Not Laughing Now
by Phil Johnson
Rodney Howard-Browne, self-styled “Holy Ghost Bartender,” has taken notice of the Strange Fire conference sponsored by Grace to You (October 16-18, 2013). He seems unnerved by the prospect that twenty-first-century charismatic phenomena are going to be examined in light of Scripture. Howard-Browne’s trademark giddiness has gone missing. Recently, he wrote this stream-of-consciousness rant on his Facebook page:
There is coming a massive attack on the Pentecostal/ Charismatic movement by a group of individuals that don’t believe in the power of the Holy Spirit today - these men do not believe in speaking in tongues or the gifts of the spirit - they think that because of excesses in the church that they have a right to write off the fastest growing sector of Christianity - over 800 million in the earth today - that would be as bad as writing Jesus off because of one of the 12 was Judas Iscariot - if these individuals just adopted Gamaliel’s advice of Acts 5:38-39 that would be fine however they have no fear of God and are in grave danger of blaspheming the Holy Ghost - they think that because the movement has had scandals that have been publicised that this gives them leeway to do what they are doing - however the only reason why it gets the attention is because these individuals are on TV - everywhere I travel I hear of scandals outside of the Pentecostal charismatic realm but these are never publicised because no one knows them - they are calling their exposé strange fire however you better have the alternative if you are going to criticise something as counterfeit you have to produce the real - or else you had better shut up! The only ones who have the right to bring correction are the ones inside the camp not outside!
All the standard charismatic arguments are summarized there: He says critics of modern charismatic claims are unspiritual people motivated only by rank unbelief. He insists the weight of sheer numbers validates the modern charismatic movement (yet the high percentage of scandalous frauds, philanderers, and false teachers spawned by the movement means nothing). He emphatically declares that those outside the movement are not entitled to criticize charismatic abuses. And of course he includes the killer argument: The critics are people who “have no fear of God and are in grave danger of blaspheming the Holy Ghost.”
In reality, those who tout false prophecies, obscene bodily gyrations, and drunken behavior as gifts of the Holy Spirit are the ones blaspheming Him. In fact, no one is more notorious for that than Rodney Howard-Browne himself. For him to decry blasphemy and pretend to know anything about the fear of God is the very height of arrogant irony.
If you think that sounds unduly harsh, watch this video of a typical Rodney Howard-Browne “ministry” binge:
Strange Fire, indeed.
#1 Posted by
Valigno Dias | Monday, June 10, 2013at
I am utterly disgusted on seeing this video. In fact I am reminded that Romans 2: 24 says “For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you, “. Even a person without the knowledge of the Word of God would find such teachings most bizarre. Please use the Strange Fire conference to tell the world that they are not Christians. If this is what they call Christianity, than I do not wish to be one.
#2 Posted by
Naomi Durocher | Monday, June 10, 2013at
Strange fire indeed, I am excited for this conference!
Thank you Phil for defending the faith, keeping Christ the center! In Him alone are we complete. We must continue in our faith being grounded and steadfast - rooted and built up. Paul boldly stood up against false teachers and proclaimed the truth. He didn't stop there, but defended the truth and properly taught the church and faithful brethren, whom he so tenderheartedly and compassionately loved and cared for!
Why did he do this? Paul answers that when he says, "Him we preach warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ." (Col 1:28) "That you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God." (col 1:9b-10)
Thank you for your faithfulness to Christ and His Word and His Bride - the Church! Praise God! Keep on striving and laboring for Christ!
#3 Posted by
warren williams | Monday, June 10, 2013at
Thanks Mr. Johnson!!! On target.....!!
#4 Posted by
Margaret Dunn | Monday, June 10, 2013at
That's the saddest thing I've seen in a very long time.
#5 Posted by
Warner Aldridge, Jr | Monday, June 10, 2013at
We certainly need to pray for these people that believe this. I think when behavior is like this is present it displays that 1 Corinthians 14 needs to be examined more because this was the exact thing that Paul was talking about. If unbelievers see this no telling what they would think. Three words sums this up Bizarre and Blasphemous. Lord help us.
#6 Posted by
Tonya Dixon | Monday, June 10, 2013at
Thank you, Grace to You, for standing on truth.
#7 Posted by
Brad Mudgett | Monday, June 10, 2013at
It was difficult to watch the Howard-Brown video-I stopped it at ten minutes. The atmosphere in this type of meeting is a visual aid or manifestation of "group-think". The thinking is "if my neighbor is 'slain in the spirit' I better get to it." Check out a Benny Hinn meeting.
I’m in my sixties but as young believers, earlier twenties, we were associated with a movement which would have felt at home at one of Howard-Brown’s meetings.
Through that movement we saw firsthand some very un-Christian attitude toward those who were of a different mindset; tongues/no tongues. However, I did witness some folks who really loved the Lord and tried to honor him in all they did.
My wife was more intune to the Holy Spirit than I and she did not feel real confortable in the charismatic movement. It took me a little longer to catch-up.
My God continue to guide GTY for His honor and His glory.
Thank you for your ministry.
#8 Posted by
Jennifer Phillips | Monday, June 10, 2013at
I am at a loss for words watching this video of unholy laughter. Truly disturbing and dishonoring to God.
#9 Posted by
Mae Ella Jones | Monday, June 10, 2013at
Thank you for exposing the false!
#10 Posted by
Sharon Ackroyd | Monday, June 10, 2013at
Sounds demonic and "truly disturbing and dishonoring to God". Five minutes was more than enough. Thank you for exposing the false teachers. We're praying for the conference.
#11 Posted by
G. Van Riet | Monday, June 10, 2013at
This video is sick. This nonsense has to stop cause this has nothing to do with the Spirit of the Lord God. Man this turns my stomach and makes me really sad. These poor people are beeing decieved without sound teaching (1Tim 4:3-4).
I don't know what the effect of the Truth Matters Conference will be but I pray that it will show a lot of people in these kind of movements that these things are wrong and not from God. But are of the flesh and the devil. What a confusion, God is a God of peace and not of confusion (1 Cor 14:33).
That God be worshiped in spirit and in truth (John 4:24).
Thanks br. Phil Johnson for sharing this.
#12 Posted by
Dan Brown | Monday, June 10, 2013at
Dear Phil. I know you understand that' Browne is hyper charismatic and does not represent Pentecostals any more than hyper Calvinist who say you can be saved and not know it or repent (Lordship discussion ) . Pointing out both of these extremes are necessary because they can have eternal consequences. I am an assemblies of God pastor I have listen to John for almost 30yrs. I began with Matthew 13 and Romans 4 I have heard 80% if every all johns messages have all his commentaries and almost all of his books and 4 MacArthur bibles. Perhaps to johns dismay he has not weaken my Pentecostal position but strengthen and help confirm it. His passion for the word has driven me to take Greek and to return to Seminary for another degree. What I personally have received from John is to have a passionate heart an enlightening and a pure life. May I say I am grateful. Ii have been called a charismatic MacArthurite Two final points most Pentecostals will not and cannot deny what we believe is a genuine biblical experience and fully accept the word of God as final authority for ours lives. Please encourage and challenge us to prayer and the His Word as John has done for me.My prayer for this conference is that it will have attendees leaving with humble ,holy and hungry hearts for God Thanks Dan
#13 Posted by
Jim Russell | Monday, June 10, 2013at
Thanks, Phl... Seems Satan's strategy is infiltrate, contaminate and obfuscate. Wish I could get the time off to be at the Strange Fire Conference....
#14 Posted by
Jim Russell | Monday, June 10, 2013at
@Dan... Thanks for < Please encourage and challenge us to prayer and the His Word as John has done for me.My prayer for this conference is that it will have attendees leaving with humble ,holy and hungry hearts for God Thanks Dan >
Grace and Peace
#15 Posted by
Sean Lov | Monday, June 10, 2013at
It is unscriptural for Rodney Howard-Browne, or anyone, to state that it’s wrong to test what they are saying or doing.
Why would Rodney Howard-Browne respond combatively like this?
Because everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. (John 3:20)
Because They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good. (Titus 1:16) Also 1 Tim 4:2; 2 Pet 2:3,3:16; Jer 23:16,25,26,30; Ez 13:3,6,22:28
CHRISTIANS ARE INSTRUCTED TO: Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil. (1 Thess 5:21, 22) Also 1 John 4:1
WHY ARE CHRISTIANS INSTRUCTED TO TEST ALL THINGS?
"The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I have not sent them or appointed them or spoken to them. They are prophesying to you false visions, divinations, idolatries and the delusions of their own minds. (Jer 14:14) Also Mt 7:15; 2 Pet 2:1; Jude 1:4; Gal 2:4; Mk 13:22; Col 2:4; 2 Cor 11:13-15
WHOSE RESPONSIBLE TO ENSURE YOU ARE NOT BEING DECEIVED?
And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. (Mt 24:4) Also Mk 13:5; 2 Thess 2:3; Jer 29:8; Eph 5:6,7; Rev 2:2
BUT THEY'RE SO POPULAR, HOW CAN THEY BE FALSE?
The prophets prophesy lies, the priests rule by their own authority, and my people love it this way. But what will you do in the end? (Jer 5:31) Also Is 30:10; Jer 29:8; 2 Tim 4:3; Lam 2:14; Jer 6:14,8:11,23:17; Ez 13:10
WHAT CAN HAPPEN IF YOU DO NOT TEST ALL THINGS?
Send this message to all the exiles: 'This is what the LORD says about Shemaiah the Nehelamite: Because Shemaiah has prophesied to you, even though I did not send him, and has led you to believe a lie (Jer 29:31) Also 1 Tim 4:1; Rom 16:18; 2 Tim 2:17,18,4:4; 2 Thess 2:11; 2 Pet 2:3,17; Jer 27:10,15
#16 Posted by
William Simpson | Monday, June 10, 2013at
I was not raised in a Christian family and it was not until my early twenties that I was exposed to charismatic churches. For years I believed that people like Brown, Copeland, Duplantis, and their ilk were Christian, and for years I delved deep into this false worship of God.
God revealed Himself to me when I was in prison and my life changed dramatically for the good. I read the Bible passionately and upon my release I attended the first church I was invited to. In this environment I never grew in the true knowledge of God, and the more intimate I became with this strange fire the more I realized that God was not present among the extremely humanistic and outright weird behavior of these people.
I eventually lost interest and walked away from this association and from God, thinking that if this is what Christianity is I wanted no part of it.
God was merciful and wonderfully saved me from this deception.....and my rebellion. I am now a member of church body whose pastor is a biblical shepherd and for some odd reason has a keen interest in my growth.
It saddens me that so many people are deceived by the charismatic heresy and will fight with vengeance when told that what they believe is not supported by the doctrines of Scripture. This strange fire is an evil false worship , and damning untold millions to an eternal Hell!
#17 Posted by
Jim Russell | Monday, June 10, 2013at
Wow! Thanks for your note
#18 Posted by
Anthony Russ | Monday, June 10, 2013at
This video really saddend me. That Christians can be so taken in with this sort of nonsense. Surly they must not be reading the scriptures and are ignorant of them. At one moment in the video I saw a man who just seemed to be sleeping in the front row. I don't know how he could do that. He wasn't laughing for sure. This reminds me of Voodoo behavior or witch doctors. To me this is a picture of those who will come under God's endtime delusion. It was really hard to watch seeing people run, jump, roll on the floor. May the Lord open their hearts and mind to His true Word. Thanks for being a Watchman on the Wall "GTY".
#19 Posted by
Brenda Doolin | Monday, June 10, 2013at
I WAS within the charismatic movement for over 10 years so I guess I'm allowed to judge ;) I was introduced to this seductive movement as a young teenager by a trusted family member. The things that happened in my charismatic church never rang true in my spirit and I got very confused as a young adult. I prayed for several months that God would reveal His truth to me. I prayed that God would start over at "ground zero" and RE-teach me what was fact and what was error. He did and I left that church forever. Over the next few years, the Lord led me to ministers like Ray Comfort, Mark Kielar, Paul Washer, Voddie Baucham, John Piper, Albert Mohler, Ligonier Ministries and John MacArthur. I "discovered" oldies like Charles Spurgeon, R.A. Torrey, and other Puritan minded preachers. I knew these men were speaking truth because the Holy Spirit DID bear witness with their words, deep down in my soul. I cannot explain the knowing- only that I am certain of it. As a result of all of this over the course of the last 20 years, my husband and I find it very difficult to find a church that we feel is preaching truth. We have not been committed to a church since we left that charismatic movement 11 years ago. I know that God wanted to deal with us one on one for a time to UN teach us. We now desire to be part of a body of believers again but there is none to be found in our area. This is hard for some to understand who have many Reformed Churches in their big cities. We, however live in a very rural part of the country where the majority of churches are either Methodist, Church of Christ or Catholic. Praying that someone will come to this area to raise up a strong church built on truth OR that my husband will find a business opportunity that would allow us to relocate. Thanks to John MacArthur and the other ministers who are addressing this huge heresy...it is so needed. I pray that the eyes of those in the charismatic church will be opened and they will be enabled to do what's right.
#20 Posted by
Holly Clementich | Monday, June 10, 2013at
I attended Oral Roberts University in the 90's when Rodney Howard Browne was just coming to "fame". I didn't know better at the time, that this was false, having been exposed to some of that growing up in an Assemblies of God church. I've "fallen under the power" and spoken in tongues and in latter years even attended a Todd Bently style healing meeting and went through the "fire tunnel". I am absolutely convinced that because of God's hand in my life He saved me from falling deep into this movement. It just never felt right. Through all the times I witnessed these manifestations, such as Rodney H.B.'s laughter service where I never laughed at all, to being "slain in the Spirit", nothing ever happened to me. I didn't see any visions and nothing came over me. In fact, at the time I thought that I must not be spiritual enough because nothing ever happened...lol! Even in the very terrible fire tunnel, nothing happened. Thank the Lord He has opened my eyes and moved me and some of my family to the truth of the Word and away from this movement! With the NAR and the Emergent church movement, we need to know what's wrong out there. Even though I left the Assemblies and all of these weird teachings through God's leading, (without even knowing who John MacArthur was) , I thank God that I found GTY and John MacArthur to further lead me in the right direction. Thank you for teaching the true Word!
#21 Posted by
Eugene Cabrera | Monday, June 10, 2013at
This is sad nonsense to us and yet a sober reality for those within this extreme sect/cult of Pentecostalism. I agree that there is a need to expose/refute/correct people in this context in order to free them from this "Strange Fire," but I also hope the is conf. deals substantially/textually with the Reformed Charismatics view of the sign gifts. Hopefully there is "face to face" dialogue with opposing positions that is done charitably and forthrightly. Ultimately I want to grow/deepen/venerate the Holy Spirit as we all ought,not strangely or mystically but Scripturally and supernaturally.
#22 Posted by
Kathy Stuk | Monday, June 10, 2013at
Matthew 18:6: "Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea." (ESV)
What comes to mind after watching this: 1) How many people are being led away from Christ by this man? My heart especially breaks for the little children in that video who are hearing these lies at a time in their lives when they are most teachable and vulnerable.
2) Rodney Howard-Browne's laugh sounds demonic and chilling....almost as if he is laughing in the face of God Himself. It will be a chilling day for him when he stands before God to give account, and I know he won't be laughing then.
3) We MUST pray for this man as we pray for our enemies, for he is surely in the grips of Satan.
4) We must pray diligently between now and conference time that Pastor MacArthur and his staff not grow weary in doing right, because the spiritual warfare that is bound to take place between now and this conference will require the supernatural energy and wisdom that only God can give. We have been seeing it since the conference was announced.
Thank you John MacArthur and Grace Community Church for standing fearlessly for the truth of God's Word. It's time these charismatic lies were solidly confronted with Scripture. I am signed up for this conference and am looking forward to learning more about how to counter Satan's lies while growing in the knowledge of God's Word. Praise God and His Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
#23 Posted by
Peggy Silvers | Monday, June 10, 2013at
Comment deleted by user.
#24 Posted by
Dennis Young | Monday, June 10, 2013at
Proverbs 12:1 comes to mind Phil...
Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,
But he who hates reproof is stupid.
#25 Posted by
David Hughes | Monday, June 10, 2013at
I've heard this song and dance before all over before. Toronto comes to mind in the late 1990s The sad conclusion at that time was that the only uncontrolable spirits in the Bible were demonic.
#26 Posted by
Sally Kim | Monday, June 10, 2013at
Very sad indeed... One if my friends whom I considered close to me is charismatic and she does not want to listen. Her heart is completely hardened. Only God can freed these people.
#27 Posted by
Sherwin Lee | Monday, June 10, 2013at
The fastest growing religions also happen to be Islam and Mormonism. I highly doubt membership growth is any validation of a godly assembly.
#28 Posted by
Phillip Johnson | Monday, June 10, 2013at
One further observation regarding RHB's FaceBook rant:
Did you notice that everything from "There is coming" to "you had better shut up!" is one long run-on sentence? His whole comment is a chain of loosely-related fragments pasted together with hyphens. The only terminal punctuation in the whole diatribe is a pair of exclamation marks near the end, emphasizing the post's two most glaringly false and unbiblical statements.
Rodney Howard-Browne writes like he does theology: he discharges a chunder of flippant and foolish opinions in a randomly-ordered harangue. When the ideas run out, he turns to nonsense noise. (As one of my sons pointed out, he doesn't even really try to sound like he's speaking in tongues. Chanting "Nana-noonoo, neena-noona, noona-nanna" sounds childish and comical in any language.) And he tries to make it all sound weighty by infusing it with unbridled emotion. When the intensity gets frenetic enough, he seems to think that's what unleashes "the anointing."
He seems to think pure nonsense somehow sounds profound or spiritually deep when embellished with enough artificial passion. The more fevered his feelings, the more he seems to think he has said or done something weighty and supernatural.
In other words, at the heart of his whole worldview is a commitment to sheer irrationality. He thinks that is what faith is.
He's wrong, and if he had a higher view of Scripture, he might see that.
#29 Posted by
Leroy Bandurraga | Monday, June 10, 2013at
I am working a job in Roswell, NM. with a bit of time on my hands. I listened to Mr. Howard-Browne and in all honesty, he saved me about seven bucks, by my not having to purchase a DVD for entertainment. In all honesty, I am saddened by this sort of behavior, especially because it draws so many folks into it's falsities. I have no doubt that the fellow and his crew are raking in the buckos performing in this manner the end of which will be an audience with the Lord in which they will have to explain this fleecing of the sheep and others. I am grateful for the teaching being disseminated by GTY and pray that the Strange Fire Conference will have a godly affect of dispelling this teaching and thereby save many from the effect of false teaching.
#30 Posted by
Paula Knutson | Monday, June 10, 2013at
I've seen these types of videos before. They are extremely troubling. I certainly wouldn't lump all Pentecostals into this group. My husband and I are conservative Pentecostals, and we have stood against this sort of thing for years. I would think that if you feel you have a case against speaking in tongues etc.... you could present a balanced argument without using this kind of nonsense. No one in their right mind would except this kind of folly. It seems a little sensational to bring out old videos like this. Show from the scriptures why you believe the gifts have passed away.
#31 Posted by
Alexander Jordan | Monday, June 10, 2013at
In his rather inelegant rant Mr. Browne attempts to defends charismatic practices by referring to "excesses in the church". His implicit argument is that though "excesses" exist, we ought not to reject the entire charismatic movement as false-- it's only the "excesses" that should be rejected. Then one watches this video and wonders what possible excesses he could be referring to that would be more strange and unbiblical that what is displayed here.
The woman at the beginning of the video states how one may start out simply laughing "in the flesh" yet somehow the Spirit "hooks up" with you to make the experience something spiritual and a blessing.
But she doesn't see that fleshly and unbiblical practices won't ever be blessed by the Spirit, who is the Spirit of truth and not error.
Like others who have commented, I too was drawn into the charismatic movement for a time. So I can sympathize with an impulse I think draws many to the movement, that is, the desire for more of God. Sure, I wanted to be more godly, more consistent, more holy and more powerful in my walk with God. Nothing wrong with that. But the mistake of the charismatics is to pursue such goals unbiblically, wrongly interpreting what Scripture has to say about the means to maturity, growth and sanctification. It is tempting to pursue the shortcuts charismatic practice offers--for such fleshly practices don't require careful and diligent effort at studying Scripture, painful self-examination in light of the Word, and faithful obedience. Instead one gets the instant gratification of feeling a certain fleshly excitement. Lacking biblical discernment, they fail to recognize that what they are practicing is-- from beginning to end-- in the flesh.
Now indeed some charismatics are more extreme than others, and some are more biblically oriented than Rodney Howard Browne. Nevertheless as there are unbiblical theological assumptions and practices at the heart of the movement, that are characteristic of it as a whole, then it will always eventually degenerate, sliding from error to error.
I'm also so grateful that God led me away from this movement and back to His Word. I'm now worshiping at a solid reformed Baptist church and studying at a reformed theological seminary. I blog at reformingchristianity.com, where I have links to excellent reformed resources. I'm still growing in my theology and know that no one is always completely right, but I think one must always turn back to Scripture rightly interpreted as the foundation for one's theology and practice. God bless Phil Johnson, John MacArthur and their ministry.
#32 Posted by
Keith Krohn | Monday, June 10, 2013at
I watched some of the video. That people would embrace this, and then defend it, is the true blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.
#33 Posted by
Troy Brown | Monday, June 10, 2013at
This charismatic movement has a strong spirit of divination which is a huge problem in the church these days... scripture has already prophesied on these things taking place and its time for us as true believers who hold to the infallible teachings of scripture to begin to pray, fast and resist the heresy of some of these charismatics. I thank the Lord for men like Dr Macarthur and others who stand boldly for the word of God and is not afraid to challenge these people who are obviously mislead in truth and in love. God bless...
#34 Posted by
Edward Hartzig | Monday, June 10, 2013at
This is absolutly disgusting, I pray for the leaders and followers of this congregation that the Holy Spirit will guide them towards the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
#35 Posted by
Cindy Lewis | Monday, June 10, 2013at
Since I have a master's degree in communicative sciences and disorders (speech-language pathology)and have been practicing since 1999 I automatically found myself "analyzing" the "tongues" linguistically after watching the video. It struck me that the sounds used were early developing bilabial and alveolar speech sounds (p, b, t, d, m, and n) along with /g/mixed with simple vowels. I did hear a /st/ blend, but missing were other blends (chr, str, fr, etc.), fricative sounds (f, v, s, z, sh, zh and voiced and voiceless "th"), affricates (ch and "j"), diphthongs (e.g. oi and ou), r and r-controlled vowels (ear, are, ire, etc). So linguistically the "tongues" exhibited was simple babbling or syllable reduplication. I find it very sad that Scripture is literally put aside and emphasis is placed on what is literally "baby talk" and emotionalism.
#36 Posted by
Suzanne Tromburg | Monday, June 10, 2013at
Hi Paula Knutson, (#30)
The video was not posted as anything to with speaking in tongues or Pentecostalism in any sense of the matter. Phil was responding to a man who wrote a rant on his facebook page about the upcoming Strange Fire conference, the video he included here just shows what kind of ministry this man leads and was helpful for some to see just how far off the mark things have gotten.
Please see Pastor MacArthur's article earlier in this series called "John MacArthur's Encouragement to Faithful Pentecostals" for a better understanding: http://www.gty.org/Blog/B130520
#37 Posted by
James Gallagher | Monday, June 10, 2013at
I ve run into this before through the current Vineyard churches. Yes they have seperated themselves from this sort of heresy in public, however, most within them still practice this demonic behavior.
I guess they just dont realize the sufficiency of scripture (Jesus; John 1), they demand miracles and signs. I confronted our pastor when he wanted to join with the Vineyard organization, he heeded my warning not. I wiped the dust off my feet and departed. This went way beyond a minor doctirnal disagreement, suddenly people were being told if they did NOT speak in tongues, they were not saved...the spiritual abuse escalated to the point I had to leave for my own sanity.
Sadly, that church was once a vivacious, living, gifted church, active in outreach ministries, even keeled in its approach to spiritual gifts, the Pastors children grew up, one troubleed son was made a pastor and changed everything the church believed, with the nodding approval of our long time senior elder...shameful...trading the gift of God for a job for his son.
#38 Posted by
Laura Vis | Monday, June 10, 2013at
Comment deleted by user.
#39 Posted by
Stan Parsons | Monday, June 10, 2013at
This video contains a clear example of what can transpire once the Bible is closed, set aside and neglected. Rodney Howard-Browne gives a clear visual of this as he closes his personal copy of God’s Word, lays it aside, and then proceeds to lead the crowd into some practice that is not found within the pages of Holy Scripture. Is there no thought of accountability to God on his part?
To quote a little of what Howard-Browne himself wrote, "they are calling their exposé strange fire however you better have the alternative if you are going to criticise something as counterfeit you have to produce the real - or else you had better shut up!"
An alternative you say? What alternative is there? Why would true born-again believers even consider following after an alternative to the Truth of God's written Word? Everything that the believer needs to know for faith and practice is contained within the pages of the Bible. When under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit men wrote down the Words given them by God, did God forget to include something we needed to know? Did the Divine Author of the Bible neglect to include some necessary instruction pertaining to joy and laughter? This might sound a bit sarcastic but it is no more sarcastic than the contents of this video is silly and unholy.
In this video Brown held in his own hand a copy of a Bible containing the very words of God that were passed down to man but obviously it wasn't what the people in the crowd wanted. So what does he do? He does what a lot of men behind pulpits too easily do today. His Bible gets set aside and in the rightful place of Biblical Truth the crowd is led into a false alternative, something which appears to be far more exciting that will get them hyped up and feeling good.
Browne then goes on to write "The only ones who have the right to bring correction are the ones inside the camp not outside!" Well, I am within the Pentecostal camp and I am very critical of those who today stand in pulpits and lay the Bible aside, regardless of the name over the door of the building. As one sitting in the pew let me clearly state to any pastor that may read this …. God's Word is what we in the pew need to hear from the pulpit!! It is amazing how easily the sheep get led astray by their lack of knowledge of the revealed written Word. Why pastors and spiritual leaders fail to be diligent in warning the sheep of wolves and false teaching is baffling.
Mr. Johnson, thanks for bringing this video example of obvious error and spiritual abuse into the spotlight.
Men in the pulpit, please stick to feeding us from the Bible.
My fellow pew people, allow me to encourage you to stick to God’s written Word. Read it. Study it. Then should you hear your pastor or favorite preacher/teacher utter something that you know is either contrary to the Bible or fuzzy at best, never fear in asking him this one simple question …. “Where is this found in the Bible?”
#40 Posted by
Joyce Wilson | Monday, June 10, 2013at
Well, anyone with an ounce of discernment can see that Rodney Howard-Brown is a trick and game artist. I hear the laughs of many demons, and he even has an air of Jim Jones, like he could lead many people laughing over a cliff and they'd never suspect where they were going.
But still I have concerns about the Strange Fire Conference. I fear it will lump too many unlike things together and be in danger of not telling the whole truth. I remember as a teenager visiting one of the Hope Chapel type churches on a night when they were speaking out against worldly music. They played the whole backward masking thing and tried to scare us away from every popular artist. They said one of Elton John’s songs was supposed to be about suicide. I was scared out of my wits and stopped listening to it. Many weeks after, I read an article wherein Elton was explaining his lyrics to that same song. It turns out it had nothing to do with suicide, and it was all about his choice not to get married. I was so upset by the fact that the preachers had not taken the time to make sure of what they were saying about each artist’s music. They just wanted to scare us by lumping all popular artists together with devil music. I eventually purchased many of my old records again believing now that preachers use the extreme cases to convince you that they're ALL of the devil. That little bit of dishonesty ruined the whole music lecture for me. If you want to talk about Brown, then do so; but that has nothing to do with me believing that diverse tongues are a current gift, even though I don't speak with them.
Strange fire lumps people who believe in miracles or the gift of faith with people who run crazy around a church. I do not see myself as a charismatic or Pentecostal church running back, but as a Christian who simply believes that what Paul said to the saints in 1corinth 12 is still true today. I believe it unabridged.
Lastly, the strange fire people cherry pick the gifts THEY want to keep. Some believe in the laying on of hands but not casting out of demons; or they believe in casting out demons but not tongues. They cherry pick the gifts they want. The common thread seems to be that if it’s too supernatural or takes too much faith, then it's not for us today; but if it's easy to believe in, keep it. Like going to seminary is easy to believe in, so they'll keep the gifts of teaching and preaching. But God doing a miracle today? that requires too much faith and it's a little scary because it's supernatural, so they quickly get rid of that one.
#41 Posted by
Kelsey Waters | Monday, June 10, 2013at
" a group of individuals that don’t believe in the power of the Holy Spirit today"
Oh, I believe in the power of the Spirit. The power of the Spirit to convict of sin, to bring me to a saving knowledge of Christ, to instruct my spirit in the things of God as I read his Word, to move in my life and continue to sanctify.
I don't need any spirit to force myself to laugh and babble like an idiot. There are sitcoms and drugs for that.
#42 Posted by
Jerry Wood | Monday, June 10, 2013at
Really really sad, so many so deceived.
#43 Posted by
Jacqueline Morrison | Monday, June 10, 2013at
Unbeliveable, I attented a church just like that once, and was terrifed. People banging on pot,jumping every where and passing out. Thank you Pastor John. I can't for strange fire.
#44 Posted by
David Smith | Monday, June 10, 2013at
To Cindy Lewis #35:
Well done! Various researchers in anthropology and linguistics have studied speaking in tongues and come to the same conclusion as you. Check out works by Samarin, Kildahl, and Goodman.
The key points are:
1. Tongues is not a known language
2. Tongues cannot be a language due to its lack of syntax and variation
3. Pentecostal/charismatic tongues is identical to the speaking in tongues found in various non-Christian religions
That last point was the nail in the coffin for me - I realised that it was all false.
BUT don't think that pentecostals are faking it - some almost certainly are, but most of them genuinely believe it is a supernatural gift. It's not - it's simply learned behaviour, but they don't realise that.
#45 Posted by
Dorothy French | Monday, June 10, 2013at
So sorry but I could not finish watching it because it messed with my soul and caused an uneasiness in me,. I grew up Roman Catholic and left their teaching because they did not teach the Bible in the church that I was in. Married a Southern Baptist but he was not a practicing one and after we had children then he said that I needed to go to church with the children, I came to Christ in that church but then there were some that caused problems and the preacher left and they got a new one but he did not believe all of the Bible. Left that church and found one that did believe but then moved because of my husbands job(AF). Each place that we were I found a bible believing church but not here in Florida. Will continue to look for one for me and I am glad that the last years of my husband's life he came to Christ and I know that one day I will see him again. Thank you Pastor MacArthur for preaching the word and not changing it or tickling peoples ears.
#47 Posted by
Natan T | Tuesday, June 11, 2013at
What is wrong with this video? Just because John MacArthur hates it does not mean that you have to hate it. Is it bad for people to laugh? Where in the Bible does it say that laughing is wrong? Think scriptural! Just because they don't act like a tracitional church does not mean that they are not Christians! Christianity is a spiritual issue! Whether you laugh, cry, stand straight does not make you a better Christian. Don't judge by outward appearance but judge sound judgements!
#48 Posted by
Lisa Teel | Tuesday, June 11, 2013at
A laughing revival of religious entertainment that is based on
hyper-emotionalism with NO Biblical content. False Fire indeed.
#49 Posted by
Tricia Tillin-booth | Tuesday, June 11, 2013at
RHB says "a group of individuals that don’t believe in the power of the Holy Spirit today - these men do not believe in speaking in tongues or the gifts of the spirit " - not so! I've heard this argument a thousand times, that anybody who opposes the false manifestations of the false revival are "anti-Spirit" but many if not most of those who oppose such things have experienced them in their OWN churches and fellowships, and therefore understand their true nature by comparison. The easiest way to spot a fraud is to be familiar with the genuine! The HOLY Spirit of the BIBLE is not absent today, but He is being misrepresented by these clowns.
#50 Posted by
Ralphene Hebert | Tuesday, June 11, 2013at
I watched just a small portion of this clip.I came out of this religion many years ago.I am so thankful I am not there anymore.I suffered some pretty emotional times had a very bad experience as the reuslt of it.I am so thankful that the Lord brought me out of it.I am thankful for men like JohnMacarthur and RC Sproul.I have learned alot about God's word.Finally am getting true teaching.Took me a long time to over come what I went through in this religion.My heart goes out to these people who are caught up in this kind of teaching.I know exactly what they are going through.Thank you for posting this.This clip made me so thankful I am not there anymore.Pastor John keep teaching the truth.It's helped me to grow.I still have a long ways to go.God bless your teaching and ministry.
#51 Posted by
Justin Combs | Tuesday, June 11, 2013at
I use a book called "The Fallacy Detective" to teach my children logic, effective argumentation, and to avoid fallacious reasoning in their discussions.
I would be more than happy to forward a copy to Mr. Howard-Browne for his use and edification, as his rant is nothing but an unbroken stream of fallacies and emotion.
I would advise Mr. Howard-Browne to attend the Strange Fire conference and not allow himself to become offended, as objective truth is being discussed, not him personally. He should attend (as a guest- can someone who is going invite him?), listen with a humble spirit and contrite heart, and then proceed to attempt to refute what was said using Scripture, not emotion and fallacy.
The "Stream of Fallacies" tactic on display is helping neither his cause, nor his credibility.
For Christ's Crown and Covenant,
#52 Posted by
Lynnette Knapp | Tuesday, June 11, 2013at
Paula Knutson, Have you studied the evidence presented concerning this type of worship? John MacArthur has proof FROM Scripture in several topical sermons and studies that a free to examine. If that is not enough study for yourself the types of worship being done in the days of Jeremiah that the Lord condemns. This may be an old video, and there may be some people never exposed to what is going on in these Charismatic services. In my rural community there are three just like this one, a smaller congregation but still this activity goes on. One of the pastors was a former Amish who was told that this type of worship was wrong and unbiblical and he left it and was shunned. I was attending because I knew it was important to attend a fellowship to make sure I was not being guided by my feelings. My son loved attending and wanted me to bring all of my kids as well. My mother in law loved to use this phrase whenever I spoke about the Scriptures to anyone "Thank you Holy Spirit! Honey the Holy Spirit told me I have to tell you this! Oh Thank you Holy Spirit for revealing the truth! The Holy Spirit is telling me (series of tongues inserted)! The Holy Spirit is telling me you need to stop talking about the Bible to those who believe, you talk to much. Oh thank you Holy SPirit for revealing this to me!" Then she would snap out of some kind of trance and ask me to tell her what the Holy Spirit said to me. She took me to her church many times and I fell into the whole mob mindset. My home life was miserable, my children were confused, but when I told God I need his help He showed me truth. I studied again, I prayed again, I started to read again. My husband has prayed I know he did and was patient. He grew up with this type of worship, but he didn't brow beat me, he knew I would seek answers to the truth and he knew I would seek first from God's word.
So, it may be an old video, but it is going on even in the small rural churches and there are people not exposed to this type of practice.
Maybe this might sound mean, but it really looks like some of the things I did in my teen years when I wasn't a Christian and we went out into the woods to party etc. And honestly the "words" he is using sounds like baby talk. I have heard better examples that actually seemed to have a speech structure like languages today. In fact Star Wars made better use of "creating" languages to flesh out the story. Honestly, I have always believed that worship is what we give to God not what he gives to us.
I tell my kids you know how grandma feels when you walk through the door and ask her if she has any treats for you, well God is greater then grandma. Come into His house ready to love Him, praise Him, listen to Him, thank Him; but do not come to Him expecting something from Him because THAT is not loving towards Him.
Thank you for the video, that others may grasp what is going on and the danger in this type of worship.
#53 Posted by
Kelly Whalen | Tuesday, June 11, 2013at
I remember when I was in the charismatic church being encouraged to "let the Spirit flow through me", to my shame, I wanted to 'belong' and ' be like the others'. So, I did 'let go'. I will say this in hindsight, IT WAS A DANGEROUS THING TO DO! I felt myself giving control of myself, giving over to what I believe is satanic control. I laughed and laughed and almost fell to the ground. This is a terrible disrespect and blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. I watched the clip of Marion Meares it was so familiar, it was horrible to watch in retrospect and understanding of the terrible disrespect of Holy Spirit. May God have mercy on them and open their eyes as He did mine.
#54 Posted by
Fred Butler | Tuesday, June 11, 2013at
What is wrong with this video?
There is a lot wrong with this video, Nathan. It displays any genuine spirituality as being clownish and goofy. It gives those watching the video the impression that the Holy Spirit produces foolish nonsense rather than sober-mindedness, temperance, self-control, and the peaceable fruit of the Spirit (Titus 1:8, 2:2,6, 1 Peter 1:13, 5:8, Galatians 5:22,23).
Just because John MacArthur hates it does not mean that you have to hate it.
“Hate” is a rather strong term. It makes you think that John (and the rest of GTY) just hate charismania for the sake of hating it. I would say the more accurate phrase would be “grieved.” John is rightly grieved by this display of foolishness because it feeds people the false idea that this represents biblical Christianity when in fact it does not.
Where in the Bible does it say that laughing is wrong? Think scriptural!
I believe you are missing the larger point. What is wrong is equating uncontrollable, nonsensical behavior that is displayed in that video with genuine spirituality. What is being described as a “work of the Spirit” is really fleshly mysticism.
Just because they don't act like a tracitional church does not mean that they are not Christians! Christianity is a spiritual issue!
They are not acting like any kind of church, let alone a traditional church. The question for you is how do you believe spirituality is displayed in a person’s life? Is it by being reverent, holy, self-controlled, and sober-minded like the Bible says will be the marks of a true Christian? Or do you genuinely think the Holy Spirit makes people act drunk and stupid?
#57 Posted by
Daniel Beck | Tuesday, June 11, 2013at
Unreal. This so-called worship service is very disturbing and seems downright demonic. I have a 6 year old granddaughter who is being raised in a Pentecostal environment by her other grandparents. I don't know if all Pentecostals are like this one. I pray, and hope not. I am at a loss right now of what to say or do to get her out of that environment, or to show her true Christianity, as I don't get to see her very often. She always runs up to me and gives me a big hug, and won't let me out of her sight for hours, or the entire weekend, depending on how much time we have together. Thats only when I get to see her though. She is so innocent, and a very respectful little sweetie. The children being brought up to view Christianity in this way is very, very disturbing to me. I pray that she dosent grow up believing this abomination. It breaks my heart when I think of it. I wish I knew what to do.
#58 Posted by
Natan T | Tuesday, June 11, 2013at
I think your definition of the fruit of the Holy Spirit is wrong. So let me respond to the answers one by one.
#1. Temperance, self-control, are fruits of the Spirit that helps us live a HOLY LIFE, not laugh. There are many Christians that have temperance and self- control in their SPIRITUAL LIFE and still laugh. I know tribes in Africa who dance wired, not like our TRADITIONS here, and still praise God! When the Spirit comes, he deals with your spiritual life, your old nature, which are listed on Galatians 5:18-21 . In that scripture, non of it is mentioned that laughing is of old nature.
#2. John Macarthur is attacking Christians. He attacks things that he don't understand. Things of the Spirit are foolishness to the natural man. His gift is to teach Gods word. And he should do that without attacking anyone.
#3. You still NEVER gave me scriptural evidence for backing up your point. Laughing is Not forbidden in the Scripture!
#4. You are now insulting the Holy Spirit by saying that they act 'stupid'. In the Bible it is the acts of the Spirit that are written. What I mean by that, when the Holy Spirit comes on a person, the person could fall, laugh, be joyful, thank God, bow down and worship. What matters is the fruit that it produces. That's why I said on the beginning, there are many Charismatics that laugh, fall, roll, and are more HOLY and GODLY than non- charismatics.
So judge not by the outward appearance, but rather judge all things scripturally. Please those of you who wrote negative comments, be careful what you are saying. If you don't know the whole counsel of God, then you will be judged by what you say. Many of you say JM said,... Don't depend on what he says. The Bible says, you have the anointing from above, and he teaches you all things. Learn the scripture for yourselves. Don't worship man, but worship God. May the peace of God be with all of you.
#59 Posted by
Alexander Jordan | Tuesday, June 11, 2013at
Fred Butler gives a very good answer to Nat above, as to what is wrong with the behavior on display in this video. Nat pleads that we should not judge by appearances but make sound judgments. Yes, exactly, Nat, that is correct. When one observes the activities in this video we must make a judgment as to whether or not it reflects something real and genuine and of the Lord.
Fred points to Scriptures that instruct us what those being filled and controlled by the Spirit should look like and act like. Another passage that refers to this is Eph 5: 17-21:
"Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ."
When one watches this video and sees people laughing in an unnatural way-- (now it's true there is nothing wrong with healthy laughter-- but when you see a person laughing for no reason, you generally assume they have a mental problem)-- then you recognize that something strange is going on here. When people get drunk on alcohol or high on some drug, they act in ways similar to what you see in this video-- dancing around without inhibition, laughing irrationally, and all sorts of silliness. Did God give His people the holy and precious gift of His Spirit to dwell in us so that we'll act like undignified fools , behave irrationally and laugh like idiots and resemble drunkards? No, of course not. God gives us His Spirit so that we'll be more like Christ, and have His heart of joy and power to love and serve one another in humility.
Again, I understand the desire to have spiritual "experiences". I wanted this too because I thought I was missing something in my Christian walk. And I'm not saying that the saints of God never have special experiences given by the Lord. But God doesn't tell us to seek after these experiences, rather He calls us to be get busy doing the work He has called us to do in this world, that is, making disciples and telling people the good news about Christ. If we get busy with these things and ask God for the power to be bold in His name, He will surely bless us with His Spirit and make us fruitful for Him.
#60 Posted by
Paula Knutson | Tuesday, June 11, 2013at
I appreciate the tone in which I've been addressed in this matter. I normally don't comment on blogs. The point I'm trying to make is this, please listen to me. If we are going to make a biblical, balanced case about something as important as the working of the Holy Spirit, we should go to the word of God. I could give you a half of dozen reformed teachers who are extreme and off the reservation totally. If I want to make a case against reform theology, I should do it from the word of God. You can absolutely find anything on the web today to shock people. I frankly find it offensive to hear people say babble and gibberish etc.....If you don't understand, really you should not say anything. I have a huge problem with the doctrine of cessationism. I'm not making wild accusations about everyone who believes this. The scripture should be our guide, not the traditions of men. The man in the video is not walking with the Lord, anyone can see that. Don't use these absurd people to make a case about the gifts not being for today. When you use extremes, you don't help anyone. The scriptures will stand on their own.
#61 Posted by
Bart McCurdy | Tuesday, June 11, 2013at
I invited Rodney (via Twitter) to come to the conference to see what it was all about. At first he accepted but then told me he didn't want to waste his time. He said that a conference isn't the best place to talk to his critics and so he won't come. I think it would be great to see him talk to John and others. I'd pay good money to see that too!
#64 Posted by
Adalberto Viera | Tuesday, June 11, 2013at
It is a disgrace to call this Christianity? These are doctrines of demons. How dare anyone argue and say that these people are christians. I get upset at this because it gives real christianity a bad name. Please to all of those reformed brothers and sisters, cry loud, scream it from the roof tops, from the highways and byways say it with authority that this is not christianity, it is the work of the devil at work. We need more brothers and sisters fighting against this evil that is done in the name of Christianity. FALSE PROPHETS. READ THE BOOK OF JUDE AND REPENT. I applaud GTY Ministries and Pastor John MacArthur for the work they are doing in exposing these fals prophets and teachers. Thank you Pastor MacArthur for doing the work of the LORD. Praying that God will lift up an army of Christians all over the world that will raise their voices.
#65 Posted by
Jeremiah Johnson | Tuesday, June 11, 2013at
Phil Johnson included the video of Rodney Howard-Browne to make a point about Rodney Howard-Browne; not sweeping generalities about the whole charismatic movement. While these blasphemous practices go on regularly in many charismatic churches around the world, no one at Grace to You is looking to paint the entire movement with the same broad brush. We're well-aware there are many faithful believers in the movement who are equally grieved by the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. John MacArthur made that exact point in a video blog a couple weeks ago (you can see it here: http://www.gty.org/Blog/B130520). Our sincere hope is that Strange Fire will aid and encourage those men and women to speak out boldly against the abuse and corruption in their midst.
In an earlier comment you described yourself as a conservative Pentecostal. While it's clear you're no fan of Rodney Howard-Browne, I'm curious where you and others draw the line when it comes to speaking in tongues, signs and wonders, etc. What do acceptable expressions of the gifts look like in your congregation? How do you determine what is valid and what is phony?
#66 Posted by
Alexander Jordan | Tuesday, June 11, 2013at
RE comment #40 by Joyce Wilson:
I think you have a valid point that in critiquing, we ought to be careful not to lump all charismatics together. Before I came out of the movement I was involved in some charismatic denominations. They were trying to be respectful of Scripture, and I did not witness in them the excessive, wild behavior shown in this video. But I think that what many charismatics don't tend to recognize is that by opening the door to extra-biblical revelation in one's theology, one creates an atmosphere in which one is inviting error. In this short comment space I don't have room to develop these thoughts, but I have written about this in more detail elsewhere: Surprised by the Gullibility of the Charismatic (http://reformingchristianity.com/2012/08/16/surprised-by-the-gullibility-of-the-charismatic).
The point is that the underlying theology in charismaticism has error that in turn breeds more errors.
RE Comment #58 by Natan T
No one is saying that Christians may not laugh or even that Christians filled with the Spirit cannot laugh. The point is that Scripture does not focus on laughter as a sign or as evidence that one is filled with the Spirit, whereas it does specifically point to other types of behavior that should characterize Christians filled by the Spirit. You said that Fred did not give you Scriptures but in fact in his answer to you he did point out these Scriptures ( Titus 1:8, 2:2,6, 1 Peter 1:13, 5:8, Galatians 5:22,23), and I too pointed to a passage in Ephesians (Eph 5:17-21).
To be critical of un-biblical behavior when comparing it against Scripture is not the same as "attacking Christians." In fact, as some have already commented, we are called to evaluate practices against the standard of Scripture, precisely because we have been warned that there will be and has always been much that is counterfeit presented under the banner of "Christianity". Therefore we are to be discerning and not just accept as "Christian" anyone who speaks in the name of Christ, but rather judge them according to their fruit. The Scriptures uses words like sober, temperate, dignified, sensible and sound in faith to describe the person filled with the Spirit. Does this video show people who look temperate, dignified, sober, sensible and sound in faith, or does it rather show people acting silly and undignified, shouting together all at once, laughing without any reason?
Even several who have commented above sympathetic to charismatic practices can readily see that this behavior is not in line with biblical, true spirituality.
#67 Posted by
Charles Williamson | Tuesday, June 11, 2013at
Comment deleted by user.
#68 Posted by
Ben Enders | Tuesday, June 11, 2013at
If you are a cessationist or not, the question is do we believe the true gospel of Christ? Are we obeying the commandments of God? Can we put our biases aside to study and really understand what scripture says? Reading Mathew 7:21-23 might want to make some think about it.
#69 Posted by
Paula Knutson | Tuesday, June 11, 2013at
Thank you Jeremiah for your honest inquiry. Actually no one in our congregation speaks in tongues out loud, or even softly from what I observe. But we have people, and most do speak in tongues. We really don't have any open display of what you be suggesting. We do pray for the sick and believe He still heals. According to James. We also feel if what scripture says in Corinthians is very much for today. Paul never even intimated it has ceased. Actually we screen anything and everything through the word of God. My husband, the Pastor has stopped many people in their tracks, with what he considered slightly off. We also feel we have liberty to raise our hands and worship God. Not out of control in anyway. Can I also suggest what you may or may not consider emotionalism, is men and women grateful beyond measure for Christ setting us free. Absolutely nothing inappropriate, hands raised to God in total gratitude. Actually, I think that many people equate Pentecostalism with excess and loud or whatever. It is not the case at all. I hope this answers some of your questions Jeremiah.
#70 Posted by
Brantley Taylor | Tuesday, June 11, 2013at
There is NOTHING decent and in order about this video! While the harsher punishment awaits the false prophet; the flock is responsible for proper study and prayer time to guard against this mockery of the Holy Spirit. A Christian doesn't have a right to disrespect a leader, HOWEVER, we are to contend for the faith. I pray they amend their ways BEFORE the Lord returns!!
#71 Posted by
Peggy Silvers | Tuesday, June 11, 2013at
Folks, I'm not so sure that RHB is an exception. I've seen services with K Copeland, K Hagin, Benny Hinn. These men are like rock stars to the charismatics. These men are definitely prominent leaders. K Hagin is even referred to as "Dad Hagin". Everything in RHB service went on in services led by the others. Laughing, barking, shaking, crawling, dancing obscenely, and some folks even slid out of their seats like they had no bones. K Hagin even needed ushers to hold him up. I forgot to mention some who were howling like dogs at the moon.
This is not simply a bias against a style of worship, either. I have heard myself K Copeland say that Jesus' death on the Cross WAS NOT ENOUGH. He also said, "When I read in the Bible where Jesus says 'I AM", I just smile and say I AM too!"So, to the posters who say that we're all Christians and these objections are only biases against charismatics, you are 100% wrong, at least as far as the prominent, popular personalities millions of them adore.
#72 Posted by
Suzanne Tromburg | Tuesday, June 11, 2013at
Hello again, Paula (#69)
God bless you in your ministry as a pastor's wife! and Praise God that your husband watches out for the flock.
As one who believes that the sign & revelatory gifts as practiced during the Apostolic church age are not normative for today, having actually ceased, I am absolutely blessed by the "hand raisers" in my church! (which happens to be a mix of ceased/non-ceased and the "unsure") because I know it is coming from a true heart of worship and utter gratefulness to God and His Gospel and not "emotionalism". Our pastor is one, there is just something especially beholding to see ones pastor in genuine, exuberant praise like this. I on occasion have raised up a hand or two as well :-)
I also believe that God still heals today but not through 'specially gifted' people nor as an authenticating sign as was done before we had the NT. Today we have "the prophetic word made more sure" (2Pet 1:19) I agree that we are called to pray with and over each other for healing, this in itself is a most wonderful privilege and gift of fellowship to the Church. Praise God for His bountiful gifts.
I hope you get a chance to view the intro video that Pastor MacArthur did about the conference. He represents the balanced, loving "illustration" of a great many cessationists. It is here: http://www.gty.org/Blog/B130520
#73 Posted by
David Pantele | Tuesday, June 11, 2013at
Thanks Mr. Johson. I just posted a long response on Brown's FB page. He has been responding to people, so mabye he'll engage a discussion with me. Here is an excerpt:
Mr. Brown, a quick review of your remarks, and many of the messages on this board, leads me to ask why your leadership is so conspicuously absent. What you’ve done here is start a cyber-riot of sorts, and then sat back to be entertained…or worse, to have your erroneous views validated by many who apparently don’t know better. Theology aside, say what you want about John MacArthur, or Phil Johnson - who has posted a response to your remarks on the Grace to You website, and I know for certain they would never allow the kind of incendiary devouring of professing believers such that is going on right here under your nose. They would never stoop to the level you have in this post. You have not sought to increase understanding by posting these remarks, but rather have attempted to incite hostility by misrepresenting not only the motives, but also the spirituality, of those who are attempting to shine the light of Scripture on a very divisive doctrine. You are both the cause and effect of a whole lot of carnality in this thread, and have elicited the most outrageous ungodly, misguided manifestations imaginable from many in your audience. I'd say that this, more than laughing in the Spirit, is a true indicator of the Spirit's presence - or in this case, lack of presence.
You labeled the Strange Fire conference as an "attack," which is presumptuous and designed to attribute motive to those who don't subscribe to your viewpoints. You claim we "don't believe in the power of the Spirit," yet the power of the Spirit is revealed in so many ways - most notably by the fruit of the Spirit. When someone is out of control, it is NEVER the Holy Spirit, since we all know the fruit of the Spirit is self control (this doesn’t seem to effect your view on being “drunk” in the Spirit).
Get over yourself, Mr. Brown. This isn't about you - its about what you believe and what you cause others to believe. Truth is, I don't need to go to the Strange Fire Conference to understand you, or your theology...all I need to do is examine what you've done here to know everything I need to know about you as a minister. Because the out-working of you as a pastor, and your theology, can be determined by a simple reading of what you've said here - coupled with your lack of godly leadership in the aftermath. I got news for ya - someone not speaking in tongues doesn't grieve the Spirit. But sowing hostility and discord of the kind you've engaged in here grieves the Spirit beyond words - and you need to repent. I join with the others from MacArthur's community, and encourage everyone to pray for you and your congregation in the hopes that God bring you into a better understanding of what we believe and why we believe it, rather than dismissing us all as Spirit-less blasphemers.
#74 Posted by
Joyce Wilson | Tuesday, June 11, 2013at
One of the problems here is the constant use of the term charismatic. That’s a non-biblical term just like protestant is a non-biblical term. Creating these umbrella labels to describe people who don’t agree with you is dangerous. Even though the term has been around since the 1960’s, it doesn’t mean you keep using it. You should address false prophets as false prophets, not charismatics. Judge them by their false statements, not by their belief in the Holy Spirit or his gifts. After all, the gifts are written in the bible. In 1Corinth 1:6-8 and 1 Corinth 15:42, Paul makes it clear that all the gifts are here until Jesus returns. When Jesus returns then the church will be perfected, receiving our new bodies. There is more to support that view than the view that some gifts have left the planet because of canonization. Was that determined by some other source or revealed truth outside of the bible? Perfection by way of canonization is certainly not written in the bible.
#75 Posted by
P B | Tuesday, June 11, 2013at
This was revolting and I shut it off after about a quarter of it. Its interesting to see the usual charismatic responses. When in the charismatic movement, I remember the standard charismatic answer for questionable stuff, which one poster quotes, that the things of the spirit are foolishness to the natural man because they are spiritually discerned. This somehow gets twisted to mean that silly out of control foolishness is God and if you question, it means you are a natural man. Its a way of saying that you are a spiritual dolt that isn`t as enlightened as these who are caught up in this, in the nicest christian way of course. It is a form of spiritual intimidation that shuts down reason and discernment and gives people the idea that it is somehow more ``faith- full`` not to question. Another thing I noticed when in charismatic churches was the belief that if the Spirit has come upon you then you aren`t in control and so sanctified craziness is caused by God. If you back flipped up the aisle, swung from the chandelier or jumped up and down like a pogo stick, you couldn`t help it because the Spirit was causing this, ya know.
This has given rise to silly stuff like doing carpet time stuck in Holy Spirit glue. A Pentecostal pastors wife recently told me a story of a man who suddenly found his arms s tuck above his head after he hurt his wife`s feelings, because God ``arrested`` him . Yet scripture says that the spirit of the prophets are subject to the control of the prophets. Obvious why that verse was necessary :) I was incredulous that she could not see through the silliness of this. She insisted that this was God. What about all the other husbands who are harsh with their wives, including some Christian husbands who engage in wife beating yet never get ``arrested by God``. Why does God physically arrest one man for hurting his wife`s feelings but ignores many others and doesn`t intervene with a man hitting his wife in front of his children.
The problem in this video is not that laughing itself is wrong. The problem is the idea that you can force spiritually genuine things to happen through fleshly means. As if we can manipulate the Holy Spirit that way. The problem is the idea that the flesh can somehow draw the Holy Spirit into alignment with us . He`ll HOOK UP with you... how gross. In actual fact, the flesh profits nothing and the Holy Spirit humbles us and brings us into alignment with Him, not the other way around. The problem is that scripture is set aside for showmanship, emotional hype and experiences that feel good.
#76 Posted by
Fogorosiu Emanuela | Wednesday, June 12, 2013at
I asked my aunt to buy and send me some of MacArthur and R.C Sprouls books, as I'm not form the US. But all I got were books from Bill Johnson and John G. Lake. I was sad for I was looking forward to reading more Truth-inspired books that really center your mind on our Lord Jesus Christ and His priorities. She has told me recently about having this "holy laugh" and it's sad to hear this. All my relatives were praying for her family to understand what Jesus accomplished and did on the cross. After moving to US, she and her husband professed Christ as Savior and they began growing in the Lord. Unfortunately after a while they started to attend a non-denominational church and she was caught up in all of this and now she is doing all of these weird things also mentioned above. Oh, I pray for her to see and understand the real Truth again!
#77 Posted by
Andrew Chandler | Wednesday, June 12, 2013at
This kind of stuff bothers me because if the Holy Spirit is not leading them to do these things, what is? I love our charismatic friends, but I feel like the doctrine of some of these churches is anything but God's Truth. The noises that this man is making are not linguistic in nature. They are repetitive, rhythmic, no one speaks in rhymes and repetitions constantly. I know that the charismatic believers will simply dismiss this as "he's speaking in the language of angels", but even if it were so, not all angels are serving the Lord. There are many set upon deceiving the would be believers of Truth
#78 Posted by
Yelena Zagorodny | Wednesday, June 12, 2013at
This is repulsive to watch. Starting in the flesh will lead to the spirit?? The Bible says differently: sow in the flesh, reap of the flesh - death.
I attend a Russian Pentecostal church where I have heard people praying in tongues, and it sounds nothing like this babble. I've also heard a clip of a church praying in South America, and could recognize the praying in tongues. It's about speaking to God, not putting on a show for men. I know most people here don't believe that the Spirit reveals itself through the speaking in tongues, which is probably the result of people like this Howard-Browne character. We should expose people like this. Still, in defense of tongues, it is alive today, but it is nothing like the flopping about and falling down and jumping around and laughing like hyenas like you see in the Charismatic church. It is beautiful, it is passionate, and it is orderly and holy. Not like this clip of obscenity.
#79 Posted by
Brad Kennedy | Wednesday, June 12, 2013at
I am stunned, but not surprised, how brash, unbridled, crafty, defiant, and contemptuous messengers of Satan are. Jesus warned us they desire to do as their father; murder and lie. What stuns me most is that so many, made in the image of God, are easily deceived, ensnared, and willing to submit themselves to this mockery of demon inspired worship, showing an utter lack of fear and degenerate contempt for the Holy One.
Praise the LORD for men with the zeal of Elijah, love of Jeremiah, and the Spirit of Christ, 'knowing that in these last days our battle is not against flesh and blood....your obedience has reached multitudes; I am rejoicing over you. Continue to be wise in what is good and innocent in what is evil. Our God of peace will soon crush Satan under our feet.'
#80 Posted by
Christine Potter | Wednesday, June 12, 2013at
I worshiped satan for 15 years before the Lord graciously called me out of the darkness and into His marvelous light. I had to turn off the video about 11 minutes into it, it was looking all too "familiar". :( There is a call for discernment here, the fact that this wolf is leading others down the wide road is horrifying. We must continue to pray for these lost people. I watched a Justin Peters DVD that called out these wolves and we must continue to call them out, to warn the sheep to stay away from them, and to find a local church where the pastor shepherds the flock by feeding them the Word. I'm blessed to have found a local Bible teaching church with sound doctrine, GTY for a good dose of John MacArthur throughout the week, also Phil Johnson to boldly take on this task..this conference. We all need to pray for Phil to be uncompromising as he stands on the truth of God's Word. Ephesians 6:11-12 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
#81 Posted by
Jasmine Clark | Wednesday, June 12, 2013at
This video makes me afraid for so many "believers" who fall sway to these evil antics! 800 mil ppl... wow... that's a lot of misguided folks.
#82 Posted by
Michael Kennedy | Wednesday, June 12, 2013at
After God delivered me out of Catholicism in 1979 and in the 80's allowed me to go to the prosperity, tongue churches, I said that He could use me. So He let me get all involved and confused there too... I say He allowed it because He would then deliver me from those churches in a way that I never saw coming.
When I was saved and learning the Bible, I ran with it thinking I had all the answers! When I said He could use me, He just let me go on way ahead of Him and then at the right time, pulled the Spiritual rug out from under me, stopping me Dead in my tracks for about 6 months. (and ended up scared that I wasn't saved by my own doing, wandering what had happened)
Not only was He there at my salvation, but He never left after me afterwards either. Basically, He had to renew my mind if He was to use me, so that's where John came in.
I say, please, after you accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, make sure you hook up with someone with the right church and Bible teachings!! Someone like the teacher I have had for over 34 yrs., Dr. John MacArthur. Thanks you Lord for John and for sending him through his windshield to get his attention.! God bless!
#83 Posted by
Kato Vik | Thursday, June 13, 2013at
Live in China and do not have access to YouTube, if anyone know of another source. I do believe I totally agree with the rest here in any case, but I would like to show my wife this. She has no experience with this movement.
#84 Posted by
Laura Spilde | Thursday, June 13, 2013at
Thanks for this video. This really exposes the BAD FRUIT of the flesh.
I feel like I get spiritually abused by such environments. If a person in that audience fell over and died in that incident, would that man continue laughing like that???? Would he claim that the person wasn't "laughing right" and God struck him dead.
This video is really sad indeed.
I enjoy a good bible study that really explains God's grace and truth but I can't stand such demonic sounding laughter.
#86 Posted by
Paul Severn | Thursday, June 13, 2013at
I am very encouraged that Pastor MacArthur is taking this movement head on. I believe many well meaning Christians have been sucked into this dangerous movement because of a lack of knowledge of its true nature and origin. I can definitely relate. I grew up in a Christian home that got caught up in this stuff when I was 7 or 8 years old. Although it never sat well with me, I admit that I was seeking something supernatural from God. I thought it was normal to seek out the spiritual gifts that these so called teachers and preachers were promising.
What do you think happens when young people really hungry for God get disillusioned because the goodies and events promised by these self proclaimed "prophets" are not coming true? I can tell you from experience. They become susceptible to the occult mysteries and other world religions that their friends dabble with and get into. They start becoming skeptical of the word of God and His divinely inspired truth found only in the scriptures. They put a hedge up in their mind to not trust GOD or their parents!
Thankfully I can say with all confidence...despite my wandering and searching for something better, God has been truly merciful to me the prodigal son. He led me back to His Word. There is nothing better! I repented. I accepted God on His terms and I’m faithfully trusting Him for His Kingdom to come and His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. But for a season in rebellion, I was running with the devil. I became interested in the occult. With real curiosity I discovered that "speaking in tongues" is nothing new to spiritualists. With subtlety they teach you to turn off your mind so you can "experience" your feelings and surroundings. Sounds familiar huh? I discovered Eastern philosophies are particularly seductive which promote chanting, meditation, projection and mantra's based wholly on generating experiences like tongues can and will.
I'm writing today because I believe from experience that tongues should be likened to a spiritual gateway drug that may lead to a more dangerous belief system. I am not speaking btw of the gift of speaking a known language. I'm talking about repetitive babble and mindless meditation. ex...groaning, or repeating singular tones or hums with cryptic religious sounding phrases uttered over and over again. It's Rubbish! Christians should beware that these practices are exactly akin to the occult and mystic experiences of the fallen angel inspired religions. In the secret inner circles and hidden rooms they teach this and more as the wisdom of the ages. I call it out for what it is... Performing Magick.
We need our spiritual leaders to stand up for the truth! We need our shepherds to watch out and care for the sheep...Not lead them to darkness and strange mystical experiences.
Bless you Pastor John and your leadership team for exposing the error and promoting the truth! I promise to be praying for you and this Strange Fire Conference.
#87 Posted by
Jeremy K | Thursday, June 13, 2013at
I stopped at 5:40. This is just so, so bizarre, a little bit frightening and their worship is about as authentic as a Burrito served in the south China province of Sichuan. In fact the group featured in that clip is not even on the same planet. Their god is a like a Deus ex machina producing nothing more than a satanic afflatus.
If you didn’t know a little of scripture you would be hard pressed to come up with an appropriate explanation for this behaviour. I mean there’s a group of people there who look intelligent enough but it seems that they just don’t have the mind of Christ 1 Corinthians 2:16.
It’s like their trying to get to God and they’re so desperate that they’ll surrender any modicum of good sense and act it all out. As John MacArthur said all you can do is ask to be saved John 6:37 and just let the Holy Spirit work from that point on. Christianity is not a works system.
#88 Posted by
Eric Smith | Thursday, June 13, 2013at
Thanks for the post and video, Phil; both my friend and I would really like to attend your conference to hear you, Dr. MacArthur, and the others, but time and finances are against us. Please keep standing for the truth and preaching the Word of God. The strange fire of the false Christianity in this country is so much deeper and wider than most believe; it is all over anything that calls itself Christian. Keeping you and your ministry in prayer. Oh, and will there be any video casts of this conference at all?
#89 Posted by
Laura Lynn Gallas | Friday, June 14, 2013at
Phil, Thank you so much for posting the video. I fear this is more prevalent than we know. I am finding a lot of this when people also think they can bind Satan while they pray, and in other areas of their lives, ect.. I could go on, but I think we all know where this is from. I pray all of you at Grace decide to use some of this video during the Strange Fire conference. What a timely event. I thank God John decided he needed to address this subject again. It is amazing at the ignorance of knowledge in the scripture, and the lack of the acceptance of correction. This is not a grey area, but as I have heard you and John discuss on many occasions, it is the Lord who is building His church!!! amen, amen. Thank you again for all your hard work at GTY.org. It brings so much joy to my daily life..
#90 Posted by
Elsie Gasper | Friday, June 14, 2013at
King David danced before the Lord; Saul's daughter thought he'd lost it. "Michal...saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord and she despised him in her heart." (2 Sam6:14-16) Are we in danger of being a "Michal" if we despise people's expressions of joy before the Lord? I think so. Granted, some do get caught up in emotion(have seen it many times) but God-given spiritual discernment is an awesome thing and shows a person what's really happening.
Have attended many Revival Fire conferences-some of what people did was of God; some of it wasn't. This in no way invalidates the legitimacy of the move of God or the speaker.
In Aug. 1999, Holy Spirit led me to buy and read Dutch Sheet's book "The River of God"; a week later Holy Spirit led me to the banks of the river spoken of in Ezekiel 47. That river begins at the Cross. I didn't realize this at the time and when the call came at a prayer meeting for anyone who wanted God's healing, my spiritual eyes were not on the Cross; my soulish eyes were on my shoulder injury. I stood on the banks of that glorious River but I didn't step in. Those who did were acting like King David ( minus the lined ephod).
In watching this video the one thing I do take issue with is R.H.B.'s speaking in tongues with no interpretation forthcoming. (1Cor. 14:6-to end of chapter) According to scripture RBH is the only one being edified by his speaking aloud in tongues; however, having said that, tongues spoken aloud are a sign for unbelievers. (1Cor.14:22) How many unbelievers would go on their own to a RHB conference? Some, possibly, but I'm of the opinion that people who attend these conferences are there by Divine appointment. We don't always know what God wants to do and is doing in another person's life, and we are quick to discount as unbiblical, what we are unable to discern because of our own spiritual immaturity. Our own interpretation of scripture and whether something is scriptural or not only goes so far; ask God's opinion-Holy Spirit is our Teacher sent to lead us into the knowledge of the Truth. Thanks for listening.
#91 Posted by
Gillian Stewart | Friday, June 14, 2013at
I find this demonic display of blasphemy quite blood chilling. It is hard to understand how anyone familiar with scripture could possibly think this behaviour glorifies God. Not only is Rodney Browne trampling on the blood of Christ but he is clearly enjoying it. Thank God for strong biblical teachers like John McArthur who can expose the satanic influences which are saturating churches today because so few are reading the word of God, but would rather be fed lies and deception by heretics like Browne. No words are harsh enough for this vile mockery.
#92 Posted by
Daniel Scheiderer | Friday, June 14, 2013at
It is absolutely heartbreaking to hear my Lord's name associated with such things. It's only growing too. I pray that through the Strange Fire Conference, the Lord stops much of this heretical blasphemy from spreading.
#93 Posted by
Tom Moore | Saturday, June 15, 2013at
Scary stuff. I don't know whether to laugh or cry at this. It's funny to listen to his "tongue" speaking and imagine him singing backup to Ella Fitzgerald, or something, with his "be-bop-ba-doo-ba" stuff. Maybe he could be one of Gladys Knight's Pips.
Seriously, it is a real problem claiming to have spiritual authority over something and having none in reality. In my small congregation, we are seeing some influence of the "deliverance ministry" with some of our members. It is a bad road to go down and will only be met with disappointment. It is almost a fascination thing with some people, dabbling in the occult, and all.
Thanks brother Phil and John. God help us all.
#94 Posted by
Don Meresco | Saturday, June 15, 2013at
There is nothing Holy about that spirit.
#95 Posted by
Beverly Bessada | Sunday, June 16, 2013at
Strange Fire is sounding very kind and merciful after forcing myself to view this video in its entirety. Unholy Inferno would still be a mild title ...demon controlled it surely is...if "controlled" can be used in any context describing this blasphemy to the Spirit. I am truly grieved and sick at this demonstration in the name of a Holy God! Thank you GTY for your faithfulness to God's truth and exposing that which is not...to the Grace and Glory of a God who redeems. May many see the light and turn to the God of scripture! In prayer for those so deceived and for the conference that many will come to Light!
#96 Posted by
Connie Stiffler | Monday, June 17, 2013at
I am so thankful for gty and for the Lord leading me out of this kind of deception. I cannot even watch this video without having tears in my eyes. I almost had the truth given to me years ago because of john Macarthur's book Hard to Believe. However, since I was under a false shepherd who believed like Mr Brown, I was told not to. It took a long time to escape this lie and because I wasn't healed physically I got spiritually slaughtered! By God's grace I kept searching for the truth despite the various churches I attended. I cannot attend Strange Fire, but I am going to pray for all who attend. Thank you for not being afraid to expose these wolves in sheep's clothing.
#97 Posted by
Elsie Gasper | Monday, June 17, 2013at
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