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About The Todd Bentley/ Rick Joyner Situation

August 30, 2019

Dear Fellow Members of the Body of Christ,

As you may have heard, there is currently a major shaking in the American church related to accusations of immorality by evangelist Todd Bentley. Mr. Bentley was involved in a similar situation in 2008. There is also controversy swirling around the process of restoration for Bentley, conducted by Rick Joyner and others. My name, along with quotes of mine, are also being circulated. Because of this last fact, I want to make a brief statement.

  1. I am not currently, nor have I in the past, been a part of Todd Bentley’s restoration process. I have no spiritual oversight of him, am in no way connected to him nor have I ever been.
  2. The statements being circulated by me are accurate. HOWEVER, the quotes are a small portion of a lengthy, open letter to the body of Christ I wrote in 2008. That letter was an unsolicited, general statement of repentance written on behalf of leaders in the American body of Christ—something many refer to as “identificational repentance”—pertaining to our many failures regarding vetting those we endorse, ordain, and restore to ministry. It was written in response to what I deemed gross mishandling of the Bentley situation at the time. (The letter can be read in its entirety below.)
  3. I am not inserting myself into the current controversy, nor have I been asked by anyone directly involved to do so. 

Like most of you, I grieve when these situations arise: for those abused; for those who have fallen; for the disillusioned body of Christ; and for the Lord Himself, whose heart is surely grieved. I encourage prayer for those responsible to restore fallen members of the body of Christ (it is a difficult process), for the fallen, and for any victims.

Finally, situations like these are always good times to search our own hearts, as well as ask Holy Spirit to do so, according to Psalm 139:23-24, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way.”

Sincerely,

Dutch Sheets

*******A STATEMENT and APPEAL REGARDING LAKELAND*******
-Dutch Sheets. (Aug 21, 2008).

It has now been a couple of weeks since I heard about Todd
Bentley’s plans for separation and divorce. Like everyone, I have
had a variety of emotions including anger, sadness, and grief.
Every time I see this scenario repeated, I grieve: for the husband
and wife involved; for the family that will be scarred in so many
ways; because of the incredible reproach it brings to Christ; and
the distortion it gives concerning God’s heart and ways. I am
praying for Todd and his family.

I was asked numerous times to write my position on Lakeland
while it was happening, but always felt checked by the Lord—the
waters were too muddy and emotions too high. I now feel strongly
that the Lord wants me to do so. It will be arguably one of the
greatest risks of my ministry to date, but one I feel must be taken.
Fathers, when given the voice to do so, bear the responsibility of
giving correction and wisdom. I hope mine qualifies for the latter. I
assure you I have spent many hours praying and thinking through
the situation. The risks are broad: with some of my dearest friends
and co-laborers, I risk harming those relationships; with many in
the charismatic body of Christ, I risk appearing to be an arrogant,
“self-appointed” spokesperson for them; to the “I told you so” crowd,
I risk the accusation of “spinning” the situation. (As far as the
heresy hunters and revival police—not those who raised legitimate
questions about Lakeland, but the attack dogs who make their
living and build their ministries criticizing everyone else—I lost
respect for them long ago and couldn’t care less what they think.)

My purpose and sincere prayer in writing this statement, however,
is three-fold: to see healing begin for the body of Christ; to initiate
a process that can remove the reproach brought to Christ and the
Church; and to do these things while preserving and honoring my
current relationships. I pray that these desires, along with my heart,
come through loudly. And I hope I’m writing this with true humility—
who among us clearly sees all hidden in our own hearts? Let me
also preface this statement by saying that what needs to be said
cannot be done quickly or carelessly. I do not want my heart to be
missed and am not willing to run that risk for the sake of brevity,
so please bear with the length. (Incidentally, I think it will be
obvious no one involved in the Lakeland situation has asked me to
write this; and for the sake of integrity on my part, none have been
consulted concerning what I’m stating.)

Mistakes at Lakeland

Did leaders handling the Lakeland situation make mistakes? Yes—
huge mistakes. Beyond the obvious fruit of salvations and healings,
can good come from Lakeland, as some have suggested, even
with the recent revelations concerning Todd Bentley? Yes, but only
if there is complete honesty and transparency, the removal of all
attempts at self-preservation, and absolute humility from all sides.

Did I endorse the Lakeland meetings? No, I did not, nor did I
condemn them. I acknowledged that healings were occurring and
some were being saved, which I still believe and rejoice over. I
realized and stated that the thousands of people attending were
hungry and sincere, as were those involved in leading the 2
meetings. The worship was regularly good. But looking past some
of the immediate and positive results, I, like many, also looked
ahead to the possible fruit from questionable doctrine and
experiences, exaggeration and hype, youthful pride, character
issues and the frightening potential of a 32 year “young” man
leading a movement that could shape the future of the Church.

These things were frightening, very frightening, to others and me.
When something has the potential of setting precedent, birthing a
movement and being reproduced as a prototype, we are no longer
simply endorsing good brothers, good intentions and miracles.
Doctrine and foundations will be built on these events. Teachings
and paradigms for future ministries will be formed—in short, the
next generation of the church and the move of God in the earth
could be greatly impacted. This is why I stopped short of endorsing
everything at Lakeland. Just as importantly, I could not ignore the
“check”, the uneasiness, the sickening feeling deep in my spirit
telling me something else was wrong—terribly wrong—in this
situation. Like other leaders I tried to push past my uneasiness
with the showmanship, the “bams,” the head butts and kneeing,
along with certain experiences and doctrines, all in order to
embrace the good. Like many of my friends I tried to be—and
believe I was—gracious, accepting, ready to think “out of the box”,
etc. But try as I may, the uneasiness in my spirit just wouldn’t leave.

Did I voice my concerns to the appropriate people? Yes,
including stating my concerns for Todd’s marriage to the Lakeland
Outpouring Apostolic Team. Did they listen? Some did, some
didn’t. But I want to state emphatically, this is not an “I told you
so” statement. In fact, much of what I want to address goes back
several years into our charismatic Christian history. And I assure
you that concerning our present weaknesses in the charismatic
church, there is plenty of blame to go around. Personally, I’ve
been right at times with my discernment and decisions, wrong at
others. It would be worse than hypocritical for me to point the
finger of accusation—I have no stones of judgment to throw.
Nonetheless, mistakes were made and must be acknowledged
and learned from in order for us to heal, grow and move forward.

Some of my closest friends endorsed and participated in the
Lakeland meetings. For them I have both criticism—all of us lose
credibility at this point if we’re not completely honest—and
affirmation. Should they have been more discerning and have
listened to the warnings they received? Obviously. Should those
who “aligned” Todd with spiritual fathers (which was a good thing
and positioned him to receive help if he chooses to accept it) have
realized to do so publicly was a mistake and could be interpreted
by those watching in no other way than as a complete
endorsement? Yes, they should have, especially when the event
became a commissioning ceremony, complete with decrees and
prophecies of going to higher levels, predictions of Todd’s
increasing world-wide influence and leading a world-wide revival,
emphatic and prolific endorsements of his character, etc. How
could those watching believe the evening was anything but an
aligning, endorsing and commissioning ceremony? It was. It really
doesn’t matter who laid their hands on Todd—all share
responsibility. This was unwise at best, naïve at least and at its
worst, foolish. And should the leaders involved have realized that
those of us connected to them relationally, ministerially, and as
movements—some even in alignment with them apostolically and
as sons and daughters—would feel minimalized, if not betrayed,
by the fact that they were in essence taking us onto the stage
with them? Yes. These feelings were inevitable, especially when
we had such uneasiness and asked them not to. Should there be
an acknowledgment of these mistakes to the body of Christ for the
sake of accountability and in order to rebuild trust? I believe so,
and remain hopeful this will happen.

With such strong statements of disagreement, what is the
affirmation toward my friends who led, participated in or endorsed
this ceremony (and the meetings in general)? Simply stated,
I know their hearts. It is not a contradiction of my criticisms
toward some of their actions to, at the same time, defend and
endorse their hearts and character. It is completely appropriate —
when true—to defend a person’s heart and integrity while
disagreeing with their actions.

I think the blunder of that night was huge and very damaging to the
body of Christ, but I also realize that in their hearts, those involved
honestly felt they were doing the right things. Again, while not
defending the action taken, I would defend the character and
integrity of Peter and Doris Wagner as vigorously as anyone I
know, and do so with absolute confidence. There are no two
people, and I mean that literally, who embody the qualities of
humility, integrity, holiness (no compromise!), sacrifice, unselfish
kingdom-thinking, the tireless giving of themselves to Christ’s
cause and the body of Christ—and do I need to add risk-taking?—
as much as Peter and Doris Wagner. It remains my great honor to
be associated with them and call them a spiritual father and
mother. And again, while not minimizing or “sweeping under the
rug” any wrong decisions, I remain steadfast in my belief that
similar affirmations could be made of others involved—either
directly or indirectly—in the ceremony. And some of them still see
their endorsing of Lakeland as an endorsement of revival generally,
not of Todd personally.

The Bigger Picture

It may come as a surprise, however, that my real purpose in
writing this is not to only state the above, as important as I believe
saying it is. My primary purpose, and I believe my assignment
from the Lord, is to identificationally repent on behalf of the
leadership of the charismatic body of Christ (see Nehemiah 1:4-7;
Daniel 9:1-19). In doing so, I do not have a pompous, “no one else
will, so I’ll do it” attitude, nor am I arrogant enough to think I have
become the spokesperson for the charismatic church. But in the
same way that I can identify with the racism of white predecessors
and repent to blacks, Native Americans and other races, I can
represent the leadership of the charismatic body of Christ and
identificationally repent for our sins and weaknesses. I encourage
leaders who find my statements true and appropriate to join me.

Beyond the simple fact of it being appropriate, I firmly believe it is
the only way to begin the process of rebuilding trust with those
asked to follow us and to remove the cynicism of the world we ask
to listen to us. As you know, regaining credibility is much more
difficult than attaining credibility. Concerning what I’m about to say,
I don’t believe I have a critical spirit, nor do I want to diminish the
sacrifices, faithfulness, and hard work done by so many in ministry.
The fact remains, however, that we have failed the Lord and His
people in many ways—not just with Lakeland but in countless
other situations—and must repent if we are to be trusted in the
future. And as you also know, no repentance is effective if watered
down and couched in excuses, therefore, I intend to be brutally honest:

1) We, the leaders of the charismatic community, have operated in
an extremely low level of discernment. Frankly, we often don’t even
try to discern. We assume a person’s credibility based on gifts,
charisma, the size of their ministry or church, whether they can
prophesy or work a miracle, etc. (Miracles and signs are intended
to validate God and His message, not the messenger; sometimes
they validate the assignment of an individual, but never the
person’s character, lifestyle or spiritual maturity.) We leaders in
the Church have become no different than the world around us in
our standards for measuring success and greatness. This has
contributed to the body of Christ giving millions of dollars to
undeserving individuals; it has allowed people living in sin to
become influential leaders—even to lead movements, allowing
them influence all the way to the White House. Through our lack
of discernment we built their stages and gave them their platforms.
We have been gullible beyond words—gullible leaders producing
gullible sheep. When a spiritual leader we’re connected with
violates trust, is exposed for immorality or falls below other
accepted standards of behavior, it does not exonerate us simply
to say we don’t condone such behavior. Those we lead trust us to
let them know whom to trust. We have failed them miserably in
this regard. For this lack of discernment, and for employing and
passing on inappropriate standards of judgment, I repent to the
Lord and ask forgiveness of the body of Christ.

2) We, the leaders of the charismatic church, spin our involvement
and fail to acknowledge our responsibility when other leaders fall—
all of which stems from our self-preservation and pride. Enough of
the spin—we’re no different than Washington, DC. Every time
another embarrassing and disgraceful situation is exposed, the
dancing begins. It seems that no one bears any real responsibility
except the man or woman who actually commits sin. Incredibly,
we even blame “revival” itself—the pressures, attacks, weariness,
the “revival is messy” argument, etc., saying it is responsible for
the failures. This is disgusting. Those of us on boards of fallen
leaders, those who helped give them a voice, put them on TV,
published and endorsed their books (yes, I have), etc., are not
exonerated simply by saying we don’t condone the wrong behavior
or that we didn’t know. We’re supposed to know. I don’t believe
anyone is expecting perfection from us—I know I’m not. We’re far
too human for that. But we are expected to have enough humility
to look the world and those who follow us in the eye when we miss
it and say, “we were wrong and we are sorry.” Our careless
accountability has caused the body of Christ to be spiritually
raped and abused. It has produced disillusionment and brought
immeasurable reproach to our God and cynicism to His message.
Concerning Lakeland, what was called the “greatest revival since
Azusa Street” has become possibly one of the greatest
reproaches. We, the leaders of the charismatic church, are
responsible. For not accepting and acknowledging our
responsibility, for caring more about our own reputation than
Christ’s, I repent to God and ask forgiveness of the body of Christ.

3) Our procedures and standards of accountability are incredibly
inadequate. We have provided camaraderie, not biblical
accountability. For those on Todd Bentley’s board who had
previous knowledge of his marriage problems and said nothing, it
was more than a mistake—it was reckless, foolish, and
irresponsible. For those on the stage the night of his aligning and
commissioning who knew and said nothing—ditto. For those there
who didn’t know, my question is, “why didn’t you?” You were
trusted to know. That is one of the purposes of public
commissioning and the purpose behind the concept of
endorsement. I’m not trying to point the finger; I’m endeavoring to
get us to be honest about our failures—we have serious credibility
issues. Have I ever laid hands on, commissioned or endorsed
anyone without adequately checking them out? Yes, but you
better believe I’ll be more careful next time! And we must not
single out Lakeland. We’re all guilty. What about the leader in my
city who ran with some of the leading spiritual fathers in our nation—
sincere and good men, I might add, and not all “charismatic”
leaders—who sang his praises and helped build his stage—all
while he was doing drugs and having sex with other men? But we
shouldn’t blame only the high profile cases—what about those of
us who unknowingly have had adulterers on our staffs or appointed
elders that turned out to have compromise in their life? Sounding
familiar yet? This is so epidemic that every member of the body of
Christ stands guilty—what pastor or leader did you follow that
turned out to have sin issues? What ministry did you support that
was unworthy? There is plenty of blame to go around. The big
question becomes not “who do we blame” but “how do we fix this
mess?” Leaders can live in sin—adultery, homosexuality, financial
wrongdoing, drugs, etc.—for years without it being realized. They
can offer completely unacceptable lifestyles for the body of Christ
to follow and still keep their TV programs and lavish lifestyles. In
the name of grace, compassion and forgiveness we have lowered
the standard so much that often there isn’t one. We have bought
into the lie that true discipline is “shooting our wounded.” We have
made a mockery of biblical restoration, making “ministry”—not
healthy individuals, marriages and families—its ultimate goal. The
fact is, integrity matters. No, we don’t need legalistic, pharisaical
standards, but we must have standards. For this lack of biblical
accountability, I repent to God and I ask forgiveness of the body of Christ.

4) We, the leaders of the charismatic church, have built on hype,
sensation, innovation, programs, personality and charisma. This
has produced: shallowness; false movements; novice leaders—
gifted but immature and untested; a deficient understanding of
God’s word; the building of man-centered rather than kingdom-
centered churches and ministries; competition rather than
cooperation; humanistic, self-centered Christians who don’t
understand sacrifice and commitment; Christians without
discernment; superstar leaders; a perverted and powerless gospel;
prayerless and anemic Christians; a replacement of the fear of the
Lord with the fear of man; and a young generation that is cynical
of it all. We are responsible, not the devil; he takes what we give
him. For this compromise in the way we build, for giving the
Church watered down wine, commercial Christianity, a flashy but
weak Church and hype disguised as anointing, I repent to God and
ask forgiveness of the body of Christ. Galatians 6:1-5 is an
appropriate reference with which to end this statement: “Brethren,
even if a man caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual,
restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to
yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens,
and thus fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is
something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each
one examine his own work, and then he will have reason for
boasting in regard to himself alone, and not in regard to another.
For each one shall bear his own load.” NAS

My passionate prayer is that God honors this repentance — I
believe He led me to do it and therefore, will—and uses it to begin
a process of cleansing and healing for all of us. In order for the
coming great awakening to bear maximum fruit we must have both,
as well as a course correction that sets us on a path of wisdom
leading to life. There is no doubt that past moves of God have been
aborted, ended prematurely and contained error or heresy that
have wounded, if not destroyed, many. The healing revival of the
40’s and 50’s, the charismatic movement, discipleship movement
and Jesus movement are all examples. My heart is to help shape
a movement, the fruit of which will last for decades — better yet,
forever. And I have great expectations for us—I am not a cynic.

My passionate prayer is also that Todd Bentley’s marriage survives
and thrives…that he turns his heart fully toward Christ and toward
those with whom he is aligned, and allows them, as God leads,
to put him on a path of complete restoration. I thank God for those
who were touched by the Holy Spirit at Lakeland and while
watching it on God TV and the web. May we all move forward into
all God has planned for us in this awesome season of endless
possibility.

With great hope—Dutch Sheets.

Comments 60

  1. Thank you for honesty. There is so much we in the Body can learn from this. In essence we need to pray fast praise worship and have heightened discernment. We all need to repent and forgive for as believers the Bible tells us to pray for our leaders – though not making excuses we are still human. In any event the enemy will try to gain an inch and where possible gain more. It is a wake up call for awareness and responsibility for all regarding future events. Again thank you and prayers for all.

  2. Yes and Amen, Dutch…..
    Simply put, I stand in agreement with your thoughts, heart’s desire and join you in repentance to God. May the Lord be glorified as the Church is humbled and seeks forgiveness.

    Praying for you, Brother, as you take your stand. Keep on, keepin’ on… you are making Kingdom impact. Shields high!

  3. I simply say Thank you. This is cleansing for the body. You are a man after God’s on heart. Blessings to you! Again Thank You!!
    Sara Hickman

  4. I appreciate this candid and sincere statement. May it be read and received in the spirit in which it was intended. Thank you, Dutch Sheets

  5. Thank you for sharing this. I agree with you. We all have a responsibility to be accountable to the Lord and to those who over see our ministries. So glad we serve a merciful Loving God.
    Pride is a spiritual killer.

  6. Thank you. May there be great healing and restoration because of these words. May God forgive us and heal us all and put us on His straight ancient path.

  7. Thank you for posting this Dutch. God has given you a deep supernatural wisdom into these issues and for these times, no doubt born of your personal journey and continuous work to guard your heart and mind. We all bear scars of those in the church not worthy of our trust. However, as none of us are worthy, none of us can cast blame onto another, but must be responsible to know in our own hearts who we can and cannot trust. It takes true discernment. I sincerely hope God blesses your ministry as it is wholly unto Him to glorify Him and cause souls to be saved.

    I have hope too because we serve a patient loving God!

    Terri McGee Norvell

    PS – Steve loves you dearly- he’s saved and loves God ❤️, but still struggles with certain sins.

  8. Dear Brother Sheets, I would have failed miserably to try to convey what you have made so clear. You have wipe the mess with a clean towel and encouraged all to do acts of good Godly sorrow. Rom.2. You have spoken truth and in clear words made plain the way to walk in true repentance. Bless you Sir and may God keep his hands on you and protect the anointing you have walked in all tge years I have respected and listened to you. You have cause me personally to be watchful but merciful. Strong and not hard. A true balance as Prov.11:1 says. Bless you Brother, Yvonne Conatser

  9. Thank you for stepping up as a leader in the body of Christ and as an Intercessor for our nation. This apology has been long overdue and I believe it will spur other leaders to stand with you. I know it took many tears and Intercession for you to step out in identificational repentance on behalf oh the body of Christ. This had to be done. I love the Lord with all my heart and have been praying for the leaders and pastors of this nation and their complacency. The Lord highlighted Ezekiel Chapters 8 & 9 a few years back and it’s something that has propelled me to intercede. How must God feel, yet He is so merciful. I’m standing with you 100% and will be praying for you and your family for standing in the gap. Thank you so very much for putting yourself out there for all of us. Not easy, but someone had to do it. I honor and respect you. Love you Dutch and Ceci.

  10. Thank you so much for posting this statement regarding the current upheaval surrounding this new exposure of a long trail of tears and damage. I commend you and come into full agreement with your identification prayer and trust that it will be a foundation stone to future moves of God and the revival we have all been praying for for years. It doesn’t surprise me that this would need to be taken care of, cleansed, admitted, changed and reconstructed in order for the Holy Spirit to come in an ongoing way so that we can make room and way for the return of the King and Lord Jesus Christ to the earth. I have been where church discipline has been exercised, where the offender submitted to restoration, was reinstated, had a re-occurance and then ultimately disappeared. I believe it was done correctly. But I also personally experienced this in my previous marriage. After my spouses failure and confession, the Lord told me to fertilize the tree, our marriage one year, and see if it bears fruit, if not cut it off. A re-occurance happened and then the Lord released me and told me to get Jonah out of the boat. I went to our church leadership, but my ex was not a church leader, but we were long term participants and always involved. He also had been licensed by a well-known Bible College and I asked them not to renew his license. I received support from the main pastoral staff members, but many did not get it, however my ex would be considered a narcissistic personality disorder type, which makes it often more difficult. The divorce was long and had naturally fall out on our children. I did not remarry. Most hurtful is that often the focus is so much on the leader that the hurt and damage for the victims of these improprieties are overlooked and as they tend to often remain hidden due to shame and embarrassment, I pray that they will find healing, help and a stronger and closer walk with the Lord. Because I had the support of the senior pastor and one other lead pastor in my process, it gave me strength and courage to take the necessary steps and eventually come into a deeper and closer walk with the Lord Jesus , our Father in Heaven and the Holy Spirit as well as the body of Christ. Forgiveness is key, but also mature and steadfast biblical conduct as we live in Kingdom government and not some floozy religion. It’s His way or no way at all, as He is sovereign and our knees bow before Him . Thank you for this breath of fresh air from a seasoned leader in the Body of Christ.

  11. Well done. Well done. What has recently come to light in regard to Todd Bentley can not be minimized or excused – not one more time. Restoration to Christ and the body, yes; restoration to a ministry and platform, unequivocally NO! That is the only unadulterated Biblical response. Did the Apostle Paul no exhort us not even eat with an unrepentant believer? The truth is always in the behaviors, which is why Jesus said,” IF you love me you will keep my commandments.” I am sickened by Rick Joyner’s egregious gaslighting and defending of Todd’s abominable behaviors. The charismatic church now has its own #Metoo movement, and that is beyond shameful. Those in leadership who knew and/or discerned something was awry and did nothing now have lost their credibility and are complicit with Todd’s heinous sins. Call me judgmental if you wish, but I will err in the side of intolerance if I can keep one young woman from experiencing sexual abuse.

  12. Dutch
    Thank you for this blog that is candid, transparent, gut level honest, the truth in love, pure, peaceable, without partiality & love – the heart of Jesus’ Love.
    I believe that you’ve spoken not only your heart, but Father’s heart as well. Shalom

  13. Thank you ❤️ I can’t even put into words how I appreciate your courage and your truth! May God Bless you Majestically and May His Sovereign Hand be upon you and may you continually abide in the Shadow of His wing, thank you Jesus, amen . It is hard to put into words just how much reading this has already helped my thought process and started healing my heart ❤️. I was beginning to think that I was one of few who still feared the Lord in all of His awesomeness but absolute sacred HOLINESS, yes “Ancient of Days” you remain the same, Hallelujah

  14. Thank you so much for your open & honest letter.I too while watching those meetings back then,keep feeling,something is very wrong & I emailed about my concerns,but if I remember right,no response.I never did go back to watching the rest of the meetings or watched anything of Todds meetings,after that,because I just could not shake what I felt.so I guess I can’t say I’m surprised,but had no idea,it was this bad.I just wanted to thank you for putting out the letter,but I also think,very sad to say,there are going to be many more stories like this,coming out,of other ministries.guess we as a body,better get prepared.Because it’s time.

  15. Thank you
    I respect you Dutch Sheets and always stop to read and listen to you.
    My belief is that Jesus expects all Apostolic leaders involved in Todd Bentley; need to make a public statement also.
    I saw in Todd something demonic in his eye briefly on God tv in 2008 just before he was exposed. My prayers and thoughts for him were pleading to Jesus. Since than I have watched as various leaders have endorsed him again and again without obviously realizing the huge mistake that was being made.
    Todds arrogance was too much for me and my wife to follow in 2013.

    Who am I ? No one just a believer in Christ Jesus

    Please encourage the other leaders to not hide behind your statement. Jesus Forgives His Will be done here on earth as it is already in Heaven.
    Greater Respect and understanding will be appreciated by the entire Christian World Community
    My feeling.
    Leadership is only responsible for what they knew.
    I will pray for Todd along with so many others. His grandstanding is over, so he can focus on his life and true repentance.

  16. Thank you.
    Your life and message is one of biblical truth & integrity.
    We must all look to Jesus and yes love those that fall, but we must hold to the Truth of who God is & call sin, sin. We need leaders, walking in Truth & holiness.
    Let us, in all of this, draw closer to our Saviour and in our lives show Him in love and putity.

  17. As always, Dutch Sheets ,you’ve spoken full of the fruits of wisdom, prayer, insight, revelation, and your enduring deep caring for the body and the climate of the move of the Lord in our world today, before, and to come. Stand firm in the power of His might. Looking neither to the right or to the left. Your life’s mission, calling and endeavor to follow God cannot be moved in my eyes and heart.

  18. Thank you for these words that reveal the heart of God concerning His love and necessary accountability. We are commanded as leaders to “know them who labor among us” while also being made aware that “Some mens sins are (revealed) beforehand while others after the judgment”. He has specifically equips “fathers” with an anointing and wisdom to discern by the Holy Spirit what is and what is not of God. I to repent for myself but also for colleagues who haven’t been as diligent in the responsibility of accountability. God gives us this wisdom that we would discern issues in the church. I thank you for your humility, transparency, and sharing of this letter from God’s heart. I pray that these kind of reflections will not only bring many more to repentance but bring about real Holy Spirit revival this world has never seen the likes before. God bless you in Jesus name. William Goodman.

  19. Thank you for your honesty, Dutch Sheets. If you don’t mind I will begin to pray for you. You are a leader who is humble. We need your true leadership more than ever before. Your daily exhortations are thought provoking and cause me to search my heart. Be of a good courage.

  20. Wow, this was one of the greatest examples of true humility in leadership and personal accountability to the Lord first, that I have ever seen or read. Personally, after reading this- I felt so absolutely and painfully convicted by my own intentional oversight and blatant dishonesty in regards to specific wrong doings by my church leaders- wrongs I witnessed again and again, then pretended not to see, and then even later assisted with covering up. Why would I do the very things that I once could not have imagined myself ever doing? I had no material gain or potential for it- however, I knew if I spoke up there would be a price, a loss in relationships and separation- one of my sins, I see now, was idolatry. I was too afraid to speak the truth placed on my heart, or to bring it to another leader (as there is no accountability or elder oversight of our 2 leaders)- I feel the Lord had even placed me in a position to speak this truth in love and yet I failed Him greatly, along with these two leaders and my brothers and sisters in Christ. I cannot allow myself to be dishonest any longer and attempt to shrug off the truth that I did know what was occuring was wrong, that I played a part- I lied, covered up, and supported the 2 leaders in justifying their sins. I tried to convince myself that I was in no position to speak up but that was a lie birthed from a desire to keep the relationships with those I had placed, in all heart breaking honesty, above Christ. I repent now fully and seek His forgiveness.
    I never comment on blogs or posts but for some reason I felt a need to share this now.

    God bless you Dutch, and I thank God for leading me to your page at 2:22am!

  21. Thank you for sharing this. I had wondered if the Lakeland Revival was of God or not back then. I just was so disappointed with the whole outcome. My husband had divorced me that year and I was looking for healing, but got the opposite. Then watching on as Todd remarries and continues in ministry as if nothing had really happened was astounding to me. Many people are now leaving their churches and starting home groups instead. Maybe it is better because there is greater accountability in a small group. There is also the danger of no accountability in these groups, which is a concern. We must learn to govern ourselves in line with the will of God. I have listened to Rick Joyners rants, and am baffled by them. Lord please for the sake of the whole body, open his eyes and give him wisdom. I have listened to Patricia Kings message. I believe she is speaking the truth. I appreciate the fact that even though there is no governmental structure in place, and you are not in a position of authority over Todd Bently, you are recognizing your authority in the body, and taking a stand for Righteous. You have gracefully and in love expressed where you do not agree with some of the decisions that were made, which is actually providing a healing to be released to the body of Christ, and to me personally.
    Gratefully yours,
    Ruth Johnson

  22. Thanking the Lord for your integrity, Dutch! Covering you, your family, and ministry in prayer. Thank you for speaking what needs spoken!

  23. No lengthy commentary necessary here, but just a simple, …….. thank you. Your statement took godly courage and humility, and is not only needed in the body of Christ, but long overdue. Needed for cultivating a healthy church family, but also, and maybe moreso, for those looking at the church of Jesus Christ for living examples in their search for hope, genuine love, selfless giving, and unmistakeable demonstrations of God’s love through His healing power and restorative forgiveness.
    His house is being swept, and put in order to prepare for His spirit being poured out on all flesh. Those multitudes whom will be coming into His family have to have healthy, mature disciplers. Again, …… thank you !

  24. I am so sorry that this has happened. I am sad for Todd, sad for the church, sad for the leaders copping blame, sad for the poor ruction of Rick, sad for the victims, and sad for Jesus. I wish this would not happen. I myself have addictions to porn that I have found intermittent and not fully cleared up and for many years struggled with an addiction to to prostitutes. There is some pain, like Satanic ritual abuse that I have had happen to me, that created such a mess in my life. As a writer and as a sinner and as a mess, I can relate to Todd and I can also relate to be an abuser of women in my addictions to bring sex partners for so many years. If we are honest with ourselves, no one can pick up a stone.

    I think the whole world would recover faster, if we just learned to be a whole lot more transparent. People like honesty and a person being sincere. Thank you so much for your love and concern.

    Matthew Robert Payne
    *Still sinning*

  25. When I became aware of the first situation with Todd Bentley divorcing his wife for another woman, it was very alarming. It seemed that there was not a strong decision made by the church as to where they stood on the situation. It is not our place to judge, but we are responsible to help one another and when we know that we are in sin, it is imperative that we help one another toward repentance. I have witnessed leadership mistakes in this area … Ministries where husbands are abusing their wives throughout the week and on Sunday they seem annointed by God to preach the gospel. They are endorsed in public forums and by all accounts it appears that they are living lives of integrity and full commitment to God. It’s devastating. I believe mnistries can receive healing but there must be true repentance. Again it is not my place to judge , however it is very confusing for those who know that this is going on and it is not okay…we look to see what the leadership does to set our own gauges. We should keep our eyes in God but He places people in positions to be the example…

    My husband and I separated in 2010, and I believed God for restoration. Two and a half years later, my husband returned home. It was very different situation on all accounts, however, I believe God can do amazing things within the hearts of people. I hope that Todd Bentley finds truth.

  26. Oh my, you have no idea but you do. Since the implosion of Lakeland my heart has at times been c[rushed. Why did no leader even mildly associated with the picture of Lakeland. Step forward beyond restoring Todd to restoring the body because of the infraction. Trust had been disabled and a breach made into the flow of potential in the fusion of life in the body. Thank you for taking the time in a fearful, thoughtful way to step into this gap.

  27. Dear Pastor~
    Thank you for your response regarding Lakeland dated 2008. You give me hope. I have always felt that Todd Bentley was restored and returned to ministry prematurely. I, too, got caught up in the miracles and read many of Mr. Bentley’s articles on healing and “marinating” in the Spirit. I was surprised and shocked at the many leaders who endorsed him and restored him. There was certainly a check in my spirit and so I was disappointed when Mr. Bentley was so easily restored. You spoke truth in humility not only regarding Mr. Bentley’s situation but within the charismatic church. I am very sad to hear that he has again fallen. Praying for all concerned.

  28. Thank you Dutch. I join you in this identificational repentance and pray for the body of Christ and those who need healing and restoration. God forgive us for our lack of discernment and endow us with your wisdom and your grace for this coming move. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

  29. Thank you Dutch Sheets for being honest. Unfortunately I believe this TB experience will the give enemies of the Faithful fuel to try to cast us all into “one barrel”of being of the same mindset as what’s transpired from the Lakeland mess. We all (the Body of Christ),need to repent for enabling and worshipping false teachers, false prophets, false “signs & wonders” and most of all setting up individuals who honestly NEED deliverance.

  30. Apostle Dutch Sheets
    Thank you! From Washington State. I’m so thankful I’m aligned with you and Glory of Zion. I’m one of the gullible people that need to always listen to the Lord and those that iv learned to trust and your one of them
    I pray Gods mercy on those that have taken advantage of the body of Christ I will see you at Glory Of Zion Call for the head of the year blessings my dear friend Leah Cassell

  31. The conversation has been continually about Tod and leadership…and other leaders who have made a lifestyle out of sin and remained in office and not about the VICTIMS of their sins. And the JUSTICE, HEALING AND RESTORATION of those victims.

    We have a generation of “sheep” that have been wounded and held captive by spiritual abuse from the pulpit.

    Where is the discussion on that? The lengthy letters of repentance, the blueprint for their healing and restoration… who is crying out for their wounds???

    Ez 34, God speaks briefly about the bad shepherds, and spends twice as much time explaining how he is gonna heal his wounded sheep.

    Can we pls stop talking about the generation of Todd’s that have been let loose on the body unrestrained and turn the conversation towards the healing of those who have been wounded by them?

    No offense intended. I’m speaking from a broken heart as one that has been wounded in the past by leadership that mirrored the one one Todd works under.

    Ezekiel 34

    The Lord Will Be Israel’s Shepherd

    34 The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Woe to you shepherds of Israel who only take care of yourselves! Should not shepherds take care of the flock? 3 You eat the curds, clothe yourselves with the wool and slaughter the choice animals, but you do not take care of the flock. 4 You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured. You have not brought back the strays or searched for the lost. You have ruled them harshly and brutally. 5 So they were scattered because there was no shepherd, and when they were scattered they became food for all the wild animals. 6 My sheep wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. They were scattered over the whole earth, and no one searched or looked for them.

    7 “‘Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: 8 As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, because my flock lacks a shepherd and so has been plundered and has become food for all the wild animals, and because my shepherds did not search for my flock but cared for themselves rather than for my flock, 9 therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: 10 This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against the shepherds and will hold them accountable for my flock. I will remove them from tending the flock so that the shepherds can no longer feed themselves. I will rescue my flock from their mouths, and it will no longer be food for them.

    For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself will search for my sheep and look after them. 12 As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness. 13 I will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries, and I will bring them into their own land. I will pasture them on the mountains of Israel, in the ravines and in all the settlements in the land. 14 I will tend them in a good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel will be their grazing land. There they will lie down in good grazing land, and there they will feed in a rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. 15 I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down, declares the Sovereign Lord. 16 I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy. I will shepherd the flock with justice.

    17 “‘As for you, my flock, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will judge between one sheep and another, and between rams and goats. 18 Is it not enough for you to feed on the good pasture? Must you also trample the rest of your pasture with your feet? Is it not enough for you to drink clear water? Must you also muddy the rest with your feet? 19 Must my flock feed on what you have trampled and drink what you have muddied with your feet?

    20 “‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says to them: See, I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep. 21 Because you shove with flank and shoulder, butting all the weak sheep with your horns until you have driven them away, 22 I will save my flock, and they will no longer be plundered. I will judge between one sheep and another. 23 I will place over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he will tend them; he will tend them and be their shepherd. 24 I the Lord will be their God, and my servant David will be prince among them. I the Lord have spoken.

    25 “‘I will make a covenant of peace with them and rid the land of savage beasts so that they may live in the wilderness and sleep in the forests in safety. 26 I will make them and the places surrounding my hill a blessing.[a] I will send down showers in season; there will be showers of blessing. 27 The trees will yield their fruit and the ground will yield its crops; the people will be secure in their land. They will know that I am the Lord, when I break the bars of their yoke and rescue them from the hands of those who enslaved them. 28 They will no longer be plundered by the nations, nor will wild animals devour them. They will live in safety, and no one will make them afraid. 29 I will provide for them a land renowned for its crops, and they will no longer be victims of famine in the land or bear the scorn of the nations. 30 Then they will know that I, the Lord their God, am with them and that they, the Israelites, are my people, declares the Sovereign Lord. 31 You are my sheep, the sheep of my pasture, and I am your God, declares the Sovereign Lord.’”

  32. Wow! I am not a writer nor do I have any grammar/ punctuation skills. I can however recognize truth and speak it as well.Apostle Sheets thank you for this letter and for the courage to speak and sew truth.
    What has infiltrated our foundations as Christians that we allow nonsense in the body of Christ? Where is the boldness to call sin exactly what it is….Sin! Whether the truth fall for me or against me, let it fall that I might walk in the paths of Righteousness!
    I am not blameless that is for sure and I thank God that the blood ,cleansing,
    and forgiveness still flows at Calvary.
    Days are ahead where we will see with clarity, Christian leaders who are false or who live in compromise being exposed. We must take a bold stand against unrighteousness and impurity.
    Lord God send the Gift of Discernment to the Body of Christ.
    Philippians 1:9-11

  33. Discernment is like the immune system of the physical body. Quiet, complex and yet constantly aware of what is going on in the body. It is designed to alert the body to foreign agents that will damage and disease the body. It is the first alert system and the protection all in one. When the system fails the whole body suffers. When the system reacts to something that is not a threat to the body, that is the beginning of problems. The system should recognize that pollen is not truly harmful to the body. When the system reacts to pollen and yet gives cancer a pass…that is a huge problem.
    When the system is at its worse it will not recognize the true body and attack the body that houses it. The very body it is supposed to alert and protect.
    This system is quiet when all is well. It only begins to really awaken when something is wrong.
    In the body of Christ, I have watched as this gift (system) has been maligned and shut down. The organized church sees it as “negative”, mean spirited, not cooperative with the “plan”. It is seen as nay saying, unforgiving, not merciful. How merciful is it to have let Todd continue to go down this path and yet that is exactly what happened. As a result the body is confused, hurting and fatigued.
    The organized institution of the church is a difficult part of the body to alert when things are going awry. It has become too much like the world around it. Just positive niceties. Don’t judge because, well…who wants to have that given back to them? Yet we are to judge within the body. It is not a negative thing!
    More needs to be taught and applied about discernment and judgement.

  34. All I can say is a hearty “Thank You!” You framed the deep concerns of my heart in such a detailed and eloquent way. I cannot believe I missed this piece 8 years ago; it would have helped me then. Please keep republishing until we get these truths into our spirits!
    “….let no iniquity have dominion over me.” PS 119:133b

  35. All I can say is a hearty “Thank You!” You framed the deep concerns of my heart in such a detailed and eloquent way. I cannot believe I missed this piece 8 years ago; it would have helped me then. Please keep republishing until we get these truths into our spirits!
    “….let no iniquity have dominion over me.” PS 119:133b

  36. Thank you for facing and wrestling with this so openly. We need to grow and that is hard work and hurts . I , personally, fear the work, honesty, humility, and friction, and accountability that it takes, to do so. I respect your heart and willingness to bruise your way through it. Father, we are at the foot of the cross again. Help us not to rise up so quickly that we leave our armor behind. Be our Rock , sword and shield. There is a real battle going on and many are tired and sore. We need Your Holy Spirit and fruits and gifts. Help us, Lord, to speak truth in love and not to fear, to truly be accountable, teachable, trusting and trustworthy, when we hear You . No human might nor power, but Your Spirit.. … on our faces before You , and willing to rise up and face what You call us to do.

  37. I have great respect for you Dutch. The Holy Spirit has me learning under you right now. I’m now reading The Intercessors Handbook. I live it. Thank you for you Integrity, hard work and all you do for the body of Christ.
    In His Service
    Debra Shepeard

  38. I participated in the Lakeland revival meetings, taking several groups of people, including the young to the meetings. It was a very difficult time for us when everything fell apart. I had explaining to do and list church members over my support for Todd during age after the restoration process. I’ve had Todd visit my church twice since the Lakeland meetings (including last year) never really cared for the theatrics but believed in Gods restorative power as well as leaders who were standing with him. My focus on what I was being told and the anointing on his life. Looking back I can see that I was pushing back checks in my spirit wanting to believe the best. I have let down my own self, my family and my church. Unfortunately this is not the only thing I have to repent for as I recognize a pattern resulting in pushing off the conviction of Holy Spirit. To the best of my ability, I choose to repent. I ask God’s forgiveness as well as those I was in leadership over. Not sure what my actions will be from this time forward but I will discuss and pray with others that I hold my self accountable to and seek wisdom regarding all aspects of ministry.
    Thank you for taking the time to write what you have written.
    Sincerely,
    Gary Wilhite
    The Gathering Church
    Brownsville, Texas

  39. Powerful words. Thank you for your leadership. I know we’ve had to navigate similar waters on a regional level, and it is not easy. Much prayer, listening, and even fasting goes into the process. I believe God does not expose to humiliate, but to bring healing. You are a blessing. Thank you.

  40. Thank you soooo much for reprinting this.. and even more so for directing this to Us His Body, so we will listen n learn to take responsibility FOR THE WHOLE BODY!! Not being sooo “aloft” ? Disconnected n selfish..
    From the responsibility!! Acting like we are not a part of The Body of Christ!! Lord you and pray the full Hot Blue Fire Anointing be on this to create “The Fear of God in truth!”
    Isaiah 11:2-4. Amen!!

  41. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I have not arrived or obtained in walking with and seeking to LIVE OUT the word to be HOLY even as I am HOLY and even till today many label me as legalistic but just this morning in prayer he dealt with me about being free in walking with him through OBEDIENCE to his commands that are and is not legalistic this is why you are having to deal with this matter simply because no body wants to come subject to the word and ways of God. In the beginning he gave then rules and laws not to eat of the tree of knowledge and what did they do? Question is, is that legalistic? This letter has truly blessed my very soul setting my spirit FREE, because what you said is so true and I have experienced it ALL now I am understanding more and more why I never fitted in these settings, for My God has no HYPE or GIMMICKS just truth that will make you FREE and when you are free you can and will free others. Thanks again!

  42. Since I first heard you speak in 2003, you have always stood with biblical integrity for the Body of Christ.
    Thank you for bringing clarity in this situation again in 2019. Praying for truth to shine brightly and the Church learn from these events.

  43. Thank you for for bone deep honesty and integrity, your courage in the face of certain opposition and out and out war, your God deep wisdom and most of all for that amazing articulate gift, the ability to say what needs to be said in a way that surely all on whatever side or level or desire to believe elsewhere can understand. Such wisdom brings hope for the Body of Christ. Thank you.

  44. Thank you Dutch for addressing this issue with such wisdom, honesty, boldness and truth, courage and compassion. As each and every member of His Body humbles ourselves before Him seeking out our own error with deep repentance, may be be positioned for an outpouring of His Holiness which releases true power and anointing. There is a separation coming like we’ve never seen before….but will usher in His Presence. That which our hearts long for. Continue to be a strong voice bringing stability and security to the Body.

  45. Thank you for your wisdom and humility. For not taking what has happened lightly but addressing it for the purpose of healing and growth. When living above reproach has become a laughable offense in this world I’m so thankful for transparency and truth. God bless you and God bless the people He has risen up to leadership.

  46. Thank you for your letter. It was informative and humble. It is a strong reminder that we need discernment and distinguishing the spirits to be flourishing in mature Christians and that we are in a war with an enemy who uses our naivety and weaknesses to cause difficulty.

  47. Dutch, I know of no other that sets the example of a Godly man as yourself. Been following you for
    years and it will never end as when I want to hear what the Lord is saying, I’ll listen to you because
    I know he speaks thru you !!!
    My special time with you goes back many years ago at Bethel Church in Rochester NY when you signed
    a baseball for me at one of your meetings. It continues to be the highlight of my walk with Christ all these years. Will never gorget it and keep up the awesome work . You are loved beyond words !

  48. Thank you Mr. Sheets for your courage to share your views in this matter of compromise in the leadership of the Body of Christ. I wholeheartedly agree with you and am so thankful that you took the time and care to express your heart (which I feel reflects the Father’s heart) in this way. I value your viewpoint, cherish your many teachings (live and in books) and honor you as an apostolic leader in the Body of Christ. Bless you. I will pray for you and your relationship with the other leaders, that they will consider their actions, repent, and walk in humility and integrity with you and all of us. I have been confused and somewhat disillusioned with many of the leaders that I love and see great fruit from their ministries. Their youtube videos endorsing Todd have, to me, been unbalanced and unsettling. My heart has been grieved and I can not understand why they have been so quick to re-instate Todd and his ministry. Back in the early days of his ministry, Todd and his first wife, Shonnah stayed in our home several times while ministering in our city (in BC, Canada) under the mentor-ship of Patricia King. My husband and I both saw a tremendous amount of character issues that we felt were not being addressed. My heart goes out to Shonnah, who was a gentle and kind woman, and to their beautiful children. Todd needed leaders to help guide him to wholeness and restoration so that he could be a good husband and father FIRST, before becoming a minister. He needed true accountability. The over-emphasis of his gifting over his character has brought much destruction, and it began at the very beginning. This is not love. This is not being a responsible leader as you have said. I hope our leaders take a good, hard and honest look at the way they function and think. I pray that we, as representatives of Christ, will receive a great purification so that the River of Life remains pure as it flows thorough us as individuals, movements, and the Body of Christ. I pray that your and, hopefully other’s statements, will have a ripple effect of repentance that will make a difference in how leaders at every level love and lead the church and the world. Thank you once again for displaying true leadership.

  49. I don’t know where to even began, only knowing there is an ending. I admire you as a Leader, respected you, have many books of yours! My spirit has been troubled about this for so long and now I read it, hear it! I openly thank you Dutch, I grieve, as soon as I receive this all I do is cry repent, cry and repent! So much I’ve seen this and my spirit was hurting so much, I’m glad you wrote this and I continue to be as obedient and pray…..May God receive our repentance fully….THANK YOU FOR YOUR OUT POURING TO THE BODY OF CHRIST FOR TRUTH, HONESTY AND RIGHTEOUSNESS. Susan Mae

  50. I can’t believe that leaders watching the Lakeland conferences were not concerned about his behavior. We lost people in our church because we did not endorse the meetings nor the man . Then when he was exposed it was even more disconcerting that they laid hands on him and endorsed him again. I went years
    before he was well known to a conference in Utica New York with my very young daughter and we left the next day knowing
    that what the Holy Spirit revealed was really wrong. A 16 yr old girl had more discernment than these leaders. I pray that we stop giving those that use HIS gifs for their glory stop!!!! I hate that churches stop allowing the gifts because of people that are in sin or for show! Lord please forgive these people and give these leaders accountability and sit them down. Amen

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