This is wrong to the point of absurdity. Bill Johnson is a heretic and anyone with an ounce of discernment knows this. Benny Hinn likewise is a heretic. They are to be named as Paul named Peter himself when he was behaving hypocritically. Or like when Alexander the Coppersmith, Hymenaeus and Philetus were likewise publicly named. Brown's faux argument is that the people pointing out the heresy are somehow the wrong people to do it. He believes that elders hold elders responsible and lay people should just lay down. Of course we know that most elders will never hold leadership accountable. Mark Driscoll's elders were the ones who said he could steal $200,000 of tithe monies to cheat the NY Times Best Seller list. Do you think that James MacDonald can plunge his church millions of dollars into debt without the complicity of the board? Then you have leader on leader complicity. It was Brian Houston and Robert Morris who allowed Mark Driscoll back into the fold. Tully Tchividjian must have his enablers. Todd Bentley was "restored" by Bill Johnson and Chuck Pierce. This restoration included divorcing his wife and remarrying his former nanny. Rumor has it that James MacDonald is now ready to come back despite millions of dollars in abuse and threatening to plant child pornography on the computer of someone he deemed his enemy. Those events happened this year by the way. Honor is earned Dr. Brown, not an automatic. The problem is the same problem Dr. Brown always has. He conflates voracious wolves with his brethren. It is why he is now reduced to being a political hack and a gatekeeper for heretics. The plague that has run rampant through the church is false teaching and those who enable it; not those willing to expose it as the bible commands.
"They speak without respect, without honor, without humility. They set themselves up as judges and know-it-alls. They alone know best, and all the leaders are a bunch of idiots. "God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble" (James 4:6). I would never want to be in a position where God is resisting me. Caution, caution, my friend. Again, that does not mean we cannot hold sinning leaders accountable. We must. We absolutely, without question, must do it. If we don't, many sheep will be hurt and the Lord's name disgraced. But this must be done in the right way, otherwise we will hurt ourselves and wreak havoc in the body. You see, there are millions of faithful shepherds and leaders, working hard to honor God and help their people. And when we lash out publicly and irresponsibly against specific leaders (even if there's some truth to what we say), we sow seeds of discord and confusion. This too is a dangerous practice." -- Dr. Michael Brown
Brown is a master of bovine excrement. It is not a matter of being a know it all, just someone who knows what the bible says. I want you to just read the first two sentences in this snippet from Brown. In it, he calls people he disagrees with judges, know it alls, who have no honor, respect or humility and then has the nerve to quote a bible verse about resisting the proud? His arrogance and duplicity is staggering. By the way, he just recently wrote an article calling on those in the church to install a filter on their mouths. Physician heal thyself. I have not seen anyone call false teachers idiots. I have seen discernment ministries point out the idiocy of let's say pretending there is a sneaky squid spirit or angels of abundant harvest. Dr. Brown had the owner of these idiocies, Jennifer LeClaire, on his show once where he provided cover for such ridiculousness. Note the silly argument again. He correctly states that corrupt leaders must be held to account but balks at those who do it. Again the wrong people argument. While Dr. Brown is correct that there are countless faithful shepherds and leaders they would never object to the truth beloved. False teachers ruin the cause of Christ and lead people away from solid preaching so why would solid preachers take issue with discernment? They wouldn't. I want us to focus like a laser on this comment from Brown:
"And when we lash out publicly and irresponsibly against specific leaders (even if there's some truth to what we say), we sow seeds of discord and confusion. This too is a dangerous practice."
No, no, a thousand times no. The key verses today spell out quite clearly that division, discord, and confusion come into the body of Christ through false teaching. It goes further to not differentiate between who will expose this teaching but that it must be avoided because they will deceive the hearts of the naïve. To Dr. Brown however, even if there is truth to the accusations, speaking such truth will sow division. That is absolute garbage. There are eternal lives at stake and if you do not have the stomach to stand in the gap for the sheep then get out of the way.
"In what way are we providing pastoral care for those who are now confused? How are we functioning as responsible shepherds? How are we functioning as responsible, loving members of the body when we don't think about the larger effect of our words? What happens to believers who have looked to the very leaders we have bashed and ridiculed? (I'm talking about godly leaders who have made some mistakes, not sexual predators or other sinners.) If we are going to use the internet, we must do so circumspectly." -- Dr. Michael Brown
Are you serious? So, telling the truth and obeying the bible results in the need for pastoral care? All pastoral care must start with and end with biblical truth. Without the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness falls to the floor. If I see someone in the body following Bill Johnson I am compelled by love to warn them of the wolf that they are dancing with. Any confusion is a result of the false doctrine the wolf brings in, not the discernment minister beating them back. Note the difference Brown repeatedly tries to make. That there are some nebulous group of really bad false teachers and then there are those that people think are bad but are really not. He is wrong across the board. Joseph Prince is not a spiritual leader in the church. Jenifer LeClaire is not a spiritual leader in the church. Bill Johnson is not a spiritual leader in the church. Benny Hinn is not a spiritual leader in the church. Mike Bickle is not a spiritual leader in the church,. Are you sensing a theme Doc? Your premise is flawed as ever in assuming voracious wolves devouring the sheep should be afforded the same treatment as brethren. They should not. She should be marked and avoided. They deserve nothing but the working end of the shepherd's rod. I would say you are mixing apples and oranges but that would be an insult to fruit.
"Authority is given by God for a reason, and when we show disdain for spiritual leadership or fashion ourselves as prophets sent to rebuke the entire church world, we descend into spiritual anarchy. To say it once more, sinning leaders must be confronted, and compromised leaders must be held accountable. I ask for that accountability in my own life, and I have practiced it with others -- numerous times. I have lost friends over this -- and much more. So be it. If we love Jesus and care for His integrity, we cannot play games with sacred things. At the same time, even in the midst of my fiercest disagreement with another leader, I will treat that person with respect, even when speaking about them alone with my wife. I'll even speak of them with respect when on my knees in prayer. I will not become an accuser of the brothers (see Revelation 12:10; that is Satan's work). I will not dishonor authority." -- Dr. Michael Brown