A blogger over at a site called “End Times Prophetic Words” is doing a very thorough job of keeping up with the multitudes of things that can be written about Todd Bentley and the Lakeland “Outpouring.” I really admire her work.
Yesterday, I noticed that we’d both put up similar posts showing the youtube videos and discussing the questions surrounding the purported resurrection of a two-days-dead little girl. When I read through the comments accompanying that site’s article, I noticed the following, posted by someone calling himself “Chairos Seeker.” He said, in comment #5,
By the way, being raised from the dead is not a resurrection. The disciples were commissioned to “raise the dead,” not resurrect the dead. “Resurrection” refers to being clothed with a new, perfect body. I think this distinction of terms is both Biblical and helpful. I don’t appreciate Todd’s appropriation of the term “resurrection” for raising the dead, let alone raising the brain dead.
I thought this was a very interesting observation. While I’ve never paid much attention to the technical differences between the phrase “raising the dead” and the term “resurrection,” I believe that “Chairos Seeker” is probably correct in his assessment. It does seem to go along with everything I remember from Scripture, that the term “resurrection” refers specifically to those who are raised from the dead and given their glorified bodies.
Something else that struck me, as I pondered the way that Todd Bentley has been touting that the revival has produced “13 resurrections,” was yet another question. Since thus far, no documentation has been forthcoming about any of these “raised from the dead” stories – none of the “formerly dead” people have appeared on stage with Bentley or anything like that – what sort of message does that send to the world about the most important resurrection?
After all, the whole reason that Christianity is different from all other world religions is because we claim to serve a RISEN Savior. The resurrection of Christ (which took place after his crucifixion to pay the price for our sins and to reconcile us with the all-powerful, righteous, and holy God) is the absolute centerpiece of the Christian faith. If you’re a Christian, you believe that Jesus did indeed rise from the dead on third day after His death on the cross. You believe in this as a LITERAL, FACTUAL, PHYSICAL REALITY. It’s the reality of Christ’s RESURRECTION that gives us hope. Really, it’s the ONLY thing that gives us hope, for this life and the next.
So…my question is…what does it do to the Christian faith, to have the term “resurrection” tossed around so glibly? If the Lakeland “Outpouring” is really all about Jesus, and if it’s truly evangelistic in nature, then shouldn’t more focus be on the one resurrection that absolutely matters? – Jesus’ own resurrection?
And if all the stories about people being raised from the dead turn out to be just a bunch of hype, where the people weren’t really dead but, as apparently was true for the 3-year-old girl, merely woke up out of comas, doesn’t that just serve to detract from the message of salvation, the message of Christ’s resurrection?
I think it does.