Is Sozo healing safe and biblical? The real roots and history of Sozo: Randy Clark of Toronto Blessing, jungle and barnyard animal behaviors, Bethel Church, Argentina and more…
HISTORY OF SOZO
“In 1997, Randy Clark, a healing evangelist, held meetings at Bethel Church. At that time, Pastor Clark would send a team to train a congregation how to be prayer servants. A small portion of that training was a model of ‘deliverance’ from Argentina. This model became our first tool ‘The Four Doors’.”
The above is a direct quote that www.bethelsozo.com provides in their history section. Elsewhere in this section, it states that the “Lord introduced” these tools for this healing ministry. Interestingly, the Word of God (the Bible) does not support this at all.
Why didn’t the Lord introduce these tools a long time ago so that others could have been using these tools for the past twenty centuries or more? Why did “the Lord” wait so long to introduce these methods if this is what “sozoes” (saves, heals and delivers) a person and “makes them obtain a connection to the Father”? What did the early Christians of the previous centuries do to get “saved, healed and delivered”? Did they rely on these Sozo tools, or did they rely on the shed blood of Jesus? Why would the Lord wait 2000 years to introduce these tools to save, heal and deliver?
Here are the seven tools introduced by “the Lord”.
- Father Ladder
- Four Doors
- Presenting Jesus
- The Wall
- Trigger Mechanisms (Advanced Tool)
- Divine Editing (Advanced Tool)
- Shabar (that is, if the above tools fail to work)
According to this official source of Sozo, Randy Clark of the Toronto Blessing is part of the roots of this movement (as well as an Argentinian healing ministry). According to my research, it is public information that Sozoers collect a “suggested donation” sometimes as much as $150.00 (or more). Interestingly, the cross (the message of “Christ crucified”) is found nowhere on the official Bethel Sozo website. I spent a good amount of time going over every page, and no cross! Therefore, this is yet another good reason to believe that Sozo is a false gospel. Also, I contacted several official Sozoers and Sozo leaders and asked them how I could know I am saved. Most of them told me that Sozo [rather than Christ] is “the way to obtain a connection to the Father”! One of them told me that if I do Sozo, it’s like a “three in one deal” and that I would surely get connected to God via Sozo. Another Sozo leader told me that if I can hear an actual voice (i.e., of God), it is a sure sign of being saved. Most of them (all but one) could not explain to me the real Gospel message of Christ crucified, but instead told me to just do Sozo to get connected to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit!
“For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” (1 Tim. 2:5)
Who is Randy Clark and what is the Toronto Blessing?
Randy Clark is a friend of Bill Johnson according to Bill’s public “friend list” online. Many people say, “you can’t believe everything you see on the internet,” but direct quotes from official sources are true and undeniable. Also, the official sources do tell others that “the Lord” sends barnyard and jungle animal manifestations and even drunkenness and uncontrollable laughter (see the photo provided). These are the types of notions Randy Clark teaches, and it doesn’t seem like Bill Johnson has a problem with it! The following photo is from www.catchthefire.com:
The answer is Jesus, not Sozo. He alone can sozo (i.e., save, heal and deliver) a person. Furthermore, He has been doing it (free of a suggested donation) for centuries. Sozo is not the mediator between God and men.
“Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar.” (Proverbs 30:6)
Sozo suggests that you need to keep doing Sozo sessions in order to be set free, but what does the Bible say?
“And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Cor. 6:11)
Answer: The Toronto Blessing refers to the supposed outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the people attending the Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship Church, which at the time was the Toronto Airport Vineyard Church. On January 20, 1994, a Pentecostal pastor named Randy Clark spoke at the church and gave his testimony of how he would get drunk in the Spirit and laugh uncontrollably. In response to this testimony, the congregation erupted in pandemonium with people laughing, growling, dancing, shaking, barking like dogs, and even some even being stuck in positions of paralysis. These experiences were attributed to the Holy Spirit entering people’s bodies. The pastor of the church, John Arnott, referred to it as a big Holy Spirit party. The moniker “Toronto Blessing” was given, and the church was soon in the international spotlight. When this “blessing” is held to the light of Scripture, however, it can scarcely be called a blessing; abomination, maybe, but not blessing. Absolutely nowhere in Scripture can one find any precedent for what was happening at the Toronto Airport church, except, perhaps, the physical conditions demon-possessed people suffered. In fact, the Toronto Airport church became so embroiled in emotional outbursts and psychological displays that Pastor Arnott ceased preaching salvation, and instead preached about the party of the Holy Spirit. Experiences were being held in higher authority than Scripture. This was even too much for the already extremely charismatic Vineyard movement, which severed ties with the Toronto Airport church in 1995, prompting the name change to Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship. A believer’s focus needs to be Jesus Christ, the “author and perfecter of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2), not on oneself, one’s experiences, or even the Holy Spirit. The Toronto Blessing focuses on the last, to the detriment of biblical faith. Believers can have fun, dance, sing, even shout to the Lord. However, when a worship service resembles the dream of a demented schizophrenic and attributed to the work of the Holy Spirit, only one word comes to mind: heresy.
This article was originally published on April 26, 2013 and has been updated.