Bill Johnson and Altar Calls?

There has been quite the discussion of late on Facebook about the altar call that Bill Johnson from Bethel Church in Redding gave on Easter Sunday.

Some people will just find issues with Bill Johnson for being well, Bill Johnson. I understand that some people question parts of his theology. I love him but I just can’t get down with some of his eschatology. I get the reason that some people have issues. I even get why some Pentecostals don’t warm up to him very quickly. I do not think Bethel Church in Redding is a cult like some do but they want to make sure people know they disagree with Bethel Redding. I am not one of those types. I am Pro-Bethel ultimately.

What I thought of Bill Johnson’s altar call?

It was solid biblically for the most part. Yes, it was meant to get “decisions.” It was not the Brownsville Revival by any means but it was not Joel Osteen either. It was a “Come to Jesus” message but it was not too far out there that it crossed into heretic grounds. (I have seen some pretty bad Soteriology at altar call time)

The whole idea of come up and pray with someone and all your problems are over is not unique to Bill Johnson or Bethel Redding. It is widely preached in Pentecostal and Charismatic churches. It is strong on grace and weak on repentence. It is the aftermath of this hyper grace stuff that is still going around our churches.

Neo-Pentecostal Soteriology

I do not have the time to really break down what is happening but there is a new belief system about salvation in many Pentecostal churches that just do not want to talk about repentance. What Bill Johnson did in this video was you would expect Adrian Rogers to do or any other Baptist preacher. It is not what you would expect at a Pentecostal church that people use for a model in ministry.

The whole “put your head up and slip back down” is not biblical nor is it Pentecostal. It is not open altars. It is not revival ministry. It is based on the works of D.L. Moody; not Smith Wigglesworth.

This is not only not our tradition, our values or our heritiage but it is not even biblical. Jesus made it quite clear that you are ashamed of Him; He will do likewise in Heaven.

We need to get back to Pentecostal altar calls!

  • Darrell White
    September 21, 2018 - 3:18 pm

    I remember years ago when I watched 60 minutes religiously until the day they reported on a subject I was a part of and knew then I would never again be able to fully trust their reporting. I now feel the same about what Azusareports. I know Theresa and Kevin Dedmon and their relationship with Bethel. If you can’t report something that easily determined, then how can anything you report be counted on to be accurate.

    I do not question your sincerity nor do I doubt your intentions to do what you think is correct. Unfortunately, so do the over 30,000 denominations feel about their interpretation of God’s Will. It may not be Biblical, but an old axiom is none-the-less true: “If you can’t say something good about someone, don’t say anything at all!” It does seem to me that few, if any, of those who think they are called to point out what is wrong with those who don’t conform to their way of thinking have heard of this old, but still appropriate, axiom. And the qualifying disclaimer, ‘I like Bill” or “I love Bethel, But…., hardly lets one of the hook of “criticism with an agenda!”

    It is obvious you have a sizable following. Some, like me, agree with some of the theological and doctrinal thoughts you present while, I suspect, most agree with most of what you present. But at least get the basics of indisputable facts before you present your beliefs of what those facts mean.

    And, just an observation from a person who spent 4 semesters in “bonehead English” before he was allowed to proceed to higher forms of grammar. Please get someone who knows grammar to edit what you put forth as editorial. Content is important to everyone, presentation not so much to those who don’t know. But to those who do, it detracts from the content. And if I recognize poor grammar, those who really know the English language will not come back for more.

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