Todd Bentley/Alpha links to St Andrews, Chorleywood

Vaccinate now [via DVD] against the TB [Toronto Blessing/Todd Bentley] and ALPHA outbreaks planned for St Andrews Church, Chorleywood in the Autumn of 2008.

The church website of St Andrews Church, Chorleywood, Hertfordshire in England is currently a living testimony to just how far “seducing spirits and doctrines of demons” [1st Timothy 4:1] have infiltrated and infected professing Christendom.

Their forthcoming events include the following –

  • Conferences
  • Firestorm UK – FULLY BOOKED!
  • Speaker(s): Mark Stibbe[pastor of St Andrews] and Ken Gott
  • Date: 25th June 2008

The promotional write-up for this event included the following –

  • ‘FIRESTORM!
  • The Lakeland Outpouring

On April 2nd, a move of God began in Ignited Church in Lakeland Florida. Todd Bentley, a powerfully anointed evangelist, began holding nightly meetings which were initially attended by about 700 people but soon grew to 9000 and even more.

Since the move began, one of the most noteworthy features has been the number and the quality of the healing miracles…Right from the beginning there have been prophetic words about the importance of this move of God for the UK. It has been said for example that there is a FIRESTORM of the Holy Spirit coming especially to England. In this day conference, Ken Gott and Mark Stibbe – both of whom have visited the Lakeland outpouring – will be reflecting on the significance of what has been happening and praying for everyone to receive the fire of the Holy Spirit.

This will be a day of anointed worship, testimony, teaching, healing ministry and empowering. It is not to be missed!

A similar-type conference is also scheduled for 17th July 2008.

  • Courses
  • The Alpha Course
  • Date: Tuesdays – Starting 22nd April for ten weeks
  • Courses
  • International Leader’s School of Ministry
  • Speaker(s): John and Carol Arnott and Jeremy and Connie Sinnot
  • Date: 10th November to 14th November 2008

The promotional write-up for this event included the following –

Do you feel like you need to be refreshed, renewed, restored, revived? Or do you simply want some time and space to pursue your relationship with the Lord?

We have great news for you! Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship have packaged their training school and have been taking it to various parts of the world for the last few years now… We are honoured to be hosting an ILSOM in November this year at St Andrews Church, Chorleywood, Hertfordshire, and urge you to sign up early so you do not miss out…

It is a great privalege to be welcoming John and Carol Arnott from Canada

On other articles on our website concerning Todd Bentley and the so-called ‘outpouring’ being claimed for Lakeland I have identified the close connection between it and the so-called ‘Toronto Blessing’ of the 1990s and I have pointed out how many of the promoters of that heresy have ‘emerged in recent months from the woodwork’ to try and rekindle interest in their waned ministries.

Amongst those that I identified were John & Carol Arnott who head up the Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship from whence the so-called ‘Blessing’ emerged. I also identified Ken Gott who brought the so-called ‘Toronto Blessing’ back to Sunderland.

As you will have read from the adverts/promotional materials quoted above all 3 of these misguided ‘leaders’ will be ‘ministering’ shortly at St Andrews Church, Chorleywood.

The DVD of a talk I gave called “TORONTO – ANTICS and HERETICS” is still available [and relevant] and can be purchased from us – PRICE £6.00 [includes p&p]

Also mentioned above was the ALPHA course being run by St Andrews and of course according to Nicky Gumbel [promoter of ALPHA] the so-called ‘Toronto Blessing’ was providentially circling the globe just as ALPHA courses ‘took off’ and he felt they complimented each other and in that he is right for they certainly do misrepresent grossly the ministry of the Holy Spirit.

The DVD of a talk I gave called “ALPHA – ATTEND or AVOID?” is also still available and can be purchased from us – PRICE £6.00 [includes p&p]

If you wish to purchase both DVDs there will be a special combined PRICE of £10.00 [this will include p&p]. The DVD(s) can be ordered either by post with cheques payable to ‘TAKE HEED’ PUBLICATIONS and sent to PO BOX 13, BALLYNAHINCH, CO DOWN, BT24 8AL OR by credit card using the DONATE facility located on the Homepage of www.takeheed.net – please be sure to specify which DVD(s) you require.

Cecil Andrews – ‘Take Heed’ Ministries – 4th July 2008

APPENDIX – 1ST SEPTEMBER 2008

During a ministry visit to Canada during the first 3 weeks of August 2008 I had to regularly update my talk on ‘Todd Bentley and Lakeland’ that was being given in several Canadian locations [including one just a few miles from Todd Bentley’s Fresh Fire Ministries home base in Abbottsford BC] as a series of dramatic events unfolded during that time. Without at this stage going into all the details I want to begin by including here a ‘Stop Press’ enclosure that will be included with the September 2008 ‘News From The Front’ ministry newsletter that will be issued in the next few days [DV].

‘STOP PRESS’ – enclosure with September 2008 News From The Front

Since leaving this newsletter with my printer there have been a series of dramatic developments and revelations concerning Todd Bentley and events at Lakeland. Some of these developments and revelations include –

1. The Board of Bentley’s ministry announced 12th August that because of ‘significant friction’ he and his wife Shonnah had split but that no immorality by either party was involved.

2. The Board of his ministry announced 15th August that they were now aware that Todd had ‘entered into an unhealthy emotional-level relationship’ with a female member of staff.

3. A USA TV report showed a young boy with spina bifida walking without leg braces in front of Bentley but then later stumbling and falling outside the church.

4. John Arnott, pastor of the ‘Toronto Blessing’ church who appeared on stage with Bentley has written publicly of reports of heavy drinking by Bentley in Florida

5. Bentley admitted that a supposed ‘word from the Lord’ he delivered at a meeting in June that 1000 people were each to donate $1000 was simply a money-raising ruse on his part.

“A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit” [Matthew 7:18]

These dramatic events have led to a response being posted on the St Andrews, Chorleywood, website by the minister, Mark Stibbe and this is how major portions of it read – I have highlighted some sections in red and have added a response in blue –

  • RESPONDING TO THE NEWS ABOUT TODD BENTLEY

By now you will have heard the very sad news that Todd and Shonnah Bentley are in the process of divorce proceedings in Canada. At the moment the news uses the word ‘separation’, but I am told that under Canadian law this means effectively ‘divorce’. I think it is very important at this time that those watching – especially Christian people – keep a proper perspective on this tragic situation. How then should we respond?

It is vital to begin by reminding ourselves that Todd’s marital difficulties do not undermine the fact that God has poured out his Spirit in Lakeland, nor does it take away from the salvations and countless healing miracles that have happened there and in many other places since April of this year. This is sheer nonsense – only time will tell if anyone was genuinely saved in spite of and in the midst of the ungodly scenes witnessed in Lakeland. As for the ‘countless healing miracles’ – there is no evidence of them – they stand as discredited as the unsubstantiated claims of numerous ‘resurrections from the dead’. On this link http://www.christian-faith.com/forjesus/are-wagners-apostles-leaving-fallout-from-todd-bentley-lies-continues there is a report part of which reads as follows

‘The following was written by the leader of a “pro-Lakeland” church – and forwarded to me this week. (I have removed the identity of both the leader and the church). This really is an amazing admission for such a “pro-Lakeland” leader to make… Many claims have been made that simply are not true. The Charisma crew has researched it. I want to weep. My heart is breaking. For now, to be safe and for the sake of integrity, we need to stop speaking about the claimed resurrections. Three of them have been checked out with the doctors and EMTs involved and found never to have happened at all. Todd has been confronted with this and has not adjusted the numbers in his claims. Not a single one of the other claimed resurrections can be substantiated despite diligent effort to do so. Even after Stephen Strader brought it down to 13 (and even those couldn’t be substantiated) Todd ran it back up to 27 and more’.

God uses imperfect vessels. Simon Peter made this point in Acts chapter 3 when he told the crowds that the man healed at the Gate Beautiful in Jerusalem had not been healed as a result of his piety but rather God’s power. And Peter knew what he was talking about, because right from the start of his encounter with Jesus Peter realised he himself was a very imperfect person! Peter was certainly aware of his sinful shortcomings but he gave clear evidence by what he said and by what he did that he was a regenerate son of the true and living God and the man healed at the gate beautiful was truly, immediately and completely healed for all to see unlike the sham ‘healings’ claimed during events at Lakeland.

It is supremely important that we hold on to this biblical truth at this time. Divorce is horrible and God does indeed hate it. But it is not the unforgivable sin. Nor is it an indication that the people involved belong to the devil! As I understand it, there has been no adultery involved, nor has there been any question of a relationship with another woman influencing the separation. In a statement by the Board of Todd Bentley’s Fresh Fire Ministries issued 15th August 2008 they stated the following

‘Since our last statement [issued 12th August 2008] from the Fresh Fire Board of Directors, we have discovered new information revealing that Todd Bentley has entered into an unhealthy relationship on an emotional level with a female member of his staff. In light of this new information and in consultation with his leaders and advisors, Todd Bentley has agreed to step down from his position on the Board of Directors and to refrain from all public ministry for a season to receive counsel in his personal life’.

Todd has been weak both before and since the news broke, and he no doubt has some major questions to ask himself about his lifestyle, but all that is his business and the business of those to whom he is directly accountable. It is not for us to throw stones from a distance. Oh really! So we’re just to overlook something like the following attempted fraud/con/scam – call it what you like – here is part of a report located on –

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/2052694/posts

‘In early June, I think on the 6th Todd gave an offering message that was manipulation and borderline witchcraft. He said the Lord told Him that there were 1000 people who were going to give $1000 and if they were obedient, the Lord said they would receive 1000 fold return. I am in almost daily conversation with Stephen Strader, and challenged him that it was not from God. He agreed and talked to Todd. Todd admitted that he worded it wrong, but that it was an idea he had to raise money for the 30,000 seat revival center they want to build’.

Compassionate and godly Christian people recognize that God has always been in the business of using cracked pots rather than faultless vases! The Bible is full of stories of ordinary and weak leaders used in powerful and extraordinary ways – even, nation changing ways. While this in no way condones sin or moral failure, it does serve to cast matters in a proper light. All too often in recent months I have read and heard harsh, judgmental comments about Todd Bentley from critics who speak as if they somehow occupy a moral high ground, with perfect theology and sinless lives. Todd has never hidden his weaknesses, both past and present. He has given hope to literally thousands of believers all over the world who don’t feel perfect but who want to be used by their Heavenly Father. That in my opinion is why the Father raised him up for such a time as this. The right and Biblical response in this situation is not to sit in judgment over Todd and Shonnah but to pray fervently for them and their three children, for a miracle of restoration and for God to be glorified in that miracle. Compassion not condemnation is called for. This is an attempted smokescreen by Mark Stibbe – faithful Christians certainly feel for and have compassion for in particular Shonnah Bentley and the 3 children – these ‘innocents’ are not being ‘judged’ but the false prophecies, false claims for healings, the false claims of resurrections and the attempted money-raising scam by invoking a supposed ‘word from the Lord’ coupled with details of excessive drinking in Lakeland by Todd Bentley certainly are biblically legitimate ‘targets for judgement’ in the light of 1st John 4:1 “ Beloved, believe not every spirit but test the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world”. In relation to the ‘excessive drinking’ this is even reported by John Arnott who wrote on

http://www.tacf.org/tacforghome/Visitors/LakelandToddBentleyUpdate/tabid/761/Default.aspx

‘Todd has chosen to do something that is wrong according to Scripture, and his timing to announce it was equally inappropriate. Everyone is asking, “What happened?” “Why didn’t anyone see this coming?” We are making the answers to those questions a matter of prayer, and are as shocked and saddened by what has just happened as you are. Furthermore, it has now come out that there has been some inappropriate behavior, both with excessive drinking and also with a female member of his staff.’

…The other day I met a man out walking. He and his wife have just entered into a saving faith in Jesus during the fullest and most fruitful Alpha Course we have ever had here at St Andrews – only time will tell. He told me he had been to a funeral the previous day for a woman who had found God in the last three weeks of her life. The man made it clear to me that the woman had come to a saving faith as a result of feeling drawn to our Sunday evening FIRE meetings – meetings we had decided to put on in response to the Lakeland outpouring. It was made public knowledge, in a funeral full of non-Christians that this dear sister had been converted during one of our FIRE meetings and was now in heaven as a result of it. She has an eternal friendship with Jesus, and this is at least in part because of what has been going on at Lakeland! I would say this: if it was just for that one woman it was worth endorsing the Lakeland outpouring and putting on these meetings. If someone proves to have been truly converted then that of course is a genuine reason for rejoicing but that does not validate the endorsement of something that was patently not of God and which was not discerned to be such by Mark Stibbe who has responsibility for the spiritual well-being of those he has charge of. The idea of ‘endorsing’ evil that good may come of it should not be practiced by a faithful Christian as we learn from Romans 3:8.

… So where does this leave us? First of all, it leaves us wanting more of the fire of the Father’s love [How can you want ‘more of’ something that is only a figment of ‘vain imaginations’ (Romans 1:21) – there was NO ‘fire of the Father’s love’ because of the ‘ministry’ of Todd Bentley at Lakeland], pursuing more of the saving, healing, delivering power of Jesus in our churches – more of the king and more of the Kingdom. Just because Todd’s marriage is in trouble, that doesn’t mean we give up our desperate pursuit for revival fire to fall where we live and work! We have always been about pursuing God not Todd! The place for Christians to ‘find’ God is in His Word, the Scriptures, for they ‘testify of Him’ [John 5:39].

Secondly, it leaves us crying out to God for Todd and Shonnah. As Christians we need to stand as one to pray for them to be visited by the love of all loves – a love that can make even the most broken marriage whole. Speaking for myself, I will not join the revival police and condemn them. Rather, I will stand with them, praying that what the enemy has intended for harm, the Lord will turn to good, and for his glory.

Thirdly, I think the Pentecostal and Charismatic movements need to work very hard from now on in the area of prevention. All too often we have seen spectacular falls from grace in our constituencies. All this for me highlights the desperate need for those on platforms (and those not) to get their hearts healed up. One of those involved in the fiasco of the ‘apostolic commissioning service’ for Todd Bentley was John Arnott. This is what John Arnott said on that occasion

“We bless you today, Todd Bentley. You’re a friend. You’re a man of God. You’re a man of prayer. You’re a man of the spirit. You love the anointing. And I would say that it’s not just the Lakeland revival, but the whole world that goes into revival. And you’re leading an amazing charge. And, multitudes are getting in behind you and saying, “Come on. I’m gonna go with you.” And so we bless all of that. Thank you, Holy Spirit, for raising up this young man, to lead such a mighty charge around the world, and to partner with God TV in all that has happened here in the last, uh, several months now, three months almost. We bless it in the name of Jesus, and we stand with you, and we encourage you, and we honor you.”

Anyone guilty of making such a wildly inaccurate statement about Todd Bentley and having the blasphemous audacity to ‘thank’ the Holy spirit for raising him up ‘to lead such a mighty charge around the world, and to partner with God TV in all that has happened here’ needs to take a long, long break from public ministry so that ‘his heart may be healed up’ BUT Mark Stibbe is having John Arnott and his wife and others to his church in November for a course titled ‘International Leader’s School of Ministry’ and part of the promotion reads –

“It is a great privilege to be welcoming John and Carol Arnott from Canada, along with Jeremy and Connie Sinnot, as the speakers. It is a time of refreshing, resting with Father God and impartation, that is not to be missed!”

In the light of John Arnott’s role in the deception that was ‘Lakeland’ I would certainly encourage people to give this ‘a miss’ and not put the course cost of £175.00 into the coffers of St Andrews, Chorleywood.

…So a challenge lies before each and everyone of us right now in terms of responding to the news about Todd Bentley. We need to guard our hearts and at the same time learn every lesson the Holy Spirit wants us to, so that the name of Jesus may be protected and honoured in the nations.

In the Father’s love,

Dr Mark Stibbe

Also included in the St Andrews newssheet of 31st August 2008 was a recommendation by Mark Stibbe to view a response to the latest happenings in Lakeland written by John Arnott .

Jacob Prasch of Moriel Ministries, has penned another response to the ministry of Mark Stibbe. Jacob is perhaps somewhat more ‘flamboyant’ in his use of language when addressing this issue and of course he holds views on a number of issues that would differ from my own understanding of Scripture but his article can be viewed on this link and should help to shed more light on ‘the world’ of Mark Stibbe.

http://www.moriel.org/articles/discernment/church_issues/delusional_world_of_mark_stibbe.htm

Another article that contains useful information and assessment of Todd Bentley and Lakeland is by Mike Oppenheimer of ‘Let Us Reason Ministries’ and that particular article can be viewed on

http://www.letusreason.org/Latrain54.htm

It is to be hoped that the Lakeland ‘Revival’ will now ‘fade into oblivion’ as did its predecessors in Toronto and Pensacola but sadly, rather like the latest hurricane [Gustav] that is about to hit the gulf coast of America, it may not be too long before another ‘Revival Storm’ brews up somewhere in the world and proceeds to leave a swathe of spiritual destruction and heartache in its wake.

Cecil Andrews – ‘Take Heed’ Ministries – 1st September 2008

 

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