the offense of the offended


    Jesus  Said

 “You have heard that it was said, An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. But I tell you, don’t resist an evildoer. On the contrary, if anyone slaps you on your right cheek turn the other one to him also. As for the one who wants to sue you & take away your shirt, let him have your coat as well”    matthew 5 v 38-40

      The way this river rolls, I  observe there is much much teaching  on the culture of honour & dealing with speaking to & for others in extremely positive manner..  All of this is great.  no one want nastiness.
      sadly though, this is leading to a fear of being truly honest sometimes . All tied up with positive confession –  which I discussed on an earlier post…  The balance is of course if only positive “things”  are to be said, to be shared how then does anyone hold anyone else to account – speaking truth in love..  Does not sin fall through the gap sometimes?   Yes I believe that it does..
      the other thing that is tending to occur is that people – now dont know how to take  that Godly “pulling  up”  –  being so accustomed to having “only the positives”  spoken over them… they simply have no idea, truthfully of how to react  – except maybe to dismiss what is being said to them on the basis of its perceived negativity, which might actually be the truth delivered timely, appropriately & with love…
      additionally, Im noticing that many individuals have a hard time sharing at any level those things they may be struggling with..   see in the 24-7 glory Zone where miracles occur all of the time, where positive confession abounds  – the teaching implies that we can just speak over & talk ourselves out of that which we struggle with..  & in young people – this often surounds the issues to do with, identity, self esteem, lusts of the flesh (pornography/ addictions/over eating/over spending)  & self control…  It seems in this environment, if such a one speaks out  his/her struggle with sin –   he/she speaks “declares” these things over himself…  therefore, it is likely,  that they wont do this , these things get repressed, pushed down & a pretense ensues…    This is super dangerous my friends, this belief that we should just speak into it & it should be overcome.  first off –   this whole way of thinking – leads people straight into a sozo inner healing experience – the very second a crack shows… {becasue  of a “they shouldnt be struggling with this” – mentality}   (we have documented about  sozo in this blog)   & second it allows sin to hide in plain site..   either way, a person remains in bondage to these struggles – when there is no proper Godly counsel..
      Todd Bentley, even admits to this, in the interview he did with God TV..  that there is no where to go if one is in leadership & struggling with issues – he is right…   & this is frightening because  here we have the very case study, in this mans life that prooves it…  if he had been able to be dealt with properly, Godly  in full honesty & assurance  that he was not doing wrong for speaking out about his troubles at the right time to the right person, it would have – should have been identified many years ago that help & proper ministry was needed…  This he did not get…  there were other factors involved..  but if such a man as TB  can get to the very top of the movement as a leader with big hidden personal issues & lead the whole charismatic church into a trap on a worldwide stage…   bigger questions need to be asked.  & the scene is set for it this very thing to happen again – other leaders – with unresolved issues –  who will lead many many sheep astray
      Now because of this “positive confession” environment  it seems people are unable or unwilling to hear personal challenge…  Im finding that when  we challenge people about their involvement with Bethel/ NAR  teachings  that they become highly highly defensive & offended…  One women I spoke to personally face to face – went & sulked in the corner.  Just on the suggestion that she check out what she was getting into  on  a “please be careful”  this isnt what it first seems  approach..   the OFFENSE she felt was extreme –  for a church which isnt  even her own..
      what I can conclude from this & other encounters is that once people get strongly sucked into these teachings, they become like “sacred cows” to them…  which they then have to defend through methods of “superior spirituality & elitism”   & no wonder if they are sitting under teachings that tell them they are as “royalty”   the implication being that anyone who does not accept – these things being taught is somehow “lesser”
      I think, to fully encompass what Jesus teaches here in the above scripture, we have to understand that as Christians we will have people who are anti us –  see he also said that the world hated him & that it would hate us too…  to persecution levels…  we should be expecting that…  & because we should be expecting that we surely should be able to deal with minor offenses, & have confidence in seeking Godly counsel for our issues…  allowing someone to sue the pants off you…  with no redress  does not sound like  what “royalty” expects…  & further more, Jesus totally demonstrated this at the cross,  this King of kings allowed himself to be humiliated & laid his life down…   what makes us so special???         –     well actually the answer is only HIM!
      I know & love many people in this movement,  I wouldnt want them to be hurt & offended by anything I have to say..  but the bottom line for me is really that nothing I have to say is as important as the final authority of the word of God..  I love them & care for them, but this means I will speak God’s truth…  One of the reasons this blog is here is because most have turned their back to me now…  the only way I can communicate to the ones I love is through writing this blog

       

         

       

       

      a little bit of history – from Branham to Jesus culture


       

      From william Branham to  Kathryn kuhlman to Benny Hinn to Rodney Howard Browne to John Arnott to Bob Jones to Todd Bentley  back to Bob Jones – through God TV –   more Bob Jones  ( with the idea of a billion soul harvest)   to Bill Johnson to Jesus culture  to the NATIONS….     this movement is moving…   no one can deny..

       

       

      How does it happen- How does a church get “Bethelized” ?


      This is a great question –  that I have spent a very long time  thinking through.. the how exactly – did that   all happen..

      I think to start with  its an important to understand that there is no single reason & no sole identifier of “this” led to “that”  its  complex & most probably different in  each people group/church/ ministry –  the how come’s…  All I can share is from my own experience & observations  – your own correlation & confirmation is required  if there are any dots to be joined…  I cant really do that on your behalf..

      so these are my thoughts on it & it starts  for me waaaay back in 1986… those of us who have been around long enough will remember… In 1986   there began much talk of the coming revival…  there was a feeling in the wind  that  something “amazing” would happen in our generation   (I was a teenager then)   we were promised mass revival – people at large gatherings  spring harvest &   the forerunnners of New wine & Kingdom Faith weeks  & the similar  what we termed “bible weeks”  back then talked in these terms… it was an exciting hyped up time where we were told anything was possible…  long prophecies were shared about the UK  coming back to God..  “heal our nation”   from the christian band “heartbeat” was a big thing – when they got on top of the pops because we teens had all been urged to go out & buy 5 copies each of their record to get them there….. well we thought  we were on the cusp….  what we had been promised was beginning to look like reality…

      there were books written called “preparing for revival” & taking our cities for God….  Peter C Wagner’s name was just surfacing in the UK  as an “expert”  in  matters of spiritual warfare  along with his books…  by 1988  we had national march for Jesus  events in every major UK  town & city held on the same day..

      then ..   John Wimber…    was literally idolised by the UK church  —  everyone it seemed at that time in charismatic circles put that man on a pedestal..  He came & preached in the UK..   at Spring Harvest I think too..  I saw people literally run into the meeting to get the best seat at the front…

      the local church though  –   ho hummed along as before;   all the focus was what was happening nationally-   the BIG events that localised down so that individual churches & people could plug into …   all these things were bubbling along percolating  from 1988 -1994  until a man called Rodney Howard Browne arrived on the scene…   me & some friends went to see him  at Wembley  – late 1994-   he spent the entire meeting trying to get people laughing…. he succeeded….  but I have to say  I left feeling hurt & confused as I felt that whatever God had poured out  did not touch me… instead of laughing  I just cried & cried….  people were sliding off their seats & a woman close to me was laughing but in a mocking way…   because I had seen it before…  I recognised that it was a demonic manifestation…   which RHB  & team did nothing about  – they let it continue…  that was confusing to me as the church I was in had had a few people manifest demonically  – the elders/leaders  did not let that persons feet touch the floor… they had it dealt with & stopped  as soon as you could say booo.   see there is no place for anything of the demonic realm  when the household of God meet together – we have to give it no room –  so I knew from that time something was very very wrong  with RHB   ministry..  being young & inexperienced & not grounded as well as I should have been in the word  –  I wasnt able to put my finger on it until the bethelization of our church 2010/2011

      then the Toronto Blessing  Hit  —   like a brick…  people were going to meetings at HTB  & other places to get a blessing & a bit of Gold dust.. but to a large extent   it was all “out there”…   people went out to go to  it…  it wasn’t actually something that was being promoted by church leadership in the local church…  it was an accessible event just like we had been used to with everything else..  through 1990’s we had big events from the Call – to the 24-7 prayer movement   all of these things were promoted in the town…  the town wide (charismatic) leadership at this point got together & became a lot more unified –  togetherness…unity  – one heart  etc etc…  this just bubbled away…

      so from 1996 ish – 2008    people were seeking the new thing of God  all of the time…  there were people who were very into everything going…   I have noticed that there is always a core group of people  in each church   who push for more & more “things of the spirit”   & by this I mean   manifestations  really    – the falling over slain –  the trance like states – before we called them that – the odd prophetic   ( prophetic art//dance/ flag waving/ & even prophetic needlework…)  Guided visualisation  presented as a journey with God… invite jesus in what does he say to you – tell us… the Gold dust…  nothing is ever enough – the call is always  for MORE

      so what I think happens is this –  we were promised something special of God – we were/are the generation  to “bring it in”   so when anything “spiritual” at all happens we, corporately are so hyped for it by then – we corporately accept anything  with out stopping to weigh & discern…   those that did were considered as “party poopers”   spoiling the fun…

      then April 2008  – Lakeland Florida – the Lakeland Outpouring with Todd Bentley –  screened nightly…  we must have watched most of it….  by july 2008   our church started weekly meetings that mirrored the revival…  becasue we had a united town – many flocked from other churches in …  to come get some…  some people we know went out to Lakeland – came back & prayed for fire over everyone at the meetings…  this all stopped tho once the revival came to a crashing halt…  

      needless to say – people where I was felt bereft of the “good times” the soaking in God’s presence… etc. etc…  until  BJ came to town for a church wide event… from that point on the church leadership got totally into BJ & Bethel.. one by one each leader flew out to Redding to get plugged in..  & slowly brought absolutely everything back to us…

      BUT Lakeland was very definately a primer   for what came next & indeed – after the leaders returned from Bethel that first time – there was much talk of re opening the well.    This leadership never asked the permission of the church about any of it – they just did it with no room for discussion  – consultation – nothing…  so then to stop &  question makes such a one the negative – anti unity – un submissive – unteachable one….  that was over my head as I left …

      • So at a basic level  at the beginnings of  bethelization – there is a core group of people pushing for  “spiritual experiences”  & a church leadership who are totally open & accepting of anywhere that desire is going to go.
      • Then there occurs a subtle shift in emphasis:    slowly  Christ  as a risen saviour- redeemer – GodMan  is decentralized

      other pointers are:

      • The language, ethos & emphasis  increasingly  focuses  on a miracles, signs & wonders/supernatural  culture/…   this is pursued earnestly.
      • The process of proper discipleship with living a Godly life  day to day – working out salvation – dealing with long suffering & trials with great accountability  begins to get replaced with a drive for “in the moment”  restoration against all things that are not desirable..(in the life of the believer).  instant debt cancellation/instant healing/ restoration of relationships//   basically  the discipline of working things through & walking things out & facing up to natural consequences of actions & taking proper responsibility –  is considered  un desirable  under the context of – pray & declare  all   “bad” things away
      • The teaching – which becomes storytelling anecdotes based,  centres around one or other of these themes:  

                                   >   living in the Presence of God

                                   > the culture of heaven- the culture of honour

                                    > relating to Father God  with intimacy   (regarding him as pappa or daddy  whilst at the same time    sidelining Jesus)

                                  >  Heaven joining with earth

                                  > the prophetic

                                  > signs & wonders & the supernatural realm

                                  > Kingdom dominion ruling & reigning as Royalty

                                  > the 7 mountains mandate.

      • The worship  reflects these themes – the continuation of  prophetic elements completely spills over into what is now defined as worship   (such as prophetic art & prophetic dance)
      • Individuals who propel themselves into Bethel ways-  tend to be identifiable, any insights or corporate prayer they offer is likely to be on the same themes as above-  there is a unique way of phrasing & describing concepts – “bethel speak” –  this might include phrases such as: turn our affections…/host the presence/ get whacked/ Jesus getting what he paid for/ getting activated/ receiving Fire/God is in a good mood +  all manner of other one liners that these top leaders tweet out…  
      •  additionally, bethelised people tend to have a very high view of themselves spiritually – when full blown this leads to  such a person appearing so bold they expect to & do  take charge  in any & all “spiritual situations”  when a few get together on this basis – the noise level of the shouting, stomping & wooooah s   are extraordinary…  its like they give unsaid “permissions” to each other  to carry it on & on…  sometimes this boldness comes across as extreme arrogance & haughty superiority…  I have noticed too that they take it on themselves to have their own personal prayer & ministry session  with individuals  without  necessarily referring to an Elder or a designated pastoral team member —   some churches  dont have a prob with this but others do…   Bethelized people   tend to minister as they think fit anyway… regardless… this attitude is also taken out to the streets.

      I  had a little check in my spirit at our new place as one person prayed in a meeting a lovely prayer about wanting more of the Holy Spirit & how we had to open to his leading etc etc..  & that might mean accepting things we weren’t too sure about but to trust HIS leading  etc etc…   on the face of it   – nothing wrong with this prayer…  BUT   i know from experience now that this person is exactly the type of person who I would describe as one “pushing it”   over a long time of people jumping on this “churchview”  with leaders  “waiting to see or  join in with this rolling wagon”  its only a matter of time…  similarly- the more people who get ministered to at events & other churches & manifest kundalini style the more “normal” accepted & expected it becomes…  churches who have no idea about it will have people manifesting in this way  whether they like it or not…along with everything else.. that Bethel teaches, promotes & merchandises…..

      now is the time to stand together & see it for what it is…   this is the window –  in 5 years it will prob be too late.

      Arrgh! my church has aligned & partnered with Bethel Redding!


      Here in the Uk in the last 4-5 years, the influence of Bethel Church Redding has steadily impacted the charismatic church .   My personal story is that  it was the leadership  who got very “enamoured” with all that was going on, starting just after the bubble of the Lakeland Outpouring burst..  People from my neck of the woods had been to Lakeland, & watched a lot  of it on TV.   They got “Hungry”  for what they felt God was doing…

      Slowly through their persistent hype for Spiritual experiences  or what they would term “encounters” they introduced everything to the church that they could. Straight from Bethel…  we had dvd teaching by  Danny Silk on the culture of honour. Impartation & soaking sessions, spiritual drunkenness – wild manifestations of the spirit – reports of Glory clouds & Gold dust & Angelic visitations.  The introduction of healing rooms, exclusively sang only Bethel songs..  &  had a visit from BSSM students.   We went totally overboard on the prophetic & talked about the anointing a lot.  Did some treasure hunting, went through the Fire Tunnels, decided to set up our own supernatural school of ministry. & started talking just like them  about being whacked in the spirit & having breakthroughs

      What we didn’t do was stop to weigh all these things against the full counsel of the scriptures… & we stopped talking about Jesus, the cross & resurrection – Sin & repentance. The focus became all about entering into God’s presence- the prophetic, Healings, miracles Signs & wonders….   Does any of this sound familiar?