I wanted to make some observations regarding Mr Joyner's response to Mr Grady posted at http://charismamag.com/index.php/component/content/article/20035:
1. Mr Joyner seems to consider that success in ministry is the thing that gives you authority to speak on issues in the body of Christ. But you can have 'SUCCESS' in ministry by having crowds follow you and yet live in lawlessness and be disqualified before God. Just read Matthew 7, where people come to Him bringing up all the ministry success in praying for the sick, prophesying and Jesus's reply is: Depart from Me, you who work lawlessness.
2. At the end of the response, Mr Joyner says sorry for sounding harsh. The Bible says that a servant of the Lord 'must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves' (2 Tim 2:24-25) Are we to expect this from Mr Joyner, who is a leader over leaders? Is he too busy with his ministry that he does not have time to obey the Bible's specific instructions to leadership? Shouldn't we expect a higher standard of holiness and behavior from leaders of leaders? Where is the meekness and gentleness in Mr Joyner's response? If he considers himself much higher spiritual authority than Mr Grady, he should model it to Mr Grady according to biblical standards.
The second point regarding this 'sorry if this comes across as harsh' is this: if he is really sorry, why doesn't he give some time to re-write his response before sending it out in a way that is more gentle? Is it not important enough to him what he is modeling before others through his way of doing things? To me, this sounds like a sorry without the fruit of repentance.
3. Following from this, it seems that Mr Bentley's sorry to the body of Christ for his mistakes is also missing the fruit of repentance. He was in adultery with his ministry co-worker, divorced his wife and then married the women he committed adultery. To me he has not repented of his adultery, if he went ahead and married that woman. When you repent, you change your mind about something and you turn the other way, not get deeper into it.
Also, I am not looking at what he says as much as what he does – why he married so quickly after the divorce? To me this sounds more like what Jesus calls adultery – divorcing your wife and marrying another. '
And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery' (Matthew 19:9) Does this verse mean anything for Mr Bentley?? To me, it indicates he is right now in adultery. What would repentance look like? I dare to suggest divorcing this wife and trying to reconcile with his first wife, if possible.
Does this verse means what it says, or should we make our own version for divorce, in line with the weakness of our flesh?
What is this going to teach the Body of Christ world wide except that it is ok to go your own way and not change as long as you say sorry. The Bible says that faith without works is dead, and so is repentance.
“Furthermore it has been said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery.
So, Jesus is basically saying that a man should not put his wife away except if she has committed adultery. So by divorcing his wife, Mr Bentley is causing her to commit adultery!
4.The Bible says that if a brother is offended with you, you should leave the gift at the altar and go and reconcile with your brother. That means that you should pause the ministry and try to discuss things with the offended brother. That's what Mr Joyner should do, because Mr Grady is not the only one upset with the whole response of leadership to Mr Bentley's sins, but many in the body of Christ are. And this is because he is not challenging Mr Bentley to live fruits worthy of repentance from adultery, and also because big prophecies were made over Mr Bentley while he was living in sin and where is the accountability for those prophecies?
He says that they are planning for some videos each week where Mr Bentley is going to do a lot of public apologizing. But sorry is not good enough to God, he can't hide his adultery behind a legal marriage to make it look ok, when it is not in God's eyes. He has to show fruits worthy of his repentance.
5.To me, apart from the tone of the letter which speaks for itself, the major issue is not even the personal life of Mr Bentley, but what sort of doctrine and spirits he was sharing with those from Lakeland… That has to be challenged even more, because a man's life can be here today and tomorrow forgotten, but wrong doctrines and spirits can live on and affect people's lives for generations to come. Angel experiences were promoted above the Word of God and extra Biblical teachings were given that would lead people away from Christ in some sort of spirituality that is dangerous.
6.For Mr Joyner to say that the revival was a good revival because there were healings and salvations while Mr Bentley was living in adultery and drunkenness is to say that you can lead a revival that is pleasing to God while in sin. Matthew 7 condemns doing God's work while in lawlessness, so who are we to approve it?
7.The Bible also says: 'Those who are sinning rebuke in the presence of all, that the rest also may fear. ' (1 Timothy 5:20) We are yet to see Mr Joyner publicly rebuking Mr Bentley in the presence of all the people, we shall be glad to see it if it happens. Until now all we see is that he is trying to restore him in private, and not rebuking him in public. If God says it should be done so, was God ungracious and insensitive of the brokenness of the person who sinned? I don't think so. He knows it will be good for them and the Body of Christ needs it so they will fear God. I am not talking about a shallow rebuke that makes a person say sorry and have no corresponding fruit of repentance, but a challenge to holy living based on the Bible's standards, not our own idea of grace. We sometimes try to be more gracious than God and He is not impressed. He wants to restore us all, but He will not tolerate us continuing in sin. He came to save us FROM (out of) our sins, not just to get a sorry from us while we remain in sin.
8. At the end of the previous statement of Rick Joyner regarding Todd Bentley he lists different ways to donate to Todd Bentley. But Todd Bentley says he is no longer in ministry, so why should he receive donations?? Is he in ministry or not? He should go and work a job while getting restored like everyone else and give some money to his wife and children.
Have a look at this link: http://www.polkpa.org/CamaDisplay.aspx?OutputMode=Display&SearchType=RealEstate&ParcelID=232926141966000290 . It shows that Fresh Fire Ministries USA has bought last July a property worth $475,000 located at 360 OAK LANDING DR, MULBERRY FL 33860Why should he be supported by the church? Why doesn't he sell that and live from it and help his own children with the money? Why keep on asking for money? That's because people like Rick Joyner want to restore him back to full time ministry, that's really why, without true repentance on the issue of divorce and remarriage.
9. I heard that Todd Bentley had a Facebook account and when I went to it, I was shocked… He has a button on his profile very prominently called: Become a fan! Should be fans of each other in the body of Christ or should be fans of Jesus only? Didn't Paul, the apostle, condemn the attitude of ; I am of Paul? I am of Silas? Are you trying to gather followers unto ourselves or unto Jesus? This is really disturbing to me…
10. To say that Todd Bentley was alright before the revival and then he fell because of the pressures of revival is another thing that is not true. He came here in Australia on the Gold Coast just before Lakeland and my friend who was there told me what happened, which rang serious alarm bells for me before the whole 'revival' thing started. In the breaks between the speaking engagements he went to get more tattoos…Also, he told the people something of this effect: I have an anointing from God, and I want to transfer it to people here, but first I want you to give a financial gift to my ministry and only then come. And if you are offended about this, don't bother coming! What is this? Giving God's anointing in exchange for money???
I think since there are so many believers who have been shocked and shaken by these Lakeland events, it will be rather hard for each of us individually to try to speak with Mr Joyner (who says he is rather busy) or with Mr Bentley, and in fact, their actions were not an individual sin towards me in particular, to justify having to use Matthew 18, but it is an issue of applying the doctrine of the Scriptures in issues like divorce before the whole world and there are many other issues related to the 'revival''s teachings and practices that are an issue for the whole Body of Christ, since it was made so public into 200 nations through TV. In Acts, believers were allowed to bring things up that caused an issue in the church and it was brought before the leaders to discuss and deal with it.
Also, the Bible says: 'Do not receive an accusation against an elder except from two or three witnesses.' (1 Timothy 5:19) This tells me that accusations can be brought by 'lower' people in the body of Christ against 'higher' positioned leadership. Why is Mr Joyner telling Mr Grady that he is not allowed to speak because he is smaller in ministry??? Which Bible principle is he following (or not following)? This is more or less a threat to say the the laity should be quiet, because they are not successful? Where did Mr Joyner get that from the Bible? What about the Scripture which says: 'Let each esteem another higher than himself???'
Rick Joyner keeps on bringing up the need to love a fallen man and to have grace for others, but how about some love for God and some zeal for His house??? How about standing on God's side to uphold His values and His holiness standards required for leaders? How does God feel in all these things? Was Jesus ungraceful when He overturned the tables of the moneychangers and chased them out of the temple? No, He was full of love for God and His house and he rebuked the offenders. How about fighting for the honor of God's Name and for the standing of His Holy Word? Unfortunately some in the Body of Christ, in the name of love and grace for others, have been trying to lower God's standards to the level of our human weakness, in the name of restoration.
God have mercy on us all, and help us live up to Your standards and give us more leadership that will imitate Christ.