Sunday, March 6, 2011

Testimonial: Son Lost to Bethel Church (Jesus Culture)

  1. Thank you so much for this post, and for this whole blog. I found because we’ve been doing a lot of research on Bethel and this whole New Apostolic Reformation. My 18-year-old son went to a summer conference at Bethel last summer and since has been reading all their books and has even applied to their Supernatural School of Ministry. Unfortunately, we didn’t check it out thoroughly enough before he went. Once we started hearing him talk about things that didn’t line up with Scripture, we started an all out investigation.
    We’re convinced this is not from God, but there’s always that little bit of doubt which says maybe we’re wrong and just putting God in a box. We’ve had such a division in our household since my son brought all this in — he and my husband are hardly speaking. My husband is deeply hurt that my son no longer holds the Word of God in proper perspective and thinks it’s only one version of God’s Word to us — more will be revealed. My husband feels that he has failed as a father. My son also now believes that man is basically good — fearfully and wonderfully made — rather than basically sinful. We’ve been pushing on him pretty hard with all the stuff we learned yet he still seems to really want to pursue becoming a prophet and leading a generation. One of the big reasons he can’t dismiss what he’s learned about this “new move of God”, is because of all the “good” they are doing in other countries, i.e, Heidi Baker in Africa, etc., and because the one family that’s been exposing him to all this is really on fire for the Lord right now. So he sees them as having “fruit” in their lives and us as being “religious”.
    Do you have any wisdom for us at this point just relationally? Like what you’ve seen work best in your life when trying to reach someone in deception? I know praying for him is the most important. I’m worried we’re in danger of losing the relationship altogether if we keep pushing, however, we’re afraid he’s in danger of losing his soul which is why we’ve been so passionate about coming up against this whole thing. At this point, we’re wondering if he was really saved in the first place because of his lack of discernment here. We would think the Holy Spirit within him would be bearing witness that something is gravely wrong here, but that doesn’t seem to be happening.
    Do you believe there are Christians in this movement that will be saved? I guess what I’m asking is if you think the doctrinal errors are forgiveable if they believe and love the Lord?
    Thanks for your time.
  2. Jeanette, I am so sorry to hear about your son. I know it must be heartbreaking for you both because reading this has shaken me up quite a bit. I see the destruction Bethel is causing families; young people like your son who have been deceived into believing the lie. There are many other organizations doing the same – IHOP, theCall, Morningstar, Generals International, Aquire the Fire, etc. I wonder what lies in store for those who have succeeded in turning children from their parents when it was God who set up families. I am not alone in wondering why these places don’t get swallowed up into the earth.
    As far as I can tell we are forgiven of our sins, that God is faithful to forgive us. I had quite a scare in thinking I had committed the unpardonable sin, the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. I still have moments when that scares me, but I don’t think it is correct. And if upon my death I find out differently, who can argue with God? I do know that I loved the Lord and believed I was following His direction. I believe that to be true of the people I was involved with. I know that there were things I spoke that were not of Him. But I also believe there were times that He spoke to me and that is why I am encouraged that charismania is forgivable. Why would God call us out of something and then send us to hell later on? I don’t find that in scripture. If we truly love the Lord we will do what He has said. I don’t know where the dividing line comes in. I don’t know what happens to people who are false teachers or prophets and die in that sin. It is enough for me to know that God is fair and just in those decisions. But I find it important to warn as much as I can of the apostacy filling up our churches.
    I can’t counsel you in how to deal with your son. I am not qualified. Some days I don’t feel qualified to say anything to anyone. I do know God is faithful, ever so more than we could ever know. I have no success stories to tell you about. I do know of one woman who I spoke a “prophetic” word to during a woman’s conference. She later contacted me for “another word” and I began instead to tell her what I had learned. She saw the truth and came out of it! However, the Lord was teaching her before my conversation came about. He had to have been!
    I have stories here written in comments and testimonies of others who have come out. I don’t believe it happens because of nagging. I believe it happens because it is the work of the Holy Spirit to reveal the truth. I think all we can do is speak the truth and leave it to the Lord to open the eyes of those who will listen to it. That would be my experience. That is what we see Jesus doing and that is what He taught His disciples. And I would say it could be that the Lord is speaking to your son – why would He not? I would also be aware that this could be creating in him a huge conflict and if so his desire would be to get away and be with those who he is currently trusting. I say this because I was in a huge conflict and have noticed that when people don’t want to hear the truth, they just want to end the conversation and get away as quickly as possible.
    I gave lots of prophetic words to people, I walked in the belief that it was my gift and I was growing and doing more in that as time went on. Then one day I began to see differently. There was always a nagging “something is wrong here” kind of feeling. I ignored it because I believed others were more educated in the word and in spiritual matters than I was and went on with it. One day I sat down in my living room intent on seeking the Lord’s direction to lead other intercessors and the Lord gave me a scripture that had nothing to do with my question. I laughed it off and went on praying the same way. He gave me another scripture much like the first one. So there I was in the middle of asking the Lord for help in continuing to deceive others and He spoke truth back to me. It was the beginning of a time of research and eventually I saw the truth. It was horrifying and the journey out was not fun either and there were times I thought I would die.
    Your son is in the midst of some very dangerous people. He is in a place where he will be imparted with all kinds of demonic teaching and maybe even the manifestations. He has been taken in by the “wow” factor, caught up in the emotions of “who God has called him to be, living out his destiny”. We think that it is our humility speaking when we state “God would use a sinner like me” and from that goes the “fearfully and wonderfully made” which the false prophetic just loves! In truth it is our pride speaking because we get taken in to all kinds of devious teachings and practices – God said this and showed me that in this vision and that dream, blah, blah. And none of it ever amounted to a thing!
    I have been involved in a healing ministry, the same as Bill Johnson. They give great stories yet, my experience during those years lacks of wonderous healings or deliverances. We had demon possessed that could not get free. Everything is given a positive spin. Those who are not healed report feeling better, or feeling something. But this is not healing! Satan can imitate to an extent as we saw in the conversations that took place between Pharoh and Moses.
    I too loved Heidi Baker and went to hear her speak. She was all over the floor, could hardly stand as is normal for her. There were many strange manifestations going on that night. I always wondered why in some places and not in others. Now I believe it is the power given over to satan. And of course, Heidi has all kinds of stories she tells of people being healed. I am in the USA, she is in Africa. How do I know it is the truth. And the reason why I ask is because I have not seen. And if you ever listen to conference speakers it is always about the radical miraculous in other countries. Why not right then and there? They are quite good at their manipulation! Maybe he would like to talk to another false prophet who has found the truth?
    Hebrews 1 tells us God speaks to us through His word. There is not going to be any new revelation as His plan has already been laid out throughout scripture ending with the Revelation of Jesus Christ. I am sure you are aware of these truths along with many others. My only advice to you would be what you have already said and that is to pray. Love your son and pray for him to have eyes to see the lies. He could very well end up with a story a lot like mine. If there is one little place of doubt in his mind in what he is being taught via Bethel, it could be an opportunity to blow the whole experience wide open.
    Be encouraged that what we are seeing is no surprise to God. The Father knows who are His.

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