JESUS CULTURE—OF BETHEL CHURCH—AND PRACTICING RAISING THE DEAD

JC

UPDATE: FRIENDS OF BETHEL CHURCH, HOME OF JESUS CULTURE

In Louie Giglio, Passion 2013, And Jesus Culture here at Apprising Ministries I showed you that Jesus Culture (JC) bills itself as not “just a band, but…a ministry of Bethel Church.”

Christian Research Network Associate Editor Erin Benziger also reminds us that:

The group’s website tells us that it was spawned out of the youth group at Bill Johnson’s Bethel Church in Redding, California.

For those who are unfamiliar with Johnson and Bethel, the following video shares some of the “signs and wonders” shenanigans that take place there, and also demonstrates some classic Bill Johnson Scripture-twisting:


(source)

If you’re not familiar with the leadership at Bethel Church (BC), BC is led by pastor Bill and his wife pastrix Brenda Johnson:

Bill and Brenda Johnson are the Senior Pastors of Bethel Church in Redding, California. Bethel Church is firmly aligned with the Word-Faith movement and identifies with the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR), or the Third Wave Movement with its “prophets,” “apostles,” and alleged manifestions. Bill Johnson is called an “apostle” by C. Peter Wagner (See  TBC  5/97, 2/07). His theology has amounted to what some call a “ de facto  denial of the deity of Christ.” (source)

Obviously, we’re dealing with an absolute theological train wreck at (BC). Pastor Bill Johnson aligns himself and JC with a wild assortment of spiritual wingnuts like NAR “Apostle” Lou Engle and “Apostlette” Cindy Jacobs.

For example, consider the speaking lineup for JC’s The Jesus Culture Awakening 2011:

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(source)

We find another example of just how far off the track and into sily superstitions BC truly is in Bethel Church: God, The Bad & The Ugly by Kris Vallotton. Vallotton’s BC bio informs us that he’s:

a noted prophetic voice in Northern California, and has trained prophetic teams in this region… God has instructed them to gather together warriors with like hearts, then train and equip them, and send them into the Harvest…

Kris is currently Senior Associate Pastor at Bethel Church in Redding, California and Kris and his wife Kathy are Overseers at Bethel’s School of Supernatural Ministry. (source)

O my: Kris Vallotton, BC Associate Pastor and “noted prophetic voice” with instructions directly from God Himself. As you can plainly see, Vallotton’s so far into spiritual outer space we can barely get a radar fix on him.

In the article I cited Vallotton enlightens us:

There have been many things written about Bethel Church and the movement that we have had the privilege of being a part of for more than three decades. Most of what has been said about us is positive.

But a small, yet influential coalition of people has shared negative reports about us. These reports often include words such as “controversial,” “unbalanced,” or even the word “cult” to describe us. (source)

Yeah, sounds about right. He continues:

There are a few subjects that come up over and over with people who are opposed to us or that misunderstand our position on certain issues. I thought I would try to clarify some of these issues for the people who truly care about our perspectives.

I am not writing an exhaustive theological dissertation on each point to try and convince our detractors that we are right. I am simply trying to make it clear, in simple terms, what we believe and why. (source)

While I am far from a fan of the kind of spiritual monkey business BC is involved with, I do respect Vallotton for being forthright. He goes on to tell us about BC’s false teachings concerning “[s]igns, wonders and miracles.”

Vallotton says they “seem to be a constant point of turmoil with people who oppose us.” He confuses the time prior to God’s Word being delivered to us in the Bible as we have it now as normative for today and then says:

A supernatural lifestyle is articulated, demonstrated and replicated by Jesus and the apostles, as well as everyday Believers from the book of Matthew to the book of Revelation. Not only that, but miracles, in one form or another, have been a part of nearly every revival in Church history.

Yet some Christians choose to live with less than Jesus paid for, and that is their prerogative. It’s common for Believers to shrink back when some reporter asks with a sarcastic grin, “Do you believe you can do miracles or drink poison and not be harmed, or pick up poisonous snakes?”

I personally hate snakes, but my response is that I believe everything that Jesus said about me! (source)

Let’s leave aside Vallotton’s apparent ignorance that the section referring to poison and snakes in Mark 16 isn’t in the inspired manuscripts, but is an interpolation. He and BC have jumped the track concerning the miraculous.

It wasn’t the Lord’s intention that these manifestations would continue exactly as they were in the first century. God was validating the mission of God the Son, Christ Jesus, and the ministries of Christ’s Apostles.

Starting from that faulty premise has led people like Bill Johnson and Kris Vallotton—as well as Jesus Culture—into serious spiritual deception. This is why JC is so dangerous to impressionable youth drawn in by their music.

JC is an extension of BC; and if you have any doubt how deluded all of these people from BC are becoming, you need only to listen to this absolute lunacy in the Lord’s Name below from JC singer Kim Walker-Smith.

If I didn’t know better, having come of age during the late 60’s, I would be sure that she’s describing an LSD trip:

As I close this consider that by appearing with JC at Passion 2013 John Piper and Beth Moore have made JC appear credible in the minds of thousands of young people who respect Piper and Moore as wise teachers.

Let me be clear: I’m not saying that by appearing at Passion 2013 John Piper and Beth Moore personally ascribe to all JC and BC is about spiritually. However, as charismatics, both have been drifting further in that direction.

So, one wonders just when we’ll see an increase of young evangelicals following the example of folks at BC who practice raising the dead. Sure, BC pastor-prophet Kris Vallotton thinks it’s a gutsy and admirable idea:

Another subject that has drawn a lot of attention recently is dead raising. I need to be honest; I have personally never raised anyone from the dead although I have tried twice. But here again Jesus said, “And as you go, preach, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons….,” (Matthew 10:7-8).

Contextually, Jesus is only speaking to twelve disciples, but the truth is that a large portion of what Jesus taught was only given to twelve guys. And almost all of Paul’s epistles were written to specific groups of people, yet we still understand that most of what he penned applies to us today.

Furthermore, Jesus commanded His guys to make disciples of all nations by, “teaching them to observe all I commanded you…”(Matthew 28:19-20) Some of the students from the Supernatural School of Ministry read this verse and decided to go down to the morgue and “practice” raising the dead! Crazy? Maybe, but I admire their faith and their guts.

It wasn’t Bill or me who gave them the idea, they were actually inspired by reading the Bible. Evidently, they thought they should believe what Jesus said. They definitely have more faith and courage than I do. So far they haven’t raised anyone at the mortuary from the dead, but it hasn’t deterred them a bit.

I have heard of some students from another school that started a DRT team. You guessed it, the letters stand for Dead Raising Team! I really don’t know if they have had any success yet. (source)

Who knows, maybe Jesus Culture will come and help your youth group start their own Dead Raisng Team.

Further reading