10:4–5). But at the same time, Bethel is doing a noticeable amount of good for an otherwise drug and crime-riddled community.Students are coming to BSSM from all over the world, and they’re staying and contributing to the local economy. She also brought to light what Bethel is doing in their own city. Christianity Today strengthens the church by richly communicating the breadth of the true, good, and beautiful gospel. What Bethel Church is doing is deeply and deceptively demonic. It also shows us that the natural man craves miracles: healing, wealth, favor, better “benefits” and sales “commissions” (this is literally what a Bethel pastor leads a congregation to ask God for), a life stripped free of suffering and challenge. We never hear about the failures.Hensley-Clancy also pulled back the veil on the dark side of Bethel’s reckless charismaticism, from being a disruption in the community to the point that it has cost people their lives.
All rights reserved. He writes:Molly Hensley-Clancy’s revelation of the charismatic school — nicknamed Christian Hogwarts by its own students — presented more than the usual anecdotes of the weird. Oh, and false prophecy. Lots and lots of false prophecy. Her Instagram lately is filled with photos and videos from her This week, she’s celebrating the one-year anniversary of her book while she prepares to release Browse 60+ years of magazine archives and web exclusives. You might see me laughing it up with the Southern Baptists one moment and being churchy with some Cogic (Church of God in Christ) saints the next. It doesn’t even matter where you fall in the cessationism-vs-continuationism debate, whether you believe miracles are still common or not.
Because I believe that God’s church is big and multi-faceted, and it’s made up of people that are complicated and nuanced.These days, leaders are often measured not just by their own actions, but by the company they keep—which is becoming easier for followers to spot and scrutinize on social media.Our approaches to evangelism, the local church, preaching, spiritual gifts, worship style, etc vary but when there is a unified commitment to the gospel of Jesus Christ, the inerrancy + authority of Scripture, and love for God and neighbor, the unity for which Christ prayed is made possible.I don’t agree with everybody I do ministry with (including the folk people might call “theologically sound.” Some of them, being blindly complicit when it comes to white supremacy, who are faithfully inspired by the theological musings of slave masters but that’s a whole other conversation), but I love them still. Bethel Church members have run for public office and even started a secular public school (they get by with this saying the message of the “kingdom” is love, not religion).All the kooky trickery that Bethel is known for was in the article, too: glory clouds, fire tunnels, grave sucking, dancing, chanting, healing, creepy laughter, and speaking in tongues. A year ago this week, Jackie Hill Perry released her first book, But a different kind of controversy arose when she participated in a recent conference for Propel Women, a ministry As a result, Perry has been forced to defend, explain, and clarify her position on working with those from other theological traditions, including some who ascribe to “false teachings.” Her affiliation with the women at the Propel event also lost her an upcoming speaking slot.In late August, Perry was on the lineup for Propel’s Perry and Johnson were laughing, heads together, as Perry praised Johnson as a friend and a woman with “all the Holy Spirit.” That was enough for her to start hearing from followers.Others on the lineup come out of the Word of Faith or prosperity gospel movement, which many Christians, including Perry herself, have decried as a harmful distortion of the gospel.You might see me on platforms with Reformed folk one day and non-Reformed folk the next day. In a recent blog post, Pastor Gabriel Hughes dealt with an exposé on Bethel Church written by journalist Molly Hensley-Clancy.
Bear with me as I explain.Bill Johnson, pastor of Bethel Church, preaches a different gospel. If the gospel means miraculous physical healing, why is he wearing glasses? It’s one of the reasons I’ve paid so much attention to Bethel in recent years. Amid calls for unity, bridge-building, and dialogue between people with disparate beliefs, there is a mounting pressure for leaders to be transparent about their own—to self-identify and make affiliations clear—even in short social media posts and soundbytes.“It’s as if people are placed into categories and treated according to how they’ve been classified without any opportunity to actually be more than what they’ve been labeled,” Perry said in the email she shared.Despite the backlash, other Christian leaders have come to Perry’s defense.While critics may feel she drew a line in the sand, Perry seems to have moved past it.
Get the most recent headlines and stories from Christianity Today delivered to your inbox daily.A daily newsletter featuring the most important and significant events on each day in Christian History.CTWeekly delivers the best content from ChristianityToday.com to your inbox each week.Get the most recent headlines and stories from Christianity Today delivered to your inbox daily.A daily newsletter featuring the most important and significant events on each day in Christian History.CTWeekly delivers the best content from ChristianityToday.com to your inbox each week. As black Christians have long understood, the New Testament has a strong theology of law enforcement. Only one out of every hundred prophecies are “true.” We hear all about those, which they catalog along with their “miracles” like a baptist church does its baptisms. Why? Is it really all that bad if they are lying about their miracles and glory clouds?
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