Alternate Title for this post: The Dissembling of the apostles
Barb, at her blog A Former Leader’s Journey, points to the latest missive from self-declared 72% accurate C. Peter Wagner. Barb quotes from it but doesn’t provide a direct link – you can read the whole thing here, if you have the stomach. The missive is as fine a piece of prevarication and dissembling as you will ever read – written with equal parts arrogance and disdain.
It is said that the victors are the ones who get to write history. C Peter desperately wants to be seen as a victor in this situation as he writes,
I hope this is the last time I will have to address the past. It is now history. But as history is written, I feel that I have some responsibility of helping to have history be written accurately, especially since I have turned out to be a lightening rod for a number of severe criticisms.
Please note. We are not talking about ancient history here. We are discussing something that occurred but two short summer months ago.
It is here, in the re-writing of history section of C Pete’s missive that he tells us of this accuracy stats,
Closer to the Lakeland I situation, I have a private list of no fewer than 18 high-profile Christian leaders starting from the 1970s until Bentley for whom I took risks. For each one of them I took serious criticisms and in some cases personal hits even much more serious than I have received in this current case because I endorsed or partnered with or provided alignment for them. Some were typified as “crazy!” However, I can pretty much discern winners, although not always. My track record for the 18 is 72% emerged as real winners (you would know most of them), 17% ended up losers (including Bentley), and 11% indecisive. I’m sorry for the losers, but they prove I am not perfect.
I’m crushed. Petey’s not perfect but at least he’s “sorry for the losers“. Allow me to repete repeat the gist of my snarky comment at Barb’s blog where I suggest, with this kind of predictive accuracy the pompous twit might be better off in Vegas. Please note how Bentley, now thrown under the bus by Dr. C Pete, is a loser. Barb comments,
This paragraph made my heart hurt and my eyes tear up. Todd is not a loser. The story is not written yet. But even if it ended here the cross ensures that he is no loser. You all have said over and over that the Apostolic gifting that you hold allows you to “Father” the church. Fathers don’t call their kids losers no matter what they go through. Fathers are patient and believe the best. They don’t gloss over sin but neither do they declare their sons losers.
Now. Let’s return to Wagner’s truthiness. He claims,
I want it understood that I did not go to Lakeland on June 23 for Todd Bentley. I had never met him personally. I had no knowledge of and little interest in his ministry. I went because I received an apostolic plea to help bring order to the confusion and chaos that was sweeping through the body of Christ worldwide because of the television. I went strictly for the body of Christ at the invitation of the host pastor of the Outpouring I.
The final question is: Was it successful? Looking back, I praise God for using me and others to help bring order to confusion, which is one of the chief biblical tasks of an apostle.
But wait. The night of the apostolic oversight alignment commissioning service during Outpouring 1 (as C Pete now calls it,) a little more than 60 days ago, Dr. C. Peter Wagner, Presiding Apostle of the International Coalition of Apostles, President of Global Harvest Ministries, Chancellor of Wagner Leadership Institute and all round swell guy according to his wife and fellow apostles, says this
This commissioning represents a powerful spiritual transaction taking place in the invisible world. With this in mind, I take the apostolic authority that God has given me and I decree to Todd Bentley:
· Your power will increase.
· Your authority will increase.
· Your favor will increase.
· Your influence will increase.
· Your revelation will increase.
In the letter C. Pete sent out to his apostolic network, two nights after the commissioning service, he said this,
I am writing this from Lakeland. The night before last Doris and I attended the meeting in the tent along with 10,000 others, the largest crowd yet since meeting in the tent. It was the 82nd day of the Outpouring. Todd Bentley used his speaking time in giving the most detailed testimony so far of the “dark night of the soul” that he experienced for 18 months 2005-2007. It was a very remarkable and transparent confession of his pride during the ten years previously and details of the wilderness that God took him through to break the pride. He was very clear about his lack of discipline, his emotions out of control, his rejection of God, his dislike of reading scripture, public meltdown on the platform, memories of childhood rejection, loneliness, sexual abuse, his marriage on the brink of divorce, etc. He was so burnt out he cried 4 hours per day for 21 days straight.
When it was over, God restored everything related to his staff, his marriage, his ministry, and his newly-refined personal character. This was a very remarkable and touching presentation. There was no hint of victimization or wanting a pity party. It was a confession of his own sin and the consequences he paid for disobedience. Doris and I were very touched by this, and we were thankful to God for a window on Todd’s character that we didn’t expect to be so wide open to us.
Let me remind you that Doris and I have been very close to other similar outpourings, especially the John Wimber signs & wonders phenomenon of the late 70s and 80s and well as the Argentine Revival of the 80s and 90s. We believe we have paid our dues in terms of the ability to discern truth from error and also in receiving severe and often painful criticism for some of the judgments we made in supporting those two movements. As we observed and participated in the meeting in the tent, we became very nostalgic about Wimber and Argentina, even noting some physical resemblance between Todd and Wimber. His accuracy in words of knowledge reminded us of both John Wimber in the past and Robert Henderson in the present. The worship time was similar to the worship we experience in Freedom Church in Colorado Springs except on a larger and more exuberant scale. We saw or felt nothing that would cross the lines we have previously experienced in high-profile revival. We have learned that God-driven revival is often messy, tending to pull some out of their religious comfort zones, but at the same time opening gates for new seasons of the movement of God.
Sixty some days ago, Todd reminded C Pete of John Wimber – including their girth. Today, C Pete says, “We no longer need to deal with Lakeland I and Bentley as such. However, we have a list of 24 serious issues that have emerged from that unpleasant experience which need to be thoroughly discussed with the conclusions circulated in the body of Christ.”
Dear Dr. Wagner,
Might I most humbly suggest that the number 1, most serious issue, you and your merry band of traveling apostles need to address is your complete lack of discernment – a gift the real apostles had in spades. And, as it will be a cold night in hell before you admit your multitudinous errors, henceforth I want you to address me as Pope William I of Toronto – an only slightly more ridiculous title than your’s of Presiding Apostle, International Coalition of Apostles.
Your anointed* servant,
Pope William I of Toronto
*Please note that non of “Chuck Pierce’s “Be Revived” anointing oil ” was used in my self-anointing as Toronto’s first Pope. That got all used up the night of the Bentley commissioning when Che Ahn personally anointed the “1,000 or so pastors as “carriers of fire” to their churches.” God help them all!
UPDATE: Read the Phoenix Preacher. Apparently Rick Joyner says, “The only thing that I have received from the Lord about this matter directly is that “those who rush to judgment will be exposed.” I’d suggest the “exposed” part would be accurate. It’s just Joyner won’t be happy with who and what is being exposed. Enough of these false prophets, already.
UPDATE 2: Rickard is a budy of mine who works with teens in a broken suburban context in Idaho. He’s a passionate man with a heart as big as today and tomorrow. Please read these two post of his, here and here. Also, please read his comment below and that of his dear wife, Lori.