Posted Jul 21, 2017 by Michael L. Brown

I imagine the brother who did this was sincere, but he could hardly have been more misguided. It also looks like he failed to fill out the standard “excommunication form” properly, making for an embarrassing slip-up at the end.

If you’re wondering what in the world I’m talking about, allow me to explain.

A few weeks ago, another misguided brother called for the excommunication of Dr. James White, along with those who stood with him, since White had committed the allegedly terrible sin of engaging in an interfaith dialogue with a committed Muslim leader. I exposed that ridiculous attack for what it was, also getting the perspective of one our FIRE missionaries living in the Muslim world and interviewing Dr. White as well.

But it looks like some have taken this excommunication advice seriously, leading to even more ridiculous attacks. While I can only laugh at their absurdity, it must grieve the heart of our Father when His kids are throwing knives at one another – and doing it in the name of Jesus, at that.

So, earlier this week, our office was sent an “official” notice of excommunication, beginning with these words: “As Micheal L Brown continues to give support and succor to the heretic James White, let us all be agreed upon the following.” (Note to the gentleman who sent this: Be sure to spell my name correctly next time. It’s Michael, not Micheal.)

Yes, James White, who has devoted many years of his life to reaching Muslims with the gospel, is now a heretic because of his latest outreach attempt. Or perhaps he is a heretic because he is a Calvinist? Or perhaps it’s something else?

We were not informed of his alleged guilt, only that I was guilty of standing with him. Ironically, I regularly get damned to hell by other misguided leaders who have condemned me for being friends with people like Bill Johnson. So, I’m damned for having non-charismatic friends and I’m damned for having charismatic friends. What a narrow world these critics live in!

I regularly address issues of concern with my brothers and sisters, and we share our differences freely. That’s part of being part of the same family: We are brothers and sisters in Jesus even in the midst of our differences and distinctives. But this whole idea of so freely calling others false prophets and false teachers and ravenous wolves and heretics must stop. As Paul warned the Galatians, “if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another” (Gal. 5:15).

Getting back to this “formal decree” of excommunication sent out by this brother (perhaps representing his church of one?), after going through various statements and scriptures, which were excellent and powerful and strong, the “decree” came to its final exhortation, which began with these words: “Let all of us pray that the Holy Spirit grant Lulu grace to recognize her sin, work in her genuine repentance, and restore her to fellowship with the Lord and his people (Ezek. 18:23, 32; 33:11; Matt. 18:10-14).” Yes, let’s pray for Lulu!

I guess this misinformed brother used a standard excommunication form (are they available online?), one that he used before, but last time, he was calling on a woman named Lulu to repent. My guess is that he made the changes through the rest of the document but missed these at the end, referring to Lulu rather than me. It was hard not to laugh out loud at this one.

So, here are some practical tips the next time you want to excommunicate someone: 1) Don’t try to excommunicate a leader in the Body who is in good standing with the Lord and the Body. You’ll find yourself fighting against God, not man. 2) Don’t excommunicate a leader for standing with another leader who is also in good standing with the Lord and the Body. 3) Don’t do anything on your own; this is a function of the local church. 4) Be sure to spell the person’s name correctly!  5) If you’re using a standard form, be sure to fill in the blanks properly lest you confuse a male leader named Michael Brown with a woman named Lulu!

In all seriousness, please, let’s stop with this nonsense. We have real heretics to deal with and a real devil who wants to destroy. Let’s stand together with the Lord and against our common enemy. Satan must find this stuff quite amusing too. Surely we can (and must) do better.

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SMac77 posted a comment · Jul 24, 2017
Wow. If I was a pastor, I think I would have to ask myself what I am doing wrong with regard to my duty to preach and teach that I have had to create a standardized form for excommunication.
Royce posted a comment · Jul 21, 2017
I gave Howse the benefit of doubt early on but it's articles like that which bear such STRONG False Witness and many subsequent things after his first video that have been said that I seriously question now whether he's saved. How many self-professing Christians have erased Psa 111:10, Pro 1:7 & 17:15, & Matt 5:23-24 from their Bibles? Does the thought cross minds? Or 1st John 3? I'd suggest those making such outrageous and downright ludicrous claims go back and read Matt. 7:2 and meditate on it for awhile because if they are truly saved they can expect chastisement to come.