Written by 12:43 pm Assemblies of God, Theological Discussions

When Bill Johnson is wrong : Response to Bethel Redding over Faith!

What happens when Bethel Redding just get is dead wrong? Well, they posted something on Facebook that sounds great to the ears of young believers but is theologically wrong. The effects of people believing this is quite serious too.

There is power in declaring truth over your life. Even when you don’t believe it, your lack of faith does not shake the faithfulness of the Father. Today we invite you to declare the truths and freedom of this song over your life. You are strong, bold, and faithful. You are not made for fear, you are made for freedom. You are made to fly.

This was in reference to a worship song by Jeremy Riddle. I love Bethel Redding. I love Bethel Music. However, sometimes I wonder what Bible they are reading because they do seem to miss some pretty important parts.

This one is HUGE. I want to zero in on the issue of “when you don’t believe it, your lack of faith does not shake…” Yes, God is faithful no matter what but the downplaying of faith is not a place for believers to be. Telling people they are safe when they are living in compromise will land them in hell and this easy grace theology is concerning to put it mildly.

Bethel Redding worship

Worship service at Bethel Church in Redding

Bethel Redding is in error?

I am not going to say they are wrong but they are downplaying the issue of faith too much and too often. God is faithful but if you do not believe it, you will still land in hell forever. You must reach out to God by faith and if you not have faith, you are not fine with God. This is a clear issue of Soteriology.

Jesus made it very clear when He made statements like “If you believe….” There was a condition to the promise, you had to believe it. It required faith. Without it, the promise of God was void in your life.

I realize that many are sick of faith teaching and they are reminded of the worst example of the Word of Faith movement. I saw many of those stories in person and I get the reservation. I would caution these people with the reality that without faith, it is impossible to please God. What happened in Tulsa back in the days and the behavior of Robert Tilton is not worth going to hell over last I checked.

I am making a deal about this with Bethel Redding only because this is far from the first time I have seen something that tries to downplay the issue of faith in accessing God’s promises and miracles. Salvation is the big one but everything you need from God comes in the same way: by faith through grace and in Christ alone.

This notion that God’s faithfulness will make up for you lack of faith for salvation and every other promise from Heaven is wrong at best and some could consider it heretical. This “greasy grace” stuff is not compatible with the New Testament.

Steve Hill preaching during the Brownsville Revival.

Revival will require faith

As someone who lived, breathes, sleeps, and gives his life for revival, I want to be very clear: we will NOT get where we are going without faith. God is not going to pouring the great end time harvest to a bunch of stiff necked people who doubt Him just as much, if not more, than Thomas. Not going to happen.

When I was on staff at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, one of the biggest issues that people wrestling with was actually having faith for the prayers. It is easily to just get into the mode of going through the motives. Prayer without faith is just as anointed as a hail mary…. it stops at the ceiling of the room.

One of the most important passages in prayer ministries such as IHOPKC is Luke 18:7-8 but they always stop mid sentence in the second verse. The latter part of it is a open rebuke to intercessors that makes all of us quite uncomfortable.

will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off?  I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”

We will not see Stadium Christianity without faith and it will be more critical in the final days of the Church age than ever before. Without faith, we will see the end time harvest that we are believing for.

Wider issues with Bill Johnson

He is a pastor. I get that and respect that. However, pastor tend to lack holy boldness at times. The line must be drawn in the sand. People either have faith or they don’t. They either are living in sin or living holy lives. They are either going to Heaven or they are going to hell. The problem I see with Bill Johnson is he has a tendency to blur the lines.

This is far more important that some of the bizarre things I hear about eschatology from Bethel’s pulpit. This is a issue of telling they are fine with God when they are not. If people are not in faith and living in intimacy with the Spirit, they will not make Heaven. Period. I don’t think Matthew 25:1-13 could be more clear.

I would doubt that Bill Johnson or anyone on the leadership with Bethel Redding actually have less than scriptural views on salvation or the atonement. The problem lies in the presentation of it, not the doctrine connected to it.

In a quest to run as far as they can from old fashioned hellfire and brimstone preaching, they went so far the other way that they do not confront sin and the need for a Savior. I am not asking them to be the second coming of Jimmy Swaggart but clear cut Heaven or hell decision must be presented to people or they think they are going to Heaven but in reality, they have a reservation in hell!


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