Seaborn Hall, 8/26/19; Revised 8/31/19; updated 9/08/19
CS Commentary: CS is not the authority on this issue and is not the arbiter of what is right, Scriptural, or anything else in situations like these, but in that they are made publicly, we offer these comments as we try to work through our own understanding of what to believe and who to support and to help readers work through them and decide where they stand on their own.
We never supported Bentley’s ministry, having an uncertain feeling about him from the very beginning, over two decades ago.
Powell’s accusation and explanation is not without weakness, though it is very tough to deal with a situation of this nature and to bring accusations against those with much higher stature than yours. Very few, if any, would do this perfectly. That said, we believe Powell may go a little too far with his comments about Joyner.
Nevertheless, we find Joyner’s (Todd Bentley and 1, Rick’s Rant, and, Rant, Part 3) responses on Facebook lacking and unconvincing. Additionally, if it is true that he is on Todd’s board (there is nothing about a board or supervision of Todd’s ministry on the Fresh Fire site that we could find – link is here) and he has never talked to Powell, Bentley’s primary accuser, personally, that is more than concerning. Powell’s comments on FB relative to the current handling of this carry weight and come across as convincing. Yes, there appears to be apparent self-righteousness and some aggrandizement on both sides, but we’ll let that cancel each other out.
We did not agree with Joyner and Bill Johnson’s handling of Todd’s first public fall into immorality, the fall which led to his divorce and present marriage. If Powell’s descriptions are accurate, we can’t agree with the handling of this now. In Joyner’s defense, his first response to the accusations reflect a great amount of humility, but are also concerning from a ‘wisdom’ standpoint. He admits that supervision of someone in this kind of situation is not his calling or strength, and frankly, from his comments it is easy to see why.
Though we respect Joyner, we do not agree with his comments or handling of the situation. To see Rick Joyner’s first response to Powell’s accusations, go to this link
At approximately 13:00 following on the video (might come at 15:00), he appears to accuse Powell of operating in ‘witchcraft.’ Much later he accuses Powell of handling the whole issue in an ‘un-Biblical’ way. This is not how we would interpret it or view it from reading all of Powell’s post, and frankly, considering Joyner’s untimely and slow response, it seems unfair to Powell. Two months seems long enough to wait for someone to respond when you know that the person in question is harming others, and possibly manipulating those below them in a public ministry. On the other hand, from Joyner’s perspective, we can understand how this issue might not have been #1 on his priority list and if he was in the middle of, or about to go on, a family vacation how he might not want to deal with it immediately.
However, Joyner also calls Powell a ‘faultfinder’ (15:12 ff) a charge that seems grossly unfair, considering the behavior reported – unless we are missing a whole segment of Powell dialogue. We don’t believe that we are. We don’t know where Joyner gets his statement that Powell’s intention is to remove Bentley from ministry ‘forever.’ If this is true, we do not agree with Powell. On the other hand, assuming the charges are true, he should not be in ministry currently and for a lengthy time going forward – and there should be Biblical supervision of some kind over his ministry in the future.
In general, there is a difference between dealing with sin in a normal believer’s life and dealing with someone in public ministry with authority and supervision over others. The Bible makes this abundantly clear in the Gospels, James, and other passages. (Others speaking on the Bentley issue have dealt with these passages in detail – for example see Ron Cantor’s posts and R. Loren Sandford’s posts – so they will not be dealt with here.)
The primary question in this whole episode is this: Does an average believer (a believer who has relationship and intimate knowledge of the person in question) have a right or a responsibility to expose a higher level leader who he knows is in unrepentant or unconfessed sin that is harming those under his care? We believe that he not only has a right, but a responsibility to do so. See R. Loren Sandford’s comments here
If you knew with a high degree of certainty that someone was a Serial Killer, would you tell all of your women-friends? Would you tell strangers who would listen? Would you go to the Police with your suspicions? We believe the answer to all of these is ‘Yes.’ Reason? Because you don’t want to be or feel responsible for one more person being killed. In our opinion, this speaks to the public exposure issue, but also to the time issue. Time is of the essence, because the longer you wait to tell, the greater the probability that someone else dies.
So, what if Powell got a little ‘frustrated’ after dealing with an enormously pressurized situation for over several months? It seems like Joyner goes out of his way to give grace to Bentley, only to throw Powell under the bus. Joyner accuses Powell of ‘manipulation, threats, and control’ to try to get a meeting with Joyner. None of this comes across in Powell’s FB post. If it is true, than Joyner’s position has more weight. But Jeremiah Johnson, R. Loren Sandford, Ron Cantor, and now, Patricia King have all come out in support of Powell, his character and his intentions. Joyner, in ‘Victims’ complains of the lack of ‘judges’ in the Body Of Christ that can deal with situations like this almost in the same breath that he condemns Powell – someone acting in a Biblical manner (as testified to by Jeremiah Johnson, Ron Cantor, and Patricia King) as a ‘Judge.’ Crazy.
Getting ‘frustrated’ and giving in to ‘frustration’ – even if that is what Powell did (which Ron Cantor maintains he did not) – doesn’t amount to someone controlled by witchcraft, in our opinion. Maybe Powell just needs the guidance and understanding Joyner is so willing to give to Bentley (who he admits has had multiple moral failures, even since his “repentance’ and ‘restoration’ in 2012).
Jeremiah Johnson was correct when he prophesied recently at the Lancaster Prophetic Conference 2019 that more charismatic/prophetic leaders were about to fall and be exposed publicly. Todd Bentley appears to be one early fulfillment of that prophecy. See Jeremiah Johnson’s defense of Powell here
According to Johnson, “I believe Todd Bentley is a predator and a danger to the Body of Christ.” CS encourages you to read his entire statement. We stand with Sanford, Jeremiah Johnson’s, and Patricia King’s statements. We are also very supportive of Ron Cantor’s ‘Open Letter To Rick Joyner, Part 1’ (see link below), Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4. We encourage everyone to read Cantor’s statements, particularly Parts 1, 2, and 4.
Lastly, and again, CS is not the arbiter of what is right, Scriptural, or anything else in situations like these, but in that they are made publicly, we offer these comments as we try to work through our own understanding of what to believe and who to support and to help readers work through them and decide where they stand on their own. We encourage everyone to confess and repent of their own sins – especially to confess and repent of the sin of idolatry of the prophetic and prophetic leaders, or other leaders – and to pray for all of the parties involved in this issue.
Some of the links below may no longer be active. See Spiritual Life Page 9/08/19 for the latest updates on the controversy.
Related Links (some of these links may be deactivated; see Spiritual Life page)
R. Loren Sandford’s comments – For You Tube link see here
Jeremiah Johnson’s defense of Stephen Powell – see this link on Facebook
Rick Joyner’s Rant On Todd, Part 1 – see this link on You Tube
Rick Joyner’s Rant on Todd, Part 3 – see this You Tube link
Rick Joyner’s August 29, 2019, apparent Latest Report on Bentley, Titled ‘Victims’ – see this link on You Tube
Note: If there is a Part 2, we can’t find it.
Also see, An Open Letter To Rick Joyner, Part 1, Ron Cantor – see this Facebook link
Also see, A Little History On Bentley’s Situation From Patricia King, 2010 – see this link
Also see, Todd & Jessa Bentley Confession To Rick Joyner in 2009 – see this link
Stephen Powell’s Initial Post Exposing Todd Bentley, August 22, 2019 – see this link