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Michael Brown

Justin Peters vs. Michael Brown: On Benny Hinn and Repentance

In the realm of discernment, Justin Peters is an Original Gangster, often tackling various lower-hanging fruits who have massive followings like Steven Furtick, Joel Osteen, and Benny Hinn. He is a well-known cessationist and while he has somewhat stepped back from discernment, he is not removed from the fight and is a warrior for the truth.

Michael Brown is a well-known hyper-charismatic who apart from his hyper-dispensationalism is otherwise theologically aligned with the New Apostolic Reformation. Brown receives many criticisms for his defense of charismatics and their cringe, which recently would include Mike Bickle.

Benny Hinn is somewhat old business in the realm of discernment and is low-hanging fruit for being a prosperity preacher and miracle fraudster. He has taught using claims of divine revelation of deceptions which is in direct contradiction to Scripture. Over the course of fifty years, he has made a lot of money off the backs of those whom he has defrauded through his various ministries.

American Gospel released a panel discussion on the issue of spiritual gifts with Justin Peters and Jim Osman representing the Cessationists while Michael Brown and Sam Storms represent the Charismatics. The debate was filmed on April 1, 2023, and released on March 18, 2024. On this panel discussion, the subject of Hinn comes up where Brown and Peters go back and forth on the subject of Benny Hinn.

On the panel discussion, Justin Peters is quick to bring up Benny Hinn, citing him as a false teacher. Initially, Peters differs from Brown in that he believes a false teacher can be deceiving people unknowingly, not just deliberately deceiving people. Then he characterizes false teachers, summarizing Hinn’s deceptions. Sam Storms took issues with Peter’s characterization of Hinn, affirming that Hinn still holds to foundational truths. He expressed his willingness to give the benefit of the doubt provided there is no “unrepentant immorality.” Sam Storms would affirm this standard even for prosperity preachers while neglecting to call lying an unrepentant immorality.

Peters challenged Storm on Hinn’s “Nine members of the Godhead” lie which Hinn later retracted with deception. Throughout this discussion, they would speak on Mike Bickle, Todd White, and Sid Roth while it seems the most notable defense of Brown was “What about Martin Luther?” because it is far easier for a Judaizer like Brown to discuss Luther who lived 500 years ago than people in his contemporary ecosystem for behaviors he claims ignorance of. The feigned ignorance of false charismatic teachers is a pattern with Brown, who has been fielding questions about Benny Hinn and Bill Johnson for years.

Since this debate was recorded, Mike Winger has done a deep dive on Benny Hinn that goes through the history, false teachings, and scandals, where he has a notably harsher tone towards Hinn. In the past, Winger has been hesitant to call out false teachers, most notably Bill Johnson of Bethel. Winger even used Justin Peters to compile some of the evidence, representing a collaboration with someone charismatics often distrust.

Michael Brown responded to Winger’s video and stated the following amidst his self-filibustering style:

Benny Hinn must repent at the very least of carnal manipulative fundraising, which he himself has renounced but has gone back to…and at the very least of false prophecies that were given without accountability or public repentance.

Justin Peters, in his latest video, disputes Brown still playing the clip from the panel discussion and the clip from Brown’s show, in that Brown’s idea of repentance is Benny Hinn sitting down with leaders he respects and “demonstrate repentance.” Per Peters (and any reasonable believer), Hinn would be permanently disqualified from ministry and his self-removal would be a sign of repentance.

Essentially, Brown’s position is vague and could allow for Hinn to be “restored,” whatever that looks like since he is stating that leaders whom Benny Hinn respects should be the ones to outline repentance. Any leader who respects a charlatan like Hinn is unrespectable and disreputable. Naturally, since birds of a feather flock together, these other leaders would likely teach similar heresies as Hinn. Brown also downplays the severity of false prophecy, which in Deuteronomy 13 and 18 would label to be a capital offense.

While Brown takes issue with the manipulative fundraising, Justin Peters gives his testimony of these Benny Hinn crusades and the desperate people whom Hinn manipulated out of their money, depicting that there are real victims of Hinn’s prosperity gospel. Brown spends more time bloviating about how he has long fought against the charismatic excesses which should fall on deaf ears when he has defended the likes of Mike Bickle. And he only responded to Hinn after all these years because Mike Winger put Hinn on blast, not after the numerous times he has been confronted on Hinn.

Between Brown and Peters throughout 2023, there was correspondence after the filming of the panel. According to Justin Peters, Brown did not “think it was right to raise the nine gods issue which came up at the roundtable.” Peters was rather distraught and disheartened by this, perhaps because he had corresponded with Michael Brown for long enough on the issue of Benny Hinn only for Brown to quibble over his redress of 90’s era false teaching from Hinn. Maybe this is because back in the 90’s, Michael Brown participated in the Brownsville Revival which featured falsified miracles and false prophecies uttered by Brown himself—unsurprisingly pertaining to Israel. As of 2021, Brown was defending the Brownsville Revival. Due to the age of this scandal, he gets quite a pass within Christian circles, which should not be forgotten since Brownsville was instrumental in building his reputation.

Conclusion

Michael Brown has increasingly been hostile towards cessationists, but the greatest evidence of cessationism is the fruits of charismatic cringe: the tolerance of false prophecies, fake miracles, prosperity preaching, and dubious signs and wonders like tongues and slaying in the spirit. In the end, Michael Brown is that which he defends.

On a positive note, credit to Mike Winger for taking the time to do a deep dive on Benny Hinn. Presumably with his more charismatic leaning audience, maybe the fact that he is charismatic himself will open the eyes of charismatics to the deceptions of Benny Hinn and all the other obvious false teachers in their camp who often go unpoliced by their own because of men like Michael Brown and Sam Storms.

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