Accusers of the Brethren (Part Three)
Debra Bouey examines unjust accusations against those who stand for biblical
The second notable point
Hill raises is:
2. "God mockers
have much to fear. God will recall every curse uttered against His revival.
He will replay every blasphemy whispered...."
Here we see the clear
implication that those who speak against the movement at BAG are blasphemers.
This ominous threat of either having committed, or being in danger of
committing, the unpardonable sin-blasphemy-has been all too frequently
leveled at critics as well. Another interesting case in point, BAG's Michael
the Spirit. It is a terrifying sin, a horrible sin, a sin of disastrous
consequences. It is the only sin specifically described in the Bible
as unforgivable. Just the thought of it is enough to send spiritual
chills down your spine.
"What makes this sin so severe? Listen to Jesus:
"'I tell you the truth, all the sins and blasphemies of men will
be forgiven them. But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will
never be forgiven; he is guilty of an eternal sin.' He said this because
they were saying, He has an evil spirit.' (Mark 3:28-31)
"To blaspheme the Spirit is to knowingly attribute Jesus' work
done in the power of the Holy Spirit to the devil. It is the ultimate
offense. And it is something from which we must flee. Why tamper with
a sin which can lead to eternal judgment? There is nothing more dangerous
than the blasphemy of the Spirit. Jesus could not have stated it more
plainly, and we dare not take His words lightly, especially in the day
and age in which we live. When revival fire is falling, when the Holy
Spirit is moving in power, we do well to examine this portion of the
Word afresh. And while it is true that there is debate among Bible scholars
as to the exact nature of the sin of blaspheming the Spirit, there is
no debate as to its eternal consequences!
"But first I want to make something perfectly clear: I am
not saying for a moment that the Christian brothers and sisters who
attack the current outpouring are guilty of blaspheming the Spirit. I am not saying that those believers who attribute the whole
revival to the devil are guilty of this sin. I do not even entertain
such a thought for a moment."
If Brown does not want
to instill the fear in critics of the BAG movement that they may be in
danger of committing the unpardonable sin-blaspheming the Holy Spirit-by
continuing to speak out in opposition to the movement, why does he proceed
to spend the opening three paragraphs of the chapter "Scorning
the Sacred" discussing that very thing before he states that
he is in no way claiming critics are guilty of it? If Brown doesn't believe,
as he alleges, critics are guilty of blasphemy, then why bring it up in
the first place? More to the point, if Brown doesn't believe critics are
in danger of committing the unpardonable sin by blaspheming the Holy Spirit,
why does he also write in the same chapter:
"Are you totally
and absolutely sure that you are right in attacking the current revival? Are you willing to wager your SALVATION on the fact that you are
correct? If not, how in the world can you dare risk the possibility
that your zeal is misguided and that you are opposing God Himself? Is
there no holy fear in you, no sense of the greatness of the Lord, no
awe of His might works, no recognition that it is far better to tread
carefully in your public judgments - lest you revile the very One you
claim to represent - than to speak rashly about matters in which you
are not, in fact, expert?"
I can see no other reason
for Brown even raising the point of blasphemy other than the fact that,
while he doesn't out and out claim, as Hill appears to have done, that
critics are blaspheming, he means to forcefully imply and hint
that if we haven't already, we are in grave danger of doing so if we continue
to oppose the BAG movement. Which seems highly contradictory to me with
his protestations to the contrary that he doesn't believe we are guilty
of blasphemy and that he hasn't even entertained so much as a thought
of such for even a moment. Brown claims one thing, but his own words seem
to bespeak quite another, do they not?
In recent months Brown
has been one of the most prolific "criticizers of the critics, although
he, like Steve Hill, claims to scarcely pay any attention to us at all.
Implausibly, for two men who make such a claim, they both wrote books
wherein those they believe to be opposed to the BAG movement are repeatedly
Dr. Brown (RevivalNow@msn.com): [Tue, Sep 16, 09:17PM EDT]
Adele -- don't get frustrated when and if critics are referred to. Remember,
Jesus addressed His "critics" too -- and we only do so for
the edification of the Body and for the clarifying of truth. But if
we responded to 1% of what the critics said, let alone 10%, we'd spend
all our time talking about them instead of reaching the lost and backslidden.
That's why they receive only slight attention from us.
Let us review some of
Brown's allegations about critics and see if he pays "only slight
attention" to us.
pathetic!-the critics continue to raise their voices and attack those
things of which they are ignorant. But what would revival be like without
the critics? (That's similar to asking what the Gospels would be like
without the Pharisees.) When God starts moving, everyone falls into
place: The hungry press forward and are filled: the lost are drawn in
and the backsliders drawn home: the laborers are raised up and thrust
out: and the critics criticize! What else could we expect? Birds fly,
fish swim, liars lie, and critics criticize. Actually, we ought to pity
those who cannot recognize the glorious fruit....They reject the Spirit
because they don't like the style. Pity their souls (think of having
a ministry of criticism!) and pray for those whom they mislead. We don't
want anyone to be left out. A few months ago the Lord said to me that
soon it will be an embarrassment to be associated with the critics.
Day by day, the truth of that word is becoming clearer and clearer.
I would hate to find myself standing in the path of a divine tidal wave,
shaking my skeptical fist and shouting, 'That's not God!' Heaven help
Brown covers considerable
ground in just this one citation alone by alleging:
Critics are pathetic
and ignorant, which presumptuously assumes those who have Biblical concerns
about BAG haven't taken the time to educate themselves thoroughly about
what is being taught and condoned there and prayerfully weighed it in
the balance of Scripture.
The critics are likened
to the Pharisees, which is a universal allegation with all those who "criticize the critics." He places us on par with the Pharisees
and the accusations they leveled at the incarnate Christ in the Gospels.
Which is to say, he is implying that we are persecuting those involved
in the BAG movement in a manner equivalent to that which the Pharisees
did Christ in the Gospels.
Critics are rather
pitiful, having ministries of "criticism", or so Brown presumes.
It's an embarrassment
to be associated with us, the "critics", or it soon will be.
"We don't want
anyone to be left out." Here's the ever-present threat that if
one doesn't go along with BAG, one is going to find oneself "left
out" of whatever supposed "new thing" God is doing today.
After all, human nature being what it is, nobody wants to get "left
As I noted above, Brown
wrote an entire book to address "critics" of BAG. Even the title, "Let No One Deceive You: Confronting the Critics of Revival" is somewhat misleading in that those
I know, myself included, are not opposed to genuine, Godly revival, far
from it. Brown and his colleagues at BAG just don't seem to get it: opposition
to the un-Biblical manifestations and practices at BAG does not constitute our being critical of revival which is Scriptural and genuine.
But BAG leadership and proponents have taken the tact that to be opposed
to their movement is to be opposed to revival period. It is an erroneous
Brown claims his chapter "Scorning the Sacred" was written because:
"You see, it is
possible to scorn the sacred and despise the divine until the Lord Himself
raises His voice in rebuke. I fear that some critics are nearing that
place of danger, and this chapter is written to warn them and help pull
I find it rather peculiar
that while Brown expresses considerable concern about the plight of critics-quite
frequently pointing out that we are in grave danger of God's wrath and
judgment-conversely, he seems to have no such concerns for himself whatsoever
as he proceeds to level various and sundry derogatory allegations at us.
Although Brown claims at the outset of the book in his preface that "this
book is not vindictive", it is obvious as one reads it there are
many supercilious, pejorative terms used to describe us, most of which
are clearly attacking and personal in nature. Consequently, I have a difficult
time believing that particular chapter, if not the whole book as well,
was written for any other reason than to attempt to intimidate us into
silence by instilling fear of God's wrath and retribution, while concurrently
endeavoring to suppress any inclination to seriously evaluate the movement
by those who presently endorse it.
as I stated regarding the Hill chapter, I urge you, wherever at all possible,
to obtain at least a copy of the preface and first two chapters (see end
note 21), if not the book itself, to carefully read and review it for
yourself as well. Unless otherwise noted, I am going to primarily limit
myself to dealing with Brown's Preface and Chapters 1 and 2 in the
citations below. Browns writes:
"Just the issue
of holy living might disqualify many contemporary critics"!
"If we don't claim to be the holy heroes of the hour, the mini-saviors
of the moment, the enlightened leaders of the Critical Intelligentsia
Association (CIA), the elite members of the Faultfinding Brotherhood
International (FBI), if we are quick to hear and slow to speak, recognizing
that God is raising up a large and varied army, the Lord can keep us
safe from delusion."
"What is one of the roots of spiritual deception? Pride. I have
special revelation; I am right; I know. And this reveals one of the
strongholds of this destructive, critical spirit: Truth doesn't matter.
Evidence doesn't count. I have an opinion! That's what really matters.
After all, I am a critic....How dare you question me?...This kind of
attitude is all too common among many of the contemporary critics of
"Yes, all too often, the real issue is not truth, facts, and evidence,
but rather the critic's opinion....It is frequently self-anointed, generally
self-appointed, and virtually always right. How can the critic possibly
"The critic is often more influenced by what he thinks and discerns
than by what the evidence, the clear and powerful evidence, says...no
matter what Scriptural proof you provide, no matter what other proven
leaders believe. As Judith Crist once remarked with reference to art
and literary critics, To be a critic, you have to have maybe three percent
education, five percent intelligence, two percent style, and ninety
percent gall and egomania in equal parts. This applies to some spiritual
"Careful, dear critic! Do you really want to know the truth, or
have you merely painted yourself into a corner from which you cannot
escape....If you really wanted to know the truth, you would go and find
it out for yourself...."
"Once the critic has made up his mind, he seeks out confirmation
to prove that his negative suspicions are true. In fact, he will give
more credence to one negative report that agrees with his position than
1,000 that contradict and refute it....But that is the blinding deception
of a critical spirit."
"Yes, there is a cozy cocoon of criticism that feeds on itself
and draws strength from its rumormongering. May God's light penetrate
this darkness, and His truth pierce these lies! This kind of junk repeating
libelous falsehoods about our brothers and maligning faithful servants
of the Lord is as far from constructive correction and godly rebuke
as Death Valley is from the Arctic Circle. It not only misses the mark,
but instead of shooting at the enemy's target, it fires at its own side."
"How do you want
to be remembered? On which side do you want to be? On the side of the
critics...or on the side of those who are bearing much fruit for the
Kingdom of God...?"
Brown makes quite a number
of presumptions and predilections where critics of the BAG movement are
concerned in just the Preface and first two chapters alone, specifically:
FINAL PART (4)
- First and foremost,
we are ignorant.
- We are "enlightened
leaders of the Critical Intelligentsia Association (CIA)."
- We are "the elite
members of the Faultfinding Brotherhood International (FBI)."
- We are likely to be
disqualified because we do not live holy personal lives.
- We are frequently
self-anointed and self-appointed.
- We're foolish.
- We elevate traditions
made of man over God's Word.
- We scorn the sacred
things of God.
- We liberally speak
ill of those who have a particular, extraordinary "special favor
and blessing" of God. (Depending on the clear intent, some might
even be view Brown as walking a tightly-strung rope over a perilous
pit called Gnosticism here with these kinds of statements.)
- We are tragic, sad,
pitiful gossips with biased opinions, spewing garbage and spreading
baseless accusations, to whom nothing, absolutely nothing, not even
the things of God, are sacred.
- We are poor blind
guides, deluded into believing we are heroes of the faith.
- We hold our standards
as critics higher than angelic majesties.
- We're 90% gall and
egomania in equal parts.
- We are rumormongers.
- We are in darkness.
- We spread lies.
- We repeat libelous
falsehoods about our brothers.
- We malign faithful
servants of the Lord.
- We have no accurate
understanding of what is really happening in God's kingdom today.
- We have very little
of the presence of God in our own personal lives.
- We are wagering our
very salvation on our criticism of Brownsville.
- We are quick to criticize
and eager to be opinionated.
- We are pathetic and
- We are ignorant speakers.
- We are ignorant slanderers
of the Holy Spirit.
- We have a pattern
of acting in ignorance and unbelief. (Frankly, the book itself makes
us out to be quite an ignorant lot overall, period...at least in Brown's
- We speak vilely.
- We are crass judgmentalists.
- We are prideful.
- We fear man more than
we rightly fear God.
- We are foolish talkers.
- We are criticizers
- We are scorners of
the Holy Spirit.
- We are mockers of
- We are vilifying God's
- We are kicking against