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Todd Bentley (January 10, 1976) is a Canadian Christian evangelist preacher. He was a key figure in the Lakeland Revival, after a brief period of retirement related to the breakup of his marriage and his next marriage and of a supposed scandal for his Doctrinal Falsedad when he was discovered when obtaining documents from medical records, considering them as miracles made by his part, he has returned to his ministry.
Bentley is originally from Gibson, British Columbia, a small community on the west coast of Canada, whose parents divorced when he was a child, and struggled with addictions to drugs and alcohol.
Although criminal records of juvenile offenders in Canada are normally protected from public disclosure, in 2001, the now-defunct Report Newsmagazine revealed that at the age of 15, Bentley was convicted of sexually assaulting a young man, referring to his “Atrocious behavior.” Bentley later said that the Report Newsmagazine article was, in essence, true: “they were sexual crimes,” Bentley admits. “I was involved in a circle of sexual assault, I went back and did what happened to me, I was also attacked.”
At age 17, Bentley was hospitalized because of an overdose of amphetamines and hallucinogenic pills.At age 18 he changed his lifestyle completely, due to his conversion to Christianity; Shortly after this, he began his Christian ministry.
Fresh Fire Ministries
In 1998, the Fresh Fire Ministries group asked Bentley to share his testimony at one of their weekly meetings. Shortly after, Bentley assumed the leadership of the group, which became more of a revival movement. He traveled to India, Africa, and South America participating in revivals and religious crusades.
Lakeland Revival Leadership
Beginning on April 2, 2008, Bentley was invited by Stephen Strader, pastor of the Ignited Church in Lakeland, Florida, to lead a week-long revival. Revival quickly became a phenomenon media and religious, attracting more than 10,000 attendees each night with Bnetley as the main preacher.In addition to showing Bentley’s evangelism, the revival featured light shows and Christian rock. The Ignited Church He also approached the media to promote the event, publishing online webcast. The revival was transmitted live via Ustream – which received more than 1 million visits in the first five weeks of transmission. After the initial weeks, GOD TV, a religious satellite channel, decided to remove its programming from prime time and instead relay Lakeland meetings every night.
The revival attracted thousands, and along with this came many more revivals. At one point, Bentley began to pray and commission many of them to imitate his modern revival model. Ryan Wyatt was one of them. Another was the evangelist Hamilton Filmalter who was commissioned by Bentley to start the Portland Outpouring. Filmalter collaborated with the Rev. Aaron Winter, founder of Hearts of Fire International Ministries and began to witness the same things that were taking place in Lakeland. However, by the time these new revivals occurred in other cities, Bentley had retired from Fresh Fire Ministries.
Bentley was criticized in mainstream media and online blogs because of occasional violence towards participants. Todd Bentley was known for kicking, hitting , slap or knock down the participants. In one incident, a man was thrown to the ground and lost a tooth. In another, an elderly woman was intentionally kicked in the face. Bentley argued that the Holy Spirit induced him to do such actions, and said that those incidents were taken out of context and added that there were miracles happening simultaneously.
On July 9, 2008, the ABC News Nightline newscast aired an investigative report on Bentley, focusing on his claims of healing with faith, finances, and his criminal past. After the story, Bentley took free time of the revival but returned on July 18, 2008. Five days later, Bentley and Strader announced that Bentley would permanently abandon the revival and that his last day would be August 23, 2008. < / p>
Healing with faith was a major focus of these revivals. Inspired by the stories of Jesus healed sick in the New Testament, the contemporary practice of this is important for Pentecostal and charismatic Christians. Healing testimonies were common at Lakeland meetings. Hope in supernatural healing explains some of the popularity of these revivals, as there were many personal accounts of miracles. [26 ] The lack of medical verification of the healings was questioned by the media; The Nightline report concluded that “not a single miracle could be verified.”
Bentley announced the separation of his wife, Shonnah, in August 2008, and resigned from the Fresh Fire board. A statement issued by the remaining board members said “Todd Bentley has been involved in a unhealthy relationship on an emotional level with a female member of his staff “, and who would abstain from his public ministry for a season to receive advice in his personal life.
Some of Bentley’s Christian contemporaries urged him to renounce the start of the scandal, declaring that Christian leadership is incompatible with marital infidelity In response, a committee composed of Rick Joyner, Jack Deere , and Bill Johnson was formed to oversee the spiritual restoration process of the Bentley family. In November 2008, Fresh Fire management announced that Bentley was not submitting to the process. On March 9, 2009, Rick Joyner announced that Bentley was remarried.
In an interview in 2009 by Charisma Magazine, Rick Joyner refuted the allegations of adultery while labeling the relationship as wrong and premature. Joyner told the magazine that the new couple was devoted to their marriage and that “they would continue to serve the Lord in the best possible way.”
Resumption of preaching; veto of United Kingdom
Around 2010, Rick Joyner declared that Bentley was “restored” and that he returned to preaching and leading crusades.
After unfavorable publicity about an imminent visit to the United Kingdom, in August 2012, Bentley was the subject of an exclusion order prohibiting him from entering the country. The UK government office stated “The government does not apologize for denying access to people to the United Kingdom if it is believed that they are not conducive to the public good.” Coming here is a privilege which we refuse to grant to those who seek to harm our society. . “
In December 2012, after the death of Croydon deputy Malcolm Wicks, Bentley was criticized by the UK press after pointing out that the deputy’s death was for “the justice of the Lord” due to the role that Wicks had in banning him from entering the country.
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