[Originally posted at Bene Diction Blogs On, Jan. 30, 2010]
Evangelist Todd Bentley, who already bans people from his Twitter feed, must wish that he could ban Christian apologist and teacher Todd Friel from the entire Internet. Mr. Friel has a radio program that you can hear on the Internet, and on Tuesday (January 26) he had the preacher and Jessa Bentley in his sights.
"In his sights" is a good term, as he talked about Jessa Bentley's odd dream about Oral Roberts and the elephant, which I, and other bloggers, have reported on recently. I heard it on his daily highlights segment on the 'net, which I hope will remain available online. If not, I hope that Mr. Friel doesn't mind that I quote some of the relevant parts of his highlights show. (I'd like to get it saved in some form in case it is not archived.)
Mr. Friel comments on the latter parts of this video here:
Jessa offers some remarks about "discernment in the last days", which gives Mr. Friel his opening.
"It's funny [that] you bring up discernment! Let me see if I can discern a little something about you, lady. First of all, you were part and parcel to a grievous sin against a woman, her children, and God. You, Jessa, you went with a false teacher named Todd Bentley and you stole him away--I guess to each his own--stole him away from a woman and her children and you are a fornicator and now you've married him and now you're preaching? Wow! The chutzpah!"
"You wonder how much arrogance the Devil has? This is a pretty good example of it..."
(I think that Mr. Friel might have a better radio show if he learned not to mince his words. You know, speak his mind a little bit. ;) )
He plays the audio clip of Jessa explaining her dream. "Hear the piano music going along behind? Why is that needed?" he says.
He thinks that Jessa doing her best Stacey Campbell ecstatic prophetess impersonation was hilarious. Jessa's remark that Lakeland was "just the beginning" fills Mr. Friel with dismay:
"Some more ?!? Some more kicking people with cancer in the guts? Some more stories of healings?!? There's gonna be more? That was just an introduction? The nerve of this is absolutely stunning. It is absolutely breathtaking. That whole thing was sin compounded with sin. He was drinking during that charade called the Lakeland revival. He was duping people, screening people so that they could bring the right ones up, leaving the people in wheelchairs devastated in their wake. He was having an affair with this woman who sounds like a rattlesnake. Now she's getting up and saying there's more to come. Wow, you people must love money 'cause you sure don't love your souls."
The fact that Jessa thought she could interpret her own prophetic dream fills Mr. Friel with chagrin too.
"She's not Nebuchadnezzar, that woman. She [not only] has the dream and she interprets the dream....Here's what I think. So you [Jessa] had a dream with Todd Bentley and an elephant....This is what I think about the elephant. I think that what this means is what you did in Lakeland and what you are trying to reproduce again that you're the elephant Jessa because you've got thick skin. That you don't even listen to people crying out to you 'repent!'."
Mr. Friel, is sad, but not surprised that the dream is superficial. "Anything about Jesus, anybody?" he says. "Anybody but the Bentleys?"
Todd and Jessa Bentley, he figures, are shameless. "What are you gonna do, bring out the kids and dog next?" he asks. Well, he did bring the starter wife and his kids out on the stage at Lakeland, so it wouldn't be a first...
Thanks very much to Mr. Friel for his analysis. His membership card in the Todd Bentley Fan Club is on its way. By elephant courier, I understand. :)