Over the last week or so Sean Feucht of Bethel Redding has been holding outdoor worship events throughout California, with plans to take them into places like Siloam Springs, Arkansas. You can look at the coverage of the worship concerts and clearly see that no one is wearing a mask, no one is social distancing, and everyone is singing. They are doing things exactly opposite to what we’ve been called to do to end the COVID 19 pandemic.
ETA: Now the State of California is asking the attendees self quarantine for 14 days. Chances of that happening are slim or none.
In the wake of the backlash by citizens of California, government officials and others Bethel Redding has taken a curious and disingenuous step. They deny that they have had anything to do with the outdoor worship events, even as the Sacramento event was filled with almost entirely members of their church. Bethel Redding said this:
“Bethel officials said “There have been many leadership conversations this morning about this event that was not hosted or sponsored by Bethel Church.” The Redding megachurch draws in followers from around the world and believes in “supernatural” ministry, including praying people back from the dead.
In a follow-up statement, the church said the event “was hosted and financially supported by Sean himself, and was not hosted or sponsored by Bethel Church or Bethel Music.”
But, this isn’t entire true. Beni Johnson, wife of Bethel Redding’s Bill Johnson promoted the events by Feucht on her social media. Sean Feucht has been doing these events under the banner of being associated with Bethel, just like he did his worship service in Minneapolis during the George Floyd memorials. He’s heavily involved with the church, and school of music, recording and releasing 22 worship music albums with Bethel Redding approval. They can attempt to distance themselves from these plague ridden literal circus doings, but it’s clear they are involved.
Over the last four nights Feucht has been behaving like a good old plague rat, performing at even more of his super spreader events throughout California before taking his act on the road. He has also been fundraising, first for remodeling his old Airstream trailer, and then to support his ‘ministry’ Oh lawd how the money rolls in.
Reading through the coverage of Bethel it’s clear that few that are outside their bizarre little cult bubble understand anything about the mindset of arrogance in this group. It is an arrogant theology that thinks only they are doing it the perfect way, that every other church or group is doing it wrong.
The media does not understand that they truck in the supernatural, believing in raising people from the dead, and praying away all sickness to the detriment of their members. They believe in soul sucking, laying on top of the graves of other preachers and sucking out their anointing and blessing.
I talked recently about their use of Mattah sticks plus co-opting of popular culture, and laughed to see one of the news articles talked of people waving around pieces of fabric. Those are worship flags, extremely popular in their type of Evangelicalism. I have made and used a pile of them, my favorite was a 9 foot long set in turquoise metallic lame with a glittery chiffon overlay. This is a group that is all about the symbolic, and the spiritually significant.
The arrogance and sense that they are the only right and righteous ones in the world is exposed in how they interact with the outside world. Right now there is a lawsuit going on by one of the members who was asked to leave a store because she was proselytizing and touching a staff member at Ross during this pandemic. Instead of behaving like a shopper and actually shopping.
Whenever I write about Bethel Redding my email box fills up with protestations that I do not and cannot understand what they are doing. Last week when I questioned about the link between a recent Bethel Music release and the death of young Olive Heiligenthal I got a slew of messages stating I was wrong, that the song was written months before the death of Olive, and that the reason it could be heard on the prayer vigils is to bring about God’s mercy and raise her from the dead. God’s mercy still sounds exploitative from here, even if the song predates the death.
It’s most odd. It’s like they are a civilization caught in a bizarro land alternative reality that keeps insisting we’re the ones who are wrong and weird. No, it’s their theology.