In this post it is my desire to make known the false-teachings and dangerous theology that belongs to the members and associates of Bethel Church in Redding, California and to invite them to repentance. It has come to my attention that many friends of mine and fellow conservative Christians are unaware of the unbiblical teachings that are associated with Bethel Church and their ministries. The Word of God commands Christians to publicly denounce false-teachers and those who set themselves against the true, clear teachings of the Word of God and the Gospel (1 Tim. 1:3; Eph. 5:11; 2 Tim. 4:1-22). It also puts forth the model for us to seek their repentance and to pray for their souls (Phil. 3:18).

Beginning with Bill Johnson, Johnson is a fifth-generation pastor. He pastors Bethel Church, Redding, California alongside his wife, Brenda Johnson. Mr. Johnson is the author of many books one of which being When Heaven Invades Earth: A Practical Guide To A Life Of Miracles.

In the aforementioned book, Johnson comments on the two natures of Christ.

He writes, “Jesus lived His earthly life with human limitations. He laid His divinity aside (see Phil. 2:5-7) as He sought to fulfill the assignment given to Him by the Father: to live life as a man without sin, and then die in the place of mankind for sin.” – Bill Johnson, pp. 87-88, When Heaven Invades Earth, 2013 ed.

The belief that Jesus laid aside or emptied himself of his divinity is a heresy known as the Kenosis Theory. Historically, the Church has taught that the Son of God in His Incarnation fully possessed two natures. Divinity and humanity. In other words, From the day Jesus was born to the day that He died, rose again, and ascended to Heaven, He was fully God and fully man and will be forevermore. “For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form…” (Col. 2:9 NASB)

It important to know that Jesus never ceased to be God at any time. The Scriptures testify of His eternal deity. (John 1:1; v.14; 5:18; 8:24; v.58; 10:30-33; 20:28; Col. 2:9; Phil 2:5-8; Heb. 1:8)

Bill Johnson has also made other doctrinally dangerous statements. Below are links to some of Bill Johnson’s outrageous heretical statements.

“I refuse to create a theology that allows for sickness.” -Bill Johnson

Alongside Bill Johnson is Bethel Church’s so-called youth-revivalist outreach ministry, Jesus Culture. Like Johnson, Kim Walker-Smith, one of the band’s lead singers espouses strange theology.

Kim Walker of Jesus Culture talks to Jesus and sees God the Father in Heaven:

“That was the moment when I finally believed He really does love me.”- Kim Walker-Smith (Located at 9:17 in the video)

The implications of that statement are absolutely frightening. The testimony of God’s own written Word was not enough for Kim Walker-Smith to believe God loved her. Pay close attention to how there is no mention of the gospel at all in the video. My friends, we can know from God’s Word that He loves us. The Holy Spirit speaks through the pen of Paul, declaring to us, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom. 5:8 NASB)

Despite all of these blatant false teachings, the most shocking thing about all of this is that Jesus Culture is widely accepted as a mainstream Christian band. Because of this, they have amassed an intimidatingly large following and fan-base of mostly young men and women around my age and younger. Jesus Culture is one of the most popular bands that perform at Christian conferences like Passion and other youth-driven events. Their music can be heard on mainstream Christian radio and many church-related functions regardless of denominational alliance. The influence of the Bethel Church/Jesus Culture movement is a pervading force that threatens to pervert the understanding of The Holy Spirit, worship, and the gospel of many within the visible church today.

My dear friends and fellow Christians, please heed the Master’s call to flee from false teachers. Disassociate yourselves from these ministries. In these days where Biblical truth is not tolerated, we must lock arms with one another and stand firm against all false teachers, deceivers, and wolves in sheep’s clothing for the sake of the gospel, for the purity of our faith, and for the glory of God. We have been given a sacred trust. Please dear brothers and sisters, silence in the face of doctrinal deviancy is not preserving unity, but promoting the perversion, corrosion and decay of the pure unity that exists in the bond of truth. Let us join hands in defense of the truth and let us join hearts as we seek the Lord to grant repentance to Jesus Culture and Bill Johnson and rescue the men and women caught up in their aberrant teachings.

Till all the ransomed Church of God be saved to sin no more,
Brett Fortenberry