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Equipping the Saints

  • Ephesians 4 says, "And He gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God."

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August 24, 2008

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John Finochio

I have followed the blogs with a great deal of interest concerning the Lakeland Outpouring. There are many excellent observations that have been made and views that certainly help us to understand what the main leaders who endorsed, commissioned,laid hands upon and prophesied over Bentley were thinking. These are men of God who I believe were sincere in their efforts and desire to help Todd. I reject out of hand the vicious attacks on Todd and those who stood with him on June 23rd that have appeared in some blogs that I have visited in an attempt to be apprised of the comments and statements made by the principal leaders.
All the letters read and explanations made I'm still left with some nagging questions.

Without attempting to answer my own questions I will simply ask them.

Where has sober and good judgment gone to in the Charismatic stream of the church. How could so many high profile leaders participate in the public commissioning of someone who was given to such extreme extra-biblical doctrine? Dutch Sheets admits urging some of these leaders not to proceed and intimates that some proceeded having prior knowledge that some problems existed.

With reference to C.P Wagner's explanation: How does someone need to be 'apostolically aligned' in order to be corrected especially when two high profile leaders claim that they knew Todd very well and vouched for his character publicly prior to June 23rd? Could they not have addressed any concerns or perceived imbalances on the strength of their relationship?

Wagner references Barnabus and Paul receiving the right hand of fellowship. Was this because they needed correcting or in recognition that they were fruitful in preaching the gospel planting churches and of good report in their lifestyle and sound in their doctrine?

Would the apostles in Jerusalem have extended the right hand of fellowship to someone they knew was in need of doctrinal and character reformation?

How do so many who claim to be 'local church' leaders not ask what local church, what pastor and elders Todd and his family were connected to before participating in something as important as 'apostolic commissioning'? If Todd was connected to a local church in Abbotford why was his pastor not invited instead or in addition to the others who participated but didn't even know Todd? Is this all just a little bit strange or is it just me? So is the local church only able to cover someone until they reach international status and then they need to be covered by an International Coalition of Apostles. Where is that in scripture? Was not Paul sent out and commissioned by a local church eldershoip in Antioch as recorded in Acts 13 to whom he reported back toward the end of Acts 14? We have a problem Houston! Next question...

Why can't prophetic ministries make it simple for everyone and just admit that they likely missed it. No one expects them to be infallible and we are instructed to judge prophecy. The best way to evaluate the prophetic is hindsight. If it it doesn't come to pass and the opposite actually occurs why not take the humble route?

When are we going to learn from history? The last minister who had angelic visitations regularly was Wm. Branham? Has anyone taken the time to see see what became of the poor unsuspecting sheep that followed him? He also performed great healings.

Has anyone in the charismatic stream stopped to consider what else people who claimed regular angelic visitations left us as their lasting legacy; Jehovah's Witness and Mormanism.

Risking that I might appear critical I'm simply asking questions that I've not heard anyone address. The problems with Todd's personal life could and does unfortunately happen to many in ministry of all 31 flavours of affiliation. That is what everyone seems fixated on but there are much deeper problems that most seem to be willfully ignoring, unwilling to admit or more frightfully, so willing to swallow any teaching as long as the results seem to be good that it doesn't even raise a red flag!

I had friends who attended the meetings in Florida and I considered attending them myself but when people in my church asked why we were not 'jumping in' I simply told them that in spite of the wonderful testimonies I heard and watched on GodTV there were too many red flags in my mind with regards to Todd's gi-normous appetite for the extra-biblical. I do not count myself as wiser than any of my brothers and fellow leaders and I recognize that with time I may have capitulated and jumped-in in spite of my reservations. I like many others just need some honest answers.

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