Monday, August 18, 2008

More thoughts on Todd Bentley, Lakeland, and spiritual correctness...

You know, I'm still processing a bunch of stuff about the Lakeland Revival business. For the past few months I've heard it from every angle--from "Lakeland thing is the real deal, you've got to get yourself down there to catch the anointing," to "Bentley and his crew are demon-following hucksters, dragging sheep to the slaughter." Both sides are completely sure that they are right, and that the other side is in deep error.

I'm not sure I'm clear about what I think concerning this particular piece of revival fever. But I am beginning to question how we deal with other believers that we think are wrong in their doctrines and/or practices. Here are a few things I am kicking around in my head. My thinking is still a bit fuzzy on this stuff, so I have no answers, just questions...
  • how much "good theology" does a person need to be saved?
  • what is the proper role for "fruit inspection" when it comes to judging a person or movement?
  • how much error can a person have in his/her theology before I break off fellowship with them?
  • if it's the Holy Spirit's job to lead us into truth, what is the role of other believers in that process?
  • when another believer is exposed to be in sin or error, what should my response be?
  • can a person be wrong without being evil?
I've actually got a lot more questions than I've got time for now. I'll have to sort them out in the days ahead. One thing I am pretty sure of: we're losing the idea of being loving AND truthful. It seems like too many of us are one or the other, but not both...

5 comments:

Lorikate said...

I have many friends that believe in Todd Bentley's "ministry". I do not. I love them regardless. Believing that Todd Bentley is a man of God is not a sin. To me, it's an error in judgement, and a lack of discernment. Just becaue someone has different theology than me doen't mean I'm going to stop being friends with them. John 3:16 says it all. You don't have to have good theology to be saved, you just have to believe.

Now, I think the people that support Todd's "ministry" and preach his thoughts as truth....they're going to have something to answer for. Many of his teachings are in error, and to pass it off as truth is to lead others down a dangerous path. Not to mention smearing the name of Jesus. But that's between God and them. It's just my job as a Christian to warn as many as I can about the error of his doctrines.

Am I going to holler and argue angrily? No. I have to say my piece and pray that God does the rest. Am I going to blog about my (extremely) forthright opinions? Yes. If someone doesn't like it...they can leave my website. But if you ask me a question....be prepared to get an answer.

The only reason to break off fellowship with another believer, is if they are living in SIN, and not repenting of it at all. Especially if they are excusing it. Butt agreeing with Todd isn't sinning, it's just following the sinner. It's sad, but will happen. I don't think this proves that someone isn't saved.

So, to sum up. Love others, even if they are in error. Argue your point, and agree to disagree. If you believe in Jesus, you believe. We all have different perspectives on the extra stuff, and should all have the SAME perspective on the basics. Distance yourself from believers living in outright un-repentant sin, and that's about all you can do! The rest is up to God.

Mike said...

Some good thoughts. I too am runningthese same ideas though my small yet active brain.

Richard J said...

Lorikate--Thanks for adding your thoughts! I think it's hard for us to be clear on truth, and still love our brother or sister who is in error.

Mike--At least your brain is active! I think these are important questions to ask. The unbelieving world is watching to see how we respond...

Tricia said...

I believe our response, like anything else, has to be as Jesus. HE alone is our model. Yes, Jesus was forgiving, kind, patient, open to those who were ignorant or seeking or repentant in their sin. But at the same time he was dismissive, condemning and judgemental about those who consistently and knowingly lead the innocent astray and destroy the Body. We can end up being more softhearted than God, just in an effort to "be nice", or maybe because there is no awareness or horror of deception. But now that Todd Bentley had been exposed by his own leadership as a "patholigical liar" a serial adulterer, and a frauster, you have to have some care and concern for those who were lured into his web, and suffered the consequences. God does not look kindly on those who cause such a level of pain and suffering in the Body, nor does he ask us to be polite and nice to false prophets. In the OT they were stoned. At least today they have a chance to repent, but it's the same GOD regardless.

Richard J said...

Tricia--Thanks for coming by! I'm going to assume that you're not calling for Bentley to be stoned. I do agree with you that we need to take care of the people who were taken advantage of. They can be forgotten too easily.

I think I might have to question your assertion that Bentley knowingly led people astray. Is it possible that he was just wrong, but that he didn't realize it? I think that at this point, you might be making a judgment that isn't warranted by the facts.

Also, could you give me links to where his leadership called him a pathological liar and a fraud? I'm not saying it didn't happen, but I haven't seen it. I want to have as much information as I can before I spout opinions...