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ABC Nightline’s feature last night on Todd Bentley and the Florida Healing Outpouring was hardly favorable. Is anyone surprised? Gnat-straining camel swallowers in the Body of Christ were given much to delight and gloat over. The lost watching world was shown what the devil would want them to see. Todd Bentley was surely disappointed. Obadiah 1:12 came to me early this morning… “Do not gloat over your brother’s day of misfortune.” I’m sure few, if any, among those in the seat of scoffers will be restrained by this verse, or any other, for that matter.

I’ve been to the meetings in Lakeland. It was apparent to me the ABC Nightline folks went there to get the angle they were after and they got it. They missed much as well. They found a precious wheelchair-bound girl on the streets of Lakeland who has had multiple unfortunate encounters with the revival’s street evangelism teams who, no doubt with good intentions, invited (and probably pressured) her to the attend the healing meetings. She shared the pain of people being insensitive to her. I could fully relate as my father-in-law has been wheelchair-bound for nearly 60 years since he contracted polio at age 14. My wife has numerous stories growing up of being in places like the parking lot at Billy Graham Crusades being accosted by people on the way out that told him he’d “get up out of the chair if he only had faith.” This isn’t what the street evangelism teams told the girl in Lakeland, but the effect was the same. I attended the street evangelism training in Lakeland last month and yes, they do need to give people a briefing on sensitivity to the feelings of the infirmed before they send them out.

But, the faithful hitting the streets in Lakeland have something the rest of the church doesn’t, that being… boldness. They are not sent forth with a spirit of timidity, but rather full bold faith in the power of God. Can a person walking in apostolic boldness simultaneously walk in great sensitivity? Yes. But this is a grace that doesn’t typically come initially. Boldness must be tempered by wisdom and discernment. Rather than criticize the street evangelism teams, we need to pray that they walk in wisdom and power, love and compassion.

ABC Nightline could have worked harder to find positive encounters out there on the street – like the lady I heard about when I was there who was planning to commit suicide the day she met a loving couple from the revival in a grocery store parking lot. That lady was baptized in love and hope in that parking lot and gave her life to Jesus Christ.

ABC Nightline found a local shop keeper who viewed the revival negatively. Maybe they should have interviewed the mayor and city council members and got a comment or two on the fact that Todd Bentley, who for 100 days has brought 5000-10,000 people daily to the city, is responsible for bringing millions and millions and millions of dollars into the city’s economy. I’d guess there are mayors all over America who would love to have something like this grace their city. Instead they predictably dug up Bentley’s dark past but neglected to report on his dramatic conversion to Jesus Christ and subsequent dozen years of ministry to the poor, the orphans and hurting worldwide.

ABC Nightline is incapable of any sort of favorable story on anything remotely Christian. I’m not even convinced they are telling the truth when they reported “not one single miracle could be independently verified.” Wow- that went across the airwaves turning the hearts of many against what is happening in Lakeland. But, I can point them to a verifiable miracle. I’ve even seen doctors on the platform in Lakeland standing alongside the healed to testify. Those stewarding the revival apparently need to spoon-feed stories to the media in their media packet but even then, Jesus spoke of a deep-seated societal unbelief, so deep that people won’t even be convinced when the dead are raised right before their eyes. ABC Nightline has a deep-seated disbelief for sure. The light is veiled from their eyes.

But hello, again, getting ABC Nightline to do a favorable story on anything Christian is about as likely as getting the Code Pink gals to do a favorable piece on the Iraq War. ABC and every other main stream media outlet has a distinct and secular (which means godless or without God) agenda. They are the spokespeople for the godless left and are keenly aware that the only thing standing in the way of gay marriage, abortions and decency in broadcasting is THE CHURCH.

I deal with the media here far more than I like because my role in the abortion battle in our state. More times than I can count I’ve found it maddening that the pro-life position is maligned and misrepresented by the media. We hand them facts and stories and testimonies on a silver platter and they don’t even do a story. We got 100 pro-life doctors together for a press conference in ’06 and we had to beg the media to even show up. Yet, Planned Parenthood propaganda gets released and the media parades it across the headlines. Do we not see that these are the same types “reporting” on what is unfolding in Lakeland. They operate in the same denomic spirit. These are the very people who feed the global warming fears with story after story and fully ignore the vast amount of scientific expertise that says its all hoax and false alarm. Are we surprised they found nothing to verify in Lakeland? I’m not.

Many in my world believe an end-time revival is coming that will spread, in part, due to God touching the main stream media. I first grabbed onto these prophecies in the late 80’s when I lived in Kansas City. I still believe them to be true. However, I also know as we more fully enter the end of the age, the world will rage against the people of God. The people of God will be singled out for ridicule and reproach. Jesus said woe to you when men speak well of you. In other words, if they like us, we apparently aren’t much like Him (Jesus). The same hungry and hurting people who liked and flocked to Jesus are the same people who like and flock to Todd Bentley. The same people who feverishly tried to nail Jesus to the tree are the same types trying to nail Bentley today. That’s interesting to note isn’t it?

If you haven’t been to Lakeland to take this all in first hand, here’s one additional important thing ABC Nightline missed. They missed that there is more going on here than one sees on the stage. Most Christians can only imagine what it would be like to stand in such an atmosphere of faith. In this economy, people who buy airline tickets to get closer to where they hear God is moving are desperately hungry people. God always honors that hunger. Being in a tent with 5000-10000 people with that level of hunger places a heavy draw on heaven to visit earth. I’d rather be in that atmosphere any day than among the “Bible Deists” whose only hope for well-being is that their doctor will continue to dish out their antidepressants week after week. I’d rather be in the room with people who bought airline tickets to get a touch from God than sit in all these scoffing churches with people who aren’t hungry enough to drive a couple miles to church more than 2-3 Sunday mornings a month. This ABC Nightline story could have covered the OBVIOUS spiritual hunger in our land. They could have interviewed people who have given up hope on the pharmaceutical and health care industries, people who have no hope but God.


I hope you’ll also read my other posts on Todd Bentley and the Florida Outpouring. My main focus in all of these is that we ought to be really careful that we are not calling unclean what God has called clean. “For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Matthew 7:2
Revival in Florida – Todd Bentley and the Seat of Scoffers part one
Florida Healing Outpouring – Todd Bentley and the Seat of Scoffers part two
Florida Healing Outpouring – Todd Bentley and the Seat of Scoffers part three
Florida Healing Outpouring – Todd Bentley and the Angel Emma
Florida Healing Outpouring – Todd Bentley, Violence and the Kingdom of God
Florida Healing Outpouring – Todd Bentley, the manifestations of the Spirit or Kundalini?
Todd Bentley, C. Peter Wagner and apostolic alignment at the Florida Healing Outpouring
Florida Revival – Todd Bentley answers his critics, Dr. Gary S. Greig gets healed and provides an independent theological witness
A parody; the doctrine police take a break from straining gnats at the Lakeland Healing Outpouring to take aim at Psalm 23
Florida Healing Outpouring – Is Todd Bentley a New Age Mystic?

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GUEST BLOG POST:
I’ve asked CATG’r Brenda David to share the testimony of a young Chinese girl she and Phil are helping through the Luke Society. Phil is the international ministry coordinator of the Luke Society which offices here in Sioux Falls. Brenda is the Luke’s Society’s prayer coordinator. The Luke Society is an interdenominational organization of Christian health and business professionals dedicated to medical missions. They support indigenous Christian health professionals who have a vision to reach their own people. My comments resume after the pictures below. SH

CHINA DOLL BROKEN BY THE SEX TRADE
Xia Fen is a 21 year old girl in Anshan, China, who was raised by her grandparents since she was five. She was a bright and diligent student with big dreams but sadly had to give up her education because of her family’s poverty. Her grandfather died leaving her with a grandmother too old and feeble to care for her. At 21, it was her now her turn to take care of the family. She decided in Aug. 2007 to go to Hai Chen, a larger city nearby, to find a job. She soon met a “kind” young man, seemingly out of nowhere, who approached her and who began courting her. He was full of charm and promised her the world. He assured her he’d help her find a good-paying job in another city. She was naive and believed him and went with him to Gai Zhou. And there her new “job” began.

She was taken to a hotel and locked in the room. Just like all the other stories you’ve heard, Xia was abused over and over again and until she was “broken.” Then she was forced to provide sexual service to the hotel clients. She screamed, cried, struggled and resisted….but to no avail. She was devastated with the reality that she had been kidnapped and was no a prisoner. After days of staring at the hotel window, she decided it was her only escape. She finally got up the nerve and jumped out of the window which was several stories from the ground. Four hours later, she was found unconscious and taken to a hospital. It was too late for surgery to repair her spinal cord. She had no money, no insurance, and no hope….and now no use of her legs. She had escaped the sex trade, but sacrificed her legs to do it. She had to find a way to survive. She went to live with her sister – also struggling in poverty – who could only provide the her barest of necessities.

A friend who helps provide wheelchairs contacted Luke Society’s Dr. Xu Zhang who went to visit her. His heart broke for her as he found her teary-eyed in a cold and bare room – depressed and dependant on others for everything. Dr. Xu, himself a Chinese surgeon turned China’s version of Joni Earekson Tada, made sure she was examined again by orthopedic specialists, but they were told it’s just too late. She would have to learn to live with her condition. She was provided a wheelchair through Dr. Xu’s Bethesda Rehabilitation Clinic along with a copy of Joni Eareckson Tada’s book. Xu and his team are committed to help her gain some independence and meaning in her life. She’s beginning to smile again. And she’s discovered she has a talent for embroidery which she hopes will bring her some income. She doesn’t want to be a burden on others.

Pray for Xia’s salvation, and that God will heal her heart and help her find purpose in living. ………No that’s way too small….pray for a miracle of early-church apostolic proportions. We’ve been promised the lame will walk and the blind will see and the deaf will hear. This beautiful China doll has been broken in every way. Let her walk again, God! Xia is one of my intercessory assignments. I feel a responsibility in praying her into wholeness. Will you lift up a prayer for her? BD

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SH: In countries like China where girls are not wanted and have been aborted, abused, abandoned now for decades, we are seeing the emerging epidemic of the global sex trafficking. Wait, I thought Planned Parenthood was on the side of women?? No!! They are THE leading organization worldwide exploiting and exterminating women. In a 1997 report, the World Health Organization estimated that more than 50 million Chinese women were “missing” from the current female population. According to euthanasia.com, the lopsided male-female ratio in China caused by sex-selection abortions is worsening, pushed up to 120 men for every 100 women. Pre-birth sex selection and female infanticide in China has resulted in a population distortion and imbalance leaving 111 million men in China – more than three times the population of Canada – who will not be able to find a wife.

I yanked this paragraph from a Concerned Women of America article; “China is a major destination country for sex trafficking because of the shortage of marriageable women there. Pakistan and Afghanistan have significant numbers of sex-selection abortions, but the problem is not yet having the impact that it is having in China and India. In addition to sex trafficking, there is a rise in bride trafficking — Korean men, for instance, are finding brides in Vietnam.” Women are trafficked from North Korea, Burma and Vietnam and sold to the highest bidder.

Granted some girl babies have been adopted internationally, but it’s estimated that a million or so “orphaned” girls are consigned to state institutions so abysmal that one documentary film referred to them as “dying rooms”.

Imagine a woman getting beaten by her husband just moments after she gives birth to a girl, being thrown out in the cold and told not to come home with the baby. She abandons the infant girl at a police station and it goes to an orphanage. This happens in shocking numbers in China today. Our silence creates a veil over this thing and we become complicit in it.  Will there be silence even now in the comment link above?

Yesterday was all about the Super Bowl.  Tomorrow will be dominated by Super Tuesday.  Here’s a few headlines that grabbed me today. 

  • China battles coldest winter in 100 years. 
  • NJ Middle school issues ban on intentional flatulence
  • MICROSOFT offers 42 BILLION to buy Yahoo.com
  • Not really a headline, but an ad that I’ve been thinking about all day…
  • Sometimes I slow down, step back and prayerfully ponder stuff like this.

    Regarding China, why is this headline hidden and how can CATG go online in 08 to reach millions there with the love of Jesus? Regarding the need for a new law outlawing flatulence in NJ schools, maybe someone should fire the school cook. It all starts there. Regarding Microsoft’s 42 billion dollar bid for Yahoo, we are indeed a rich nation to whom much has been given. Regarding, coupons for discounted killing, Lord have mercy on us.

    Greatness and optimism are the themes I’ve felt led to lead the year off with so far via the pulpit and the blog. Anyone aspiring to greatness must surely have heroes they look up to and role models before set them. So, I will do two things in this run of posts on heroes…. 1) I will feature those on my list and 2) invite you to list and comment on your heroes via the comment link.

    This week is also a key week for LIFE. Today marks the 35th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the judicial act legalizing the killing of our posterity. You can tell a lot about someone by who they look up to. Planned Parenthood continues praise their founder, hero, and patron saint of feminism, Margaret Sanger despite her overt racist agenda. Bad seed brings forth a bitter harvest. One of my heroes is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. – be sure to read yesterday’s Martin Luther King Day post on my life blog regarding how Sanger’s dream is killing Dr. King’s dream.

    My list of heroes is in no particular order. But, again, because this is a key LIFE week, I’ll start with Phill Kline, former Kansas Attorney General. I’ve watched him from a distance these past couple years, know his rival Paul Morrison from a trial I testified at years ago, but I heard Phill Kline speak today and this guy rocks!!

    Besides being from KC and graduating from a Shawnee Mission school (my roots too), anyone the Planned Parenthood website lists on their top 15 “domestic terrorist” list is a hero of mine. He’s also on their “top seven list of politicians you don’t want in your bedroom.” But Phill Kline rises to the top in my book. If I was for cloning I’d say clone him. The next best thing is for us pastors to encourage the lawyers and legal and legislative minds in our pews to take up these justice issues with all their might.

    Kline is the only person in America who has been able to obtain the frightening abortion records from Planned Parenthood. He has the goods on this organizations pattern of criminal conduct – the covering up of sex crimes against minors. ABC News reported that “women’s reproductive rights activists are beginning to wonder whether Kline might deliver a big blow to abortion rights not only in Kansas but across the country.” You can read here the grave threat he is to the enemies of life.

    Perhaps you would rather me list somebody, or at least start off with somebody, who is less controversial. Nah. The church has been too soft and too silent for too long and I think it’s time to point out we have a real hero in our midst here – a man who has gone to war against a great evil, one who is vilified, smeared, and demonized all because he has his hands on the truth that Planned Parenthood is a safe haven for child rapists, among other evils.

    Why is this guy my hero? He motivates me to war against evil regardless of cost to personal well-being and reputation. I guess you can either dialog here about this or change the subject and share about a few of your heroes.

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