Carey Nieuwhof is an evangelical "leadership expert" who has various guests on his podcast to share their stories and ideas. In episode 149 he interviewed Bethel pastor Kris Vallotton. After telling stories of supernatural miracles at Bethel ("thousands!"), Vallotton tells Nieuwhof that "three-quarters of the book of Acts is miracles... if you took out all the miracles, most of the book would be gone." It appears that Nieuwhof has never read the book of Acts, because he totally agrees and does his best surfer-dude "Woooow!"
Listen to this ridiculous lie for yourself:
The book of Acts is not three-quarters miracles, not even close. Kris Vallotton either doesn't actually read the Bible, or he's willfully lying about it. Is there another option? Is it possible that what he said is "sort of" true?
Kris Vallotton is ignoring the mathematical fact that most of the book of Acts is not about miracles. Go ahead and read it for yourself. There are some amazing miracles, for sure, and those miracles helped to establish the Christian Church before we had the completed Bible. But the book of Acts is just one book in the New Testament, and the New Testament is just part of the whole Bible, and the whole Bible is really about God redeeming mankind through the atoning death of his son, Jesus Christ, who took our place on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins. That is the focal point of the entire Bible!
Notice how that list is not 75% of the book of Acts? In the Reformation Study Bible the introduction to the book of Acts says this: "The centrality of the preached word to the church's growth is illustrated by the abundance of sermonic material in Acts. At least 30% of the words in Acts are found in the speeches of Apostles and other Christian witnesses." Do the math...
Vallotton and many NAR people like him, believe that the church should take dominion over the earth, and in order to do so we must provide people with "encounters with God." According to this belief system, God is waiting for us to become just like Jesus and supernaturally cause non-believers to become believers, based on how we prove God is real. How do we "prove" God is real? We either "prophecy over them" (like a fortune-teller or psychic), or we miraculously heal them. Here's an article about the crazy "prophetic" ministry at Bethel: Bethel Church Tells Witch that She's "On the Right Path" and "God is So Proud of Her!"
But in the book of Acts we see the (real) Apostles primarily preaching about Jesus. Wanna hear some great sermons? Go read the book of Acts! You will also notice that plenty of people did not believe the Gospel message, in spite of the miracles that had been taking place. The (real) Apostles are shown primarily preaching and teaching from the Scriptures-not doing personalized miracles or pseudo-fortune-telling for everyone they meet. There were no "Schools of Supernatural Ministry," either. The (real) Apostles didn't try to heal people until they got better at it-they just did it. By the end of the book of Acts we see a decline in miraculous activity, and we read of the Gospel message being spread by preaching and teaching through establishing churches. Although Bill Johnson built Bethel Church on his "only revival, all the time" philosophy, which he brought from the Toronto Blessing, he (and Vallotton) are actually ignoring much of what the book of Acts says-not to mention the entire Bible-and they are adding new teachings of men. Here are many Bible passages that Kris Vallotton probably hopes you ignore: Shocking Stuff you're Not Supposed to Know!
Carey Nieuwhof began his interview by saying that all Christians should get along with each other regardless of their "minor" differences, and he sets the stage for Kris Vallotton to push his hyper-charismatic "New Apostolic Reformation" agenda without question. Why? I would guess that Nieuwhof had good intentions, but he's incredibly gullible and it seems he hasn't done any research on Bethel-he just assumes that we can all learn something from Kris Vallotton because he's so successful, his church is really big and it claims to be experiencing thousands of miracles. Nieuwhof did not want his podcast to go off into the Cessationist versus Continuationist debate, but he went to the other extreme and just let Kris Vallotton spread his Latter Rain/NAR doctrine as if it was irrefutable, and he wholeheartedly agreed as Vallotton lied about the very Word of God.
In this interview we see a NAR leader (Vallotton) gaining prominence over a Seeker-Friendly leader (Nieuwhof), because apparently "numbers don't lie" and we can't question anyone who sounds sincere and makes great claims about himself, especially if he's got 13 books on the market.
- "Leadership" demands results above doctrine, so there's no reason to question Vallotton.
- "Leadership" admires innovation above doctrine, and Bethel is certainly "innovative" (just like the Mormons and the Jehovah's Witnesses).
- "Leadership" strip mines the Bible to find random verses that comply with contemporary business and growth ideas, so anyone can twist the Bible in order to "gets results."
- "Leadership" gladly looks to the pagan world for new ideas to promote growth or success.
Want to see an example of how far from biblical Christianity this "leadership" thing goes? Here's an article from Carey Nieuwhof that seems like satire, but it's not: 5 Things The New IPhone X Can Teach You About Leadership (Whatever You Lead)
Here are a bunch of memes from (Pastor?) Kris Vallotton's facebook page; notice how he gladly quotes the success and motivational ideas from these non-Christians:
Please do your homework on these serious issues facing the church:
Listen to Kris Vallotton twist the daylights out of God's Word in the second half of this episode of Fighting for the Faith
Here's a perspective on healing that you'll never hear from Kris Vallotton: A Deeper Healing (Joni Eareckson Tada)
Here's a gigantic compilation of articles: The Bill Johnson Cornucopia of False Teaching, Bible-Twisting and General Absurdity
Bill Johnson and the NAR "Super Apostles" don't want you to know about their involvement in the Charismatic Day of Infamy.
Finally, here's an important article that will help you be more discerning and a lot less gullible: Defusing Demonic Dirty Bombs.