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Don’t let this be your kid: disturbing video of girl from Bethel Church in Redding, Calif.

Bethel girl 2

 I frequently hear from Christians who are concerned that their child has gotten involved with Bethel Church in Redding, California. If you don’t know, Bethel Redding is one of the most influential organizations in the controversial New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) movement and is led by the NAR apostle Bill Johnson. It’s also one of the most popular churches in the United States, and young people are being drawn to it in droves.

These parents have good reason to be concerned. Among the troubling teachings coming from Johnson is an exaltation of supernatural experience over theology–producing followers who are ripe for spiritual deception. The bad fruit of these teachings can be seen in a disturbing YouTube video I watched the other day.

Bizarre behavior

The video shows young people from Bethel Church in Redding, California, interacting with a Christian street preacher named James. From what I gather, the  interaction took place in front of a Benny Hinn “Miracle Service” in San Jose, California. James was warning passersby that Hinn is a false prophet. The young people apparently took issue with his warnings and a dialogue ensued.

Throughout the exchange, one of the young people, who identifies herself as Allison, appears to be under the influence of a chemical, though she claims it’s the Holy Spirit. Allison jumps around in circles, makes jerking movements, and falls to the ground–all the while a large smile plastered to her face. She never stops laughing. Actually, it’s more like a grating giggle. Such extended outbursts of laughter are common in the NAR–a phenomenon known as “laughing in the Spirit.”

Downplaying doctrine

What concerns me even more than Allison’s bizarre actions are her words. In an effort to dissuade James from criticizing Hinn she tells him, “We don’t have to worry about theology. Let’s just be in His presence. Let’s just be in His presence — of God.” (The importance of experiencing the “presence of God” is one of Johnson’s key teachings.)

Allison’s glib dismissal of theology obviously concerns James. He presses her to clarify her views. “So doctrine doesn’t matter?” he says and then asks, “Every person goes to heaven?” Allison replies, “I don’t know. I can’t claim to know what happens after we die.” (To which I say, really? The Bible is clear that many people will not to heaven. So how can she says she doesn’t know whether every person will go to heaven?)

James asks Allison another question: if theology doesn’t matter then “if somebody loves a guy named Sam instead of Jesus, that’s OK? … I mean as God. Instead of Jesus, he loves Sam? Are you OK with that? “Allison seems to think it’s all the same to God. She replies, “God loves love. I think God would be excited about him loving.”

At this point in the dialogue, one of Allison’s friends–a young man who is not identified by name in the video–expresses agreement with Allison. He says–referring to the person who loves Sam instead of God–”God loves him. God loves him anyway. He’s accepted.  He’s so accepted!”

James asks the young people to clarify their views about Jesus–whether or not he’s the only way to the Father. He also asks how they know they personally have been saved. These are important questions. Interestingly, they won’t answer them.

I’m curious if Bill Johnson would have anything to say about this video.

Here’s one takeaway: if you don’t want this to be your kid, be sure to educate your children about the NAR and equip them to respond to its dangerous distortions of Christianity.

You can watch the video here. The encounter starts after about 38 seconds.

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12 Responses to “Don’t let this be your kid: disturbing video of girl from Bethel Church in Redding, Calif.”

  1. Bruce Cooper Says:

    Excellent article Holly! Thank you.

  2. Scott Lawrence Says:

    Hi- this video was somewhat disturbing and very sad!  There is also a video on you tube of Heidi Baker (who is involved with Bill Johnson/ Bethel Church) imparting a demon into a young kid. After several minutes of Heidi praying over him and laying hands on his head –the teenage boy starts screaming in agony and writhing on the floor uncontrollably. Very bizarre and disheartening!  May the Lord intervene and save the youth from these deceiving spirits!

  3. Jeff Says:

    Decades of bad teachings that have neglected the warnings of the New Testament, and have focused on peripheral doctrines which are without foundation, has brought this to pass.

    This movement, and it’s focus on Spiritual gifts, has drawn everyone to presume discernment only relates to the discerning of spirits. But discernment, more importantly, is something that comes from being “skilled in the word of righteousness” so that we would “constantly practice distinguishing good from evil” by comparing the teachings and practices of those who claim the name of Jesus with God’s word:

    Hebrews 5:11-14
    11    About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.
    12    For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food,
    13    for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child.
    14    But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.

    This whole mess started with a couple of word of faith heretics in the early 90′s, the ushering in of “experiential Christianity” via the false revivals of Toronto and Brownsville, and has settled into a spiritual abuse scheme built upon John Bevere’s teaching on submission and authority:

  4. Kathleen Says:

    THANK YOU for posting this!! My eyes have been opened, but please pray for many of my friends in WA who have gotten caught up in this business.

  5. Kathleen Says:

    Here is another crazy video: 

  6. Beverly Says:

    And, then there’s the street preacher preaching that Jesus suffered at the hands of Satan in Hell for 3 days.
    I thought of the fortune-telling girl following Paul in Philippi.

  7. Holly Says:

    Beverly, I think the street preacher was warning the young people about a false teaching–not promoting it. It’s confusing because the video picks up mid-conversation so the context of his words isn’t completely clear.

  8. Michael Says:

    I’m so pleased the young lady has begun to walk with the Risen Saviour Jesus Christ. So joyous, so at peace. Good for her.

  9. Diane Says:

    I am so glad I stumbled upon your blog/site! I had been listening to Jesus Culture music for a couple of years, Kim Smith Etc… Also, Misty Edwards, Matt Gilman, of Ihop in Kansas city. I am a Bible teacher, and was just enjoying the music, but, I started digging into their doctrine, and wow, I threw away all my music and the copies of Rick Joyner’s books I had. And, Heidi Baker’s book I was reading. Yikes! I’m staying in God’s Word. Thanks for your blog.

  10. Semper Fi Says:

    It’s obvious that Bill Johnson and Bethel Church are courting demons.  The people that promote this New Age apostasy are in danger of hell-fire.  Their end will be the lake of fire.

  11. Lucy Says:

    My next door neighbors are caught up in this mess!  As a matter of fact, they are packing the UHaul up to move today down to CA from WA State to live a block from the campus.  I feel so sad for the children involved.  They have a set of 11 year old twins and a 15 year old boy.  These people over the months have gotten more secluded and less friendly (you know, that neighborly saying “HI” when you see them and waving, that stopped).  I was wondering what was going on with them, or if I had said/done something to apologize for.  For the life of me, I could not figure it out as I am that neighbor that minds her own business pretty much but will bring you extra eggs from my chickens or whatever.  Anyway, I can tell the 15 year old can tell it is not something you should be mixed up in and does not want to go.  I feel so sad for them.  I wish there were a way to stop them before they inflict a lifetime of pain on these kids and do so much spiritual damage to them.  It just breaks my heart…

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