Jeff Maples is one of the chief writers for the Pulpit & Pen polemics site. He is also an administrator for the chookwatcher Facebook page. His articles are included in chookwatcher posts. He may even be a chookwatcher.
One such article attempts to paint Dr Michael Brown as a NAR leader when he has already stated he is not.
Not that there is anything particularly wrong with the New Apostolic Reformation.
It is a loosely connected set of movements that have sprung up over several years that share the concept that apostles and prophets are still viable, and that the gifts and manifestations of the Spirit remain at work in the Church today, including healing, deliverance, speaking in tongues and miraculous acts of God.
In other words, they are continuists.
Maples is a cessationist. He says these things have ended. When they ended, no one in his club exactly knows. They pontificate that the gifts, apostles and prophets ended when the canon was ratified, which would be around the fifth century after Christ. There is no scripture to back this up.
Not so well known
Here’s how Maples opens his article…
‘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.’
Er, no! He is not ‘well known as an apologist for modern day Montanism’. He is well known as a Hebrew scholar. He is a Jewish Christian and author. He is a theologian and a Pentecostal. I don’t think he gives a moment’s thought to Montanism, let alone being an apologist for it.
The Montanism claim is solely put out by the writers at Pulpit & Pen, and regurgitated on copycat sites such as the chookwatchers, who tend to use the ideas of other writers more than their own, regardless of doctrinal stance, as long as they come against the same people they do.
The only places Dr Brown is contrived as being ‘well known as an apologist for modern day Montanism’ are the polemics sites linked to Pulpit & Pen. No one else believes or supports this tosh.
So the opening statement is a wrong opinion and a false premise.
Maples goes on…
‘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.’
How can it be difficult to ascertain why Dr Brown has denied his affiliation with NAR when he has simply said he is not a part of the NAR? He’s a Pentecostal for a start. Nothing to do with the charismatic move.
It’s only difficult for people like Maples to ascertain because they have made the claim that he is NAR, therefore, in their eyes, this must be right. The idea of being wrong about something is anathema to the polemists at Pulpit & Pen.
Not guilty by association
Just because a person mixes with and enjoys the company of Christians from other movements or denominations doesn’t make them of that particular clan.
For instance, I’m associated through relationship and fellowship with adherents of the Baptist Union, but I am not of the Baptist Union.
I am associated with charismatics, but I am not a charismatic. I am associated with people from the Methodist Church, but this doesn’t make me a Methodist. The same goes for friends in the Anglican Church (Church of England), Uniting Church (of Australia), etc, etc..
Being friends and associating with people from elsewhere in the Body of Christ doesn’t make anyone of their denomination. I am a Pentecostal. I’m happy with that as a designation doctrinally, but most of all I am of the Body of Christ.
Cessationists, especially those of the Reformed persuasion, tend to consider themselves the only viable option to doctrine and practice, and are prone to the immaturity of schism and division frowned upon by the Apostle Paul.
They have to segment Christians into ‘isms’, ever categorising and being critical with it. They are classic sectarians. Trying to make Dr Brown and others something they are not is a case in point.
It is wrong to attribute guilt by association. By the way, John MacArthur said that.
Maples’ associative claim is simply a ludicrous argument. But Maples makes it the key element of his article. He leaves it out there.
No explanation for Maples’ claim of NAR membership but association because Dr Brown talks to people from other ministries, especially those Maples proposes to be of the NAR (even though they too reject this notion).
These conspiracists make things up as they go along to suit their misleading narrative.
Even though Dr Brown has made it clear to chookwatcher in a tweet that he is not of NAR, the chookwatcher clan, en masse, has to dig in and do what they can to demonstrate that this can’t possibly be true.
Why? Because the chooks say so. Cluck, cluck!