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About a week ago, I ran into a former neighbor who is ruggedly fundamentalist. She noticed I was limping and asked what was wrong. I told her about my hip, and how I had surgery scheduled for September.
She said, "Cancel that surgery and book a flight to Lakeland, Florida instead. There's a healer down there who will get the Holy Spirit to fix your hip."
She started telling me all about this guy she was watching every night on the God Channel. The dude is a charismatic healer from Canada, name of Todd Bentley.
And then she said: "He's brought fifteen people back from the dead!"
Whoa. Hold the phone. When did bringing people back from the dead become a holy thing, and not some fright-fest fit for a horror flick?
It's taken me awhile, but I finally got around to checking out this Todd Bentley and his claims. You can see him live streamed on the God Channel's web site. Also, Todd has his own site called Fresh Fire Ministries. More about that in a moment.
This is Todd Bentley. If we Pagans claimed him as our own, we'd get a bad rap for it.
Among the testimonials about Todd Bentley on the God Channel's web site was this one:
"Praise God for healing but we're still praying for God to Complete. My sister Ruth's husband, Chris, had a massive heart attack and was diagnosed clinically dead. The family were called in to spend the last day with him before they switched off the life support the next day. After much prayer, the next day he was sat up in bed and talking to his family. There's still a long way to go but what a miracle! Praise God."
Okay, you could argue that the guy probably wasn't really and truly across the bar. But wouldn't Christian doctrine at that point want to shove him toward the bar and not away from it?
Please note that I have nothing against faith healing (except that it usually doesn't work and only leaves people more depressed). Bringing people back from the dead, though. That's xtreme.
I told Mr. Johnson about this, and he and I began to wonder how long people would have to be dead before Mr. Bentley would no longer be able to resuscitate them. For instance, would Mr. Bentley have a shot at revivifying William Jennings Bryan, the great Democratic reformer of the late 19th century who was simultaneously a devout Christian and a progressive, pro-labor, pro-women's rights presidential candidate?
Maybe it would be neat to shove Mr. Bentley into Westminster Abbey. He could wake up Chaucer, Isaac Newton, and Charles Darwin. But maybe that would be counter-productive to his ministry.
We at "The Gods Are Bored" go on record as being against necromancy. To us it's kind of like having your vacation flight to Jamaica re-routed back to the departure airport. Where there's life, there's hope, but where there's not life ... toodle-oo. Anything else is kind of creepy.
Further research on this young charismatic, tattooed, pierced whirlwind of a Christian preacher reveals that he has his own school. It's called The Supernatural Training Centre. When you go there, amidst a great deal of Christian preaching and praying, you're taught to perform miracles.
I guess the place differs from Hogwarts in that they don't use owls to deliver the mail.