When Wagner’s Prophecy Fails

Neo-Pentecostal leader C. Peter Wagner, June 2008:

“This commissioning represents a powerful spiritual transaction taking place in the invisible world. With this in mind, I take the apostolic authority that God has given me and I decree to Todd Bentley, your power will increase, your authority will increase, your favor will increase, your influence will increase, your revelation will increase.

“I also decree that a new supernatural strength will flow through this ministry. A new life force will penetrate this move of God. Government will be established to set things in their proper order. God will pour out a higher level of discernment to distinguish truth from error. New relationships will surface to open the gates to the future.”

Well, one “new relationship” certainly did “surface”: Todd Bentley’s website, 15 August 2008:

From the Board of Directors

…we have discovered new information revealing that Todd Bentley has entered into an unhealthy relationship on an emotional level with a female member of his staff. In light of this new information and in consultation with his leaders and advisors, Todd Bentley has agreed to step down from his position on the Board of Directors and to refrain from all public ministry for a season to receive counsel in his personal life.

Divorce is also pending.

Stephen Strang, editor of Charisma magazine, adds some commentary:

Many of us who long for revival saw the hungry people coming to Lakeland and witnessed the powerful anointing. We recognize that God can use flawed people (because He uses us!), yet we had major questions about Bentley. But rather than censoring him, we wanted to help correct the problems.

Now is the time for Bentley to be corrected. But it would also be good for Arnott, Ahn and Johnson, as well as other leaders such as Wagner, to issue a statement to the body of Christ to help the tens and perhaps hundreds of thousands who were affected by the outpouring understand what is going on spiritually.

Because all of these men endorsed the revival, it might even be appropriate for them to issue an apology. Some of Bentley’s critics say an apology is necessary.

In fact, Strang was also quite enthusiastic, and his “major questions” seemed more like minor concerns at the time:

I’m concerned when I hear references in Lakeland to the “healing revivals” of the 1940s and 1950s– especially with A.A. Allen and William Branham. That’s because those revivals did not really touch the mainstream of America and in those two instances the ministers fell into disrepute before they died.

The focus of any revival or ministry must be on Jesus and on changed lives, not on revival itself or on the ministries involved. I was glad to hear an emphasis on Jesus when I was in Lakeland. My spirit sensed that there was a genuine flow of the Spirit in the services.

However, criticisms are beginning to come about the revival—not so much from the secular media, but from leaders in the body of Christ who are unwilling to publicly criticize but who feel there are extremes (from their perspective) that could derail the revival.

(Hat tip: Ed Brayton)

11 Responses

  1. […] less than two months later, Bentley was found to have been having an affair with a female staffer, and he has since slipped back into obscurity; […]

  2. […] Seven Mountain Prophecy and the Coming Elijah Revolution. This book has been endorsed by Wagner (whatever that’s worth), and it features Enlow’s views on homosexuality: A Christian who espouses abortion rights […]

  3. […] rather more exotic figure: a neo-Pentecostal ”Apostolic” leader, he receives regular messages from God and interprets all kinds of mundane events as the work of demons which need to be battled through […]

  4. […] New World Order commercial publisher Thomas Nelson” and denouncing him for his support of Todd Bentley).  The official accounts for Griffiths’ Life Changing Ministries International also […]

  5. […] leaders promised would herald a new dawn, but which instead ended in fiasco and sexual scandal for Bentley. Strader’s church still enjoys a high profile within neo-Pentecostalism; a […]

  6. […] future prospects and inner character of particular evangelists, as was seen when C. Peter Wagner gushed over […]

  7. […] charismatic leaders empowered by the Holy Spirit has led to some troubling situations (such as the Todd Bentley fiasco). The AFA has attacked trends in neo-Pentecostalism […]

  8. […] claim to be empowered by God with spiritual gifts – for instance, Wagner receives regular messages from God. Rival perspectives on the world are placed within a demonology of malign supernatural forces, to […]

  9. […] enthused that “a new supernatural strength will flow through this ministry”). Alas, in August 2008 it was announced by Bentley’s Board of Directors that he had “entered into an […]

  10. […] position within neo-Pentecostalism is much diminished since his sexual indiscretions came to light in 2008, Joyner is more of an “A-lister”, with particularly close links to the likes of Jim […]

  11. […] raised in 2009 in relation to the controversial neo-Pentecostal evangelist Todd Bentley (blogged here); Bentley claimed in 2006 to have had “a vision” of […]

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