Apologetics Index

What WORLD Magazine learned about Todd Bentley’s Lakeland Outpouring healings

WORLD Magazine has published an article in its May 23, 2009 issue in which Warren Cole Smith takes a closer look at some of the problems surrounding fallen ‘evangelist’ Todd Bentley.

“While the Bible shows that God can heal people supernaturally, claims of particular faith-healers should be examined,” the magazine writes before taking a look at the controversial preacher’s healing claims.

At the height of what many called a revival, WORLD asked Bentley to talk about the healings, like Fogle’s, and asked for a list of people who had been healed at the services.

His associates told me Bentley was out of the country and a list could not be produced. But six weeks and more than a dozen requests later, the ministry eventually sent a list of 13 names. Fogle was No. 12 on the list, along with this note: “Healed through the Outpouring and is back to fishing.”

That was on Aug. 8, 2008. There was just one problem. Two weeks earlier, on July 22, Christopher A. Fogle–according to his obituary in the Keokuk (Iowa) Daily Gate City, “left this life . . . after a courageous battle with cancer.”

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A review of the list nearly one year later reveals that Fogle is not the only person “healed” who is now dead.
– Source: Heal or heel? by Warren Cole Smith, WORLD magazine, May 23, 2009

More details follow, and Smith notes that [t]he Outpouring eventually ended in scandal, with Bentley admitting to an inappropriate relationship with an employee and to alcohol abuse.

He also points out that Bentley — who by now has married the woman he had an extramarital affair with — still has hundreds of thousands of supporters.

Does it matter?

So do the stories prove that Todd Bentley is either a healer or a fake? Smith asks.

Michael Brown says it does matter. Brown is the author of Israel’s Divine Healer (Zondervan, 1995), considered one of the definitive examinations of how healing takes place in Scripture.

He personally believes in supernatural healing, but he also says a healthy skepticism about most healing stories is a sign of wisdom and discernment.

Brown said the fact that this list was presumably the best Bentley’s ministry had to offer an appropriately skeptical public is a cause for concern. “If you’re going to make claims of healing on a very public, even international, stage, you’d better have your documentation in place,” Brown said.

“God is sovereign,” Brown said. “He can and does heal. But our experiences should not shape our theology. Instead, our theology should be the lens through which we evaluate our experiences. And our theology should be based on Scripture.”
– Source: Heal or heel? by Warren Cole Smith, WORLD magazine, May 23, 2009

WORLD Magazine

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That said, for a limited time the “Heal or Heel?” article can be read free of charge in its entirety if you approach it via Google News.

Article details

Category: Apologetics Index Blog, Todd Bentley
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First published (or major update) on Friday, May 8, 2009.
Last updated on May 08, 2009.

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