PLEASE DO NOT JUDGE TODD BENTLEY, NEWS HERE IS FOR US TO PRAY AND SHARE OUR VIEWS, THAT CAN RESTORE MANY IN THE BODY OF CHRIST. MANY ARE CONFUSED IN THE GOVERNMENT OF THE CHURCH.
Board of Directors of FRESH FIRE MINISTRIES
November 28, 2008
Todd Bentley has demonstrated himself unfaithful to his wife by entering into a relationship with another woman while still legally married. He has consumed more alcohol on a few occasions than is prudent or becoming a Christian leader (or any believer for that matter). His sins have been sins of the flesh and we do not defend them.
Greetings to our FFM Partners—past and present.
Please allow us to begin by sincerely apologizing for the long silence between our first two letters and this one. We will do our best to help you understand why it has taken us so long to respond to your many legitimate requests for information. Please also know that we write this letter as an explanation of our silence and not a defense of it.
We have received letters, emails and phone calls from many of you during the last three months, expressing sympathy and support as well as frustration and disappointment. We ourselves have been on an emotional rollercoaster for some time now and have found that looking to the Lord for His new mercies every morning enables us to make it through the day.
In light of our lack of communication, some of you have felt the need to withdraw your partnership with Fresh Fire Ministries; we completely understand and both release and bless you in your walk with God. Others have been compelled to discontinue their giving as a result of the economic crisis in America and in other countries around the world. We thank you for the many years of faithful support, and wish you to know that it was not in vain; more on that later. Nonetheless if you must go, for whatever reason, we trust that the Lord will lead you in connecting with the many other excellent ministries out there faithfully advancing His kingdom. Some of you have received so much good word and powerful impartation through FFM, that you might consider starting your own ministry.
Moving on, let us first say that we know, without a shadow of doubt, that Lakeland was and is an authentic move of God. Having known Todd well for many years, both his amazing strengths and his areas of weakness, we can say without reservation that the move of God in Lakeland, which began at Ignited Church, was genuine. We have never seen, in the history of this ministry, a greater quantity and quality of the miraculous demonstration of God’s healing power. As the Lord began to pour out His glory in Ignited Church and in the many venues that followed, Todd’s spirit was as pure as it has ever been and he was intensely hungry for more of God’s presence. He would spend hours soaking each day before the evening meeting, and once the worship had begun, Todd would become lost in the presence of God. The manifestation of amazingly accurate words of knowledge and astounding miracles flowed effortlessly night after night.
As the Outpouring continued, the Board of Directors and other leaders in Lakeland suggested that Todd take a few days off each week to rest and refresh. We learned from experience, however, and the post-Lakeland counsel of Christian leaders, that the anointing can be addictive. Significant personal issues in Todd’s life and make-up, as well as, flaws in the functioning structure of our leadership resulted in an impossible pace to maintain… seven nights a week for more than 15 weeks on end. We fully accept the responsibility as a Board of Directors for this lapse in judgment; we should have required that not just Todd and the team, but the entire Outpouring rest a minimum of one day a week. God himself rested after six days work as a pattern for His creation, and if the yoke of the Lord is easy and His burden is light, then He has no need to exhaust His people in a fresh encounter with Him.
As fatigue began to set in, significant personal issues in Todd and in his relationship with Shonnah were exacerbated. This, together with his increased familiarity with a female staff member created more tension in the Bentleys’ relationship. As the pressure of leading the revival continued, media attention increased resulting in less and less personal time. With the development of more friction in his marriage relationship, Todd began to make irrational decisions. Alcohol, movies and leisure time spent with a few of the younger, more impressionable members of his staff and road-crew began to replace the hours of soaking in the presence of God in which Todd had engaged during the early days of the Outpouring. Finally, Todd began to burn out, and things came to a head in his relationship with Shonnah. He was unwilling to put distance between himself and the female staff member and ultimately told Shonnah he wanted a separation.
The fact that the revival was in Florida, three thousand miles from our home office in Abbotsford, BC Canada, meant that the entire administration for the revival was provided by a rotating stream of church leaders and Board members who would assist behind the scenes and on the platform for a few weeks at a time and then return to Canada, usually on the verge of total exhaustion. Trying to keep up with the logistics of administrating the revival, including the massive challenge of moving from venue to venue until we finally arrived in the tent along with the media circus that ensued shortly afterwards, meant that communication was greatly inhibited between the leaders involved. Many early signs that something was drastically wrong were overlooked. By the time we became fully aware and/or were willing to admit how dysfunctional things had become behind the scenes, the damage had already been done.
As to our long silence in writing to you, please let us explain. We have been in much contact with Rick Joyner, Bill Johnson, John Arnott and other members of a team focused on restoring Todd, seeking to do all within our power to encourage him to embrace a process of counseling and genuine accountability. In deference to these leaders we have refrained from communicating at all until we could be assured that we were all on the same page. At the same time, senior members of the leadership team here at Fresh Fire as well as members of the Board of Directors have been stretched to the breaking point in attempting to deal with all of the attention created not just by the revelations of Todd’s marriage problems and personal issues, but also by the five months of revival preceding their disclosure. Since then, many false accusations and rumors surrounding both Todd and the Lakeland Outpouring have attempted to use Todd’s failures as a springboard to question the legitimacy of the revival. Consequently, key leaders have had to step back and rest in order not to burn-out themselves. This, coupled with the busy schedules of the restoration team, all of whom travel internationally, has made getting everyone on the same page difficult.
We so appreciate all those who have stepped in to assist the FFM Board in a process of restoration for Todd, but what we have come to realize is that ultimately, the buck stops with the FFM Board of Directors. No one knows Todd better, or has more access to all the facts from both sides than we do.
Again, we apologize for not writing to you sooner. We struggled for a while with the question of how to satisfy two important obligations – that of honoring Todd, while believing for his restoration and at the same time, our obligation to be completely honest and open with you as our partners. Through much prayer and with the Lord’s help, we hope to satisfy both those obligations with this letter.
There is a difference between covering Todd and covering for him. We refuse to expose explicit details of his failings over the last few months, but neither will we pretend there haven’t been any. “Covering” is a biblical term as in “love covers over a multitude of sins” or as in the case when Noah’s two sons draped him in a blanket when he unwittingly discovered what happens when you drink too much fermented grape juice. “Cover for” is a contemporary idiom meaning to lie or misrepresent the truth in order to enable another to get away with or to continue to be involved in illicit behavior. We have been slow in responding up until now, because we wanted to bring you a positive report, full of hope and the promise of restoration. All of that is still entirely possible and we pray to that end, however, further silence on our part would be misrepresenting the truth by allowing you to believe that what we said in our first two statements (which were true to the best of our knowledge at the time of their writing) is still the case. Unfortunately that is not so.
Here are the facts:
Todd has yet to enter into a clear system of accountability with the leaders he identified that would be involved in such a process. Todd has visited Rick Joyner in Fort Mills, South Carolina, and indicated early on in September that he would be moving there soon to become a part of the community there and to receive counseling from Rick Joyner, Jack Deere, Bill Johnson and others that Rick might feel to bring alongside. Todd is in regular contact with Rick Joyner and has agreed together with Rick that he will move to Fort Mills during the first few months of 2009.
Having spoken with Todd in recent days, he is resolute in his intentions to divorce Shonnah, and in his mind, the restoration he is seeking is one which would not include reconciliation with his wife. Todd admits to being 100% responsible for the divorce.
It also needs to be clarified that Shonnah has in no way initiated this divorce and has no present intention to do so at any time in the future. She is understandably hurt by Todd’s infidelity, but is not asking or pressing for a divorce. The legal separation from Shonnah was initiated completely by Todd and he has not seen her or the children since the last week in July. To our knowledge, Todd’s relationship with the female staff-member, who was a former intern and also, at his initiative, a live-in nanny in his house for over a year, is still ongoing. We believe that there are currently no biblical grounds for Todd to leave his wife and children. While it has been maintained that no physical contact happened between Todd and the former female intern until after he filed for legal separation from Shonnah, in the Boards’ eyes, the nature of the present relationship between Todd and his former staff member is that of adultery.
Having said all that, our sincere desire is to see Todd first restored to Shonnah and the children, though at present this seems unlikely. We are optimistic that should Todd keep his word and move to Morning Star, Rick and his team are well equipped to be the Lord’s instruments in a process toward restoration. With genuine accountability, inner healing, counseling and deliverance we are confident that it is entirely possible for Todd to come through and gain victory over a number of significant personal issues with which he is struggling.
We love Todd dearly and so appreciate the ground he has broken, not just for us, but for many tens if not hundreds of thousands within the body of Christ. Todd’s genuine love for the Lord, his hunger and passion for souls and his tangible demonstration of the love of God in miracles, signs and wonders will be remembered for many years to come. Todd is a champion in the Global paradigm shift from a lethargic and dunamis-deficient church to an empowered body of believers carrying out the Great Commission in a mighty demonstration of the Spirit’s power. That’s how we, and we think many others, will choose to regard Todd even if he doesn’t allow the Holy Ghost to work a process of restoration in his life. If he will, and we pray sincerely for that, then only God knows what can be accomplished through this young fire-brand’s life.
It is our deep desire that our brother Todd should be restored, and we are still hopeful that this will be achieved. Please let us make it clear, that although what Todd has done is inexcusable, it is not unforgiveable. We do not judge him unworthy of a second, third or even fourth chance, and we hope that you don’t either. The Lord spoke clearly that those desiring mercy themselves would be well advised to give it to others, and the Lord has brought amazing goodness and life out of far worse circumstances.
The Lord has been speaking to us about sins of commission and sins of omission. Many may look at Todd and judge him for what he has done and excuse or justify themselves on the basis that they have not failed or sinned (missed the mark) in the areas in which Todd has failed. But if we are going to judge Todd by what he has done, then we need to include all that he has done. And if we will excuse ourselves on the basis of what we have not done, then we must also take into account all that we have not done.
Todd Bentley has demonstrated himself unfaithful to his wife by entering into a relationship with another woman while still legally married. He has consumed more alcohol on a few occasions than is prudent or becoming a Christian leader (or any believer for that matter). His sins have been sins of the flesh and we do not defend them.
He has, however, also seen over 1 million people make decisions for Christ in the 10 years of his ministry. He has been instrumental in seeing the Lord heal tens of thousands of people (if not more) of all manner of sickness and disease through the personal laying on of his hands and who knows how many others vicariously through television and the internet, or though the prayers of those who received the healing anointing through Todd’s ministry. He has been used by the Lord to give countless accurate prophetic words and words of knowledge to thousands of people around the globe, and his testimony and passion for God just since April 2 in Lakeland, Florida has touched literally millions through the internet and television.
Jesus said, “They are my children who obey my commandments”, and if the theme of the Ten commandments in the Old Testament is “Thou Shall Not”, then the theme of the Two Greatest Commandments as outlined by Jesus in the New Testament in Mark 15: 30-31 is most definitely, “Thou Shall!”
“And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength… (and)…You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (NIV).
As is also said in 1 John 4:20-21
“If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.”
How many believers have become almost vicious in their attack against Todd, demonizing not only him but his ministry and everything he has ever done? What sort of spirit do you think is behind this? And how many around the world are sick and dying and unsaved because of what we, the global body of believers, have not done? Because we have not been obedient to preach the gospel, heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead and cast out devils (Matt. 10:8). Nothing is defined by what it is not, but rather by what it is; not by what it does not do, but by what it does do.
What Todd has done should not only be defined by his present failure. He has raised the bar on what is possible. He has broken a barrier of sorts for all of us and made a pathway into new possibilities. This is what you partnered with - not a man but a transferable anointing and an ability to reach into a combined realm of prophetic revelation and signs and wonders manifestation! Guard your deposit and don’t let the enemy’s backlash rob you of what you have already received. At the same time we openly admit that what Todd has done at the height of his supernatural breakthrough has resulted in a tragic breakdown in the natural causing great pain to many, but to none so deeply as to his wife and children.
Yet in all this we have been challenged and chastised by the Lord to remain gentle in our hearts toward him while we pray and encourage him to do the right thing and to come into accountability.
Galatians 6:1 is very clear in its instruction on how and with what attitude we are to restore one who has fallen,
“Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted” (NIV).
Maintaining gentleness of heart towards Todd means that we do not write him off or wish any manner of evil upon him. We need to continue to pray for him and to keep a door of relationship open to him. We are willing to assist in the process of his restoration, messy though it may be. Neither does a gentle heart towards Todd mean condoning what he has done nor enabling him to live in sin by either our support or our silence.
So please pray for Todd and also for Shonnah and their family. Pray with fervency that the Lord would do a mighty miracle for the number one purpose of bringing vindication to His Name, but also that we might see our brother restored. We cannot control a person’s choices, nor have we any desire to do so. What we can control is our response to their choices and see the Lord take what the enemy means for evil and work it together for good.
We at Fresh Fire Ministries are presently in a season of waiting on God. We are in the process of re-defining our government structure with assistance from leaders in Bethel (the church pastored by Bill Johnson in Redding, California) and others affiliated with Morning Star—Rick Joyner’s ministry in South Carolina. In August, Todd verbally stepped down from the FFM Canadian Board of Directors and has recently given written notice of his resignation. With Todd no longer at the helm we are looking to identify vision-casters from within and to refocus the ministry’s endeavors in keeping with the original mandate of Fresh Fire Ministries. In the coming weeks we will provide you, our partners with a detailed update of our vision and emerging leadership structure.
There is one area of the ministry that is seeing increased activity, and of all the many ventures and endeavors FFM has been engaged in, we believe this one to be closest to the heart of God. The Uganda Jesus Village in Africa is continuing to expand, with the building of homes on our recently purchased 35 acres of land just outside of Kampala, Uganda. Over the course of the summer, two brand new homes which will house eight to ten children each have been completed and construction is beginning on two more this week.
The purest expression of our faith as defined by the Lord in James 1:27 is to look to the needs of widows and orphans. Many FFM Partners and Missions’ Team Members have visited our children’s home in Uganda, commenting on the amazing transformation in the lives of these children orphaned by war and disease. Currently we are housing over 60 children in Kampala with a long-term vision to rescue as many as 500 children from the war-torn northern part of Uganda. We are in regular communication with our missionaries in Africa, Luke and Suzanne Jones and their family, and there is so much excitement in their hearts at the prospect of being able to rescue more children.
In this interim period as we wait on the Lord for clarification of our governmental structure we will continue to press forward in the work of supporting and expanding our Uganda Jesus Village. We thank all of our Partners that have given to this work and all of you that have sponsored and continue to sponsor the children in the homes.
Again, our sincerest apologies in having taken so long to respond and communicate to you, our beloved Partners. We thank you all for the grace you have extended us in this difficult season and together we look forward expectantly to brighter days ahead.
God poured Himself out in Florida and through the internet and television, around the world. Not on a man alone, but on a hungry body of believers has He given the seal of His Holy Spirit in power to be witnesses of His saving grace throughout the world. Through the weakness and failure of man, the enemy seeks to defame and discredit what God has done in empowering and authenticating his Church as carriers of His power and anointing to accomplish His purposes in the earth for His Glory.
Let us do as Elisha did when standing alone after a season of mentoring and impartation. Let us swing the mantle that we now carry, the mantle of God’s Glory, and together cross over to the other side.
God is waiting for us in 2009—certain to be our greatest year yet!
We understand you may have questions and concerns that you want to express to us. We love you all so much in Christ, and we welcome you to contact us by phone at 604-853-9041 or email firstname.lastname@example.org . We look forward to hearing from you.
Blessings in Jesus name!
Fresh Fire Leadership and Board of Directors
FRESH FIRE MINISTRIES
Todd Bentley Remarries, Begins Restoration Process
March 10, 2009 -- Todd Bentley
, who became well-known for leading the Lakeland Outpouring until he stepped down after announcing he was divorcing his wife, Shonnah, has remarried.
He has also entered into a restoration process led by MorningStar Ministries founder Rick Joyner, it was announced Monday.
Joyner said Bentley and his new wife, Jessa, married "several weeks ago" and have moved to Fort Mill, S.C., where MorningStar is based. Jack Deere of Wellspring Church in Texas and Bill Johnson of Bethel Church in California will assist Joyner in overseeing Bentley's restoration process.
"There were failures; there were mistakes-I want to be absolutely sure he sees them, understands them," Joyner told Charisma. "I want to see that that gate is shut, that this is not going to happen again.
"I'm not in the business of trying to perfect anyone," he added. "I'm not going to ask him to be perfect, but there are a lot of issues, and they're valid. ... He is not pushing for ministry or anything; he is trying to get his life right."
Bentley had led revival meetings in Lakeland, Fla., for nearly four months when he suddenly stepped down from public ministry in August after informing staff members that he and his wife, Shonnah, were separating.
His Fresh Fire Ministries (FFM) board, based in British Columbia, later announced that Bentley had confessed to an inappropriate relationship with a female staff member and a senior board member said Bentley's alcohol consumption had "crossed the line."
Joyner said Bentley and his new wife admit that their relationship was "premature," but say it did not begin until Bentley was convinced his first marriage could not be saved.
"They have both expressed that it was wrong and premature," Joyner said in his statement. "They do not want to try and cover this up even though they know many will never accept them for it. Even so, they are married now and are resolved to make the most of their marriage, their lives, and to continue to serve the Lord in the best way that they can." (Read Joyner's statement.)
Joyner was one of several charismatic ministers who appeared on the platform at the Lakeland Outpouring last June when Bentley publicly submitted himself to the oversight of apostolic leaders Bill Johnson, John Arnott and Ché Ahn, who represent a group called the Revival Alliance.
Arnott said the alliance would serve in an advisory role during Bentley's restoration process. "I trust all of those guys," Arnott said. "They're just men of integrity, men of grace."
Arnott said Bentley, because of his actions, had stepped out of the fellowship of the alliance. "Relationally we all do care for him," Arnott said. "But he wouldn't be seen as a member in good standing."
In a statement released with Joyner's, Bentley said he has been in a season of brokenness. He said his previous marriage endured "years of unresolved conflicts" and apologized that it ended in divorce.
"I take full responsibility for my part for the ending of the marriage," he said. "I realize that my silence and decisions have caused many of you to feel hurt, confused, and offended. The reason for the silence was for my need of healing, creating a restoration process under a team of qualified leaders, much needed rest after the Lakeland Outpouring, repentance, and the divorce process."
Bentley said he hopes to be "fully restored, strengthened, healed, and to learn from all the mistakes I have made along the way."
Bentley was scheduled to begin the restoration process last October, but Joyner said his relocation to Fort Mill was repeatedly delayed due to problems securing a permanent visa.
Last fall, Bentley stepped down from the Canada-based ministry he founded, which has since changed its name from Fresh Fire to Transform International. Joyner said Fresh Fire USA would be based in Fort Mill at Heritage International Ministries, which Joyner leads, and he invited supporters to contribute to the ministry.
"The whole point of restoration is to get you back from where you were," Joyner said. "He is going to be back in ministry, and we want to lay a solid foundation for that. There are partners who want to support his process. They want him restored and healthy. It's just building an infrastructure."
Bentley said he would remain out of public ministry while he sought healing, though teaching articles were posted at a MySpace page as recently as December and he continues to sell ministry product through his Sound of Fire Productions, which his father helps manage.
Although Joyner was unfamiliar with the MySpace page, he said it is appropriate for Bentley to begin telling people what happened in his life and ministry. "I think it can help [keep] a whole lot of other people from going through the same mess," Joyner said. "And he's a grown man; I don't treat him like a child. That would not help his process either. The main thing he's restricted himself on is preaching, going out doing any kind of public ministry, but there's a huge demand for understanding what happened."
Joyner said there is no rush to return Bentley to public ministry. "We know that trust has to be earned and that Todd will have to earn the trust of the Body of Christ for future ministry, which will not be easy, nor should it be," Joyner said in his statement. "Todd, more than most, does not want to jump back into ministry prematurely, even as much as he misses it in some ways."
From early on, the Lakeland Outpouring was fraught with controversy. When praying for healing, the tattooed evangelist was known to hit the sick in the stomach with his knee in a move more common among wrestlers than preachers. Bentley even recounted kicking a woman in the face in an act of "obedience to the Lord."
The revival meetings, which began at Ignited Church in April, ended officially in October. Pastor Stephen Strader said the church has continued to grow since then, and he has no regrets.
"I would not have done anything differently," Strader said. "Every action we took was based on the information given to us and what the Holy Spirit revealed to us. So if people aren't happy with decisions we made, they're going to have to talk to God. I tell people all the time, discernment is a gift, it's not a talent. If God decides to hide a matter, there's not a thing you can do about it. We constantly prayed for revelation, protection."
Arnott said he believes the Lakeland Outpouring was a genuine move of God. "There were a lot of people healed, a lot of people saved, genuine fruit came out of it," Arnott said. "A lot of young people got released and are ministering like never before. It is unfortunate when a leader falls like this. Nevertheless, the good part was good."
Joyner said the restoration team would be giving regular updates, including videos of Bentley telling his story posted at the MorningStar Web site.
Restoration Process by Rick Joyner
Todd Bentley was used to spark the Lakeland Outpouring, which raised the faith level of much of the body of Christ. Testimonies of healings and miracles from it are now virtually all over the world. When Todd's marriage failed, he abruptly stopped all ministry and virtually disappeared for almost nine months. In the meantime, his divorce was finalized and he has recently remarried.
Todd has taken full responsibility for the failure of his marriage. He and Jessa also admit that their relationship was premature and should not have happened the way it did. Both are adamant that it was not the cause for the failure of his first marriage, nor did they begin their relationship until Todd was convinced that his marriage was over. They have both expressed that it was wrong and premature. They do not want to try and cover this up even though they know many will never accept them for it. Even so, they are married now and are resolved to make the most of their marriage, their lives, and to continue to serve the Lord in the best way that they can.
My position all along has been that I will do my best to comply with Galatians 6:1, "If a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted" (NKJV). To obey this Word, I have always felt that it did not matter what one had done, and that it was my responsibility to help them find the grace of God to return to the place from which they had fallen. I confess that with Todd, I am not just doing this as a duty. From the time I first met him nearly ten years ago, I knew that he had an extraordinary purpose and a gift of faith for the miraculous that would be desperately needed in these times. I consider helping any of God's children an honor, and helping Todd is a privilege.
I also confess to some selfish ambition in wanting to do this. I had a dream two decades ago in which one of my children had fallen into a sewage ditch and could not get up. My child was being scorned and no one would help him. A man came along who helped my child get up and then cleaned up. In that dream, I felt as if I would give everything that I owned to this man who helped my child. Then I heard the voice of the Lord say, "Jim Bakker is My child. Will you help him?" Since that time, I have been devoted to helping any of God's children that I could who have committed any trespass, because I knew there were few other things that would bring the Father's favor. I consider this willingness to at least try to help others this way a major reason for the extraordinary favor that our ministry, my family, and I have received. I love Todd and am glad to help him, but I also know by doing this, I will be doing something that means a great deal to our Father.
When we release someone to minister in the body of Christ, we are releasing him or her to minister to God's own children, and I personally do not do that with anyone who I would not allow to minister to my own family. For all that was done through Todd, and especially at Lakeland, which touched and helped countless thousands, many were also left confused and hurt by the way it ended. I think Todd is even more sensitive to this than I am. Although in some ways he greatly misses being in ministry and praying for people, he wants to be sure that when he comes back that his life and his ministry are on the most solid ground possible so that he does not cause these kinds of problems again.
Jack Deere and Bill Johnson have agreed to be a part of Todd's restoration process. I asked them to be a part because I know they will probably see things I don't, but also because both Todd and I trust them and know they would not sign off on something they did not really believe in. However, both of them are going to be involved in this at a distance, and therefore, I will be the main person responsible.
Being a believer in body ministry, I expect our whole leadership team, and to some degree, our whole local church, to be involved in helping Todd and Jessa. Our staff and all from the church that I have discussed this with are very happy about them being here and want to help them in any way that they can.
In future Bulletins, we will go into more detail about what we're doing and why, as well as what we think was a cause of some of the failures Todd experienced. We will only do this for the sake of helping others avoid the same traps. We know that trust has to be earned and that Todd will have to earn the trust of the body of Christ for future ministry, which will not be easy, nor should it be. Todd, more than most, does not want to jump back into ministry prematurely, even as much as he misses it in some ways.
I for one have been very encouraged by the expressions of grace and genuine concern so many have expressed toward Todd in this situation. It gives me great hope. As we have been constantly reminded, the Lord had great patience with sinners, but He had none for the self-righteous. We're all here because He had mercy on us, and we know we still need it. However, we also know that true repentance and restoration can only come if we refuse to compromise the clear biblical standards for morality and integrity.
Todd wanted to personally say the following:
It has been a long while since I have spoken publicly and openly. I am sorry for the hurt and confusion that my decisions have caused the body of Christ. It has been a true season of brokenness, hiddenness, and a long process of grieving.
As many of you now know, my previous marriage has endured years of unresolved conflicts. I apologize that it has ended in divorce, and I take full responsibility for my part for the ending of the marriage. I realize that my silence and decisions have caused many of you to feel hurt, confused, and offended. The reason for the silence was for my need of healing, creating a restoration process under a team of qualified leaders, much needed rest after the Lakeland Outpouring, repentance, and the divorce process.
I have now relocated to Fort Mill, South Carolina and have entered into my restoration and healing process under Rick Joyner, Jack Deere, and Bill Johnson. I am confident of this one thing-that God is faithful to His promise and my hope is to be fully restored, strengthened, healed, and to learn from all the mistakes I have made along the way.
Thank you friends and partners for your continued prayers, encouragement, and love. I am committed to the work of the Holy Spirit and confident that the good men around me will help me be restored first as a man, as a husband, and ultimately to fulfill God's call on my life.
Those of you who were touched by the Lakeland Outpouring do not lose your encouragement. What happened there was from God, and Todd is a true servant of God. He has made some mistakes, and he is trying to get his life back in order, and you can be confident that he will. Throughout the Bible, many of the greatest heroes in it also made some of the worst mistakes. King David, possibly the greatest hero in the Bible after Jesus, made one of the most horrible mistakes, not only committing adultery, but murdering the husband of the woman he committed it with. God knew that was going to happen with David when He called him, and He loved David before, during, and afterward.
One of the remarkable events in the Bible is that the Lord then used Bathsheba to bring forth the heir to the throne, Solomon, and she is part of the genealogy of Jesus. It still stretches me, but we need stretching in the grace of God. At the same time, we must balance it with how God hates divorce, and it is one of the scourges of our times that is tragically hurting many, many people. Marriage is under such an assault now because it is so important. However, legalism will not overcome lawlessness. This situation and similar ones that almost every church and family are now being faced with is one that we need answers for. We cannot run from Him, but must run to Him with our need.
Many of Todd's friends and former partners have asked if and how they might help. Donations can now be made to Fresh Fire USA at the following address:
Fresh Fire USA
C/O MorningStar Fellowship Church
375 Star Light Dr.
Fort Mill, SC. 29715
Make checks out to Fresh Fire USA or if you would like to donate by credit card, call 1-800-542-0278, and tell the operator that you want to make a donation to Fresh Fire USA.