Another Bill Johnson Heresy: Paul preached ‘ANOTHER’ gospel
Bethel Church is a non-denominational charismatic church in Redding, CA. They have built a massive, global following through their mega-popular Christian contemporary music that is sung in thousands of churches all over the country every Sunday. They preach that the Holy Spirit has empowered them to prophesy and perform supernatural miracles, “signs and wonders” on a regular basis. However, there is a great deal of wildly unbiblical practices in this church.
Bill Johnson’s Many Heresies
Here is a video that breaks down some of the incorrect, unbiblical teachings of Bethel Church pastor Bill Johnson:
In stunning fashion, Johnson states that the Apostle Paul was preaching “another Gospel” because he stated that God permitted him to be ill with a “thorn in the flesh.” Let’s examine this passage in context:
“And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” – 2 Corinthians 12:7-10
Note that Paul gave the specific reason for why he suffered the “thorn” – to keep him humble. Jesus personally appeared to Paul on the road to Damascus, leading to his conversion to the Christian faith. Paul communed with God in Sinai. 13 of the books of the New Testament were written by him. He was given the power via the Holy Spirit to perform miracles. All these things could have led Paul to be full of himself – puffed up with pride that he was the special Apostle of Christ. But the thorn was a reminder to remain humble.
Also note that Paul said he prayed 3 times to be healed and God did not heal him. Why? God told him “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness .” God forgiving Paul for all of the sins in his life was enough consolation and furthermore, The Lord wanted Paul to lean on God in the moments he felt physically, emotionally or spiritually weak. This is when God demonstrates His strength: when we humbly cry out in affliction and paid for help from Him.
The fact that Christians will suffer in this life is taught all throughout Scripture. Jesus Christ said: “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33).
Yet Bill Johnson stated in the above video that the notion that God would allow any Christian to suffer bad health was “another Gospel” – essentially labeling that passage from 2 Corinthians as heresy! This should give any Christian pause – a pastor is directly telling his Church that certain parts of Paul’s teachings are false. And that any teaching that agrees with it is false. In a ‘Signs and Wonders’ ministry believers are to command and demand their miracles and believe they are entitled to every healing, blessing and prosperous situation ever mentioned in the Bible. This is not sound teaching.
When Job, whom God called the most faitfhul man on Earth in his day, lost his home, wealth and children in a day. Let us examine his reaction:
“While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, Thy sons and thy daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother’s house: And, behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness, and smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men, and they are dead; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.
Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord. In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.” – Job 1:13-22
This passage alone absolutely shatters the notion that we Christians should have an expectation of health, wealth, good looks and prosperity. Maybe we will have all those things, maybe not. As we live in this Earth, which is still under the curse of sin and death, nothing is promised to the Christian. Notice Job, whom God called the most faitful man on Earth, did not immediately demand a resurrection. He did not break into song to “manifest the Spirit” for supernatural power. He simply dropped to his knees and worshiped.
Job did not know why God allowed these things to happen but he trusted God had a great and mighty purpose in it. That is faith. It is trusting God when you do not know what is going to happen.