John Bloom's picture
06.16.2008 | Comments(8)

Speaking in Fists


Todd Bentley, the bald, pierced, tattooed ex-addict evangelist from British Columbia who looks like a biker and likes to talk about how many tumors he’s healed at revival meetings (he’s a little less adept with crippled legs), has been camped out in Lakeland, Florida, for a while now (what is it about Central Florida that brings out the lunacy caravans?) and he’s taken to explaining from the pulpit just exactly how he gets messages from God to physically assault worshippers in order to heal them. So far he’s kicked a woman in the face, grabbed a woman and banged her legs up and down on the platform “like baseball bats,” jumped on top of a man (“I got into a full mount”) in order to “ground and pound,” choked a man until a devil popped out of him, hit a Chinese guy so hard it drove him back several feet and caused a tooth to pop out of his mouth, and leg-dropped one of his fellow pastors. It’s all worth it, though. In one case, a woman’s tumor “exploded out of her right leg, slid down her leg, onto the floor.” Let’s hope they preserved the tumor, because Bentley’s current venue–the Sun ‘n’ Fun RV Park–is just 37 miles from Gibsonton, Florida, winter home of the circus sideshow operators, many of whom would give him a good price for a genuine tumor in a jar.

Get Thee Behind Me, Chuck

Prince Charles

Somehow I missed the whole “Prince Charles Is the Anti-Christ” conspiracy theory, which apparently flourished in the eighties and now has new life on the Internet, especially since the Prince recently gave a speech at the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi by sending a hologram. This impressively lifelike speech has been examined and re-examined by end-times prognosticators who leave online comments such as “Get thee behind me, Satan” and “Wake up! We are being manipulated! Don’t be one of the sheep!” The fact that the hologram was used in the Middle East, in front of so-called “eco-nazis,” somehow made it possible to be linked to the previous most popular Prince Charles conspiracy video, a performance of Carmina Burana by the BBC National Orchestra on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of his investiture. Carmina Burana has a final chorus with supposedly satanic overtones and was written by Nazi-era composer Carl Orff. (Okay, nobody said these were simple connections.) Note, though, the “vampiric teeth” of the conductor. Apparently the anti-Christ is also a bloodsucker, which, as far as I know, is a new twist on the old story. Won’t Help Her

Cheryl Lean Granger, previously mentioned in these columns as one of the most brazenly aggressive church-bookkeeper embezzlers in history, has received six years in the hoosegow, after which she’s expected to pay back the $333,000 she stole from Newport Harbor Lutheran Church in Newport Beach, California, which she attended with her professor husband until the two of them absconded to New Hampshire, where they were tracked down by dogged Orange County investigators. Hopefully she’ll be sent to one of those prisons where she can earn 10 cents a day sewing underwear or something.


that calvinist doug | 03:20 pm on 6/16/2008

The reason all the "healing ministries" pop up in Florida is because it (Florida) is a tourist haven. It provides a built in crop of new devotees weekly, and they don't hang around long enough to discover the dirty laundry. Oh yeah, they also have low taxes...

budda | 10:30 pm on 6/16/2008

That totally makes sense, Doug. I have never thought of that before.

joy | 10:36 am on 9/12/2008

mayb its cos something spiritual is happening....its not that big a deal to b honest n instead of everyone judging dont get involved in it if u dont agree with it....its simple!

SRebbe | 03:21 pm on 6/16/2008

I still thought only G-D has the power to heal. someone needs to smack that wayward marble back into place in these crazies' heads. hey, if it's the language they understand...

UNCLE KENNY | 06:00 pm on 6/16/2008

Why does this happen in Central Florida so often?

How else does a pastor justify taking the wife and kids down to Disney for a few fun filled days in Orlando? You tell your church board, elders, or trustess that you are going down to check out this "new move of God" just in case revival really is happening in Florida!

Just make sure you pack your Junket Pills!


Michael L | 04:20 am on 6/17/2008

If Bentley came running full tilt towards me, my boot would be extended at groin level, waiting to meet Mr. Bentley and his future offspring. This type of behavior is despicable. As far as verifiable healings - none. If God wanted to heal the guy with the glass eye and prosthetic legs, wouldn't it have been more of a demonstration of God's power to have 2 complete legs erupt from his hips, and to see his glass eye pop out and roll across the stage because he suddenly has a new real eye? Instead, he gets an inch. What possible good does that do for him?

I think someone is pulling our legs.

UNCLE KENNY | 03:50 pm on 6/17/2008

Yeah, but even if that happened there would be folks that would still doubt it and claim it was all done with CGI, so why bother?

I don't know if what is going on down there is God or not and pretty much decided that it is smart not to have an opinion--if it is God, I don't feel like spitting in his fan.

The thing that drives me nuts is the way it draws moths to the flame. Folks act like they need to make the caravan down to go see God. Now I understand this if their local church is as dry as dust, and the presence of God last drifted through a couple of decades ago. What I don't get are these "experience junkies" that even in the midst of a pretty vibrant, spirit filled ministry feel the need to pack up and trek like some twisted version of The Grapes of Wrath. Revival and equipping can happen anywhere God feels like showing up. If we start worshiping the experience over the actual relationship. . .well then it isn't much more than a dog and pony show. All I know is that I don't want to be the one holding the hoop that folks are expecting the Holy Spirit to jump through.

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