A great tragedy has come to light this past week. Todd Bentley, the revivalist who has been leading the Lakeland Outpouring meetings, has had a major meltdown and has filed for divorce. This comes at the worst possible time both for the revival and for those who have stood with him.
Back in June, Che Ahn , John Arnott, and I went to Lakeland, Florida, to do a commissioning service for Todd. We felt the need to stand with him. Opposition against him was great, and we could be a great strength to Todd in that time. John and Che especially could be a great asset as they had endured incredible opposition during the Toronto outpouring. Peter Wagner helped to oversee and lead that part of the meeting. Although he had not personally endorsed the revival, he felt it important enough to risk personal criticism from his peers to bring Todd into an apostolic alignment for his own safety.
I did not go to Lakeland and stand on the platform with Todd Bentley because he was perfect in character or because we agreed in every respect with how he conducted the revival in Lakeland. I went to Lakeland because of his enemies. The relentless criticism and opposition, coupled with the grueling and sometimes unwise schedule, were bound to take their toll on this young man-emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually. It happened two years ago, and it could happen again. It was my intention to bring a deflection into the mix so that he wouldn’t take all the heat by himself. Little did I realize it was too late. He was at the place of burnout again, abandoning his marriage and pulling out of all public ministry. While I will never blame Todd’s opponents for Todd’s bad choices (Todd alone is responsible for them) their opposition had a greater effect than any of his critics will likely own up to in this lifetime. Now what? Pray for Todd and Shonnah for complete healing in their marriage and personal lives. Pray for those giving counsel to them that they would use great wisdom.
Please know that while we may not give details of our efforts, we are doing everything possible to help bring healing and order to this tragedy.
Blessings!
Bill