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Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying; give without pay. - Matthew 10:8 (ESV)
Kris Vallotton is the Senior Associate Leader of one of the most heretical churches in the world today; Bethel Church. When I say heretical I do not take the phrase lightly. Bethel is chock full of absolute nonsense masquerading as being Christian. Bill Johnson, the Lead Pastor, believes in the most absurd manifestations which has led to the creation of the false teaching sect known as False Signs and Lying Wonders. He believes in healing on demand, even though he wears prescription eyeglasses. He has endorsed grave sucking, where his followers camp out at gravesites of departed heretics to try and suck some of their residual "anointing" into their own lives. He created a School for the Supernatural, where he believes he can teach people the gifts of the Holy Spirit. He believes worship leaders are all prophetic. He holds Friday night open prophecy mic night where anyone can come up and offer whatever false prophecy comes across their deceived wicked hearts. The heretical faux worship outfit known as Jesus Culture sprang from the loins of Bethel. Jesus Culture's lead worshipper tells a fanciful testimony of being whisked away to the throne room of God by Jesus where she met the Father face to face. Kim Walker-Smith then says that Father God ripped out a piece of His own heart and shaped a miniature Kim Walker Smith who would dance and sing for Him as He maniacally clapped His hands in enjoyment. Beloved in these times of rampant heresy, Bethel Church is one of the most dangerous outfits going today that are literally leading untold numbers of people straight to hell with their brand of experiential Christianity soaked in some of the worst false beliefs out there. Kris Vallotton is Bethel's Senior Associate leader and recently has begun a series of blog posts to defend the nonsense they believe in. The one we will be examining today can be found here:
Vallotton opens by asserting he will not be engaging in an exhaustive theological dissertation on each point to try and convince his detractors that he and Bethel are right. This is not surprising because he knows he cannot. Once he is forced into Scripture, the nonsensical beliefs are exposed for the rubbish they are. Let us reason together beloved, using only the Bible as our plumb line. Some of these beliefs may seem fringe but they are a growing belief system corrupting the bride of Christ and taking our eyes off of Jesus. They are a scheme from the pit of hell designed by Satan himself to distract the church from the Gospel. Realize too that signs and wonders are not by default from God.
But there was a man names Simon, who had previously practiced magic in the city and amazed the people of Samaria, saying that he himself was somebody great. They all paid attention to him, from the least to the greatest, saying, "This man is the power of God that is called great." -- Acts 8: 9-10 (ESV)
Simon the Sorcerer was essentially practicing witchcraft and the people called him of God. Pharaoh's magicians were able to mimic some of the signs and wonders of God. The presence of miraculous signs is not a reason to assume it is from God. There are three essential things we must look at. Are the signs and wonders biblical? Do they glorify Jesus or man? Do they make any lucid sense? The answer of explanation often offered is "God can do anything." If that is your defense then you have none. Just because God can do anything does not mean He will. It is a logical fallacy. Now, onto the three areas Vallotton defends.
For the uninformed, this alleged miraculous sign from God is when feathers randomly start falling from the ceiling at various Bethel events. These are attributed to angels of course to make the whole experience feel super spiritual. Bill Johnson is on record as saying that the feathers follow him. He recounts one day ordering food in a diner and they started falling around him in his booth. Vallotton offers absolutely no proof of anything other than his own eye witness to this sign, claiming he has seen it a couple of hundred times. He essentially admits that it sounds like something a lunatic would say:
"I have had several skeptics ask me if I believe in feathers. LOL! I want to say no! Because I understand that I sound like a kook, but I have seen them with my own eyes." -- Kris Vallotton
Beloved the belief system revealed here is subtle but very important. Bethel teaches experiential Christianity. They value personal experience over what the Bible actually says. They make it a point to try and label people who insist on biblical accuracy as being "religious" or trying to "put God in a box." I have dealt with adherents of Bethel and this brand of false teaching and invariably their answer to biblical criticism is that they know better because they have seen it themselves! That is what Kris Vallotton is essentially arguing here. Don't tell me what the Bible says! I trust my lying eyes!
Let's apply our rules beloved. First of all, how in the world does any of this insanity glorify God? Simple answer is that it does not. Johnson's magnificent tales about feathers in diners glorified him, not Jesus. Feathers randomly falling in a service no more glorifies Jesus than if corn beef sandwiches started randomly falling. Secondly, where in the entire canon of Scripture is there any manifestation of angel feathers? Again, simple answer -- nowhere! The canon of Scripture does not even refer to angels as having feathers. That is a human depiction based upon our own mortal understanding. These are heavenly beings. They are not bound by earthly laws. What about the Seraphim and Cherubim preacher! Well, while it is true that the Bible clearly states these two versions of angels have wings, it is only our narcissistic and simplistic minds that assume that must mean they have feathers as well. Angels are not birds. It is painfully obvious that the Bible does not support the idea of angels having feather or any sort of spiritual manifestation being represented by falling feathers. Lastly, why in the world would God do something so silly and unbiblical? It defies the laws of common sense. In a prayer service He could manifest in real ways and with real signs and wonders. People could be healed. People could be saved! People could be delivered! A word of knowledge could bring an unbeliever to the foot of the cross. The real gift of tongues could convince a foreigner of the presence of God. With all of these things at the disposal of the Holy Spirit I am supposed to believe He is dropping some feathers from the ceiling? Thankfully I do not have to believe such garbage because I have my Bible.
For the uniformed, the gold dust phenomenon is when gold glitter or flakes start to magically appear at events at Bethel. Sometimes they are associated with what they call a "glory cloud" which has the appearance of smoke coming through the church ventilation system. Again, Vallotton relies solely upon his personal experience to trump Scripture. He claims the first time he saw this was when a conference speaker "released the glory of God" in the room. Huh? He did what? Was the glory of God tied up somewhere? Had someone kidnapped it? That must have been some powerful speaker to be able to wield the very glory of God. Wait a minute, doesn't the Bible teach us something about this?
I am the Lord; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols. -- Isaiah 42:8 (ESV)
This speaker Mr. Vallotton saw did no such thing as release the glory of God. He may have released a demonic presence. That would line up with Scripture at least. The emissaries of the devil disguise themselves as angels of light and perform false signs and wonders. Vallotton however claims again that he has witnessed this hundreds of times so the heck with Scripture! At this point in the blog, he realizes how asinine he must sound so he offers this weak and feeble attempt to defend the indefensible and blame it all on God: