“When we start making concessions on the music, or using apathy to avoid facing hard truths, we’re cowering from the Great Commission. Be different. Don’t sing the music. Don’t muddy the waters. Reach these people.”
(Costi Hinn – For The Gospel) One of the top questions I receive is about Jesus Culture and Bethel Music. Inquiring minds ask, “What do you think about listening to the music, or using only the songs that are sound?”
It’s a fair question that deserves an answer. Still, each person must determine how they’ll proceed. To spark your consideration, the 5 reasons below approach the topic from a few unique angles.
Let’s start with the obviously theological reasons, then let’s move to some practical implications that can directly or indirectly effect your church and ministry.
- Their movement & leaders preach a heretical version of Christ
When I use the “H” word here, I’m not being extreme. Scriptural teaching, early church teachings, early church councils, and your Bible college textbooks would all confirm, the “Jesus” that Bill Johnson, Bethel Church, Bethel Music, and Jesus Culture propagate is not the real Jesus. Blending Kenotic Theory (that Jesus emptied Himself of Deity), and shades of Arianism and mysticism, Bill Johnson’s teaching is beginning to be widely rejected after years of remaining mainstream and acceptable. So what took so long? Perhaps it was the tolerance narrative that evangelicalism tends to lean towards, or, people have to see enough friends and family led astray before it hits home. Whatever the reason, it’s praise-worthy to see church leaders standing up for the true gospel. There is no debate here. The “Jesus” of Jesus Culture and the rest of the Mystical-Miracle movement is not the Jesus of the Bible. If you’re not familiar with Bill Johnson, Bethel Music, or Jesus Culture, here are 5 options to read through (both short and long). I’ve listed our book last since it’s the longest.