Bill Johnson: By His Stripes (A Response)

Bill Johnson: “I believe it is the provision of the Lord in his suffering on our behalf; Jesus bore stripes in his body through brutal beating as an atoning work to deal with the power of sickness and disease…”

Jesus did not need to go to the cross to heal your cancer. Throughout the earthly ministry of Jesus, he healed people. During his earthly ministry, Jesus appointed 72 people to go out and heal people and share the gospel. Physical healing, while miraculous, wonderful, and beautiful, was not the purpose of Jesus’ ministry—preaching the gospel (Mark 1:36–38), the good news of forgiveness of sin was the primary purpose of Jesus’ ministry. I promise you, a leper that was healed of their leprosy, but in turn rejected the gospel, received no lasting good from their physical healing.

We know why Jesus went to the cross. The apostle Peter writes, “He (Jesus) himself bore our sins in his body on the tree (cross), so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.” (1 Peter 2:24 ESV)

The phrase, “by his wounds you have been healed,” also translated as, “by his stripes” in 17th century King James English is first introduced to us by the prophet Isaiah about 700 years before Jesus’ earthly ministry. In describing the purpose and events surrounding the suffering servant (Jesus) in Isaiah 53. Isaiah records, “But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.” (Isa 53:5) The wounds Jesus voluntarily bore upon himself describe a healing from sin (for believers in Christ), as summed up at the end of the passage, “yet he bore the sin of many and makes intercession for the transgressors.” The same point the apostle Peter makes in 1 Peter 2:24.

While Bill Johnson’s sermon message is consistent with his legacy of an anthropocentric health, wealth, and power centered “gospel” message which appeals to the goals of every sinful human—it absolutely pales in comparison to the true gospel of Jesus. Where Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection was not to provide you with the things that will pass away (health and wealth), but rather, to provide you with true grace, mercy, holiness only available through the Christ Jesus leading to eternal life that is full of goodness, joy, love, kindness, peace…because it gives us fellowship with God Himself back in the Edenic state.

The theology of Bethel Church in Redding is carefully nuanced—where we find scriptural axioms mixed between tragic errors and old heresies—the result of a faulty biblical theology, bad hermeneutics, and frequent eisegesis. Over the next few days, I am going to catalogue and write on a number of significant (i.e. Bible, Jesus, gospel) errors and heresies openly taught/advocated by Bethel Church in Redding. I am not talking about minor differences that make one a Southern Baptist versus a Presbyterian, but rather, the difference between those saved in Christ versus those outside of Christ. The difference between those who have received and teach the gospel of Jesus for the forgiveness of sins versus those who have embraced and teach a different gospel centered around health, wealth, and power.


David Hogan: False Prophet & Heretic

David Hogan: False Prophet & Heretic

Imagine a woman walks into a room wearing stethoscope around her neck. As she takes a few steps into the room she glances at a man seated opposite of her and she yells at the man, “Amoxicillin!”  She then looks towards a woman leaning against the wall and yells, “myocardial infarction!” Without skipping a beat, she continues to walk through the room heading towards the back exit and before she departs, she glances toward an infant and shouts, “Gastroenteritis!” This woman had the appearance of a health care provider, confidently and loudly shouted medical sounding words, but it was a charade of utter nonsense.  And this example illustrates the ministry of David Hogan.

 In speaking engagements, David Hogan routinely chirps, hops, and skips while shouting, “Jesus is King!” all sandwiched between Christian-sounding words and pietistic platitudes. To the casual observer he sounds like he is saying something—after all, a lot of words are emanating from his mouth—but, when Hogan breaks out in his Christianese, he is quite literally not saying anything meaningful. Hogan might as well be chirping and hopping while saying, “Pizza squid is light mud car!  Jesus is King!  Fire!” I am confident many in attendance would still throw up a hand and respond back, “Amen!”

 This is not to say that Hogan is incapable of coherent thinking or clear expression. He has no problem talking about how tough he is, how brave he is, how strong he is, and how spiritually gifted he is—he has a lifetime of tall tales about himself. In between stories about himself, he most likely will share a story about how the “Holy Ghost” knocked some people around a room and they left saved. Hogan routinely uses the word, “gospel,” but I have yet to hear him explain the gospel. The best I have been able to conclude is that David Hogan’s gospel is all about power and health. I am not being hyperbolic when I assert that Hogan’s gospel is entirely about power and health, I have not heard him talk about the gospel in any other terms.

 We ought not be surprised of Hogan’s different gospel; listen to Hogan explain or teach Holy Scripture and it becomes clear why he has such a shallow and poor theology. For example, listen to five minutes of Hogan explain Luke 17:11-19 and it ought to become clear he is NOT pulling from the biblical text—he is borrowing a few facts from Scripture to make a point that is not in the text.

David Hogan is a false prophet and a heretic.  I am willing to correct this label is someone can provide me a video of David Hogan sharing the biblical gospel or correctly handling (teaching) the word of God.