Particularly Bent – A Week Away from the Blog

kinnon —  August 18, 2008 — 7 Comments

I’ve taken a week off from blogging. It wasn’t really planned. Some of it was work related.

But most of it was my struggle to deal with the Lakeland / Bent Leader nonsense that has been well laid out by Dan Edelen, (here and here and updated here), Grace (here and hereand another hereupdate), Brother Maynard (here and here), Jared Wilson, Michael Spencer, Lyn Hallewell, Barb @ A Former Leader, and a particularly great post from Ed Stetzer (who is beginning to rival Darryl Dash for my “most gracious blogger” line). The iMonk also points to this very good post from Nate Spencer. (Must be one of Michael’s long lost kin. At least, that’s what Nate’s writing would suggest.)

Here’s what I described Lakeland as in a post called Manifestations of Consumer Church back in June:

the circus has come to Lakeland, Florida. This circus features the Tattooed Man, an Angel named Emma, another angel who apparently used to do the circuit with William Branham, a re-enactment of that famous old spiritual “Drop kick me Jesus through the Goal Post of Life” and more. (Now, why does it remind me of this story?) Like most circuses, the best seats come at an increased price – and if you want more, you’ll just have to pay more. Must be God’s new economy?!.

Folks, forgive me, but this too is just consumer church. Granted of a decidedly more bizarre and, perhaps, more sinister nature. It’s all about me and my needs/wants/desires – about what I can get from Santa God.

And it is both indicative and an indictment of the church in the west. [emphasis added]

SomethingWickedThisWayComes-small.jpg I wish I had gone with my original instinct and first draft of that post and more clearly identified that circus as frighteningly similar to the one in Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes, although, perhaps the title of the Tiny Toons Adventures spoof, Something Stupid This Way Comes, would have been more appropriate. (Note that the Stetzer post linked above is titled, Evangelical Gullibility.)

Let me further add, there are a number of respectable charismatic leaders and bloggers who came out with positive responses to Lakeland. They are strangely silent now.

I’ll have more to say about all of this in a later post.

UPDATE: My buddy, Mike Todd, points to the Vancouver Sun’s Doug Todd (no relation) and his Bent Leader coverage.

UPDATE 2: Here’s another well-reasoned post from the Sheeple Blog. (Wish I could remember who pointed to this.)

UPDATE 3: Read one of my favourite bloggers, David Wayne, in Ten Things I Think I Think about The Spirit World and Spiritual Warfare. It’s the first of a series.

UPDATE 4: Note the updates to Grace and Dan Edelen’s blogs noted in the first paragraph.

kinnon

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A television editor, writer & director since 1978. A Christian since 1982. More than a little frustrated with the Church in the West since late in the last millennium.

7 responses to Particularly Bent – A Week Away from the Blog

  1. Once again, I wonder if the gift of discernment has completely left the building? Why are we so gullible at times?

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  2. Pastor M,
    I wrote this on Grace’s blog responding to the “Apostles” who were bringing the Bent Leader into “apostolic alignment”,

    It’s time for us to say to these control-freak, discernmentless pseudo-apostles, ENOUGH! Sit down and shut up!

    Pierce, Wagner et al don’t even have the natural discerning abilities of gnats. They need to be called to account – and then ignored. Completely.

    I was close to one of the Bent Leader’s commissioning service “anointers” from the early ’90’s ’til 2005. A man with many gifts, he had zero discernment. And the “prophetic ministry” of his church has been revealed as utter nonsense with the 25 – 50 year sentence of his former youth leader for molesting young boys. Surely the Spirit would have revealed this issue in the midst of all the “words” of healing, prosperity, growth, etc.

    Reply
  3. The bigger they come, the harder they fall … and he is, apparently, going to be the fall guy. Very, very sad.

    Too bad these folks didn’t invest as much energy in honesty as they have in technology.

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  4. I guess I just don’t get this whole thing. But then again I stopped being with the downfall of Falwell and the Farting Preacher.

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  5. Bill…. as I have said elsewhere…
    “Yes… now we need to pray for Todd, where previously we (some) were beating a path to watch him perform. I feel so sorry for him, and hope AND pray that he withdraws to some semblance of normality in order to be reconciled with his wife and family. I also think further attention needs to be given to the masters of bling who put on these shows and bill them as ‘revival’. They, and those that jump on their bandwagon need to seriously check their gullibility rating. Meanwhile hundreds are left wondering what happened, and are given the sop that now we need to pray for Todd. The words ‘horse’ and ‘stable door’ spring to mind, and the words of Bob Dylan – “…only a pawn in their game”.

    Reply
  6. Don’t want to put you off the blog for another week again Bill.
    Look at the date on the filing.
    According to Fresh Fire Canada, this board is legit (sans Todd for now) as of yesterday.

    Greter pre-empted the Lakeland Ledger story yesterday quoting Steven Strader by saying Bentley was in California and would take in a few meetings.

    FRESH FIRE MINISTRIES USA, INC.
    Filing Information
    Document Number N08000005172
    FEI Number NONE
    Date Filed 05/29/2008
    State FL
    Status ACTIVE
    Effective Date 05/23/2008

    Principal Address
    5859 HWY 98 NORTH
    LAKELAND FL US
    Mailing Address
    PO BOX 1588
    SUMAS WA 98295–158 US
    Registered Agent Name & Address
    HORTON, EVON DR.
    3086 KILLARNEY DRIVE PACE
    PACE FL 32571 US
    Officer/Director Detail
    Name & Address
    Title P
    BENTLEY, TODD
    3837 KALEIGH CT
    ABBOTSFORD BC V3G 3-E3 CN
    Title VP
    GRETER, KENNETH
    8509 BRADSHAW PLACE
    CHILLIWACK BC V4Z 0-A7 CN
    Title S/T
    ANDRES, VALERIE
    3539 BASSANO TERRACE
    ABBOTSFORD BC V3G 2-Z7 CN
    Title D
    RAIL, BARBARA
    1949 HIGHWAY 1
    FAIRFIELD IA 52556 US
    Title D
    BINNIE, ARCHIE
    49 BOULDER BLVD.,
    STONY PLAIN AB T7Z 1-V6 AL
    Title D
    BULLETT, MICHAEL
    2912 MCBRIDE ST, ABBOTSFORD, BC,
    ABBOTSFORD BC V3G 1-G9 CN

    Reply
  7. Thanks for bringing all these links together, Bill.

    So sad, but I think the writing has always been on the wall. It’s just awful that it had to come to this.

    Fall guy indeed.

    Reply

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