I said in a previous post that I was puzzled by the session with Brent Borthwick of Fresh Fire Ministries. I’d seen the one-hour God TV presentation of the Florida Healing Outpouring. I thought it all a bit strange. Recognising however, that this was probably not the whole story, I decided to go and listen to Brent Borthwick.
At the start of the session, Mark Stibbe repeated what he’d told us the night before. He had made a personal visit to Lakeland to see for himself what was going on. There he witnessed a very straightforward presentation of the Gospel by Todd Bentley. Many people answered the call to respond to the offer of salvation. After this appeal was concluded, ministry began. Stibbe reports many people clearly healed, as well as testimonies of healings from other nights. Among them were people who had subsequently visited their doctor to receive a clean bill of health.
Alongside this, Todd Bentley was carrying out evangelism training and sending people out on the streets to preach the gospel and offer prayer or healing. This in turn resulted in many people being saved and healed. Stibbe said that despite Bentley’s strange appearance and flamboyant style, he consistently pointed people to Jesus for salvation and healing. Having heard from others that Thursday afternoons session had been really good, including a time of ministry to church pastors, we waited with anticipation for Brent Borthwick to speak.
Brent is another larger than life character, and a longtime friend and colleague to Todd Bentley. He assured us of Bentley’s credentials, and his passion for the kingdom. But he kept bursting into laughter and interrupting himself with comments like, “hey, there’s a well here!” (just below his position, in the front of the audience). There was a lot of talk about how fantastic it was that all these people were getting healed and experiencing the joy of the Spirit, and we must get organised to bring it to Scotland. But to me there seemed little of God, hardly any mention of the Bible (except for the odd verse shouted out). And the promise of prayer for healing didn’t materialise since he just went on and on and on about how fantastic it all was, and we should all get it. I felt like sayin, “if you shut up and pray, maybe we will.”
Sadly, this display would do little to dispel the apprehensions of the more conservative or fundamental groups who have condemned the apparant excesses of Bentley’s ministry. I would avoid such accusations, because he would have been at home in the early Salvation Army. But if this is a genuine move of God, Brent Borthwick was a very poor ambassador for the outpouring and for the Kingdom.