Yesterday, one of John Crowder’s Facebook friends sent me this post from his Facebook page:
"Almost all our Cana Seminary speakers got an honorable mention in Dr. Michael Brown’s new hyper-grace book! LOL … I’m listed as the radical “fringe” of this movement that apparently teaches “license to sin.” Although I’m not nearly as balanced and Biblical as Dr. Brown, I do have the honor of being the only guy he bashes as much as Joseph Prince."
Putting John’s sarcasm aside, and putting aside the fact that he hasn’t seen the book yet (although I offered to send him an advance copy; he’s apparently using the information he can find by searching on Amazon or Google), John has already stirred up his followers with false information.
I did reach out to him privately, in love, as I have done with many of the other authors I cite in the book, as a result of which he blocked me from communicating with him further. (John, if you’re reading this, just as my team reached out to you a few years ago when I was going to address the “Tokin’ the Ghost” abuses on my radio show, and just as my publisher and I reached out to you in recent months, without any positive results, my door of communication remains open to you, and my goal is to help, not hurt.)
In fairness to John’s followers, who are now rallying behind a false post, let me set the record straight.
- In Hyper-Grace, I explicitly state that all the hyper-grace teachers I have read do NOT teach that grace gives a license to sin. For example, I cite Dr. Paul Ellis, who cites Pastor Joseph Prince, writing this:
"Dr. Ellis also lists these as some of his favorite quotes from Pastor Joseph Prince, and I say amen to every one of them: “The Bible says that sin shall not have dominion over you when you are not under law but under grace. So if you are living in sin, you are definitely not under grace.” And, “Grace brings about a restraint that is supernatural.” And, “When you fall in love with Jesus, you will fall out of love with sin.” Similarly, Ryan Rufus, Clark Whitten, Andrew Farley, and other hyper-grace teachers have stated categorically that grace does not give us a license to sin. That is not in question."
- Rather than saying that John teaches that grace gives a licence to sin, I wrote in Hyper-Grace:
"Crowder goes even further, claiming that the believer has no sinful nature, and the only reason we struggle with sin is because we believe the lie that we are still partly sinner and partly saint. [I cited specific quotes from him to back this up.]"
- I don’t bash Joseph Prince in the book. Instead, I quote him often in Hyper-Grace, sometimes approvingly, and where I am convinced his teaching contradicts Scripture, I lay it out clearly, allowing the reader to decide. Nothing is misrepresented or misquoted.
- There are actually other teachers, like Pastor Clark Whitten, whom I interact with more than with John.
- I refer to John being on the “fringe” of the hyper-grace movement because his statements are more extreme — we offered to cite him at greater length in the book so people could read what he had to say firsthand, but he would not allow the publisher to do so — and others in the movement do not concur with everything he has written (or how he has written it). But why is that a problem? John should joyfully stand behind what he has written, just as I joyfully stand behind what I have written, and as long as others represent us fairly, then our teaching stands or falls based on the truth of God’s Word.
Hyper-Grace will be released on January 7th, and those interested in what the Scriptures teach about grace will be able to evaluate the question for themselves, reading my book, reading the other books I interact with, and, above all, prayerfully reading the Word and seeking the Lord.
But let’s not divide over false posts and misinformation.
It is the truth — not misinformation — that sets us free.
And may John Crowder and his friends and followers experience the fullness of God’s love and truth and grace. (I pray this for myself as well.)