Bethel Redding’s Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry (BSSM), is ground zero for some of the most outrageous, blasphemous spiritual activities in the world today. Things like this, and this, and this.
I came across this video today. In the video, a young lady named Gabrielle Senter is apparently speaking before her church, and shares the testimony of her first year experience at BSSM.
Gabrielle certainly seems sincere. And I have no reason to doubt she believes and means everything she says in the video. I do not know whether or not Gabrielle is born-again. I only know as much as you do about her, which is to say what I know is limited to the video you just watched.
What struck me and saddened me about Gabrielle’s testimony is how attending BSSM “shattered her plans”–not that her plans were of the Lord (consistent with his will). I simply do not know. Gabrielle had plans to serve as a missionary in “dirty places.” Only the Lord knows if her plans actually included missionary work–proclaiming the gospel to lost people.
Taking Gabrielle at her word, the desire to serve the Lord as a missionary seems biblical enough. And what did BSSM do for her? BSSM took her focus off of engaging in missionary work and replaced it with Bethel’s idea of being in the presence of God.
So, instead of denying herself, taking up her cross, and following Christ, BSSM has taught Gabrielle how to engage in subjective, spiritual practices that, lo and behold, tell her showing God’s love to people is sending a postcard, buying a stranger coffee, or giving someone a hug. Gabrielle believes this is “stopping and listening to the Father’s heart for the person who is in front of you at the moment.”
Postcards. Coffee. Hugs. And no gospel. No missionary work.
Gabrielle’s sincere encouragement to her church family: Ask yourself, “What does look like today?” In other words, “just love people as the Lord leads,” assuming what people like Gabrielle subjectively determines in her heart and mind is, in fact, the Lord’s leading, the Spirit’s leading.
The true work of the Holy Spirit’s in the life of the Christian, particularly as it pertains to the Christian’s interaction with lost people, is not a gospel-less work. It is not a conviction-less work. It is not a powerless work that does little more than make the lost person feel good, in the moment, while the well-intended Christian assures the lost person that Jesus loves them, without communicating the law and the gospel to them.
Sadly, if Gabrielle and other students at BSSM stop at postcards, coffee, and hugs, if they stop at positive strokes and meeting the perceived physical needs of lost people, all they will accomplish is making lost people more comfortable on their way to hell. How is that love? How is that the love of the Father, drawn from a real sense of being in the Father’s presence? How is that the love of Jesus? How is that a manifestation of the loving work of the Holy Spirit?
Recently, I preached a message titled The Work of the Holy Spirit, at the Good News Rescue Mission, in Redding, CA. I hope you will give it a listen. I believe you will see that the Bible’s definitions of the works of the Holy Spirit are different from that of Bethel Redding and BSSM.
BSSM is indeed a place of shattered plans. Sadly, it appears that some of those shattered plans might be godly ones, which are replaced by ungodly ones. Yet God remains sovereign. There is nothing Bethel Redding or BSSM can do to thwart the sovereign will of God in anyone’s life, including Gabrielle’s.
I just hope and pray God’s sovereign will for Gabrielle’s life is for the Holy Spirit to bring her to her senses and remove her from the influence of BSSM. And, if she is not saved, I hope and pray the Holy Spirit will convict her of sin, righteousness, and judgment (see John 16:8-11), and cause her to be born-again. Will you join me in praying for Gabrielle to that end?