Well, the world’s in uproar over Terry Jones’ (not the Monty Python guy, the other one) wishes to burn a copy of the Koran on September 11th. Here’s how the story went:
TERRY JONES: I’m going to burn a copy of the Koran.
EVERYONE ELSE IN THE WORLD: You’re an idiot. Stop being such an idiot.
TERRY JONES: Ok.
EXTREMIST MUSLIMS: Christians must die. We’re going to carry out more terrorist attacks.
Right. Now, I don’t pretend to be the ultimate Judge – only God is that. But for the record, I don’t think Terry Jones is a Christian. To not even get the whole ‘love your enemy’ bit there’s no way he can possibly understand the message of Christianity, that God loved his enemy so much he gave his life up for us on the cross.
And secondly, what are the extremist Muslims doing? As if they’ve not got a bad enough reputation already they’re just inciting more hatred against themselves with their reactions. If they’d simply been quiet about this whole thing they could have come across as the victims, but as it stands all that’s happened is the world has been reminded that it was them that started the whole thing.
So let’s take the shocking events of 9/11 as we should: a reminder that love for enemies is a better course of action than revenge.
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.