In case you weren’t aware, Beni Johnson, the wife of Bethel Redding’s lead pastor, Bill Johnson, passed away last week after a long battle with cancer. Again, I don’t mean for this to be insensitive to the people and the families involved—it is always a tragedy when someone’s life is lost unexpectedly. However, God will be glorified in all things, and in this, it appears that God is using it to demonstrate the folly of the charismatic faith-healing movement.
In 2017, Bill Johnson published an article essentially calling into question the salvation of people who are sick and yet are not healed. Of course, this was before Beni was diagnosed with terminal cancer. In that article titled Is it Always God’s will to heal someone?—which is now deleted from his personal website but available on the Wayback Machine at this link—he writes:
“When He bore stripes in His body He made a payment for our miracle. He already decided to heal. You can’t decide not to buy something after you’ve already bought it.”
This assertion implies that the purpose of Jesus’ death was to perform the “miracles” of physical healing. He then goes on to say that those who don’t receive that healing can’t blame Jesus for it, but instead blames the sick person:
“There are no deficiencies on His end – neither the covenant is deficient, nor His compassion or promises. All lack is on our end of the equation.” But then, Johnson also states that it isn’t “wise” to “blame the person who is sick.”
Church Watch Central describes Johnson’s meandering this way:
So according to Johnson, if Christ has healed you of your sickness two thousand years ago and you’re still sick it’s neither Jesus nor the sick person’s fault? Essentially, Johnson’s entire article is not only blaming the sick person for not getting healed, he is making them question if they are even Christian at all. If there is no physical proof that Christ died to heal the sick Christian, what on earth is making them believe they are saved at all?
The sad thing is that now that Johnson’s wife has passed away, this article has silently disappeared from his website. Yet, even though the article is gone, Johnson has not publicly denounced his false theology that gives people false hope or a false sense of helplessness based on his twisting of Scripture.
Again, I cannot speculate on what I do not know about Beni and her eternal state suffice it to say that she and her church taught and preached a false gospel. But, as this appears to be a continuing trend of false hope and failed “healings” at Bethel Church, we pray that God will use it to bring truth to the people in that congregation so that the blinders will be removed and the true gospel may go forth. However, it is imperative to understand that Bill Johnson is not qualified to lead a church and his only right response is for him to step down from ministry.