Thursday, July 24, 2008

Pointing out Wolves

Hank Hanegraff and Russell Moore have the backbone to identify a wolf masquerading as a shepherd. See this article about so-called "faith-healer" Todd Bentley. (On a related note, read William Dembski's experience with taking his autistic son to a Bentley service.) It is sad to have to point out false teachers, but it is a necessary safeguard. And it is a duty for those who seek to be faithful shepherds of God's sheep. Titus 1:10-11 (NKJV) says, "For there are many insubordinate, both idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole households, teaching things which they ought not, for the sake of dishonest gain."

From the article by David Roach:

Russell D. Moore, senior vice president for academic administration and dean of the school of theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, bemoaned the fact that people believe Bentley's claims.

"Every few years here comes another fraudulent, scandal-riddled 'faith healer,'" Moore said. "That's, sadly, no surprise. I am not dubious about healing. I believe that God heals today.... We all know, however, that there are those who will use the power of God to peddle a product.

"What's most tragic about this cycle, though, is the fact that there's always a constituency for guys like this. I fear that it's more than just P.T. Barnum's famous old maxim about the gullibility of the American public. I fear that there's something missing in our churches that drives even some of our people to charlatans. Might there be less of a demand for these traveling health-and-wealth revivalists if our churches spent more time on our knees in prayer for sick and hurting people?"

Moore encouraged believers to pray for the sick according to the commands of James 5:13-15 instead of looking to faith healers like Bentley.

"Perhaps if we gave more attention to prayer in our own churches, the most desperate among us -- in our neighborhoods and in our pews -- would have less reason to search out a self-appointed carnival-tent apostle," he said.

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