Responding to Michael Brown

I am guest blogging over at the Grace to You blog. I wrote up a response to Michael Brown’s critical remarks against the upcoming Strange Fire conference.

A Mess in the Maternity Ward?

For a month now people have been contacting our ministry insisting that we answer Dr. Brown’s criticisms. Those folks would say John MacArthur wrongfully equates that heretical nonsense saturating TBN with “sound” charismatic continuationists.  If John was truly honest about engaging and taking on genuine continuationists, he would stop going after the TBN health-N-wealth crowd who are easy to attack, and interact with Dr. Brown who represents those “sound” charismatics.  It’s guys like Michael Brown who need to be taken seriously as charismatics, not crack-pots like Benny Hinn.

Well, that is exactly what I do on John’s behalf.  Look: I’ll be the first to say I have benefited from Dr. Brown’s ministry over the last few years I have heard him.  Like I say in my GTY article, his five volume set on answering Jewish objections to Jesus is stellar. Moreover, I highly recommend his massive book, A Queer Thing Happened to America, which is probably the best overview of homosexual activism one can read.  I have also liked Dr. Brown’s defense of Israel as a modern-day nation as well as the biblical teaching about their restoration.

However, on this view of the charismatics, the guy is completely off the rails. He totally damages any credibility when he lends support to such wackos as Cindy Jacobs and the other charlatans who participate at Charisma magazine on-line.  It’s embarrassing, honestly. So much so that I removed the link in my sidebar to his podcast. I can’t recommend him without a clear warning to the people who I may lead to him.

In my opinion, his endorsement of some of the most notoriously bad charismatics places him squarely in the category of disqualification when it comes to his credibility as a scholar.

66 thoughts on “Responding to Michael Brown

  1. Is this the same Brown who wrote Our Hands Are Stained With Blood? I read that book years ago, and was somewhat underwhelmed.

    In my opinion, his endorsement of some of the most notoriously bad charismatics places him squarely in the category of disqualification when it comes to his credibility as a scholar.

    Agreed. One wonders how much his worldview and theology as a whole is affected by not only his charismatic leanings, but his willingness to support some of the people that he does. Ideas and beliefs are certainly not on a one-by-one basis, that is, each of our ideas interact and affect others.

  2. Brown says:

    “It is only natural that when God moves powerfully, there will be excesses that need to be corrected and abuses that need to be put in order.…But I, for one, would rather have the noise (and mess) of the maternity ward than the deathly quiet of a cemetery.”

    Oh, silly me. I thought that 1 Cor 14:33 actually meant something. I also thought we could know trees by their fruits.

  3. Fred,
    I was rather surprise at this coming from Michael Brown. Perhaps there’s more emotional response to all of this than really clear thinking. Thank you for your article

  4. Good thoughts Fred. I have a draft response that deals with Brown’s other issues but I didn’t post it because I figured that it would make me look like I’m on some sort of witch hunt…and I thought of the same thing as you with regards to OSAS complaints. I was reading “What the Bible says about Parenting” and even in there, MacArthur goes off on easy believism.

    I’ve also looked for anything Brown has written on the excesses of the Charismatic movement, and all I can find online is some rather glowing defenses of it in it’s rather questionable manifestations (i.e. Brownsville).

    Glad you liked the Leviathan video too…that one made my head absolutely spin. I know Muslims who have more biblical doctrine than Cindy Jacobs.

  5. I haven’t read anything either by him critical of charismatic excesses. On his radio program, he claimed he had something in print, but apparently it is some unknown book that you can only get through his ministry or something.

    BTW, I borrowed two of those video links. I mentioned his facebook post answering you, so hopefully you’ll get some traffic.

  6. I was flummoxed by the “once saved, always saved” remarks as well – I mean really, who has a better track record of opposing mere fire insurance with the Biblical doctrine of perseverance? Then I realized that most (if not all) charismatics I’ve known have been vehemently opposed to perseverance and hold that those who’ve actually been regenerated and saved can then sin themselves out of grace. [In fact, for some the ongoing presence of ‘signs’ like tongue-speaking is to give them assurance that they’re still saved, contra their scriptural purpose, though that could be a rare view]. A quick search showed a Dr Michael Brown as part of the ‘society of evangelical arminians’, though of course it could be someone else with that name.

    So I think he’s not taking a dig at MacArthur for not being strong enough in opposing the inadequate/destructive view of perseverance. I think he’s attacking MacArthur for holding to the Biblical view of perseverance at all, and assigning the destructive ‘fire assurance’ view to him, as though they’re even remotely the same thing.

  7. Speaking about OSAS, I just found this quote from MacArthur’s book, “Saved Without a Doubt”:

    “I grew up hearing the phrases eternal security and once saved, always saved. Now, those are accurate descriptions of what Scripture teaches. The Bible doesn’t say, “Once saved, but you never know for how long.” However, some people wrongfully conclude that means you can do anything you want if you’re saved—as if God were stuck with you. They emphasize the sovereignty of God and His unchanging promise in securing our salvation but to the exclusion of how a person who has been spiritually reborn is responsible to live. The perseverance of the saints is the human response to the predestinating work of God.” (From MacArthur, Jr., John (2010-01-01). Saved Without A Doubt: Being Sure of Your Salvation (John MacArthur Study) (p. 173). David C Cook. Kindle Edition. “)

  8. Thanks Fred! Borrow away! Those 2 videos are astounding, no? I was thinking of doing a little research into Mike Bickle too, but I’m preaching and have a head cold so both time and energy are in short supply.

    I also understand why you didn’t link direct. No worries. GTY must not give false impressions of association, and I’m here to pretend that John is my golfing buddy. I know some people who like to talk and act like they’re GCC elders or TMS representatives (when in reality they’re really GCC/GTY/TMS stalkers), and that always takes a turn for the “crazy”.

  9. Actually, I’m not golfing buddies with John MacArthur. Just so everyone knows. I live in Canada and it’s a bit of a jaunt to hit the back nine with John.

  10. Pingback: Ask Dr. Brown

  11. I find it odd that you cessationist’s feel confident that you known God and are walking with him but have no Biblical sings, wonders and miracles happening around you. It does help me understand why Jesus told me not to go to Bible College but said he himself wanted to teach me. I have seen so many miracles as I have learned to fellowship with Holy Spirit I do not know the number. I have been transported by Holy Spirit twice in my car, once all the way from Effingham in Illinois into Springfield Illinois to prophesy over the city church. Another time a man fell at work, he was an ironworker, and every one said he had quit breathing and was dead, I began to seek the Lord and pray in tongues right there on the job and as the power of God came on me I decreed that he would live and he did. I have laid hands on a man with flat feet and he was healed, laid hands on a woman with a crushed ankle who was healed, seen another man get his heart healed and on and on. I myself had the Lord heal me of a heart blockage in Toronto, a neck injury from a head-on car accident by the word of a prophet in Fort Wayne, and a back injured in a 75 foot drop via Todd Bentleys and the laying on of hands, another time a friend prayed for me and the Lord healed my kidneys and I could go on with several other things I am not remembering offhand. I could tell you stories of miracles happening as I shared the Word on the highways and byways for hours and hours. That you do not believe in a living Holy Spirit working His works on earth right here and now stuns me. When you deny Holy Spirit His rightful place in your hearts and ministries you are deceived thinking he is in agreement with you. He is not.

  12. Perhaps you, like most of the church, have yet to face up to the key message of Our Hands are Stained with Blood that the church has been a major source of persecution of God’s people?

    I commend the words of that well-known Jewish writer, Paul of Tarsus, in Romans 11 to you, especially those that warn of the dangers of arrogance.

  13. Proverbs 13:22 A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children,
    But the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous.

    God forbid C. Peter Wagner makes a prophetic declaration based on scripture……

    John 14:12 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.

    And God also forbid Cindy Jacobs to actually DO what Jesus says! (feeding the 3,000)

    How can someone who claims to know scripture dismiss and MOCK those who are living out scripture???

  14. wow…….Our Hands Are Stained With Blood?……underwhelmed……..I am sure many theologians pre-WWII would agree with you.

  15. MacArthur said, ““The charismatic movement is largely the reason the church is in the mess it is today. In virtually every area where church life is unbiblical, you can attribute it to the charismatic movement. In virtually every area—bad theology, superficial worship, ego, prosperity gospel, personality elevation. All of that comes out of the charismatic movement.”

    This seems to me a mere opinion largely based on bias rather than evidence. I have read many places where it is said the Pentecostal movement is the largest movement in Christianity. As a matter of fact, in a news radio in my locale, when they were discussing the Pope’s visit to Brazil, they stated that while population professing Catholicism has gone far down, the Evangelical, especially Pentecostal, have grown large and quick.

    Also, is MacArthur suggesting that Pentecostals sin more than Non-Pentecostal/Non-Charismatic? I’ve witnessed a good share of moral failures and apostasy in non-Charismatic circles to think his remark is unfair.

    There are buffoons in every corner of each Christian box that we make for ourselves, nevertheless, the buffoons do not prove something to be scripturally wrong, at least, ot demonic, at worst. Are we to conclude that the doctrine of eternal security is erroneous or demonic because there are those who once confessed to it who fall away or there are those who live however they please and still maintain a profession of Christian faith? I don’t think so.

    The excesses that others commit are in and of themselves no proof that the gifts of the Spirit (as practiced in the Book of Acts and taught is some places in the NT) have ceased. Unless I am mistaken, Jonathan Edwards conceded that what seemed to be excesses during the revivals of his time, were no proof that they were not in the midst of a true work of the Spirit of God (equally as well as no proof that they were).

    Can it be imagined that if MacArthur where anywhere near the Upper Room when the Spirit was given, he would denounce this new movement as “Charismatic Chaos”. For sure, it was chaotic enough for those who witnessed it to mock the disciples thinking they were drunk. Apparently, it was not only chaotic but laughable!

    It sure seems like there was a lot of chaos when Peter and John healed a cripple; it’s not like the Bible is describing everyone one walking respectfully, piously, and calmly in orderly fashion to see the sight. What about the guy who got healed? He must have looked clownish to those around watching him “walking and leaping and praising God” and doing it in the Temple!

    And who can imagine what pandemonium ensued as described when Paul healed a cripple in Lystra!

    I have read Dr. Brown’s books and, although he may not have rebuked the shenanigans amongst the Pentecostal/Charismatic naming specific persons, he has criticized the excesses and sins in general terms. For example, concerning “many of our churches”, he write, “We are more Spirit-frilled than Spirit-filled.” Not far from that sentence, he writes further, “What a shame! We believe in our exaggerated reports. We have been duped by our fabulous words…Our American ‘signs, wonders, and miracles’ are hardly worthy of the name” (“Whatever Happened to the Power of God?” p.59-60).

    For MacArthur to say that “largely” or “virtually” everything that is wrong with the Church “all” comes out of the Charismatic movement may be overstepping the boundary of wise and constructive criticism if not outright reckless. Dr. Brown may have been overly “critical of John MacArthur and his conference”; but MacArthur may have criticized the movements of the Holy Spirit by such wholesale denunciations.

    I guess we can leave it to readers to judge for themselves which one is the worse.

  16. Hi Fred, Like you I’ve benefited immensly from both Dr. Brown and John MacArthurs ministries. When we have passionate disagreements with one another it’s important to remember that as members of the body of Christ, we have far more that unites us then divides us. I’m not sure if the comments about Dr. Brown “supporting wackos” or “being off the rails” helps the conversation even if thatwere true. Remember what James said brother, “Brethren, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister, or judges them speaks against the law and judges it.” James 4:11 Respectfully in Christ, Wayne

  17. As a parent, when my children are laughing and playing, I do not assume that they are at a lack of peace.

    Even when they are fighting and I intervene to assist the restoration process, I’m not sure one could accurately term them to be not at peace. In need of discipline, but not necessarily at a lack of peace.

    While a cemetery is quiet and some may find peace in the stillness, not all who are quiet or perhaps make a response any one person is comfortable with, is at peace.

    The Prince of Peace was very present at Brownsville. I also see great peace, as the fruit are discussing need to see, when I hear the heart of Michael Brown. There is no name calling or ugly words. He presents his heart with gentleness and kindness. Good fruit, for certain.

    Bless you.

  18. Anytime one falls into the trap of endorsement of men rather than enforcement of truth, he or she fails to walk with maximum power and truth, being led by the Spirit of Truth. Both of these great soldiers of the cross preach against easy-believism. However, both should address and rebuke the wayward sheep in their own backyards. At least Dr. Brown does not dictate how the Spirit of God works today by confining His miraculous works and gifts to yesterday. And while Dr. MacArthur is a great Bible teacher, in spite of his doctrinal indoctrination, it will take true biblically based prophets with the likes of the former Leonard Ravenhill or A.W. Tozer to set the church straight. Such ones tend tell it like it is, without caring how others think about how it should be. Being that Dr Brown possesses the passion of these former prophets, he drinks from the right well, and not from broken cisterns of men; those who dig their own wells and hope the Spirit will fill.

  19. Then you simply have not read much by Dr. Michael Brown. His book “Let No Man Deceive You” and many others go into great detail about the excess of the charismatic church. It is one thing to question a mans theology, but you guys are so arrogant as to challenge his integrity as well.

  20. Your response reeks with the stench of arrogance that usually accompanies critics of things they know little about. Men like David Wilkerson, Leonard Ravenhill … even men like Jonathan Edwards … and even Paul ( you know, from the Bible who said not to forbid tongues and that he speaks in tongues more than ye all ) who saw great moves of the Spirit of God would dissagree with your stance against the things of the Spirit. Funny how here in america baptists are so “right” in their own eyes… but outside of the U.S., on the mission fields, the baptists are on fire for God, speak in tongues and exercise the gifts of the Spirit ! God is not pleased with those who sow discord, and the strange fire conference is just that, discord.

  21. And who are you to Judge Benny Hinn & call him a crack pot? Acts 5:38-39 says much to ponder

    38 And now I say to you, keep away from these men and let them alone; for if this plan or this work is of men, it will come to nothing; 39 but if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it—lest you even be found to fight against God.”

    If men are playing with fire, their evil deeds will be exposed sooner or later, we must be careful not to be judges & wound the Spirit or cause division within the body of Messiah.

  22. I did look on Amazon and found some older books of his. Apparently he has written 4 or so books on the issues of charismatic excess, but I don’t have $40 to buy them to find out what they say. If anyone wants to send me any of Brown’s books, I’ll review it and post it online.

    As always, I’ll do my best to be fair and biblical.

  23. Brother, you’re quite confused as to what us cessationists believe.

    We are Christians; i.e. we believe in the supernatural, and even supernatural healing done by the Holy Spirit.

    You pray for someone + they get healed by God = miraculous healing. (i.e. James 5). Many of us cessationists have experience that sort of thing.

    That you somehow think we are naturalists who, for all intents and purposes, don’t believe in the Holy Spirit is stunning to me.

    We are not opposed to the miraculous, nor are we opposed to the Holy Spirit having his rightful place in our hearts and churches. We let him tell us, in the book he’s written, what that place is.

  24. Actually i think you’re right that 1 Cor. 14:33 does have meaning. But Brown is not far from it. Paul never discredits the “spiritual manifestations” in Corinth. Rather through teaching he corrected their excesses. God desires order, yes, but Paul never claimed that the Corinthians disorderly conduct was not genuine Spirituality. He told them to be conscious of the building up of others.

  25. To Justin and Andy who mentioned Brown’s book “Our Hands are Stained with Blood” about antisemitism in the church. I have looked at that book contrary to what you two may think. I would also add two better books on the subject of Jews and Christians and that is Barry Horner’s “Future Israel” and Michael Vlach’s “Has the Church Replaced Israel?”

  26. Pingback: Time to Talk, Not Fight: A Response to John MacArthur’s Ministry. | Rivers of Hope

  27. Isn’t rather excessive to accuse Cessationists of denying the Spirit’s rightful place in one’s heart and ministry?

  28. There are many good books about antisemitism in the church, and it helps if you focus on a particular era. I would recommend, “Constantine’s Sword: The Church, The Jews, A History,” “Aryan Jesus,” by Susannah Heschel, daughter of Abraham Joshua Heschel,
    “Why the Jews?: The Reason for Antisemitism,” by Dennis Prager and Joseph Telushkin ,” “The Holocaust, the Church, and the Law of Unintended Consequences: How Christian Anti-Judaism Spawned Nazi Anti-Semitism…” by Anthony J. Sciolino, “A Convenient Hatred: The History of Antisemitism,” by Phyllis Goldstein and Harold Evans

  29. Joseph, I wouldn’t call Benny Hinn a, “crack-pot,” because that is just insulting, and there is no sin in being a crack-pot, and usually little harm. I would call him a false prophet and a false teacher, because he has proven himself as such, and we have been warned to beware of such and warn the flock.

  30. Instead of dialoguing with each other and sending “friends” into back us up, why not meet with Dr. Brown and seek the Lord? Unless we’re really not interested in being peacemakers in unity with GOD? Very sad, I’ve been a Southern Baptist for many decades and never saw one healing in our churches. Went to a Charismatic retreat and was healed of heart disease (on meds), psoriasis (meds for over 34 yrs), psoriatic arthritis, wore eye glasses (driver’s license restricted with eye glasses)……And a year ago GOD gave me tongues while praying with another SB friend who has also received it. We are in SB church and seeing a move of the HS with a pastor from DTS who sees all the HS is doing too!!!!
    I’m disappointed in John MacArthur and I believe that may be GOD, too.

  31. Earl writes,
    I find it odd that you cessationist’s feel confident that you known God and are walking with him but have no Biblical sings [sic], wonders and miracles happening around you.

    Actually Earl, we have a miracle service every Sunday night at Grace Church. We see people baptized who were once hardcore sinners whose hearts have been supernaturally made alive to God through the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit, so now turn from hating God to loving God. That is true, wonder working miracle power.

  32. Pingback: Time to Talk, Not Fight: A Response to John MacArthur’s Ministry | Prayer And Action

  33. I think Mr. Brown is right in asking for a peaceful dialogue with John Mac Arthur. I was genuinely saved in a Pentecostal. charismatic church and yet was taught at bible college the gifts including tongues is for today…the bible college was wrong…John Macarthur is wrong and obviously does not know what it really means to experience the power of the Holy Spirit…once a person does…they never want to go back to Christianity without it. The bible says we are to worship God in spirit and in truth….one without the other is not enough. John MacArthur may truly believe he has the truth…but I believe Mr. Brown has both.

  34. meant to say was taught at bible college that the gifts of the Spirit were not for today.

  35. Just a quick question… since when can John not personally respond to Dr. Brown? The honorable thing is to address your brother directly and not through some third party (Matt. 5:23; Matt. 18:15). The kingdom is sustained by honor.

  36. I have a question: Do you believe that in order for God to perform the miraculous, he requires our theology to accommodate such belief? I suppose if one is steeped in WoF teaching, that would be the case. I know of a real instance, where a person was miraculously healed of terminal cancer, and the minister who agreed to pray for the dying man didn’t believe in healing, he just did it to comfort the family. Is your God too small and bound by your theology? I am asking this question of both camps.

  37. Fred, I was disappointed that you failed to accept a long, analytical comment I posted, and GTY blog also wouldn’t post it. Dr. Brown said he didn’t like what I wrote either, but at least he was willing to post the comment. I don’t see myself as supporting either side in this conflict, and discern the good, the bad and the ugly in all the camps. Of course each camp only sees the good in their own and the evil in the other; that’s what selective vision and blindness is. What I see is that both sides need to stop being so protective and defensive and be willing to actually listen (rather than debate) to what the other side is saying, and I believe it would be healing and enlightening.

    I cannot claim that I have no personal biases, but at least I attempt, as a good investigative reporter would, to gather witnesses, facts, verify and draw my conclusions. Admittedly, although I have worked in journalism, I have never done investigative reporting, but mostly feature articles. Well, perhaps the extent of my investigative reporting was one instance where a restaurant owner assured me that they made all their desserts fresh onsite, and the chef informed me that they purchased them from a supplier. :)

    I see both Drs. Brown and MacArthur (along with each’s fan club) certainly not acting as objective observers, but more like a defense or prosecution attorneys. The job of an attorney is to defend the client, or prove your case against the other guy’s/gal’s client. So, an attorney gathers witnesses and documents, but not for the purpose of determining truth and right, but to find information that will prove their case, or come up with a way to spin information in a way that paints their client in a good light, and the other person, along with their witnesses, in a negative or questionable light. They will ignore, deflect or minimize any documentation that disputes their chosen narrative.

    So, are you guys more like lawyers, or more like reporters?

  38. That is not a Biblical miracle. It is a feel good politically correct response in cessation circles in effect an escape from the reality of a well defined meaning to the word miracle. I am glad people get saved and baptized. Please do not water down the Word by calling that a miracle. Its not and you should know it.

  39. @SLIMJIM you said, “Isn’t rather excessive to accuse Cessationists of denying the Spirit’s rightful place in one’s heart and ministry?”
    Actually no it is not. Whenever you accuse the Holy Spirit of not being who he revealed Himself as in scripture you are the one engaged in excess. And that is precisely what those who deny the gifts of the Spirit of God being active in the church are doing. How can one say that they are walking in and with the Spirit if they resist Him and quench Him by calling his gifts demonic? Unorthodoxy is saying something about God that God would not say about Himself. Cessationists are cultish and doctrinally unorthodox in that they mishandle the scriptures concerning Holy Spirit, His ways and His nature. Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night and wonder what He might think about this?

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  41. A couple of things. First of all, John is busy doing other things. I am sure Dr. Brown is as well, but the reality is that blogs and internet comment battles is a waste of otherwise precious time when you have a number of other pressing responsibilities that require your attention. Plus, it isn’t like John has never said anything about charismatics before or addressed Dr. Brown’s general complaints against cessationists.

    Secondly, Dr. Brown is now pretending that he attempted to reach out to John personally before we published our post against him. That is not accurate. He had published two blasts against John accusing him of sinning against fellow Christians because John calls the antics in charismatic circles “blasphemous.” It was only AFTER those two articles appeared on Charismanews that some staffer from Dr. Brown’s radio show bothered to contact the ministry through our general “letters” contact page. That was on July 12th, a full week after the second post by Dr. Brown went public. I was able to search our files and discover another staffer from his program contacted us on June 24th inquiring if John would be able to come on “Line of Fire” and discuss cessationism. Again, it was a generic media request from a staffer, not an appeal for face-to-face dialogue from Dr. Brown himself, AND it was still 4 days after that initial article blasting John was published on Charismanews.

    At this point he doesn’t really have a compelling track record of “reaching out” on a personal level, so you’ll have to excuse John if he isn’t really obliged to return the favor.

  42. I didn’t post your first comment because it was, to be blunt, rambling nonsense. You should be thankful that I protected you from cruel mockery. If even Dr. Brown, who is willing to entertain Cindy Jacob’s bizarre claims, didn’t like it, that ought to tell you something and I behoove you to go back and seriously rethink your position.

  43. Earl writes,
    That is not a Biblical miracle. It is a feel good politically correct response in cessation circles in effect an escape from the reality of a well defined meaning to the word miracle.

    You seriously do not think the supernatural work of God in the heart of a fallen, rebellious person who hates God that turns him into a humble, God-loving servant of Christ is not miraculous? And you think I am limiting God’s work. Amazing.

    If you believe “miracle” is only defined as some spectacular outward sign and wonder, then you have a warped definition of “miracle.” If you sincerely think God changing the heart of a hate-filled, blasphemous sinner into a loving, kind, God fearer isn’t miraculous, you certainly have a warped definition of what is a miracle.

    Of course, I imagine you are probably Arminian in your theology, and seeing that you believe salvation is a shared work between God and man, I can understand why you would hold the miraculous power of God’s regenerating Grace is such low regards.

  44. Fivepointer: Dr. Brown posted the comment even though he said he didn’t agree with it. The fact that you told me that you did me a favor by protecting me from cruel mockery says something. Isn’t it saying that the folks in your camp are cruel and mockers, and would participate in cruel mockery? Do you believe one who would be cruel can also make a claim to a saving relationship and a new heart?

    I’m a big girl and don’t need to be protected. I welcome discussion, and to tell you a funny story, I allowed a comment insulting me to be posted on my own blog. The poster upbraided me for placing free speech above what he viewed as biblical behavior. I told him that it was because of my belief in free speech that I posted his comment, and if I had the same attitude he had, it would have disappeared and no one would be the wiser. Since you feel the need to protect your blog from any links to sites that might not agree 100% with your doctrine, you can google, “On False Prophets and Grandma’s Kugel.”

    While it appears that the besetting sins of Brown’s camp are naivete, biblical illiteracy and foolishness, evidence suggests that the besetting sins of your camp are arrogance, protection of self/reputation and hard-heartedness.

    Do you think that Jesus was concerned for his reputation when he spoke with immoral women and allowed them to touch him, ate at the home of a tax collector and generally hung out with sinners and social outcasts?

    I agree with the take that a miracle is any situation where God, his power or his ways enter our corrupt world and corrupted hearts. I don’t understand how one can believe that certain biblical gifts have been done away with, but that satan is able to operate in demonic gifts in this day. This seems to say that satan is more powerful than God?

  45. Let’s be honest fivepointer, and you don’t have to post this if it is too threatening. Jacobs and Bickle don’t criticize Brown, nor he them. Of course he would disagree with something critical of him and his camp. I believe if I had just critiqued Brown and his camp, you would have no problem posting the comment.

    I notice you do post comments that either praise Brown and his camp, or disagree with your camp’s criticism of Brown’s. But it is clear that you stand guard for MacArthur, likely with his approval and perhaps even ordination, and won’t brook any criticism of him.

    And if your camp, or his camp, ran the world as some within both camps would like too, this conversation wouldn’t even be taking place. I wonder if you would be ok with that?

  46. Let’s be honest fivepointer, and you don’t have to post this if it is too threatening. Jacobs and Bickle don’t criticize Brown, nor he them. Of course he would disagree with something critical of him and his camp.

    No. Like I wrote, your comment was rambling nonsense. You likened both Brown and MacArthur as being in a “religious” Matrix, claimed them to be “alpha-males, and then concluded your comment by making a bunch of disjointed equivocations between Arminianism, Calvinism, replacement theology, and Israel. Believe me when I say it was odd and disjointed.

  47. Her comments continue to be odd and disjointed. It’s really unclear what her motivation is. I can’t even comprehend what point she is trying to get across to her readers in her comments. I know she enjoys playing the victim if one of her comments isn’t posted. In one of her comments on Dr. Brown’s article she actually said “see Dr. Brown, I’m not your enemy”. Very strange.

    Keep up the good work fivepointer. I’ve always disagreed with Dr. Brown on his charasmatic viewpoints but appreciated his “Queer thing…” book and some of his articles. But, I’ve now lost all respect for him after these articles he’s written about John MacArthur and all his commentary that followed. He claims to be “lovingly” doing these things. But I fail to see the love.

  48. Sara, in my communication on Dr. Brown’s site, I understand that a person can equate a critique with emnity, which is not the case. I actually defended Brown in a different situation where he was attacked for his attitudes about evangelism. What may appear strange to some, is that I am not picking a side. I fail to see the love from both sides. To be blunt; their side is stupider and more blind, but your side is nastier and more arrogant. Is it acceptable to hate someone who you view as an outsider? Even if you don’t accept a person as your brother because of differing theology, Jesus said you are required to love even your enemies. I’m not saying this is easy. How do you think the world sees your spat? Hmm, I get to choose whether I want to associate with people who are stupid and blind or those who are nasty and arrogant. I think I choose neither.

    I have “friends,” in both camps, and I put the word in quotation marks, because I know that if I dared to even chuck a pebble at one of their idols or their “works,” they wouldn’t be friends any longer. The world loves those who love them. My real friends, who I can speak honestly and openly with, are others who sit on the sidelines.

    In the past, I wrote restaurant reviews. It wasn’t personal. I did my best to understand what the product was supposed to be like, so I could judge against a standard. It wasn’t sufficient to say that I liked or didn’t like a dish, the ambiance, service or decor. For example, it was necessary to educate myself about how classic French dishes were supposed to appear in presentation, consistency and taste. I had to learn what characteristics would be present in a high quality cabernet, and how to recognize defects. When I wrote a glowing review, the owners and chef loved me; I would get nice letters and sometimes invitations to meals. Of course some might write all glowing reviews, with the unstated understanding that something was expected in return. That would signal lack of integrity, and soon such antics would be discovered, as readers would complain about the false information. For the mediocre reviews, they probably didn’t like me so much. Most restaurants had both pluses and minuses. I don’t believe it would be honest or appropriate for me to do a review if the owner was a personal friend, or worse, someone I disliked. While I never ran a restaurant myself or studied at a renowned institution, such as The Culinary Institute of America, I knew people who had. As a result, they taught me to look for short-cuts and substitution of cheaper ingredients that was rife in the industry, and how to recognize the authentic.

    So, I hope that allows some to see where I am coming from. Perhaps you don’t care, and perhaps you are only interested in stroking those who validate you and attacking those who don’t. Perhaps I should be warned about casting pearls before swine. We’ll see.

  49. I suppose you would have had to have seen, “The Matrix,” and its sequels to understand the analogy. Some claimed the symbolism in the films was based upon scripture; some claim it was more Buddhist. I suspect it was purposefully ambiguous and mixed. There is a multi-billion dollar religious system, and especially in the Western world, it allows for financial empires, lucrative careers, influence and power via publishing contracts, the speaker circuit and more. You won’t find this system in parts of the world rife with persecution, where preaching will land a man/woman in a jail cell, rather than a financial security and kudos. So I see the coming persecution as a blessing that will bring purity, and burn away the dross.

    When one is connected to this system, and dependent upon it for livelihood and social relationships, you end up with some serious conflicts of interest. Will you “out,” the golden egg laying geese in your camp? Just as the world has its celebrities, that get a pass for behavior that is not acceptable among mere mortals, doesn’t the Christian world have its own celebrities, that get the same treatment? There is a strong confirmation bias. Its not just that people fail to see the error and sin in their own camp; they don’t want to see it. Its like a woman who knows her husband is cheating. Since she doesn’t want to do anything about it, she chooses to be blind to the fact that it is happening. That is the only way I can explain how intelligent and educated persons are both blind and so ensconced in their thinking.

    Haven’t any of you ever changed your mind about something? Do you think differently about an issue than you did ten years ago? Perhaps this is due to gathering new information, perhaps it is just due to a change in attitude. Younger persons are actually more rigid in their thinking, as they have experienced less of life. The only change I have observed on both yours and Brown’s sites are those who exchanged camps; polemics drove each from one camp into the opposing one. Now that would be an interesting discussion: You have one who left MacArthur’s camp due to the coldness and rigidity, while you have one who left the charismatic camp due to weirdness and lack of discernment.

    I don’t know that either Brown or MacArthur are alpha male types; I just suspect this is the case. It is not a disparagement; it is simply an observation. It would be the same as observing that one is an extrovert and another an introvert, or that one was highly intelligent, and another, not so much.

    Five-pointer, I don’t know how old you are, but I am guessing late 20’s? One thing that concerns me about your blog headline: Are you really interesting in killing those who disagree with your theology, which you assume is completely accurate, or would you rather just like to see a world where they don’t exist or don’t have a voice? Do you define yourself as one who listens to the voice of the shepherd and follows him, or do you define yourself in light of the enemies you seek to destroy?

  50. What a hypocritical and devious response. You take the word miracle and my context of correct Biblical usage give it your own meaning and thus change the word of God to mean what you want it to mean. Then you accuse me of holding God’s grace in low regards. Pitiful. 21 uses of the word miracle in the Greek in the NT and not one of them is used describing the born again experience.
    Go ahead and slander me for speaking the truth calling my teaching warped when it is you who are twisting the Word of God as you serve your own ego and flesh. Hope your ‘peers’ make you feel good because I know He won’t give you that same pat on the back for your hard heart.

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