BREAKING: Since this article was written, Todd Bentley has tweeted: "Really need some Intercessors to pray. Breaking News: UK Government has banned us from entry without Valid process! Press release coming." More to follow.
Controversial preacher and healing evangelist Todd Bentley is set to visit the UK again, after an attempt to deny him entry to the country failed.
Controversial preacher Todd Bentley is scheduled for a return visit to the UK
Malcolm Wicks, MP for Croydon North, had lobbied to ban Bentley from visiting the British Isles, because of the use of violence in his healing meetings.
The tattooed and pierced Canadian preacher, who has a chequered history, has previously claimed God told him to kick and punch people in order to rid them of illnesses including cancer.
Bentley, who was a key part of the ‘Lakeland Revival’ which was widely publicised in the UK, and sparked similar revival and healing meetings in Dudley and other parts of the UK, had to step down from his position when it emerged that he was romantically involved with an aide.
He later left his wife and got married to the young woman concerned, before entering into a public period of ‘discipline’ presided over by senior American church leaders.
But Bentley, who claims to have raised more than 20 people from the dead, says that he no longer uses violence in healing ministry.
And although critics point to his conviction as an adolescent for a sex attack on a younger boy, former drug user Bentley says he has repented of past sins, and is keen to visit the UK again.
However, videos remain online which show him making seemingly jocular remarks about violence in the context of healing ministry.
In one YouTube clip he said: ‘And I’m thinking why is the power of God not moving? And He said, “Because you haven’t kicked that woman in the face.”
‘And there is this older lady worshipping right in front of the platform and the Holy Spirit spoke to me. The gift of faith comes on me. He said, “Kick her in the face with your biker boot.” I inched closer and I went bam! And just as my boot made contact with her nose, she fell under the power of God.’
Todd Bentley’s last visit to the UK was in December 2011, when he ministered in Cwmbran, South Wales, again causing concern from the local Member of Parliament.
Conservative David Davies said: “I go to church and respect Christian beliefs, but I am concerned that some of the claims made by Mr Bentley are far fetched and should be treated cautiously.”
During his Cwmbran visit Bentley told his congregation: “Everywhere we go we get testimony from someone who has been close to death, had stage four cancer or some incurable terminal condition and received a miracle.
“There would be nights where 30 people would get out of wheelchairs, incredible miracles, thousands of people would be saved every day.
“I prayed for 139 deaf mutes and we had 139 deaf and mute people hear and speak for the first time.
“Some people say miracles are not possible but for me it’s impossible that someone is not healed.”
And when asked by a twitter user what he thought about media coverage of his ‘violence’ – he said: "This story is truly a huge media sensation. It is so wrong and the furthest thing from who we are and how we minister. Sad!"
August 21st, 2012 - Posted & Written by Simon Cross