Once again, showing the danger of his teaching Johnson is correct about a great deal here as it pertains to society at large. We must step back and take this as a smaller portion of his larger belief system. Bill Johnson is hardly a cultural warrior but he is a die hard dominionist. As such he only views things biblically as they apply to the world. What is missing of course the guardrails he speaks of here must first apply to the church since the things of God are foolishness to those who are perishing. Does our society devalue life? Absolutely! Do theories such as evolution contribute to the devaluing of life? Greatly so. Where is the church in all of this? Are they valuing eternal life by presenting the true Gospel of Jesus Christ, which the bible says is the only thing that has the power to save someone? No. They are valuing this life. They are seeking commonality and relevance with this world. Mega church pastors with million-dollar homes and thousand-dollar suits while 736 million people live in abject poverty? They see a collective church outraged at the notion of not meeting during a pandemic or heaven forbid wearing a mask. I saw a post from a pastor this week who was BRAGGING about giving the flight attendant a hard time because he didn't want to wear a mask. A pastor. Another local pastor bragging about how he would not let kids wear masks when they return in September for Christian education at his church. What does the world see when they look at the church? What do they see when they look at Bill Johnson and Bethel Church? Do they see these few correct words scattered around so many that are simply wrong? In all likelihood they see the craziness of their prayer services and open mic prophesy nights. They see their dead raising team lying about raising people from the dead. They see Johnson teaching that God must always heal us as he never once visits a hospital during the pandemic to heal people. They see a church that is actively seeking to remove the guardrails of scripture and replace them with our own experience.
"We were designed with purpose and destiny. Survival is important but should not be a lifetime goal. We were designed to soar. Real wisdom comes in managing our intake of information to fuel our purpose. The thought of soaring during times of crisis almost seems flippant to many. And yet trials don't affect our destinies. They only affect the journey. And considering that our Father is the one who uses all things for His glory and our strength, we must hold on to hope. Even the most undesirable situation can be used for our promotion. Deliberately feeding ourselves on the things that make us useful in crises is paramount to our fulfilling our design. We were born to live and thrive with hope! Hope is the soil that faith grows in. Hope doesn't cower in the face of a mountain, but it is faith that removes the mountain. Hope is a general approach to all things in life. Faith is specific and intentional. Faith is not the result of striving. It is the result of surrender. Yielding to the purposes of God, and more specifically, yielding to the Word of God creates the pathway of great hope and faith. Hope has to have a foundation. And that foundation is the goodness of God. A person without hope has either lost sight of His goodness or was never convinced in the first place. Regardless, the solution is simple. Return to Him. Return to the One who loves us beyond measure. It doesn't get any simpler or more profound than this. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life" (John 3:16). That is pure, unadulterated goodness. Paul adds to this truth with: " He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?" (Rom. 8:32). His gift to us was so extreme that everything else needed in this life, and throughout all eternity, was automatically included. Meditating on such truths should give us the courage and hope to approach life with certainty. It's not a certainty of knowing what will happen and when. It's a certainty that no matter what happens, we are held in His hand and are automatically positioned for forward motion and increase." - Bill Johnson
You may want to sit down beloved. We were not designed with magnificent purpose and destiny. That is Rick Warrenology 101 and it is pure heresy. We were not designed to soar. This is more of the purpose driven slop that has been fed to churchgoers for decades now. The result is they are fully churched. They are fully purposed. Yet despite these accomplishments they are further away from God. The problem remains that the hope Bill Johnson sells is in this world. Even when he waxes eloquently about God it is only to leverage Him. Not losing sight of the goodness of God is to hope in the finished work of the cross. Where we understand that this pandemic riddled world may pass away tomorrow and God will save us out from it because He already has on Calvary. We are not automatically positioned to move forward and increase. That is the teaching that wrecks faith. Having faith in God and being secured in His hands means we should be positioned to lie prostrate before Him in awe. Sorry Bill.
Reverend Anthony Wade - July 19, 2020