Many people who attend evangelical churches in America are familiar with the music of “Jesus Culture,” from the Sacramento, Calif., area. Last month, one of their live albums was the No. 1 album on iTunes, above Adele, Justin Bieber, and Coldplay. See if you recognize any of these lyrics from earlier songs:
So I shout out Your name, from the rooftops I proclaim
That I am Yours, I am Yours
All that I am, I place into Your loving hands
And I am Yours, I am Yours
ONE THING REMAINS
On and on and on and on it goes
It overwhelms and satisfies my soul
And I never, ever, have to be afraid
One thing remains
Holy Spirit You are welcome here,
Come flood this place and fill the atmosphere.
Your glory God is what our hearts long for,
To be overcome by Your presence, Lord.
YOUR LOVE NEVER FAILS
You stay the same through the ages
Your love never changes
There may be pain in the night, but joy comes in the morning
And when the oceans rage
I don’t have to be afraid
Because I know that You love me
OK, you get the point. Jesus Culture is the worship movement centered at Bethel Church, pastored by Bill Johnson, in Sacramento. Johnson and his church are no strangers to criticism and controversy. In fact, the church was recently the cover story of the April 2016 issue of Christianity Today.
I’m sure I am not alone as a pastor who has been asked, “What do you think of Bill Johnson and Bethel?” In fact, Sam Storms wrote an article by that very name just this week, in which he posts a response by a British pastor in Eastbourne, U.K. As has often been the case, the British Charismatics have some of the most well-balanced perspectives on these matters.
I join Sam in a hearty endorsement of this response from across the Atlantic: “On Babies and Bethelwater.”