Rick Becker exposes the occult practices that are going on inside Bethel Church in Redding CA through its School of Supernatural Ministry (BSSM), or as students like to call it “Christian Hogwarts.” Becker shows the ways in which undiscerning “Christians,” especially the younger generation, are being deceived by wolves in sheep’s clothing who are looked up to, some even idolized, because of their celebrity status. Two highly esteemed Bethel Church celebs are Bethel’s Senior
Wizard Pastor and so-called “apostle” Bill Johnson, and Senior Associate Wizard Leader and one of BSSM’s founders Kris Vallotton. And let’s not forget the hugely popular Jesus Culture band that was birthed at Bethel.
Now that we’ve offered some additional background on the aforementioned Christian Hogwarts, let’s go to Rick Becker’s report over at Famine In The Land:
Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry is a risky business. Students are “taught” how to heal, and are encouraged to “take risks” which really means to ignore the boundaries clearly laid out in scripture. BSSM is simply a school of ‘simony’ that is producing thousands of severely deluded ‘revivalists’ who believe that they are a part of a mighty end time army that will usher in the kingdom of God. Two of our previous posts exposed their false teachings and methodology:
In this post we continue to expose the delusion in operation at the BSSM.
In 2016, BSSM asked research group Eido “to conduct a wide scale research report: “objectively discovering and celebrating the corporate testimony of these graduates; as well as providing the information Bethel needs to grow in excellence as they pursue global revival.” The Eido report was compiled by two statisticians who are former students of the BSSM. The report is largely complimentary, and claims that as a result of the graduates ministry 50 000 people were healed in 2017 as well as “several dead raisings.” No medical records were mentioned or made available. The report does however include some negative observations from graduates. One of the questions they asked past students was: “What could BSSM have done better to prepare you for life after graduation?” Two of the answers are telling:
1. “there could be more talks from people who work in the secular world and can describe what it is like to be a revivalist without using any jargon. I [have] never said ‘bam, take it’ since graduating” The question is why is there the need to say “bam, take it” in the first place? What does “bam” actually do, and how does one “take” whatever “bam” produces? Did Jesus or the apostles resort to a “bam, take it” ministry? The “bam” probably comes from a false prophet who is endorsed by Bill Johnson – Todd Bentley.
Outside of the Bethel bubble is a real world that needs the gospel, not the tricks and trades of the Bethel machinery.
2. “I think I felt like I was told YOU’RE AN AWESOME AMAZING WORLD CHANGER LEADER and then I got thrown into the real World like a fish out of water. Ministry life and real world life are very different. And I was very disillusioned. I knew I was AMAZING but that didn’t translate into society as a whole.” Surely the point of any type of Christian instruction is to reveal the greatness of God, not self? Bethelites are under a spiritual delusion. Outside of their environment are people who are not bamboozled by gold dust, feathers and fog. Stretching legs may fool some people, but the average person, even if unsaved, still has common sense.
Students at the BSSM receive lots of encouragement, but is it biblical, or simply an ego building exercise? More comments from graduates of the BSSM in the Eidos survey: “I was told by a good amount of people during school that I was meant to do great things, but now that I don’t have those voices always reminding me”, said one struggling graduate. “Not being believed in or seen the way that I was at Bethel. There I felt so big, here I feel so insignificant and unseen” added another.”
This BSSM School Planting article, “Developing a Risk-Taking Culture” reveals Bethel’s disdain for scripture, and their desire to experiment in signs and wonders.
BSSM: “Developing a supernatural lifestyle requires risk….Set the tone for your school’s culture by communicating that it is okay for your students to fail when they are trying new things.” I thought BSSM was a school of “supernatural” ministry? On the day of Pentecost, the disciples “began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.” Acts 2:3. There was no trial and error, no risk taking involved. They were not trying something new – God gave a new gift. The miracle was that they spoke in languages that they had not learned: “And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language?” Acts 2:6-8
BSSM: “While teaching on words of knowledge, ask students to get a word of knowledge (e.g. his/her favorite toy growing up, last four digits of his/her phone number, parent’s name, etc.) for the student sitting to their right. Ask students who got the word of knowledge correct to raise their hands. Celebrate their breakthrough! Ask the students who got the word of knowledge wrong to raise their hands. Tell these students to look around the room and notice they are not the only ones who got it wrong. Celebrate their effort and remind them it’s ok they didn’t get it right the first time. Encourage them to keep trying as it will help them develop discernment.”
How is guessing the favorite toy of the person next to you glorify and point to God? How does it edify the body of Christ? A necromancer or psychic could name the favorite toy. Where is the miraculous if we can simply thumb suck names and numbers until we get close? We covered the topic of supernatural knowledge in this article: The new breed of crafty evangelists.
BSSM: “While teaching students on how to heal the sick, share your personal journey with them on how you grew in understanding healing, the breakthroughs you saw, the disappointments you experienced”
Gifts are taught? It should be so obvious to anyone who has has a bible that gifts cannot be taught, and that not everyone has the same gift. “All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.” 1 Corinthians 12:11.
You don’t have to be a cessationist to know that Bethel blatantly ignores scripture! If healing can be taught, why have Bill and Beni Johnson required surgery, and why are they still wearing glasses? Why are the hospitals in Redding still in business?
Sometimes “taking risks” involves baiting people. This is from the BSSM School Planting facebook page:
“ACTIVATION // White Board: This is from our friends @ilssm_uk ! Take a whiteboard and have your students write down words of knowledge. Take the whiteboard out on the street and watch as people find themselves on the whiteboard and are touched by the Lord!”