So I did hear Michael Brown interviewed on Pilgrim Radio today. The program will be repeated tonight at 9:30 PM Pacific Standard Time.
This constant refrain about how John MacArthur tarred all charismatics with the same brush when it's really only a few rotten apples that are the problem just doesn't deal with the issues the Strange Fire Conference sought to raise.
It isn't about people, it's about DOCTRINE, BASIC doctrine, the doctrine that makes a Charismatic a Charismatic, the doctrine of the continuation of the gifts of the Spirit. The rotten apples are a huge problem but their rottenness is really the natural fruit of the basic bad doctrine.
Brown also thinks that the fact that some very respected teachers have believed in the gifts, such as A W Tozer and Oswald Chambers, is some kind of answer to the Conference. But it doesn't have anything to do with who believes in it. It's about DOCTRINE. The Conference people have many times acknowledged that there are true Christians among them, but that they are simply mistaken. It's about DOCTRINE.
Brown thinks the gifts continue because scripture doesn't say they didn't; MacArthur thinks the gifts stopped because he finds that implied in scripture.
But there's also the question of exactly what is meant by the gifts of the Spirit. Brown thinks the phenomena that are called the gifts of the Spirit today really are the gifts of the Spirit even though they are nothing like the gifts of the Spirit as described in the New Testament. MacArthur and Company point out that if they aren't the same then they aren't the gifts of the Spirit.
And if they aren't the gifts of the Spirit then they are either produced by the flesh or by demons. Which is what one would expect if the gifts DID cease: you wouldn't be getting the gifts but some kind of counterfeit.
And if they are produced by the flesh or demons then they are leading millions of Christians astray one way or another.
This IS a big deal.
Seeking God again
3 months ago