Todd Bentley is mostly a joke on this site. He’s a preacher who claimed to have raised 35 people from the dead. By himself. Naturally, he provided no proof of this. He also thinks kicking women in the face is a good way to heal whatever ails them. Oh! And one time, he helped a woman grow a new boob. Just like Jesus commanded.
So he’s just a weird preacher who makes outlandish claims. Nothing new to see here, right?
About that. Bentley is also the founder of a ministry called Fresh Fire USA, and one of his former colleagues, Stephen Powell is now saying that Bentley has a “perverse sexual addiction” that includes “both homosexual and heterosexual activity.” Powell also says he made “sexual advances” toward his own interns.
Powell made the following video and explained his complaint at length on Facebook:
Among the accusations for which Powell claims to have evidence:
… Screenshots of Todd asking a young single online student of his to “send him pictures of herself” on multiple occasions, asking her what she was wearing, on multiple occasions, asking for long hugs when they meet, and numerous other inappropriate and disturbing suggestions and appeals to this young lady who is not his wife.
Testimony of a male intern who claims that Todd offered to pay him $1,000 to allow him to perform oral sex on the male intern…
Testimony of a male intern who claims that Todd offered to pay him $500 to send Todd a video of him masturbating.
… Testimony that Todd made out with his young female assistant whom he is not married to,
Testimony of Todd (or a male leader at Fresh Fire that’s alluded to as Todd) smoking weed with a male intern from 2018 and then offering the male intern sex.
There’s more in the post.
Powell also makes allegations that Bently watches porn, curses, and (with his wife) partakes in what might be described in non-Christian circles as “swinging.” I don’t particularly care what he does in his personal life as long as its consensual. I certainly don’t put any of those things in the same ballpark as sexual abuse.
Powell says he compiled a full report of these allegations and shared it with men who helped oversee Bentley, including conspiracy theory-loving pastor Rick Joyner. On Friday, Joyner posted a video dismissing all those allegations and saying Powell was operating in a spirit of “witchcraft”… which a Christianese for “Well, what was she wearing?”
“When people come to me with pressuring, manipulating, especially threatening if I don’t do something their way, or in their time, I know that’s the devil,” Joyner said. “That’s in Scripture, counterfeit spiritual authority which is called witchcraft. That is not the Holy Spirit. We’ve got to start recognizing what is from the Holy Spirit and what is not.”
That… shouldn’t make anyone feel better.
Bentley has now also responded to the allegations, admitting to “having a past” but not admitting any details about what Powell wrote.
“They are gossip, they are swirl, they are speculation, hearsay and they are without any real evidence. As far as let the accusers come forth. Let them name names. Let them meet with me, with Rick. With whoever is on my leadership. I would love to be able to look in the eye of the people making the claims,” he said.
“I do have the things in my past I gotta say … whether they are six months, a year, two years, five, six, seven. Many of the things that I’ve addressed and continue to address in my life to be clean,” he said.
“I am not guilty of the things that I’m being accused of as far as those homosexual acts. Things that are taken out of context in inappropriate text messages or conversations that I had that were not right that I’ve had to own, that go back to 2013,” he said, noting that he didn’t have any sexual affairs or commit adultery.
Sure, he may have sent some lewd messages in the past. Sure he may have abused his power. But don’t you dare accuse him of being gay.
Even Bentley admits there’s shadiness in his past, though. The question is whether it crossed the line into legal abuse, and not just arbitrary Christian definitions of “sin.”
But I’d be shocked if this changes anyone’s mind about him. If his constant barrage of faith-healing lies didn’t make Christians question his authority, why would allegations of sexual improprieties do the trick?
Bentley is following the standard religious playbook. He gets accused of something appalling, he admits to doing some stuff BUT NOT THE WORST STUFF, he blames the accusers for holding some grudge against him, and then he cloaks any apology in Jesus-speak to win over the gullible masses. Keep in mind that, according to his own public testimony, he got “saved” a long time ago. So even if he admits to a troubling past, those incidents may very well have occurred after he had accepted God for real.
No one should fall for this schtick, and yet they do time and time again.
(Thanks to Kyle for the link)