 at 6:26 pm

    I’m overcome with how sad Todd must feel. He is afterall just a guy who lost his family. Who was told by his wife, Babe I can’t do this anymore. I need you and you are not here for me. Make’s you want to cry.
    I’ve been hanging out with my homeless brothers and sisters. Sharing the awsome news of the cross and feeding the soul as well as the stomach. It’s a drug I tell you, preaching on the cross. Everthing was died for everthing. So that we could have authority over everthing. So powerfull when you take into your heart and run with it.
    Already out of two months of loving on them they are not drinking as much. There coming to church and briging there friends. One of the guys is completly sober and off the streets. So COOL!
    See you all later I’m taking it to the streets. Come join us.


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