Open Blogging

You may also like...

58 Responses

  1. Michael says:

    Todd Bentley in new scandals…from Facebook…
    TODD BENTLEY, RICK JOYNER, & ISSUES IN THE CHURCH

    Dear Church,

    As some of you know who have followed my wife and I in ministry these last several years, we’ve had the honor and privilege of traveling with and serving Todd Bentley and Fresh Fire Ministries around the world, along with being involved with Rick Joyner & Morningstar church, attending there the last few years. My connection with Rick goes back fifteen years. He was the first author in the prophetic movement that I ever read when I first began to grow in this stream in 2004. His ministry and his books to this day have had a profound influence on my life in shaping me into the minister and man I am today. My connection with Todd goes back to when I was a kid when I can remember getting his books and teaching cds for Christmas from my parents. Todd’s life and testimony inspired me when I was nineteen years old, fresh out of High School, to take five months off of work, lock myself in my room, and seek the Lord day and night. It was at that time that I had my first visitation of Jesus, and that I first began to move in the prophetic and healing gifts. That was when I really fell in love with Jesus and built a deep lasting bond with the Lord that has remained to this day and affected every part of my life. I’ll always be grateful to Rick & Todd for their positive influence in my life, despite some of the bad things that have happened and regrettable things I’ve become aware of more recently. I’ll always honor them for being pioneers in this generation for revival, the supernatural, intimacy with God, & the prophetic. I love and honor them and that’s why what I’m about to say next is so painful and hard. But I’ve come to the conclusion through much fasting, prayer, and hundreds of hours of counseling with wise counselors over the last several months, that I must do what I’m about to do next. I’m appealing to people all over the world to hear my heart, receive my honest witness of the things I’ve seen and heard, and most importantly, pray for the people involved in this. This breaks God’s heart when things like this come up. These are his children that we’re dealing with here. We want to pray for everyone involved in this, including Todd and his family; that God’s will would be done and the true freedom and deliverance He desires for all of us would be accomplished because of the blood of Jesus.

    The information I’m about to present I believe to be true. I have done the best that I can to determine the validity of the allegations that have surfaced in regards to Todd, and have done the best I can to sort through hearsay and separate fact from fiction. This information is based on stories I’ve heard, both written and recorded testimony, as well as hard copy evidence that I’ve gathered such as screen shots from cell phones.

    I wish to state right at the beginning of this letter that I do not want anything personally from this other than to see the will of the Lord done, the body of Christ protected, Todd and Jessa helped, and leaders who have failed them and the body held accountable. I’m not seeking financial gain, notoriety in my ministry, or fame. I’m not seeking revenge for ways that Todd has wronged me in the past. I’m just trying to do what’s right before the Lord with the information that came to me.

    WHAT I KNOW OR BELIEVE TO KNOW ABOUT TODD BENTLEY AND THE ALLEGATIONS

    I believe that Todd Bentley had a genuine salvation experience as a young man. I believe he loves the Lord, is sincere in his desire to preach the gospel, and has a very powerful gift from God. But I’ve also come to believe that Todd Bentley is terribly deceived, and I don’t think He himself fully realizes the depth of his bondage and the consequences of his decisions, not just in his life, but the lives of countless men, women, and children in the body of Christ. I honestly believe that Todd is sick and deceived, and that He needs major help, which I really hope and pray He can find.

    As I’ve already stated, I love Todd and I’ll always thank God for how He used Todd in my life. Over the years I’ve tried to the best of my ability to honor Todd, to allow love to cover a multitude of sins as we’re commanded to do in the scriptures, to not judge another man’s servant, to pray for Todd and Jessa and believe for God to do a deeper work of sanctification and transformation in their lives. But to my disappointment and sadness I have not seen my prayers answers up to this point.

    Although I ultimately believe that our sins and our struggles do not define who we are in Christ, I believe that in Todd’s deception He has taken on certain false demonic identities and found ways to justify sin in the midst of a ministry culture overrun by damaging hyper-grace deception and sin-enablement ideas. The following I believe to be an honest assessment of this sinful identity and the working of Todd’s sinful nature that has continued to operate in Todd’s life, the true depth of which has only been revealed to me within the last few months.

    I believe that Todd has a perverse sexual addiction that He picked up when He was a young man through his dark demonic childhood and through him being abused as a kid. Todd has an appetite for a variety of sexual sins including both homosexual and heterosexual activity. Down through the years Todd has made sexual advances toward (and in some cases engaged in sexual sin with) a number of different men and women outside his marriage, many of them interns and/or students under his leadership care in the church.

    I believe that Todd was preyed on sexually as a child, and I believe that that same demonic entity uses Todd to prey on others that have come into Todd’s ministry with their guard down because they felt all was safe being in the presence of an anointed man of God. The bible says that the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked (Jer.17:9). I believe that Todd’s own heart has deceived him and has kept him from understanding what is fully at work inside him. The evidence I’ve gained in my investigation I’ve conducted this summer shows predatory behavior on Todd’s part, where in multiple cases people were taken advantage of by Todd who were in a place of hardship and vulnerability, even financial hardship, being offered money or some form of compensation by Todd in exchange for sexual favors.

    I believe that both Todd and his wife Jessa are both complicit in this sexual perversion and have both participated in inviting other sexual partners, both men and women, into their marriage bed. Todd and Jessa’s relationship and marriage began in sexual sin and it appears that that sin has only grown and become stronger in their lives over the years, despite the bond of marriage they share.

    I believe Todd is not fit for public ministry. On top of his sexual sins, He has proven to be a compulsive liar, He lacks financial integrity when handling God’s money, and He is a substance abuser that has drawn many others into these sins with him over the years. I believe Todd has proven over more than two decades of ministry, moral failures, and abuse of others that He cannot be trusted with the care of God’s people.

    HOW DID I GET INVOLVED IN THIS?

    I first met Todd in 2012 when He found me working as a janitor in a small church in my home state of Alaska. He recognized a ministry gift on my life and began mentoring me in ministry and helped me get established as an itinerant. But for the last several years I’ve distanced myself from Todd, as He has from me, because of a fresh holiness message and anointing I began to move in in 2017. I had seen inappropriate behavior for years with Todd and Jessa, which I attempted to inform leadership about to have it dealt with, but unfortunately I saw no real serious action taken on behalf of leadership to discipline and correct Todd & Jessa.

    In early June of this year I had a powerful prophetic dream in which I was standing in a heavenly courtroom during a case that was being tried. In this experience, it was given to me to know that major change was coming to the church, and that righteous judgment and justice was being released from the courts of heaven. I was told specifically that leadership in the church were being given a clear and direct charge from the Lord to “start acting more like the Apostle Paul” in matters of righteous judgment. At the time, I had been meditating on scriptures like (1 Cor.5:3,5) where Paul said:

    (1 Cor.5:3,5)
    “For I indeed, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have already judged (as though I were present) him who has so done this deed… deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.”

    Scriptures like these which entail necessary apostolic righteous judgment in extreme cases of unrepented sin in the church, have virtually been outlawed in the church in our day due to what can only be described to me as serious error due to an overreaction to religious abuse in the church. As much as we love the church of Jesus Christ, we as leaders must be bold, courageous, and fearless in the face of sin and abominable practices, and we must be willing and obedient to the Lord when He calls us to handle these matters. This was the charge I believe that was being released from the heavenly courts, and what has followed since then has confirmed this word.

    Right after having this heavenly encounter at Moravian Falls on June the 9th of this year, I immediately began to hear reports and allegations of sexual misconduct, drunkenness, substance abuse, lying, cheating, stealing, and even worse: leadership in the church who have known about these sins and have covered it up for years. I had never been made aware of this level of serious sin and what I would call “abominable practices” up until this point with Todd in all the years I’ve known him. My conclusion as to why things are being manifest now is that God is exposing them to be dealt with.

    As these stories came to me the information ranged from rock solid evidence to simple testimony and hear-say. Here is a list of some of the evidence and eye-witness testimony that I have gathered over the course of this summer:

    – Screenshots of Todd asking a young single online student of his to “send him pictures of herself” on multiple occasions, asking her what she was wearing, on multiple occasions, asking for long hugs when they meet, and numerous other inappropriate and disturbing suggestions and appeals to this young lady who is not his wife.

    – Testimony of a male intern who claims that Todd offered to pay him $1,000 to allow him to perform oral sex on the male intern. Below is one of many examples of conversations I’ve had with witnesses like this young man. This is from my notes I took while having the conversation:

    2013 Male Intern: there was a time that I was with Todd and I was struggling to get by…. I was living with my sister, working a job, just trying to pay my bills and get by, and Todd was supposed to be my mentor you know, and we’re hanging out and he’s paying for me to eat out, paying for me here paying for me there you know, and always showing off his money you know…. And he was like, “I know you’re struggling so”…. I don’t know how it came up, but He was like, “Can I suck your dxxx for $1,000”. And I’m like, “What?”. I was like, “What the F is your freaking problem… are you Fxxxing retarded”, and I was like oblivious…. And you know, it was not just that…. I saw pictures of His wife naked, fully naked, the whole nine yards.”

    – Testimony by a male intern that witnessed such things, took it to Rick Joyner, and ultimately nothing was done and Todd was still allowed to go on in ministry as if everything was okay. Testimony that Rick Joyner refused to help this young man with his personal restoration after the 2013 incident.
    – Testimony of a male intern who claims that Todd offered to pay him $500 to send Todd a video of him masturbating.
    – Testimony of a male intern who claims that – – Todd and his wife sent him naked/sexual pictures and videos frequently.
    – Testimony that Todd made out with his young female assistant whom he is not married to, walked into a room, closed the door, and stayed in there for at least 30 minutes with Jessa being in the same house and knowing about it.
    – Testimony of Todd (or a male leader at Fresh Fire that’s alluded to as Todd) smoking weed with a male intern from 2018 and then offering the male intern sex.
    – Testimony of Todd being caught with pornography on his phone, and of Todd being caught watching pornography in his hotel room with his female assistant that he was not married to. Todd’s excuse when He was caught was, “It’s no big deal, it’s just soft porn”.
    – Testimony of crazy drunkenness, substance abuse, and crude sexual behavior and speech on Todd and Jessa’s part…. Some examples would be: 1) One former employee of Todd’s told me that one time he was on a plane with him and all Todd could talk about was “how much he wanted to have sex with the stewardess” and that he knew “she would like it rough”; 2) Another example would be from a Pastor I spoke to who saw Todd and Jessa walk into a restaurant… Todd then proceeded to get behind Jessa in front of everyone and act like he was engaging her sexually. The pastor was shocked with what He saw.
    Testimony from a pastor who claims that a young couple in his church were approached by Todd to “swing” with them… to have an open sexual relationship and exchange partners at times.

    – I myself have seen things over the years that I find very disturbing. I myself have seen Todd preach, pray, and prophesy over the people, only to leave the meeting, purchase hard liquor, and walk into his hotel to party the rest of the night.

    – I myself have seen and heard Todd and Jessa speak with unclean/foul speech.

    I confess that I myself, at times in the past, have gotten caught up in some of this culture of speech that’s unpleasing to the Lord… what one might call “guy talk” or “locker room banter”, which the Lord has dealt with my heart on and I’ve repented for. But honestly, with the vile culture that has infiltrated the charismatic church, it is extremely difficult at times to have fellowship with other ministers, and build alliances with others for the kingdom, and not be affected by this stuff.

    My wife and myself have kept ourselves pure from sexual sin, substance abuse, and all these kinds of sins and abominations mentioned in this statement. But now having been brought behind the curtain by the Lord and having seen some of the abominations being committed in the house of God, I’m astounded and overwhelmed by God’s grace and hand upon our lives to keep us over the last several years that we’ve been in full time ministry with this kind of garbage going on in the church.

    WHAT I HAVE DONE WITH THIS INFORMATION SINCE IT FIRST STARTED COMING TO ME

    At the end of June/ early July, I compiled a 32 page report with my findings concerning Todd Bentley. Todd was presented with the allegations directly prior to the report being written, but he said they were old, exaggerated, and false (which He has maintained up until this point). Following that, more evidence and reports came forward. When the report was completed, I shared it with a couple of leaders at the time in order to have them submit the report to Todd’s main overseer (Rick Joyner) and also others who claimed to be authorities in Todd’s life, (due to the fact that I did not have Rick’s personal contact information). The report was also submitted to apostolic and prophetic leaders at the time because I felt they all needed to be aware of the situation.

    The report was successfully submitted to Rick and the others. I asked for a meeting with Rick to discuss and process, but up until this point Rick has not met with me about this serious issue which has been very confusing and disappointing to me.

    Some of the witnesses I talked to at the beginning of my investigation have since withdrawn their testimony because they have been threatened by people involved in this network of sin and cover-ups. I’ve come across at least one witness who was paid off and made to sign a legal gag order in order to keep silent about the great sins and abominations he’s witnessed. And in some cases, I personally have been threatened with a lawsuit and violence if I revealed my findings.

    The initial report was to only be submitted to leaders who had some level of input into Todd’s life, but somehow that private report got leaked and now it is in the hands of leaders all over the world.

    I’m not a trained professional investigator or journalist. I’m just someone who is seeking truth, righteousness, and justice in the church. I’m just someone that wants to see purity and holiness in the bride so that God can trust us with greater glory in the future. I admit that I’ve made some rookie mistakes in this process. I’ve never been involved in anything like this at this level before, and I’ve handled some things poorly. But I tell you today that I’ve done the best job that I know how to do. I’ve tried to the best of my ability to move with love, patience, carefulness, prayer, and wisdom as I’ve received it from the Lord and counselors that He has put in my life.

    At this time I am shaken at the possibility of unfounded statements being circulated around the world through my private report. The last thing I want is to be operating in false accusation. But I confess that this is not an easy situation to handle. I felt compelled to compile everything I had seen and heard so that these things could be looked into and addressed. But it seems that they have not been adequately addressed and looked into, and given everything I’ve seen in this process, I have little hope that Todd’s current leadership covering will ever handle this right, which is why I’m presenting my case to the public at this time.

    At the end of the day, given the evidence I have and the 100’s of hours I’ve spent on the phone talking to witnesses, I am fully convinced that Todd & Jessa both have lost the privilege to minister to God’s people any longer, in full time ministry. When someone has a record of sexual abuse, sexual misconduct, inappropriate behavior, drunkenness, lying, & cheating going back more than 20 years… and they have repeatedly been offered great mercy and grace rather than disqualification from ministry, yet they continue to behave in this matter…. in my mind and through what I can see in the scripture, they have lost the right and privilege to minister to God’s people ever again, in their own public ministry. I’m still holding onto hope that this level of exposure will facilitate true brokenness and true repentance in Todd and Jessa’s lives necessary for ultimately saving their souls. I still hold onto hope that Todd will stand before us in the coming years having gone through the deepest levels of cleansing and deliverance, a transformed and truly restored man to Jesus. Up until this point there has not been true deep lasting repentance and restoration. But I have hope that there still can be.

    To be a minister of the gospel, to have charge of the flock of God, to take into your care young impressionable interns who come in having their guard down, being in a state a vulnerability,… and then to take advantage of the people of God financially, to take advantage of the young impressionable interns sexually,… is in my mind of the highest level of demonic activity… it is of the highest level of spiritual treason in the kingdom of God,… and these things should not be swept under the rug… they should not be covered up… they should not be handled lightly…. They should not be handled by covering up the activity and paying off witnesses to shut up with legal threats binding them. To me this appears more like the mafia than the ministry of Jesus.

    In my mind, leaders who have been in Todd’s life, leaders who have had oversight over his life and ministry, have erred in the way of Eli. Eli was a righteous man, but He was held responsible in God’s eyes for not restraining his sons who were vile and full of abominations. He did not stop his sons from committing sexual sins with people at the door of the tabernacle, and because of this his house lost the ark of God. I believe that Rick Joyner, along with other Senior leaders who have had oversight over Todd through the years, have failed the body of Christ in this regard. I believe many lives have been destroyed because of their unwillingness to appropriately discipline Todd in proportion to the seriousness of his sin, offense, and on-going lack of true repentance.

    WHY AM I GOING PUBLIC NOW?

    Allow me to explain a little more in depth what I’ve seen over the years, what I’ve come to learn more recently, and why I’m going public now rather than earlier in this process.

    Over the years, as I’ve stated above, I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly with Todd and Jessa. I’ve seen a heart for God, for the lost, and for people. I’ve seen a heart for their family and also others like myself who they enjoy helping to establish their ministries, but I’ve also seen very disturbing things. I’ve seen the crude sexual behavior and speech, I’ve seen Todd and Jessa with alcohol many times, I’ve seen some of the lying and extreme exaggeration that seems to have increased over the years. At the time I saw these things my thoughts were that these are signs of some of the damage that hyper-grace has caused to this movement and that Todd and Jessa are no longer embracing a lifestyle of holiness and sanctification as ministers of the gospel. I stayed faithful in serving them and working with them because I felt that it wasn’t my place to correct them, I felt my time wasn’t up there yet, and I had hoped that Rick Joyner would deal with it. At one point I had even submitted a report to Todd’s assistant about an incident involving Todd drinking with his single female assistant alone. I saw them walk into a hotel alone together with arms full of hard liquor in 2017 while on a ministry trip. I heard back about a week later after that that Rick had disciplined Todd on it. But in no time whatsoever Todd was back to his old ways and it seemed Rick’s discipline had no lasting effect.

    God eventually separated me from Todd’s tribe due to God’s increased dealings with me on holiness and purity, and for the last few years I’ve been separated from Todd for the most part, except for a few brief meetings here and there.

    I never dreamed that the things I was seeing throughout the years were actually symptomatic of such deeper darker issues. But what has been revealed to me recently, which initially came to me unsolicited, has revealed that truly what I saw throughout the years was surface level manifestations of more deeply rooted sin and deception in both Todd and Jessa’s lives.

    Since learning about the more horrific sins and abominations of Todd, I’ve gone through a roller coaster of emotions. At first I was angry, upset, & confused… I felt like I had been deceived and taken advantage of. Years ago in Alaska, my wife and I sat in the services where Rick Joyner would come and preach and give the most glowing reports about Todd saying that He was the best person He had ever worked with in restoration. I moved my whole family of 6 from Alaska to South Carolina in 2015 to work with Todd and help him establish his new center, and no one ever told us about the depth of what was really happening behind the scenes.

    I’ve gone through all the emotions of deep deep sadness and grieving over this level of sin in the house of God. I’ve prayed out of this burden and deep sorrow for Todd and the body during this process. But now, after walking through this and carrying this burden for months, I honestly feel that God hid this from me all these years I’ve been with Todd. I feel that God’s love was covering the multitude of sins to give time for Todd to repent in private, but now that time is up, and now is the time for exposure so the house of God can be cleansed. May acts like this release the tangible fear of the Lord back into the church that men and women know everywhere just how serious a thing it is to minister in the name of the Lord and lead God’s people.

    But to answer this question as to why I’m going public with this today… I would say it is the culmination of months of fasting, prayer, counseling, and also numerous unsuccessful attempts to meet with Rick Joyner and discuss these issues. I’ve tried to the best of ability to exhaust biblical methods of protocol in the kingdom, but it has appeared that leadership has not been interested in doing the right thing with Todd Bentley and protecting the body. It appears that they have only tried to cover this up over the years and not bring appropriate discipline in proportion to the seriousness of these sins against God as well as the body.

    I was told by Todd’s assistant in late June that Rick was aware of the “recent” allegations that had surfaced that month, yet Rick still refused to reach out to me directly or meet with me before He went on sabbatical for the month of July. Multiple other leaders can verify this. I waited all of July, saying nothing publicly, saying nothing online, revealing nothing except to a few leaders in private who I tried to go through to get directly to Rick. I waited patiently for weeks expecting a meeting right when Rick got back from Sabbatical, but heard nothing from him or his office. Finally, on August 5th, after 7-8 weeks from when I heard that Rick became aware of the situation, I received a very short generic email response from Rick’s assistant basically saying that Rick’s handling it. Another pastor who has stood by me in this process also emailed Rick early on about this situation and received the very same email response the same day on August 5th, word for word, which made me feel like it was an auto response and couldn’t really be considered an adequate response.

    Early on in the process, June/early July, I was contacted by a pastor from Florida who is over Todd’s apostolic network telling me that He had been appointed by Rick to lead the investigation on this matter. I neglected to talk with him or work with him because I did not trust him. I felt like this man was hand picked by Todd because he could be easily manipulated by Todd, which it seems He has been. I could not believe Rick had chosen to use someone who Todd had self-appointed, to be his lead man in the investigation. This man later told my pastor friend over the phone that He didn’t even believe in restoration ministry. He believed that if someone like Todd confessed their sin, that they should be allowed to continue on in ministry as if nothing happened, without even sitting out for a season. This was another reason I was shocked and disgusted that this man was being used in this situation. He seemed so compromised by hyper-grace error, that it seemed very unlikely He could play a just, godly, or objective role in this matter.

    Todd recently told the world publicly on a Facebook live broadcast of his event “Revival Harvest America” in California that “Rick and Bill had not even read the report” that I sent. In Rick’s second response to me via email which I received on 8/19/19, He stated that “the things in my report about Morningstar were so far from the truth” that he had “a difficult time believing any of the rest of the report, except for what he knew to be true, and had dealt with concerning Todd several years ago”. I find this interesting since many of things about Morningstar in my private report were told to me by Todd over the years.

    But this has seemingly been Todd and Rick’s united position during this whole process: That all of these new allegations are not new, they are all related to 2013 (where Todd solicited a male intern for sex) and before that time. They’re saying that there’s no new stuff, that it’s all old stuff that’s been repented of and dealt with. But we have a lot of new evidence and testimony since 2013, which Rick and leadership have seemingly not wanted to take serious.

    – We have a witness which states that they saw Todd and his assistant fooling around in 2017
    – We have multiple witnesses who have seen the drunkness, the parties, crude sexual speech & behavior, and the increased lying.
    – We have screenshots from a young lady in 2018 that show that Todd pursued this young lady inappropriately online.
    – We have multiple witnesses who verify a story we heard about a male intern of Todd’s from last year, 2018, being approached by Todd at a party for sex.
    – We have a pastor from this year, 2019, that says that Todd was kicked out of his network in Mexico for “inappropriate behavior with young ladies who are not his wife”.
    – We have testimony from a pastor this year, 2019, who claims that a young couple in their church were approached by Todd and asked to “swing”; to swap partners for a night.
    – We have a pastor from this year, 2019, who says His pastors in Pakistan will never had Todd again because ladies have stepped forward saying that Todd pursued them inappropriately.

    All of this just mentioned is the highlights… There’s so much more testimony and details of incidents happening within the last few years.

    So, you can clearly see, these reports are not old, they are not all related to 2013 and before which Rick and Todd have insisted upon. They are current, as current as a few months ago, and they show a disturbing ongoing pattern of unrepented sin as well as a cover-up from leadership.

    At one time, the pastor from Florida who was appointed by Rick and Todd, told a group of pastors that He had talked to multiple witnesses and found no truth in my report. But when someone from my team contacted this pastor to ask him about his claims, He admitted to this team member that He had talked to no one yet. This has sadly been the story so far. We’ve seen a coordinated effort from leadership to quickly cover and defend Todd, but little to no action when it comes to taking these allegations seriously and seriously looking into them.

    CONCLUSION

    Once again, I’m asking for people to please pray. Pray for my wife and I, for our family, as we continue to carry this burden before the Lord dealing with this case that is being tried in the courts of heaven currently. Please pray for protection, for continued wisdom, for covering, and also for provision during this time of testing and shaking for our lives and ministry. Pray that we will be freshly filled with God’s love and mercy while presenting truth.

    I would like to appeal at this time to both leaders in the church and people in the body to not stay silent on this issue and other issues. Go through the proper biblical channels of authority to the best of your ability, do the best you can to love, honor, and handle everything with prayer and sensitivity to the Spirit, but please do not allow the enemy to keep you silent. As a wise man once said, the only way for evil to endure is when good people do nothing.

    If you’re an apostolic leader in the body, I’m asking for your help. If there are people out there in leadership that can help with holding people and leaders accountable in this situation, please help. If you have your own story and witness that verifies my witness and story, please come forward and stand with me in this hour. I understand that this situation has the potential to get messy and for false accusation to swirl, and that is not at all what I want. But if there’s legitimate concerns, if there’s unrepentant sin going on in the body, if there’s an apathetic spirit in leadership that refuses to take a stand for righteousness and justice, please awake in this hour and let these things be addressed head on with courage, purity, grace, and love for Jesus and his people. Woe unto the watchman that sees the sword coming and doesn’t warn the people. God will require the blood at the watchman’s hand (Ezek.33:6). I see greater sins coming, greater abuse coming, if this is not confronted with strength and courage now! Stand with me church and let’s see the body cleansed and made ready for the greatest move of glory in history!

    Right now, I appear before you fully ready to pay any price I have to, in order to see the Lord’s will done in this time of cleansing in the church. There might be those who file suit against me, or attempt to destroy my ministry, my credibility, my voice – if so, I’m leaning fully on God’s grace to keep me, lead me, and guide me, as I continue to move forward to fulfill the assignment that I believe God has given to me.

    I understand that everyone of you who are reading or listening to this letter will have to make up your own mind as to who you choose to believe: Me, Rick, Todd, or others. I’ve done my best to present the facts from my perspective, from what I have both seen and heard during the duration of this process. But I bless you to make up your own mind and judge for yourself.

    In the midst of the darkness that is seen in the body, I do rejoice in the multitudes world-wide who demonstrate pure faith and love and who “have not bowed their knee to Baal.” As I walk through this challenging assignment, I must not lose focus on all the good that God is doing in and through His wonderful people in this hour. He is always good, despite these types of things happening in his body.

    Thank you for your time today in listening to my heart on this matter, and God bless.

    In His Service,
    Stephen Powell

  2. Josh says:

    While that is disgusting, it is not surprising.

  3. Michael says:

    My disgust has no bounds…his very name defiles me…

  4. Josh says:

    Deep wounds there for me, as his silliness destroyed the church I was working at in 2008. So I’ll admit to confirmation bias.

  5. Michael says:

    I’ve hated him since the first time I ever saw him…I’ll admit to confirmation bias.
    Hate isn’t even strong enough a word…

  6. Dan from Georgia says:

    Michael,

    Thanks for posting this, as two people in my life have expressed positive things about his ministry in the past. And as Josh stated…I’m not much surprised either. Thanks for the info…and in the spirit of full-disclosure…I couldn’t read all the above post as it was too disturbing.

  7. Michael says:

    Dan,

    I debated whether to post the whole thing because it is sick.
    However, if any of his apologists try to defend him, I want to make sure they understand they’re defending the indefensible.

  8. Em says:

    What can an old lady add to this thread, i asked myself as i sit here looking back and pondering… Only one thing seems worth a post … A question….
    Why has it taken so long for mature Christians alive today and suspicious that these people were abusing their position in the Church to stand up and call them out?
    It seems there is some shared guilt here… 🙆

  9. Josh says:

    In fairness, Bentley has been called out numerous times over the years.

  10. Dan from Georgia says:

    Seeing that the Bob Coy post from quite a while back is still luring in the defenders, I wouldn’t be surprised to see that happen with Bentley.

  11. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I have never, not for one instant considered Johnson, Joyner or Bentley to be Christians let alone Christian ministers.
    I have never heard them preach the gospel. Each preaches self only.

    Since they never preach the gospel I wonder why their followers would think they were in a Christian organization?

  12. Josh says:

    MLD – 2 Timothy 4:3

  13. Everstudy says:

    And for something completely different… We moved our son to Phoenix to go to college. He’s our only kid, so driving back to So. Cal. without him was a tear inducing event. I don’t know how many times I’ve instinctively walked into his room to tell him something, only to stop in the doorway. They always say this the kid is starting a new chapter in their life, but no one ever readies the parents for the abrupt change in our lives. Going to church Sunday without him will be a challenge.

  14. Michael says:

    Everstudy,

    Our friend Sarah has written some posts on her blog on that very subject…
    https://thesmallrain.net/2019/08/23/mourning-into-dancing-we-need-to-do-them-in-order/

  15. directambiguity says:

    After reading some of the Linkathon comments it’s good to know at least we can all agree on the Pretribulational and Premillennial view of End Times. 🙂

    BTW Josh was correct. 🙂

  16. Dan from Georgia says:

    Over at Internet Monk, Chaplain Mike has a post called “Conversation is Difficult – Let’s Do Better”. Good post and comments following. That blog, along with this one, are two sites where I sense a community spirit. Yes, there are disagreements at times, and even heated ones at that. But overall in the end, community reigns.

  17. Josh says:

    Direct – Yes, pretrib is clear in Scripture. I couldn’t imagine anyone saying otherwise.

    🙂 🙂 🙂

  18. Josh says:

    everstudy – good to see you!

    Dan – You are right. The community has kept me around for 11 years.

  19. Jean says:

    Evidence of Early Trinitarian Theology in the writing of Ignatius of Antioch:

    “Since, also, there is but one unbegotten Being, God, even the Father; and one only-begotten Son, God, the Word and man; and one Comforter, the Spirit of truth; and also one preaching, and one faith, and one baptism; and one Church which the holy apostles established from one end of the earth to the other by the blood of Christ, and by their own sweat and toil; it behoves you also, therefore, as ‘a peculiar people, and a holy nation,’ to perform all things with harmony in Christ.

    “For as the false prophets and the false apostles drew [to themselves] one and the same wicked, deceitful, and seducing spirit; so also did the prophets and the apostles receive from God, through Jesus Christ, one and the same Holy Spirit, who is good, and sovereign, and true, and the Author of [saving] knowledge. For there is one God of the Old and New Testament, ‘one Mediator between God and men,’ for the creation of both intelligent and sensitive beings, and in order to exercise a beneficial and suitable providence [over them]. There is also one Comforter, who displayed His power in Moses, and the prophets, and apostles. All the saints, therefore, were saved by Christ, hoping in Him, and waiting for Him; and they obtained through Him salvation, being holy ones, worthy of love and admiration, having testimony borne to them by Jesus Christ, in the Gospel of our common hope.

    “The Comforter is holy, and the Word is holy, the Son of the Father, by whom He made all things, and exercises a providence over them all. This is the Way which leads to the Father, the Rock, the Defence, the Key, the Shepherd, the Sacrifice, the Door of knowledge, through which have entered Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, Moses and all the company of the prophets, and these pillars of the world, the apostles, and the spouse of Christ, on whose account He poured out His own blood, as her marriage portion, that He might redeem her. All these things tend towards the unity of the one and only true God.”

    – The Epistle of Ignatius to the Philadelphians

    Ignatius lived from approximately 50 AD to 110 AD, when he was martyred. He is associated with the Apostle John.

  20. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Jean, great minds must run along the same track. I am working on something from Ignatius this morning also.
    From his Letter to the Ephesians he speaks of the Eucharist as the medicine of immortality. He says (I have to type it out from a reference book – so I hope I get it all right.)

    “Especially if the Lord make known to me that you come together in common through grace, individually, in one faith, and in Jesus Christ, who was the seed of David according to the flesh, being both the Son of man and the Son of God, so that you obey the bishop and the presbytery with an undivided mind, breaking one and the same bread, WHICH IS THE MEDICINE OF IMMORTALITY, AND THE ANTIDOTE TO PREVENT US FOR DYING (caps are mine) – but which causes that we should live for ever in Jesus Christ.”

    I don’t think Ignatius was a memorialist 🙂

  21. Jean says:

    MLD,

    It makes sense, since Ignatius was a disciple of John the Apostle, who penned the Gospel of John, that Ignatius learned from Jesus the following (hard saying):

    “I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”

    Sounds like medicine to me. What do you think?

  22. Josh says:

    JUst a few days ago MLD told us how messed up the early fathers were…today he proves it 🙂

  23. Josh says:

    I’m kidding. There is no question that the early churchu was MUCH more focused on the supper than modern churches…particularly Baptist churches. That is an error I hope to correct within my influence.

  24. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Josh, my point was not that the Fathers were all messed up – my point was that I don’t fall all over myself when someone counters with “but the Fathers say…”
    Sometimes they are right, and sometimes they are wrong.

    Here Ignatius is right. To you last comment, it is not that they were more focused on the Supper, it was what they were focused on in the Supper. That is what you need to change in Baptist churches — within your influence. 🙂

  25. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Jean – I agree with you, Jesus and Ignatius.

  26. Em says:

    Can’t be sure whether the look on our Lord’s face right now is a smile or a grimace… that said, the most important subject of all humanity does get thoroughly examined here … quite often. 👼

  27. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Em, = Can’t be sure whether the look on our Lord’s face right now is a smile or a grimace…
    let me help you out.
    When folks explain my position, which is the position of the vast majority of the church down through the ages as testified to by Ignatius and all – it is a smile.

    When folks downgrade the Supper to just an obedient time of memory of Jesus, it is a grimace.
    I hope that helps. 🙂

  28. Em says:

    Thank you, MLD …… 🙂

  29. Em says:

    one thing to add, though, MLD … those of us who take the communion wafer and cup as a time of memorial take the event VERY seriously … it is not “just” an .anything time

  30. MM says:

    What a strange thread today; from a pervert and false profit to one of the earliest church “fathers” who was known as the “fire bearer.” One has the holy spirit machine gun and the other reveled in martyrdom.

    Strange day.

  31. bob1 says:

    No, Em…

    MLD knows better than you do about what you think about the seriousness of Communion.

  32. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    bob 1 drops his daily turd.

  33. MM says:

    “bob 1 drops his daily…”

    I guess the day isn’t so strange after all, it’s right in character.

  34. Josh says:

    I actually agree with Ignatius. I don’t agree with your interpretation of Ignatius.

    MLD at 9:54, do you really want to speak for Jesus and tell us that he is frowning on us and our worship? That might be a bit presumptuous.

  35. Jean says:

    Oh? We’re interpreting again, are we? Will words ever mean anything objectively again? How many interpretations can one come up with from the word “medicine?”

  36. Josh says:

    One must interpret every single word he ever reads.

    But yes, “medicine” is clearly a metaphor, unless you take communion when you have strep throat. I get it. It’s a great metaphor. And I’m sure your view of the supper is closer to Ignatius’ than mine.

    But what he says here is beautiful, powerful…and a metapor.

  37. MM says:

    Jean

    “How many interpretations can one come up with from the word “medicine?””

    You do realize the meaning on the word changes with the context. Is one being given medicine, is it a noun, and adjective or a verb and maybe it could just be a metaphor.

    What I’m trying to state is your “objectivity” is often in the ear and vision of the one who hears and may not be the intent of the original.

    Thus we have the struggle with the text and a multitude of interpretations.

  38. Jean says:

    MM,

    I fear you’ve bought in to the modern evangelical hermeneutic: “Oh, gee, the text is so complicated, that you will struggle with a multitude of interpretations, so you better follow [insert your favorite guru], because he will make sense of all the ambiguity for you. He will ensure you that the text means something other than what it says.

    But, then, there is Jesus who says: “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children;”

    How is it that little children can understand HIm? When is the last time little children “struggle with the text and a multitude of interpretation”? Little children hear the promises of Jesus and say amen!

    “I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”

    Now admittedly, the disciples when they heard Jesus said “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” That’s your flesh responding. It is a hard saying. But they didn’t say: “I’m confused by a multitude of possible interpretations.” They didn’t struggle with an interpretation. They understood what Jesus said. It was their accurate understanding of what Jesus said that is precisely the reason why what Jesus said is a hard saying.

    Do you find it a hard saying?

  39. MM says:

    Jean

    Over almost 50 years of this I can assure you I have not fallen prey to some modern evangelical ecumenical movement. If we had a personal relationship you’d probably find I am quite conservative in my life and practice. Where I think we differ is you appear to write that there is only one clear interpretation of the text and that position is yours and leave little room for examination.

    You need to leave room for others, it’s that simple.

  40. Josh says:

    Jean – if we go literal with the straight words there, he says “if anyone eats of THIS bread”. Why do you assume he was talking about anything but THIS bread in his hand? You have interpreted (or rather your gurus did before you) that he really must have meant the special bread before you.

    I am glad that we don’t have to go with the strict literal meaning in this case. Aren’t you?

  41. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    This is actually pretty funny. Ignatius is making this simple – sin is a sickness (actually death) although some forms of Christianity do not think so.
    Sin is the sickness and Jesus has provided the Eucharist as the medicine.
    You can have a different view but if the different view is wrong, I don’t care how serious you hold to it and how sincere you think you are, it is still wrong.

    I wonder what Ignatius would say when you run this by him – “so what you meant to say is that there is no sickness and the Supper is not really the prescribed medicine, so let’s all just remember Jesus.”

    I wonder if his view would be, “well there’s a lot of theological views out there on the Eucharist so I guess we will never know fore sure.” – shrug his shoulders can walk away.

    Poor Ignatius, for the first time in 1900 his words cannot be understood, so the PP peanut gallery will straighten him out.

    But this is the reason the EO, the RCC and Lutherans will not commune with Protestants – ya got a whole different thing going on.

  42. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Josh, ‘this bread’ is the bread Jesus give. This bread is given by Jesus as often as you gather to eat it. It literally is — how do you miss that?

  43. Jean says:

    MM,

    Let me clarify: I think, not there is one clear interpretation, but that there is one meaning. Furthermore, I think that the vast majority of Scripture is clear with respect to its meaning.

    I understand and can accept that we may hold to different meanings of a text, but in that event one of us (or both of us) would be in error. We couldn’t both be correct.

    I am not opposed at all to examination of the Scriptures, and in fact encourage it, provided that we begin with two overarching presuppositions: (1) these are God’s words, and (2) they reveal Christ and are written for our redemption.

    Does this agree with you?

  44. MM says:

    Jean

    Let be clear about my view on the text without sparing over doctrine, the Bible was recorded and preserved, in its many translations and interpretations, so that we, the readers, can get to know Him.

    Done with any sparring with you over this I just don’t have the will or stamina to do much more.

  45. What happens if both sides have arrived at sone level of literal truth?

    Jesus is referring to his body as the bred from Heaven. Can he not also be the bread and wine? Remember he was also the Rock…

    ….”all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ…”..

    So the Rock, water and manna, where spiritual, of which they all drank. But the Rock followed them, and when they drank, and did eat, was it not also tangible substance of this World?

    Did not John say..

    ..”That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;

  46. Oops. Correction. Bread from Heaven

  47. Josh says:

    “Sin is the sickness and Jesus has provided the Eucharist as the medicine.”

    Which is different from the Baptist interpretation. We believe sin, death, and the grave were defeated at the cross.

    “This bread is given by Jesus as often as you gather to eat it.”

    I know that you interpret it that way, and I don’t even disagree, but it is not the plain reading of the posted text.

  48. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Josh, I spent 13 yrs in the SBC and never heard that sin is no longer a problem.
    This morning once again I will confess my sin and receive Jesus’ absolution, I will hear about my sickness (sin) through the preaching of God’s law and hear about the prescribed cure through the preached gospel AND have that cure (the medicine – the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ) delivered into my mouth.

    So what do you guys do on a Sunday morning as sin is no longer an issue?

  49. Jean says:

    Josh,

    “Sin is the sickness and Jesus has provided the Eucharist as the medicine.”

    “Which is different from the Baptist interpretation. We believe sin, death, and the grave were defeated at the cross.”

    Yes and no.

    By His death and resurrection, Jesus defeated those enemies, but unless (1) you think the world has been rid of sin, and/or (2) you are a universalist, then we cannot skip the application and appropriation of Christ’s sacrifice. The issue the Gospel addresses is the delivery of God’s grace (the gift of Christ’s work of reconciliation) to sinners.

    The Gospel is medicine because it delivers forgiveness, life and salvation. Without faith in the Gospel, the the grace of the cross doesn’t defeat my sin and my death.

    The Eucharist is part of the Gospel. The major difference between the Eucharist and the Preached Word is that the Eucharist is only a grace for believers. This is because Christ’s body and blood are holy.

  50. Josh says:

    Well, that is quite a structure you have built up around the simplicity of the Gospel. That doesn’t mean it is wrong, but you certainly don’t get that from a plain reading of the text. Your tradition of interpretation / systematic theology takes you there. It’s a fine system, but has its strengths and weaknesses.

    MLD – since sin and death have been defeated, we declare the good news!

  51. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Josh,
    Joel Osteen also refuses to confront the Christian with his sin during a church service.
    In the Lutheran liturgy, especially the sermon, we are confronted with our sin – somewhere in the sermon Jesus must die for that sin or the gospel has no meaning.
    If sin is not the issue for the Christian, and you heard the gospel last week, why do you need to hear it again this week? (but that is an assumption on my part – perhaps you don’t need to hear it regularly.)

  52. Jean says:

    Josy

    “but you certainly don’t get that from a plain reading”

    What is “that”? I can’t respond without knowing what you’re referring to.

  53. Jean says:

    Not Josy, Josh.

  54. Josh says:

    I’m not even sure what you guys are talking about at this point.

  55. Em says:

    The sacrifice of God at Calvary broke down the barrier of sin that has separated man from his Creator… It did not eliminate sin. Nor did it eliminate the need to confess when we do sin – we all do as we still carry this “body of death.” We will do so as long as pur life/ journey through time lasts…

  56. Josh says:

    Tough day today. It was my last day at the church I’ve served for the past ten years. I start at a different church next week. I’m excited, but today was brutal.

  57. Michael says:

    Josh,

    That would be tough in any circumstance.
    Change is not my favorite thing…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.