It’s 4:25 am.
I am very close to retiring any hope for a regular sleep schedule this year.
The last few months, I’ve been tossing and turning my way well into sunrise at which point I usually give up and put on a pot of coffee.
Earlier this evening, I dutifully took my melatonin gummies and resisted the urge to take advantage of the night’s quiet to do some writing.
Until I ended up on Twitter and saw this—
So …Bethel Music is at the scene of George Floyds murder. They are about 50 from his memorial playing music over all the local DJs doing alter calls. GTFO pic.twitter.com/G3wfX9RuoL— Em (@emmalouiseri) June 14, 2020
If you have no idea what you just watched, you’re probably better off.
The blond guy swaying his guitar like he’s trying to engage a distracted audience at an open mic in Nashville is Sean Feucht. He’s hosting a worship set at the site of George Floyd’s memorial in Minneapolis, Minnesota. A google search lists him as a politician but his Facebook page presents the following bio: “Sean Feucht is a husband, father, missionary, musician, artist, speaker, author, activist, and the founder of multiple worldwide movements.” According to his website, one of those is Hold the Line, “a political activist movement seeking to rally the global church to engage in their civic duty – to vote and stand up for causes of righteousness and justice in the governmental arena.”
We’ll get to that.
I first crossed paths with Sean’s er, sphere of influence let’s say, because of Bethel. Bethel is the more commonly used name for of Bet in Redding, California. Bethel Church’s mission is revival, as well as the personal, regional, and global expansion of God’s Kingdom through His manifest presence.
Molly Hensley-Clancy an account of what she experienced at Bethel Church that will captivate your curiosity whether you’re religious or not.
She writes: Globally, Bethel Church is mostly known for its Christian worship music — songs that tend toward the bland and inoffensive, but are wildly popular. Justin Bieber once told Cosmopolitan that a Bethel track called “No Longer Slaves” (now at 34 million YouTube views) was in his iPod’s top three most-played, along with Lil Wayne and Drake.
Her use of Bieber’s name is a shorthand to communicate how exceptionally popular Bethel is. They’re right up there in the collective identity of the American Christian with Hillsong and Chick-fil-a. You’d be hard-pressed to find a contemporary evangelical church in the U.S. that doesn’t sing their lyrics on Sunday morning.
As a result, I found myself playing their songs on rotation for years.
I moved on from their music around the same time I stopped attending church but I remained grateful for the many tunes that fostered intimacy in private moments of prayer.
My relationship with worship music has became a lot more fraught ever since I saw this photo.
Bethel publishes a catalog of popular Christian artists including Jenn Johnson, Amanda Cook, Cory Asbury and several others. Many of whom are featured here during a “faith briefing” with Trump at the White House on December 6th, 2019. Sean Feucht, the blond touching him, joined Bethel’s collective in 2016.
I would going to say this picture appears innocuous at first glance, but that’s not true. Perhaps it would be if it had not been shared on the heels of Trump’s Muslim ban or the peak of his family separation policies at the border, but it was.
Then there were the series of videos where a few guests awkwardly yet enthusiastically shared their excitement about “so many good things happening out of this [White] house.”
Andy Rowell, an Assistant Professor of Ministry Leadership at Bethel Seminary in Minnesota, communicates the message these leaders (who are usually apolitical on their social platforms) are participating in here:
…the strategy is to sell these worship leaders (who have big Instagram followings) with a one-sided “Look at what Trump is doing for evangelicals!” so that they then turn and communicate to their fans: “President Trump and his administration are people passionate about worship and prayer, just like you! And therefore, you should defend President Trump and try to see the good in what he does. And you should vote for him!
Many in the faith community were disturbed by the optics of aligning the most influential names in a Christian music to a spiritually-bankrupt administration. The campaign to promote propaganda further co-opting faith in exchange for political power was far too obvious.
And it took place just 3 months prior to the election Feucht lost as a Republican candidate for California’s 3rd Congressional District.
His website offers no information on where he stands politically. A glance at his Twitter and Instagram however makes it clear.
CANCEL “CANCEL CULTURE” https://t.co/mJqYd5ndgJ— Sean Feucht (@seanfeucht) June 4, 2020
At a time when most of the world is reflecting on justice work and muting themselves on social in order to amplify the voices charging forth the largest Civil Rights movement in the last several decades, Feucht has focused his energy on “exposing” the Black Lives Matter movement instead.
Justice is “conformity to truth, fact or reason.” You cannot have justice without truth. The #BlackLivesMatter movement isn’t pursuing truth but a deeply political and unbiblical agenda. Powerful convo with @SeanFeucht. #OpenOurEyes #MakeUsOneLord https://t.co/lXxRUKSBom— Radiance Foundation (@lifehaspurpose) June 7, 2020
Here’s another tweet where he shared a doctored screen-grab as if it were real. Although people were quick to point out it was manipulated with a scene from the film World War Z and not actually footage from a protest, he left the picture up which makes the irony of the words attached lead you to wonder whether he’s participating in some kind of performance art.
“Believe our narrative. There’s nothing but truth to see here.”— Sean Feucht (@seanfeucht) June 1, 2020
– Mainstream Media pic.twitter.com/5Z99F0tOes
After all, why would he 1. irresponsibly tweet this without realizing it clearly has “World War Z —Official Trailer” at the bottom of the image and 2. not delete it when he’s politely been asked to multiple times?
But as I fell further into his content, it became obvious he invites controversy and goes so far as to court it by posting things like this—
My general approach to Bethel, and I guess by extension Sean Feucht, has been to ignore them up to this point. After all, we’ve seen this play out over and over.
Public figure stirs dissension then victimizes themselves at the alter of the conflict they’ve exploited.
But when I saw the video of Sean Feucht playing Sunday morning hits on rotation at the site of George Floyd’s murder, I couldn’t ignore the harm this man is doing to the Minneopolis community and the memory of George Floyd in the name of Christ.
Feucht is treating a pivotal (and may I add fragile) moment in our country’s history like a photo opp, much like his hero in chief.
DJs and MCs local to Minneapolis who were offering prayer and community at the site of Floyd’s memorial were forced to end their sets because Feucht’s speakers were louder.
Why is it that whenever the evangelical Church has a chance to show up for the Black community, we play a sanitized church-appropriate chorus over their cries for justice?
This week, Feucht has used his platform to promote empty, performative amends between strangers with different skin colors while elevating his image as an activist without actually having to put in the real work. Instead, he’s lazily using Christianity to protect a system built by white supremacy while inherently benefitting from it. He’s using his platform to promote himself as an arbiter of reconciliation when we are experiencing anything but. He’s left the gaslight on.
One might wonder where Feucht stands on, you know, the work that disbands our country’s school to prison pipeline or strengthening inner-city commmunities with more resources or holding cops accountable when they use undue force to murder a man over a counterfeit bill. But he’d much sooner lie about why he was disinvited by school administration from hosting an event at North Central University.
What Feucht fails to get is Minneapolis is not a third-world country he can exercise his toxic savior complex on.
To add insult to injury, he’s censored everyone that has respectfully asked him to read the room by deleting their comments from Instagram or blocking them on Twitter.
A lot of the captions for his Instagram posts from Minneapolis have the phrase “CHANGE THE NARRATIVE”. And he’s doing that, in plain sight.
But what else might one expect from the guy that published his campaign logo over an image of Martin Luther King Jr. and then used it to condemn *checks notes* abortions?
View this post on Instagram
HE FOUGHT FOR THE DREAM AND FOR THE FREEDOM OF SO MANY!! . . This quote by his niece always wrecks me: . . “How can the ‘dream’ survive if we murder children? . . Every aborted baby is like a slave of the womb of his or her mother. The mother decides his or her fate.” . . – Alveda King (niece of MLK)
I’m honestly annoyed I even have to spend energy checking this guy. This blog was not created to check middle-aged white Christian men demonstrating bad behavior.
Yet I am so disturbed by this disproportionate and self-indulgent response to the murder of George Floyd that here we are.
In February, Feucht told The Reporter, “I don’t look like a politician, and I’m not running as a politician… I’m running as an outsider…I don’t owe anybody anything.”
But as a professing Christian leader, he owes the Church accountability.
Feucht’s alignment to Trump has always been about an exchange of power: access to Sean Feucht’s evangelical following in return for being the man at Trump’s arm. As much as he might reject the notions that he IS a politician, reality doesn’t exist in a siloed vacuum we can protect with a block button.
In reference to his failed Congressional campaign, Feucht told the Washington Examiner he imagines future activists thinking, “If this long-haired, 36-year-old millennial guy can do it, then I can do it.”
The danger is that others like Feucht will.
*A previous version of this article conflated Bethel School of Ministry with Bethel Church. Please be advised they are two distinct entities. Thank you.
I called Sean out weeks ago for exploiting racial trauma, and he blocked me ASAP. I am sick by this dude, so thank you for speaking out. Don’t stop, but unfortunately his following just sees this as “persecution” fueling his blind zeal to do more.
Well this is a sad misrepresentation of reality. Jesus paid a high price for His church to love each other well, this is an injustice to that. The comment in support of abortion shows a clear lack of clarity to moral reality. I saw an hour long video of that worship event and several people were receiving prayer and embracing other races in reconciliation. They were largely embraced and no matter the sad heart that wrote this thinks, God’s heart was rejoicing over the true ministry and love that happened there, likewise He weeps over the division being spread in articles like this and over attempts to justify abortions.
Thanks for an excellent report on someone I know nothing about, but know his loyal follower. . . Who may actually be worshippers. Christian- eese cannot sugar coat American Idol to become Christian Idol. . . An idol is an idol. I have to check myself from time to time, to honor the power of music and all the arts, recognizing the gift with out idolizing the artist.
Meanwhile, or kindwhile, I’m wondering if there has been any investigative journalism around this statement that “Trump’s been so good to evangelical”. I honestly don’t see that, but maybe there’s a fact checker who could enlighten me.
I’m working three jobs and balancing Elder care with preschool care while avoiding the virus and localizing my food sources. . . So any help on this topic would be great.
RJ, This article was not about abortion, so what do you say to people like Joshua, who play a “Trump Card” in order to avoid the subject we are on. It’s that divide and conquer mentality leveraging an over simplified persecution complex again. The “victimization” mentality interupts SO many important discussions. Let’s find a meme, a comeback that names it and stops it. . .can we?
PS Josh, do you realize you changed the subject we were on and brought up a show-stopping conversation stopping interruption? Please consider joining the conversation and staying on topic so we can learn from your experience, too.
Lol, Joshua, are you lost my friend?
Hi Ruth Ann, I appreciate your thoughtful comment and inquiry here. First off, kudos on your commitment to all of the different priorities you’re facing right now. Working three jobs while taking care of family sounds nearly impossible and in response to your question about resources, please feel free to email me to discuss the types of resources you’re looking for and I’ll do my best to connect you to anyone that can help.
Er, Trump’s “been good to Evangelicals” by introducing legislation and an administration that will always capitulate to Evangelical interests in order to maintain political power. Unfortunately this comes at the expense of individual rights and (in my humble opinion) negates the free will God gave to us.
As far as Joshua’s comment goes, it is accusatory and brings nothing to the discussion at hand. I don’t feed the trolls.
♀️ 100% missing the point of the article…
I get it. I’ve watched musicians, interviewed them, took care of them for nearly 2 decades. Some worshipers are musicians, some are just worshipers, some become idols, some already are their own idols (or at least being on stage for them is). When you’ve seen and met enough musicians, you can sort of feel this happening or just see it. Some people need attention, need their voice to be heard, it’s like a void. No matter how much God is in front of them or not, or talked about or not. A good test of a musician (worship leader, even pastor) is, when the lights are off, are you still going to play? Sing? Lead? Preach? If no one is looking at you, is it going to sound the same? Anyways.. I had years of thoughts on this.
I stopped the radio show a few years ago. I didn’t like current “Christian” music anymore (not ACC nooooo), and to be able to have all music, all the time online, was too much. No one to curate it other than ourselves? The last year of the show I focused on 40s/50s black gospel music and really enjoyed learning about it as I played it. Definite different time and heart. Anyways, I blather on.
Very well said. It’s easy to get caught up in this. I applaud your critical thinking and important message about white centering and the white savior complex.
Thank you for your article about Sean as I was wanting to know more about him. Just yesterday, her in Redding, California, home of Bethel, he organized and conducted a very large crowd of followers at the beautiful Sundial Bridge. There were far too many people, shoulder to shoulder, mostly without masks, enjoying an outside worship at a time when people in California are being asked to avoid such gatherings. I believe he just had a similar gathering down in Huntington Beach and, since, has gone on to other cities. Citizens here are understandably upset. Most of Redding’s public gatherings have been cancelled because of the virus and we are seeing our numbers rise even so. The Church itself is saying they had no knowledge of the event and, of course, no one in the local government is claiming they gave permission, although Sean claims he did have permission for a small gathering. Your article is very enlightening and I appreciate your insight. The fact that he played and gathered in the name of George Floyd is attention seeking at its’ worst. Sorry for rambling on…..thank you so much, again.
That’s why they do it, they change the subject because have no way to defend Trump and his followers behavior.
Excellently, brilliantly, thoughtfully written article. Thank you for taking the time even though this man does not deserve it.
He is a “false apostle” as described in 2 Corinthians 11. as it says in verse 14 “And no wonder for Satan himself keeps disguising himself as an angel of iight” So. good luck for all of you who are bedazzled by the light! But who is the real Jesus anyway? You will find out!
This was very well thought out and written. Thank you for your reasonable analysis. He is no different from the many other cult leaders that prey on the mentally and emotionally vulnerable.
Oh brother. I’ve never even heard of him. But now thanks to you I have. Now I have to go to the trouble of forgetting him. I suggest you do the same, and find something worth writing about.8&
I wonder how he is paying for all this. There must be some funding from political orgs. He is in lockstep with Trump messaging.
thank you for articulating my feelings towards bethel music. I used to inundate myself with their music for years but now it just feels off…
We are in a pandemic!! My church is active and serving the community, but not endangering other people, especially those who have underlying conditions. Do you believe in science or not?? Humans are actually dying from COVID-19. Pregnant women are at greater risk!! Respectfully, ypur argument has no basis in reality.
You are absolutely right on Brother. Thank you for your courage to stand against the enemies total distortion of the truth. A lie is still a lie even if everyone believes it and the truth is still the truth even if no one believes it.
My above response was to Joshua who posted on 6/15/20.
From what I understand from Jackie Alnor you tube channel..some funds are coming from Bethel church and Roman Catholic organizations along with free will donations.He travels in an Airstream camper.
I am filled with a sense of mourning over this man’s usurpation of both Christian faith and the grieving space others in Minneapolis were trying to find the Beloved Community within. I am part of a Jesus People era ministry and have been for 43 years. And this man is attempting to also usurp that history. Truth is, the history of the Jesus movement of the early 1970s/late 60s is one steeped in whiteness, much as boomer history overall is. We made so many mistakes, were blind to so much. But we – and here I speak of my own communal journey and many who are still involved in that journey with me – are attempting to learn, grow, understand. We see #BlackLivesMatter as no less God’s movement than our movement was (hopefully still is). We see the cultivation of human thriving as God’s calling. Love God. Love neighbor. And we see these men, these assassins of faith, and are filled with anger and with sorrow. I will be voting for the old Catholic guy and his multi-racial female sidekick. I will be tomorrow – as we have been doing every Sunday all summer – standing out in the street near our communal address with others holding signs of those black persons murdered by cops. I usually carry LaQuan McDonald’s name, because I want the Chicago police passing by to see it. It is an hour or two out of my week… that’s how white privilege rolls for me. I wish I could post this anonymously… because I don’t want to draw attention to me… I truly am not important. I want to draw attention to the fact that this man is about the devil’s business, not Christ’s. Christ is being crucified again by the sanctimonious pride of religious performers. Christ is being silenced by the blatting of the empowered. And those who might wish they could meet Jesus in the midst of their grief are instead met with Whyte Jeebuz, who truly doesn’t exist outside white privilege itself.
Bethel as a Christian I am about sick and tired of these clowns and their crazy theology and self righteous hypocrisy
You are such a bright and beautiful soul. This post was so thoughtful and complex – addressing a subject that is so important and seldom addressed. I’ve always used Christian worship songs to enrich my time with God – and yet I’m finding it harder to listen to the songs knowing the support these Christian artists are lending to Trump and the evil he is perpetrating in the world. How can they do evil politically and create anything of God at the same time? Is that possible? The Bible says: “A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.” Matthew 7:18. “You will know them by their fruits.” Matthew 7:16. So how could that music have helped usher me into the spirit before, and now I can’t shake the thought that the man or woman singing, the production company, the musicians, all think it’s ok to cage children on the border or do any of the other reprehensible things Trump has done. I want to find one Christian artist who has courage and worship with their music, but I keep googling “Which Christian musician doesn’t support Trump?” and I can’t find any. Well, I found one but don’t enjoy their music. How ironic is that? Do you still use the music in your worship?
Thank you for your post. It came up on a google search, as I’ve become increasingly concerned about him. It’s frustrating because he’s clearly a republican and yet he’s not owning the fact that he is. Which is kind of a deception. I was deeply concerned about his post with footage of the Washington mall prayer time, when franklin graham & Mike pence appears to hijack it. That’s not apolitical prayer, nor bipartisan prayer. It’s prayer for one side only! SF was on the front row. Hardly any black people.
I’m trying to follow more of Ed Silvoso and Transform Our World, as that seems much more about broad spectrum christian unity, genuine prayer for the country regardless of who you vote for and who’s in power, and supporting grassroots movements to change our society and culture for good (which doesn’t involve parachuting in and drowning what’s already going on!). Much more uplifting. But no music…
Sending solidarity from the UK.
The most recent example of Christians supporting evil is the worship rally held in Redding by Trump False Prophet Sean Feucht a leader at Bethel Church in Redding, who is involved with the movement called “Hold the Line,” which calls on church members “to vote and stand up for causes of righteousness and justice in the governmental arena. There were 5,000 in attendance, few masked, no intervention by the Bethel locally controlled government. No law enforcement, no permits, no repercussions. Feucht and Bethel Pastor Bill Jones are Trump supporters and were invited to the White House for a photo op with the Devil himself!
In 2017 and 2018 Bethel received 60 million in tithe and sales and qualified for $1,321,000 in PPP loans. Tell me it doesn’t pay to worship the beast. Pastor Bill Johnson and false prophet Sean Feucht were photographed with the Beast Trump, in the Oval Office. One in nine people attend the megachurch in Redding and it controls Redding’s City Council, law enforcement and can bend the rules at will. Having 5,000 people worship, without masks was deadly and of Satan. Satan comes to kill and destroy. Bethel through their false worship is responsible for another huge spike of COVID 19 in Shasta and Tehama County. That is not of the Lord, who is worthy of praise with honor. That is of the Devil, who comes to kill and destroy.
The church whining about being persecuted for not being allowed to kill people is so ridiculous. There is no real persecution happening now! Paul and the apostles could tell the end times Laodicean fallen church what real prosecution is. As of yet, no modern Christian has been crucified upside down or eaten by lions! Sean and the church made a deal with the Devil Trump the day they marked their hearts, soul and ballots for him. When that happened they allowed a demon to enter them, controlling and lying to them and bringing out the worst. They were immediately cut off from the Holy Spirit and God, when they made a pack with the Devil.
Don’t test the Lord your God! Does that ring a bell. Works without love is hallow. When you break the law and endanger other people’s lives is definitely not in the Beatitudes or an act of love. It is an act of a false prophet for Trump following Trump, instead of God. Abortion is between God and the woman. Hypocrites on the right have no moral standing to judge the sin of abortion, when the White House and the church are full of perverts, pedophiles and adulterers. Why should Trump and Judge Kavanaugh have a say about what a woman does with her body, while they rape woman.…2 Corithians11:13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. 14And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their actions.… If you voted for Trump, you have lost your salvation and Christ will reject you. Time to repent!
God used Trump strongly delude the fallen end times church, so God could test them to see if they are worthy of salvation or rejected by Christ. Trump has offered his evangelicals a poisonous apple of lies and the church gobbled it up, because they are more concerned about man’s law, instead of God’s way. When they marked their ballots, souls and minds with the mark of Trump, allowing his demons to overtake and control the person, so they can not see the truth. That is what brainwashing is. Letting bad spirits in to control your mind. This is what Jim Jones did and what Trump is doing. When Trump invites his cult to worship him at his Corona Coodie rallies, he is really asking, like Jim Jones once did, “Will you die for me?” There is no good in Trump or the people that follow him.
We now have a surge in Shasta and Tehama County from his event and businesses are being shut down and dying, as a result. What would Jesus do? Not what a Trump false prophet and fool did! That is for sure!
If Feucht is doing politics at his worship rallies, he can be taxed.
Right on, brother!
Right on sister! Being in the remnant church is very lonely. Most local churches in Northern California are Trump cultist, like Bethel!
Thank you for writing this. I am a Christian and have felt so much anger and disbelief at how Sean is using Christianity to accelerate his political agenda (and his social media following). I want to know where all this money is going he is making off of Christians with albums, is tshirts and concerts. It’s exploitation ar the expense of lives. I finally had to unfollow him because I would get so worked up about it. My heart is that the other half of the country who aren’t republican don’t turn away from God or urn further from Him in the wake of all of Sean’s tsunami. I just needed to find someone who was a Christian who felt the same way. Great blog. Thank you
Thank you for giving insight to this person, Sean Feucht. I have longed to understand why the churches have favored this new wave “Christian” music over the gospels. Now, I understand. He has piggyback his success off so many social causes that people can’t see what he truly is. Your article is insightful.
he should be charged with murder as he keeps throwing superspreaders here in california
I enjoyed reading your post. I echo the sentiment! Sean’s disloyalty to America is clear. He needs to tak a seat – JESUS did not appoint him as his spokesperson; he appointed himself. He’s disgusting.
I’ve appreciated Shane Claiborne for his attempts to converse with and bring conviction to Sean, privately and now publicly. This whole situation has bought such disgust for Sean’s leadership and his example as a Christ follower.
Right on dude!