Wednesday, August 20, 2008

When Christians fail, what do we do?

In regard to the whole Todd Bentley thing, I do have some thoughts on what's going on now. It does appear, from what some leaders in the Charismatic movement have said, there have been people close to the Lakeland thing who expressed concerns about what was going on. But none of these leaders were loud enough, in my opinion, in speaking out about what was going on.

This isn't to keep beating Bentley. I sincerely hope he gets the hope he needs. God still loves him enough to bring him out of the pit he's in.

But there are some things that seem clear to me:
  • Bentley needed people in his life who loved him enough to pull him aside and tell him to cut out the nonsense. That's what happened in this case, with the result that Cain has repented and is seeking help.
  • It's never wrong to question what someone is teaching. Apparently, someone on GodTV said that anyone who questioned what was going on in Lakeland was demonic. That statement is, I believe, pretty demonic itself.
  • The problem with questioning someone's teaching comes when you assume that the person who is teaching has some sort of evil intent. What was the intent of Bentley and his group during this revival? I haven't a clue. I can't judge intent, but I can say where I believe someone's teaching lacks biblical basis.
  • God is absolutely able to stop something that is damaging to His people. He will protect His children, whether he uses other believers, or gets involved more directly.
I've got some more thoughts on what this says about the state of the church, but I'm too tired to keep typing coherently. (As though that's ever stopped me before!) These verses keep tripping through the cluttered back of my mind:

Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
Does this passage have any bearing on how we treat Bentley from here on out?

1 comment:

Heidi W said...

You sure are doing a lot of thinking. :) And I think you are balancing it well.

That "never question" teaching is common in abusive churches. A church we used to go to would call someone who questioned things as "having a critical spirit." Nobody wanted that title on them, so you didn't dare question! Of course, that was just one part of the abuse that we eventually recognized.

It is so important to weigh everything with scripture. If we aren't, we are too easily led down paths that can damage us.

It will be interesting to see how this is handled by Mr. Bentley and the apostolic group he submitted to just days before this came out.