I’ve had some communication with a brother in the Lord who tipped me off to start reading through the bibliography of Can You Hear Me and start examining some of the references. One can tell a lot about a person by who they reference in a work; the books they cite tell you a lot about the content that feeds their thought. That project is ongoing, though I doubt I will post much if anything about that since I don’t want this blog to turn into a “slam Brad Jersak” fest.
Honestly, I read Jersak’s book and have written on it because I’ve been asked about the subject by dozens of people…probably hundreds to date. I went to the Bible College where Brad peddled his theological wares and now, years later I see the trail of destroyed lives, confused believers and ruined ministries his ideas leave behind. I’m unaware of anyone else online who has actually addressed the teachings of Brad Jersak directly, so I have posted what is here. To date, only 150+ people have searched the subject and found my blog, and I’ve had some positive feedback from those who sought answers and found them…but with 150+ reads, I’m not exactly a threat to Jersak or his ministry. I’m not really affecting the proliferation of listening prayer seminars or anything. He likely doesn’t know I exist, and if he does, he certainly doesn’t care.
That being said, on page 120 of Can You Hear Me, Jersak writes:
“One afternoon, I was meeting with a handful of other pastors. One of them, a faith-healing evangelist full of faith and power, came bustling in. He was energized, if not ecstatic. Given my state, this was terrible news. He began ranting about their latest revival meeting where the “fire of God had fallen” on the service. He raved about how everyone in the meeting with a disease or illness had been healed and how all the demons had been driven out. His little testimony was fast escalating into a raging revival sermon. I thought I might die. I began to plead to the Lord silently, ‘Jesus, please help me not to judge this man. I really do want you to bless him. And I want the fire of God in our meetings too. I long to see people get saved, delivered, and healed. But Lord, when this guy describes it, he just ties me out. His package is so totally different than mine. Are we to be passed by because of that? I can’t even pray anymore. All I do is lie by the Ark in that stupid cave day after day. I don’t even know if it’s real any more.’
At that very moment, the raving prophet turned to me and spoke,
I believe the Lord would say to you, ‘There has been a famine of hearing God in the land. But like Samuel in 1 Samuel chapter 3, you have been willing to remain lying beside the Ark of my covenant. You’ve made it your resting place. Therefore, you will witness me restore the voice of the Lord to my people.’”
Then he gives a footnote for the quote. If you turn to page 269, the note reads:
“The fellow who shared this with me was Todd Bentley, a flamboyant evangelist with an authentic healing gift. He’s quite an enigma.”
So Jersak, when he was working out his understanding of listening prayer, was hanging around with people like Todd Bentley and refers to him as “quite an enigma”?
Not really. One only needs to look at some of the facts about Bentley to remove the enigma from him. After all, he is the:
Todd Bentley, who “stepped down” from ministry due to committing adultery and being an alcoholic.
Todd Bentley, who was courting his second wife (who was then working for his ministry) while married to his first.
Tod Bentley, who married his first wife because God told him to (and then somehow thought God’s direct command no longer counted when he found a looker).
Todd Bentley, whose first wife was is disabled with bone cancer (for over a decade) while he was healing thousands of others. (Didn’t Jersak say that Bentley had an “authentic healing gift”? Did Jersak ever even meet his wife? Seriously?)
Todd Bentley, who is notorious for claiming to heal people by kicking them in the face.
Todd Bentley, who is a convicted sex offender. (Admittedly much younger in his life…but there are several serious questions that it brings up when combined with his documented sexual impropriety)
Todd Bentley, who after doing everything in his power to exemplify that he’s biblically unqualified for ministry, is somehow back in ministry.
Todd Bentley, who married this girl (and seems to think she’s a prophet of God, like Isaiah or Elijah).
Not much of enigma.
Not much of an “authentic healing gift” either.
Jersak admits in writing that he was associated with, and looked up to, obvious and heinous false teachers.
Jersak hung out with, and learned from, the people who Peter warned the church about in 2 Peter 2:1-19 and who Jude warned the church about in Jude 4-13. Brad Jersak hung around and learned from people who would have deceived him, not taught him biblical truth. Sure, Jersak would have been associating with Bentley when he was younger and working out his listening prayer ideas, but Bentley is 34 and started his ministry when he was 22, in late 1998. Jersak’s book is dated 2003, so they would have been associates 3 years at most before his book was published (assuming Bentley took more than a year to become a faith healing “celebrity” and assuming the book took at least a year for the publishing process).
If a person can hang out with fools and false teachers and come out with biblical theology and biblical practice, in spite of the horrible company that they keep, I don’t know how. In fact, it’s a biblical principle that one cannot do so:
“Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character.'” 1 Corinthians 15:33
The bottom line: Be suspicious of someone who hangs around with false teachers, and do so for good reason.
Until Next Time,
Lyndon “The Armchair Alarmist” Unger