Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Off Of My Chest

Several people have, some more gently than others, scorned me for stating my viewpoints on Todd Bentley's marital issues and the Lakeland Revival (I stated that "crappy, man-made movements produce crappy fruit" - not my most eloquent words, I know). For the sake of not having to address this anymore, here is the gist of what I've responded to people with. Many of you may not even know what in the world all of the hoopla is about. If you don't, go watch the Olympics and save yourself the time. Yes, I'm kind of laying it all out there.

Few tested the spirits - angels were invoked repeatedly (much more than Jesus was called upon when I watched) and leaders were violent in order to "blast people with the anointing". People, Holy Spirit power needs nothing of our "working it up" or flamboyant assistance - God is the power and we are simply His vessel for it to flow through. I believe with every part of my being that God is grieved when His glory and power is made into a show. As I stated months ago, can you imagine Jesus making spittle in His holy hand and then smacking the blind man as He pummels Him to the ground and cries out "BAM! BAM! BAM!"? I don't think so. Why? He was the power - He was the authority - He was the Healer. The power is not a "thing" to possess, it is something to be possessed by. When men begin to mess with the power of God, whether you've been labeled some great evangelist or not, you are on dangerous ground. The power of God has become some cool byword and manifestations have become some kind of freakshow. Most would rather see some woman writhe and shake "under the anointing" as they yell "fire!" than see a small child quietly, and what would likely be deemed as uneventful, healed. We have become a hype-oriented, excitement fueled, consumer of the glory and it makes me sick. God's glory is His - any experience that I have with it is an honor, a privilege and I stand in awe that He loves me enough to let me experience even an ounce of it. It is not an experience to be taken lightly. Don't even get me started on all of the "Jesus bong" and "glory blast" nonsense that I see people doing these days - it infuriates me to no end.

With this being said, I do not discount what people experienced at Lakeland. The simple fact is, what we deem as "revival" is what God desires us to know and walk in DAILY. Believers run to this meeting and that and want to bask in the glory here and there, yet have little to no personal reality of Jesus in their "normal" lives. Few realize that God's presence can be reality in their everyday life. He is not into productions and meetings. He is looking for hearts that are after Him.

As I heed people's warnings to "be careful", knowing that I am not above reproach, I ask all to see my intention - for people to realize that God is longing to move right in their living room. They don't need to go get special one-time anointings and "more of Jesus than you can get in your town" at this revival, this meeting, this concert, this...whatever - all who intimately know Him have all of Him - and all is absolutely all that we need. I think we can interpret Scripture (Luke 17) to warn us when people begin to say "Come here, Jesus is here. We 'have' Him here!" I will not run to moves and hype. Why? Because God is already moving in our midst here and now! He is already blowing my mind with His!

Again, I know I am accountable for what I say and do. I truly believe that I'm hearing what the Spirit is saying in this hour and I don't flippantly say anything... even on here. This is not criticism because some guy has tattoos or something ridiculous like that - IT IS A SPIRIT MATTER - period. Example: A lady that I sat across a room from, that had just gone to the revival, even went as far as to say how disappointed she was because "Todd didn't do any healings the night we were there... they only had salvations". Excuse me? Friends, we have so much all wrong.

If I don't stand up and declare what the Spirit is saying to me, I am disobedient. I will not tickle ears in order to make people all warm and fuzzy. Who will be a voice in the wilderness that is seemingly teeming with both ends of the spectrum - lame mediocrity or over-the-top super hype? Are these our only options? Can we not walk in assuredness, confidence and power without having to get worked up to do so? I'm personally sick of "Christians" running all over the country to be a part of the latest "God activity". I will see people healed HERE - I will see people delivered HERE - I will walk in the move of the Holy Spirit HERE - I don't need your meetings, rock shows and pep rallies. THE AWESOME POWER IN AND REALITY OF JESUS CHRIST IS ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY MORE THAN ENOUGH!


Anonymous said...

and again I'll say it..


grace and peace and blessings Joel!


Anonymous said...

Joel, you stated this extremely clear. This is done well. Kay

Anonymous said...

Yes,yes,yes, so be it!! I do see and agree with what you are saying and I do pray that we will all see that God desires to be in our very midst where we are and we do not have to go somewhere to be in His midst. I love how you put it and can't really add more. This is awesome and clear and I say again, Yes!!

Anonymous said...

Yah. I'm glad you got this off your chest! It's about time someone said something.


Chris said...

Way to put it on the line for Christ. Well done and Holy Spirit driven write.
God bless and shield you.

Anonymous said...

smile....I agree with you 100%. To have a relationship with Jesus and enter in to his presence and have that remain with us daily is the ultimate reality and key to walking as Jesus walked so that Jesus can do his works among us but so few do this. This is the very revolution that Jesus wants and what i believe Jesus is talking about when he says he will have a bride without spot or wrinkle! All of his children full of the love of God, walking with the glory of God on our lives just being about the Fathers business. Till then I guess we will have to deal with a few rising up to challenge us to check our hearts and what we believe!

Such a simple truth, but so profound! Wow! Looking forward to more truths revealed! High five!


Joel Spencer said...

General Response/Update: Todd has now been asked to step down from FFM and is no longer even publicly speaking after it is now being said that he has "entered into an unhealthy relationship on an emotional level with a female member of his staff." If I say it once, I'll say it one million times WHEN YOU PUT YOUR HOPE AND FASCINATION IN A MAN AND THAT MAN WALKS IN THAT POWER, ALL IS DESTINED TO FALL. GOD ALONE MUST BE THE FOCUS!

I feel for all affected, truly I do. But God alone will sit on the throne, no man, no "move", no event. Believers must wake up and heed these warnings and change their ways. Will they continue to repeat this cycle over and over? I pray it not be so.

Gabe said...

Very well said my friend.

What you said lines up with the scriptures perfectly;
Jer 17:5-6

5 Thus says the LORD:
"Cursed is the man who trusts in man And makes flesh his strength,
Whose heart departs from the LORD.
6 For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, And shall not see when good comes,But shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness,
In a salt land which is not inhabited.

Since TB has proven to be a false profit many times, this latest news comes as no surprise. When confronted with producing proof as to the so called healings, he couldn't provide it and was soon packing his bags and leaving Lakeland.

It's as you've said; one doesn't need to go anywhere to find God at stronger levels. He's been here all along.

Michael said...

Great word in "Off of My Chest" - love your blogs.

Dawn said...

This blog is wonderfully written in a spirit of love. Love for God's Word, love for the brethren. Not everyone will agree because they received not the love of the truth that they might be saved. Others chose to obey man rather than God and have created idols in their hearts. I was friends with a woman who has a well known ministry (BFA) who just recently wrote a blog on this. I remember warning her about Todd very early on because I had listened and studied Todd's teachings back in 2005. She immediately cut me off and also stated that she will listen to her pastor b/c he is her head (what about Christ?). So her pastor "gave her the ok" to go to Lakeland, then her pastor realized many weeks later that something was wrong and told her to stop going. Many of those who followed Todd Bentley became vicious in their attacks against those who, like Bereans, studied and spoke out about their concerns about the Lakeland event. Their reactions were in like manner to those who oppose Ellen White (Seventh Day Adventist) and Joseph Smith (mormons), Mormons and SDA's defend their "prophets" with such a violent fervency. That is because those like Joseph Smith and Ellen White have become idols, and people will violently defend their idols. This is what some christians have done with Todd Bentley. A man was preaching to those in line to see Bentley - he preached the gospel message of repentance and believing in Christ. He got heckled and met with anger, not by unbelievers, but CHRISTIANS. This is because the gospel Todd preaches is not the gospel of the bible, so those christians could not recognize the gospel that was being preached. This is a sad day, but nevertheless I believe that God has sent strong delusion and Lakeland is one of probably many to come.

stephani said...

Wise words and I can completely relate. Turning Christ into a difficult jump through hoops to receive. Ughh. He is so simple and we need to keep it simple. Amen.

Joel Spencer said...

General Response #2: Despite what you see on here, I continue to get reprimanded here and there by others who choose not to be a part of the public discussion, yet my stance remains the same. As I phrased it recently in response to one such email, "It is absolutely not a lack of grace, rather a call to righteousness. I have been shown grace beyond measure and will forever tell all of it. BUT, His Church, ones who claim to be true followers absolutely MUST be held to a higher standard. We continue to blare from the rooftops heresy, hypocrisy saying, 'oh we're just like you - errant fallen ones who sin just like you' with our actions. In Christ I am a new Creation. I am a Son, an ambassador of Christ and I have no excuse to just be a 'fallen 'ol pathetic sinner saved by grace.' I believe with everything within me that this is a great error within the body. We all fall, we all fail, we all fall short, BUT we need to call each other out to a higher calling - a higher place!"

Friends, people walking in a lifestyle of sin do NOT need to be standing on a platform speaking on God's behalf - period. I believe an "unhealthy relationship on an emotional level with a female member of (your) staff" (other than your wife) falls into this category. There is a VAST difference between sinning and a lifestyle of constant, voluntary sin.

It is so black and white really. Don't even get me started on the line of "prophets" that stood beside him and declared "what the Lord was saying". Who will send out a call of holiness that will no longer tolerate these so-called "spokespersons for God" to spew their perverted Gospel? Will anyone stand up and declare "thus saith the Lord" without their own agenda or thoughts on the matter in mind?

Jeremiah 23:26 "How long will this be in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies? Indeed they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart."

Anonymous said...

It's also been found that Todd was not only committing adultery, but was a drunkard. This clearly shows a lack of discernment with all "leaders" involved. You have a group of "apostles" who couldn't discern this? Such a travesty!

Anonymous said...

Your original words may have been less than eloquent, but calling a spade a spade is really not inappropriate. You are exactly right. No one tested the spirits, and those who did were reprimanded. People should not be surprised at all when everything falls apart like this. Good post.