In my email this morning was a message from J. Lee Grady, the editor of Charisma magazine. It was entitled, “An Appeal For Unity In A Divisive Season,” and in the first part of this email, Grady was basically asking all of us who have serious questions about Lakeland and Todd Bentley to ignore any doctrinal questions we may have and, at least for the time being, shut up with our blogs and our youtube videos in which we point out the unbiblical.
But in the second part of his email, Grady did what I would consider a very good job outlining areas where Charismatics need to reach a theological consensus in order to address concerns that people have raised about Bentley’s unorthodox (to say the least) teachings and practices.
Yet the whole thing left me cold. J. Lee Grady seems to be trying to appease both sides. On the one hand, he appeared to be attempting to back-pedal in the face of criticism for his previous editorial expressing reservations about the goings-on in Lakeland, Florida. In this most recent message, he even said that if he needs to retract portions of his “reservations” editorial and apologize, he would.
On the other hand, he admits that Todd’s teachings and apparent positions on things such as angels, visits to heaven, conversations with the dead, and so forth DO INDEED depart from historical Biblical Christianity’s stances on these matters.
Here is my opinion on J. Lee Grady’s call for unity, that I posted in a comment in the previous article:
I personally don’t think there can BE unity if the “Christians” in question are practicing and valuing different faiths. And since so much of what Todd used to teach – up until recently, when lots of his previous writings were removed from his website – departs dramatically from Biblical Christianity, I’m not sure what sort of faith he’s actually practicing. It seems more like a mixture of New Age spirituality done in Jesus’ name.
I personally refuse to be unified with THAT.
And by the way – I’m NOT calling into question whether Todd is a Christian or not. Only God can know that for sure. But God HAS given us His Word, which clearly does question many of the things that Todd Bentley and this revival are promoting.
Remember – just because seemingly good things happen (like the proported healings), or good feelings are produced (such as the drunken euphoric “highs” that people are reporting), or most importantly, that the name of Jesus is bandied about, that DOES NOT MEAN that the spirit at work is automatically the Holy Spirit.
Jesus told His disciples that many would come IN HIS NAME and yet would be false teachers.
What do YOU think?