18 episodes

Tara Jean Stevens was a teenager when a bizarre spiritual movement spread to her childhood church in Prince Rupert, British Columbia. Worshipers were laughing uncontrollably, shaking, and falling to the ground. Some even claimed that gold teeth miraculously appeared in their mouths. In season 1, join Tara Jean as she begins her exploration of the “Toronto Blessing”. In season 2, she tracks the spread of this movement to Bethel Church, in Redding, California. Today, Bethel is one of the largest and most unusual churches in America. What goes on inside its bewildering School of Supernatural Ministry? Is Bethel as powerful as its critics believe it to be? And, during the COVID-19 pandemic, why are its most high-profile leaders defying public health orders? Heaven Bent: an examination of divine intervention.

Heaven Bent Frequency Podcast Network

    • History
    • 4.3 • 404 Ratings

Tara Jean Stevens was a teenager when a bizarre spiritual movement spread to her childhood church in Prince Rupert, British Columbia. Worshipers were laughing uncontrollably, shaking, and falling to the ground. Some even claimed that gold teeth miraculously appeared in their mouths. In season 1, join Tara Jean as she begins her exploration of the “Toronto Blessing”. In season 2, she tracks the spread of this movement to Bethel Church, in Redding, California. Today, Bethel is one of the largest and most unusual churches in America. What goes on inside its bewildering School of Supernatural Ministry? Is Bethel as powerful as its critics believe it to be? And, during the COVID-19 pandemic, why are its most high-profile leaders defying public health orders? Heaven Bent: an examination of divine intervention.

    S2E1: The Freedom To Worship

    S2E1: The Freedom To Worship

    In defiance of COVID-19 restrictions on mass gatherings and public singing, a Billboard charting worship leader from Redding, California launches a national, outdoor worship tour. Thousands of people show up at nearly every stop, and there’s barely ever a mask in sight. Is Sean Feucht a superspreader? Join Tara Jean Stevens, as she begins her … Continue reading "S2E1: The Freedom To Worship"

    • 20 min
    S2E2: The City of Redding

    S2E2: The City of Redding

    How much influence and impact does Bethel Church have in Redding? Turns out… a lot. And many locals are not happy about it. Is a cult really trying to take over this Northern California town?

    • 30 min
    S2E3: The Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry

    S2E3: The Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry

    What happens at Bethel’s bewildering School of Supernatural Ministry? And how do they plan to keep students safe as they return to class during the COVID-19 pandemic?

    • 29 min
    S2E4: The Power To Heal

    S2E4: The Power To Heal

    At Bethel Church, they believe in the power to heal the sick and raise the dead. What could possibly go wrong?

    • 23 min
    S2E5: The Outbreak

    S2E5: The Outbreak

    A COVID-19 outbreak at Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry makes national headlines. And, Sean Feucht’s “Let Us Worship” tour hits Washington, DC. Is he right? Could this be a “tipping point for revival in America”? And how about his critics? Will this be the superspreader event they’re dreading?

    • 32 min
    S2E6: The Once Gays

    S2E6: The Once Gays

    Can God cure someone of their homosexual desires? Tara Jean Stevens explores “conversion therapy” and the “ex-gay” movement, within Bethel Church.

    • 32 min

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5
404 Ratings

404 Ratings

happygodavid ,

Needs another season

As someone who grew up charismatic and has tons of friends and family who still are, I was really excited to listen to this season. While some of the details were a bit eye-opening, nothing really surprise me. I tend to land where the show ended; I’m not convinced that Bill Johnson is evil, but I do think he is wildly misguided. I have personally experienced severe spiritual abuse at the hands of charismatic Christians. It is quite simply, a Petri dish ripe for abuse. While Johnson may not be directly beating the emotional stuffing out of people underneath him, his teachings (and especially those of Danny Silk on “honor culture”) foster a belief system that supports a hierarchy in which abuse can and does take place. I already knew all that going into the podcast; the excellent journalism just verified what I already knew in my observation of friends and in my gut takes on what I’ve heard from both Johnson and his followers or co-leaders. I’m with a few other reviewers; this could be an entire podcast, season after season. But if that can’t happen, there are no shortage of other groups, even if they aren’t as globally influential. Morningstar Ministries (Rock Joyner) comes to mind. In my view, they actually influence Bethel, not the other way around. Or heck, tackle something like #ACNAtoo. Now there’s a rabbit hole. Either way, I loved this season and would encourage anyone who has been involved with Bethel or any other charismatic church or organization to give this a listen. And check out Julie Roys, too, who also investigates and reports on spiritual abusive systems and people. This podcast is but a drop in the bucket, but I’m so glad it exists. Please, keep it up.
PS- I love how positive Tara Jean Stevens is. Even though she’s a critic in the end, I never caught a hateful vibe from her, which is so common when people offer critiques of churches or Christianity. She insisted on seeing positive intent, and I applaud her for that.

artistglover ,

Yikes. Tara let me down on S2.

I loved season 1. As a kid who grew up AOG and regularly “pilgrimaged” to the Brownsville Revival, I really enjoyed the fair assessment of season 1. It allowed me to navigate and unpack my own questionable experiences.

However, I agree with many others in being extremely disappointed in the political bias that’s showing up as I’ve started season 2. Though I no longer attend church or live my former life, it’s not at all shocking to note that the state of CA is quite hypocritical in pretending that covid is not a concern at city protests and riots, but IS a concern when singing in church (and must therefore be banned.) That’s the very definition of a double standard.

So for Bethel to call out this double standard is not at all controversial in my opinion. I was much more interested in this podcast diving deeper than that.

Goffren ,

Binging to Remember and Heal

Just took half of today to listen to season 2. These interviews were so relatable on several levels for me, from being a BSSM student from a Seventh Day Adventist background to now exploring my queerness and identity outside of Christianity. Loaded.

Always reassuring to know I’m not alone and I’m curious about that 20 year challenge Bill gives regarding faith and actions of those who go through BSSM. Thank you for taking time to delve into this.

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