I initially put part of this up as a comment, but I thought it would also make a good post on its own:
Here are some things I can’t help but wonder about…
I don’t understand why comparing an evangelist’s teachings to what the Bible says is “having a religious spirit.”
Or why pragmatism – “Todd Bentley’s ways work, people are getting healed, people are getting delivered” – is more important than searching the Scriptures for what God says. Why is apparent success viewed as God’s stamp of approval? Aren’t there plenty of false religions with billions of adherents throughout the world that would be considered successful?
Or why “signs and wonders” are always assumed to be from God, just because they’re happening in a Christian setting.
Or why people assume that when someone uses the name of Jesus, they actually are referring to the historical Jesus of the Bible.
Or why the people who respond to Todd’s rambling yet vague “altar calls,” during which he invites people to “accept Jesus” – with barely a mention of man’s sinful condition, why we need a Savior in the first place, or how we need to repent and turn from our wickedness – are considered “conversions” and therefore further proof of the supposed “good fruit” of this “outpouring.”
Or why the statement, “I watched Todd on GodTV and I felt God’s presence in the broadcast” can be used as proof that everything is A-OK, and yet my statement of, “When I watch him teach, my spirit tells me that he is contradicting God’s Word” cannot be used as proof. (If you’re going to say that our FEELINGS can be used as validation, then why are my feelings not as valid as yours?)
Or why the pro-Todd folks do not seem in the least concerned about Jesus’ warnings regarding false teachers. After all, Jesus gave those instructions initially to His DISCIPLES. These were the guys who had actually SEEN Him in person…and would, shortly after that discourse, SEE Him die, and then, 3 days later, would SEE Him as the risen Savior (hallelujah, by the way!). If deception were so obvious, would Jesus have found it necessary to warn His disciples? Do we somehow believe that we are above them in our ability to detect false teachers?
EDITED TO ADD: Why is there more focus upon people who were “dead” for 45 minutes (or kept alive on life support) being “raised from the dead” than there is on the Jesus and His true resurrection?
Why are the lyrics of many of the Lakeland “worship” songs about angels, the “presence of the Lord,” the PLACE, rather than the Lord Himself? Even more importantly, why are these people singing a “worship” song about THEMSELVES? (And yes, I know that there’s a line at the beginning part of the song that talks about “another reason to live,” and then the singer calls out, “His name is Jesus.” But the chorus and the general focus of the lyrics are nonetheless about the people themselves. And…is Jesus “another” reason to live, or, when you get down to the nitty-gritty, is He our ONLY reason to live? I personally vote for “only.”
EDITED, ONCE MORE, TO ADD PERHAPS WHAT I THINK IS THE MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION OF THEM ALL: Why are people convinced that if they “feel the Lord,” it genuinely IS the Lord? In false religions (all religions that don’t name Jesus as God’s one and only Son, co-equal with God, and our Savior who died for us), people engage in all kind of religious practices that produce intensely good feelings. Otherwise, why would people be flocking to things like yoga and meditation? Most people who meditate, no matter what they are meditating upon, eventually hit that state of mind where they “sense God.” Do some research, and you’ll stumble across all sorts of accounts of feeling and sensing “God’s” wonderful presence…coming upon people engaging in pagan religious practices…a “God” who often speaks utterly contrary, non-Christian messages to them.
So just because something FEELS good, that does not mean that it IS good. Or that it is of God. Why don’t more Christians understand this?
I’m sure I’ll think of other things that make me wonder. Maybe you have some questions. Add yours in a comment below, and I’ll do the same.