Guest / Limited Access /

Canadian evangelist Todd Bentley has announced that he will leave the Florida Outpouring revival meetings in Lakeland on August 23 to conduct revivals overseas. But some local Pentecostal leaders, as well as some national ones, won't be sad to see him go, and have been wary of giving approval to the meetings since they began in April.

Bentley shrugged off the criticisms.

"We're preaching and teaching the gospel and praying and healing the sick," he said. "Jesus said a tree is known by its fruit. What's the fruit we've produced? Thousands are coming to praise God."

The Pentecostal revival has drawn an average of 30,000 or more people each week, according to its leaders, with about half of those from outside Florida. Almost a third come from outside the United States, leaders estimate. Observers say the Internet, over which the services are streamed live twice a day, has also fueled attendance.

Bentley, 32, runs Fresh Fire Ministries, an independent organization based in Abbotsford, British Columbia. He is an unusual sight with his many tattoos and jeweled lip studs. A self-professed fan of professional wrestling, he is prone to giving gentle shoves or kicks and shouting "Bam!" as he touches people to "impart" the Holy Spirit to them. His antics have alarmed some, such as Charisma editor J. Lee Grady, who editorialized against those methods in the magazine. But the crowds beg to differ.

Bob and Hilkka Mounder traveled from Sheffield, England, to attend the revival. "Todd is rather special to us. We've really experienced God's presence at his meetings," Bob Mounder said. "I'm 20 years older, I know lots more about the Bible than he does, yet there's something about him. He's got something I haven't got."

While faith healing is a ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Read These NextSee Our Latest
RecommendedA Sobering Mercy
A Sobering Mercy
The second time I surrendered to Christ, I was on a dirt road with no memory of how I had arrived there.
TrendingLecrae Brings Reformed Rap to Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show
Lecrae Brings Reformed Rap to Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show
(UPDATED) Performance with The Roots was the first by a Christian rapper on late-night TV.
Editor's PickWorking For Justice Will Make You Uncomfortable
Working For Justice Will Make You Uncomfortable
Eugene Cho wonders whether we're willing to go beyond paying lip service to social change.
Comments
Christianity Today
Leaving Lakeland
hide thisSeptember September

In the Magazine

September 2008

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.