Test Revival with Doctrine

The news of Todd Bentley's separation from his wife is sad but a confirmation.

I say its sad with all sincerity -- divorce is nasty (varying from only somewhat nasty to someone-will-end-up-in-jail kind of nasty) and is not something anyone should have to experience.

Yet, it does evidence a dubious character if the soon-to-be-divorced is involved in ministry.

I don't know why Bentley is having marital issues -- I haven't spoken with him and I haven't read any tabloid accounts. So, I speak in general terms when I say there is a huge red-flag when it is revealed that a preacher's marriage is falling apart.

The issue is not Bentley's marriage, however. The question is why it took this news to wake people up to the fact that there is serious error in Bentley's theology. Is the marriage issue the only indicator that something is wrong in looking up to this man?

Of course not, and it is a shame that he was not denounced sooner. Maybe then he could have gone home and worked on his home life, and been the better for it. Instead, Christians ignored all of the other bizarre issues surrounding the Florida revival. The showmanship for the cameras, the conspicuous lack of healing, the absence of ANY Bible exposition... were there any doubts that this man was wrong before the sorrowful un-shrouding of his home life?

The test of a revival is not the stability of the home of the person leading it (though an unstable home evidences personal issues that we should lovingly deal with). The test is doctrine -- if it is being preached or if it ain't.

That is something John Piper tried to express in his blog yesterday, falling a little short of a good denunciation (I say this with the utmost respect and love for the man).

I write as one who is sympathetic to the non-cessationist position. However, those who claim to have the corner market on the Holy Spirit of Truth through their experiences with Him (e.g., Charismatics, etc.) need to evidence discernment by distancing themselves from false teachers long before they have with Bentley. (And to their credit, some have.) That would make the rest of us, the cautious to the full-on cessationists, believe that there is something substantive within the Charismatic (etc.) movement.

Or, as Frank Turk said,
Seriously: how is it possible that "60 Minutes" knew more about Todd Bentley -- and were more willing to get him on the record -- than Charisma magazine? Doesn't Charisma have more to lose by doing what it did -- namely, giving Bentley a free pass for almost 5 years until his ship came in and then crashed into the dock? They had to know.... And how could they not, frankly, denounce him -- or at least call him to be accountable for what, in hindsight, J. Lee Grady called plainly, "cultic manipulation at its worst".
Let's allow truth to be our guide in determining the validity of a teacher or ministry, rather than holding back for a while to see if something scandalous comes about.

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