Todd Bentley Answers Critics of Revival

June 12, 2008

Many people in the Body have raised many questions about the validity of the revival going on in Lakeland, Florida. Many opinions are flying, yet few people are openly interacting about the topics in question. Perhaps it is time to handle some of these questions directly.

The following is a letter from Todd Bentley and the Fresh Fire team, “Bringing Biblical Light to Your Questions about the Lakeland Outpouring & Todd Bentley”

It answers many of the critiques of the revival.

June 8, 2008

Dear Friends,

Thank you for taking the time to read this letter and for hearing my heart on some of the issues that seems to be causing division and some confusion in the Body of Christ. Throughout the Old and New Testaments and in every age following, as far as I can determine, the Lord has given His people dreams and visions, signs and wonders, heavenly encounters and divine supernatural experiences that, for the most part, we cannot understand with our intellect. In the spiritual realm, God isn’t limited by our thinking!…


No Bread in the House

October 30, 2007

Why is there no fresh bread in the House?

This is a huge reason why the unsaved (shoot, the SAVED, too!) have no interest in the church. There is so little bread in the house.

It is much like it was in the days of Ruth. Ruth, a Moabitess, was married to Naomi’s son. Whatever the circumstances were, Naomi’s family LEFT Bethlehem in search of sustenance. Bethlehem means “house of bread.”

There was no bread in the house, so they left! They went on to Moab looking for something fresh. They found substance for a while, but quickly that was all taken. Naomi’s husband, as well as her two sons (Ruth and Orpah’s husbands), were killed. All of them were widows.

Then, they heard something new…there was bread in the house again. They heard that the Lord had visited His people and had brought bread into the house again.

You know what is funny about that? It is about the same time that Samuel had the first open vision in years. It was at this time (give or take 5-10 years) that Eli was passing the torch (or lamp, as in the Lamp of God), so to speak, to Samuel. Just a young boy, Samuel was recognized as one who was carrying the Word of the Lord.

AND, it was at this time that “bread returned to the house,” that bread returned to Bethlehem. So, Naomi returned to her native land, and brought a friend!

This is how it will be in the church again when we have been obedient enough, tender-hearted enough, to hear the voice of the Lord, and obey. Unlike Eli’s wicked sons who performed the sacrifices, the mantle was being passed to one who was obedient.

And that obedience brought a fresh word, fresh mannah, fresh bread into the house.

This is the place where the church is at. The Body has drifted away to other fertile lands. They are looking for fresh substance. We know that they may even find it for a time, but that many will be left alone in foreign lands.

As ministers, we need to ensure that the Lamp of God does not go out (1st Samuel 3:3), we need to be sensitive enough to hear the Word of the Lord and bring “fresh bread into the house.” Only then will we see a return of our people from foreign soil.

But, they will bring others who are unsaved. They will bring many who have never heard the Word of the Lord. And when they do, we will see an explosion in the church like never before!

To Give to the Poor

October 27, 2007

The 3rd Pillar of Islam has got nothing on me! Zakat, being the giving of tithes and/or alms, is similar for Christianity. Simply put, it is pretty well assumed that Christians are supposed to give to the poor.

With all of the philanthropic giving by Americans to churches and organizations, very little actually arrives into the hands of the intended recipients. (Often monies are whittled down by “administrative expenses” and such.

Though often unspoken, it is generally acknowledged among American givers that we have become pretty cynical to give to the poor.

Something happened today that illustrates this.

Coming out of my local grocery store, I saw a lady struggling in a wheel chair by herself. She was not elderly and decrepit, but she was certainly having difficulty.

Initially I kept walking. Something made me stop. (AKA, God really shamed me for being so hard-hearted. That and I thought that one day may be one of my parents trying to get along.) I guess He wants me to work on being tender-hearted.

So, I asked if she needed me to help her. She did. And I began to wheel her to her desired destination.

As we went, she told me that she had just moved here, that her food stamps had not come in, and if I would give her money for food.

What do you think I did?

Made up a lame excuse, got her to her destination and went to my car is what I did! Honestly. That is what I did. There was not a single ounce of sympathy or empathy.

Starting my car, I headed to the exit, when that Tugging happened again in my heart. What is this, thing?! Oh, God wanting me to be more tender-hearted. Thoughts flooded to mind:

What does it matter if she is trying just to get cash from you? Charity isn’t so much for the recipient as much as the giver. What does it matter if you saw SERIOUSLY poor people in India, Kenya and Vietnam? And, what happened to just plain ol’ giving?!

You are right, God. I should.

I whipped my car around and pulled up next to where the lady was. She was speaking to someone else trying to get money. Embarrassed for her, I circled the parking lot once more.

When I arrived, I told her I would pick her up something for breakfast from the grocery store. Now, here is why I am cynical.

She begins to custom order something. “Well, I really like sausage, and eggs, and cheese. But nothing too tough on my stomach. Something that…” and on she went for a moment. And not in the way that someone who is appreciatively excited. It was more in line with loading up your plate at a all-you-can eat buffet with no regard to the server.

Shrugging the critical thoughts that began creeping into my mind, I smiled, said ‘sure’, and made my way. I had taken about 10 steps when she called out.

“There is ONE thing you could do for me.”

“What’s that?” I asked in a way to hide the fact that I knew she would ask for 1 more thing.

“I could use some cigarettes,” she began.

I cut her off. “I am not going to buy you cigarettes, ma’am.” I knew it! I thought.

I purchased her a bagel and cream cheese, some granola bars, an orange juice, a water, a banana and an apple. Handing her the bag, I pointed out some of the items, we chit-chatted, and with a “God bless” I was off and got into the car.

Now, you tell me how wrong I am, and I won’t argue, but all I could think of was, “this woman is not poor!”

“I have seen the poor and destitute, not able to lift their arm because of their weakness. Were someone to offer them something, anything, a moving caterpillar or foul mushrooms, they would eat it. They would not debate it, because their lack of calories would not allow them. All they could muster would be to lift their skeletal arm and bring that thing to their mouth.

“I have seen the poor, and this is not it.”

As I drove away, I was glad that I heeded the Lord, but border-line bitter. I brought my inner turmoil to Him, begging for some relief.

“Giving has more to do with the giver than the receiver.” And you can see that being true I guess. I guess that so many people scurry away from the poor and destitute when asked for change. They are uncomfortable with the thought of, gasp, helping the poor.

Maybe we are broke.
Maybe we don’t have much extra money.
Maybe we are in a hurry.
Maybe it is out of the norm.

But what does that say about us? What does that say about where we are at internally? What does it say about what we value?

Does anyone know how good it feels sometimes to really give something with ZERO expected return? I know that this particular instance was a bummer and drove me to bitterness and cynicism, but half of that is from ME!

Giving is about the giver. It speaks more about where the giver is at. Who knows why the poor are poor. But it doesn’t matter. What matters is where we are at as a society of individuals, and what our willingness to give indicates.

Take time this week to give to someone. Don’t give cash, because you know how awkward you feel. Give something to them that they could seriously use and benefit them. It doesn’t take much. And give to a person or in a way that you know that there is no way you will ever be repaid.

Let me know how it goes and how it makes you feel!

Fantasy Football Hooters

August 20, 2007

Why must my senses be bombarded by such things?!
Driving to my favorite coffee shop this morning, I pass by the local Hooters bar.

What do I see? No, not hooters! I see on the sign that it refers to Fantasy Football.

Now, forgive my ignorance, but I just had to ask:

What the crap IS that?
Was football not an insane-enough time-waster?
Have we already grown so numb to sweaty men throwing themselves at high velocity into other men that we have to have Fantasies of them doing so?

Being selectively pro-sport-ignorant, I draw up the courage to ask my barista, “What the heck is Fantasy Football?”

It turns out, if you don’t already know (if you do, just don’t admit it), Fantasy Football is when people make picks of players throughout the entire NFL and build their ideal Dream Team. Then, the stats are calculated at the end of the week to see whose pick is winning.

What the…?!?!
Who comes up with this crap?
Was picking the best real team not enough?
Do we have enough arm-chair quarterbacks that think they can do better?

Then, the biggest question of all: who would waste THAT MUCH TIME on an imaginary world that does NOT EXIST???

It got me to thinking though.

Where ARE the Christians out there?
Where are the Christians who would spend as much time at the mission as they would at Fantasy Football?

It was a stark contrast in my mind. The fact that so many people in America can find time to invest in making up teams, tracking stats, and winning money on teams that don’t exist blows me away. Then compare that to the number of Americans who claim to be Christian and can’t find the time for the mission.

This totally blows me away.

As a result, I mentioned to my barista: “I can FEEL a tangible fight against apathy, man.”

His response: “What are you talking about? Can you keep it down?! The game is on.”