Self-proclaimed “healing evangelist” Todd Bentley is set to tour Britain later this month, but it seems as though his presence may not be welcome. It has been reported that Labour MP Malcolm Wicks has asked Home Secretary Theresa May to ban Bentley, stating, “His visit can do nothing but harm and I would be grateful for any measures you can take.”
Wicks is not the only one who shares these concerns. The Daily Mail provides further information:
Peter May, a prominent Christian GP who served for 25 years on the Church of England’s ruling General Synod, and has investigated spurious faith healers for more than 20 years, said: ‘I’m concerned by Todd Bentley’s methods because a physical injury on any sick person could be very serious.
Bentley, who is the founder of Fresh Fire USA may best be known for helping to launch the 2008 Lakeland Revival in Lakeland, FL. Not long after Lakeland, Bentley stepped down from his ministry after it was revealed that he had been involved in an extramarital affair. In 2010, Rick Joyner of Morningstar Ministries announced that Bentley had been restored to ministry.
Todd Bentley is known for his outrageous and sometimes violent methods of “healing.” It is concern over this style that has led to a call for Bentley and his tour to be banned from the UK. In one video that can be viewed here, Bentley claims that the Holy Spirit told him to kick an elderly woman in the face with his biker boot. The Daily Mail article describes this as well as other incidents:
The former drug user, who is Canadian but based in the United States, even laughs about his ‘healing’ techniques. In one show he treated a man claiming to be suffering from colon cancer by planting his knee hard into the victim’s stomach. The man fell to the floor in agony.
On another occasion, a man was pushed over so forcefully that he lost a tooth.
Burly Mr Bentley, 36, said in one YouTube clip: ‘And I’m thinking why is the power of God not moving? And He said, “Because you haven’t kicked that woman in the face.”
‘And there is this older lady worshipping right in front of the platform and the Holy Spirit spoke to me. The gift of faith comes on me. He said, “Kick her in the face with your biker boot.” I inched closer and I went bam! And just as my boot made contact with her nose, she fell under the power of God.’
Regardless of one’s view of the continuation of the gift of healing today, most Christians would agree that there is no biblical evidence to indicate that the power of God would manifest itself in such a violent manner. The organizer of Bentley’s UK tour, however, denies that the evangelist uses violence and urged even those who are terminally ill to “come along and Todd will attempt to cure them.”
Unfortunately, there seems to be enough evidence to corroborate Bentley’s use of violent methods to incite these alleged healings, and thus the concerns of MP Wicks and others appear to be quite valid.