Before or After? Tracking the Tattoo Trail (Updated)
So far, one of the purposes of this blog has been tracking the false teachings leading to and coming from the Lakeland outpouring, not pointing to the physical appearance or former sins of its leader, Todd Bentley. This post is not so much about Todd Bentley’s tattoos as it is about what he himself has said about his tattoos, and whether or not he is telling the truth.
Is the following statement by Todd Bentley true or false? You decide.
Q: When did you get your tattoos and body piercings?
A: I got my tattoo when I was a teenager. I’ve had numerous piercings over the years from the time I was 14. Most of the tattoos I have gotten have (before becoming a Christian). People have asked me about that. To me, it’s not a spiritual reason. But when I’m asked how can I back up from a theological perspective to justify the fact that I have tattoos, then I’m kind of forced to bring out my personal conviction about what the Bible says about tattoos. That’s really the only time I answer it. I don’t want it to be this spiritual thing, like I had a vision and God told me to get my tattoos. I love art and, to me, my skin is the canvas. I’m not taking my skin into heaven.
-Todd Bentley, Q&A with preacher Todd Bentley, The Charlotte Observer
A similar article (here) states that Todd Bentley was saved when he was 17. It also says he got most of his piercings and tattoos before becoming a Christian. Therefore, any photo taken of Todd Bentley from age 17 and up should back up this statement. Is this what we see in the following picture trail?
In this photo Todd Bentley is obviously older than 17 and there are no facial piercings or tattoos on his neck (scroll down a little ways here):
The New Prophets
Todd Bentley is definitely older than 17 here but has no visible tattoos or piercings (in the picture in the third row from bottom on this photo page):
In fact, it appears that until the time of his heart trouble in 2006, Todd Bentley did not have any piercings or the heavy tattoos that we see on his arms and neck today. See 2006 photo here:
Compare these photos with more recent ones, as well as video clip here. Remember, Todd Bentley said “Most of the tattoos I have gotten…(before becoming a Christian)”. However, older pictures reveal that Todd Bentley has actually received his most visible tattoos within the last two years. Also puzzling is the T-shirt Todd Bentley wore on the Lakeland stage on May 8th, even though he said in The Charlotte Observer interview (above) that his tattoos are not there for a spiritual reason, and that God didn’t tell him to get them (which is surprising since he spiritualises everything else):
“After almost an hour and a half of singing the MC comes back to the center of the stage and declares, “I feel the ‘sauce’ tonight.” He then introduces Todd Bentley who comes out wearing a t-shirt that reads, “Jesus Gave Me My Tattoos.” – Lakeland’s Recycled Revival, Part 2 (herescope.blogspot.com)
The point here is not that Todd Bentley has tattoos, but that he says he got his tattoos and piercings (or ‘most of them’) before he was saved. If this is true, then why don’t his pictures match his words?
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Romans 12:2
***UPDATE: July 4/08
Todd Bentley Lying Again About His Tattoos