You can check out Richard Taylor’s website here http://www.richardtaylor.org.uk/Site/Welcome.html
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
With great hope—Dutch Sheets.
TODD BENTLEY’S PASTOR Patricia King
– New Mystics ~ The New Breed
PATRICIA KING – New Mystics ~ The New Breed ~ (The Word Mystic means: Shaman, sage, medium spiritualist, magic, paranormal), mystical presence of their god.
“God standeth in the assembly of God.” God is among his people; and he presides especially in those courts of justice which himself has established. The Court of King’s Bench is properly the place where the king presides, and where he is supposed to be always present.
Beware what you do! God is in his court, and in the midst (of the assembly) God will judge!
OPEN LETTER to WAGNER, JOYNER…
-by Andrew Strom.
I write this as a tongues-speaking, Spirit-filled, prophesying
Dear Rick Joyner and C. Peter Wagner,
I will do my utmost to avoid disrespect in this letter. But I cannot
avoid the hard questions which must be asked.
I hope my comments here are not construed as “arrogant”. This
is certainly not my intent. But I’m sure you have heard the news
by now that the tide has turned in what you call your “Civil War”.
I’m sure you have heard that the Lakeland meetings have dwindled,
and the “big tent” has been abandoned in favor of the 700-seat
Ignite church once again. I’m sure you have heard that your man
Todd Bentley’s meetings in England have been cancelled, and
that respected leaders even within your own movements have
found vast evidence of falsehoods, fraudulent claims, manipulation
and hype of the most blatant kind. The news of it is worldwide. It
is not just ABC Nightline. It is your own people saying these things.
I’m sure you have heard the news that has even shocked and
saddened me – that the British press is calling Bentley “A US
child sex offender turned church minister who tries to cure cancer
victims by kicking them” – and that 79% of Britons polled want to
keep him out of the country. Where is the glory to Jesus in this?
How could Todd even set foot in England under such a cloud?
Sirs, if this really were a ‘Civil War’, aren’t you living in Gettysburg?
Mr Wagner, I am sure you are aware that because of your open
endorsement of Todd Bentley, numbers of your own ICA ‘apostles’
(some very well-known) are already planning an “alternative”
network without all your ‘Dominionist’ trappings or NAR hierarchies.
Sir, they are leaving. Are you sure you were right to endorse the
Lakeland movement in the very face of your own apostles like that?
Wasn’t this one of the most crucial tests of your leadership? Sir,
if your discernment is such that you could get on a stage and
openly endorse one of the most deceptive movements in the history
of the church, then – with all due respect – should you really be
heading up the apostles of the entire Charismatic world? Are you
aware that you have greatly endangered God’s precious sheep all
around the globe?
And Mr Joyner, are you conscious of how terribly the Prophetic
movement has deteriorated on your watch, sir? As the most
influential ‘father’ in that movement, why have you stood by while
the “New Mystics” have taken over – with their gold dust, their
portals, their ‘orbs’, their drunken jerking, their strange “angel”
encounters and ‘visualization’ techniques, etc? In fact, why have
you actively encouraged and participated in these very things yourself?
Isn’t it true that Bob Jones has been a big mentor for you in these
things, just like he was for Todd Bentley? Wasn’t it Bob Jones
who taught you how to “visualize” your way into the ‘Third Heaven’,
Mr Joyner? Isn’t Bob Jones one of the major hidden influences
behind your ministry? Where do you get your visions? How do you
write your books? How can we ever again trust the “angels” that
you see? Sir, what were you thinking – to openly endorse the
“New Mystics” as you did with Todd Bentley? Did you not see
that it could end so badly?
We all know what Bob Jones said when he stood on the stage with
Todd Bentley in front of the whole world:
BOB: “I released my angels to him… this man from Canada asked
for my angels; this Wind of Change is most powerful. Except for
the arch angels, this ‘Winds of Change’, this is the most powerful
BOB TO TODD BENTLEY: “As I watch you, you VIBRATE. You
know there are two portals, clockwise and counter-clockwise.
When you vibrate you close demonic vibration. Counter-clockwise
vibration is demonic. The vibration is healing. Does it seem peculiar?”
[He waves his hands]… “I’m releasing it to you.”
A very basic question here: Is there anything even remotely biblical
about any of this?
Mr Joyner, since Bob Jones is your major mentor, and since you
stood on the stage and openly endorsed that whole movement, I
guess we have to assume that this is the kind of “Prophetic” that
you now represent? Isn’t that fair to say, sir?
And now I need to ask some questions of my colleagues overseas:
Isn’t it true, my friends, that almost every deceptive fad or heresy
of the last 25 years has come out of North America? (ie. The USA
and Canada)? And hasn’t it been growing worse and worse?
When I travel to Africa I find deadly “Prosperity” teaching rampant
in the most poverty-stricken of nations. When I travel to Europe
I find them bombarded with flakey ‘prophets’ from the States.
When I travel to Australia I find them enthralled with ‘Mega-church-
Itis’ imported from the USA. In every way, North America has
become a source of utter pollution, sickness and compromise –
both in the church and the world. And I believe God wants to put
an end to it.
Personally I love Americans. I lived there for four years, and I have
many dear friends in that part of the world. But I do not believe that
God is going to allow this pollution to spread any longer.
Why do leaders in Australia or Europe think that their movements
must be led by Americans? What nation is most of this pollution
coming from? Why do African leaders allow sick money-grubbing
telecasts from the USA to be beamed to their people via satellite?
Why are any of us allowing any of this garbage? When are we
going to stand up and cry, “ENOUGH”? When are we going to
cut off this pollution – not just for ourselves – but for the sake of
God’s precious sheep? Why should we be led by America if they
are leading us into deception?
Should North America even be allowed to lead the worldwide church
And finally, let me return to Mr Joyner – who once intimated that it
is time to “drive” out those who want to “test the spirits” in the
church. Sir, let me say to you that indeed the time has come to
drive a particular spirit out. It is the spirit of rampant “Charis-mania”.
And sir, I have to say with all due respect, that your very own
movement strikes me as the primest of prime places in which to start.
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