A few of my friends are on "fire". They caught the fire from Lakeland, Florida, the "fire" from Todd Bentley's revival meetings. The said revival meetings have attracted thousands upon thousands of people around the world, as they claim. When one of these friends of mine called me last week, she sounded very excited. She told me that she has been watching the videos of the on-going revival meetings of Todd Bentley on the internet and that she feels revived. I was very happy for her.
But somehow I wasn't very excited about catching this new "fire" myself. I'm thinking that probably because I was raised a "Charismatic" and have experienced this kind of "fire" for so many times that I've become too familiar with it. Or maybe because of what happened to the revival in Davao City, Philippines, several years ago that ended in complete misery, causing the biggest church in Mindanao to be wrecked and the people left confused, deceived and hurt. I had seen so much extremity and very deceiving theology in the said revival. I completely understand that God is extreme but He would never work outside what He says in His Word.
I was wondering about my not-so-excited feeling about the said "outpouring" in Lakeland, Florida, so I decided to watch the videos of it via God TV. I admit that the first time I saw Todd Bentley on my screen, I immediately had apprehensions. But I thought I was being judgmental of him because he didn't pass my "fashion standard" for evangelists. His tattoos and the earrings on his ears and chin bothered me, and this was before I found out that he got his tattoos after he became a preacher. I grew up in a country where tattoos are not cool at all but viewed as a sign of a corrupt morality. Not only did his appearance displease me but the way he spoke during the first 30 minutes that I was watching the videos. I thought I found him cocky, especially, because he was using the word "I" very much.
Yes, there was a war in my spirit. I wanted to rebuke myself for being judgmental of Todd Bentley. But for some reason, I couldn't do it to myself. There was a strong desire to give myself a benefit of a doubt that what I was feeling about this guy was right. So I kept on watching him on stage of that huge stadium and for an hour my disappointment just kept on growing. He didn't preach. He was just screaming, shaking, laughing, claiming to be so "charged up" with God's power and releasing healing miracles to people. I said to myself that this was not different from all of the revival meetings I have gone to growing up. Please don't get me wrong in saying that. I do not despise my revival experiences in the past at all, in fact, I have benefited from them a lot. But I've seen the danger in depending so much on our feelings and giving so little time in examining what we feel according to the Word. I've seen how people from the revival got so excited for the Lord and become so discouraged after a month or two. I've also known of non-Christians being healed through the revival meetings but never became born-again. Okay, I'm sorry for focusing on the negative. But I just don't want to be in a spiritual roller coaster again and I am being very honest here. I don't want to be misled and be disappointed to catch a fire that doesn't last and doesn't carry me through the hard times because it is entirely dependent on my feelings. Also, I want to make sure I'm running away from those who the Bible speaks to flee from.
What do you do when you have doubts? Investigate. That's what I did. I thought the best place to start my investigation was the site where Todd Bentley wrote his very own teachings. Then the videos compiled by people who are in the same boat as I am now.
Here is the link to the Todd's teaching on Angels...
I am still on the process of studying it and will tell you what I think of it later. But one thing I noticed of this teaching, it's extreme! Also, Todd Bentley mentioned about meeting Angel Emma. Well, I've never known of a female angel mentioned in the Bible. Angels don't necessarily have gender, even though Michael and Gabriel were presented as male.
Also, Todd has very strong ties with Bob Jones and I happen to come across a video where Patricia King was interviewing them about the third heaven. Todd and Bob claimed that they could enter into the third heaven, where the throne of God resides, anytime they want and that anyone could as long as they have that supernatural faith. I found this weird. Here is the video...
A friend of ours who is a missionary in Tibet said that Todd Bentley revers Branham. It is even said that he was prophesied to have a "Branham anointing". Check this out...
To check who Branham is.. http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/quotes.html#Branham
By the way, revival meetings don't necessarily recharge my spiritual batteries. It is when I faithfully read and study the Word, pray, fellowship at our church and evangelize my neighbors and friends and others. I am especially "charged up" when my targets give their lives to Jesus and repent of their sins.
I want to hear what you think of this whole thing. You can leave a comment here or write me an email. Please feel free to rebuke, correct or teach me if you think I misjudge Todd Bentley and the Lakeland, Florida outpouring.