Steve Brown’s False Doctrine
April 16, 2012
As I was waking up this morning, a strong concept was circulating through my spirit. It was almost like a vision, for I could see Jesus’ hands, His blood-spattered body, His eyes swollen, His face constricted in pain, the cross, and swarms of people around Him, laughing, joking, mocking… like they were having a hilarious time… like at a party. But mostly it was Jesus’ hands I was seeing… very big hands, like God’s –He who holds the world in the palm of His power and love. Next to Christ’s hands were huge spikes. But the spikes weren’t in His hands, but hovering over His hands, available to the people for whenever they would choose to hammer them down into the already gaping nail wounds. “Sin: It’s what crucifies Christ all over again. Heb. 6:6. They are doing it deliberately. They act like it’s an entertainment. With unholy shamelessness they are treating the blood that sanctified them as something cheap. Such people, while boasting about their salvation, deceive themselves, and refusing to fear God and obey Him, are actually strutting toward Hell. Heb. 10:26-31.” These were the thoughts, the concepts, hitting my heart. It was very sad.
When I got up another strong concept flooded into me: “Praise.” Well, I always praise and thank the Lord when I first get up, submitting to Him my will, mind, heart, decisions, etc., but God was impressing me to praise Him energetically, which I didn’t feel up to right then. But, “Praise,” I kept hearing, and then, “It’s a choice.”
“Yes, I know this,” I reasoned. “Okay. So what must I do? I must make the choice. It’s not enough to know there’s a choice, or just think about the choice. I must act.” So I did, and at first it was like plowing through something resistant, but as I continued in the right choice, what happened? I was soon worshiping the Lord “in the splendor of His holiness.” (Ps. 29:2) I was soon enveloped in His beautiful presence.
So what does the spiritual walk consist of? Just like all of life, it consists of countless decisions. And decisions are choices.
Unfortunately, there is a huge and growing group of “Christians”, including their theologians, who are teaching something very different. They are teaching that walking with Christ is all about God’s decisions. They are picking out verses from the Bible to support their doctrine, even in light of God’s Word which thoroughly contradicts what they’ve twisted it to say.
A friend called me a while later, distressed to have heard advertised on a local radio station something about a new book called, “Three Free Sins.” I immediately researched it and found this:
During and after reading this, I felt sickened. Here we have Steve Brown, a well-known spokesperson for “Christianity” teaching us all, once again, that it’s really okay that we who say we love Christ will still continue to drive spikes into His hands. –And that God loves us anyway, and forgives us anyway.
Friends, Steve Brown’s gospel is a false gospel. It is the gospel that is growing like a tsunami, surging throughout the earth, but it is a doctrine of the devil. Steve Brown is saying that Christians do not have to get better –that they do not have to become righteous or do anything about becoming so. But 1 Tim. 5:22 says, “Keep yourself pure,” and 1 Peter 1:15 says, “Be holy in all you do.” Brown’s doctrine implies that these are not commands for us to do, but are entirely God’s work in us. This is because he is a Calvinist and Calvinists teach that all our choices are really God’s choices.
Steve Brown says, “And you don’t have to get better to be sanctified or holy.” In other words, –you can keep sinning and still be considered sanctified and holy in God’s eyes. Really? Compare Brown’s theology with this: “He who does what is sinful is of the devil.” (1 John 3:8) Now, let’s see… If someone is of the devil, is that person sanctified and holy? Of course not. Hmmmm… Okay then, let’s use our ability to think, to reason, to apply a bit of logic: A person does what is sinful = being of the devil = not holy and sanctified. What does this then add up to? It adds up to not being an inheritor of eternal life. As 1 John 3:10 confirms, “Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God.” But we know that only children of God inherit eternal life. (John 8:34,35,42 & 14:15-24 // Rom. 8:12-17)
Heb. 12:14 says, “Without holiness no one will see the Lord.” And Eph. 5:5 insists, “For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person –such a man is an idolater– has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.” Shall I go on? I could –with Scripture after Scripture telling us that those who live in “the sinful nature… will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Gal. 5:19-21) but will instead reap eternal death. (6:8 // Rom. 6:23 & 8:13) Yet we’ve got the Steve Browns who, while claiming to know God’s Word and Gospel, teach just the opposite.
Let’s look at some specific statements from Brown’s Easter magazine (see link above). He begins, “The gospel of free sins makes getting better sort of irrelevant.” Let’s stop. Does God teach this supposed “truth” in His Word? Did Christ teach such a thing? Or do we read in the Scriptures that we are to flee sin (1 Cor. 6:18 // 2 Tim. 2:22), rid ourselves of the acts of the sinful nature (Col. 3:5-10), put to death the misdeeds of the body (Rom. 8:13), put off the old self (Eph. 4:22), walk in the Spirit (Gal. 5:16), be controlled by the Spirit (Rom. 8:9), be perfect (Matt. 5:48), and make every effort to be found spotless and blameless? (2 Peter 3:14) And if we do not need to make any effort at this, then why are we told to train ourselves to be godly (1 Tim. 4:7) and to pursue righteousness and godliness (6:11), straining toward the goal of perfection and conformity to Christ? (Phil. 3:13,14 // Rom. 8:29) Why does the apostle Paul compare our spiritual life to a race (1 Cor. 9:24), a competition and a strict training (v. 25), and say that he beats his body into submission (v. 27) so as to keep himself from the danger of being disqualified? (same verse)
Brown also brings in Rom. 7 –a favorite passage for the OSAS groups. However, he, like the others, totally misread it. Refusing to accept Paul’s intended literary style, they conclude that Paul is saying he is still “unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin” (v. 14) –even though all through chapter 6 Paul states that we have been freed from sin. (6:7,17,18,22) They insist that Paul is saying that he is still a “prisoner of the law of sin” (7:23) –even though Paul exults in the fact that Jesus rescued him from that wretched body of death! (v. 24,25) How foolish these arrogant theologians make themselves look as they try to interpret God’s Word for us!
Yes, I say “arrogant”, for how awful it is that Brown goes on defaming the heroes of the Bible as he seems to gloat in concentrating on any sins in them he can find, going so far as to infer what isn’t there. Then, with an arrogant tone, he says, “Sometimes I want to tell God that we really do need better heroes than the ones he gave us…” But apparently Brown doesn’t realize that we are told to “fix our eyes on Jesus” (Heb. 12:) as we set our minds on things above, not on earthly things (Col. 3:2) so that we can “live as Jesus did” (1 John 2:6) –which means, to be obedient to God in all we do and say and think. (John 12:49,50 & 14:31 // 2 Cor. 10:5 // Phil. 2:5 // Heb. 5:9)
At the top of the page of the above link, we read another quote: “Jesus didn’t die to make you nice.” This is chatter, words put together for shock value. Here is the Truth from God’s Word: “Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people.” (Heb. 9:28) And “He appeared so that He might take away our sins.” (1 John 3:5) Therefore, “No one who is born of God will continue to sin” (v. 9), for everyone who has died to the sinful nature and has put on the Lord Jesus has been freed from sin. (Rom. 6:6,7,18,22 & 13:14 // Gal. 5:24 // Rev. 1:5) In other words, Jesus did die so as to give us the power and freedom (2 Peter 1:3,4 // Gal. 5:1,13) to live to do good (Rom. 2:6-10 // John 5:29) so as to please God –in actuality, not just in claim. (Rom. 12:1,2 // Eph. 5:8-11 // Titus 1:16 // James 1:21,22 & 2:14-26 // 1 Peter 2:11,12)
Steve Brown is trying to get people to not fear God. Yes, God loves everyone because He is love (1 John 4:16), but because He is holy, God is certainly angry with sinners. Ps. 7:11 tells us that because He is a righteous judge, God “expresses His wrath every day.” Rom. 2:5, Col. 3:6, and 1 Thes. 1:10 warn us of God’s “coming wrath”, while Eph. 5:6 informs us that “God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient.” –Disobedient to the Gospel (2 Thes. 1:8,9), the Gospel which commands us to live in righteousness and Truth in the Holy Spirit. (Titus 2:11-14 // Jude 1:15,18,19) Jesus Himself tells us to fear God (Luke 12:5) and 1 Peter 1:17 tells us to live our lives in reverent fear as strangers here on earth. In 4:1,2 we are told to have Christ’s attitude and to be done with sin because we are living the rest of our lives, not for evil human desires, but only for the will of God.
So, what should we do? Should we adhere to Steve Brown’s doctrine of “No big deal if you sin”? Or should we work out our salvation with fear and trembling (Phil. 2:12) –as God’s Word commands?