Hello Old Friends
Hello, old friends
There’s really nothing new to say
But the Old Old Story bears repeating
And the plain old Truth grows dearer everyday
When you find something worth believing
Well, that’s a joy that nothing can take away.
And, so we meet again
After all these many years
Did we sow the seeds we’re reaping?
Now that the harvest calls us here
It seems that love blooms out season
And much joy can blossom from many tears.
So, old friends, you must forget what you had to forgive
And let love be stronger than the feelings that rage and run beneath the bridge
Knowing morning follows evening
Makes each new day come as a gift.
– Rich Mullins (1992)
I’m so sorry I’ve been absent the past week or so – my CRPS has been giving me fits
As you can see from the above Rich Mullins lyric, though, today I’d really like to talk about a more precious topic.
Noticing a Wild Untruth Recently
A month or so ago, perhaps a bit longer, I saw on YouTube the Cultish podcast interview with Lindsay Davis about her experience at Bethel “Church” in Reading, California and Bethel School for the Supernatural Ministry and it really distressed me.
I already intended to write about what I had seen and my thoughts on what is happening there – and, more importantly what it means as millions watch this “church” weekly online – and just haven’t been able to yet – but, as I will get to shortly,things have changed quickly and some new issues have come up.
To share JUST A FEW – I could write pages – of the things I’ve learned about this “church,” founded by Bill Johnson, primarily, along with his wife, Beni, and the goings on there, as well as at it’s school that have upset me so:
– They teach speaking things into existence – because God spoke the world into existence. What pride. What haughty, shameless behavior.
– They actually say that “God is bigger than His book,” which, is, of course, pure heresy – as Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the Word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” So, no, it is not ever okay to devalue the Word of the Lord.
– I read an account of a child dying from brain damage because they had a regular asthma attack and did not have their inhaler with them – but unfortunately encountered Bethel students who wasted 15-20 vital minutes ONLY praying instead of first calling EMS.What’s worse, once this child was hospitalized and brain dead, they convinced the poor devastated mother to let them pray over him for days trying to “heal” him. Horrifying.(hold that thought, as well, sadly)
– They believe in “encounters, experiences, signs, and wonders” for proof of salvation per Lindsay Davis and there is plenty of evidence to support her. Before I get to the issue that is just breaking my heart at Bethel right now, I would call your attention to this video of their tunnel of fire foolishness:
However, as I have been mentioning, something even more heartbreaking has happened now and it HAS to be discussed.
On Sunday, I was scrolling through Instagram and saw a repost from Bethel by a popular Christian artist, reporting the tragic news that the two year old daughter of one of the worship leaders of Bethel Music, Kalley Heiligenthal, had died suddenly during the night seemingly Saturday and asking everyone to pray for RESURRECTION of this precious child, Olive.
Of course, this is BETHEL teaching, not Christian doctrine, and I actually had to read the post several times to make sure I was understanding what they were saying and requesting.
Then I was just appalled – not at her devastated parents, who are desperate and out of their minds, as we all would be, but at the leaders of this “church” for promoting this instead of ministering to this wounded family.
At the time, unable to find much information in the media at all about what happened, I assumed the baby was in the hospital on life support as well. In fact, I have JUST found the first mainstream article related to what has gone on. It is how I learned that Olive passed away on Friday, not Saturday, and also how I verified – though I had seen elsewhere – that she has been at the morgue and not the hospital throughout these terrible days. I do report those things for a reason – bear with me – and here is a link to the article as well:
Since the original post to pray for resurrection, these posts have appeared on Instagram from her poor mother:
Again, I do not fault a desperate and distraught parent at all for whatever is going through their mind.
BUT church leadership is allowing her to run around singing and dancing at the nightly prayer services they are currently holding and broadcasting all over the world.
And their “church” members and students and followers are posting all kinds of things like this:
And #wakeupolive hashtag is everywhere and scripture is ripped out of context and these people are literally posting things like “if Jesus was resurrected, why not Olive?”
And. They. Mean. It.
I just cannot believe it.
Where does their “faith” go when this doesn’t happen? What of all the people this is confusing and going to confuse?
What of this family?
What about this baby who has been in the county morgue since last Friday? Oh, my word. Somebody please do the right thing for her.
And, most importantly, This. Is. Not. The. Gospel
But the Old, Old Story Bears Repeating. . . And the plain old Truth grows dearer everyday.
As Paul Washer says, the good news is that God is altogether good.
The bad news? We are absolutely not.
God is completely Holy and set apart and He cannot abide our sin.
Without Jesus, I am a wretched sinner, deserving of the wrath of God.
However, Jesus came and willingly died and took my place and He – and only He – defeated death and was resurrected on the third day (all other miracles were for a specific purpose and they died natural deaths later like everyone else).
And what’s our response ? To repent and believe in this, the true Gospel, the Old Old story.
I encourage everyone to watch this film, American Gospel, whether you’ve attended church since you were in the baby pool or you’ve never been. It’s truly wonderful:
And please keep this family in your prayers. This is a terrible situation.
Be well, everybody.
Grace and Blessings.