So the actual fact that started the chain of events leading to this blog coming into existence was this: Todd Bentley, he of Lakeland revival fame, is separating from his wife.
I have read two conflicting responses to this news, from John Piper, and from Mark Stibbe – it is difficult to know what the ‘right’ thing to think about this whole episode is.
A couple of years ago I was at an event in which Todd Bentley was speaking; I left feeling uncomfortable, mainly due to the fact that the name of Jesus was only mentioned when used as a ‘magic word’ (e.g. ‘be healed in the name of Jesus’).
From what I have seen of the Lakeland ‘revival’ I have felt more encouraged and challenged in my faith, rather than uncomfortable; what therefore should be made of his divorce?
Would God use divorce as punishment if Todd had been sinning in the way he acted in Lakeland? I think not; divorce is not God’s good idea for when things go wrong, reconciliation is!
Our response therefore should be threefold:
- to pray for Todd and his wife, that they be reconciled
- to focus on our own marriages and recognise that even in great ministry success there is something more important – marriage most certainly is God’s good idea!
- to not look at a man but to look at God – how many may lose faith after putting their trust in Todd, rather than the ever-faithful God?
One final warning would be to always be surrounded by a team – even Jesus formed a team of twelve around him, and he could have coped with anything on his own. Putting too much pressure on one person will have a chain reaction.