Bethel Church has come under fire for being “opportunisric white colonizers” after Bethel Music musicians visited the George Floyd Memorial in Minneapolis and put on an impromptu worship concert, complete with all the charismatic shenanigans that accompany such an event.
Sean Feutch, a worship leader at Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry in Redding, California, brought the band down to the intersection of 38th and Chicago which has become a memorial dedicated to Floyd’s memory. This is the site where throngs of people have come down to pay their respects in tears and commiseration, and visit the holy ground of the Black Lives Matter movement.
The band played for several hours and prayed for people in attendance, frequently in tongues. They did altar calls and crowd work, with other members of the Bethel team talking to bystanders, speaking of them about being saved, and the power of the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
Under Bethel’s ministrations, people were “slain in the spirit.” They have been baptizing people as well, and claimed that people have been supernaturally healed of deafness and other physical maladies.
Others though, were extremely critical of the event, accusing Bethel of having self-serving motives and being disrespectful by co-opting the memorial and making it about Bethel, zoning in on comments made by Feutch that he wants to “change the narrative” of the memorial.
One commenter had enough of it, writing what nicely summarizes hundreds if not thousands of responses on social media to Feutch and Bethel:
“GO AWAY. This is what whitewashing looks like. White worship folks from the other side of the country should not be leading a memorial, especially not DROWNING OUT BLACK VOICES…”
Others common accusations was that the act represented “colonizing Christianity,” with Feutch “singing songs over the pain of the marginalized,” and that he failed to “read the room.”
In response to the criticism that Bethel coming down was “tone-deaf and offensive,” Feutch pointed out that the stage where they played has been set up for the last 9 nights in a row by local pastors on the block, and that there were tons of Christians and other ministries at the memorial teaching and preaching and bringing revival and reconciliation.
Though he has received death threats for attending the memorial, he is undeterred: