The Kingdom Approach
Every believer in the kingdom of God should reach a clear conclusion about this tragic situation because it is much larger in scope than Todd Bentley. Yes, you should be angry, and you should share God’s opinion.
We know that Todd is a predatory wolf in sheep’s clothing, using the smell, feel, and appearance of his kingdom citizenship to get close to vulnerable people. This is the correct metaphoric application of wolves, sheep’s clothing, and sheep in the context of Jesus and Paul concerning leaders with oversight over God’s people.
We know that Todd’s behavior is a pattern of behavior that continued for fifteen years, during which time he was in ministry and leading ministries. We know that the people victimized by his leadership were close to him, vulnerable to him because of his anointing, and trusting because he used his role and position to take advantage of them.
We know Todd’s behavior was sexual in nature, but more than that, it was impulsive, out of control, perverted, and destructive. We know Todd didn’t “fall into temptation” but sinned with explicit knowledge of what he was doing (the act of sinning, not the damage done to his victims), and we know that Todd scarred, mutilated, deceived, and stole the innocence of many people – as many as sixty!
We know that Todd admits to these behaviors while expecting the kingdom citizens to ignore them because he confessed them. Every sin he has confessed has been pardoned, forgotten by God, and cannot be held against him.
The idea that Todd repented is obviously not a Biblical idea: repentance means you stop the behavior, producing the fruit of repentance, living a new lifestyle without the previous behavior. We have no Biblical reason to ignore Todd’s lifestyle, attitude, and syndrome of sexual perversion, manipulation, abuse, and deceit since we have a fifteen-year pattern of behavior in which he repeatedly claims confession and forgiveness.
Todd Bentley is an unhealed, undelivered, practicing sexual predator.
Matthew 18 has nothing at all to do with anything Todd Bentley has done or is doing now with respect to the appropriate action taken by kingdom leaders in kingdom oversight of his leadership.
Matthew 18 has nothing to do with leadership accountability or dealing with wolves. How could it? If a victim goes to Todd individually because Todd sinned against them, and they reconcile, that outcome has nothing to do with the oversight and accountability of a man preaching the Gospel and leading ministries who is practicing sexual predator.
Such a thought is illogical while additionally unrelated to the teaching of Jesus about relational breaches. Nonetheless, some who did attempt this approach ended up with two or three witnessing elders who brought the unresolved issues before the entire Ecclesia.
Some of the people involving themselves in this process are unqualified to do so. Listening to these poorly-formulated justifications for Todd to remain to misrepresent Jesus, feasting on vulnerable people like a wolf, and making a mockery of repentance is a waste of time.
We now have a report of oversight elders for the entire Ecclesia that clearly communicates the actual issues and offers Bible language for the future.
No one wants Todd to drop into hell immediately except some of the victims reacting in unforgiveness to the horrifying things his breaches of trust have done to them.
Leaders are all praying and calling for Todd’s restoration. The power of the Cross guarantees both pardon for all sins and transformational change so that these sins no longer rule his lifestyle. That means Todd would not have the pattern of behavior anymore instead of continuing to practice sexual perversion repeatedly for fifteen years.
Todd should be so restored that a place for his ministry becomes available again. With the horrifying nature of his betrayal of trust, this should not be a brief process so that a period in which Todd exhibits sustained transformation provides the entire Ecclesia assurance that he is no longer a wolf.
Todd has never once positioned himself for proper restoration, maintaining a flippant attitude about his sin and the victims of his sin. Todd has repeatedly refused the process even when some of the best of the kingdom’s leaders were available to help him. So, the process should be as long as necessary for the entire Ecclesia to feel good about it, not a period of time for Todd or his friends to feel good about it.
Todd Bentley should do no ministry at all during this extended period, and gradually return to a role in ministry unlike the one he has had in the past. He should never lead a ministry again. Leading a ministry is not a mandate of his calling. Being Todd Bentley, fully-restored in his redemptive identity, is what Todd should enjoy. No one should trust Todd Bentley with leadership or ministry right now.
The Validity of the Oversight
The moment Todd asked to be released from accountability at the level of leadership he ministers, Todd should have been publicly rebuked from doing that ministry.
He has not had the appropriate accountability and oversight for some time. He has been able to avoid accountability, on purpose, and failed the tests of accountability since the terrible wickedness of the Lakeland Revival.
Dr. Michael Brown has conducted himself and the appropriate oversight of Todd’s behavior with honor and integrity. No one could have done better. The oversight leaders are of the highest and best in passion for Jesus, expertise and experience, and of stellar character and wisdom.
We should all be encouraged that our generation of apostolic leaders functioned this well!
It took too long, yes, and we should rejoice at lessons learned and the tendency to err on the side of caution with regards to making accusations. We should learn lessons from this incident that carry us through the 2020s. We should say, “Never again.”
We should not be quick to make accusations in public because it became necessary to do so with Todd Bentley. The matter of Todd Bentley is not a private matter and has not been a private matter. The illogical thinking that “Matthew 18 applies to Todd Bentley” should be seen in this light: it is not possible to deal with an international incident on a personal basis.
The oversight and accountability gathered facts without the help or cooperation of Todd Bentley. For whatever reason Todd has for avoiding this cooperation, avoidance behavior of grave import to the outcome, the oversight leaders worked with facts, not hearsay.
I will say that the evidence is not hard to find or the witnesses as silent as many have perceived or miscommunicated, and I would not have written or voiced a kingdom position without factual evidence.
They did the work. They reached the right conclusion. They offered the correct restoration. They provided the proper strategy for ministry for Todd in the future.
During this time, Todd announced, of all things, a kingdom training school, even using the words “hands-on” to speak of how he will raise up leaders. Todd mocks this appropriate process with his actions.
The very last thing in the world Todd Bentley should be doing is leading young, vulnerable leaders, training emerging inheritors, or offering himself as an example of success in kingdom leadership.
The oversight accountability is finished. The leaders provided the kingdom with a judicial decision that we can use to judge for ourselves how to respond to Todd Bentley. No further kingdom leadership is needed. It is now up to the kingdom citizens to respond accordingly. Yes, I mean to support this Biblical, appropriate, loving, wise, and mature leadership response to a wolf.
Todd Bentley has refused this kingdom response, and he should be set outside the kingdom, treated as a pagan with whom we start all over again, winning him to Jesus, discipling him to maturity, and applying the kingdom culture principles, processes, and protocols that define the King’s righteousness.
Every kingdom citizen should be angry that Todd Bentley, a wolfish predator with a trail of wreckage, the destroyer of innocence, and a sexual deviant should expect to represent Jesus, train our young people, preach the Gospel, do ministry, and mock kingdom culture and the Word of God. Each of us to purpose to oppose his ministry in its present condition, renounce any visit to the regions in which we live, and pray that God will press him with the goads of the spirit as Holy Spirit did Saul of Tarsus.
All these are appropriate Biblica responses that mirror the heart of God. God is passionate agape, and these are His responses. Love says, “Todd, get it right this time.” Mercy says, “Todd, you have escaped only by pardon, and you will only escape in the future by lifestyle changes.”
You can read a lot of discussions that apply hyper-grace to Todd Bentley, and you will discover in Todd Bentley the fruit of this evil doctrine.
Todd Bentley is not in the image of Christ. That is the redemptive result of repentance. Todd is not the righteousness of Christ. Righteousness is a behavior based upon a heart condition of grace empowerment that Todd fails to exhibit. Todd is not unloved because he is condemned – by his own sin and living by the flesh instead of the spirit. Todd is not a victim but a predator. We have no mandate to sacrifice the integrity of the kingdom and its culture to accommodate the sin of a citizen.
Finally, a word and conclusion for those who find some justification for Todd, his ministry, and opposition to or mockery of this Biblical kingdom judgment of his behavior:
The new covenant portion of the Bible makes it extremely clear that what just happened is the way the kingdom culture should function. The round the barn approach that leads you to rewrite the Bible to accommodate a wolf makes you one of the victims of his predatory nature.
We should consider ourselves in this matter. Todd reveals a strategy of hell to subvert anointed leaders with personal failures. We should not gloat or rejoice for a moment, but examine our own lives and behaviors.
However, the idea that Todd was overtaken in a fault or fell into sin or make a mistake or messed up is irrational. It is a mockery to see the sixty or more victims of gross sexual perversion, even those willingly participating, as people who suffered from an inappropriate burp or careless word spoken. We are speaking of the bedrock issues of kingdom culture trampled in the mud, drug through the streets, and Todd crucifying Christ afresh and putting Him to open shame.
We are talking about the singular most important assignment of kingdom elders: protect people from predators. Todd is a wolf. Run!