Dr. Michael Brown, the host of the nationally syndicated radio show, Line of Fire and Vice President of FIRE School of Ministry, is well-known as an apologist for modern day Montanism. Montanism is a heresy that arose early in church history, founded by its leader, Montanus, that manifests today in Pentecostalism, Charismatic churches, and most notably in the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) founded by the late C. Peter Wagner.
Michael Brown has continually denied being a part of the New Apostolic Reformation, yet his association with its adherents is conspicuous and suspicious. It’s difficult to ascertain exactly why Michael Brown continues to deny his affiliation with them.
One of the key tenets of the New Apostolic Reformation is the theology of “new wine,” that teaches that God is “pouring out” a renewal that manifests in so-called prophecies. The goal of the new wine movement is for those who are spiritually hungry to receive “more” of God. C. Peter Wagner, who coined the term, New Apostolic Reformation, published in Arise Magazine on September 1, 2000,
Every time Jesus began building His Church in a new way throughout history, He provided new wineskins. The growth of the Church through the ages is, in part, a story of new wineskins. These new wineskins appear to be at least as radical as those of the Protestant Reformation almost five hundred years ago.
Michael Brown, who continues to deny his association with the New Apostolic Reformation, said during his address on leaving Brownsville,
And I said, listen, my understanding is that this revival is not about Brownsville or the Assemblies of God. It’s bigger than that, and we need to put the new wine into some new wineskins – [I’m] not calling the Assemblies old wineskins – but just a curriculum that would reflect the new wine of revival. And the brothers agreed with that.
This is clearly NAR speak. The New Apostolic Reformation sees itself and its “Apostles” as those who are bringing about spiritual revival in the church today. Further, Charisma News reports Michael Brown saying to them regarding separation from Brownsville,
It was difficult to be a church-planting movement and part of a church that had denominational church-planting rules. To us, the issue of apostolic fathering could not be fully released in that denominational [AOG] framework. That, by the way, is a big part of why the separation happened.
The simple truth is that the Assemblies of God school had had enough of Brown’s NAR nonsense, and decided to let him go due to “irreconcilable differences.” According to Bill Johnson, in a book edited by Dr. Bruce Cook, Aligning With The Apostolic, the concept of “apostolic fathering” is part of the core of the New Apostolic Reformation.
One of the core values of the New Apostolic Reformation movement is the principle of apostolic fathering — raising up spiritual sons and daughters. And we see that principle here with David. In [Psalm 34] verse 11 he is addressing the 400 as his spiritual children — his spiritual sons. The Hebrew word here is “ben” meaning son — one who is a builder of the family name. This is a relational term, not just a biological one.
Michael Brown clearly aligns with this theology of “apostolic fathering.” In his address to the students regarding him leaving Brownsville, he continues,
And he said, Well then, you’ll be fired and you’ll lose the school. And I could care less about my vision, my dream, my goal, but when I thought about the student body, when I thought about my family, my spiritual sons and daughters, and the ones who send me notes, “Dear Dad” and all that. and I thought, I can’t lose the students…My heart was this: You can fire me as being president, but you can’t fire me as being father
The concept of “apostolic fathering” is a very cultish and anti-Christian belief. It revolves around following these so-called apostolic leaders rather than doctrine. In direct opposition to Romans 16:17, Bill Johnson, pastor of one of the flagship NAR cult churches in America, Bethel Redding, writes:
There are major changes in the “wind” right now. For the last several years, people have started to gather around fathers instead of doctrine. In the natural, it would be easy to imagine a father with two very different children — one politically liberal and the other conservative. While discussions would probably be quite lively at the evening meal, they would not bring an end to the family. Gathering around fathers gives a stability that enables people to endure differences in opinion without falling under the influence of the spirit of offense. Fathers bring an element of peace that is impossible without them.
The fact is that the New Apostolic Reformation is a pseudo-Christian cult. They see themselves as revolutionaries with a goal of cultural transformation. This is the mark of an NAR Apostle. Michael Brown is clearly deeply embedded in this movement, yet he will not come out and admit it. It appears as though Brown wants to be the evangelical face of the New Apostolic Reformation–the one who bridges the dangerous cult-like teachings of the movement with those of mainstream evangelicalism. He presents himself as the “voice of reason” within this movement–the most dangerous kind of deception. If he identified himself as an Apostle of the NAR, he would undoubtedly be rejected by many who fellowship with him now. Could this be why he’s hiding his identity?
Michael Brown, you can’t hold hands with God and the devil. The NAR is a movement of Satan and you should either repent from it or come clean.
I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. – Romans 16:17
[Contributed by Pulpit & Pen]
- Arise Magazine Article: New Apostolic Reformation, Posted September 1, 2000, Apostle C. Peter Wagner – Cited November 16, 2016
- Dr. Michael Brown’s address on leaving Brownsville, Cited November 16, 2016 (alt. link)
- Aligning With the Apostolic, An Anthology of Apostleship, Volume 4, Dr. Bruce Cook – Cited November 16,2016