Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Todd Bentley

Well I certainly started something with my last post about Todd Bentley, although most of the comments on this have been over on connexions. I have noticed the last couple of times I have flicked on to watch him that he seems now to be pressing on peoples stomachs rather than laying hands on or near their heads as he seemed to be in the early days.
I have to say that although I have watched some more and read the posts on connexions I still have some reservations about this whole thing.
I do believe that God heals and I do believe that God speaks to people, although I am not sure it is always in the booming voice from heaven that Hollywood would have us believe. I am also fairly sure that Paul in his writings talks about things being done in order and I am not sure someone shouting Bam at folks is quite being done in order.
I was some years back in a meeting at a Methodist Church in Wolverhampton where Trevor Dearing spoke and then prayed for the sick - this was my first experience of people falling under the power of prayer - there was a teenager near to us who had been brought in a wheelchair and her parents said she could not walk even a few steps. They wheeled her to the front and Trevor Dearing prayed for her very quietly and reverently and she got up from the wheelchair and danced around the church praising God and giving him the glory. There were many others that night who received haling but this particular one has always stuck in my mind and I think demonstrated very clearly how God can use us ordinary folk when we let him.
I will be keeping a watching brief on Todd Bentley and the comments made over on connexions and may even comment again on this intriguing topic.


PamBG said...

I have permanent permission to tell this story to the glory of God and it shows, I think, a 'method' that I'm a lot more comfortable with than Todd Bentley's method.

In my sending church there is a lady with an absolutely beautiful singing voice; she's almost 60 but has a voice like a boy chorister. She is also a very God-fearing woman and I've never known her to use her voice for her own glory.

A number of years ago, over a series of months, she began to lose her voice. Not just her singing voice but actually her speaking voice as well. She was going to a specialist and even going to an occupational therapist. Finally her voice gave out entirely and she had to spend some 6 weeks in total silence - not even speaking.

Eventually she regained her speaking voice but couldn't sing at all. She'd signed up to go to a conference on Church Music many months before she started losing her voice and she decided to go anyway. John Bell - from Iona - was the keynote speaker.

John led opening worship and, during the worship, he said 'I feel that God is telling me that he has a wonderful blessing for someone today.' My friend thought 'Oooh! How wonderful! I wonder who is going to be blessed?'

She went to the first workshop and started singing and she's never looked back. She said that she'd never even imagined that the 'wonderful blessing' was for her. And you have to wonder whether someone else didn't receive a spiritual blessing.

Bell didn't make 'a thing' about it; he just passed on what God was telling him.

My friend's story 'feels' much more authentic to me. And if we learned to see God at work in these kinds of events that we sometimes pass off as coincidental, maybe we'd be seeing God in a lot more places than we do now?

Methodist Preacher said...

FP - you are right, you have started something! I think I know the Minister at the Methodist Church in Wolverhampton - was it Douglas Field who then came over to us at City Road.

When we first got into this healing ministry I was very, very uncomfortable, but I did see God move. I think the accent needs to be on reverence.

Were Methodism to regain our interest in healing we could develope a ministry that could have a profound impact.

I'm certainly not comfortabel with some aspects of Pentecostal show business type healing, especially when it gets a bit "new agey" but I'm certain that God can move when (and if) we ask.

Fat Prophet said...

MP you are absolutely right it was Douglas Field who was the minister at that time and I have to say the church was full to overflowing that night
I am fairly sure that many people received a blessing that evening without all the razzamatazz and shouting that seems to be a major part of the Todd Bentley meetings. I have to say though he is not the only preacher I have seen who shouts - Reinhard Bonke used to get quite excited and Ray Bevan could be quite lively.

Methodist Preacher said...

I learnt a lot from Douglas, though was very antogonistic and sceptical when I first encountered his Ministry. In fact I wasn't fully reconciled to what he acheived until long after he had left. I say this to re-assure those Methodists who find the healing ministry difficult to cope with.

IanG who sometimes comments on my blog was a very great friend of his. I've emailed Ian telling him of this post. In all my years as a local preacher I have never heard of any formal training being offered in healing ministry. Perhaps this could be a starting point. I blog about this tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

In all probability, I was there playing guitar alongside the organist. Douglas and Catherine Field knew more about the Healing and Deliverance ministries than almost anybody I've come across. Douglas could have gone on the conference circuit, there were plenty who would have helped him, but he chose to continue as a Methodist minister. He was always underestimated by his congregations.