Bill Johnson & Bethel Redding’s Massive Influence Over Awakening Australia Remains Despite Clever Semantics


The director of Awakening Australia, Ben Fitzgerald had an issue with a critique of Awakening Australia written by Stephen Tan Wei Shan (He writes for The Gospel Coalition Australia).

Ben Fitzgerald thought Stephen Tan Wei Shan unfairly put a close link between Awakening Australia and Bethel Redding pastored by Bill Johnson.

i) Awakening is not Bethel (Source)

The first thing that Ben wanted to address is the connection between Awakening and Bethel. Ben felt that it was unfair for me to closely link Awakening to Bethel as Awakening is an inter-denominational evangelistic event which calls on Christians and churches to lay aside secondary theological differences for the sake of advancing the gospel in Australia. At the time of writing the article, the four listed main speakers were either from Bethel or affiliated to Bethel (Bill Johnson, Ben Fitzgerald, Heidi Baker and Todd White). In the last few days it has been announced that Nick Vujicic will also be a main speaker at the event and Nick is clearly not from Bethel or Bethel affiliated. Ben has also said that Bill Johnson will only have one 50-minute speaking slot at the event and that Nick and Todd are actually going to be the main speakers. With this new development I think it is fair to say that Awakening is more ecumenical than what I initially thought. In saying that there is still a strong Bethel influence (Bill Johnson, Bethel Music is one of the bands and Bethel is financially supporting the event and sending 200 members from California to serve).

Bill Johnson was interviewed at the Awakening Australia event and affirmed the idea that he’s the papa of the entire movement.

There is a substantive Bethel Redding and Bill Johnson influence over Awakening Australia that can’t be distanced from or removed with clever semantics. Watch the full interview below, and read the original article and the response to decide for yourself.