What's up with Bethel?

Here’s a real answer:

They aren’t a cult. They are a very active Christian charismatic church. Their doctrine falls in line with a lot of mainstream Christian churches. They believe in works and manifestation of the Holy Spirit. Through that faith, they want to heal the sick, cast out demons, and (yes) pray to even raise the dead. All of those activities are found in the New Testament of the Bible, and all of them are works associated with Jesus Christ (who promised His followers they would do all that and more).

They attract all sorts of people. Good, bad, and ugly. Your encounters with them will range all over that spectrum.

Much of their controversy within Redding comes from the perceived “power” they have over the town. They’ve donated a lot to the city of Redding. Including paying salaries for police officers who would’ve not had jobs without Bethel’s contributions. They also refurbished the Civic Center and lease it out as an extension of their school. A new campus is being built and many residents of Redding protested it to the City Council. A member of Bethel currently sits on the City Council, but recused herself from the vote on the new campus. It still passed.

They are people first and foremost. You can expect to meet nice people, jerks, burnouts, and everything in between. I wouldn’t worry about them. They may invite you to church but they aren’t pushy.

And I wouldn’t put much stock in all the “cult” nonsense. I’ve been involved in faith and interfaith gatherings for 35 years. They are a pretty “par for the course” mega church.

/r/Redding Thread