Over the weekend, I challenged Dr. Michael Brown to a debate. This isn’t the first time, as twice before I had reached tentative agreements to debate Brown on the tenets of Charismania. I have had numerous interactions with Brown, mostly emailing him to offer correction when he has repeatedly gone to the defense of Hillsong regarding such issues as their use of gay choir directors and their lascivious, “sexy Christmas” cabaret, which I wrote an open letter about in January.
This isn’t the first time that Dr. Brown has defended the indefensible and blasphemed the Holy Spirit by blaming the Third Person of the Trinity for the shenanigans of Charismania’s most notorious false prophets. Brown has defended and/or endorsed Benny Hinn, Rick Joyner, Mike Bickel, Brian Houston, Carl Lentz, Joseph Cahn, and many, many others.
When pushed to defend himself regarding his endorsements and associations with the most nefarious false teachers in the world, Brown sticks to the following game-plan.
- Claim that he isn’t aware of any controversies regarding the false teacher, and feign total ignorance regarding the substance of the false teacher’s doctrine, as he did with Benny Hinn. Never mind, of course, that a leading figure in Charismania claiming he wasn’t aware of who Benny Hinn was insults all of our intelligence; we are required to view the claim charitably as though it were made by a genuine brother in Christ.
- Claim that the false teacher has repented of his false teaching. Brown repeatedly does this regardless of whether or not there’s any evidence of the false teacher ever having repented for anything. Again, as he did with Benny Hinn.
- Claim the factual, but negative, reporting of his or another charismatic’s glaring doctrinal or integrity problems are “misrepresentations.” Brown hardly ever (that may be an understatement) goes on to explain what the misrepresentation is, but seems content to merely make the charge.
- When all else fails, claim the discerning Christian is a slanderer or gossip, or vaguely imply they don’t have the full story. Brown does this repeatedly, and I don’t know if he’s ever met a discerning Christian that he didn’t attack as a slanderer or gossip, in the same way I don’t know if he’s ever met a charismatic charlatan he hasn’t adamantly defended.
Brown has used these four strategies over and again to endorse or defend the world’s most infamous faux-miracle working, tongue-babbling, Spirit-blaspheming, Heaven-touring charismaniacs ever to suck a grave or bequeath a prophet’s mantle.
So then, how did Dr. Brown respond to me call for a debate?
And although I think we all might suspect who that Cessationist colleague(s) might have been, maybe someone who has been on the wrong side of a discernment issue a time or two recently and might be a bit sore over it, one thing is for sure. Whoever can countenance Dr. Brown as a friend or colleague, in spite of the great harm he regularly perpetrates upon the church through his endorsement of Charismania’s most dangerous leaders, but considers me to “write and say dangerous things” is perhaps more discernment impaired than we once thought.
What true and actual cessationist would tell charismania’s chief apologist that JD Hall is dangerous? And further more, specifically, what would those “dangerous things” that have been written or said be? Would it be something like what was presented in Modern Day Montanism, or maybe something that got too personal? Who knows. If I followed Dr. Brown’s formula, I would accuse him of unfounded gossip and slander. The difference between the two is that I’ve been very specific with my accusations, and he’s lobbied accusations from thus far unnamed ambiguousbots.
Furthermore, and let the record show, at no point has Dr. Brown ever “corrected me” privately on any matter. I have, however, corrected him repeatedly (as the Open Letter to Dr. Brown last January demonstrates). Neither did Dr. Brown explain at what points he has been misrepresented (because he has not been) in my last post.
As I will continue to assert, Montanism is not Christianity, but a heresy to be anathematized from the modern church the same was it was in the early church. “Cessationist Colleagues” don’t need to mollycoddle their charismatic counterparts as brethren, but call them to repentance for endorsing and defending, well, pretty much anyone for whom Michael Brown has put his seal of approval.
Source: JD Hall, Polemics Report, P & P Blog, http://polemicsreport.com/2016/10/24/too-dangerous-to-debate/ Published: 24/10/2016, Accessed: 25/10/2016
As an evangelical pastor, I have grown increasingly concerned with the influence of charismaticism on evangelicalism. From Kenyonism to Osteenism, from Oneness Pentecostalism to the New Apostolic Reformation, charismaticism and the doctrine of continuationism are responsible for the vast majority of false teaching today that regularly molests the church of her purity and soundness.
Modern day practitioners of charismaticism are the spiritual posterity of the ancient Montanists, who taught the nearly identical doctrines of new prophecy, apostolic gifting, and ecstatic utterance. The Montanists were anathematized by the early church as spiritual scoundrels and heretics, and for engaging in the very same practices and teaching the very same doctrines regularly espoused by America’s most prominent charismatics.
I do not hold that the majority of evangelical charismatics are errant brothers. I hold that many are not brothers at all, worship a god of their imagination, have replaced true religion with myths and fables and occultic practices, and that God despises their worship as being in neither Spirit nor Truth.
Charismatics seem unwilling to engage on this proposition in the religious marketplace of ideas, being satisfied to provide as their only defense their subjective experiences and a religious fervor that shouts down Holy Scripture in babbling tongues and nonsense words. In America, perhaps their chiefest apologist is Dr. Michael Brown, a principal figure in the scandal-ridden faux awakening, the Brownsville Revival, a man who unfortunately retains a seat at the table of orthodoxy thanks to a few friends who model, in their toleration of his aberrant doctrine, Tertullian’s unwise toleration of the Montanists. Treating one who has supported nearly each and every kind of bizarre, plainly unscriptural, subchristian and mystic practice as a brother in good standing is toxic to authentic Christianity and does not conform with the historic church’s treatment of such false teachers.
Michael Brown has defended the lascivious and profane behavior of Hillsong Church. Michael Brown has defended Benny Hinn from charges of false prophecy. Michael Brown has attempted to whitewash the history of Bethel Church’s participation in grave-sucking necromancy. In fact, there is hardly a spiritual scoundrel, religious ne’er-do-well, or charismatic snake oil salesman that Michael Brown hasn’t defended. While Brown claims to be “on record” condemning the “excesses” of the charismatic movement, like “abuses” of seed-faith teaching, the fact is, these records simply do not exist except in tangible hypotheticals and generalities. If I produced for you a list of the ten most obviously occultic and spiritually sinister false teachers in charismaticism, you will not find Brown being on the record rebuking them, but you will find Brown on the record defending them from criticism.
Meanwhile, Brown has repeatedly attacked those calling for discernment and caution regarding the false teachers Brown promotes. He has accused polemicists of slander, gossip, hypocrisy, and sin, and when proven demonstrably wrong about a particular topic, digs in deeper in further defense of the indefensible. I wrote an open letter to Dr. Brown about this very thing in January, and like all other attempts to discuss the issues of charismaticism and polemics with him, it received no response.
Brown, when pressed to provide a defense for his support of the most ungodly and occultic teachers of the movement he is partially responsible for popularizing, feigns ignorance. He didn’t know who Benny Hinn was (he claimed) when he yoked himself to him for a video series. Each and almost every specific question to Dr. Brown regarding a specific charismatic leader and their specific charismatic error is met with a confused stammering of supposed unknowingness. It is time for Dr. Brown to stop playing the part of polemical teflon or doctrinal jello, and provide an actual defense for charismatic behavior and continuationist doctrine.
Twice I have asked Dr. Brown to debate, twice with some agreement, and yet didn’t materialize. I know that Dr. Brown does not feel that I respect highly enough charismatics, and questions the profitability of our interaction with that being the case. I believe that perhaps Dr. Brown has been coddled for too long by certain Reformed leaders, who have countenanced the charismatic error as a secondary matter. I view the sufficiency of Holy Scripture a primary matter, and cannot provide Brown the charitable assessment afforded him by others. Nonetheless, a debate is meant to provide a direct clash of principles and contentions that is provided for others as a witness to learn from and make up their own mind regarding the validity of one view versus another. I do not believe that Dr. Brown wants to compare charismatic teachings to either the ancient Montanist heresy or the Holy Bible. Nonetheless, I urge him to debate me at a venue and time of his choosing.
Dr. Brown can see my views regarding the charismatic movement in this video, as produced last month at NorCal Fire.
As I demonstrated in that message on Modern Day Montanism, I believe it can be substantiated that God the Holy Spirit is demonstrably not at work among charismatics, as seen in the lack of spiritual discernment (a spiritual gift) and lack of self control (a spiritual fruit). The suggested resolution for the debate is as follows:
Charismatic evangelicals practice the ancient heresy of Montanism, should be considered aberrant and dangerous to the church, and be cast out of fellowship until they repent and are forgiven.
Source: JD Hall, Polemics Report, P &P Blog, http://polemicsreport.com/2016/10/22/its-time-for-dr-brown-to-debate/ Published: 22/10/2016 Accessed: 23/10/21016
“Wow. Wow. Wow. So good. Well done Carl … & THANKYOU Miss Oprah for allowing such an honest, genuine, enquiring, God honoring, Spirit breathed and Jesus “front and center” interview. So proud of you@carllentz &@lauralentz (cos you baby are a beautiful strength within all this) … And sadly the God-haters and Hillsong-haters and Oprah-haters will be frothing and manifesting, but they just need to get used to the reality that Jesus ain’t going away and the Church arising on the earth with clear and beautiful stature, exemplified in love and grace, is here to stay. We love you but your unrelenting contempt and hatred is only going to make us love you more fiercely. I pray for you. Have a grace-filled day people! 💛Bobbie #thykingdomcome“
Source: Bobbie Houston, Instagram, https://www.instagram.com/p/BLpWG5pg_JT/, Published 17/10/2016. (Accessed 19/10/2016.)
For Bobbie Houston to call that interview between Oprah Winfrey and Carl Lentz “honest, genuine… God honoring, Spirit breathed and Jesus “front and center”” has even given reason for God Himself to hate everything that Hillsong stands for. Why?
Hillsong have CHOSEN where they have camped spiritually and it is with Oprah and her gospel of popularity – not Jesus. They can slap ‘Jesus’ on whatever they want, however, since their inception since 1977, CLC/Hillsong have continually shown disregard and disrepect towards Christ and His Word all in their attempts to be the popular Miss Universe.
Like Hillsong, Oprah has shown public hatred towards Christ, His gospel and His Church (the religious – the same label Hillsong uses on Christians who DARE preach the Christian gospel/faith). The intolerance both Hillsong and Oprah show towards Christianity is uncanny and has been on full public display for all to see.
“I can’t get into a religious argument with you.” – Oprah Winfrey
(Translation: “Shut up and accept my Rev 17 ministry you religious devil!”)
https://videopress.com/embed/amIoqm3B?hd=0&autoPlay=0&permalink=0&loop=0DISCLAIMER: We are NOT being the divisive ones – it is JESUS who claimed “not come to bring peace, but a sword” (Matthew 10:34). It is Jesus who has condemned Oprah, Carl Lentz, Bobbie Houston and Hillsong for being false prophets and teachers that come in his name IN HIS WORD (Matthew 7). It is JESUS who has warned us of these lawless ones (Matthew 24). And it is Jesus who claims the “reason why they do not hear [the truth] is that [they] are not of God. Hillsong worships thegod is of this age, not the timeless God of Christianity (we have PROVEN this to be the case with factual evidence which cannot be refuted since the movement’s inception – see our archives).
This is WHY Hillsong is and will always be a dangerous cult and needs to be avoided at all cost:their beliefs will send people to hell and their nature is to steal, kill and destroy all under the guise of shepherds clothing. So don’t take issue with Christianity – take issue with Christ and His Word. He is the one that has already condemned Hillsong and Oprah.
If you want to believe this gospel of popularity that both Hillsong and Oprah espouse below, you’re believing Michael Jackson’s false gospel:
“I think the premise of Christianity is looking in the mirror going, alright, I’m not going to make it, I can’t do enough, God I need you, and in that moment, I believe there’s a rescue of salvation that you can’t counterfeit any other way.” – Carl Lentz
Jeff Maples from Pulpit & Pen does a good job analyzing the dangerous message Carl Lentz fed his followers and listeners in his Oprah interview.
From Pulpit & Pen,
Carl Lentz to Oprah Winfrey: You Don’t Have to be a Christian to Have a Relationship with God
For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time. – 1 Timothy 2:5-6 (ESV)
In a recent interview on the Oprah Winfrey Network, Carl Lentz explains that he hopes that churches like his will “transform the way people experience their relationship with God.” Oprah then asks Carl Lentz, “do you believe that only Christians can be in a relationship with God.” His reply,
No, I believe that when Jesus said that “I am the way, the truth, and the life,” the way I read that, Jesus said that he is the road marker, he is the map, so I think that God loves people so much, that whether they accept or reject him, he’s still gracious, and he’s still moving, and he’s still giving you massive red blinking lights, for chances to take a right turn when maybe you’d take a left, but I believe God loves people, and that’s what this whole gospel is based on, it’s love….
This is nothing less than the Gospel of Oprah. It’s a universal, “God loves everybody,” version of the Gospel. Lentz tells Oprah that people spend way too much time “doing it in their own strength, … and that isn’t working,”
Our thing is to say, hey, if you allow God, if you bow your knee, admit your need of God, and if you do that, and Lord … there’s a moment where my repentance matters, and it’s right now, I am handing over the keys, if you do that…I think the premise of Christianity is looking in the mirror going, alright, I’m not going to make it, I can’t do enough, God I need you, and in that moment, I believe there’s a rescue of salvation that you can’t counterfeit any other way.
So this is his presentation of the Gospel to Oprah. Did you notice what his “premise of Christianity is?” It isn’t Jesus. In fact, there was no mention of Jesus in his “gospel” presentation. His premise is looking in the mirror, and telling God you can’t make it.
Carl Lentz is a false teacher preaching a false Gospel. His gospel appeals to the masses, and people like Oprah, because it’s inclusive, and does not place Jesus Christ as the premise of the Gospel. It places man and his “choices” at the center of this false Gospel.
But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. – 2 Peter 2:1
Source: By Jeff Maples, Carl Lentz to Oprah Winfrey: You Don’t Have to be a Christian to Have a Relationship with God, http://pulpitandpen.org/2016/10/18/carl-lentz-to-oprah-winfrey-you-dont-have-to-be-a-christian-to-have-a-relationship-with-god/, Published 18/10/2016. (Accessed 18/10/2016.)
Jeff Maples from Pulpit & Pen shared this below article of Bud Alheim stating,
“I hate Hillsong. And I can assure you that I love God and the Church enough to proclaim it.”
Source: Jeff Maples, FaceBook, https://www.facebook.com/grapnell/posts/10155335065325752, Published 19/10/2016.
Bus Alheim writes,
Bobbie Houston: If You Hate Hillsong, You Hate God
Bobbie Houston, the wife of famed prosperity gospel charlatan Brian Houston, has issued accolades to Carl Lentz for his “Wow. Wow.Wow.” performance on Oprah Winfrey’s Supersoul.tv interview. (You can read our take on it HERE.)
While calling it a “God honoring, Spirit breathed” interview, Houston also took occasion in her Instagram post to comment about Hillsong detractors, equating them to the same level as “God-haters.” If you hate Hillsong – in cult lingo, that means “disagree in any way” – you must also, obviously, hate God. It’s just the typical sort of thing any self-respecting cult would be expected to say.
“…sadly the God-haters and Hillsong-haters and Oprah-haters will be frothing and manifesting…”
(Editor’s Disclaimer: Yes, this article would apparently qualify as part of the “frothing” to which the charlatanette is speaking.)
In a “nana-nana-boo-boo” in yer’ face response to anti-Hillsong types (We at Pulpit and Pen, for the record, call those types … discerning … and, unlike the Houstons, we applaud and encourage YOU.) who correctly derided Lentz’s pathetic presentation that didn’t remotely resemble the Biblical gospel, Houston goes on in her “you can touch this” tirade. One can imagine she had M.C. Hammer jamming as she Instagrammed with self-righteous Hillsong glee.
“…they just need to get used to the reality that Jesus ain’t going away and the Church arising on the earth with clear and beautiful stature, exemplified in love and grace, is here to stay.”
Really? Well, the authentic Jesus of Scripture – which is decidedly NOT the one proclaimed by the heresy hurling Hillsong – definitely is not going away. While worshipers of the false Jesus of Hillsong will incur the same judgment as followers of other diabolically-induced false gods and pagan idols, the real Jesus is, in fact, coming back … with an agenda.
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory and all his angels are with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. The people of every nation will be gathered in front of him. He will separate them as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right but the goats on his left. Matthew 25:31-33
(Yeah. What do they call goats in Aussie English? I’ll have to ask one of my outback friends.)
The apostle Paul gave the Galatians a bit clearer picture of what happens to those who preach a “contrary” gospel.
“… there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.” Galatians 1:7-8
Given the fact that Lentz’s presentation of the gospel to Oprah was noticeably void of “Jesus”and that Hillsong, though hip, tanned, and chic, sells merely a sexy theatricalized form of the prosperity gospel, we can be certain the key word from Paul’s comments for Hillsong is the word “accursed.” That’s not a good word, either. Not one you’d want a real apostle speaking in your direction.
“We love you but your unrelenting contempt and hatred is only going to make us love you more fiercely. I pray for you.”
Since a bonafide apostle, not a fake one like Houston’s “NARpostle” hubby, cursed those who proclaim a different gospel, we can be sure that Paul would also be counted by her as among those who exhibit “unrelenting contempt and hatred.” Paul, who seemed rather unconcerned about negative comments by others as he preached the actual Gospel, probably wouldn’t be too upset that the wife of a charlatan might consider him hateful. After all, the real Jesus didn’t come to bring peace (Matthew 10:34) but rather to divide with His singular, easily identified Good News. Authentic repentant believers – His sheep – are divided to His right, for instance.
“I am put here for the defense of the Gospel.” The Apostle Paul, Philippians 1:16
But the genuine contempt folks like Paul and discerning believers who raise their voices against the diabolical teaching of Hillsong have is against their deception that has taken captive the minds of those already condemned. The hatred exhibited by Paul’s apostolic curse on false, contrary, different gospels is divinely Gospel-driven and imminently Christ-exalting. The safest – and most obedient – place to be found, then, is standing with him, not rocking with Bobbie, Carl, Oprah, and the heresy of Hillsong.
We pray for you too, Bobbie. We pray that you will embrace the true Gospel of the authentic Jesus and that you will repent and believe.
Otherwise … cursed goats to the left … and a different Jesus and contrary gospel can’t touch that.
Source: Bud Ahlheim, “Bobbie Houston:If You hate Hillsong, You Hate God”, Pulpit & Pen, http://pulpitandpen.org/2016/10/18/bobbie-houston-if-you-hate-hillsong-you-hate-god/, (Published 18/10/2016, Accessed 19/10/2016)
Bethel Church of Redding, California and Hillsong of Sydney, Australia are not hiding their New Apostolic Reformation roots. The two leading NAR (self-appointed) narpostles have finally joined hands and have come out together as #kindredspirits.
Does this mean Hillsong will now embrace impartations, various powers and anointings from the dead as they now acknowledge having a kindred spirit with the #Bethelated spirit?
Expect glory clouds and fire tunnels at Hillsong and a rise of immorality and corruption at Bethel. No biblical accountability or governing authorities have held either men accountable to their sins and lawlessness. For more information on the third member of this #unholytrinity Shawn Bolz, can be found here:
Brian Houston put the following out on Instagram,
Source: Brian Houston, Instagram, https://www.instagram.com/p/BLMeq3xDVpF/?hl=en, Published 06/10/2016. (Accessed 06/10/2016.)
Whether you hold to cessationism or continuationism, sound theology matters. In this lecture you will hear a clear presentation exposing an ancient heresy invading Christianity today.
“JD Hall recently spoke at the NorCal Fire conference in California. The following is audio from his sermon, Modern Day Montanism. This is a critique of the charismatic movement, and defends the doctrine of Cessationism, particularly in regards to new prophecy.”
Another excellent article from Pulpit & Pen:
Within the Charismatic Movement, discernment is often viewed as this supernatural ability to see if the spirit which influenced something is a good spirit or a demon. That is not what true discernment is in the modern context. Others within the same movement say that discernment is a supernatural feeling you get that tells you if someone or something is sound or unsound. They treat it as if you can simply feel when something is wrong, similar to how Yoda could feel a “disturbance in the force” in the Star Wars movies. No such feeling is ever described in the Bible.
Some people, including one popular blogger, David J. Stewart, sit at their computers and write about how wrong people are on certain issues that aren’t essential while at the same time believing many heresies (or false doctrines) themselves. This isn’t true discernment, this is just hypocrisy. Further, it is an insult to those who do practice true discernment as well as the Holy Spirit, who grants the gift of discernment.
A lot of so-called evangelicals think discernment is simply about decision making. While having a sharper discernment should certainly affect your decision making, that’s not exactly what discernment is either. True discernment, as succinctly stated by Charles Spurgeon, is the ability to distinguish between right and almost right–truth from error, and orthodoxy from heresy.
False Prophets have plagued God’s People since Eden. Satan could be considered the very first heretic and the very first false teacher, intentionally leading Adam and Eve astray for shameful gain. Throughout the times leading up to Christ, many false teachers and false prophets arose, such as Balaam, Korah, and Honi ha-M’agel. This continued throughout history with people such as Arius, Pelagius, Sabellius, Macedonius, Johannes Agricola, and Joel Osteen. For every one of these, there has been an Athanasius, an Augustine, a Tertullian, a Jerome, a Melancthon, and a MacArthur–all raised up by God. The defense of the Church against heresies like Arianism and Antinomianism and the Prosperity Gospel is a practical example of discernment. Discernment’s main goal is to defend the Church from heresies, false teachers, and cults who seek to deceive members of the Church. The perfect standard for sound theology is the Bible, therefore, that is what each teacher must be judged by. Discernment should be practiced against every teacher, every doctrine, every book, and every group. The discerner determines if they are sound, and warns the Church about those who aren’t. With this discernment info, we know who to evangelize and which teachers to avoid listening to.
The Bible has a lot to say about discernment. In fact, nearly every book in the New Testament has something about discernment inside of it. The books of 2 Peter and Jude were written mainly to encourage discernment. 3 John is a book written by the Apostle John warning Gaius about a false teacher named Diotrephes. Similarly, the Apostle Paul wrote warnings against Hymenaeus, Alexander the Coppersmith, and Philetus in his two epistles to Timothy. Chapter 5 of Ephesians encourages people to practice discernment and to maintain separation from those who are not theologically sound. In Acts 17, the Church in Berea was commended for being discerning while in Revelation 2 the Church in Thyatira was rebuked for being undiscerning. Paul tells the Church in Ephesians 5:6-11 (ESV),
Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not become partners with them; for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.
Source: Pulpit & Pen; contributed by Brandon Hines; http://pulpitandpen.org/2016/09/15/what-discernment-is-and-isnt/
Published: 15/09/2016 Accessed: 19/09/2016