A group of evangelical ministers tasked with investigating allegations of misconduct against charismatic pastor Todd Bentley have concluded that he should be biblically disqualified from ministry.
Bentley, who was instrumental in the Florida-based “Lakeland Revival” of 2008, has been accused of sexual misconduct with members of his staff. The man leading the investigative panel, Dr. Michael Brown, said he compiled 60 questions for Bentley, which were answered through his attorney, despite Bentley’s initial agreement to cooperate with the investigation.
The goal of the investigation, Brown shared in a statement on Facebook, was to answer the questions: “Does Todd Bentley, founder of Fresh Fire Ministries, live up to the high standards required of those who serve as representatives of Christ? Is he qualified, according to our understanding of biblical standards, to be a recognized leader in the Church?”
The answer the panel landed on was, “without a doubt, Todd is not qualified to serve in leadership in ministry today.”
According to the statement, the investigation revealed numerous allegations dating back to 2004 and included instances of sexting, adultery, vulgar language and substance abuse. In light of Bentley’s reluctance to engage in a healing process, Brown summarized that the panel saw “no signs of true, lasting repentance,” Charisma News reports.
Brown called the accusations “credible,” and noted that the charges “have been brought by numerous witnesses over a period of roughly 15 years, right until 2019.”
The panel added that Bentley’s lack of repentance and failure to be accountable “disqualifies [him] from public ministry.”
“We, therefore, recommend that Todd’s current ordination be rescinded until the process of repentance and restoration, described above, has taken place,” the statement added.
Bentley, clearly unfazed by the investigation, recently announced that he would be launching a new ministry school this fall.
Throughout his ministry career, Todd Bentley has been plagued by controversy and serious allegations of sexual misconduct and abuse. At just 15 years of age, he was convicted of sexually assaulting a young boy, and admitted to being “involved in a sexual assault ring.” Then, in 2008, he engaged in an extramarital affair with a member of his staff, separating from his wife in the process. Bentley went on to marry the woman, “Jessa.”
According to Bentley’s Facebook page, his goal for the new year is to let go of "negative and unbiblical processes and accusations” and to focus on “God, my family, community, and my wife.” He has not expressed any intention to leave the ministry, despite the panels’ recommendations.
Photo courtesy: Todd Bentley Facebook
Will Maule is a British journalist who has spent the past several years working as a digital news editor. Since earning a degree in international relations and politics, Will has developed a particular interest in covering ethical issues, human rights and global religious persecution. Will's work has been featured in various outlets including The Spectator, Faithwire, CBN News, Spiked, The Federalist and Christian Headlines. Follow him on Twitter at @WillAMaule.