[Edit 16/01/2016: We have added a ‘Dr Brown’s Adventures in discernment’ comic at the bottom of this page.]
Dr. Michael Brown admitted publicly on NARisma magazine that he is prepared to justify any sinful activity at Hillsong:
“Now, you still may not like what Hillsong did, and you still might not agree with their overall methodology, but the great reminder for me was this: I went through every scenario that I could think of, trying to figure out any possible explanation for this travesty, and I could find none.“
For your information Dr Brown, liars run and liars hide. When we first alerted people to this inappropriate performance by Hillsong, they HID their video and justified their sins, an admission that they were ashamed that their sins were exposed? But even though their actions confirmed that they were indeed guilty of flagrant sin, this is what you did:
- When you couldn’t “figure out any possible explanation for this travesty”, you turned to Satan’s tree of evil and to his servants (2 Corithians 11:14-15) that speak Satan’s native language (John 8:44), a people who will justify any sin and all forms of blasphemy and immorality in the name of God.
- After hearing the enemy’s answer, you then twisted Jesus’ words on ‘judging righteously’ to justify the unjustifiable.
- You then condemned CHRISTIANS who have continually documented the sins and scandals of the Hillsong cult and accused them of judging unrighteously.
- You openly defended an organisation that you stated deliberately tried to cause Christians to sinfully stumble:
“He explained that this despicable version of Silent Night was designed to be cringeworthy in every way—in other words, it was intended to elicit the kinds of responses that it drew—and it was written and produced to portray Herod’s alleged desire to worship the newborn King.”
- In so doing, you endorsed Hillsong’s slander, for not even in worldly Christmas carol events do you see such godless behaviour. (In fact, atheists and non-Christians were highly offended by this carol as well – so clearly this has given cause to gentiles to further blaspheme Jesus Christ?)
- You are defending the Hillsong “thistle bush”, insisting that people can find figs growing on its branches, which opposes Jesus’ teachings in Matthew 7.
- By presenting such a dishonest “teachable moment” and argument, you are essentially justifying greater sins to be committed by Hillsong in the future. (Your teaching on ‘judging’ could even justify why Brian Houston illegally covered up his father’s crimes to the police and his church.)
- And finally, in your attempt to write all this to remind Christians of Jesus’ words on “how to judge righteously”, you have only turned Jesus into a dictator, discouraged discernment and to NEVER judge Hillsong, thus promoting them to be seen as some sort of infallible “magisterium”.
Michael Brown writes,
Hillsong, Silent Night and the Danger of Judging by Outward Appearance
Jesus taught that we should “not judge according to appearance, but practice righteous judgment” (John 7:24). We can learn an important lesson about this from an incident that took place late last year concerning Hillsong, Australia’s Christmas presentation.
Along with many others who saw the video on YouTube, I was absolutely appalled by Hillsong’s super-slick, cabaret rendition of Silent Night.
It was the farthest thing you could imagine from the words “Silent night, holy night” and some viewers rightly dubbed it “Unholy Night.”
From the dissonant jazzy sounds to the cabaret dancers, it was nothing less than shockingly irreverent.
Not surprisingly, there were online articles denouncing Hillsong, and friends contacted me, asking me to please write my own article about this travesty.
Because I have no open door to interact directly with Hillsong leaders (despite my attempts to do so in the past), I could only ask myself how in the world they could produce something like this.
To be sure, I have differed with some of Hillsong’s methods and message over the years, but this seemed to go way beyond anything I could imagine, especially since they are famous around the world for their praise and worship.
Obviously, I didn’t have all the facts, but what possible explanation could there be? The whole cabaret arrangement was atrocious, inexcusable, irreverent, mocking … The list goes on and on.
Still, I did not want to speak or act without more information or a clear leading from the Lord, and while I was giving the whole matter prayerful consideration, a Twitter follower shared with me a comment made by one of the pastors at Hillsong in Australia.
He explained that this despicable version of Silent Night was designed to be cringeworthy in every way—in other words, it was intended to elicit the kinds of responses that it drew—and it was written and produced to portray Herod’s alleged desire to worship the newborn King.
This, then, was meant to be the world’s version of Silent Night, which was anything but holy.
The pastor also explained that later in the Christmas play, in adoration of Jesus, Silent Night was sung again, this time the right way, in stark contrast with Herod’s version.
Now, you still may not like what Hillsong did, and you still might not agree with their overall methodology, but the great reminder for me was this: I went through every scenario that I could think of, trying to figure out any possible explanation for this travesty, and I could find none.
Yet there was an explanation, and it was one that I had never considered. Honestly, who would have ever thought of it without being told?
In years past, when Nancy and I did more counseling, we would sit with a husband who would explain his side of the story and think to ourselves, “He’s obviously in the right. There’s no possible way that his wife could explain her way out of this.”
And we would rack our brains trying to think of another side to the story, but there was none.
Then, to our surprise, the wife would share an angle that we never could have considered, making us realize that there really were two sides to the story after all.
Of course, there are plenty of things that are black and white, such as when a professing Christian leader announces that he now embraces same-sex “marriage.” That must be confronted and addressed.
There are also times when the indisputable evidence clearly convicts someone of guilt, like stealing money or committing adultery, in which case the “explanation” does not explain away the guilt.
And we are always called to judge whether certain actions or words or practices are biblical or not.
We must use discernment and walk in wisdom, especially with so much foolishness in the body of Christ today, not the least in our charismatic circles.
But the Hillsong “Unholy Night” controversy reminds us that we must be very careful in how we make our judgments, not judging by mere outward appearances but rather judging righteously.
In this case, the outward appearances were damning, but there was more to the story than met the eye.
Again, you might still differ with Hillsong’s Christmas presentation, and you might still take issue with some of their teachings or with their overall approach to ministry. But for those who completely threw them under the bus because of their cabaret version of Silent Night, this should be a cautionary lesson.
It’s a lesson we should all learn well, since we will be judged in the same way that we judge others.
And it’s a lesson I try to remember before I ever write or speak, since it’s far better to wait and be sure than to launch an unrighteous attack.
Let’s make this a teachable moment.
Source: By Michael Brown, Hillsong, Silent Night and the Danger of Judging by Outward Appearance, Charisma News, http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/in-the-line-of-fire/54382-hillsong-silent-night-and-the-danger-of-judging-by-outward-appearance, Published 12/01/2016. (Accessed 12/01/2016.)
A good saying came to mind:
“You can’t sit on a fence, a barbed wire fence at that, and have one ear to the ground.”— Joh Bjelke-Petersen, Premier of Queensland, 1968 – 1987
Dr. Brown, you’re trying to defend Charismatic ChristINANITY and biblical Christian morals simultaneously … not even an articulate man like yourself can “pull it off”.
Trying to compare a *private* personal counselling session with a *public* performance that does anything BUT bring glory to God is absolutely ridiculous and you know that.
n, pl -ties
1. Also: inaneness lack of intelligence or imagination; senselessness; silliness
2. a senseless action, remark, etc
3. archaic emptiness
So, Michael L Brown was willing to go out of his way to publicly support Hillsong in this raunchy Silent Night morass, yet has he ever gone out of his way to publicly call for Brian Houston to fess up to some sort of accountability in the Frank Houston pedophile debacle?
Well Mr Brown, aren’t you overlooking something??
kiff kahn said:
Dr Michael Brown, just another VERY wealthy professional “pastor” with a Messianic Jew bent. He was tied up big time with the Brownsville “revival” and was tight with the Frank Houston Sydney CLC crew.
Im not surprised that he is supporting them, cashed up birds of a feather flock together & he pushes the tithing scam.
The more I look at pentecostalism, its crook preachers, scandals and cover ups and its abundance of rotten fruit the more corrupt the whole lot of it appears.
We need to separate Pentecostalism and Charismaticism from the NARismatic cult. They have used the Pentecostal & Charismatic movements to claim legitimacy. There is a big difference between them. This is why we are focusing more on the NAR (New Apostolic Reformation) as they are the ones who are trashing Pentecostalism and Charismaticism.
If you want to understand more about the NAR, we encourage you to research the ‘New Order of the Latter Rain’. It is the NAR that has birthed many of todays cults.
kiff kahn said:
Thanks for the reference, Im aware of the NAR C Peter Wagner (Colonel Sanders) mob but even earlier in pentecostal history you had the likes of the adulterous Kathy Kuhlman, the divorced and drug overdosed Aimee Sempil McPhearson. Seems a lot of pentecostals place more credence on the Welsh revival, Asuza St and Wigglesworth’s prophesies than they do the word of God. Pentecostal history is littered with adulterers, homosexuals and nut cases and the perfect stuff for the fiendish frank houstons, todd bentleys, bob jonses, robert tiltons, Benny hinns, William Branhams et al to swing off. Its starting to look more like the work of seducing spirits and doctrines of demons all the time. Im at the point where if it isnt clearly Biblical then Ill pass on it.
@kiff kahn – I’m a Pentecostal person who has been involved with churches both large and small in the last 30+ years and I’ve seen much of what you’re saying. There was a time when ‘Pentecost’ had Godly leaders, and they never would have stood for the garbage offered up today as ‘pentecostalism.
Some of the doctrines and practices of Pentecost were retained by the wolves in sheep’s clothing years ago, who are trying to hide behind them so as to pass themselves off as the genuine article, but discerning people of all persuasions are not fooled by them and neither am I.
Even as late as 2010 there were still a few around, but the mass media and social media approach taken by the LRM and newer NAR cults have all but swamped their vocal stance for righteousness. Young people who are regularly deceived by the Glory Gathering and other NAR groups are so taken in by the image and atmosphere of the “youth church”, meetings, weekend camps and occasional travel that they are incapable of seeing the NAR forest for the errant ‘trees’ that go to make them up.
Most of them were either poached from other more sedate churches for junior leadership roles, or they have come straight in off the streets and know nothing else. Hype and the chance to ‘be on the platform’ next to the local ‘apostle’ have blinded them to the need for Biblical discernment, and you can bet your bottom (tithing) dollar, that discernment is NOT on the list at the local “$chool of the $pirit” type meeting…
This year, the GG up in Brisbane begins their ‘School of the Profits’ classes:
Taken from the online promo:
“Key Speakers: Katherine Ruonala, Amanda Wells, Lana Vawser, James Graham, Chris Turner, Sarah Cheesman.
The School of the Prophets will be run on Monday night for 12 weeks. There will be an emphasis on equipping followers of Christ to walk in a prophetic anointing and to engage in prophetic ministry. We welcome all students who desire to learn more about the prophetic . Register online today.”
Cost: $150 for 12 weeks…
As you can see, Amanda and Lana are still featured ‘ministries’ at the GG… well that does it Katherine – I want a refund 🙂
For people to see learn differences between mainstream Christianity, Charismaticism and NAR: http://www.spiritoferror.org
Uh oh. Another “Christian” pushing the tithing scam onto the real flock. Just to build his own personal kingdom. Not good!
Truth be told, pushing the tithing scam is no better than pushing horoscopes.
Neither is scriptural, both are a lie.
As a Pentecostal I DO have a great deal of concern with the ‘explanation’ given re Herod, etc . . . it does seriously raise the valid question of if it is “damage control” by Hillsong to try to shut the door after the horse has bolted? Does ‘the means justify the ends’ in all things pertaining to the Christian faith? The mind boggles and I suspect Jesus would weep!
It is very sad that a man like Dr. Brown has chosen to defend the offensive video in favour of Charismatics’ 11th commandment ” thou shalt not judge people EVER (except those criticizing Charismatics)”.
He’s using the “true Christians always give other Christians the favour of the doubt”* strategy to (attempt to) ignore the painfully obvious to EVERYONE except those who do not WANT to face the truth about Hillsong.
What Brown is doing is similar to Roman Catholics do when shown that RC doctrine contradicts scripture. When put on the spot true Catholics put RC church’s extrabiblical traditions/ doctrines before biblical truth.
Yet again. Brown has shown he is on the side of Charismaniacs no matter how much he is concerned about how they conduct themselves. Like RC believers he chose to put Charismatic churches first by putting experience before truth. Christians need to remember where Brown’s priorities are now more than ever.
* Charismatics: “if we say we’re led by the Spirit to do what contradicts the bible, don’t question/ judge US when things go wrong, our behaviour is questionable et. al…. you’re being judgemental, unloving, and “quenching the Holy Spirit” like those mean bible-bashers if you do…”
@ Thinker – Dr. Brown is a charismatic who holds to an arminian soteriology (and that’s not an issue to be argued here), but it’s not surprising that he defends Hillsong (and writes articles in Charisma Magazine).
Phil Johnson from Gracelife has had some interesting interaction with Dr. Brown in the past.
He commented about Dr. Brown on Facebook just today saying “He’s a PT Barnum-style showman first of all, and that calls into question both his occasional fawning flattery and his professed concern for truth. In fact, my dealings with him have left me with zero respect for his truthfulness. He constantly claims that he has asked John MacArthur for a simple, private, face-to-face meeting, and according to him, MacArthur has turned him down. That is complete and total lie. Here’s an account of my long, frustrating effort to persuade him to stop telling that lie.”
Attached is his past dealing – http://www.romans45.org/articles/brown.htm
Hopefully the link works but if it doesn’t Google “pulpit and Pen Twitter”. https://mobile.twitter.com/PulpitAndPen/status/688151857668042752
Dr. Brown has tried to defend himself but commenters haven’t fallen for his excuses.
Mennoknight nailed it.
“And so it begins. @PulpitAndPen is about to learn about Knockdown Brown. Head = meet wall.”
Phil Johnson is right, Brown is a liar.
Dr Brown’s “church” in charlotte has held bimonthly “burn 24/7” meetings (as do all the other nar movement groupie “churches”).
They can be wrong on many issues, but in the case of the Gospel, they better get the Gospel correct, or that word “burn” is going to take on a whole “nother meanin” when Judgement Day finally comes.
“Burn 24/7.” Phooey!
Only goes to show he is neither represents Pentecostalism or Charismaticism. He represents the NARismatics which is why he defends NARismatic leaders like Brian Houston and Benny Hinn. The Christian Taliban.
The Lie Busters said:
Do you have a Bible, Mr Brown? Here is your explanation why this is SINFUL:
ROMANS “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”
This is KJV, and its very clear what this says. Or do you need some 2-week old Christian to explain to you what this means? Because even a NON-Christian off the street could get the gist of this one.
Dear Mr Brown, It does NOT matter what the supposed “context” of this video was, dancing around in sexy attire is NOT presenting one’s body as a LIVING SACRIFICE!