Friday, September 5, 2008

The Abuser – People That Abuse

“Where in the Dickens did that come from?” was one comment about yesterday’s posting. It bubbled out of the reader. In a Blog like this it seemed unusual. Let me explain.

Recently something that seemed perfectly good went bad. A man that was having great influence on people’s lives and many churches made some very radical departures from what is the norm for the people that he was ministering to. He left his wife for another woman. At least that is the story that came with the sudden departure from his ministry role.

For non church goers that seems a little strange I am sure. But in the “church world” – marriage and its quality is held high among the congregation – at least high on the standards of its leadership. Men and women that are speaking from places of authority – the pulpit – need to live above the normal standards. They are held to a higher standard.

The vague references that are made about something going bad – refer to Todd Bentley, a very unusual Evangelist that came from British Columbia, Canada and ministered in a number of places across North America.

Google his name today and you will get over 620,000 responses. A great deal of the responses are about his work and radical ways in Lakeland, Florida. The unusual thing is that he has already made it to the group (where anyone can post something and others can edit – kind of encyclopedia).

(For fun I did a Google of my name and found 9,690,000 references – but I didn’t make it to Wikipedia – anything with the word or name “Lincoln” in it is there. Yes and I am also… Try your own name.)

In our Ontario and Canadian context, Todd Bentley was an Evangelist that was the mover and groover. God was talking through Todd.

But it all finally fell down. The Glory and the Revival ended when Todd was found out to be messing around with female staff members. Then it was announced that he was separating(separated) from his wife and a divorce was taking place.

It is at that moment in time people that watch the Pulpit and the Guy behind the Pulpit - say that is enough – no more – we are out of here. The Moral Code that they held in relation to Todd was broken. He fell from their radar… his revival days were over.

It seems as I read more about Brother Todd there were some really sordid things in his past. It was the events of the present that seem to bring the most suspicion. But how much of the past affects the present? Plenty maybe the best answer.

In our church system we have a good accountability structure set up. As pastors we are under someone else. We connect with others. We are accountable to our peers around us. Ideally we are in submission to each other.

In Todd’s case he seems to have forgotten all of that and moved on.

Someone referred to Todd Bentley as “Benny Hinn with tattoos” in describing his ministry style and life style. I found that interesting to say the least. Success in ministry can lead to some excesses that are not good.

What has that got to do with anything in your life?

Well who are you listening to? Who has power over your life and life decisions? Is there any problem with what they are saying and how they actually live? Is there anything in their past that might indicate something is deeply hidden and might show up as a problem? If what the person that has great influence in your life is not what they say they are… how will it affect you in the long run?

These questions have huge spiritual impacts on people – let alone long term psychological affects.

Let me put it this way… if a person that you respect and “receive ministry from” looks great and his abilities are amazing… is found out to be a child molester… what would happen to your feelings knowing that? What if he or she had raped a child? OH I know – I know that is much worse than just being an alcoholic or a drug addict. I know it is worse than being a thief. But what if…?

I know a lady that was brutalized by her “Christian” Doctor who knew her better than others… then messed with her mind until she could hardly function. I have seen spiritual abuse.

I know another lady that was molested by her father when she was little – but will say nothing today for fear of losing the money that might come her way. Her father is a minister today.

I know another lady that was raped, repeatedly by the traveling Evangelist when he stayed in her home. Her father was a pastor and knew nothing of the continual rapping and messing with his daughter. The Pedophile got away with and was never charged.

Now if I tell you that these three ladies live in Peterborough – the Peterborough audience will gasp with that revelation. It is not in Lakeland, Florida or British Columbia – it is next door.

What is the answer?
Well a simple one is to know the Scripture better than we do. When a so called spectacular leader shows up and does some weird things – says some weird things – we will ask questions whether these things line up and makes sense in light of Scripture – the Bible experience.

Come on… an Angel by the name of Emma – telling you what to say and do… Come on…..!
Quote from Wikipedia…
“Another doctrinal dispute surrounds his(Bentley) alleged encounter with an angel he called 'Emma' at an Assemblies of God church in 2001. Bentley stated that the female angel gave him a vision of gold coins and that afterwards he received a breakthrough in terms of financial stability”

“Emma… Emma where are you Emma… I need a little coin today… Oh Emma!” (Murray speaking out here…)

These are the “Last Days” according to what the Bible says… and all that I have been taught. And one of the Christian’s Last Day teaching is about the Return of Jesus Christ as Savior. Also we note that there will be an ANTI CHRIST. This Anti Christ will have an amazing ability to connect to every person in the world – everyone will believe him and follow him.

I once wondered how one man could ever gain that kind of power. Not any more – when I watch people follow people the way that they do.

Now take a close look at American Politics and the way that each convention is displaying their “product”. Have you noticed how everyone is “in love with Mrs. Sara Palin”? Before last week the world had little idea of who she was. Today I know so much I am astounded… she is only the VP Candidate… not the Presidential Candidate….. and I am not even American nor will I vote for her… BUT FEEL THE HYPE – WOW!

Put that same feeling into the church and the churchy people. Then tell them there is a revival some where in Podunk Village… and they will clamber to get a seat to listen to anyone say anything.

Oh boy!

~ Murray Lincoln ~


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Dad
That one really made me think.
How could someone have an amazing ability to connect to every person in the world, so that they would believe him and follow him? How could someone gain that kind of power?
Today we all have that kind of power. Leaders who are persuasive will be able to send their ideas out in blogs and chat rooms and soon have massive world-wide followings.
We are in the end times. I'd better get reading and spend more time on my knees.