First of all, it is outrageous that Shonnah Bentley, Todd’s first wife, does not seem to be an issue in the current discussion. Her name is never mentioned in Joyner’s statement—while Todd is mentioned 18 times. We are never told how Shonnah is handling the divorce. How will she manage to care for the three children she and Todd share? She and the kids seem invisible in this process. Yet if anyone needs healing and restoration, is it not the other half of this broken family?
Second, we charismatics still seem to have a habit of elevating gifting above character. It’s almost as if the end justifies the means. (So what if a preacher ruins one marriage and makes a hasty decision to marry a younger woman—the important thing is that we get him back in the pulpit to heal the sick!) That is a perversion of biblical integrity. God can anoint any man or woman with the Holy Spirit’s power; what He is looking for are vessels of honor that can carry that anointing with dignity, humility and purity.
We have not mourned this travesty. We have not been shocked and appalled that such sin has been named among us. We act as if flippant divorce and remarriage are minor infractions—when in actuality they are such serious moral failures that they can bring disqualification.
In the original announcement, Todd makes a statement that I feel both lacks true remorse and subtly removes responsibility from his plate:
I am sorry for the hurt and confusion that my decisions have caused the body of Christ.
I apologize that it has ended in divorce, and I take full responsibility for my part for the ending of the marriage.
These statements have a hollow ring to me. He is sorry for our reaction? And he says that it was not his fault but his decisions fault. And then he apologizes for his part in the ended marriage? Subtly shifting blame to Shonnan, not that she may not have guilt, but this is a classic “shifting blame away from me” move. I am not making a judgment here, maybe he really is remorseful and not just sorry he got caught, however, it just doesn’t sit right with me.
Finally, Rick Joyner responded:
I am deeply offended that you would call our work “a travesty.” The Lord had far more grace for sinners than for the self-righteous, who He had no grace for at all. I am personally far more concerned for you than for Todd.
Jesus has grace for sinners, however, Todd is not a sinner, he is a leader that was living a life style of sin. He was a self-righteous hypocrite, living a white washed lie. The problem was not just his lifestyle, his ministry had a lot of questionable issues about it. When people spoke out, they were often accused of “touching the Lord’s anointed”. This is a scripture that has been brutally slaughtered in order to prevent leaders from coming under scrutiny. This verse is God speaking to the nations around Israel and has nothing to do with the people of God judging those claiming to be speaking or doing the things of God.
Rick Joyner’s response is the typical crap that is used to cover up having to answer to people that are in fact testing the spirit.
Should Todd be restored? That’s not for me to answer. I’m just perturbed that this was not seen as an opportunity to clean up some of the garbage that has been collecting in the charismatic household.