He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it. - Titus 1: 9 (ESV)
I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. - Romans 16: 17 (ESV)
Dr. Michael Brown has been a figure in charismatic circles for decades. He is a well respected theologian and defender of the Pentecostal experience. He seems like a nice guy too. I have spoken with him before on his radio program after he appeared on the Benny Hinn program for a week. I tried to make the point to him that he was lending his credibility to someone who did not deserve it. That too often in modern Christianity those who may not be false themselves, prop up far too many false teachers under the ruse of unity. The reality is the Bible teaches us some bedrock principles when it comes to false teachers and authentic unity. The key verses today clearly show that those who are called to preach and teach have a biblical obligation to rebuke anyone who contradicts sound doctrine and that it is the people who teach falsely that actually cause division. Translation? Doctrine is the unifying principle of Christianity. It is doctrine that we must be unified around. Sound doctrine that lifts up Jesus Christ and stays true to His Gospel.
I remember talking to Dr. Brown that day and sadly realizing that he didn't seem to "get" it. He was not understanding the point I was trying to make. In a separate email exchange I asked him about Joseph Prince because Dr. Brown had written an excellent book on the dangers of hyper grace. His answer revealed the fatal flaw in Dr. Brown's approach. He said that Joseph Prince was a brother in Christ who has been given a profound revelation of grace that has helped untold numbers of Christians but he has some flaws in his theology. That falls so short of the truth it is staggering to me. Joseph Prince is not my brother in Christ. He is a wolf. He is a wolf that is tearing the sheep of the Lord apart every single week and every time he steps up to the microphone. I care not if that is his intent or not. I am speaking solely about his teaching. God does not care about our intent and realize that some deceivers are themselves deceived:
while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. - 2Timothy 3: 13 (ESV)
This verse is from a section dealing with the very end times we live in. It describes perfectly that there will be a difference between evil people and imposters. Deceivers and those who are deceived themselves. It matters not. We have to move this conversation away from carnal matters of the heart and onto theology. What does the Word of God command? It does not command us to dance with wolves. It does not command us to pet them, stroke them, marginalize them, or actually pretend they are one of us. They are not. Today, Dr. Brown published an article on Charisma News asking Joseph Prince 11 questions regarding the horrific nature of his antinomian teachings of greasy grace. They were asked in a very polite manner, as is the style of Dr. Brown who has always been a gentleman. Here is a link to that article:
Read these questions beloved. What do they reveal? Do they reveal a man who has some "flaws in his theology" or a man who is a false teacher? Brown's own questions reveal that at the heart of this are not some petty disagreements but substantial core matters of doctrine. Joseph Prince has not received a profound revelation of grace. He has claimed a profoundly heretical gospel, different from the one in the Bible, was given to him by direct revelation. Nearly every time I have seen Prince preach he always starts by claiming direct revelation from God. Now he may have helped untold numbers escape the false theology of legalism but transferring them to antinomianism is not a step up.
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel across sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves. - Matthew 23: 15 (ESV)
Moving goats from one false teaching to another is not something to be praised. Going across the world or orchestrating dramatic altar calls does not matter if you are only making your converts twice the son of hell that you are. Now I will be honest here. I could go into detail about the 11 questions but the hyper-grace credentials of Joseph Prince are not in question. Anyone who has an ounce of discernment can see that he teaches the old antinomian heresy of the law having no place in the life of a believer. Even Dr. Brown knows this, although he minimizes it by pretending a simple dialogue about these 11 issues can resolve it. For the purposes of this devotional however, it is the rest of Prince's teachings that I want us to look at. I pray that Dr. Brown seriously looks at them. They reveal the truth, which is that Joseph Prince does not correctly handle the Word of God and preaches not to hear what sayeth the Lord but rather to prop up his personal theology and false gospel of grace. Now mind you, I am not speaking about trivial matters. Anyone can make a mistake or even have a different application. No beloved, I am speaking about drastically rewriting what God has said and mangling Scripture. Not once either but every time I have heard him preach. Now maybe we have dumbed down the Gospel too much these days. Maybe we think the Gospel is written in shades of grey. Maybe we think that all interpretations are correct. The problem is God does not believe that at all. So where do we start?
Let's start with his teachings on the Benjamin Generation. This was a series where Prince proclaimed that those people who follow his teachings on hyper grace will be the last generation before the rapture! He calls them the Benjamin Generation and completely shreds the account of Benjamin and Joseph in Genesis:
Portions were taken to them from Joseph's table, but Benjamin's portion was five times as much as any of theirs. And they drank and were merry with him. - Genesis 43: 34 (ESV)
Prince actually abuses this verse to conclude that God will serve the "Benjamin Generation" five times as much. Note the usage of the word serve because that is what God becomes in Prince's theology - our servant. This historical narrative from over 4000 years ago has nothing to do with some secret generation that will follow this man's preaching. The entire premise is absurd and only serves to tickle the ears and point people away from Christ. Prince was far from done however:
To each and all of them he gave a change of clothes, but to Benjamin he gave three hundred shekels of silver and five changes of clothes. - Genesis 45: 22 (ESV)
Prince skips ahead two chapters and obliterates this verse to mean that God will give the "Benjamin Generation" plenty of food and clothing! Oh just look at what you get if you follow Prince's teachings! He then proclaims that in the spirit realm this verse actually means that people who follow him will get five different magical anointings they can easily slip in and out of like an old pair of fuzzy bunny slippers. One second you can wield the successful businessman anointing and in the next just slip into the successful pastoral anointing. While the rest of Christianity might be lucky to get one anointing, people who follow Prince will have five! What utter blasphemous garbage. Mind you, there were plenty of other problems within this sermon but these were the lowlights that stuck out. Why would Dr. Brown or any serious Christian want to dance with this wolf is beyond me.