Bethel Church and Destiny Cards : Reponse to Theresa Dedmon
I love Bethel Church. I disagree with Bethel Church. I love them and disagree with them. I have defended them and I have confronted them. I love their hunger for the spiritual gifts and I have spoke about their theological challenges. I am not a heresy hunter but I am a supporter with my eyes wide open and ears are listening.
Recently, there has been some talk about these destiny cards that are just like torah cards used by Wiccans. There has been quite a bit said about it, including top leadership of Bethel Church talking about it. It is concerning to point it lightly. I have spoken about people playing with fire when they deal with the New age before.
Theresa Dedmon is not just a member of the church in Redding. She is a ministry leader and her husband is the right hand man to Bill Johnson. He is the armor bearer to the pastor (if you believe in that stuff). There is no reason to not consider this official teaching of Bethel Church in Redding.
According to her website, she is on the pastoral care of the church and oversees the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry. She is also involved in creative arts at the church. It is with that in mind that I response to this article.
Answering the issues of Theresa Dedmon
The article on her website starts out with this,
“Destiny Cards” are not tarot cards. They do, however, have a similar look that attracts people who are searching for a “reading”. What they get from Christalignment staff is a prophetic word about their destiny, which is to have a personal relationship with Father God through Jesus Christ, and encountered through the Holy Spirit.
Let’s get something right from the start. God speaks through people, not cards. There is no “cheat sheet” for the prophetic. There leads to all types of false prophecy, divination and in some cases, complete sorcery. Prophecy is from God and is spoken in the right moment to the right person about the right issue. This idea of cookie cutter words from the Lord that we see coming out of some ministries is not the prophetic word of the Lord. It is just what the bible calls vain imagination.
Is there a place for reading cards and palm readers in the Kingdom? I would not suggest anyone who is not a legit prophet in the office of a prophet to even consider messing with these people. They have some serious demons that these people are releasing. I have been more people end up like the sons of Shiva over trying to minister to Wiccan warlocks that I care to admit.
the apostle Paul emphasized that he became all things to all men, so that he could somehow win them to Christ (1 Corinthians 9:22). Just because Paul used “the altar to the unknown god” to preach from, he certainly was not buying into the Athenians false religious beliefs, nor condoned it in any way (Acts 17:23).
People use 1 Corinthians 9:22 to excuse all types of ungodly lifestyles. I have seen a person that I know end up on drugs again but trying to be “all things” to the drug addicts. I have a personal friend who is living in open sin because he tried to be “cultural relevant” in evangelism. The issue here is that the verse is often taken out of the context of who, what and why Paul said it. The fact of the matter is that Hermeneutics really do matter.
What about Mars Hill? Did Paul really just go full on seeker sensitive in his message to the Athens? Some people would tend to tell that but I am not convinced when I read the passage. Paul gave the people a direct message from God that was pointed to answer their question. It was direct, it was personal and it was impacting. Prophecy cuts to the heart and if any word does not cut through the heart of a man, it was not prophetic in nature.
It is possible, biblically, to have an encouraging word and not a prophetic word. One of the biggest lies in the prophetic movement today is that all prophecy is encouraging. Romans 12:6-8 makes this very clear that they are two different gifts. Prophecy can be encouraging and encouragement can be prophetic. However, encouragement does not have to prophetic and the prophetic does not have to be encouraging.
We see many examples in Church history of creatively expressing the message of the Gospel through “worldly”, and even “demonically inspired”, expressions. John and Charles Wesley changed the lyrics to famous bar tunes, so that the unchurched could worship.
This is the “redeem the culture” discussion. I tend to believe we are to transform the culture, not modify it. The truth is that we are being more impacted by the world than the world is being impacted by us. Redeeming worldly concepts to make their sacred is not the great commission. We are to change the world, not throw a little Jesus on their culture and call it “redeemed.”
At the turn of the 20th century, racism in the United States was at an all time high. Preachers were justifying it using the Bible as well. If the early Pentecostals would have followed this thinking Azusa Street would have never happened. We would have never seen “racism washed in the Blood of Jesus” as William Seymour put it.
I also am a little turned off to use Wesley as an example. Let’s face it. The church that he started is completely dead today and they are ordained gay preachers. I do not think a person could even get born again with their presentation of the gospel that I hear coming out of the United Methodist Church.
prophecy is a gift that we are all supposed to use, especially in communicating the Good News. Prophecy is simply speaking on behalf of God in what He would want to say to them to encourage them or give them hope for salvation.
Without blowing a fuse here, NO prophecy is NOT just speaking on behalf of God to encourage or give hope. Prophecy is God speaking to people with detailed information that people could not know naturally that awaken their spirit to the reality of the glory of God. This is where Bethel Church gets way off base. They think you can practice prophecy and that all prophetic words are “destiny words.”
More times that not, prophetic words are about getting the sin out of the your life and out of the camp than it is how amazing you are and God petting your narcissistic ego. We have so cheapened the concept of the prophetic today that anything becomes prophecy and anything a little better than normal is “revival.” (that’s a whole different discussion)
We have no examples in either the Old Testament or the New Testament of a prophet who did not focus on repentance, cleansing the people of sin, and personal piety. Is there a time for a word about blessing and prosperity? There is but if your whole ministry is focus on just genetic words of how God is going to give them money; you do not have a prophetic ministry.
My destiny cards are developed from a prophetic picture that I will draw about what I think someone may need to hear from God, so that they will know that God has a good plan and purpose for their lives.
This is more bad theology about the prophetic. I love the people in Redding but really? God has a good plan for the person. It is called the gospel. It is the plan called to accept, believe and confess. It is the plan of repentance that is the road map into birth into the Kingdom of God.
I have been to Burning man and seen people using these types of props and I just shook my head. I also saw a lot of people using guides by John Paul Jackson. God does not give us guides, He gives us prophetic word in the right time for the right person.
The truth is that most people have no business being in the place to try and minister to Wiccans and warlocks. They especially should not be there if they have to use some prop to “get a word.” These people really serious demonic spirits.
This Holiday season is a great time for prophesying to people who feel lonely, in despair, and hopeless. They are waiting for someone like you, who know the truth of Christ, and will take some risk in developing an innovative way to reach them in a way that they can hear the message, which is,
Do not be afraid, I bring you good news of great joy, and it is for all of the people (Luke 2:10).
It is Christmas time and Holy Spirit does tend to be very active at this time of the year as people are reminded of the presence of the Messiah coming to earth. There is a level of faith among the faithful in December that we do not normally see and because of that, miracles are much easier to manifest.
However, the message of the gospel is not Jesus loves you. It is the message of repentance and cleansing. This everything is positive and amazing without a call to complete surrender is going to send my generation straight into the lake of fire!
We have a major problem with Soteriology in the Pentecostal movement today and it is not getting any better. We need a fresh revival that re-aligning the faithful to the heartbeat of Jesus saves, heals and delivers. We need to get back to the preaching under the anointing of the Holy Spirit and seeing people pray in tongues and cast out devils. The realignment from the Brownsville Revival was worn off.