Former Bethel chief speaks out on church beliefs, gold dust

Carrie Lloyd
Carrie Lloyd, formerly of Bethel Church in Redding, Calif., And host of “The Carrie On… podcast” responds to concerns about the church’s beliefs on October 13, 2021. |

A former leader of Bethel Church in Redding, Calif., Who is often criticized for some of her charismatic practices, broke her silence by writing a response to some of the mega-church’s most common criticisms.

Carrie Lloyd was both a student and teacher at Bethel Church’s School of Supernatural Ministry. Over the years, she has refrained from commenting on the speculations and critical attacks that have been leveled against the Pentecostal ministry.

For the sake of “unity,” Lloyd said she felt compelled to speak out in an editorial published by Early Christianity.

“But in the midst of the silence, and since my transition from Bethel to the newly founded pastures towards social justice, I have seen a great breach create within the unity of the body of the church,” he said. she writes. “This was caused mostly by misinformation and untruths. Perhaps then, this play could be seen less as a statement of defense, and more as a deliberate hope for clarity and reason.”

Senior church leaders Bill and Beni Johnson have both been accused of heretical acts.

Bill Johnson’s book, Jesus Christ is the perfect theology has come under scrutiny for promoting the belief that it is always God’s will to heal someone. And Beni Johnson has been criticized for his insistence on angelology. She allegedly once suggested in a blog post that is no longer accessible, that there are “different types of angels: messenger angels, healing angels, fire angels” who have “fallen asleep”.

She was also charged with “grave-soaking” – which was later called grave-sucking – after posting photos of herself lying on the graves of iconic Christians such as CS Lewis.

“The serious sucking accusations date back to 15 years ago,” Lloyd wrote in the editorial. “Based on a photograph where someone was lying on the grave of a legend of the faith, a legacy they deeply admired.”

“They expressed their cherishing of their existence by lying down in a state of wonder,” she continued. “There was no sitting, no reminder of the dead, no anointing soak, and certainly no (not even durable) straw present.”

The students of the church, she adds, are the ones who took it a step further after “another influential preacher” said, “I would suck the anointing out of this place if I could!

Lloyd attributed it all to “gossip and distant guesses.”

“[I]It leaves no room for questions, ”she wrote. “Especially not with those who posted the photo in the first place. I quickly learned that as pastors in a diverse environment, we should not be controlling student response but quietly asking them for Bible talks on how they got there. “

In his editorial, Lloyd also touched on other criticisms exploited at Bethel, including “buckets left in the spotlight to vomit” and the “refusal of ambulances when a person is in cardiac arrest, as we teach students to pray for healing. ”

Lloyd said the buckets are “actually for our offering” and while she prays for healing she also calls 911 in an emergency.

One of Bethel’s best-known critiques, however, is the claim that gold dust mysteriously fell from the ceiling during corporate worship events. Bill Johnson described this phenomenon as a “cloud of glory” and a supernatural sign of the presence of God.

Lloyd supported this claim and said she “cannot explain”.

“Gold dust that we still can’t explain, even after my extensive search for hidden air vents or pickled drum kits in glitter (both missing from the shrine). After one hour interrogations by friends and family, I gave up explaining, ”she added.

“A year after being a student here and witnessing this golden essence hovering over the congregation, ascending upwards, in numbers eight, and then swaying across the room, the leaders watched in bewilderment, as I found myself on my knees in the middle of it. cloud, crying out to him, “Lord, forgive me for my unbelief.”

Lloyd said it was “nice” to meet the wonder of God’s “playfulness”.

Bethel is said to have 11,000 members, including students at her school. The school claims to be run by “apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers” and has also been the source of much criticism.

The ministry made headlines in 2019 after Bill Johnson and the congregation prayed for the resurrection of his worship leader’s 2-year-old daughter.

Johnson said at the time that he and his church family believed God called them to follow the precedent Jesus set by commanding his followers to raise the dead.

Bethel Music cult leader Kalley Heiligenthal launched the charge after asking followers in an Instagram post to pray for her 2-year-old daughter, Olive, after she stopped breathing and was pronounced dead by medics .

The church’s controversial teachings prompted cult leader Mackenzie Morgan to reveal that she would no longer sing their popular worship songs.

“Theology matters,” she wrote in a social media post in July. “I can’t even stress this enough. It is important that a song be weak in theology and not accurately show the holiness of our God. It matters if churches spread prosperity [g]ospel which is different from the gospel found in scripture. It IS IMPORTANT that every Sunday churches pay royalties to those churches so that they can sing their music, promoting [their] evangelism and their false evangelical message.

The singer said she regretted “supporting these churches” by singing their songs and “opening doors for others to discover their false teachings.”

“What if the majority of the church leads its people astray by singing music less than worthy of a sovereign and holy God? ” she asked.

Jeannie Ortega Law is a reporter for The Christian Post. Contact her at: [email protected] She is also the author of the book, What is happening to me? How to beat your invisible enemy Follow her on Twitter: @jlawcp Facebook: JeannieOMusic

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