An Odd Deference…

And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves.( I Thessalonians 5:12-13)

I am all for respect, especially for those who teach and preach the Word of God. I believe one of the challenges of our age is that we are experiencing an authority crisis. Respect and reverence seem to have gone out the window, in this age where everyone is their own authority, and their own expert on subjects which interest them.

Part of this lack of respect is an expression of the near absence of the ‘fear of the LORD’ in our generation. When that goes, so also goes all legitimate honor and respect. Fathers, Husbands, Mothers, Wives, teachers, Policemen, and Pastors are no longer the subjects of respect as they were in previous times, just for their position’s sake.

On the other hand, one can go too far in the other direction. As a Pastor, I don’t want anyone to be a follower of me, or a devotee. No one should be expected to hang on my every word, and to uncritically accept everything I say or do.

I know I fall short as an example of a man and as a Pastor. I am under no illusion, but must press on. The TRUTH is what matters, we are to be servants of the TRUTH.
We should all strive to strike the balance of the Bereans in the Bible, who respectfully heard Paul preach, but then checked his teaching out by lining it up with the Word of God.

No minister of the Gospel should be considered beyond criticism. Neither Bill Randles, Jacob Prasch, David Nathan, Salvador Hayworth, David Royle, Marco Quintana, and who ever else comes to mind, all should have already accepted from the beginning the warning of James 3:1,

My brethren, be not many (Teachers) masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.

In other words to stand up in God’s name and teach is a sacred charge, and we should expect to be scrutinized and to have to receive criticism at times.

What is unhealthy for any minister on any level, is to be surrounded by people who overly defer to us.

In my own experience, just for the slightest and gentlest criticism of a fellow minister’s * rhetoric and demeanor, it was asserted that I had “stabbed him in the back” , betrayed Christ, and was “opening old wounds” upsetting the body of Christ, and am currently a hireling, a compromiser, and a defamer!

People who support this minister have publicly commented on my Life, my marriage, Church troubles, my weight, courage and masculinity; because I have dared to question some of this brother’s ways.

I see Calvary in a new light now, Jesus hung there naked in public, before the cold gaze of the indifferent and of his personal enemies. He did this to save us from ourselves.

I have pretty thick skin, so its not that I am complaining about this treatment, but it does make me question, “What is this strange and intense deference towards this man, which provokes this reaction, such as no other?? Why are people so defensive and volatile about any criticism of him”?

I get it that over the years, this man displays an incredible gift of teaching the Word, and has also shown courage in resisting false teachers and money preacher in this age of apostasy. Many, many people love him for this and rightfully so. All the more reason to truly help him by holding him accountable!

Ironically, this man that people are so defensive of, has no qualms whatsoever about dealing criticism, often towards Christ’s enemies, (but not always) in the most intense terms! He has become famous for his tirades against false teachers, false revivals, false prophets, etc. .

People say things like, “He is not pretty, but he shoots straight!”, or “I like my teaching rough and hard”, one man even told me, “You are a Pastor , and have to be gentle, but Jacob is in the trenches fighting the bad guys, that’s why he has to be so hard”. They make excuses for him such a “He is from the Bronx…He is Jewish”, but is this healthy? Is anyone above any kind of correction?

Have many of us become as parochial and uncritical as the churches we once came out of, looking for truth?

I had similar reaction from many of David Nathan’s friends, when I criticized him.

I, and others, had a problem with some of his outrageous claims, such as “God the Father created Nothing”, and “The Blood of Jesus Christ will not help anyone in the Millennium”. I know, I know, He supposedly explained all of that, and cleared it up.

I have never been satisfied with his explanation, nor has he ever answered the question, “Why would you ever say such a thing in the first place, when you can easily see how volatile such sayings are”.

We did not have a problem with this because we were “On Jacob’s side” or because we have a critical spirit. We weren’t “speaking for Jacob” nor were we persecuting David Nathan!

Whether David did or did not actually teach heresy is secondary to the shouting down and imputation of base motives towards those who wanted to discuss this rationally and in the Spirit.

My point is , this unhealthy deference and misguided loyalty does damage to the cause of discernment itself because it calls into question the motives of those who object to manifestly outrageous doctrinal claims. It has nothing to do with various factions or personalities.

Are we supposed to just shut up the next time someone says something like that? I hope not, because our loyalty to

Jesus trumps our desire not to ‘open up old wounds” .

Criticism of doctrine and teaching should be considered on it’s own merit, and not trying to second guess the motive of the critic. Is what is being said Biblical or not? That is all! Is the fruit of the Spirit on display or not?

  • (Jacob Prasch)

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26 Responses to An Odd Deference…

  1. I agree entirely with you paster Bill – I am a mere lay person but when on several different occasions over the years I have tried to suggest ,sincerely and gently, that something could be wrong , I was shocked at the fleshly reactions I got. They weren’t interested in the truth at all , but only in attributing fleshly motives to me. But the Lord knows our hearts and that’s the only thing that matters. To thine own self be true …. God bless you

  2. 'grandma' Jeanne says:

    Thank God for this pastor who is not afraid to be scourged verbally for telling the truth. Nobody is above ‘reproach’ and being in the public eye even more.

  3. Crystal Johnson says:

    I have experienced this same kind of fanatical deference towards Bill Johnson and I must say it shocks me! It seems to me that people have lost all reason when they behave in this way 😦

  4. Esther Hankinson says:

    Hi Bill, I have listened to a lot of your sermons over the years and Jacobs also. I can answer your question as to why many appreciate Jacob. When the crazy Toronto blessing was sweeping the western world, I cried out to God and asked him, where were men in leadership speaking out against it. And then I heard Jacob’s sermon, The House of David and the House of Saul. I was so grateful that someone had the guts to speak the truth when much of the church went along with it.

    I can’t help feeling that you are doing exactly as you warned against in your previous post.
    “I refer to the new “Witch Hunt” school of discernment, in which several prominent people known for previous “discernment ministry”, have devolved to the level of taking personal anger and offense issues and working them out in public, “

    Obviously you have been hurt, and it seems that you yourself are working this out in public. I don’t think that it is helpful and hope that you get back to proclaiming God’s Word, which you do well.

    • billrandles says:

      Thanks Esther and I agree that Jacob has been profoundly used and is being used. I hope you are wrong about my motives for doing what I have been doing lately.
      Might be right (God forgive me) but it could just be that I am sounding a valid alarm for the church, even tho it exposes my soul to much
      Difficulty and
      Misunderstanding. I have had my say for now and fully intend to get back to my teaching. Love and grace pas bill

    • Deemar says:

      It certainly did not seem (to me at least), that Bill had
      “devolved to the level of taking personal anger and offense issues and working them out in public”.
      What Bill was bringing forth was not a ‘personal offense’ in order to work it out in public – rather, he was questioning (and righty so!), the doctrine being taught by someone whom he had previously supported in their teaching. Public teaching IS subject to a public rebuke. This was not a ‘personal offense’ type of situation, at least not from my understanding.

      This is important to clarify, because I have been in the position of bringing a somewhat public rebuke forward about a local pastor… I was also accused of being unforgiving, and bringing forth something that should have remained ‘private’. Again, personal offenses are one thing, but public teaching is subject to public rebuke… as well as the teachers themselves – and they know this quite well. This was done in the scriptures (names were named), and it takes courage and a heathy “fear of the LORD” (not man) to do it now also – especially in this day of ‘fame’ among ‘christian speakers’.

  5. Linda Baumgartner says:

    My heart is breaking.

    • billrandles says:

      Linda do not lose that tender heart, and let it press you into prayer for all of us… this is a valuable reminder that we who preach the Word are but men. God has no “great men of faith and power”, only flawed men in various processes of redemption. Pray, pray , pray…l

  6. Darryl says:

    Never deviate from the Truth Bill. Bless you bro.

  7. John Dan says:

    I really appreciate your sermons you post on line Pastor Bill.

    It’s amazing how scriptural the sermons of the people who fill in for you are too. That says a lot about your church. I’m hoping to visit in a few weeks if things work out.

  8. Treena Gisborn says:

    If you were so very righteous and had such a sense of outrage then you should have made much more of a fuss about David Nathan’s “heresy” at the time.. One question in a public meeting does not constitute a challenge! Lets be clear.. if David Nathan had not announced that he was leaving Moriel none of this would have happened. Read the comments:

  9. Tricia says:

    My heart aches and I weep tears for you (all) and for this situation that is happening in churches here and elsewhere. The devil is stirring up troubles everywhere, and we all need to stay very close to God at this time. I hesitate to add more – too many words have already been spoken on all sides – all I can do is pray. God bless you Bill.

  10. Helen Hichens says:

    The conclusion of the matter: Do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with our GOD. GOD bless you, Pastor Bill. May the LORD strengthen, encourage & keep you through all trials. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

  11. Dear Brother Bill, It is obvious that there has been a lot of hurt and serious damage done to many blood-washed believers by this very public “Discernment” exercise. The final paragraph of your above post very well sums up the extent of true discernment:
    “Criticism of doctrine and teaching should be considered on it’s own merit, and not trying to second guess the motive of the critic. Is what is being said Biblical or not? That is all! Is the fruit of the Spirit on display or not?” All I would add is that we also can’t second guess or assume to know the heart and motive of the Teacher whose doctrine is being questioned. i.e. We should by all means challenge his doctrine, but don’t assassinate the messenger because of a doctrinal disagreement.

  12. Lisa says:

    “Is anyone above any kind of correction?”

    I have found that many, many people think they are above any kind of correction. They usually tell you their sad stories of hardship, give their credentials and then they blame you for daring to correct them, no matter how hard you tried to get the wording just right, they are still offended you would see wrong in them. Happens to me all the time.

    As to the situation that you’re talking about..I thought you didn’t want to be in the middle of it anymore?

  13. standingfirm says:

    God bless you Pastor Bill. What you had said is the bottom line. “Is it biblical or not”? And is the fruit of the Spirit on display? Those of us who are a Berean Christian would be looking for those two items! I know the bible says that when Jesus taught He did not yell or holler. He had a very loving and gentle spirit. Should not His ministers of the word imitate the Lord? I am turned off by a rough, abrasive personality screaming and ranting some sermon. It makes me question exactly “what” spirit is controlling his heart? All I know as a Christian of many, many years we are to be “imitators” of Jesus. Jesus would point out wrong doctrine without becoming “unglued” so to speak. As you said last year, it has been war on the saints, and has for me personally as well. I love your sermons all through the years and pray that the Lord continue to use you mightily for His kingdom in these last days!


  14. Linda says:

    Pastor Bill,

    You speak about the fruit of the spirit and doctrine as one in the same or as separate categories to be addressed? I believe the fruit of the spirit was far more a litmus test for the state of our souls relationship with God as often times the disciples got it wrong, and were simply reprimanded by Jesus as part of their growing process. The disciples often got it wrong in doctrinal understanding such as with the understanding of the bread and wine in relation to Christ. But when people displayed elements of anger, pride, and deceit Jesus had little tolerance for this especially for the pharisees who he said to “do as they say not as they do” because they were doctrinally correct yet lacked the spirit or any relationship with God. I believe Jesus most likely would have corrected any ignorant errors in teaching yet with love to keep his teachers and disciples on point, yet with those with an arrogant lying spirit slandering women, hurting the ministries of many, Jesus would have rebuked them as he did the pharisees in a much stronger and more serious manner. If our hearts reflect the pride and deceit of the pharisees, our doctrine correct or not is useless, if we are seeking to follow Jesus yet fall into lapses of ignorance yet are quick to be correct by our Lord we will proceed in growth and wisdom as Christ corrects us, What do you think?

  15. Charles says:

    At what point would you begin to say that Jacob’s corrosive behavior would cross the line of not being under God’s spiritual guidance any more? When people in the Bible were rebellious and divisive like Saul, God separated from them though they continued to have their gifts. If Jacob has a decent gift for teaching yet is not under the spirit of God any more. one word… RUN!

    • Esther Hankinson says:

      This reflects the problem that I had with Bill raising this publicly. Especially after it had all seemed to die down. No man is perfect, whether Bill or Jacob Prasch. I follow Paul’s example in that I will follow someone in as much as they follow Jesus. That means that I don’t follow anyone blindly, nor do I write people off because they make a mistake. Whether that be Bill or Jacob. Or anyone else. Paul cast people out when they taught contrary to the Word of God. And warned very clearly against following such people on the grounds that their teaching was not of God. There was never a warning issued because of a personal grievance or falling out. I certainly won’t be running from Jacob, as long as his teaching is biblical. At the same time, he like all of us, is a fallen man, saved by the grace of God and I am very grateful that we have a merciful Heavenly Father.

      • Charles says:

        When we keep trying to label dire sinful problems as small grievances there lies the problem. We call them “personality quirks, personal relations, personal grievances” yet it is actually essentially the very dangers that Jesus and Paul would have been most grieved by. There are many scriptures out of the words of Jesus and Paul we can study to see this true, Jacob’s slander towards women, and other ministries of which he has destroyed is no personal grievance these are public destructive attacks that Jacob has waged against many other Godly ministries, and has motivated others to do the same. As much as we may have enjoyed Jacob’s teaching style, if we are honest and objective, we will all refrain from any support from Jacob as he shows no evidences of the spirit but of deceit, slander, jealousy, hautiness, pride, the very things that the Bible tells us God hates. Jacob can come back to the Lord but he is responsible for his own heart and repentance. If he is not able to repent and renew his humility before the Lord then we must make the difficult choice of distancing ourselves from leaders we follow.

  16. John P says:

    Pastor Randles,

    Stand strong Sir. Be BOLD as you have been. Don’t delete your videos and posts when you feel attacked. Don’t let anyone push you around you are a smart Godly man don’t second guess yourself. If you need to rebuke anyone plant your feet with the spirit of God behind you and do not be blown away when the attacks increase. Be gracefully courageous and do not retreat. As Christians we will suffer those attacks by others even our own “judases” but we can be firm, patient, strong and filled with leadership. God is definitely deepening you in this process. May his wisdom continue to guide you

  17. Pst Bill you’ve always been tender-hearted and displayed the fruits of the Spirit, such as love, gentleness, meekness, temperance, while speaking the truth. Of course you’re not perfect, none of us are, but I’ve never ever seen in you the hardness, the critical spirit and, dare I say, the hatred displayed by some in the “discernment” movement.
    The reason we left that movement was because we saw the hypocrisy in it – the “discerning” of everyone else’s wrong doctrine, yet the complete blindness to ones own critical, cult-like spirit. Yet you were and are different.

    I’ve always found that looking at the “common denominator” over a period of time in these disputes, schisms etc is helpful to identify the common cause.
    Suffice to say, it is not you.
    Keep going with your ministry, Pst Bill, keep looking unto Jesus , who for the joy set before Him suffered the shame of the cross.

    • billrandles says:

      Thanks so much Belinda, we are all going to make out through this, and come out stronger…Gold tried in fire

      On Tue, Oct 8, 2019 at 6:11 PM Pastor Bill Randles Blog wrote:


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