Examining The Teachings of Bill Johnson- Bethel Church

Bill Johnson, the charismatic leader of Bethel Church, is a figure of substantial influence in the charismatic movement, known for his teachings on miracles, healing, and the supernatural. While many find his ideas revolutionary and affirming, others express deep concerns about the theological implications and practices associated with his ministry. This blog post explores these concerns:

1. Theological Deviations
Critics of Bill Johnson point out that some of his teachings may diverge significantly from mainstream evangelical theology and have really close ties to New Age (a form of Western esotericism that draws on traditions such as Spiritualism, New Thought, Theosophy, and the occultism of the 18th and 19th centuries). Specifically, his emphasis on miracles and supernatural interventions has raised questions about the balance between biblical scripture and the extraordinary experiences often reported by members of his congregation. This includes the so-called "glory clouds" and claims of gold dust and feathers appearing during worship, which I would argue lack strong biblical support and might lead believers to seek signs rather than deeper faith.

Another theological issue is "Grave Soaking". Grave soaking, also known as grave sucking or mantle grabbing, is the practice of laying on the grave of a Christian known for having great faith, with the belief that the practitioner can "soak up" or "grab" the deceased's spiritual power. This practice is widely believed to have originated at Bethel Church. It is not a practice at most charismatic churches. See this video CLICK HERE

If one examines some of Bethel's beliefs further, one will see that they preach "another gospel."

2. The Approach to Miracles and Healing
Bethel Church’s focus on healing, including the practice of "faith healing" at their Healing Rooms, has been both praised for its bold faith and criticized for potentially undermining the realities and struggles of those with chronic illnesses or disabilities. The theological basis for such practices, often cited by Johnson, revolves around a belief in a kingdom now theology that some contend may overlook the complex nature of suffering and divine sovereignty.

Please don't hear what I am not saying. I am not saying healing doesn't happen; I'm saying not everyone gets healed as Bethel Church and many charismatics would indicate. Here's an excerpt from the Blue Letter Bible: "Nowhere in the New Testament do we find that perfect health throughout this life is considered to be the norm. Also, Scripture never indicates that the people remained sick because they lacked faith to be healed. Neither does the Bible indicate that God heals those who “claim” or “demand” it. In fact, people were always healed according to God’s mercy and will. Individuals have the right to ask God for healing, but the result is left up to Him. We should never presume upon God to insist that someone be healed from his or her illness." Read the rest of the article here. BLUE LETTER BIBLE

We have seen countless people healed in our own church, as well as people who were not. It is always "according to God's will." We will continue to pray, anoint, and lay hands on people in faith that Jesus will heal. And we will praise Him no matter the outcome.

3. Educational and Cultural Impact
Bethel Church has also been influential through its School of Supernatural Ministry, which aims to equip students with the skills to perform miracles as Jesus did. While appealing to many, this initiative poses questions about the educational content's alignment with the broader Christian doctrine and the preparedness of graduates to engage with a world that may be skeptical of such claims. Here's a video of what happens on the inside of the teachings and practice of the Bethel School CLICK HERE

Bill Johnson's impact on contemporary Christianity is undeniable. But at what cost? Everything needs to be tested with scripture, Bethel church misses the mark. It's another gospel, and I would suggest you run, not walk, from their teaching. Test it for yourself. These blogs are bullet points of errors. However, I have investigated much deeper into all of these false teachers and take no pleasure in calling them out, but I do want to protect our church to the best of my ability. Pray for them all. 

In Love,

Pastor Jody 

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