When Revival Turns Sour

Got this email in my inbox this week, concerning the Lakeland, Florida outpouring.  Previously, I had heard good and bad reports concerning it from friends.  I personally never even watched a broadcast of it.  Not bragging about that, just stating the facts.  The leader of the revival was Todd Bentley, who seemed to love Jesus (even though I questioned the way he did some things).  I really appreciate how GodTV puts his recent blunder in their letter ...

"It is with great regret that we as Founders and our Board call you to urgent prayer.  As you may have already heard, Todd and Shonnah Bentley are experiencing some current marital difficulties and have separated.

GOD TV is anxious that our viewers and partners will first of all respond to these unfortunate circumstances with an attitude of Christ-like maturity and pray fervently for Todd, Shonnah and their children as a family who are precious to the Lord. While we have learned today that immorality was not an issue, no doubt the enemy has exploited vulnerabilities in their marriage.

What the devil has not counted on is the Christ-like maturity and intercession that is currently being raised up all across the earth in response. We hope you will join us as a part of this prayer covering.

It is GOD TV's position that marriage is a foundational cornerstone to those families called to ministry and would believe that those who have spiritual oversight for Todd and Shonnah's ministry will recommend a time of sabbatical for the family in order to seek reconciliation within their marriage should these reports be accurate.

As many of you know, August 8th was our final 'Lakeland' broadcast. We do however, believe that it is important to recognize and defend the authenticity of this outpouring by the testimonies of the countless thousands who viewed on GOD TV or attended at Lakeland and were healed, set free and delivered through Jesus Christ. There are many churches
around the UK, USA and the world who are currently holding nightly revival meetings affecting whole communities.

Once again at this time may we encourage all to pray for the family and soberly remember that all of us will be required to give account to the Lord for our lives. It is our earnest prayer that Todd and Shonnah will be fully reconciled.

Rory & Wendy Alec and the Board of GOD TV"

Here's my thoughts:
1. We need to be careful to quickly and excitedly lift up anything "spectacular."  We must be careful not to contribute in any way to hero worship or anything of the sort.  Yes, jump in to what God's doing, but don't overemphasize the mystical over the little things like servanthood, integrity and endurance.
2. Let us never let our faith be founded on a person other than Jesus Christ.  Yes, mentors, accountability partners, spiritual friends, pastors and spiritual leaders will always have a role, but may be see beyond the failures of those who lead and appreciate the grace and perfection of Christ alone.  And pray for those who stumble.