Sunday, January 25, 2015

ATS Dean Ron Walborn Recommends Bill Johnson Podcasts for Pastors

ATS Dean Ron Walborn Recommends Bill Johnson's Bethel Church Podcasts for Pastors

What tool does the Christian and Missionary Alliance Theological Seminary dean suggest as a great tech tool to help pastors deal with pressures in today's church?  The very unsettling "Unseminary" podcast: "Ron Walborn Provides Help to Leaders Dealing with the Pressures of Today's Church"--
an interview between Pastor Rich Birch and Dean Ronald Walborn-- gives the dean's thoughts in his own words.

Note:  As you listen, or read note the interview highlights as listed at the site; also note the "Lightning Round Highlights" where Birch asks Walborn's personal recommendations on various topics.  Also pay careful attention to Ron's full length answers to the Lightning Round questions which can be heard on "the audio only" at the very end of the program.

History of ATS:

The dean starts off the podcast interview with Birch by detailing a little of the past history of the seminary.  He then follows this with an overview of the three year "Master of Divinity Program" with its heavy emphasis on spiritual formation.  Walborn says, "In every year they have to do spiritual formation."  The first year is an initiation into spiritual formation where they are quickly gotten into  counseling, if needed.  The second year there is more formation, and required counseling.  The third year ends with "the capstone course."  Besides, emphasizes Walborn, during the entire three years there is constant mentoring from spiritual directors.

Ron's Personal Spiritual Formation Series:

Ron goes on to describe his very own podcast series -- updated materials from part of the original series Ron did at Delta Lake Conference which in 2005-2007 when he introduced the spiritual discipline of "centering prayer" to unsuspecting campers at Delta Lake Camp.  And just as he did at Delta, Ron is still strongly advocating the use of the book of former Roman Catholic priest, and contemplative Henri Nouwen.

Lightning Round Highlights:

*  Helpful Tech Tools:   Rich asks Ron for his personal recommendation of a tech tool that might help a pastor better lead.  Ron answer begins this way, "I'm good friends with a guy named Bill Johnson from out in northern California.  We used to fish together when I was out in Redding (Ron pastored at CMA Risen King Community Church, Redding.) pastoring.  As often as I can I listen to Bill.  I don't always agree one hundred percent with him, but he feeds my soul, he feeds my spirit.  And so when I walk, and when I exercise I listen to Bethel."  Birch replies, "Very cool!"

On page two (bottom) of the transcript click on "Bethel Podcasts" to go straight to " iTunes lists of "Bethel Church Sermon of the Week by Bethel Church Redding."  Besides Bill Johnson, the listener will get an earful of New Apostolic Reformation teachings of other Bethel Church regulars such as Danny Silk, Kris Vallotton, Eric Johnson, and Banning Liebscher.  The listener will also be referred to "Jesus Culture," "Hillsong, " and "Elevation Church."

*  Inspiring Leader:  Rich also asks Ron if he could get fifteen minutes to sit down with any leader alive who would this be, and why.  Ron responds, "Barack Obama."  Walborn explains, "I would love to sit down with Barack- Barack Obama.  ...  The reality is I have known some people who have spent time with him, and come away with a very different perspective than those of us who have known him through media."  The dean goes on to relate how he was observing one of his adjunct professors, Gabriel Salguero, when he received a cell telephone call from Obama during his lecture.  Salguero then went out to pray with the president.  Now, Salguero, incidentally, is one of radical Jim Wallis' "Red Letter Christians."

Bethel Church, Redding, California:

Bethel Church, as the reader may be aware, has a very controversial reputation with its spectacular signs and wonders phenomena:  its glory cloud crowds, its glittering gold dust, its oozing oils, its gaudy gems, its falling feathers, its felt angel entities, its impartation fire tunnels, its unruly manifestations, its hypnotic music, its mantra-like tongues, its outlandish visions, its bridal paradigm, its warrior words, and other unbiblical teachings.  In light of this, and the many resources that spell out exactly what is happening at Bethel how can some one not confront Mr. Walborn, and ask exactly how he can make such a recommendation to young leaders to listen to podcasts that come out of Bethel Church, Redding?  Truly, this "Unseminary" podcast is not profitable for Christian pastors or leaders.   And yes, it is most decidedly "unseminary"! 

Learn to Discern Granny Verse:  I John 4:1

"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they be of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world." 

For More Information on Bethel Church See:

*  Volume III: "Wide Is the Gate" by  Great expose of New Apostolic Reformation that focuses in on Bethel Church.  (Just published: January 2015)

*  "The New Age Propensities of Bethel's Bill Johnson" by John Lanagan.  This is an excellent Lighthouse Trails Tract Booklet.


  1. Bethel "Church" is as close to being demonic as Satan is to being evil. And that is putting it as gently as I can. A great piece; thanks.

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