I want say some things here and re-post something from Bill Johnson’s blog because it brings up something that really annoys me in “Churchianity” today. The idea that Christianity is promoted by what we’re against instead of what we are for. And that some Christians seem to think it’s their calling in life to demonize what they don’t agree with or understand in the body of Christ. And there’s probably no one more misunderstood and demonized by other Christians today than Bill Johnson of Bethel Church in Redding, CA. He’s been called a false prophet, a cult leader, and other evil things by self-appointed watchdog blogs, podcasts and articles. By people who, frankly, don’t know what they’re talking about…or they do and have an vitriolic ax to grind.
This does not mean that I think Bill Johnson, or others like him, walk perfectly in all truth, or that we have to agree with everything they say…and I know they would heartily agree with that. And I’m certainly not interested in starting some reactionary pharisaical debate over these things. You have a right to a different opinion than mine. Let’s just leave it at that.
But if the goal for us as followers of Jesus Christ is to come to the unity of the faith, to grow up in all things into Christ, which it most certainly is (Eph.4:11-16), then can we stop being so childish, biting and devouring one another, being divisive, and get on with the advance of the Gospel of the Kingdom? For Paul called this kind of divisiveness “carnal” and behaving like mere humans instead of who we really are as a new creation (1 Cor.3:3). Instead, let’s honor Jesus’ prayer that we would be one, even though we may not always agree doctrinally (Jn.17:21-26)
The following is from his blog post and excerpt from his book, “When Heaven Invades Earth” as a faithful response to these things. I have highlighted a few salient points that I felt the need to bring out.
“React or Respond”
By Bill Johnson
Originally posted in blog on Jan.14, 2013
… He was concerned about finding people with faith, the kind He displayed…
Many who have feared the excesses made by others in the name of faith have ironically embraced unbelief. Reaction to error, usually produces error. Some people would have no belief system were it not for the error of others. Their teachings are the antithesis of what others believe and practice. As a result those who strive for balance become anemic. The word balance has come to mean “middle of the road”- of no threat to people or the devil, with little risk, and above all… the best way to keep our nice image intact.
The Church warns its members about the great sin of presumption. God warns us of the sin of unbelief. Jesus didn’t say, “When I return will I find people who are excessive and presumptuous?” He was concerned about finding people with faith, the kind He displayed. While we often huddle in groups of like-minded people, those with faith blaze a trail that threatens all of our comfort zones. Faith offends the stationary.
People of great faith are hard to live with. Their reasoning is otherworldly. My grandfather, a pastor sat under the ministry of several great men and women of God in the early 1900s. He used to tell me how not everyone liked Smith Wigglesworth. His faith made other people feel uncomfortable. We either become like them or we avoid them. We find their lifestyle either contagious or offensive with little neutral ground. Smith is well loved today… but it’s only because he’s dead. Israel loved their dead prophets too.
There’s something amazing about unbelief – it is able to fulfill its own expectations. Unbelief is safe because it takes no risk and almost always gets what it expects. Then, after a person gets the answer for their unbelief, they can say, I told you so.
When Heaven Invades Earth
Chapter 4, page 51
Destiny Image Publishers
- What’s all this about the unity of the faith? (melwild.wordpress.com)