An Apology from Dutch Sheets on behalf of the Charismatic church leaders to the Body of Christ

NOTE:  While we cannot truly endorse the ministry of Dutch
Sheets, this is the first real Apology that has come out of that
camp – and as such it is refreshing and well worth publishing.

A STATEMENT and APPEAL REGARDING LAKELAND
-Dutch Sheets. (Aug 21, 2008).

It has now been a couple of weeks since I heard about Todd
Bentley’s plans for separation and divorce. Like everyone, I have
had a variety of emotions including anger, sadness, and grief.
Every time I see this scenario repeated, I grieve: for the husband
and wife involved; for the family that will be scarred in so many
ways; because of the incredible reproach it brings to Christ; and
the distortion it gives concerning God’s heart and ways. I am
praying for Todd and his family.

I was asked numerous times to write my position on Lakeland
while it was happening, but always felt checked by the Lord—the
waters were too muddy and emotions too high. I now feel strongly
that the Lord wants me to do so. It will be arguably one of the
greatest risks of my ministry to date, but one I feel must be taken.
Fathers, when given the voice to do so, bear the responsibility of
giving correction and wisdom. I hope mine qualifies for the latter. I
assure you I have spent many hours praying and thinking through
the situation. The risks are broad: with some of my dearest friends
and co-laborers, I risk harming those relationships; with many in
the charismatic body of Christ, I risk appearing to be an arrogant,
“self-appointed” spokesperson for them; to the “I told you so” crowd,
I risk the accusation of “spinning” the situation. (As far as the
heresy hunters and revival police—not those who raised legitimate
questions about Lakeland, but the attack dogs who make their
living and build their ministries criticizing everyone else—I lost
respect for them long ago and couldn’t care less what they think.)

My purpose and sincere prayer in writing this statement, however,
is three-fold: to see healing begin for the body of Christ; to initiate
a process that can remove the reproach brought to Christ and the
Church; and to do these things while preserving and honoring my
current relationships. I pray that these desires, along with my heart,
come through loudly. And I hope I’m writing this with true humility—
who among us clearly sees all hidden in our own hearts? Let me
also preface this statement by saying that what needs to be said
cannot be done quickly or carelessly. I do not want my heart to be
missed and am not willing to run that risk for the sake of brevity,
so please bear with the length. (Incidentally, I think it will be
obvious no one involved in the Lakeland situation has asked me to
write this; and for the sake of integrity on my part, none have been
consulted concerning what I’m stating.)

Mistakes at Lakeland

Did leaders handling the Lakeland situation make mistakes? Yes—
huge mistakes. Beyond the obvious fruit of salvations and healings,
can good come from Lakeland, as some have suggested, even
with the recent revelations concerning Todd Bentley? Yes, but only
if there is complete honesty and transparency, the removal of all
attempts at self-preservation, and absolute humility from all sides.

Did I endorse the Lakeland meetings? No, I did not, nor did I
condemn them. I acknowledged that healings were occurring and
some were being saved, which I still believe and rejoice over. I
realized and stated that the thousands of people attending were
hungry and sincere, as were those involved in leading the 2
meetings. The worship was regularly good. But looking past some
of the immediate and positive results, I, like many, also looked
ahead to the possible fruit from questionable doctrine and
experiences, exaggeration and hype, youthful pride, character
issues and the frightening potential of a 32 year “young” man
leading a movement that could shape the future of the Church.

These things were frightening, very frightening, to others and me.
When something has the potential of setting precedent, birthing a
movement and being reproduced as a prototype, we are no longer
simply endorsing good brothers, good intentions and miracles.
Doctrine and foundations will be built on these events. Teachings
and paradigms for future ministries will be formed—in short, the
next generation of the church and the move of God in the earth
could be greatly impacted. This is why I stopped short of endorsing
everything at Lakeland. Just as importantly, I could not ignore the
“check”, the uneasiness, the sickening feeling deep in my spirit
telling me something else was wrong—terribly wrong—in this
situation. Like other leaders I tried to push past my uneasiness
with the showmanship, the “bams,” the head butts and kneeing,
along with certain experiences and doctrines, all in order to
embrace the good. Like many of my friends I tried to be—and
believe I was—gracious, accepting, ready to think “out of the box”,
etc. But try as I may, the uneasiness in my spirit just wouldn’t leave.

Did I voice my concerns to the appropriate people? Yes,
including stating my concerns for Todd’s marriage to the Lakeland
Outpouring Apostolic Team. Did they listen? Some did, some
didn’t. But I want to state emphatically, this is not an “I told you
so” statement. In fact, much of what I want to address goes back
several years into our charismatic Christian history. And I assure
you that concerning our present weaknesses in the charismatic
church, there is plenty of blame to go around. Personally, I’ve
been right at times with my discernment and decisions, wrong at
others. It would be worse than hypocritical for me to point the
finger of accusation—I have no stones of judgment to throw.
Nonetheless, mistakes were made and must be acknowledged
and learned from in order for us to heal, grow and move forward.

Some of my closest friends endorsed and participated in the
Lakeland meetings. For them I have both criticism—all of us lose
credibility at this point if we’re not completely honest—and
affirmation. Should they have been more discerning and have
listened to the warnings they received? Obviously. Should those
who “aligned” Todd with spiritual fathers (which was a good thing
and positioned him to receive help if he chooses to accept it) have
realized to do so publicly was a mistake and could be interpreted
by those watching in no other way than as a complete
endorsement? Yes, they should have, especially when the event
became a commissioning ceremony, complete with decrees and
prophecies of going to higher levels, predictions of Todd’s
increasing world-wide influence and leading a world-wide revival,
emphatic and prolific endorsements of his character, etc. How
could those watching believe the evening was anything but an
aligning, endorsing and commissioning ceremony? It was. It really
doesn’t matter who laid their hands on Todd—all share
responsibility. This was unwise at best, naïve at least and at its
worst, foolish. And should the leaders involved have realized that
those of us connected to them relationally, ministerially, and as
movements—some even in alignment with them apostolically and
as sons and daughters—would feel minimalized, if not betrayed,
by the fact that they were in essence taking us onto the stage
with them? Yes. These feelings were inevitable, especially when
we had such uneasiness and asked them not to. Should there be
an acknowledgment of these mistakes to the body of Christ for the
sake of accountability and in order to rebuild trust? I believe so,
and remain hopeful this will happen.

With such strong statements of disagreement, what is the
affirmation toward my friends who led, participated in or endorsed
this ceremony (and the meetings in general)? Simply stated,
I know their hearts. It is not a contradiction of my criticisms
toward some of their actions to, at the same time, defend and
endorse their hearts and character. It is completely appropriate —
when true—to defend a person’s heart and integrity while
disagreeing with their actions.

I think the blunder of that night was huge and very damaging to the
body of Christ, but I also realize that in their hearts, those involved
honestly felt they were doing the right things. Again, while not
defending the action taken, I would defend the character and
integrity of Peter and Doris Wagner as vigorously as anyone I
know, and do so with absolute confidence. There are no two
people, and I mean that literally, who embody the qualities of
humility, integrity, holiness (no compromise!), sacrifice, unselfish
kingdom-thinking, the tireless giving of themselves to Christ’s
cause and the body of Christ—and do I need to add risk-taking?—
as much as Peter and Doris Wagner. It remains my great honor to
be associated with them and call them a spiritual father and
mother. And again, while not minimizing or “sweeping under the
rug” any wrong decisions, I remain steadfast in my belief that
similar affirmations could be made of others involved—either
directly or indirectly—in the ceremony. And some of them still see
their endorsing of Lakeland as an endorsement of revival generally,
not of Todd personally.

The Bigger Picture

It may come as a surprise, however, that my real purpose in
writing this is not to only state the above, as important as I believe
saying it is. My primary purpose, and I believe my assignment
from the Lord, is to identificationally repent on behalf of the
leadership of the charismatic body of Christ (see Nehemiah 1:4-7;
Daniel 9:1-19). In doing so, I do not have a pompous, “no one else
will, so I’ll do it” attitude, nor am I arrogant enough to think I have
become the spokesperson for the charismatic church. But in the
same way that I can identify with the racism of white predecessors
and repent to blacks, Native Americans and other races, I can
represent the leadership of the charismatic body of Christ and
identificationally repent for our sins and weaknesses. I encourage
leaders who find my statements true and appropriate to join me.

Beyond the simple fact of it being appropriate, I firmly believe it is
the only way to begin the process of rebuilding trust with those
asked to follow us and to remove the cynicism of the world we ask
to listen to us. As you know, regaining credibility is much more
difficult than attaining credibility. Concerning what I’m about to say,
I don’t believe I have a critical spirit, nor do I want to diminish the
sacrifices, faithfulness, and hard work done by so many in ministry.
The fact remains, however, that we have failed the Lord and His
people in many ways—not just with Lakeland but in countless
other situations—and must repent if we are to be trusted in the
future. And as you also know, no repentance is effective if watered
down and couched in excuses, therefore, I intend to be brutally honest:

1) We, the leaders of the charismatic community, have operated in
an extremely low level of discernment. Frankly, we often don’t even
try to discern. We assume a person’s credibility based on gifts,
charisma, the size of their ministry or church, whether they can
prophesy or work a miracle, etc. (Miracles and signs are intended
to validate God and His message, not the messenger; sometimes
they validate the assignment of an individual, but never the
person’s character, lifestyle or spiritual maturity.) We leaders in
the Church have become no different than the world around us in
our standards for measuring success and greatness. This has
contributed to the body of Christ giving millions of dollars to
undeserving individuals; it has allowed people living in sin to
become influential leaders—even to lead movements, allowing
them influence all the way to the White House. Through our lack
of discernment we built their stages and gave them their platforms.
We have been gullible beyond words—gullible leaders producing
gullible sheep. When a spiritual leader we’re connected with
violates trust, is exposed for immorality or falls below other
accepted standards of behavior, it does not exonerate us simply
to say we don’t condone such behavior. Those we lead trust us to
let them know whom to trust. We have failed them miserably in
this regard. For this lack of discernment, and for employing and
passing on inappropriate standards of judgment, I repent to the
Lord and ask forgiveness of the body of Christ.

2) We, the leaders of the charismatic church, spin our involvement
and fail to acknowledge our responsibility when other leaders fall—
all of which stems from our self-preservation and pride. Enough of
the spin—we’re no different than Washington, DC. Every time
another embarrassing and disgraceful situation is exposed, the
dancing begins. It seems that no one bears any real responsibility
except the man or woman who actually commits sin. Incredibly,
we even blame “revival” itself—the pressures, attacks, weariness,
the “revival is messy” argument, etc., saying it is responsible for
the failures. This is disgusting. Those of us on boards of fallen
leaders, those who helped give them a voice, put them on TV,
published and endorsed their books (yes, I have), etc., are not
exonerated simply by saying we don’t condone the wrong behavior
or that we didn’t know. We’re supposed to know. I don’t believe
anyone is expecting perfection from us—I know I’m not. We’re far
too human for that. But we are expected to have enough humility
to look the world and those who follow us in the eye when we miss
it and say, “we were wrong and we are sorry.” Our careless
accountability has caused the body of Christ to be spiritually
raped and abused. It has produced disillusionment and brought
immeasurable reproach to our God and cynicism to His message.
Concerning Lakeland, what was called the “greatest revival since
Azusa Street” has become possibly one of the greatest
reproaches. We, the leaders of the charismatic church, are
responsible. For not accepting and acknowledging our
responsibility, for caring more about our own reputation than
Christ’s, I repent to God and ask forgiveness of the body of Christ.

3) Our procedures and standards of accountability are incredibly
inadequate. We have provided camaraderie, not biblical
accountability. For those on Todd Bentley’s board who had
previous knowledge of his marriage problems and said nothing, it
was more than a mistake—it was reckless, foolish, and
irresponsible. For those on the stage the night of his aligning and
commissioning who knew and said nothing—ditto. For those there
who didn’t know, my question is, “why didn’t you?” You were
trusted to know. That is one of the purposes of public
commissioning and the purpose behind the concept of
endorsement. I’m not trying to point the finger; I’m endeavoring to
get us to be honest about our failures—we have serious credibility
issues. Have I ever laid hands on, commissioned or endorsed
anyone without adequately checking them out? Yes, but you
better believe I’ll be more careful next time! And we must not
single out Lakeland. We’re all guilty. What about the leader in my
city who ran with some of the leading spiritual fathers in our nation—
sincere and good men, I might add, and not all “charismatic”
leaders—who sang his praises and helped build his stage—all
while he was doing drugs and having sex with other men? But we
shouldn’t blame only the high profile cases—what about those of
us who unknowingly have had adulterers on our staffs or appointed
elders that turned out to have compromise in their life? Sounding
familiar yet? This is so epidemic that every member of the body of
Christ stands guilty—what pastor or leader did you follow that
turned out to have sin issues? What ministry did you support that
was unworthy? There is plenty of blame to go around. The big
question becomes not “who do we blame” but “how do we fix this
mess?” Leaders can live in sin—adultery, homosexuality, financial
wrongdoing, drugs, etc.—for years without it being realized. They
can offer completely unacceptable lifestyles for the body of Christ
to follow and still keep their TV programs and lavish lifestyles. In
the name of grace, compassion and forgiveness we have lowered
the standard so much that often there isn’t one. We have bought
into the lie that true discipline is “shooting our wounded.” We have
made a mockery of biblical restoration, making “ministry”—not
healthy individuals, marriages and families—its ultimate goal. The
fact is, integrity matters. No, we don’t need legalistic, pharisaical
standards, but we must have standards. For this lack of biblical
accountability, I repent to God and I ask forgiveness of the body of Christ.

4) We, the leaders of the charismatic church, have built on hype,
sensation, innovation, programs, personality and charisma. This
has produced: shallowness; false movements; novice leaders—
gifted but immature and untested; a deficient understanding of
God’s word; the building of man-centered rather than kingdom-
centered churches and ministries; competition rather than
cooperation; humanistic, self-centered Christians who don’t
understand sacrifice and commitment; Christians without
discernment; superstar leaders; a perverted and powerless gospel;
prayerless and anemic Christians; a replacement of the fear of the
Lord with the fear of man; and a young generation that is cynical
of it all. We are responsible, not the devil; he takes what we give
him. For this compromise in the way we build, for giving the
Church watered down wine, commercial Christianity, a flashy but
weak Church and hype disguised as anointing, I repent to God and
ask forgiveness of the body of Christ. Galatians 6:1-5 is an
appropriate reference with which to end this statement: “Brethren,
even if a man caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual,
restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to
yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens,
and thus fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is
something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each
one examine his own work, and then he will have reason for
boasting in regard to himself alone, and not in regard to another.
For each one shall bear his own load.” NAS

My passionate prayer is that God honors this repentance — I
believe He led me to do it and therefore, will—and uses it to begin
a process of cleansing and healing for all of us. In order for the
coming great awakening to bear maximum fruit we must have both,
as well as a course correction that sets us on a path of wisdom
leading to life. There is no doubt that past moves of God have been
aborted, ended prematurely and contained error or heresy that
have wounded, if not destroyed, many. The healing revival of the
40’s and 50’s, the charismatic movement, discipleship movement
and Jesus movement are all examples. My heart is to help shape
a movement, the fruit of which will last for decades — better yet,
forever. And I have great expectations for us—I am not a cynic.

My passionate prayer is also that Todd Bentley’s marriage survives
and thrives…that he turns his heart fully toward Christ and toward
those with whom he is aligned, and allows them, as God leads,
to put him on a path of complete restoration. I thank God for those
who were touched by the Holy Spirit at Lakeland and while
watching it on God TV and the web. May we all move forward into
all God has planned for us in this awesome season of endless
possibility.

With great hope—Dutch Sheets.

~SOURCE:  http://www.dutchsheets.org/index.cfm

18 responses

  1. Dear Dutch Sheets
    Thank you so much for your blog about the responsibility that the leaders of Christian movements really have. My son and his wife became very involved with this ministry of Todd Bentley’s even in the wake of my sincere pleas to reconsider due to his ‘showboating’ on stage and mostly because of my own deep feelings that there was something very wrong with the ministry. They went to Florida “to get some” and struggled financially after due to the expenses of the trip and probably money given to the ministry.
    Like so many people, my kids are so sincere to bring others to Christ and move with miracles in their life they were easily taken in by Todd’s ministry. I told them God meets them where they are and they didn’t need to go clear to Florida but they didn’t understand that. Youthful enthusiam as well as youth ignorance has been abused severely and often during this ministry. Many felt that they needed to believe more in the “new” revelations in dreams, words from man and angels insead of really searching out those things with discernment. Our youth is at particular risk for this type of abuse.
    My hope is that my kids as well as others can learn from this situation and be more discerning in the future; however, my fear is that many of this types of things are presented to our youth as something new and wonderful God has meant for the youth of today. I pray for my kids as they will hopefully struggle through this situation as well as for other youth in the same situation.
    Thank you for your sincere words and clear explanations of responsibility of yourself and all of Christians in this blog.

  2. The letter that was written is a very good and well spoken letter. I still think many things that happened at Lakeland, were very real and we know new media just don’t understand the power of God and that he can use and do anything he wishes and the mind of man is different than the mind of God. I do feel sorry for all those who have been let down in many different ways. We must remember to look to God and not Todd Bentley. We all stand before Christ and give an account of what we have done and pastors are held at a higher level so Todd, along with all pastors and people will some day face the Lord and all will be sorted out. Until then, we must work according to the written word of God, test the spirits, and not limit what the Holy Spirit does because no matter what Lakeland is or was…. there is much more coming for the body of Christ, because we have to become the church without spot or wrinkle before the Lord returns, this can take years or God can do it in a little amount of time so we need not be upset because the Lord is the only one who will not let you down, any man or any Pastor can let you down…. Many have and many will in the future unless they really watch and listen closely to the Holy Spirit and obey only what he says to them.

  3. Well, as far as the youth getting misled…Hey the youth have left the church by the droves due to dead religion. Yes there is a lot of youthful enthusiasm…some could be misled. I was at Lakeland. There was fruit from that that will remain. Too many eyes still on man (Todd Bently) From the beginning that we were not to look to him because the Holy Spirit is the miracle worker. Well, people still need to get their eyes off of him now that there is character issues being looked at. THe Holy Spirit did what He wanted to do with Todd and He will do what He wants to without Him as well and He’s
    perfectly able to restore Todd in the meanwhile. They will know you are my disciple by your love…..the Bible says judge not…it also says to owe no man anything save to love Him….

    My kids are part of this movement and instead of bar hopping and doing drugs and drinking booze, which is what they did do…until they got on fire for Jesus…They now
    lead a bible study on Fri. nights and have praise and worship Services on Sat. and they are reaching out to the lost world bringing them in. That is good fruit .They have never been so holy in their lives. My one son just asked a girl to marry him and had not even kissed her after dating one year. The youth do not need to be protected from this! People in their lives just need to be there for them if we do see them get a little off. there is oxen in the barn. I have taught my kids do not do anything that violates scripture. that is the final word and told them to be noble as the Boravians and check things. That is how most of the church got into all kinds of mess all along, not reading the Bible for themselves and just believing what a man told them.

    My kids study the scriptures and they read the Bible as what it says, not from a denominational view trying to get it to fit their doctrine and leaving out certain parts. They want what the Bible says they can have and they want to give their whole life laid down in love for Jesus. What is wrong with that? This movement is firing people up…in a good way. Young and old.

    Religion without power will not cut it….what a joke the Isrealites would have been if God had not shown up with power. The world is hungry for something real, not a form of godliness denying the power. Let me tell you, I have felt the Lord’s power tangibly. It wrecks you. I have never been so in love with Jesus in my whole life. I loved Him before I felt Him but now that I have smelled and felt Him I can still feel it . It is almost like my spirit can not breath with excitement but it is peaceful at the same time. bliss would be a good word. As far as dedicated, I do not watch TV, listen to secular music. I hate the things God hates and I love the things He loves…sin is not even as issue…just so you know not all are seeking after experiences. I read my Bible and pray and meditate and worship and fellowship with God every minute I can. I do not show up for church on Sun. or Wed. and maybe do a little 10 minute devotional. I live and breath God. He is such an intricate part of my life, He is my life… this is what I see this movement creating…it is better than sitting on a church pew. sorry…it is good to sit on a church pew, it is just more desirable to be on fire for God to the point you have to share the goodness of God and there is no embarassement in that proclamation to anyone because you KNOW HIM….and out of your belly flow rivers of living water! The anointing does the will of the Father.

    Church can not change you like that…like before i attended church occasionally. i was a believer but not a disciple of Jesus. Certainly in no position to”go and make disciples of all nations”.

    I have followed many leaders in this movement that so many are putting down without seeing the fruit that is coming. There is good fruit coming from many of these leaders.
    Yes there are bad apples in any movement, any church really…teach the ones you are concerned with discernment. Pray to God. God is big enough to protect them. I am glad to hear your kids are so on fire. Do not throw the baby out with the bath water. God was moving in Lakeland. Please do not harm your relationship with your kids. Love is the main thing…having youth of my own 22,24,26 , I know how hard it can be sometimes….but ask them what they are learning. Have a Bible study at your home….Be a part of their life and do not make it a battle of “my God, your God” know what I mean? You know what, ever watch the movie ‘Joshua’? you can get it at a christian book store. sit down and watch it together…awesome tender deep movie…you will all like it. Maybe I am reading between the lines but as you wrote I could hear your love and concern coming out but I could hear their defensiveness =even though they did not speak. I pray the Lord gives you peace and your whole household will be rooted and grounded in Him and His love.

    Blessings,

    Pam

  4. The something missing in church leadership is leadership itself. God did not put those men and women there ,they put themselves there. TheThe prophetic and apostolic movements of today are pathetic and apostate. They all speak and lead under their own unctions. The message of the prophet should be destruction and chaos is coming. The message IS NOT how another great flow of the spirit is going to bring blessings and glory. Jesus finished the work on the cross. Follow Him and no man. Ignore the “leaders” and see what God can do.

  5. This spirit that urges people to leave their “dead” marriage for greener pastures, is it not the same spirit that urges people to leave their “dead” church for a more exciting one?

  6. Love and respect you, Brother Dutch, and agree with much of what you had to say about the situation in Lakeland and the body of Christ in general. But, you know, when all’s said and done I have to admit I feel like a young girl who’s been molested most of her life, and there comes a time when she says, “Enough!”

    Yes, enough. Leave us alone. Please leave His church, His people, His bride, alone. All you “leaders”. All you pharisees, saducees, and teachers of the law. Please take your hands off us and let us be.

    You’ve been telling us all these years that you’re meeting our needs. That we need you. That we can’t do “it” without you. But we’ve been seeing for awhile now what’s really been going on. How we’ve been meeting YOUR needs all this time. Our time, our money, our talents, our families, our homes, our hearts and minds, our LIVES… you’ve stuck your hands where they don’t belong for far too long, and it’s time to say, “ENOUGH!”

    We’re not going back to business as usual. We’re not going to waste another 10, 20, 30 years listening to your sermons and your teachings and your prophecies and your plans. The product isn’t what’s been advertised and we’re done chasing the carrot. We see it for what it is and we forgive you, but we’re done playing the game.

    We’re done gazing up at you from our lowly perches. We’re done saying “How high?” to your “Jump.” We’re done placating your enormous egos and craven need for adulation at our and our families’ expense. For the little scraps we get that fall to the ground from your table. Because, you see, we don’t really need you. At least not the “you” most of us have had all these years. The closest to God, smartest about God, most anointed of God and blessed of God, infallible prophet, priest and king “you”. So, thank you very much, but we’re done pretending the emperor has clothes.

    God must come to our hearts and our homes, brothers and sisters. That’s the simple bottom line. All the failings we see in the body of Christ are a direct result of God not taking His place in hearts and homes.

    It’s not complicated at all. It’s really very simple. Much simpler than most would have us believe. If God isn’t God of our hearts and homes, what is He God of? And if God isn’t God of our leaders’ hearts and homes, what do they really have to give us? Theory?

    They would have us believe “higher levels mean higher devils”. They would have us feel guilty when they fall as if it’s somehow our fault. (When they’re actually caught red-handed, that is. The rest of the time we do as we’re told and look the other way, pretending not to notice because what good would it do anyway?) If only we prayed more or supported them more. If only we gave more. Yes, somehow it’s all our fault. Just like the molested little girl. (But all of this is neither here nor there. Because it’s a brand new day.)

    Love God, love others as you love yourself. At least that’s what Jesus said it boiled down to. You know, CHRIST Jesus?

    How complicated is that? You need a PhD for that? Even a little child can understand it. How many commandments did God give the people through Moses? This isn’t rocket science, folks. Faith in Jesus’ sacrifice and resurrection remits our sins and creates in us a clean, new heart. So that we can be filled with the Holy Spirit of God who IS love. So that we CAN love. Ta-daa. Pretty basic stuff, I think we’d all agree.

    So, please, exalted rulers, please back down and leave us and our families alone. Please know your place. Please TAKE your place. Because you do realize, don’t you, that it’s high time, and then some.

    I’m sure you realize, way deep down inside even, that there’s an awful lot of us out here whose shelves are filled to overflowing with your never-ending, not freely given verbiage, who have the audacity to think we might actually be able to do this thing called love… without you. (Oh my God, how could we, it’s all so horribly complicated!!)

    Please, know your place, take your place. With all due respect.

    Shalom,
    One though many of His children
    ——————–

    http://greateststorytold.com

  7. I just read Dutch Sheets essay about Lakeland. I sincerely appreciate his words not only about Lakeland but also about where the leadership has gone wrong in their zeal for revival and a move of God. Everyone needs to examine their ministry and ask for Christian brothers/sisters to judge everything said and done according to the Word and life of Jesus. That is scriptural.

    I won’t repeat the content of Gail and Sherrie in the posts before this one, however I want to say how much I relate to their situation. I, too, discerned problems with Bentley and researched what was happening in Lakeland because my family expressed a desire to fly to there from New York State. I gave them factual information to no avail. My married daughter was mesmerized by godtv and stayed home while her father joined eight others from the local church and flew to Lakeland just a couple days before the “alignment”. I also watched this on my computer and continued to be appalled by what I witnessed.

    My daughter doesn’t want to talk about this. Her father returned with such an ugliness toward me. I wasn’t to “speak against God’s annointed/this move of God.”

    So Bentley has been removed but the residue of this revival remains in my family. I know more than I want about Latter Day Rain, etc. My daughter and her family are going to participate in a late September miracles conference at the Toronto Church where the Toronto Blessing began. This is John Arnott’s church and Bentley was suppose to be there. I am praying for a miracle that opens my family to the Truth. They are good people who are born again and don’t need to look for experiences to affirm their belief.

    So I appreciate Dutch’s words…it’s a beginning. All people involved in Lakeland and with a public ministry need to be as transparent. If not, then they do not know how to discern the truth. They should be asking for Christians to judge their ministry according to the Word.

  8. Thank you Dutch Sheets. This apology from church leadership is long-overdue. How can we build churches if trust is gone? It begins with apologies like this one. Thank you for showing a backbone– like a true man of God. The Father did not give us a spirit of timidity but a spirit of boldness and that comes through in this strong letter. These words will resound across the planet and resonate in the hearts of so many wounded by the leaders of our church. May we begin to rebuild a firm foundation of accountability, trust, transparency and love. May we begin to run after the heart of our Creator and step up to be His Royal Priesthood as we are called. Thank you for your prophetic words of healing.

  9. So glad, at last, to hear someone offer a wise perspective on all that has happened in Lakeland. No `self preservation` here just honest observations and true repentance. It is a shame we haven`t heard this kind of acceptance of responsibility and apology from Peter Wagner and his `apostolic` team.
    Thankyou for your honesty, we can all surely learn from your approach to this and other similar situations.

  10. Pingback: We have had enough of false prophets! « The Church of Jesus Christ

  11. Hi there well dutch your apology is great and seen with sincerity and I am no sure as to how grave you really see the situation. you leaders for many years have been steadily moving down this path and have led to this demise many strong beleivers have walked away from churches all around the world. There are som interesting scriptures that Jesus himself stated clearly, take heed for their will be false teachers and prophets amongst you not in the world but in the church. How does a False teacher get to be a teacher, someone gives him the Authority, like you guys have, you have been a part of many false teachings and as you admit have made many major mistakes, also we are told in scripture that many will heal in Gods name and cast out demons in Gods name but we are told clearly that some of us will not enter the kingdom. All and much of what has transpired not only from your corner but many others is a fulfillment of Gods word a fullfillment that there are false teachers and prophets speaking from the Pulpits……………..I have many Non beleivers that have seen some of this stuff and even they Judge the Church and say clearly, this is not God …. the Church is no Longer Holy, i walked into a Gothic like Night club with mesmerizing music that hypnotized people and then all they talked about was getting money…….I have seen much, where for years leaders from the Pulpits your pulpits have said do not question just receive but scripture tells us to question all things. When I or others have started to question we have been told to leave.God gave me a Vivid dream where demons were attacking me and in the Dream a word appeared, ICHABOD, then there were hords of demons coming God was showing me with all that is going on around the Globe that His Glory has actually departed from the Church and a hord of demons has now come in, so I am encouraged and glad for your confession and repentance and for you I pray that you realize that your influence and other of your ilk have been a part of Gods Fulfillment of his word of having false teachers and Prophets amongst the poeple and now you get on the right side and become a sheep not a Goat as many of you clearly may be . Your INfluence has yes unarguably destroyed the face of Christianity but only because God has allowed it. Will you and others be judged, Praise God you have seen the Truth and are willing to repent but as you have done this you are now sitting in our camp, be ready to be scorned by your closest. IN Truth and In Christ Steve from Adelaide Australia

  12. Unfortunately, this news did not surprise me at all. What surprised me was how many people were taken in by Todd Bentley’s carnival act masquerading as a movement of God.

  13. A lot of comments on what happened but no one seems to understand that the problem with the church today is the lack of the B-I-B-L-E!!! The Word Of GOD!!! When you take out the Word of God and replace it with man that’s exactly what you get MAN. We all need to remember that GOD is still in charge NOT MAN!!! The problem with this church is it was closed to the Bible and Jesus Christ. Remember it was said at the church that we’ve all heard enough and know enough about Jesus Christ let’s talk about angels and miracles etc. And forget the Word. When you kick Jesus out you get the end results. Satan. He comes in like a flood and dressed as a sheep in wolves clothing deceiving all. Remember satan comes as an angel of light and can also fake miracles and such. I believe that’s exactly what happened when Jesus was kicked out of this church. I can’t say it enough get back to teaching the Bible! Only then can the church truely have a genuine Revival!

  14. I had such a hard time when the Lakeland Revival came. I knew something wasn’t right. It was hard because the Lord protected me when I asked for discernment but then an attack of unbelief came and I became skeptical of all the supernatural. I’ve come to see that the only way to have true discernment is to really develop a relationship with Jesus everyday, to not give into fear of the true and learn to test the spirits. One thing that really helps is to edify yourself by speaking in tongues. We know that there is the prayer language and true diversities of tongues (edification, groanings, for the unbeliever; speaking in a language you don’t know but they do, and for prophetic interpretation). I seem to have seen the false tongues from the hindi/new age (I’ve got a friend in the New Age who learned some strange new age prayer language and we all know the hindus do too) and so for a time I was afraid to even speak in my prayer language but the Lord showed me that what I had was true because I was looking to God not man to get it and it actually innoculates you against decepton because you’ve got the holy spirit interceding praying for you. Dave Roberson is an awesome teacher whose church operates in the miraculous but when the Lakeland outpouring came out, they discerned what it was. He’s been through counterfiete angels trying to sing to him and gold dust and I have really been blessed by his teachings. There is a counterfiet to everything, and yes even those who really love the Lord in exalted positions will have attacks of deception on them, like Dave Roberson (http://www.daveroberson.org)did and He came through it. Everything on his site is free and he has ministered with Marilyn Hickey. He speaks of people that God had wonderful calls on and how some made it and others fell due to deception. Like William Branhum. I believe He really was used by God but started listening to the wrong spirits and his flesh so He kinda went downhill. He speaks about lying signs and wonders and true signs and wonders. The thing is knowing who your heavenly Father is and seeking HIM not his gifts, they just follow. =) I’ve learned not to throw out the baby with the bath water. Like the apostle Paul states, don’t despise prophecy but test everything. If it doesn’t line up with the character of God then it probably isn’t him. IT always helps to have an accurate view of who he is too!

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