“We Have Failed The Country” – Bethel World Outreach Ministries International Bishop Darlingston G. Johnson Says of Clergymen in Liberia
MARYLAND USA – Darlingston G. Johnson, presiding bishop of the Bethel World Outreach Ministries International in Olney, Maryland, says the Liberian church has failed to impart godly principles and values in the lives of church members who have gone on to become public officials and leaders in various capacities of societal function.
Report By Suah Deddeh, Contributing Writer
Bishop Johnson continues, “I believe to a large extent, the church, I mean all of us, in particular, those of us who are preachers and teachers, we have failed the country because we have not properly discipled our members; we have not helped them develop the kind of character that line up with biblical principles.”
Appearing on the KMTV live broadcast program of the Gracious Hope Bible Fellowship, co-hosted by Rev. Dr. Alexander Redd and Rev. Suah S. Deddeh, Saturday, November 14, in the United States, Bishop Johnson laments, “We have not dealt with sin like we should in our midst, in the church, and so what do you expect when these people are given the opportunity to serve” in positions “where they have access to money they can steal, or utilize for their own personal benefits,” rather than for the purpose intended.
The Presiding Bishop of Bethel World Outreach Ministries International, based in the United States, stressed that, “We (the church) have the opportunity to nurture them, and train them and correct them in our churches. We failed to do, so what we are seeing is the result of a failure to do proper discipleship.” The Prelate believes that the greatest contribution the church can make now is not to just criticize (though it is necessary to speak truth to power that be), but to do a better job in terms of discipling the next generation of leaders, or else “this thing will continue.”
The Bishop said, the church needs to proclaim the Gospel more than ever before, because men’s hearts are failing them due to fear, as Christ Jesus predicts would happen as we approach the end of the age. According to Bishop Johnson, the church needs to share that glorious Gospel that declares whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. “And, that there is eternal life for all those who are in Christ. That gives us hope and peace in the midst of the storm. More and more we need to preach that Gospel because it is the power of God unto salvation.”
Bishop Johnson, who runs a blog titled, “A Moment of Grace,” which presents insightful truths based on the Word of God and his own experiences, recalls 1987, when he preached at a July 26 intercessory prayer service in Liberia, on the theme: “Has the Church Failed the State?”
He maintains that the church failed the State. He notes that, at that point in time, almost all of the top government officials were leaders in the church – some preachers, deacons, elders. “So, the church provided and supplied the workers and leaders for our country.”
He goes on, “And yet, the level of corruption and immorality that were present then, which seems to be as bad today, if not worst, suggested that the church was not doing its job, in terms of preparing and equipping the saints to fully represent Christ. Somehow, people were in our churches and they were not being properly discipled. They were in our churches and they were not encountering the presence of God, the power of God. They were not being taught the Word of God. Their lives were not being transformed. They were simply involved in some religious exercise without experiencing the transformation that the Gospel is supposed to produce in the lives of people. And, our churches were allowing people to have leadership positions in the church – pastors with girlfriends, deacons with girlfriends, elders with girlfriends – and all of these immoral activities, and yet they were allowed to exercise leadership positions in the church.”
Bishop Johnson continues, “So, we were now, in our churches, creating, supporting, and producing leaders who lack the moral and spiritual foundation, to make a difference. And so, when they became presidents, or when they became ministers of government, or when they became legislators, or wherever they were, they simply continue to confess that they were Christians, but they lack the moral integrity and character that should be reflected in someone who has had an encounter with Jesus, and in whom the Word of God is at work.”
Bishop Johnson emphasized that the fundamental problem of humanity is sin, and the solution for sin is indeed Jesus Christ. He calls on the Church to prioritize disciple-making, to equip God’s people. Moreover, he says the church must not only prioritize discipleship training but also engage in the establishment of schools, which will build up God’s standard of truth in the young generation.
Hence, Bishop Johnson unveils that his church will now focus on building more schools with emphasis on strong foundational Christian principles and values. He says the church’s new plan, which rolls out next January 2021, will involve name change of the church from Bethel World Outreach to Harvest Intercontinental Ministries. Bishop Johnson has authored several books, including, “Light For Your Journey: Essential Building Blocks for a Successful Life”, “Anointed for the Marketplace,” “This One Thing I Do,” “Good-bye Worry,” and recently, “Grace That Overcomes.”
Bethel World Outreach Ministries International, is a global organization with more than 325 churches, including 17 in the United States of America; one of which is Bethel World Outreach Church—City of Hope in Olney, Maryland, a multicultural congregation of 2,000 members from over 45 nations. Bethel International maintains schools, and ministries in over 25 nations in Africa, North America, Europe, Australia and South America.
Owing to his international efforts, Bishop Johnson received the Key to the City of Douala, Cameroon, the Key to the City of Monrovia, Liberia, and the Key to the City of Freetown, Sierra Leone.