What Should We Think About Bethel Music?

The other day I happened upon a video of someone associated with Bethel Church and I experienced two emotions: I was angry but not surprised.

In the video–which you can view here–was a testimony to the complete and utter nonsense that goes on at Bethel Church in Redding, CA, where Bill Johnson is the pastor. Bethel Church, simply put, is a cult. It is not biblical Christianity though it professes to be so. In every sense, it is a group that is involved in brainwashing its congregants and manipulates their massive following.

Truth be told, this shouldn’t be controversial. It’s not hard to see the blasphemous mischief that goes on there. It is anti-Christian, anti-God, and anti-gospel.

With that said, in the midst of this, the bigger problem resides in the fact that their music tops the Christian music charts. Bethel Church has a huge following because Bethel Music/Jesus Culture has a huge following.

So the question must be asked: considering the cesspool of malarkey and irreverence of God that happens at Bethel Church, should we listen to their music?

Listening to Bethel

For the longest time, I really didn’t have a huge issue with listening to Bethel. I didn’t do it since I didn’t care for it, but I was fine if somebody else wanted to since much of their music is theologically okay.

However, within the past few years–and definitely since the aforementioned video–my stance on this has become increasingly more strict, per se. I do not believe a Christian should listen to Bethel Music. At the very least, it’s just not worth it. At the very worst, you’d be at risk of being led astray by false teaching.

To be sure, like I said above, some of their music is fine. The music itself is fantastic, which is why it attracts so many. It is great, artistically. But God is not interested in how artistic you are if you are not honoring Him in your art.

A big issue at play here is royalties from the music.

Where Does the Money Go?

I can’t possibly give you specifics, because I don’t know, but it’s very true that some part of the royalties go to funding the church, their school, and other programs. In short, it funds heresy and blasphemy. When we play their music on Spotify or, even worse, during the worship service, we are in a very real way supporting the irreverent teachings of Bethel Church.

With that knowledge, why would we even want to proceed with listening to them? I think it’s because they know what they are doing. They create incredible music that lures people in and create revenue for all their different areas of “ministry.” They are crafty, because Satan is crafty.

Friends, Bethel Music/Jesus Culture (they are one in the same) doesn’t need our support. It is truly a godless movement that doesn’t seek to honor God, but only use Him as a genie, as Jenn Johnson said in the video linked above.

There are Alternatives

Another reason why I find it so discouraging to even have this conversation is because of the immense amount of Christian music that is good. Not just theologically sound, but the music is good. There is music such as Sovereign Grace Music, Citizens, Kings Kaleidoscope, CityAlight, and so many others.

There is truly no reason to fiddle with Jesus Culture and Bethel. It is a godless movement disguised as biblical Christianity. There’s nothing godly about it. From the irreverent teachings, to glory clouds, grave sucking, and outright false teaching, Bethel needs to repent. And we shouldn’t support it.

Christian, be wise. Now more than ever is a time for discernment. What are you listening to? If you listen to Jesus Culture, I humbly ask that you stop and find something else to listen to that glorifies God.

Enjoy my writing? You might like my book Gospel Smugness: Displaying Christlike Character in Evangelism.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Ben says:

    What is the heresy,,blasphemy, irreverent and false teachings, that you find in Bethel Music? Please enlighten me….


    1. Blake Long says:

      Did you click on the embedded link? That would’ve directed you to a video showing one aspect of those false teachings. They perform “glory clouds,” “grave sucking,” and completely whiff in the person of Christ. It’s not the music itself that has horrible theology, but the church it’s apart of.


  2. Luke says:

    Hello Sir. I used to enjoy listening to their music until I came across a similar article that exposed Bethel Music and Hillsong as false prophets but it wasn’t as detailed as yours. I have started to doubt all modern Christian music until I saw your list of alternatives. I’ve fallen in love with suggestions, especially Sovereign Grace Music. I was hoping if you had any more recommendations or a list I could reference? Thank you


    1. Blake Long says:

      Thanks, Luke! Great to hear that. Yes, all of Sovereign Grace’s Music is one. Then look up Citizens & Saints, Kings Kaleidoscope, CityAlight, The Journey Church Worship music, T4G Live, and much more.


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