The First Series: Bizarre Practices of Bethel Church

After studying several of the seemingly bizarre practices of Bethel Church, I have made the decision that each practice will need its very own post. There is simply too much to cram into a single post. Hence our first series: “Bizarre Practices of Bethel Church.” Definitions will be added to the “I Like Big Words” page.

First things first: I am not here to pass condemnation on anyone. It is not my job to assume one person is saved, or another person is not. 

Next, there will be some things that are examples of activities that some of the congregation of Bethel engage in. That does NOT mean they are practices endorsed by Bethel.

There are references here to Charismatic and Pentacostal churches, as well as Gifts of the Spirit. All of these can be Godly and doctrinal Christian beliefs/practices. The examples discussed here are of the misuse of God’s word regarding these practices. The congregation of Bethel Church is not made up of evil people with devious or sinful intent. They are deceived. They have been taught lies. They have been seeking answers, and have been sucked into a twisted version of the Gospel.

Without further ado, lets get crazy!

Maiden Slain

Today, class, we will learn about being slain, and/or drunk in the spirit.

  1. Slain in the Spirit/Drunk in the Spirit

While many Pentacostal churches encourage the filling of the Holy Spirit with physical manifestations of some sort, Bethel Church lifts the bar to a whole new level. Congregants are seen falling backwards as if fainting, thrashing, screaming as if in pain, laughing mysteriously for long periods of time when touched by someone with the Spirit’s “annointing,” etc. The problem with these manifestations is that they do not correlate with any Biblical examples of the movement of the Holy Spirit. In fact, these sorts of manifestations are only seen in examples of demonic spirits possessing people. There is in fact NO reference to being slain in the spirit in Scripture.

Faith-Healer Benny Hinn

In one example, Heidi Baker, a hyper-charismatic leader, is seen touching a man while repeating the mantra “legacy, legacy, legacy.” After a few moments, at :27, the man is seen falling to the ground, first weeping, then violently shaking, and ultimately thrashing and screaming in pain on the ground. (See also 1:27)

Would God put such pain and torment onto one of His own children? No! In fact, the only places in scripture that such manifestations occur is with Demons that Jesus casts out.

“And when the unclean spirit had convulsed him and cried out with a loud voice, he came out of him.”

Mark 1:26

So what is happening to this man, and to the other people with these bizarre reactions to having been touched by the Lord? Costi Hinn, the nephew of renowned faith healer Benny Hinn, gives 4 explanations for what might be occurring. (Some exact quotes. See https://equipthesaint.com/2017/08/03/mythbusters-slain-in-the-spirit/)

  1. People think they have to fall down
    1. Peer pressure, or the belief that if they do not fall down they will not get the experience the preacher is promising
  2. People are told they are going to fall down
    1. The power of suggestion at work. Charismatic extremists are experts at hypnosis and manipulation
  3. People are faking it
    1. Embarrassment about not being filled with the Spirit like other people
  4. It is demonic
    1. Here is an example of demonic behavior that very much resembles what we observed in the video above:
      1. “The next day, when they came down from the mountain, a large crowd met him. A man in the crowd called out, “Teacher, I beg you to look at my son, for he is my only child. A spirit seizes him and he suddenly screams; it throws him into convulsions so that he foams at the mouth. It scarcely ever leaves him and is destroying him. I begged your disciples to drive it out, but they could not.” “You unbelieving and perverse generation,”Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you and put up with you? Bring your son here.” Even while the boy was coming, the demon threw him to the ground in a convulsion. But Jesus rebuked the impure spirit, healed the boy and gave him back to his father. And they were all amazed at the greatness of God.” Luke 9:37-42
    2. The tapping of spiritual annointing without serious prayer, discernment and care can result in some very scary things. No one is working with each individual to seek guidance from God and from His Word to verify the authenticity of the spirit filling these people.
      1. “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” 1 John 4:1
    3. False teachers and false gospels can be used by Satan
      1. For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.

As Costi Hinn so clearly states regarding being slain in the spirit:

“At best, well-meaning people are seeking an encounter with God in the wrong way through the wrong means and will end up confused and disappointed. At worst, desperate people and apostates are being overtaken by hypnosis, the power of suggestion, demonic forces, or a false spirit that they believe to be the Holy Spirit. It doesn’t match the Bible, isn’t found in the Bible, or can’t be truly backed up by proper interpretation of the Bible.”

The Holy Spirit is accessible today through the power of the gospel and He exists to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ. If people surrender to Christ, embrace the true work of the Spirit in their life, and submit to the Bible as sufficient and final revelation, being slain in the spirit becomes obsolete.

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