Bill Johnson is probably one of the most quotable Charismatic leaders in the church today. And what’s good about quotable statements is that they have the capacity to encapsulate a truth that is memorable to us.
He’s also been one of the most demonized by self-appointed watchdogs and accusers of the brethren on the Internet, called a false prophet, usually quoted out of context or simply railed against because of doctrinal disagreement.
The Bill Johnson-hater blogs are usually, but not always, by people who don’t believe that the supernatural power of God is for the church today. Mostly, their focus seems to be on being against ministries and people they don’t agree with. Here’s how Bill Johnson has responded to this.
“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.” (“React or Respond” blog post quoting his book “When Heaven Invades Earth”)
While you don’t have to agree with his doctrinal position on everything, what he says here needs to be taken to heart. Maybe we should stop being like the Pharisees and be more like the Bereans, seeing if what he says is so, not what is not so (Acts 17:11).
I personally believe that Bill Johnson is a father in the faith today. And he has a lot of profound things to say about the Kingdom of God, our identity and purpose in Christ, the nature of God, and for the church in general, that will bless you if you’re open to it. So, in that light, here are just a few memorable quotes. They are thought provoking and faith building and will hopefully minister to you today.
On God’s goodness
“We don’t have the capacity to exaggerate God’s goodness. We can distort it, or even misrepresent it, but we can never exaggerate it.”
“Any time we go outside of the boundaries of God’s goodness in our thinking we get into trouble.”
On our identity and thought life
“Any time we go out of shifting our identity from being significant in God’s eyes to being unimportant we get into trouble.”
“I can’t afford to have a thought about me in my head that He doesn’t have in His head about me. Any time it entertains things that are not absolutely true and central in His perspective about me then I’m visiting something that will war against what He thinks about me.”
On sin and revival
“If public confession is our definition of revival then we need sin for revival to continue.”
On counterfeit signs and wonders
“A powerless church has nothing for the devil to counterfeit.”
On discernment or gossip
“Most Christians with bitterness have a need to justify their sin. They usually do so with virtuous names for the sin like discernment, wisdom, etc. They attract people with complaints as it confirms their “discernment.”
“People with resentment attract people with complaints.”
On Law and grace
“The Law requires. Grace enables.”
On faith and unbelief
“Sometimes instead of answering a prayer the Lord gives us a promise that we might learn how to fight the fight of faith.”
“If faith is hard, God is hard to please, because “without faith it is impossible to please Him.” (Heb. 11:6) But if faith is normal for the believer then God is easy to please.”
“In the absence of faith there is disobedience.”
“It takes courage to expect the best. Anyone with unbelief can expect the worst.”
“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.”
“Everybody wants a king like Jesus. If we represent him well, they’ll want His body too.”