"The internet is burning up with news of yet another scandal in the church, this time with serious accusations against charismatic evangelist Todd Bentley. What is God saying to His people through this current crisis? Regarding Todd's situation, I have no specific comment, since: 1) I have not supported him being in ministry since his divorce and remarriage in 2008, and I am on public record to that effect. 2) I have no connection of any kind to Todd and his ministry. (I also disagreed publicly with the way other leaders handled things in Lakeland, where Todd became prominent.) But, after prayer and reflection, I do believe there are important things to share that are applicable beyond this current, alleged scandal." -- Dr. Michael Brown
What is God saying to His people through this? Stop following absurd charlatans who kick people in the face to impart healing. Stop chasing the false charismata. Start representing God Dr. Brown and stop representing those that are doing the bidding of Satan. While I am glad that you stopped supporting him after his divorce, that does not quite let you off the hook. First of all, the fact that you have not supported him should not prevent you from weighing in on the story objectively. You should be able to rebuke what is clearly wrong and chew gum at the same time. More importantly, your statement reveals that you did support him prior to the revelation of infidelity. That means you were ok with the assault of the sheep in order to heal them. This is why you have no credibility left Dr. Brown. Bill Johnson not only prayed over Bentley at his commissioning ceremony but oversaw his bogus restoration yet Johnson is someone you voraciously defend should anyone dare question him. Nevertheless, Brown feels he has four points he wants to make.
"First, this is not the time to throw stones at charismatics, as some non-charismatic critics have been quick to do. To be sure, we charismatics have done a very poor job of self-policing, and, to be sure, we have had more than our share of sexual scandals. (Note that I write "we" and "our" as a charismatic myself. I will gladly point the finger within my own circles.. At the same time, there have been similar scandals in the Southern Baptist Convention, in non-charismatic, reformed circles, and, of course, in Catholic circles and beyond. In light of this, we should examine ourselves carefully, in the fear of the Lord. Are we living righteously before God? Are you? Am I? Are we conducting ourselves in purity?" -- Dr. Michael Brown
In 2006 Ted Haggard fell from grace and that is putting it mildly. He was the head of the National Association of Evangelicals and used his pulpit in Colorado to rail against homosexuality to his 15,000 + congregation each week. Then he was busted in a decades long homosexual affair with a male prostitute who he was also doing crystal meth with. That Sunday my pastor started his sermon by saying we ought not to be throwing stones and passing judgment. He was wrong then and Michael Brown is wrong here. The bible makes it clear that we are to judge those within the walls of our church. It is those on the outside we are not supposed to judge as the church usually operates backwards in these regards. Here we see the microcosm of the problem Dr. Brown has that has left him as a gatekeeper for false teachers. He gladly points his finger in the general direction of false teaching but refuses to name the name. So, he wrote an entire book on the error of hyper grace but considers Joseph Prince to be a dear brother who just has some holes in his theology (actual quote). Now, I do not like the usage of "throwing the first stone", which Brown uses here to muddy the waters. You can not condemn someone and still suggest that they are disqualified from ministry.
"Second, when we fail to address sin in private, it will explode publicly. This is doubly tragic, since it not only brings reproach to the name of the Lord, but it also drives away people who, before, were open to hear the gospel. They are anything but open now, wondering which leader is a sexual predator and who is covering something up. Again, I have no comment on the most recent accusations against Todd, since I do not know what is false and what is true. But I do know this (and it applies especially to those of us in leadership): God gives us many opportunities to repent in private before allowing us to be exposed publicly. If we keep sweeping sin under the rug, it will come back to haunt us and to bite us. That's why it's always best to repent quickly, completely and without excuse, casting ourselves on the mercy of God. He is more than able to forgive and even restore." -- Dr. Michael Brown
Are you serious? The word "restore" does not have to mean ministry! God can restore our walk with Him and that should be our focus. Not getting the cash cow back on the market as soon as possible. Haggard tried pretending he was restored after two months. It is insulting and remember the theme here beloved -- God will not be mocked! One can almost see the internal struggle Brown is going through. He knows Todd Bentley is wrong here. At a bare minimum, Brown knows the admission from Bentley about the sexual texts about his own wife shared with his interns! Brown correctly states and is keenly aware of what is at stake here. There is real palpable damage to the cause of Jesus Christ. Yet Brown hides again behind a thin veil of feigned ignorance. When I challenged him years ago about why he was going to appear on Benny Hinn's show for a week, Brown claimed he had never seen the accusations made against Hinn. When challenged about his defense of the NAR he pretended the NAR did not exist! This attempt to stake out the moral high ground while refusing to actually denounce anyone? That is just what Michael Brown does.
"Third, it is absolutely inexcusable and totally unbiblical for church leaders to put the reputation of an abusive leader before the real needs of the victims of that abuser, along with the needs of those who will be abused should that leader stay in position. This is one of the biggest reasons for outrage in the current situation as well as in similar situations that have been well-documented in recent years. It is not simply that a leader sinned, but that other leaders rallied together to protect the reputation of a fallen leader while completely neglecting the lives of those damaged by that leader. Not only so, but by failing to properly discipline a sinning leader, the door was left open for the pattern of abuse to continue. God's people are usually quick to forgive those who fall and show true contrition and repentance. But they have a much harder time forgiving leaders who played political games at the cost of the spiritual well-being of others." -- Dr. Michael Brown
Dr. Brown -- this is what you do! All the time! In this one article you have already said multiple times you will not say anything about the accusations. This situation is impeccably documented. We have videos from Lakeland. We have the divorce and remarriage. We have Bill Johnson and Rick Joyner's involvement. Let me ask you -- do you agree with Joyner that The Proverbs verses about the righteous falling apply to Todd Bentley? Do you agree that the NAR looked like horses asses when they commissioned him a prophet? Do you think it is appropriate behavior of anyone, let alone a minister of the Gospel, to send sexual pictures of his wife to his interns? C'mon Dr. Brown, who is kidding who?