Well, Dr. Michael Brown has responded to me on his Facebook page “Ask Dr. Brown”. I won’t comment just yet. I’ll simply post his response and see what my readers think. Feel free to interact with his response to me. I’ll post something a little later. Here’s the initial reference to my article and the response by Brown (I’ve posted directly from Facebook so I apologize for formatting weirdness):
Pls read Dr Brown:
AskDrBrown Thanks for posting this, and thanks for your kind words. A few quick responses, though, in candor, since your response to my article couldn’t be more off base in terms of rightly understanding my points and rightly understanding what God is doing in the world today.
1) Anyone who blasphemes the Spirit commits an unpardonable sin, and so Pastor MacArthur is absolutely claiming that some (many?) charismatic leaders are hell-bound; otherwise, he is grossly misusing the Word.
2) You mention in your negative list people like Reinhard Bonnke, a personal friend and one of the finest Christian men I know in the world. I urge you to get more of the fire he has in his life, and I’d encourage you to start by reading his autobiography. And his former assistant, who has now taken over his ministry, is Daniel Kolenda, one of my ministry school grads and a spiritual son whom I hold in the highest regard.
3) From what I can tell, Pastor MacArthur is either unaware of or else flatly rejects many of the glorious things the Spirit is doing around the world. I have ministered in many of these countries and seen the fruit firsthand, and many of our grads minister in these countries and are eyewitnesses to the long-term, genuine fruit that is being born. I’m also aware that Pastor MacArthur demonizes some of the real moving of the Spirit here in the USA.
4) I was a leader in the Brownsville Revival for 4 years from 1996-2000 and was a personal eyewitness to the extraordinary, Jesus-glorifying things that took place there, with the fruit remaining and growing to this day. Of that wonderful move of the Spirit, Pastor MacArthur wrote, “It is an offense to a rational, truth-revealing God, it is an offense to the true work of His Son, it is an offense to the true work of the Holy Spirit to use the names of God or of Christ or of the Holy Spirit in any mindless, emotional orgy marked by irrational, sensual and fleshly behavior produced by altered states of consciousness, peer pressure, heightened expectation or suggestibility. That is sociopsychological manipulation and mesmerism and it is a prostitution of the glorious revelation of God taught clearly and powerfully to an eager, attentive and controlled mind. What feeds sensual desires pragmatically or ecstatically cannot honor God.”
5) I have no idea how can you possibly claim that I insinuate that Pastor MacArthur is unregenerate. What??? Please read the article again carefully.
6) As to my analogy re: Chauncey and Edwards, yes, what I wrote is accurate. Edwards (like many fine charismatic scholars today) focused on the wheat; Chauncey, like Pastor MacArthur, focus on the chaff. As to your reference to Cindy Jacobs (also a friend of mine with a real love for the Lord), I have no idea where that came from. Again, it seems you failed to read what I actually wrote.
7) I’m not questioning his motivation, but my point was that plenty of us charismatics have and do rebuke abuses in the movement — we’ve done it for decades — but he makes ridiculously exaggerated statements that I quote in the article. Also, I can assure that the charismatic megachurches in his area include hundreds of former anti-charismatics who have left his church and others and found life in the Spirit in these other churches. The door swings both ways.
I haven’t the slightest idea what you mean by “hatred of Calvinism.” I have respect for Calvinism but with differences, and I don’t preach against perseverance of the saints. Sadly, many of Pastor MacArthur’s followers hold to an extreme form of once-saved-always-saved, and he should hold a major conference on this, since it is destroying far more lives, in my opinion, than a carnal prosperity message (although both are deadly).
9) I could care less about emotional responses and “decisions.” I only care about real disciples being made, and that’s what I was pointing to around the world, and that’s what is documented by many missionaries and missiologists: The message of the cross preached in the power of the Spirit. You should be worshiping God for what He is doing rather than stones at it based on misinformation.
I generally don’t take time to respond at length like this — really, I don’t have the time — but seeing that I wrote my article with great respect and restraint and since you read it in such a radically different way, I’d suggest that I hit a nerve in your own life, and you should really step back, pray about it, and do some serious soul searching and — better still — serious restudy of the Word. I wish you God’s grace and truth!*****************That’s the end of his response.**I won’t pursue this much beyond a simple response post of my own, which will come probably after this weekend since I’m currently doing sermon prep. Feel free to think about his response to my response, and what exactly he’s suggesting in the various points of his response.*Until Next Time,*Lyndon “Calvinism is actually destroying far more lives than the prosperity gospel?” Unger*P.S. – I just couldn’t tag this under “theology” or “misc thoughts”. The tag reflects where I’m headed with my response. (Also, I’ve included asterisks because I couldn’t format the end of the post for some reason…