There has been a lot of controversy surrounding the Californian megachurch, Bethel Ministries, of late. Firstly the young daughter of one of their worship leaders died suddenly, an unspeakable tragedy for any parent to undergo. The mother of the young girl posted on Instagram asking for prayer that her little girl be resurrected, a call that was supported by the Bethel leadership. This elicited much debate within the online Christian community.
Many supported the post, stating that as Christians, they believed in the power of resurrection. Others were more cynical, some going as far as saying the church was exploiting the grief of the young girl’s family to gain publicity. There was also the issue of an account being set up to raise $100,000 for the family by Bethel, although the specific needs in question were not clarified.
Next was an article in Christianity today by one of its senior journalists condemning the Trump presidency and those Christians who supported it. He called such people ‘far right’ evangelicals who were supporting a corrupt and uncaring leadership. In an open letter to the influential publication, 200 leading American evangelicals affirmed their support of the Trump leadership, it’s policies and what it had achieved to date.
Signatories included Brian and Jenn Johnson, two stalwarts of the global Bethel Worship ministry and Kris Valloton, Senior Associate Leader of Bethel Church. The latter has also attracted criticism for posting pictures online of his expensive car after a key was run up the side of it. He has been accused of being a ‘false prophet,’ more interested in riches of the material, as opposed to eternal, kind.
I’m just throwing this out there. I’ve listened to Bethel Music in the past. It’s slick, professional and of the highest quality; although not the musical genre I would usually lean towards I know it has led millions to a closer relationship with Jesus. I’ve also listened to Bethel preachers and there was nothing they said which convinced me they were evil, money grabbing charlatans only interested in conning me out of my my hard earned cash.
I haven’t picked up my Bible in a while but have felt a stronger urge to do so of late. Jesus raised people from the dead but there were also many he didn’t bring back to life. Does the child of a worship leader have more ‘right’ to be resurrected than anyone else? Clearly not as the prayers of Bethel and many others sadly went unanswered. Why did God choose to take this two year old girl away? Why does God choose to take any two year old child away?
Then there’s dear old Donald J. Trump. Why did so many American Christians vote for him. Were they deceived or, if he stands for office again, are they going to endorse his candidacy once more? Who are these silent majority who swept him to power. Are his policies on immigrants, health, education and world affairs truly aligned with Biblical teaching. Would Jesus vote for Trump? Or Hilary? Would he trash the polling booths or be too busy helping the homeless on the streets to care.
I don’t have the answers. Northern Ireland hasn’t had an assembly in over three years. Our main political parties take hypocrisy to a whole new level and couldn’t agree on the colour of the sun. Boris Johnson won the recent general ejections by a huge majority, leaving many scratching their heads in disbelief. Boris & Donald like each other. A lot. There’s that silent majority again. Don’t be silent. Post your comments below.