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Devotionals

Deconstructing the Defenses for Bethel Church

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828ministries.com H3'ed 9/14/20
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Why does God do these things, you ask? I really don't know. I have often been among different groups of leaders who are speculating about the purpose of these signs. I have heard many ideas that sound good and make me feel better about the things I have experienced. But the truth is, I really don't know why these things happen. Therefore, I do think feathers and gold dust qualify as "wonders."' - Kris Vallotton

Heresy and stupidity do not mix well. These are two of the fake signs and lying wonders that Bethel is famous for, with gemstones and glory clouds being the others. These are not miracles. These are not signs. These are not wonders. How do I know this? Because they are nowhere in the bible! You know, God's final revealed will to us! Did He forget to mention them? Now mind you, there are two types of angels that are shown in the bible as having wings but there are zero references to feathers and more importantly - why? Why in the world would God randomly drop feathers at Bethel Church in Redding California? This is how you can be sure this is not from God. These bogus manifestations bring absolutely no glory to God and instead give all glory to Bethel. Show me someone who is set free from a lifetime of addiction. Show me someone who was previously diagnosed with cancer and is now free. Show me a life once bound to sin set free through the saving grace of Jesus Christ. Those are miracles. Save your silly manifestations of carnal showmanship.

"Another manifestation that is more prominent, but equally hard to explain, is people falling down or laughing hysterically for no obvious reason. We call the "falling down" experience "being slain in the Spirit." This happens often when we lay our hands on people to pray for them (although it happens in other situations also). Sometimes people just seem to fall over backwards as if they just passed out. Some are conscious, while others act as if they are asleep or in some sort of trance. They most often fall backwards (I have no idea why). It has been happening for so long that we now station "catchers" behind people when we pray for them so they don't get hurt when they hit the floor. When the people who have been "slain in the Spirit" get up off the floor, they frequently share testimonies of experiencing God in some incredible way. I personally have never had this experience myself, but I have watched thousands of people fall down when I am praying for them. Could they be faking? No question, some are. But if you have ever witnessed this phenomenon personally, you would see for yourself that many of these people fall in such a way that if someone didn't catch them, they would bounce off the floor. In many cases it would be impossible to fake this kind of fall. Could it be the devil? If it is the devil, he is doing a wonderful job of helping people get closer to God. In almost every case where people have been "slain in the Spirit" they report being more convinced than ever of God's love for them. This may all sound strange, but it's no stranger then many things that people experienced in the Bible.

One of the manifestations that has been most offensive to people is something we call "holy laughter." This condition occurs when, for no obvious reason, people just begin to laugh hysterically as if they are drunk. Some laugh so hard that they literally fall on the ground. These people report being overcome by intense joy that can't be expressed with words. I have watched thousands of people all at once overcome by this manifestation. It's fun to witness someone who is really serious encounter this experience. Again, I have never experienced this condition myself, but I have carried my wife out of several meetings when she was so "spiritually drunk" that she couldn't walk. Weird you say? Yeah, I agree, it looks that way to me too. I love what Angela Monet said, "those who danced look quite insane to those who didn't hear the music." I think this quote applies here. Again, it's very hard to attribute this to satan when the fruit of this manifestation is always positive in the people having the experience. I must admit that some who watch people having this type of encounter are offended." - Kris Vallotton

I was saved in a Charismatic church. The phenomena of slain in the spirit was a given. For years it did not happen to me until one prayer service night at a local church, shortly after someone close to me had died. The pastor laid hands on me and I went down. I was out for a few minutes where I did feel God minister to me regarding the death of my friend. Fast forward a few years and I was leading my discernment ministry. The study of the bible led me to the only conclusion I can reach - slain in the spirit is not biblical. Period, full stop. So now what am I to do with my personal experience? According to what Bethel teaches, I would side with my experience. This experiential Christianity is a core doctrine of Bethel and Kris Vallotton. I however always allow the bible to dictate what is real. Thus, my only conclusion was that my experience was false. I do believe God ministered to me as He will use anything for His glory. The reaction of falling down however I had to attribute to an emotional reaction, not a spiritual one.

Vallotton wrongly concludes that because people claim to have drawn closer to God during this occurrence, that they must have. What do you expect them to say? To showy 'look at me" spirit that pervades the Charismatic church requires one to respond as spiritually as possible. Let me ask you this. If people are "doing business" with God, have drawn so close to Him because of being slain, then why do they go up again the following week? Anyone who has spent anytime in the Charismatic church knows that each week the very same people are getting slain. Where is the growth in Christ? Where is the maturity? Why do they need this revolving experience just to draw close to the God they claim to serve? As for holy laughter - are you kidding me? Laughing uncontrollably as if they were drunk? Is self-control one of the gifts of the spirit or not? Your wife was so spiritually drunk she could not walk? Where is that in the bible Kris? Oh that's right - it is not!

"There is a rumor that continues to resurface that Bethel Church doesn't believe in doctors or medicine. Jesus said,"... It is not those who are well who need a physician, but those who are sick. I don't know of a single person on our staff that wouldn't go to a doctor if they didn't get well after prayer. We have a medical doctor named Dr. Andre VanMol who has been on Bethel's church board for many years, along with a physician's assistant named Julie Winters, who also serves on our board. I think the rumor may have started because of the way we warn people about what they might experience from their doctors after they have received a miracle in their bodies. Many doctors simply won't believe in miracles. Therefore, when someone gets instantly healed of a medically verifiable disease and then goes back to their doctor for verification, sometimes the physician refuses to acknowledge their healing, even though all the tests come back negative and their symptoms are completely gone. (Frankly, I think some doctors are simply afraid of being sued for a misdiagnosis, or thought of as being crazy by their peers). Because faith plays a huge factor in miracles (Jesus often said, "...your faith has made you well,"), it is imperative that the people who are recipients of divine healing don't start doubting that they are well and then end up sick again. Therefore, we tell people that they should consult their physician to verify their healing, but they should be aware that this dynamic is fairly common among the medical community." - Kris Vallotton

Let me first point out the misuse of the key verses for today. Kris leaves off the qualifying portion of the verse. The context is provided in the key verses as well as the missing part of the quoted verse. Jesus is not speaking about physical healing. He is clearly speaking about spiritual healing through salvation. He came not to call the righteous, but rather sinners. Now, let's deal with what Kris is trying to say here. To be honest, I have never heard anyone accuse Bethel of not believing in medical doctors. I would think they are far too carnally minded for that. The issue I think that Kris is trying to cover up for is the notion of divine healing. This is essentially mandatory healing. In other words, God must always heal us and if we are not healed it must be a problem with our faith. This is an amusing false theology coming from someone who uses corrective eyeglasses but I digress. The fact is that this theology robs God of His sovereignty and can absolutely wreck the faith of many who do not get healed. It is a dangerous teaching indeed.

Vallotton concludes with some backslapping about how great he and Bethel are, which are not worth reviewing here. I will close with his final words:

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Submitted on Monday, Sep 14, 2020 at 12:50:34 PM

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