Strange Firony…

***Update at the bottom***

I honestly, sincerely wish I could move on from the topic of the Charismatic Movement, but it just keeps on coming up.  It’s been almost two years since the Strange Fire conference, and it seemed like all the parties involved got their shots in.

The Cessationists made their reasonable appeals, made a lot of unreasonable rants, published their stuff, wrote their responses, etc.

The Continuationists basically cried about division and broad brushes.

The Pentecostals basically cried about division and broad brushes.

The Charismatics basically cried about division and broad brushes.

Charisma Magazine kept on doing everything possibly in their power to provide an endless tsunami of amazing examples as to why the Strange Fire Conference was necessary (and possibly understated things: every single word in that statement links to a separate mind-numbing article, just for a few dozen examples)

There has been biblical proportions of ink spilled on the topic and I’ve been involved in a small percentage of said spillage.  In fact, I got started blogging more seriously when Dr. Michael Brown started laying salvos against the conference, before the conference.  We interacted quite a bit and then yesterday, I saw this:

And I was wondering “what does that mean?”

I mean, as much as I don’t care for talking about Dr. Benny Hinn, Dr. Brown did spend four days as a guest on Benny Hinn’s show.  He did claim that he theologically checked out Benny Hinn and couldn’t find anything overtly wrong whatsoever with Hinn’s theology or practice.  That in and of itself made a whole lot of people wonder what in the world was going on, since most people can find something questionable after a few minutes on Hinn’s own website (let alone Youtube).  Many folks aired on the side of assuming it wasn’t what it looked like where as others saw it as Brown talking out of both sides of his mouth.  Either way, it looked pretty bad to a whole lot of people.

Well, not Dr. Brown.  He apparently couldn’t understand why people would be opposed to his presence on Benny Hinn’s show when John MacArthur had (hypocritically) been on Ray Comfort’s show (as both were aired on TBN, Brown saw this as a double standard).

After watching Brown for a while, I’m actually wondering what would look bad to him.

For example, Phil Johnson posted this link and asked for response from Brown:

In the ongoing and rather lengthy thread that followed, Dr. Brown wouldn’t say anything negative about the comments in the linked video.  Jenn Johnson said, repeatedly, that the Holy Spirit is “like the Genie from Aladdin” since he’s blue (as in the color), funny, sneaky and silly…among other things.

Why is it so hard to say “That’s absurd!” and toss the video aside?

Instead, he first dismissed himself from commenting since he had blocked Phil Johnson’s account (which some might see that as ironic, given that Brown complains that MacArthur has not responded to his requests for a meeting).

Then, after multiple people linked the video, he chastised commentators for dropping the word “heresy” or “false teacher.”  Apparently, calling Jenn Johnson a “false teacher” or “heretic” means that she’s irreversibly going to Hell (which someone should never say in Brown’s paradigm, seeing that he’s an outspoken Arminian and nobody is ever irreversibly damned – for those that are interested, I address this topic directly on point 8 here).

Consider this interaction:

Or this one:

Or this one:

But there was nothing except a hanging question that is never directly answered:

But then there’s the original claim itself.

Surely he must remember the dialogue he’s had, like the interactions that we’ve had together online, or the one that is documented here and easily available:

Surely he must remember all the debates that he’s had like this one:

Or this one:

But I wonder if the only Cessationist that matters to Dr. Brown is John MacArthur?

He feels ignored by John MacArthur and is upset at what he feels is some form of injustice.

I guess I can sympathize now, since when I attempted to respond to a tweet he sent to me, I saw this.

Brown Block

I would suggest that being blocked by Michael Brown after he complains that John MacArthur isn’t heeding his calls for debate may be considered ironic.

Until Next Time,

Lyndon “Firony? It’s like Foldy or Fronzy!” Unger

***Update – Dr. Brown has reached out to me and taken some positive steps at clarifying confusions. I will write an update as time permits in the next few days, but am currently preparing for a trip. I’m happy to bring any sort of dialogue to this issue and will attempt to do so.***


39 thoughts on “Strange Firony…

  1. Bottom line is that Brown measures being filled with the Spirit by manifestations, not proper theology. Regardless of how bizarre the manifestations are, he will never condemn anyone of heresy because by doing so he fears he is speaking against the spirit. Manifestations will always trump theology until they are exposed for what they are.

    • Very well said, Jane. All varieties of Charismatics, as noted in Lyndon’s post, define “being filled with the Spirit” contrary to Scripture. It is defined, primarily, as an emotional and/or physical sensory experience.

  2. I am not sure if you will ever reach Dr. Brown with clear biblical exegesis. It seems whenever a relevant point is made he simply puts his fingers in his ears and says Ya Ya Ya Ya! – Ya Ya Ya Ya!

    The warning has been called out loud anc clear. Those with ears to hear, let them hear. A lot of effort and ink has been expended, perhaps rightfully so, on those who stubbornly and with flinty hard foreheads resist the truth of the scriptures.Perhaps it is time to expend our energy on reaching those who have never heard.

    I hate this mis-teaching and false spirituality as much as anyone. But I cannot help but wonder if, after all that can be said, has indeed been said, if our time and energy. could be better spent?

    mulling this over….

  3. Hi to all,

    Fact verifiable to anyone with a measure of logic and reason: Michael Brown is inconsistently manipulating, deceiving and lying as to his association with or support for false teachers like Benny Hinn and others.

    Fact verifiable to anyone who does understand The Word of God as a whole: Michel Brown is a false and public teacher of ardent and rebellious Arminianism which is corrosive to the visible church over time.

    My personal opinion based on my own personal observance, research and interaction with Dr.Brown: Michael Brown is an Agent of Influence in the broad arena of religion, culture and politics in US and beyond for the State of Israel. His role is to support or create certain PR image for the State of Israel and its actions in the minds of his followers or those whom he can influence through any available medium. Open question is if this agency is formalized or not…?

    Pelle sub agnina latitat mens saepe lupina.

  4. Lyndon Unger, you’ve nailed it again. Dr. Brown routinely scolds people who point out that some of the worst charismatic charlatans are heretics and false teachers. He passively accepts Jenn Johnson’s stream-of-consciousness foolishness and Benny Hinn’s chicanery, but he has had this two-year itch to “correct” John MacArthur. Anyone who can’t see the massive discernment gap underlying that needs to read more Scripture and listen to fewer private prophecies and old wives tales.

    The fact that Brown has a kind of fan base among Reformed Baptists troubles me, but it doesn’t sway my opinion of him. To exempt him from normal levels of doctrinal scrutiny or show him extreme deference just because he is a useful ally in the culture war is not wise.

    In any case, Michael Brown is not being honest when he says John MacArthur has rebuffed his requests for a meeting. MacArthur isn’t a web-surfer, so he probably is unaware of Brown’s grandstanding on this issue. And Brown’s public campaign is not a cause I would ever take up or even bother to call to John MacArthur’s attention, because I know from experience that “conversations” with Brown on anything related to the charismatic issue are monumental wastes of time. Furthermore, I have a longstanding policy of NEVER responding to people whose attempts to “dialogue” with John MacArthur begin with public taunts and lots of showboating.

    If Brown wants a meeting with MacArthur, let him look up the church address for himself, write directly to John Mac, and ask the same way any normal polite person would. It’s not my job to be an intermediary or messenger boy for someone who fancies himself some kind of charismatic Sith Lord.


    • “To exempt him from normal levels of doctrinal scrutiny or show him extreme deference just because he is a useful ally in the culture war is not wise.”

      Indeed and I wish James White would understand this valid point…

      • @Jim De Arras,

        Jim I do not mind learning about Islam but honestly the quality of DL went down. I really want to listen to it as I did for years but it is really hard to do and many times impossible. There is just too much rambling going on and too much of Michael Brown this and Michael Brown that as if one could not get that from his own show for Arminians. Do not want to sound nit picking but it is not what it used to be. Is it the passage of time influencing the producers and listeners or is it something else too? Too bad, just too bad.

    • I do not understand Dr. White’s affection and support for Brown. I got blocked by Brown, and now considered an annoyance by Dr. White for trying to point out Brown’s inconsistent theology. Brown seems to have Steve Job’s “reality distortion field” in person.

      • White is quite aware of the inconsistencies, seeing that he’s mentioned them at length.

        White finds that Brown DOES preach an Orthodox gospel, which places Brown in a different category than other popular Charismatic personalities.

        White openly opposes Brown’s inconsistency but also joins with him on issues where they have agreement.

        You may disagree, but there’s no need to pester White over it.

      • “White finds that Brown DOES preach an Orthodox gospel,” perhaps out one side of his mouth, while defending charismatic excesses and condemning reformed theology out the other side. I concur with Phil Johnson’s concern over Brown’s following in the reformed Baptist group. Joining where convenient is very unbiblical.

        • Nobody said it’s a simple problem to solve.

          Everyone will err on one side or the other. I don’t understand why any reformed Baptist would follow Brown, blindly ignoring his campaigning against their deeply held and distinctive beliefs.

          Joining someone where they are in agreement with you isn’t unbiblical of the matter of disagreement isn’t a point that separates believers from unbelievers.

          We tend to forget that the churches in places like Corinth, Galatia, Ephesus, etc. had some issues of error that were certainly serious (hence Paul’s writings that corrected those errors). Paul does differentiate between the deceived and the deceivers; he doesn’t toss any of those churches under the bus.

          A man who is in error is not necessarily a false teachers, even if that error is serious.

      • “reformed Baptist would follow Brown, blindly ignoring his campaigning against their deeply held and distinctive beliefs.” I believe Phil was politely referring to Dr. White and his followers. Dr. Brown is a false teacher, in my opinion. In spite of what Dr. Brown would claim, that does not mean I am damning him to Hell, that is for God to decide at the end of days.

      • @Mennoknight,

        Jim de Arras is right. Michael Brown is a false teacher and is peddling false, man oriented, man depended pseudo “gospel”. If not then I guess all of the Reformation was a pipe dream and all of the Reformers were deluded, especially Luther who had to be delusional when he wrote “On the Bondage of the Will”… 🙂

        As to this:
        “false teachers are marked by error combined with moral failure. They attempt to utilize the gospel as a tool to attaining money, ”

        “Seeing that I have not found Brown doing those sorts of things,”

        Lyndon really? You have not? Well let me show where you can find this… Here, and from 24:35 on:

        Do you think the $35 for Brown’s book peddled on the Hinn’s show went entirely to Benny Hinn? Really? It did not, and whatever Brown’s cut was out of the advertised price of $35 DO remember that Hinn’s unfortunate audience is upwards of 20 million. Now multiply that cut per book (whatever that cut was) by a reasonable portion of the audience of Hinn’s twilight-zone show. Whatever numbers you will choose there is no denying that Brown made some serious money by showing up on the wolf heretic show, I hope you do not believe Brown’s puerile and afterwards proclamations for seriously gullible and in deep comatose where he was stating that “he did not make or took a penny” from sales resulting from his twilight-zone appearance with a wolf Hinn.

        It is plain and simple that Michael Brown appeared on Benny Hinn show for the purpose of making money by increasing sales of his book then and by triple down effect for future books sales as well. If anyone says that was not the case and that Michael Brown did not collect any money from sales of his books via Benny Hinn show and Hinn’s web site then I have a really nice and special deal for you too… See I have this really nice and historic a bridge linking Brooklyn and Manhattan and I will give you 90% off on it. This is the deal you were looking for.

  5. Thank you, brother. You have managed to wonderfully encapsulate a very present dilemma in professed Christiandom so overwrought with confusion and darkness. Time to pray.

  6. Pingback: Strange Firony and Frustration | Watch Your Life and Doctrine Closely…

  7. @Despeville, I think you’re assuming things you shouldn’t, and in so doing, may be missing the more damaging aspect here. If Dr. Brown makes money from his book, so be it. That’s part of being an author. If he didn’t get a cut, as he apparently claims, then presumably the money went to Benny Hinn Ministries. Brown’s defence this whole time was that appearing on a TV show does not equate to endorsement or ministry partnership. Surely, if he allowed his book to be used for fundraising purposes, that takes it to another level.

    Anyway, rather than snipe at Brown about his infamous appearances on Hinn’s show, maybe someone could sincerely ask him how their relationship has progressed in the 20 or so months since. He did indicate at the time that his blank slate approach would yield opportunities that a more separatist-type approach would not. How did it go? Does he believe, based on closer information than we have, that Hinn is misunderstood? Why not share? Or maybe he discovered, as he surely must have, that Hinn has serious problems. Has he had a chance to rebuke Hinn privately and call him to repentance? What has been the fruit of it?

    • @Ryann,

      “I think you’re assuming things you shouldn’t, and in so doing, may be missing the more damaging aspect here. If Dr. Brown makes money from his book, so be it. That’s part of being an author. If he didn’t get a cut, as he apparently claims, then presumably the money went to Benny Hinn Ministries. ”

      Oh yes I am assuming but not out of thin air but out of my business experience and given that and sober approach to these things it is a valid and realistic assumption. However, you are right to say that whatever money DID stay with wolf Hinn and surely major part of $35 from each book times XXXXXXXXXXXXXX did stay with wolf Hinn that money then brought more damage, more lies and more wickedness to this world in the name of false Christ of wolf Hinn which the world cannot differentiate from true Christ of the Scripture. All of that thanks to Michael Brown who to this day refuses to denounce Benny Hinn and still defends him. Why? Because he will on Hinn show again and again to make some more dough my friend. Plain and simple.

      “rather than snipe at Brown about his infamous appearances on Hinn’s show, maybe someone could sincerely ask him how their relationship has progressed in the 20 or so months since.”

      The point being made here and largely substantiated as well is that Michael Brown is NOT interested in any sincere answers and people who have discernment and tested this discernment against Brown’s evasive, dishonest manipulations testified to that and are no longer interested to play musical chairs with Michael Brown and his ego. See Phil Johnson and others regarding that.


  8. Point is to make a difference In broken lives (and sin breaks everyone) you are going to be able to minister to 1-2 orders of magnitude more individuals if you have the gift of words of knowledge, than if you have just perfect doctrine and say an apologetic background from say Geisler, WL Craig, or Josh McDowell. Those guys are great and McArthur’s systematics are great but when someone has lost a loved one and blames God, a word of knowledge can bridge the gap and soften the soil to plant seed. Most individuals in the Evangelical movement are unwilling to risk being embarrassed. I operate this way monthly for the past 26 years. I have been healed of third degree burns overnight and when I went to the doctor he the next day he had been a closet born-again Christian for ten years but had never once shared with a patient that fact. He said it was the only medical miracle he had ever heard of. Yet most on this sight would state confidently that, “Jesus doesn’t heal today!” What astounding ignorance. Missionary from all denominations report healings, including the ones who don’t believe in miraculous healing.

    MacArthur’s scholarship outside of exegesis is always subpar.

    Truth is most Evangelicals (and I have been an Evangelical since 1975) would rather rely on their knowledge of scripture rather than risk failure. Also they don’t seem to recognize how much God is relying on them being like Jesus in order to accomplish his work. The disciples didn’t make this mistake. The great revivalist didn’t either. Most missionaries don’t make it for long.

    When I disciple Evangelicals they are stunned at how effective the HS is at changing their family, coworkers, and friend lives, through words of knowledge mad occasionally miraculous healing. But I always have to teach them how to be willing to fail and be embarrassed in order to gain trust that Jesus still works this way.

    For those open to this approach, you will never need to destroy sound doctrine to do this work, only the work of Satan in people’s lives.

    Instead many hide behind sweeping generalizations and strawman arguments.

    These are safe places for immature Christians like MacArthur, but doesn’t he know he has been called to reach the broken-hearted, the widow, the orphan, the outcast. Instead he makes outcasts of everyone who doesn’t hold his view. He strains the gnat and swallows the camel. And he receives hardy approval from so many Evangelicals.

    Hinn is a disgrace! Word faith and prosperity are false gospels. Don’t get me started on the crap from TBN and Daystar. Bethel doesn’t seem to get much of the gospel out. They have the same spirit that was in the Toronto Blessing (I was there when it changed) that is they were wanting so desperately to experience God they didn’t care about the gospel, the edification of the body, or the hard work of discipleship, that they were enticed by false spirits.

    But many on this site are like MacArthur, too cowardly to risk failure and embarrassment to reach some for the gospel. Sad. Think of all you could have reached with the power of the HS working as he did in Acts, and every missionary effort since then. Cowards. You leave the broken stranded and lost. But you drive to church in your new Mercedes and than fine Armani suit.

    Your reward is in full.

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