SPECIAL BULLETIN - Todd Bentley RestorationBy Todd Bentley

The following are some of the most common questions we continue to receive concerning Todd Bentley's restoration. It is my intent to be as straightforward and comprehensive as possible. However, some of the answers may be a little lengthy, so you may want to skip over the ones that are not important to you personally. Thank you again for the great interest and the many helpful comments and questions that you have sent concerning this issue. I pray this will be helpful to you. RJ.

Why did I feel qualified to take on Todd's restoration?

I did not feel qualified to take on Todd's restoration. Neither did I want to or expect to, but when I felt called to do this, I resolved to be obedient. In fact, I don't feel qualified to do almost anything I have been called to do. My encouragement has been that this seemed to be precisely the way that the Lord chose His own apostles who were to lay the foundation for His church. When you do not feel qualified to do something, it casts you in greater dependence upon the Holy Spirit, which I think is more important to the Lord than what we may humanly tend to think of as qualifications. As the Apostle Paul noted, it is in our weakness that His strength can be made perfect.

I took this project on mostly out of obedience, trusting the Lord to make up for my deficiencies. The New Testament ministry is a team ministry, and I felt that I could call on many to help who would have more knowledge, wisdom, and abilities where I was deficient. Many, especially in our own home congregation, have stepped forward and have been a great help, probably doing much more than I have in this. Some of the help has come from very unlikely sources, but it was the hand of the Lord. I look for the hand of the Lord so I can follow Him.

I live in a place where I constantly think I am in way over my head with the responsibilities I have. I need miracles to make it through almost every day because of this, and though it is a very exciting way to live, I can't claim to always enjoy it. However, I do think it drives me much closer to the Lord, and watching Him make up for my deficiencies with His interventions has been one my great joys, and one of the most helpful ways for me to get to know Him and His ways.

How much does anyone know?

I've asked some top medical doctors how much they really understand about the human body, and the most any have said is about 30 percent. I've asked them, including psychiatrists, how much they understand about the human psyche, the soul, and the mind. I've had top people say they probably only understand about 5 percent. These are the professionals who have spent years and years studying to be able to do what they do. Though I think a Christian counselor who is firmly rooted in biblical truth can understand much more, I do think only God can do soul surgery without potentially hurting people.

John Wimber once told me he felt that letting amateur inner healing specialists into the Vineyard Movement was one of the biggest mistakes he ever made. I had the opportunity to spend a lot of time talking to John about why he felt this way. I also had my own horror stories from this, some of which were of my own making when I was so arrogant that I thought I could fix other people when I was not even doing a very good job of fixing myself. I have seen many lives seriously hurt, and even marriages wrecked by bad counsel, regardless of how well-intended it may have been. Yet I have never given up on believing that we need a strong counseling ministry in the church, and I know some who have had very positive experiences with counselors.

Even so, I would not trust any Christian counselor who is not dependent in a most profound way on the Holy Spirit for their work. Those who are arrogant enough to think they can easily fix other people are some of the scariest people I know. These are God's kids we're talking about, the royalty of the earth, and it is a fearful thing to touch them, much less dig around in their souls. For this reason, I would not have touched this situation with Todd without knowing I had the call of God to do it, and for the most part, I think I'm just here to watch Him work.

I would be very understanding of anyone who might think of me as unqualified to oversee Todd's restoration. I can think of many I would consider better for this, but in truth, I may have been the only one willing.

Second Reason

The next reason why I got involved in Todd's restoration is the belief that the body of Christ is doomed to continued defeat until we learn to obey Galatians 6:1, "If a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one, doing this in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourselves lest you also be tempted" (NKJV). Until we learn to restore the fallen, and as this verse states, from "any trespass," our testimony of the truth of the gospel to redeem and restore is undermined and marginalized.

The phrase "any trespass" here has greatly stretched and challenged me in recent years, possibly more than anything else. However, anything else would be limiting the cross, and we must learn to restore those who have fallen in "any trespass" for the cross to fully work among us. Isn't that what Jesus went to the cross for?

Third Reason

Third, I was shown Todd's calling years ago and know that he is destined to lead many millions to salvation. He is also called to help raise the level of faith in the body of Christ to the point where there would be no sick among us, even in the times of the worst plagues on the earth. I am willing to do anything I can to see such a ministry saved and positioned for its purpose.

This has already paid off in huge dividends. Since we have released Todd back into limited ministry in our local church, schools, and conferences, the fruit has been extraordinary. We have already had several confirmed death sentences from cancer cancelled, and possibly more that we have not received the doctor's reports back on yet. What kind of price could ever be put on something like that? Todd is called to release special authority over cancer, and any family ever touched by this terrible evil I think would also be willing to pay just about any price to see that ministry raised up in the church.

Fourth Reason

I felt that going through this restoration process would lead to understanding some basic things about the plague of divorce and receive some answers that would help shut this terrible gate of hell now destroying the church and our nation. I was right

Like many of the great issues of our times, the problems are complex, but the answers are usually very simple. As Tolstoy began one of the greatest novels ever written, Anna Karenina, "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." This may sound too simplistic, but it is a profound truth. This novel deals especially with many of the ultimate issues of family and divorce. It took the genius of Tolstoy to do this with such power and depth of insight, yet the whole conclusion of the matter is summed up in this first sentence of the novel!

The truth is that happy, successful families all have certain basics in common. The basics are not difficult to understand, and though it would be a lie to say they can be difficult to do at times, it is much easier to do them than not to. Without question, if we do the basics required of us as Christians in relation to marriage, or anything else, our lives will be far better, far happier, and far more successful. If we do not do the basics, we will pay a terrible price, and we will likely pay it every day for the rest of our lives because the cost of divorce is that great.

Summary

No doubt some of the criticism I have received for the way I've gone about the restoration of Todd may be deserved, and much of it has been helpful. I try to be open to see more and do anything I'm doing better. However, some of the criticism we've received has been remarkably foolish and contrary to the clear teachings of Scripture. This could be one of the root causes for the church not being able to heal itself of this plague of divorce.

I'm especially surprised by how many Christians have asserted that if I restore Todd to ministry, it will open the floodgates of divorce. First, how much wider could these floodgates get? They are already wide open! It is obvious that what we are doing is not working. I would think that the state of the church in this matter would lead to some serious humility and being a bit more teachable.

Another level of shock came when I found that many who were the most critical and the most vocal of Todd's restoration had been through a divorce themselves, and most without going through any restoration for their failure. From my perspective, this was a shocking level of both hypocrisy and hardness of heart.

I was surprised by how many insisted that I hear everything that Todd had done from his former wife, which I agree is valid and had to be done. However, these same people did not make any attempt to ask if there was another side, and there is always another side to such issues.

I was surprised and saddened by how the same ones who insisted Todd take care of his former wife and kids financially, also insisted that he flip burgers for a living for several years before he should be restored. This is not just a matter of integrity, but basic math!

This has been the ugly part of what has surfaced in some of the body of Christ, and it has been disheartening at times, but it by no means reflects the whole body of Christ, which by far has been gracious, generous, and encouraging. It is a terrible deception to judge any group by their most extreme elements. The extreme do tend to be the most vocal, and often try to project themselves as the voice for the whole, but such have been a tiny percentage of the body of Christ we have heard from. If our experience though this is much of a barometer of where the church is, then the church is rich in grace, mercy, and the desire for truth.

Because we know in part, see in part, and even prophesy in part, I would never claim to have the whole answer to something as significant as this terrible enemy that divorce is. I do claim to have some of the answers, and they may be some of the most important ones for stopping this terrible plague. Again, I cannot present them in one Bulletin, but I will attempt to present them systematically over the rest of this year. I'm also quite sure that some of these answers have never been considered by most Christians, and they may seem shocking at first, but they are soundly biblical. I think if you read them with openness, you will see the wisdom in them.

I am convinced that the most devastating mistake the church has made in regard to marriage has been to substitute the traditions of men for the commandments of God. Much of what is taught about Christian marriage is based more on human idealism than biblical truth, and though it may sound good and reasonable-its effect has been devastating. Some of God's wisdom also seems foolish to men at first, but if we are teachable and humble before the Lord, I think He will open our eyes to what actually works. This leads to a very important question I will address in the next Special Bulletin on Todd's restoration.