The pushback on John MacArthur and Grace to You has been widespread before, during, and since the Strange Fire conference a couple of months ago. Dr. Michael L. Brown has probably been the most vocal critic of MacArthur, the conference, and cessationists since then.
I will give Brown credit where credit is due. He has written a response to MacArthur’s book Strange Fire, called Authentic Fire. I have not yet had the opportunity to read it, but that’s exactly what should happen from those who think the miraculous gifts are still in operation today. That’s the kind of discussion that should be going on. And I’ll also give credit for Brown as being a top notch defender of the faith when it comes to Jesus as the Jews’ Messiah and the issue of homosexuality in the culture today.
But then there’s this…
…and you just have to ask…
Is this, Dr. Brown, the authentic fire of which you speak? Benny Hinn? How can you sit with a man like that for any reason whatsoever other than to rebuke, reprove, and exhort him, calling him to repentance, as 2 Timothy 4:2 instructs us to do? Because he most assuredly is one of the ear tickling teachers of 2 Timothy 4:3? Here is a man who preaches a false gospel, has taught absurd heresies with regard to the Trinity, has profited millions of dollars out of the pockets of the deceived, and been involved in a public adulterous relationship when another false teacher.
Why, oh why, should we take your word that the Brownsville Revival produced good fruit if Benny Hinn is an example of that which produces good fruit? Do you not see how he blasphemes the Messiah you are so good at showing others is Jesus? Can you not see how your de facto endorsement of Hinn compromises the rock solid defense of the Bible and marriage and what it says about homosexuality on Piers Morgan recently?
I cannot help but say I’m grieved by this. I thought you to be among the most trusted of those who, as I understand the Bible, erroneously believe the miraculous apostolic era gifts are still in operation today. This makes me, and I’m sure many others, question that.
Now, the interviews have not aired, so I’ll say this: If in these interviews Dr. Brown does not him to repentance for all of these things, I will be the first to say “Well done” and apologize for this post. But I am not naive, nor am I hopeful that is the case. There were five interviews, after all. Five. I hope Dr. Brown will think about what he’s done here and take appropriate steps to make it right.
UPDATE (02 Jan 2014 – 10:13pm): Dr. Brown posted this on Facebook a couple of hours after the initial post about the interviews:
Thanks, friends, for sharing your thoughts and concerns re: my appearing on the Benny Hinn show. While I’m quite aware that some of you feel he is the ultimate false teacher and charlatan while others believe him to be a wonderful man of God, I have actually not monitored his ministry over the years. When I received the invitation to appear on the show, I felt I was to take it and exalt Jesus the Messiah and expose hyper-grace (and exalt true grace) to millions of viewers. And since Pastor Hinn seems very desirous of further interaction with me, I would encourage those of you who have grave concerns about his ministry to pray that God would use me to be a blessing in his life.
While I do pray that any interaction Brown has with Hinn might result in Hinn coming to Christ in repentance and genuine faith, I must admit I find Brown’s explanation that he has not monitored Hinn’s ministry over the years to be utterly incredulous, as Hinn is a very well known
charlatan teacher even among those who don’t travel in charismatic circles (which Brown obviously does). Even if he doesn’t keep track of every little thing Hinn says and does, Hinn’s exploits and false teachings are widespread. That Brown isn’t familiar enough with them to be absolutely alarmed would itself be alarming if it could be believed. It cannot, which makes all of this even more disappointing.