While I was on holiday, this story broke in the news regarding controversial American teacher Todd Bentley. He had been planning to visit the UK but the Home Office decided to shut its doors. In their words :
"We can confirm that Mr Bentley has been excluded from the UK. The government makes no apologies for refusing people access to the UK if we believe they are not conducive to the public good. Coming here is a privilege that we refuse to extend to those who might seek to undermine our society"
As pastors who invited him moaned about the "missed opportunities" of "God's outpouring" many other local Christian groups welcomed the decision. One local Presbyterian Church in Northern Ireland issued a supporting statement for the Home Office :"Violent activities reported as part of Mr. Bentley's faith healing technique have no part whatsoever in our understanding of a loving, caring and compassionate ministry that is sought, often by weak, frail and distressed people....". For his part, Mr Bentley currently in Norway on his "Miracles Signs and Wonders" tour, responded with a blast accusing the British government of religious discrimination :
"What about all the other celebrities, musicians and others with a more colourful past than me that are permitted into the UK for shows … Is this really about my past and fear of potential violence or Freedom of Religion and attack on Faith, God and Healing?"
Mr Bentley is famous for many heresies, dabbling in occultic practices and other extra biblical claims. And of course the "Biker Boot" incident. He is a bit of a YouTube star as the video below illustrates. But he has a point though - much worse people have been admitted in the UK than Mr Bentley, including leaders from rogue governments and states. The Home Office certainly has a right to decide who they deem fit to breath British air but it must be sad that Christians feel the need to be protected from Mr Bentley. Real Christians have nothing to fear from his heretical teachings.