Recently Bill Johnson stood before his congregation in Redding, California, and did something I’ve never heard him do before. He openly and publicly rebuked another minister. That this minister just happens to be in my first two films, Finger of God and Furious Love, made me realize I probably needed to address this situation. So please consider this my official response to the calling out of Jason Westerfield. The first thing you need to know is that Bill Johnson is a very dear friend of mine. I have been around some of the greatest ministers with some of the biggest ministries around, and when you film people the way I do you can’t help but get to know them on a more intimate level. Having said that, I admire and respect Bill immensely. While everyone has their own issues and foibles, Bill is exactly what you hope he would be, even when you’re chilling with him on a hot July day on a Ferris wheel in Chicago (long story, don’t ask). The fact that he has been one of the few who has been singled out by well-meaning but often mean-spirited Christians as everything that is wrong with the charismatic movement is something that saddens me. He is a humble man who is one of the wisest people I’ve met and who is also head over heels in love with Jesus.
I say all that to get to the point that if Bill Johnson sees something amiss, it’s best to sit up and take pause. Jason was a “son of the house” at Bethel, having been a part of the first graduating class of Bethel’s popular School of Supernatural Ministry. He was mentored by many of the leaders at Bethel, and was considered a spiritual son by some of them, which, of course, makes this statement all the more remarkable and heartbreaking. While I know more about the inner workings of this statement than I can say here, I am confident that it did not come lightly, nor did it happen overnight. I wasn’t a part of Bill and his team’s discussion concerning Jason, but I am very aware of what has been concerning them and others over the last few years. MORE