All posts tagged: grave soaking bethel church

Former Bethel leader talks about the church’s gold-dust glory clouds and grave soaking

Though I have never attended a service at Bethel Church in Redding, California, I have listened to sermons by its founder, Bill Johnson. I am almost hesitant to admit that I actually enjoyed his messages, because in recent years, several have publicly announced that they will no longer be using Bethel worship music in their services. This is due in part to some controversial practices that have showed up a Bethel, including grave soaking, gold-dust glory clouds and what some allege is an over emphasis on angels. The church has also been accused of not calling ambulances when people are in serious need of medical attention. Of course, that is one side of the story. So, I was keenly interested when a former minister at Bethel, Carrie Lloyd, recently wrote an op-ed for Premier Christian, where she addressed several of the mega church’s controversies providing a counterbalance to these accusations: The gold dust There have been several reports of what appears to be gold dust showing up during services. Pastor Johnson referred to it as …

Grave yard in London, England Credit: frattaglia/Flickr/Creative Commons

What is grave soaking?

There is a strange story in the Old Testament that seems to have spawned an equally weird practice among a few Charismatic churches. The prophet Elisha had died and been buried in a tomb, perhaps a cave where people of prominence were often buried. It was a difficult time and the Moabites were regularly raiding Israel. A group of men were burying a friend when they receive word a Moabite raiding party was nearby. The men were probably being mustered to repel the raiders and temporarily decided to put the body in Elisha’s tomb that was nearby, with intent of returning later to bury it. Rather than laying it carefully in the tomb, they quickly threw the body in and it inadvertently touched the bones of Elisha. When it did, the dead man came back to life (2 Kings 13:21). There was obviously some type of residual anointing still on the bones of Elisha that led to this resurrection. And this unusual account has led to a strange practice in some Christian circles called grave …