Monday, October 28, 2013

Response to Michael Brown's "Be Careful"

Michael Brown's recent article (link) is a good reminder that we should be careful about how we identify "another gospel" as such. Nevertheless, Brown seems to take this proper caution to humility too far.

Brown writes:
So let’s put the theological bombast aside and be “eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call—one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all” (Eph. 4:3-6).
The problem is, theology matters. It especially matters when people claim to speak with the authority of the Spirit. We can hardly have "unity of the Spirit" when we serve the Holy Spirit and they serve a deceiving spirit.

Brown writes:
Why then must we be so quick to go beyond the rule of Scripture and take it upon ourselves to damn to hell other professing believers if—to repeat—they hold to the fundamentals of the faith and have not denied the Lord in word or deed?
First of all, we are calling these people to repentance, not damning them to hell. Brown needs to control his emotions.
Second, Brown is begging the question. We don't agree with his position on the false prophets in the charismatic movement: rather we say that they do not hold to the fundamentals of the faith and that they deny the Lord by their words and deeds.

Brown states:
In other words, even though there are heretics, God knows those who are truly saved; as for us, if we claim to be His we must depart from iniquity.
God does know who are His. Nevertheless, God calls us to exercise discernment:

Romans 16:17
Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.


1 comment:

CD said...

With your indulgence, this article thoughtfully and ably addresses the topic at hand.

The differences in view aren't merely semantical, secondary, or simple issues of taste or preference, but rather they are fundamentally theological concerns. And as some have well said, "theology matters."