It is so sad to watch people who are compromised cite verses that could set them free if they just put aside their pre-formed bias. Removing Brown's emphasis and including the entire context, the key verses today teach us all we need to know about true unity. Christian unity is not based upon political agreement. It is not based upon cult of personality pastorships. It is solely based upon two things. The first is faith. We must believe in the same thing. The second facet is our unity must be in knowledge of the Son of God. There is another word for this - doctrine. Without unity of doctrine, individual people can make it up as they go along with whatever their flesh desires. If Bethel Church believed in unity of doctrine they would know they have to shut their fake school of the supernatural because the bible says only the Holy Spirit decides who gets what gifts. IHOP would have to give up its practices of eastern mysticism and the bridal paradigm because they are not biblical. Churches across this land would have to stop worshiping one political party and pretending God has anything to do with it. Christian maturity is based upon our developing unity of faith and doctrine. We cannot attain the whole measure of the fullness of Christ without it. Just in case people like Bill Johnson want to continue to downplay doctrine, God continues in the key verses to make this point abundantly clear. Why is it of dire importance that we attain Christian maturity? So that we are not tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine. Rather, we are to speak what with love? The truth. His word is the truth! You want to see true unity? Find the remnant of believers who insist upon sound doctrine.
"Paul wrote these words as if this was an attainable goal, something that we should work towards. Yet how many of us even give this much thought, let alone believe for it to happen, let alone do our best to make it happen? To be sure, Paul is not speaking of some kind of sloppy, compromised, watered-down, ecumenism. Not is he speaking of putting on a veneer of unity for ulterior purposes, like a religious coalition with the goal of sharing power. To the contrary, it is an integral unity, a transcendent unity, a unity that comes about as a result of our unity with the Lord, even in the midst of our diversity and human differences. As Jesus Himself prayed, "My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in Me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as You are in Me and I am in You. May they also be in Us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that You gave Me, that they may be one as We are oneI in them and You in Meso that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent Me and have loved them even as You have loved Me." (John 17:20-23) - Dr. Michael Brown
Unity is an attainable goal. It is one that is perfected moment to moment when people come to understand correct doctrine. For every person that comes out from the darkness of Bethel, IHOP, Hillsong, Lakewood or any number of false churches preaching false gospels, that unity is perfected further. Do not think for a second that myself or anyone is exempt. I once read the Purpose Driven Life with my church and thought it made sense. I once thought the abuse of the gifts of the spirit were common order. Then you start reading the word for yourself and the Holy Spirit starts leading you into all truths; even those that make your personal experiences heretical. Every time you side with the what the bible says over your personal experience the unity of the saints is further perfected. Never lose sight of the opposite truths as well. Every person that chooses Bethel, IHOP, Hillsong or Lakewood over correct doctrine will be another person standing before the Lord in Matthew 7 exclaiming, "Lord Lord" only to discover He never knew them. False doctrine not only kills but it kills eternally.
"Will God answer this prayer? And was this merely the Lord's human desire, or did it reflect the very will of His Father? Surely this prayer reflects the heart of our heavenly Father. Surely He, too, longs to see us united in His Son. And take careful note of what will happen when we come into this glorious unity: "Then," Jesus said, "the world will know that you sent Me and have loved them even as You have loved Me." Talk about shaking the world! Looking at this through human eyes, it really does seem impossible, like some kind of spiritual pipe dream. Yet the Lord prayed for it and Paul wrote about it, both of them with certainty and expectation. Unfortunately, our deep lack of unity, our constant fleshly bickering, our sense of competition more than comradery, and our extreme judgmentalism (as opposed to healthy discernment), gives ample testimony to just how far off the mark we really are." - Dr. Michael Brown
This is typical of Brown and false doctrine defenders alike - blame those who correct doctrine as being judgmental. Paint them as the problem as opposed to the false doctrine. The truth of the matter is Dr. Michael Brown has never met a heretic he could not defend. Remember this is the same guy who appeared on the Benny Hinn show for a week and calls Bill Johnson and Joseph Prince good brothers in the Lord. Prince is the more interesting one because Brown once wrote a book against the false teaching of antinomianism, more commonly referred to as greasy grace. The learned theologian that Brown is, I am sure the book is correct in its critique. The problem is that Joseph Prince is the undisputed king of antinomianism, yet Brown gives him a total pass. Being correct on doctrine is important but so is calling out the ones teaching the false doctrine. Unity is only a pipe dream as long as Christian leaders pretend that Jennifer LeClaire is a prophetess! Unity is only a pipe dream as long as Christian leaders continue to worship carnal politicians as they idolize their slice of this fallen world.
"That's one reason we need to experience corporate revival in a massive, life-changing way. During times of genuine renewal, there is also a great outpouring of love (even in the midst of controversy and misunderstanding). As one old saying goes, when the waters rise, you don't see the fences anymore. That's one reason why revival remains a deep, burning cry of my heart, and one reason why I wrote my latest book Revival Or We Die: A Great Awakening Is Our Only Hope. Revival brings us into a fresh encounter with Jesus the Lord which, in turn, brings us into a greater love for one another. Persecution can also unite believers, as followers of Jesus find themselves sharing prison cells with other believers from other denominations and expressions, only to realize they are one in the Lord. We may experience more of this in the days ahead.
And always, even without revival or persecution, based on the principles laid out by Paul, above, we can take steps every day of our lives to walk in love towards our brothers and sisters, doing our best to build up rather than simply tear down. There's even a way to correct error that has the goal of unifying around truth rather than dividing around personalities and doctrines. May we learn to step higher here too. Decades ago, I heard about how a little girl learned to apply the biblical call to "love one another." She looked at her friend and said, "I'm one, and you're another." This sounds like a good place to start." - Dr. Michael Brown
I have scoured the bible repeatedly and have yet to find a case where a wolf repents. Not one. Wolves do not become sheep. When Paul names names, he tells believers to not associate with people who have left the faith. The biggest problem Michael Brown continues to have is that he considers anyone who can spell "Jesus" correctly to be his brother or sister. Thus, he is always building up false teachers. He is always defending them. He is always unifying with them and teaching others to do the same. He has decided that the greatest enemy to the revival he so desires, as the rest of the NAR does, are the people insisting on what sayeth the Lord. You see, the closing anecdote about the little girl and her friend is cute but it is only sustaining because the principles are children. Once the little girl discovers that her friend doesn't believe in sneaky squid spirits then the Kumbaya moment will have passed. Or if she discovers that her friend does not believe in teaching the gifts of the spirt. Or that she votes Democrat. Whatever carnal reason Michael Brown continues to use remember that true unity is found only in what we believe and sound doctrine. That unity is perfected moment to moment as the truth of God's word shines the light of Christ into the darkness of this world and the false teachings of the apostate church.