Charisma Mag Unethically, Secretly Changing Past Articles to Protect False Teachers

The idea of a news publication going back into its archives and editing its articles whenever their contents are reported as controversial is disconcerting. Such a thing is more fit for the Orwellian Ministry of Truth than for Christian news sources.

Charisma Mag has repeatedly edited away heretical comments from the more notorious prophets of Charismania, whenever they become more widely publicized. Churchwatch Central recently demonstrated how Charisma Mag has edited comments from Bill Johnson, without making an editor’s note that quotations attributed to him have changed or why.

This scandal at Charisma Mag, whose founder and CEO is Stephen Strang, follows on the heels of a racism scandal at Relevant Magazine, whose founder and CEO is Strang’s son, Cameron. The Christian publishing world seems to be reeling from its own self-made controversies.

[Churchwatch Central] Back in 2017, Church Watch Central published an article exposing the heretical Jesus of NARpostle Bill Johnson, who publicly stated ‘that Jesus ceased to be God so He could perform miracles through the power of the Holy Spirit’:

Bill Johnson denies the real Jesus.

This was just one of many articles exposing Johnson’s heretical ‘Kenotic Christ’ views. What was particular about that article was the fact that CWC editors had published it, not realising that it was later reworded by Charisma Magazine. At the beginning of the CWC article, Johnson is quoted as saying the following in the Charisma Magazine (emphasis ours):

“While Jesus is eternally God, He emptied Himself of His divinity and became a man (see Phil. 2:7).”

However the Charisma article earlier attached to our introduction, now said this (emphasis ours):

“Jesus only did what the Father was doing and only said what the Father was saying (see John 5:17-18; 8:26). This sets a pretty high standard for how to live.

While Jesus is eternally God, He emptied Himself of His divine powers and became a man (see Phil. 2:7). It’s vital to note that He did all His miracles as a man, not as God.”

Thanks to some individuals contacting us, we investigated to see if Charisma Magazine were in fact protecting their Apostle Bill Johnson from closer scrutiny, perhaps making such an edit for two reasons:

  1. To give the impression that Christian discernment sites such as Pirate Christian MediaPulpit & Pen or Berean Research are simply slanderers.
  2. To give NARpostles and NARpologists like Michael Brown, Joseph Mattera and other leading NAR voices, an opportunity to discredit the very well researched and credible work of these sites.

How did this ‘error’ occur?

It’s not unusual for researchers from Church Watch Central, here and overseas, to archive articles until more information comes to light. Or wait to publish as events unfold in relation to an author’s article – this is what happened with this piece. Being aware of that specific quote from Bill Johnson for at least two years CWC published the article to coincide with many other articles being published, making the case of the ‘Kenotic Christ’ within the New Apostolic Reformation, and exposing the key heretics Charisma Magazine often promote. Traditionally ‘copy/paste’ and sourcing the entirety of articles before publishing, the article’s author brought the entire Charisma piece across not knowing it had since been edited by Charisma Magazine.


How do we know Charisma Magazine edited their piece?

After careful research, we can confidently say that Charisma Magazine made changes to their article without documenting that these changes had been made – similar to changes made by Hillsong’s Brian Houston.

The_Essential_Guide_to_Healing

While this may seem a minor issue, these changes hid Bill Johnson’s heresy to the point he no longer appears to be attacking the divinity of Jesus Christ – until you read further into the piece.

So what did we find that verified Charisma Magazine was being dishonest?

In 2011, Bill Johnson and Randy Clark wrote a book together titled ‘The Essential Guide to Healing: Equipping All Christians to Pray for the Sick’. You can access the googlebooks version here.

In this 2011 book, ‘The Essential Guide to Healing: Equipping All Christians to Pray for the Sick’ –  page 132 states the following from Bill Johnson (emphasis ours):

“Jesus only did what the Father was doing and only said what the Father was saying (see John 5:17-18; 8:26). This sets a pretty high standard for how to live. While Jesus is eternally God, He emptied Himself of divinity and became a man (see Philippians 2:7). It is vital to note that He did all His miracles as a man, not as God. If He did them as God, I would still be impressed. But because He did them as a man yielded to God, I am now unsatisfied with my life, being compelled to follow the example He has given us. Jesus is the only model for us to follow.”

Source: Bill Johnson, ‘The Essential Guide to Healing: Equipping All Christians to Pray for the Sick’, pg. 132.

Essentially, Charisma Magazine somehow obtained this information from Bill Johnson and only later replaced the word ‘divinity’ with ‘divine power’:

“Jesus only did what the Father was doing and only said what the Father was saying (see John 5:17-18; 8:26). This sets a pretty high standard for how to live.

While Jesus is eternally God, He emptied Himself of His divine powers and became a man (see Phil. 2:7). It’s vital to note that He did all His miracles as a man, not as God.

If He did them as God, I would still be impressed. But because He did them as a man yielded to God, I am now unsatisfied with my life, being compelled to follow the example He has given us. Jesus is the only model for us to follow.”

This means the original piece did change. We reported the original article correctly not knowing Charisma later edited the wording in their article.

If Charisma magazine wants to be regarded as a valid and legitimate news group, it needs to operate with journalistic integrity and a code of ethics. If it wants to be regarded as a Christian news group, it needs to stop with its unethical journalism and hold themselves to a higher biblical standard. However it seems the term ‘gagrag’ is a far more deserving title, given their ongoing support and endorsement of very dangerous heretics.

[Editor’s Note: This article, except for its introduction, was first published at ChurchWatch Central, title changed by P&P]



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