For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. -- Matthew 7: 14 (ESV)
I have followed Dr. Michael Brown for some time now. I have written several devotionals regarding his ministry. I have even been on his radio show. He has always been somewhat of an enigma to me. He is clearly learned, fluent in multiple languages and has a terrific testimony of God saving his life. He takes completely biblical stands on most issues and is always fair and reasoned in his approach, even though he is often amidst controversy by the nature of his ministry. But he has a huge blind spot that has bothered me for some time now. It started when he appeared on the Benny Hinn program for a week. It was that week that I called into his radio show and while he was gracious, he could offer no defense of why he would cuddle up with such a blatant and obvious wolf. Beloved we must understand that there are two types of wolves. There are wolves who know full well what they are. They are deceivers who know they are deceiving. Then there are those that I call accidental wolves, who themselves are deceived:
While evil people and imposters will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. -- 2Timothy 3: 13 (ESV)
I can believe that someone like Joel Osteen believes that he is doing good. I can believe that many false teachers and wolves do not even realize their own deception. Benny Hinn however is not one of those. He is an obvious charlatan who traffics in false prophecy, fake healings, and making merchandise off the people of God. This is such low hanging fruit in the discernment realm. I get why Joseph Prince is so deceiving. So much of what he says is true and biblical, even though the leaven in his theology will consign untold thousands of people to hell, if not millions. But I get it. He is difficult to discern. You must really do the work of a Berean. But Benny Hinn? Waving his jacket at people to knock them down. Wishing he had a Holy Ghost machine gun to kill his detractors? No beloved. Somebody as learned and studied as Dr. Michael Brown should have known better. Not only did he appear on his show, but he referred to and treated him as a brother is Christ. After the Hinn incident, Brown went on to defend many heretical practices and peoples, including Hillsong after their sleazy Silent Night video went viral. He is a vociferous defender of the infamous Brownsville Revival, as well as the Toronto Blessing; both of which are dark stains of heresy on the Evangelical past. Toronto was a spiritual cesspool where people rolled around on the ground and barked like dogs pretending it was the Holy Spirit. There was nothing of God about it. The same goes for Brownsville, which Dr. Brown spoke at. The video evidence still available today does not lie. The spasmodic twitching and uncontrolled body spasms were not from God. It may be spiritual but that spirit is not from God. This has led me to write in the past about the fact that when it comes to Charismania, Dr. Michael Brown displays no discernment. He does not even pretend to want to. Even though he wrote a book denouncing and exposing the hyper-grace error he refuses to call Joseph Prince a false teacher. He said to me that he is just a brother in the Lord who has set many people free through his revelation of God's grace who has some holes in his theology. No Dr. Brown, he is a ravenous wolf devouring the sheep of the Lord and you enable him. If we cannot call people like Joseph Prince, Brian Houston of Hillsong, and Benny Hinn wolves then who exactly would qualify? After this past week we learned that not even Bill Johnson would rise to the level of wolf for Dr. Michael Brown.
Dr. Brown had Bill Johnson on his radio program for an hour to promote Johnson's new book. It is interesting that halfway through the fluff piece Brown realized he would be widely criticized for such a softball interview. So he mentioned that he would be criticized and tried to defend himself by saying he asked Johnson all the tough questions about the most common controversies surrounding him and his heretical church, Bethel. Yes Michael. It was so tough to listen to you refer to him as well respected, greatly loved, and a brother in the Lord. The problem is that the interview was not designed to confront Johnson with his heresy but to give Johnson a chance to make excuses for it. So excuse making Johnson did and Brown lapped it up. The first area Brown addressed was the heretical worship outfit that has emerged from Bethel known as Jesus Culture. This group plays to stadiums sold out with young impressionable Christians. Their music is this droning nonsense about being filled, having rain fall and there is always a river nearby. The primary worship leader is Kim Walker-Smith. She routinely tells her testimony of two waking visitations from Jesus Himself. While both are demonic, we will address only one of them here. In it, Jesus whisks her away to the throne room of God where she meets the Father face to face. Does she fall down in abject fear at the terror of His majesty? Does she tremble at the sight of the one who spoke the entire universe into existence? Does she collapse like the Apostle John or declare she has unclean lips like Isaiah? Nope. She chats and has a latte with Him. She asks the Father, what were you thinking when you made me. Considering the me-centric theology of experiential Christianity she ascribes to, it is no wonder the only question she can muster when standing before God is about her. She goes on to say that God then ripped out a piece of His heart and molded it into a little Kim-Walker Smith and placed it in a music box. Every time the Father opened the box the little piece of His heart would dance and praise Him and he would gleefully clap. How ridiculously absurd and heretical.
But, he said, "You cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live." -- Exodus 33: 20 (ESV)
This is what happens when you base your theology and beliefs on your experience instead of the Bible. Assuming Kim Walker-Smith is not lying, she has been visited by a demon and she could not tell the difference. How do we know that? Because the Bible assures us. She would be dead if she met the Father face to face. What hard hitting questions did Brown ask? He asked him how he felt about people criticizing Jesus Culture or even saying that Johnson is false prophet leading people to hell. All Brown did was agree when Johnson offered the faux-pious answer of praying those people will not reap what they sow, in their "spirit of accusation." Yeah, way to get to the bottom of the Jesus Culture problems.
The second area Brown tackled are the reports about grave sucking or grave soaking. There is a popular YouTube video posted from students of the Bethel School of the Supernatural as they visited the grave of a former heretic in order to "suck off some residual anointing." There are also pictures of Johnson himself at gravesites. There is a picture of his wife hugging a tombstone and another with her lying down on a grave. Johnson spoke about such concepts previously with Sid Roth on his supernatural TV program. This is not exactly an unknown phenomenon. Brown addresses none of this and only offers Johnson the opportunity to deny it, which he did, before Brown proudly announces; "We can put this to rest." No Michael, we cannot. Perhaps you should have started with asking why he runs a school to teach people the gifts of the Holy Spirit despite the Bible clearly stating that only the Spirit gives them out as He sees fit. Perhaps you could have explored his past comments and the videos and photos. Even if you wish to dismiss all of that, what does it say that your teaching and preaching led a group of kids to think that they could suck the residual anointing from the bones of dead heretics? But Brown admits he was not interviewing Johnson to investigate as much as he wanted people to know his heart. The fact is we can care less about his heart. Show me his theology and when you investigate that you will discover that it reeks. Brown also allowed Johnson to try and cover over the fact that he teaches that Jesus always must heal us. Bill Johnson pretended that his position is not really what everyone knows it to be with Dr. Brown just affirming everything he said. Yet if you go to Bill Johnson's own website under Q and A he states regarding mandatory healing:
"How can God choose not to heal someone when He already purchased their healing? -- Bill Johnson
Skipping past his personal hypocrisy since he wears prescription eyeglasses, the answer to his query is simple. It is called God's sovereignty. If God always must heal us, why are there no 200 year old Christians? He tried valiantly to pretend he does not condone blaming the sick for their illnesses but that is exactly the doctrine he results to. It is completely unbiblical. Johnson even offered up his usual bible twisting for this false doctrine saying that everyone Jesus encountered was healed. Despite the folly of making the comparison, it is not even biblically accurate:
Now there was a pool, in Aramaic called Bethesda, which has five roofed colonnades. In these lay a multitude of invalids -- blind, lame, and paralyzed. -- John 5: 2-3 (ESV)
This of course is the healing at the Bethesda Pool. How many people were healed beloved? The answer is one. Not everyone. Jesus had sovereignty and that day there was a cause to heal just the one man. Johnson also poorly assumes that because there is no account of Him not healing someone, that everyone must be healed. These are Gospel accounts of what Jesus did. Not what He did not do.
The last major controversy Brown served up on a silver platter for Johnson is his worship leader referring to the Holy Spirit as a "sneaky blue genie." Essentially Johnson confirmed that the Holy Spirit is sneaky because he is "mysterious." What nonsense. First of all the word mysterious is not synonymous with sneaky but I do not want to get into grammar and vocabulary. The larger problem is viewing the Holy Spirit as a genie. What does a genie do? It grants wishes. This is the theology of Bethel. Jenn Johnson was completely coherent and sincere when she said this and even Johnson admitted she no longer says it because of the controversy -- not because it is unbiblical. Did Brown call Bill Johnson out on this? Of course not! He is his brother in the Lord! No reason to drag the Bible into this.
That was it. The rest was just about his new book. Dr. Brown approached this interview as a promotional spot for Bill Johnson. He asked him about controversial subjects but only for the purpose of allowing Johnson to deny them. Bill Johnson is one of the biggest heretics on the planet. Here are some of the lowlights Brown deftly avoided:
Johnson considers himself to be a living apostle
Johnson is a member of the New Apostolic Reformation