Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Bam! Pow! When Prayer Ministry Gets Violent

[When the disciples told Jesus about some non-disciples who were ministering in Jesus' name, the Lord told his disciples to let them alone. If they are not against us, then they are for us, He reasoned. Paul also spoke of people who preached Jesus in spiteful competition with the apostle, and his joy that Jesus was preached outweighed any personal wound. We should not, therefore, judge a brother, even though we must judge the gospel he preaches.
Even so, "a little leaven leavens the whole lump" and Moses commanded that any prophet who even occasionally got it wrong should be stoned in the days of Israel's theocracy. The lack of a healthy skepticism among charismatics places them in danger of also failing to discern a false gospel when it comes along -- as it frequently does.
The author of the following article falls into that class, failing to heed his own warnings. Despite that, I found his article informative and even amusing. -rw]
Bam! Pow! When Prayer Ministry Gets Violent
J. Lee Grady
Charisma +ONLINE e-mail newsletter
6/18/2008 3:08:41 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time

Lakeland Revival leader Todd Bentley's unusual prayer methods have triggered questions about Holy Spirit etiquette.
For weeks the blogosphere has been sizzling with comments, pro and con, about the unusual ministry style of Todd Bentley, the leader of the Lakeland Revival in Florida. Thousands of people have watched the tattooed evangelist shout "Bam! Bam!" as he prays for the sick and interviews those who say they were instantly healed.
Nobody could ever accuse Bentley of lacking zeal. And he always gives Jesus the credit for the healings he announces on God TV every night. But he has come under fire because of video clips from a sermon in which he says the Holy Spirit told him to use violent means to heal people.
The sermon, preached in Lakeland and posted on YouTube, features Bentley demonstrating how he (1) banged a woman's crippled legs "like a baseball bat" on a stage; (2) tackled, mounted and choked a man to free him from a demon; (3) shoved a Chinese man to the ground to pray for him (causing the man to lose a tooth); (4) kicked an older woman in the face with his biker boot to heal her; and (5) "leg-dropped" a pastor—a professional wrestling tactic, popularized by Hulk Hogan, in which the aggressor jumps in the air and lands on his opponent with one leg outstretched.

No comments: