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Deconstructing the Defenses for Bethel Church

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"On the other hand, there are always malicious people who work hard to deceive the masses by intentionally ignoring the context of our teaching to make some distorted point. I don't understand how these people live with themselves when they intentionally twist something we teach to deface our character or undermine our ministry. Some people are so convinced we're a cult that they are willing to sacrifice their own integrity "to keep people from going astray." For example, we've had people write negative reviews about our books that they have never read, or blog about the source of our income or how we spend our money without even checking the facts. Disagreeing with someone is one thing, but lying to make your point is downright wrong.

We think it's important to give people the freedom to disagree with what we teach or practice without feeling like they are being disloyal or dishonoring. We have strong feelings about certain subjects that are even contrary to what some of our good friends believe. But we don't want to be right at the expense of being together. If Jesus only had relationships with people who were doctrinally perfect ... well, I would be the only one He would be hanging out with. (I'm only joking!)" - Kreis Vallotton

We know you are joking because there is nothing sound about your doctrine. The point he is trying to make here is to play the victim card. I have enough to do in my life that the last thing I would want to waste time on is lying about what people are teaching. The facts are that Vallotton routinely teaches so egregiously false that it requires a response so people are not deceived. I have reviewed chapters from his books that he has made available because I would never spend a dime to help someone working against the cause of Christ. For example when he writes that people who are poor suffer from a poverty mindset, there is no context that can save him. I have no desire to be together with someone who is not serving the Lord. The issue is not perfection as that was just a strawman argument. Jesus would gladly spend time with those who were not doctrinally perfect so that they might learn correct doctrine. If they refused however, He would move on as he did with the people from His own hometown.

'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'm not writing an exhaustive theological dissertation on each point to try and convince our detractors that we are right; I'm just trying to make it clear, in simple terms, what we believe and why. Signs, wonders and miracles seem to be a constant point of turmoil with people who oppose us. Some write about me, Bill Johnson or Bethel Church as if we were the originators of the idea that Christians should have a supernatural lifestyle. This is comical to me. People will often write something like, "Bill Johnson says," and then go on to quote the Bible word for word. 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! Let's face it folks, the world has some doctrines that take a lot more faith to swallow than we do. They believe in creation with no Creator, in fetuses that aren't people, and they are convinced that life with a purpose originated from a cosmic accident. It takes more faith to make God disappear than it does to live for Him." - Kris Vallotton

While I agree that it takes more faith to believe in some of the wild theories of the world, that does not mean you place your faith into nonsense. The point the reporter was making was how literal are you taking things written in the bible perhaps not meant literally. For example, just because it says drink poison and pick up snakes that does not mean you should. The problem of course is that Kris and Bethel do not traffic in the supernatural that belongs to God. Jesus certainly did miracles when He walked the earth but they were always surrounding salvation, which is the ultimate supernatural miracle. What is truly sad and comical is the miracles Vallotton believes in are all carnal in nature. Silliness such as gemstones appearing magically and glory clouds pumped into the sanctuary through the air ducts. His miracles are false signs and lying wonders that bring no glory to God. That is why they are opposed.

"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. I do know of several Christians who have raised the dead. Radical? Yeah! But hopefully if you're born again, you believe that you will be raised from the dead someday so you can go to heaven." - Kris Vallotton

This is why I love reading Vallotton. He simply does not care to understand the bible so he just keeps making obvious errors that make it easy to discern. Matthew 10 is Jesus sending out the 12 and the text clearly says that. The instruction Jesus gives was to them, not Kris Vallotton. His childish justification is ridiculous. He admits that contextually Jesus speaks to the 12 and then ignores the context? What Vallotton fails to realize is the difference between historical narrative and instructional text. When Jesus sends the 12 out this is narrative. When Paul writes letters to groups of people he is instructing them and thus, us. Again, this does not mean that we do not learn from historical text but we do not apply to ourselves that which God did not intend. Note that when Jesus is speaking to the twelve he is not "teaching them." He is giving them orders.

The gall to then absolve leadership at Bethel for what students at Bethel do is beyond the pale. Look at what he says. Students from his school decided to raise the dead but he thinks it has nothing to do with the way they are taught? Nonsense and if Johnson is their pastor then he should have stopped it. These kids do not have faith in God but in the false teachings they were indoctrinated under. The Bethel dead raising team claims 15 resurrections without one shred of proof. They make a mockery of the witness for Jesus Christ and His resurrection. As does Kris by pretending a fake raising in this lifetime is somehow equivocal to when Christ will raise us on the last day. It is not radical. It is heretical and the notion that Bethel leadership is somehow not in control of what their students do tells you all you need to know. If these kids started having snake handling parties would Kris just marvel at their faith? Unreal.

'I don't think we have taken more ridicule for anything than gold dust and feathers. It all began one day while someone was preaching, and these tiny white feathers started falling from the ceiling in the sanctuary. It wasn't raining feathers or anything like that (people tell tales), but they were very obviously there and easily seen. At first no one said anything. We all thought there were birds in the AC ducts or something. Then other leaders began to report the same phenomena happening in their churches. Our maintenance staff investigated the bird theory. No birds, feathers, or nests were discovered anywhere in the ductwork or the ceiling. It also started to happen in people's homes. It always happens when we are talking about the things of God. The phenomena tends to come and go. No one at Bethel has ever preached on feathers (that I know of), but at times it is nearly impossible not to mention them when we are teaching because several of them are falling right in front of the pulpit all at once. I have witnessed this myself a couple hundred times in several different buildings. I have had several skeptics ask me "if I believe in feathers." I want to say no because I understand that I sound like a kook, but I have seen them with my own eyes. Then there is the infamous gold dust; again the phenomenon comes and goes. The first time I ever witnessed this myself was at a MorningStar conference more than fifteen years ago. The speaker released the "glory of God" in the room, and suddenly gold dust appeared on everyone's face and hands. You didn't have to try hard to see it; tiny flakes of something resembling gold glitter were everywhere. (There were several hundred people in the room that night, so it's possible that some people didn't have gold dust on them as I didn't examine every individual.) Since that time, I have personally witnessed this hundreds of times. For some reason, the dust usually only appears on people's hands and faces. Sometimes it will just appear on a few people, and other times it will show up on hundreds of people all at once.

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Credentialed Minister of the Gospel for the Assemblies of God. Owner and founder of 828 ministries. Vice President for Goodwill Industries. Always remember that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him and are called according to (more...)
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