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Clearing the Smoke, Fanning the Flames: An Interview with Michael Brown

At the same time, I agreed that we were doing a bad job of self-policing, and so, while interacting with editors at Charisma Media about my next book, I proposed this topic, and they were thrilled to have me address it. But to be perfectly honest, I had no plans of writing it. It’s just that I became burdened, and the idea took hold.

Where there is smoke, there is fire.
Image: Robert Zunikoff

And yet here’s the most interesting thing. It is only because the Spirit is moving in such amazing ways around the globe that this book was necessary. It’s the maternity ward that needs to deal with all the new life, not the cemetery. That’s why I start the book talking about the incredible outpouring of the last 100-plus years, and that’s a big reason the book was written: to help prepare for the next, even greater, move of God. In the book you mention a number of characteristics of charismatic Christians that cause some of them to be very gullible. Please tell our readers what those are.

Michael Brown: Well, there’s a good side and a bad side to this. On the good side, we really believe the Word, and the Word records many strange and unusual events. If God did such out of the ordinary things back then, why not today? We’ve also had some pretty amazing (and even wild) experiences, because of which we’re willing to step out and believe God. That’s a good quality too. Unfortunately, we often exercise very little discernment, failing to test the spirits and failing to use the Word as our guide. Because of that, we are easy prey for the charlatans and the manipulators. We need to do better! Because of abuses in the exercise of spiritual gifts some Christians want to limit, or do away with, the exercise of spiritual gifts. Explain why this is this not a good course of action.

Michael Brown: It’s never good to be reactionary, to go from one extreme to the other. Some people seem to believe every spirit; others don’t believe the Holy Spirit. Some are gullible; others are cynical. Neither are good! What we need to do is open our hearts fully to the Lord, examine what His Word says, and seek Him for everything He has for us – for His glory, for a dying world, and for our good.

And remember: Paul didn’t deny the reality of the Spirit or His gifts because of abuses in Corinth. Rather, he corrected the errors and encouraged the eager pursuit of the gifts. We should do the same.

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Category: Spirit, Spring 2018

About the Author: Michael L. Brown, Ph.D. (New York University), is founder and president of FIRE School of Ministry in North Carolina, Director of the Coalition of Conscience, and host of the daily, nationally, syndicated talk radio show, The Line of Fire, as well as the host of the apologetics TV show, Answering Your Toughest Questions, which airs on the NRB TV network. He is the author of more than 30 books including Our Hands Are Stained with Blood: The Tragic Story of the “Church” and the Jewish People (1992), Playing With Holy Fire: A Wake-Up Call to the Pentecostal-Charismatic Church (2018), Israel’s Divine Healer (1995), Saving a Sick America: A Prescription for Moral and Cultural Transformation (2017), Breaking the Stronghold of Food: How We Conquered Food Addictions and Discovered a New Way of Living with Nancy Brown (2017), Authentic Fire: A Response to John MacArthur's Strange Fire (2015), and the highly-acclaimed five-volume series, Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus. Read full biography at AskDrBrown Ministries. Google+. Twitter: @DrMichaelLBrown

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