Healing Evangelist Todd Bentley Reveals Facts About Past Assault

by | Dec 31, 2002 | Charisma Archive

The young preacher says he wants to set the record straight about an offense he committed at age 14, before his conversion
Canadian evangelist Todd Bentley knows well the power of a testimony to convince the lost that no one is too far gone to find healing in Christ. Recently, he has also learned that when the secular media digs into one’s testimony, confession may not be so good for the soul.


In a lengthy feature article published in the September 2002 issue of Charisma, Bentley, 26, acknowledged that at age 14, as a juvenile, he had been arrested for assault. A March 2001 story about him that was published in The Report–a secular, conservative political magazine published in British Columbia and Alberta, Canada–offered a similar report.


But The Report story backfired when the mother of the victim of the assault read the article and informed the magazine that Bentley’s assault had been sexual and that he had molested her son, also a minor, at the time. Bentley served several months in jail for the crime, and five years afterward he gave his life to Christ. Today his crusades around the world are producing reports of healing miracles and thousands of salvations.


The Report writer who filed the original story about Bentley’s ministry called him back to verify the nature of the crime. As a juvenile offender, Bentley’s record was protected from public disclosure, and he said he had no idea The Report would then turn around and publish his acknowledgement of the crime.


“[The reporter] didn’t tell me he was doing a follow-up story,” Bentley told Charisma. “He was just friendly and told me what the mother had said, and I admitted to him in what I thought were off-the-record comments that it was true, but that it happened years ago and I had since been changed by the gospel.”


Bentley openly acknowledges the rougher parts of his juvenile past when he preaches in public, including his near-fatal drug overdoses, criminal burglaries, physical abuse of his mother and several stints in prison. But he said he has never talked openly about the sexual assault because of the stigma the crime carries and what he says is “the inability of Christians to forgive certain sins.”


His advisers, who include several pastors and counselors, have advised him to refrain from talking publicly about the sexual crime for the same reasons.


Bentley did publicly acknowledge the sexual assault during the summer of 2001 while leading a conference and crusade in Kewlona, British Columbia. He had received the support of the New Life Vineyard church in Kewlona to use their facilities for the events, and organizers had installed posters advertising the event around town.


The family of the assault victim had moved to Kewlona, and when they saw the posters with Bentley’s name, they contacted local media. Bentley decided to address the local outcry by going on the 6 p.m. local TV-news broadcast. He admitted the crime on-air, asked for forgiveness, told viewers how ashamed he was, and how he was transformed five years after the incident by the gospel’s power.


“From that incident up to this article in The Report, our ministry has not had one complaint about this revelation from my past,” Bentley told Charisma. “The church in Kewlona stood behind me and continued to allow me to use their facilities to finish the conference. The protests stopped after I went on TV, and they aired that broadcast two or three times.”


Bentley, who is now married and has children of his own, said he has feared Christians would be afraid to leave their children around him if the
juvenile sex-offense were known. He says he will report on the crime in a book he is writing that is expected to release this year.


Two ministers who provide pastoral covering for Bentley told Charisma they have full confidence that God has forgiven him for his juvenile crimes and that he is in no way susceptible to repeat offenses of that nature.


“Todd is in good standing with us, and we believe him most definitely to be restored,” Pat Cocking said. “There has been no sign at all of any questionable behavior.”


Bobby Conner of Demonstration of God’s Power Ministries in Moravian Falls, N.C., echoed Cocking’s sentiments.


“I do serve on Todd’s watch-care group and minister with him several times a year,” Conner said. “I know that he is a faithful young man. The anointing on his life is awesome. I feel he has been up-front with me and the watch-care group about his life before Christ. It seems well to move on now and not to continue to open what God has forgiven and covered.”
Billy Bruce

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Why God is Laughing at Their World Domination Plans

Why God is Laughing at Their World Domination Plans

They will make the greatest bid for world domination in history. It is no longer just armies that threaten freedom—it is corporations and corrupt politicians. I believe that evil in all of its vile colors is even now rising to try to crush our freedom and our...

The Power of a Generational Vision for Your Family

The Power of a Generational Vision for Your Family

Have you noticed that no matter how good you’re doing, trouble always seems to come? Trouble is not an “if” in life. It’s a “when.” Trouble may come in finances, a diagnosis, a family problem or even a season of hardship. But understand this: there is more than one...

Why You Can Say With Confidence That ‘God Saved the Queen’

Why You Can Say With Confidence That ‘God Saved the Queen’

It’s strange being a British-born American. The recent death of Queen Elizabeth II was another reminder of how my British and my American self often see things from different perspectives. Now living in the UK, I made the pilgrimage to London last weekend to pay my...

Dr. Alveda King’s Urgent Message for Christians

Dr. Alveda King’s Urgent Message for Christians

On Sept. 1 President Joe Biden took the stage in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and called MAGA Americans a "threat to democracy." He emboldened Americans to join him in defending democracy against the millions of people who support President Donald Trump. After listening...

Man Who Spent 23 Minutes in Hell: Don’t Deceive Yourself

Man Who Spent 23 Minutes in Hell: Don’t Deceive Yourself

People are deceived by pride, by sin, by evil people, by strong drink and by living in fear. If a person is teachable and adheres to the instructions found in the Bible, they will recognize any errors in their thinking and correct themselves. For the rest of this...

RECENT ARTICLES

How You Can Partner with the Holy Spirit for an Unprecedented Harvest of Souls

What is the Great Harvest ultimately about? It is God’s great, deep love for all those whom He has created. It is about His desire that no one should perish, but that everyone should be saved and be...
8 Contrasts Between the Confessing and Compromising Church

8 Contrasts Between the Confessing and Compromising Church

During the days of Nazi Germany, there arose a Confessing church movement that rose against the German church movement, which became the religious arm of the Fascist Nazi Socialist movement. Of the 18,000 pastors in Germany during that time (from 1933 to 1945), less...

Is America Preparing the Way for a One-World Ruler?

Is America Preparing the Way for a One-World Ruler?

The culmination of history is approaching. The end of the world may be at hand. Yet Jesus tells us we should not be alarmed. Why? Because we are engraved in the palms of His hands. Because we are carried in His arms. Because we are the apple of His eye. The time is...

Joyce Meyer: How You Can Make God’s Love Your Lifestyle

Joyce Meyer: How You Can Make God’s Love Your Lifestyle

I have made it a priority to study about love in the Word of God. Getting a revelation about how much God loves me and learning to receive His love has been life-changing for me. It’s been the key to being able to really enjoy my life because when I received God’s...

Pin It on Pinterest