Nick Johnson - Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride (Not to Be Confused With Electric Guitarist Nick Johnston)

mmmirele4/21/2019 12:19:26 am PDT

Bethel Church of Redding, California is one of the nexuses of independent Charismatic churches in the USA. They have an outsize influence because of their Bethel Music label, the band “Jesus Culture” and the unaccredited “‘Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry.” They’ve been on my radar for a while now and I’m on one of their mailing lists.

What I didn’t expect was that I was going to get an email on Thursday from Bethel Redding promoting conversion therapy.

But I did. Since then I’ve gotten a number of requests for the email, which also includes a promotion for the execrable lying piece of trash called “Unplanned” (an anti-abortion movie). I happily send it out when requested because I want Bethel Redding to be confronted with uncomfortable questions.

And it’s not like Bethel doesn’t know that this sort of thing (promoting a #oncegay hashtag and a group that does conversion therapy) isn’t problematic. They got criticized last year for their harshly anti-LGBTQ viewpoints. In fact they ended up having to delete one of their pastors’ sermons because it was just 90 minutes of criticism of #MeToo and gay bashing, which ended up with one person standing up and calling the pastor out. (I still have a copy of the sermon. The Internet is forever.)

What stuns me is this—these people can’t let those of us who aren’t heterosexual alone. It doesn’t matter if you’re gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, you’re a threat to Bethel Redding’s belief that heterosexuality is at the center of being a Christian. I’m asexual and I just don’t get how this is supposed to work, I just don’t. And I frankly resent their attitude. Jesus had nothing to say about sexuality and wasn’t all in on the fruits of heterosexuality (marriage, family) at all. Why have so many people hitched their religious belief system to militant heterosexuality?? (Don’t answer that.)