Anthology of Bill Johnson Articles (So Far)
January 19, 2012 26 Comments
In Joseph Garlington’s foreword to Bill Johnson’s Face to Face with God: The Quest to Experience His Presence [2007, Charisma House, Lake Mary, FL], he quotes from Don Miller’s Blue Like Jazz who asserts jazz music ‘never resolves’. Miller goes on to claim that God “doesn’t resolve.” Garlington then compares this to Johnson:
Bill’s ministry embraces paradox as though it is the most normal thing in the world…Often in his teaching ministry Bill will make a statement without ‘resolving’ it…His teaching entices you to pursue a way of thinking that is often foreign to traditional teachers, and it whets your appetite for something you always knew was there…
I recall in another book Johnson making a reference to jazz. So, does Bill Johnson like jazz music that doesn’t resolve, i.e. the more avant garde (unorthodox, experimental, “cutting edge”) flavor of jazz?
…Years ago I bought a jazz album on a whim. I eagerly looked forward to something fresh and new as I placed it on the turntable… [Dreaming with God: The Ultimate Quest to Experience His Presence, 2006, Destiny Image, Shippensburg, PA; p 47]
Hey, NOW we’re talkin’! So, Johnson likes jazz and he has a turntable?! My interest is piqued, as I have an extensive collection of jazz records (vinyl) which I still play on a turntable. “We just might be able to have a mutually edifying conversation about jazz,” I ponder. Not too sure about theology though.
I wonder – which artists in jazz does Johnson like? Perhaps it’s the spiritual/free jazz of the ’60s such as Albert Ayler, Pharoah Sanders, late-period John Coltrane and the like? Or, maybe he prefers the heyday of Blue Note with such artists as Lee Morgan, Donald Byrd, Horace Silver, Jimmy Smith, etc.? Or, perhaps he likes stuff such as Dave Brubeck, Thelonious Monk or perhaps Duke Ellington? Vocalists such as Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald or Sarah Vaughan? Maybe he’s a Miles Davis fan – but, then which era? Perhaps Miles’ electric era of the late ’60s into the ’70s? Or, how about Sun Ra (born Herman “Sonny” Blount)? Now, Ra had some very esoteric theology to go with his diverse musical excursions. Perhaps he likes more contemporary stuff on the German ECM label, some of which is European although the label includes the music of American Keith Jarrett, among others. Or, maybe this relatively new band Tongues of Fire? Hopefully, he’s not calling stuff like Kenny G ‘jazz’.
…But I was horribly disappointed. It sounded like a child randomly pounding on a piano, with no melody or harmonies, no consistent rhythm, nothing to give it purpose or direction… [Dreaming; p 47]
Hmmm. Well, no, it doesn’t appear he likes avant garde jazz. He just prefers his theology that way.
In any case, this thought process led me to anthologize the Bill Johnson posts here on the site. How did I come to that? Well, record companies tend to anthologize the works of artists in order to acquire a larger audience and, hence, boost sales. Of course, I’m not looking to make any money, but I do want this information disseminated to the largest audience possible.
Initially I considered titling the post facetiously “The Best of Bill Johnson”, but I didn’t want to potentially confuse or mislead, lest anyone think I’ve now begun to promote Johnson’s material as if I was like-minded. Alternatively, I pondered borrowing a ploy by RCA Victor used on a Jefferson Airplane compilation titled “The Worst of…”, but I thought some readers would find it too negative or offensive. So, it was decided to use the more neutral “anthology”, with the parenthetical “So Far” a nod to the title of a Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young compilation of the same name.
Without further ado, here are the articles (so far):
— Bill Johnson’s ‘Born Again’ Jesus, part I which also discusses portions of his book When Heaven Invades Earth in which Johnson discloses his kenotic Jesus and his assertion that anyone against the “anointing” (as he defines it) is anti-christ.
— part II shows how close he comes to the Kenyon/Hagin ‘Jesus died spiritually’ heresy in his proof-texts for the ‘born again Jesus’, in addition to his view that Jesus received the “Baptism of/in the Holy Spirit” in the Jordan, plus his (and other) Latter Rain and Manifest Sons of God leanings seemingly not too far from New Age ideology.
— Johnson’s and others’ quotes on Dominionism in The Kingdom of God is at Hand, part II, which questions just which kingdom is being promoted.
Speaking of paradox: can someone resolve the apparent contradiction inherent in Jim Goll’s foretelling prophecy of Johnson’s acquisition of a library related to someone with the name ‘Roberts’, given that Johnson had already purchased Roberts Liardon’s library the year before?:
— Bill Johnson’s Library Mandate – a “direct from headquarters” mandate.
— Johnson endorsing Bob Jones: Bethel hosting a “prophetic conference” featuring Bob Jones.
— Bill Johnson and the Sign of Jonah: “If signs and wonders don’t follow you, follow them until they follow you.”
— Signs That Make You Wonder: “…it’s just increasing all kinds of manifestations. It’s the angelic realm; it’s just the supernatural breaking into this one: the gold and the oil and the wind. We’ve been having gusts of wind that just come out of nowhere. And, uh, ya know, it’s all good. It’s all signs that make you wonder…”
— Open Challenge to Bill Johnson/Bethel Supporters regarding a specific quote in When Heaven Invades Earth: “Jesus lived His earthly life with human limitations. He laid his [sic] divinity aside as He sought to fulfill the assignment given to Him by the Father: to live life as a man without sin, and then die in the place of mankind for sin. This would be essential in His plan to redeem mankind. The sacrifice that could atone for sin had to be a lamb, (powerless), and had to be spotless, (without sin)” [When Heaven Invades Earth, 2003, Destiny Image, Shippensburg, PA; p 79].
— Another Challenge to Bill Johnson/Bethel Supportersregarding a Johnson tweet (which also occurs in other material). “Jesus is returning for a bride whose body is in equal proportion to her head.”
— More in depth look at Johnson’s Kenosis: “…Jesus gave Himself to be crucified. He did not raise Himself from the dead…His job was to give His life to die. The Father raised Him by the Spirit…”
— Kris Vallotton and the Mantle of Jesus Christ/Bill Johnson on Corporate Anointing:“…Not just the mantle of William Branham, how about the mantle of Jesus Christ? That’s even a bigger one there…”
— By Whose Power Does Bill Johnson Heal?: “What have I done? This guy thinks he hobbled in here…wait until he tries to walk out!”
— Greater works than Jesus?: …Many theologians seek to honor the works of Jesus as unattainable, which is religion, fathered by unbelief…
In keeping with the tradition in the recording industry which induces fans to acquire anthologies even if they have all the artist’s previous work, I’ll close with a rather ‘electrifying’ quote of Bill Johnson not used in any previous CrossWise article, taken from Face to Face with God:
I went from being in a dead sleep to being wide-awake in a moment. Unexplainable power began to pulsate through my body. It was as if I had been plugged into a wall socket with a thousand volts of electricity flowing through my body. An extremely powerful being seemed to have entered the room, and I could not function in His presence. My arms and legs shot out in silent explosions as this power was released through my hands and feet. The more I tried to stop it, the worse it got. I soon discovered that this was not a wrestling match I was going to win. I heard no voice, nor did I have any visions. This was the most overwhelming experience of my life. It was raw power. It was God. He had come in response to the prayer I had been praying. [p 8]
I’m thinkin’ Johnson may prefer electric jazz…