There are many questionable practices associated with Bethel Church, and I use the word questionable very lightly. In fact, the conduct, affiliations, and agenda of that church is detestable and an abomination to the Lord. Why? In many ways, they have departed from the faith and have accepted another jesus, another spirit, and another gospel. And that is not so apparent when reading their statement of faith. When one begins to look into the matter, they will discover that they are misrepresenting the doctrines of Christ Jesus in several key areas.
For instance, they are Dominionist, who believe that it I their responsibility to take over the world for Jesus. In that quest, they have adopted what’s referred to as the 7 Mountains Mandate. That mandate comes from a charismatic prophet who claims that Jesus wants his people to take over business, government, education, arts, media, family, and religion. In that effort, they also are seeking the wealth of the nations. They are often referred to as Joel’s Army.
Bethel Church is also affiliated with the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR). Along with the message of Dominionism, they are attempting to establish “another” foundation for the Church, which is based on rebuilding the “five fold ministry,” with their apostles controlling the Church. Ironically, the man who established that movement (Peter Wagner) is considered to be the “super apostle” over the whole movement. That has somewhat of a stinky aroma that can be associated with the reign of the pope in Catholicism. He is perhaps a Protestant Pope.
As one continues to research Bethel Church, many alarming spiritual practices and doctrines begin to come to light that raise the question as to the origin of the Presence they seek. And a good question to ask is whether or not their practices and doctrines line up with the Word of God. Here are some examples of those questionable practices and doctrines that are very disturbing:
*Heaven invading earth (Masonic)
*Kabbalah (Jewish mysticism, centering on the worship of Shekinah)
*Fire tunnels (Pattern of Shamanism)
*Tokin the Ghost
*Mantle anointings and transferrable anointings
*Necromancy (Laying over the graves of dead people to suck up the anointing)
*House of Generals (Display of artifacts for obtaining transferrable anointings on demand)
*SOZO (Practice similar to Scientology’s mind therapy)
*Seeking the Presence
*False signs and wonders (gold dust, glory clouds, angel feathers, oil manifestations, etc.)
*Word of Faith (WoF) doctrines (Issuing decrees into the atmosphere)(little gods)
*Prosperity gospel (Making merchandise of the gospel, wealth grab)
*They believe that Jesus suffered at the hands of satan in hell, and that Jesus was just a man when he lived on the earth. He needed to become God by being born again.
*Doctrines of the New Breed
*Power of suggestion
*Spiritual DNA (Ability to become god)
*Worship of angels
*Hebrew Roots Movement
*BSSM (Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry)
*Promotion of going off the roadmap of the scriptures
*Worship practices with tuning forks (Claim to be taking back what the devil stole)
Now, I’d bet that they don’t want to advertise this stuff on their statement of faith, as it would raise too many eye brows. But what this all boils down to is a New Age invasion of “witchcraft” into the Church. And that invasion is being spread internationally through conferences, special meetings, and music concerts. They refer to themselves as being in the “river movement”, and they are patterned after the likes of the Toronto Blessing of the early nineties. What is even more alarming is that they are targeting young people, as those kids are attending Jesus Culture concerts around the world.
Jesus Culture’s music moves people to discover and experience and “encounter.” But what are they actually experiencing? A true work of the Holy Spirit directs us to a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ, and a love for the Word of God. But what is seen with Jesus Culture and Bethel Church is iniquity–not holiness and purity. In support of that experience, Jesus Culture utilizes what can only be referred to as mantras. Phrases are sung over and over and over again. Jesus Culture is one of the main recruiting arms of the NAR. Kids attend their concerts, and then they are directed to Bethel Church. Many kids then attend the BSSM, and they learn that the scripture isn’t enough for a Christian’s life. They learn that a person needs to be able to go off of the road map and explore.
In that exploration, many people are learning “contemplative prayer.” And much of what is experienced is people seeking an altered state of consciousness, where they activate their pineal glands in opening up the god from within. The origin of that practice is Hinduism. Many people go into convulsions, shake violently and tremor, and fall to the ground as if they are on fire. Some people are even reported to have not come out of that experience alive. One father is on record as saying that his son was never the same. After returning home, his son soon committed suicide.
So with this said, what does this all add up to? Is it Christianity? Are these practices taught in the Word of God? Did Jesus Christ, or any of His apostles who wrote the epistles and gospels ever model this behavior, or instruct us to walk in such a way? The answer is no. So then, if the answer is no, then where did this stuff come from? It didn’t come from God. In fact, these practices are strictly forbidden in scripture. They are the way of the heathen. That movement is perhaps building the harlot church that will ultimately worship and serve the anti-Christ. Time will tell by careful examination of that fruit. Jesus said that his kingdom is not of this world. Yet the NAR perverts the Lord’s Prayer and seeks to establish the Kingdom of God on the earth–a Kingdom that only God Himself can build. And a close look at scripture reveals that the Kingdom of God will be established and fully in place “after” there is a new heaven and an new earth. In that Kingdom, there will only be righteousness.
As children of God, our hope is in the Lord. We walk in the light of God’s Word, and we keep ourselves away from evil. “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” Our mission is not to take over the world. Our work is to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ, edify the body of Christ, and walk as salt and light in this dark world. We worship God in spirit and in truth.
So as did the Bereans in the Book of Acts, it is vital that we compare what we see and hear around us to the authority and standard of the Word of God. The NAR, Jesus Culture, and Bethel Church can certainly pursue what they perceive to be their divine destiny. But due to the gravity and nature of their faith and practice, perhaps they should be a little bit more clear and up front with people in telling them about what they really represent.