Posted: 02/24 12:28:42/2013

Since it was brought to the attention of many that Jesus Culture, a band originating from Bethel Church in Redding, California, was on the schedule of entertainers for Louie Giglio's Passion 2013, concerned Christians have been speaking out and warning about the dangers of this popular worship band. When asked  about Jesus Culture and the teachings of Bethel Church, Phil Johnson, Executive Director of Grace to You, stated:

These are false prophets who are ushering people into Hell. Bad theology is an infinitely worse problem than bad politics, and we need to get our priorities straight.
Bethel Church is pastored by Bill Johnson, a well-known and influential member of the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) movement. In addition to perpetuating the false and aberrant teachings of the NAR, members of Bethel also claim "signs and wonders" such as miraculous healings, and glittering glory clouds spontaneously appearing during their worship services. Upon visiting Bethel Church in Redding, one may also have the chance to participate in a so-called "fire tunnel" as seen below:

Any ministry arising out of this church, then, necessarily raises red flags of warning for the watchful Christian.

Jesus Culture claims to be more than merely a worship band, calling itself a "global movement." The band's official website explains its history in more detail:

A closer examination of this history reveals that the members of Jesus Culture claim to have received direct revelation from God Himself:

Based upon these assertions, then, one cannot question, doubt or challenge any of the activities, claims or teachings set forth by the members of Jesus Culture. To do so would be akin to questioning God Himself. This would include stories of personal encounters with Jesus Christ and God the Father, just like the story told below by lead singer Kim Walker-Smith:

The shocking and even blasphemous claims of Walker-Smith already have been tested against Scripture here. It should come as little surprise that her spectacular story failed that test. Nevertheless, the popularity of the group continues to grow, with that growth no doubt aided by their appearance earlier this year at Giglio's Passion 2013.

Jesus Culture's own events feature talks and teachings from some of the NAR's most prominent leaders, including Cindy Jacobs, Lou Engle and Dutch Sheets. Thus, not only did the group emerge out of a heretical church, but it perpetuates similar heretical teachings at its own events. Because this band is internationally known and popular, the Christian must face the sobering reality that the dangerous beliefs of Jesus Culture and its members have taken root across the globe. Indeed, just as their Facebook page states, they are a "global movement." It just so happens that it is a very perilous, detrimental movement.

An interesting announcement recently was made, however, on the website of Bethel Church. Lead pastor Bill Johnson proudly announced that he was sending out Jesus Culture director Banning Liebscher, and the entire Jesus Culture group, to plant a new church in Sacramento, California. The official video can be seen below:

Jesus Culture also has shared the following video on their own Facebook page. In it they explain that Bethel Church is sending them to Sacramento to "establish the Jesus Culture ministry, and as well in the future to plant a local expression of who we are as Jesus Culture." It may also be noted that at about 5:30, Banning Liebscher proclaims that they began contemplating this move last year when God started "stirring their hearts" through a "dream somebody sent" to Liebscher.

And so, while the permanent presence of Jesus Culture will remain in the Golden State, it seems likely that this church planting effort will bolster the global Jesus Culture movement. A movement, it is important to note, that is aimed predominantly at the youth, even as Louie Giglio's Passion conferences are designed primarily for those between the ages of 18 and 25.

Indeed, these young ones are the future of the visible church. This is all the more reason for them not to be exposed to emotionally manipulative music, a false gospel of love and supernatural experiences without any mention of sin, wrath, righteousness or justice and manufactured "signs and wonders."
Instead, these young people need the clear and unambiguous proclamation of the Word of God, even if that means that they feel conviction of sin rather than a warm, fuzzy tingling from their toes to their nose.

Professing young Christians need to be nourished (1 Tim. 4:6) by the feeding of the Word from faithful shepherds, not wolves who themselves labor under the bondage of deception and a false gospel (2 Tim. 4:14). What the younger generation needs is no different than what Christians of every age need-the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ as revealed in His perfect and holy Word.

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