American Gospel Roundtable Discussion Review

I recently finished the American Gospel Roundtable Discussion. It was a 4 hour roundtable with Drs. Sam Storms and Michael Brown on one side. And Pastor Jim Osman, and evangelist Justin Peters on the other.American Gospel Roundtable ParticipantsOver 100,000 people have watched it already. You should watch it too. Spread it out over a few days, and it’s much easier to digest. But I wanted to give my key takeaways from the discussion, and give you things to look for, or revisit if you watched it already.

I’ll probably sprinkle quotes throughout, but I have six main points I want to cover, and then I’ll wrap up the article with a “what’s next?”.

The Key Lesson From The American Gospel Roundtable Discussion

I want to read a few verses from 1st Corinthians 3 before I start because this is the frame in which you should read this article. I’ll read verses 1-3.

“And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas among you envying and strife and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?”

This rebuke isn’t for you as a reader of my website, because we know better. But for those in the body who want division.

Division is ungodly, and when believers divide, we are walking carnally, not spiritually. This is a nice way to lead into my 1st point.

Key Takeaway #1 We Are All Believers

We are all believers. The panel has Calvinists, non-Calvinists. Those who believe in gifts for today, those who don’t believe gifts are for today. You have tongue talkers and non-tongue talkers. They have different end times beliefs, and these beliefs are not only shared 50/50, but the point is they are all believers.

I made a point a while back to take ownership of that. There are believers who don’t believe like me, and that’s fine, but they’re still believers. There’s fundamental beliefs you must hold as a Christian. that is the line of separation though. As believers, we need to live like that.

This is what it looks like from the outside. You have this family and it’s big, loads of brothers and sisters, but some are attacking the others, but we are telling the world we are a family. This makes no sense, and people don’t want to be a part of a family like that. This happens from both sides.

I don’t even want to say sides because this is the point I’m trying to make. There are no sides (at least there shouldn’t be), there’s only the body of Christ. We must think more before we talk about our brothers and sisters.

The Body Of Christ Needs To Unite

I see this so often…You have people saying some in the body speaking in tongues are talking gibberish or a devil’s language. Then you have some saying believing gifts have stopped today means, God can’t do miracles.

I get it, I have brothers, we poked fun at each other at times, but there are lines you don’t cross. And these lines have been run over so often by believers, it begs the question, are these believers who don’t believe like I do saved?

These examples are secondary issues, not what you should divide over. This leads me into my second key takeaway.

The American Gospel Roundtable Proves We Need More

We need more of this. I haven’t watched, or read other reviews, so I’m intrigued how people viewed this conversation. For me, this is good news and more of this needs to happen. These are heavy hitters from different Christian circles today. They have much influence. It’s natural for their behaviour to trickle down to people who look to them for spiritual guidance.

They were all respectful. They all acknowledged each other as brothers, and the more people see this, the easier it is to realize these are not the enemies. Could you imagine if something like this happened one or two times a year or more? One of the things I was thinking about when I watched this was something big. Could you imagine a conference where we all united and did something that glorified God?

This would be epic.

But as I say this, anyone who is against this sort of link-up needs to question why? The whole body of Christ should welcome collaborations like this, but because things are so factional, almost cultish, this seems strange to hear.

Unity Is All Over The Bible

Think of times in the Bible, in Exodus when all of the congregation came together. You also see this in Judges, 1st Samuel, Ezra, and Acts. You see this widespread unity throughout the Bible, but not as much as we should today.

The reason I’m so excited by these roundtables is because, I have faith God can do it. These are the kind of steps that break the ice.

We all know someone who seems weird or a bit strange, and because of this, we stay away, even start believing they are strange and weird. And then we get to know them and realize we had it all wrong, they’re not the bogeyman after all. The more familiar we get with accepted denominations, the greater our testimony.

This is a good test to play on yourself. Think about your first feelings and thoughts when you say the following…

If I went to a charismatic church or a Presbyterian church this weekend.

If your thoughts and emotions are negative, first you need the Lord’s help.

There are God-fearing, Biblical churches in all accepted denominations of the church. They will do things different to what you do, but different doesn’t mean ungodly. There are different ways to preach truth, different ways to worship in truth, and there are different ways to fellowship in truth.

Think about all the books in the Bible, the different genres, topics, and lengths but all the same one truth about God. This is an example of the body of Christ. That shouldn’t feel weird to you at all. The church you go to right now, that denomination does not have the key to all truth.

There are areas you are lacking because you are cutting yourself off from other parts of the body. And the same for others who will not come to your church. This is what watching more stuff like this roundtable should show us. There are good differences in the body. we are all needed. this is what God wants.

Stop The Caricatures

This leads me to my 3rd takeaway, the caricatures on both sides. I spoke about this a little earlier, but the misrepresenting of both sides is bad. We must do a better job understanding what someone we disagree with believes, then engage with that, not what we think they mean. The devil wants misrepresentation because that’s when it’s easy to slander, which is also a sin, but let’s talk about some examples.

Caricature #1

God told me” is a famous one, and it comes up so often, but it’s often misrepresented. If you believe in gifts today, you believe God still speaks today. But it’s presented like saying “God said” means, it overrides the Bible. That is false!

God doesn’t contradict himself, so if God did speak to someone, it would have to line up with the word or it wouldn’t be from God.

There are people that abuse this, they lie and God all the time, but that does not mean we can say God isn’t speaking because some lie. The logic doesn’t follow. There are false prophets all over the Bible, but this could never mean there are not true prophets.

That is flawed logic. And that’s what happens when you only focus on the errors, and not the truth. It was agreed during the American Gospel Roundtable, false teachers etc does not prove the gifts have stopped today which was good.

Unity Brings Growth

Before I move to another example, I want to highlight a part of the roundtable I thought was good.

Dr. Storms asks a question about some of the discernment videos made by Mr. Peters.

So I have a question, I have a question, I’ll pose it to you Justin, in love…

(Peter’s says) Sure.

…and humility. Why is it that the only clips that you show and parade out for the Christian public are ones like that, but as far as I can tell, you’ve never shown a clip of my sermons teaching very differently or any of Michael’s teaching differently? Would not a fair representation of charismatics be that, hey, here are some charismatics who pray in tongues and who prophesy and who pray for the sick and they don’t affirm this? Wouldn’t it be helpful to the body of Christ to present a more holistic and balanced perspective on those who embrace the theology that we do?”

I thought this was special because this is the sort of mindset we need to have as brothers and sisters in Christ. This is how we go to the next level.

Imagine if he exposed false teachers, then chose Godly examples from the same denomination. This still exposes someone, but makes it clear these are the extremes, even if they are popular. This is the kind of Grace we should extend to our brothers and sisters in Christ. That way you’re not left thinking everyone who believes in gifts is like this person.

Discussion Of Famous Preachers

Preachers like Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, and other famous names came up. It shouldn’t surprise that Storms and Brown said,

“If the things reported are true, they’re not brothers. If everything that you said about Benny Hinn is accurate, then of course he’s a false teacher. If what you described, the whole description of lifestyle and this and that, unrepentant ongoing sin, if that’s true, and denial of, ongoing denial of fundamentals of the faith, never retracted, never corrected, yeah, of course he would be a false teacher.

(Strom’s says) yeah, of course.”

Showing distinctions would make the content so much better and more loving to the body of Christ as a whole. I learned this lesson myself on my apologetics content. I make videos and articles about different groups I’ll engage, Hebrew Israelite cult groups, atheists, Islam, and Jewish objections to Jesus.

I’m careful to distinguish the people or ideas I’m speaking against, and I try to not make generalizations unless it’s valid. Years ago, I would get comments saying things like “I don’t believe this” or “We don’t all believe like this“. I had to check myself and make better distinctions and speak clearer.

Christ shows us that the more charitable you are, the better things you will do.

Caricature #2

Let’s move to another example. Another example is cessationists don’t believe God can heal. Pastor Jim gives a story about someone their church prayed for and got healed.

“So we had a young lady in our congregation who was sick, she was in the hospital was inexplicable, she was not even not even 18 years old, inexplicable illness days there maybe going on a couple of weeks, she finally called the elders to the bedside and asked us to pray for her, we came in and we prayed for her um all of us around there, a prayer of faith, asked God to heal her, the next day she was released from the hospital, the symptoms were gone. God God healed that girl in accordance with our prayers.”

If you only listen to some charismatics, you’d think this never happens in other churches, but it does. This is why more of this stuff needs to happen.

key Takeaway #4

My fourth key takeaway is fear, which causes division and Satan rejoices over.

I don’t mean this in the sense that people are afraid to speak to each other, but the fear of getting hurt or deceived. It takes courage for me to say some of the things I’m saying.

It would have been easier to pick the side that lines up more with my personal beliefs. That way, I would have the backing of a large part of the body, but that is not the Godly position. The Godly position is to say both have valid points, both are not perfect, and both need each other.

I’ve said things that make cessationists happy, but I’ve also said things that make charismatics happy. And I’ve also said things that made both parties represented at the American Gospel roundtable discussion unhappy. I’m okay to do that because that’s where the truth is.

True believers will gravitate towards truth. Click To Tweet How often do you hear people say things like “It’s okay to go to this church or that church,”

How often do you see people saying “It’s okay to go to a church outside their denomination?” We need to realize how ungodly it is to have that only me mindset.

I’m big on actions speak louder than words. God is too.

Use The Whole Body

I listen to pastors and ministers across the body, always have and always will. I’m not Calvinist, but I listen to many of them. I listen to Lutherans, Presbyterians, Charismatics.

I listen and have no problem. I can listen to all the forms of worship, all the teaching styles, different translations. I can do that because God is working in the church, not only my church. Click To Tweet I’ve always recommended different ministries across the body.

Yes, there is that fear at times, what if the person does something wrong, and I recommended them. All I can do is own it. We’re not perfect, but it’s like when you keep your child away from something specific way longer than necessary, then they go all the way into it because you didn’t have the conversation at the right time.

We need to stop being afraid and save our battles for those outside the body. Ffriendly fire needs to stop. Satan is the one rejoicing at division, not God. let’s not help him do his job.

My 5th Takeaway From The American Gospel Roundtable Discussion

This is relevant to being afraid to recommend someone outside your denomination, or even inside it. I haven’t spoken about it at all, but the Mike Bickle scandal.

I want to quote some of the convo before I say more…

(Brown says) “I’m talking to Todd Friel right, and he says to me Mike Bickle, false teacher right?

(Storms says) Mike Bickle is probably my best friend in this world. I was in a small group with him and his wife for 7 years on his staff as his senior associate, involved at IHOP for additional 4 years, 11 years I know this man to the depths of his soul. I can’t think of a more Biblically orthodox, humble Christ-exalting individual who lives an incredibly simple lifestyle. We would look as if we are living the Benny Hinn lifestyle compared to how Mike lives. every penny of his honorarium and of his royalties goes to missions to support the missions base, he lives in a duplex, he’s lived in a duplex all his life, if it weren’t for his wife dressing him he’d look like a hobo, no offense Mike, but I’ve told him that to his face.”

They both made a joint statement that you can see below.

Statement shared on American Gospel Roundtable by Michael Brown And Sam Storms

Even Those Closest Can Deceive You

They believed he was living a Godly lifestyle. The confident backing shows you how easy it is for us to get deceived by people close to us, and what they did in response is the way to go. You never run from mistakes. They admit they got deceived and now have a different view.

I’m not saying don’t trust anyone. That’s what the devil wants, but imagine your best friend living a double life. How would you feel? This is why I say whenever I touch on scandals like this, you must put your faith in God, not man or you will get burned. It's only a matter of time. Click To Tweet This leads me to my next takeaway.

The Unexpected Martin Luther Bomb

If you made it this far, you get to see my thoughts on the most intriguing part of the American Gospel roundtable for me. I was not expecting this at all, but it was so telling. The conversation about Martin Luther for me was the highlight, especially when you factor in the Mike Bickle stuff. and the ease in which certain people are branded as false teachers etc.

This shows you that idols are deadly. I’ve said it before in videos, and I’ll say it again. My biggest problem with certain discernment ministries is the double standards, the partiality, which is sin.

Look at the energy when talking about any person mentioned in the American Gospel roundtable. And then look at the body language and energy when talking about Luther. It’s different.

(Brown says) So let me just turn it around: would you agree that Martin Luther was a false teacher?

(Peters & Osman say) No, no.

(Brown says) He said Jews should be forbidden to teach under penalty of death. They should be deprived of livelihood and given the Hough the staff to work, they should be herded together in places like ghettos, their places of business and synagogue should be set on fire. You’re telling me he loved Christ and he said those things?

(Osman says) Let’s assume he was a racist.

(Brown says) Not just a racist, a racist who said that if Jews taught Judaism they should be put to death and an outright attack. This is how Kristallnacht began November 9th of 1938, their synagogues and places of business should be burnt down and destroyed.” And you’re gonna pass on that?

(Osman says) Let’s assume he was a racist, not passing on any of it.

(Brown says) He said God commanded me to kill the 150,000, God commanded me to kill them.

(Osman says) Luther said God commanded him…?

(Brown says) Yes, he said it, it’s in Authentic Fire, you read it? So he puts false words in God’s mouth, at least then maybe many other times, I haven’t read enough to know that

(Peters says) Benny Hinn’s done it. Thousands…

(Brown says) Oh okay. But Benny Hinn has not led to the slaughter of millions of people with his words. he’s not called for violence against other people.

(Peters says) No, he’s just exploited poor and sick and desperate.

(Brown says) Okay, so you’re gonna damn Benny Hinn to hell and give Martin Luther a pass?

(Peters says) We’re not giving him a pass.

(Brown says) But you won’t say he’s a false teacher?”

I don’t need to add anything to these quotes. They speak for themselves.

Stop The Double Standards…They Are Deadly

If I’m in the exposed business, I must be willing to expose people close to me by the same standards. If I don’t….Why won’t I?

When you have idols, it always messes you up. I knew Martin Luther mistreated Jews and said things like this, but most people don’t. And this shows the inconsistency. everyone outside these circles can see crystal clear. But people inside don’t address.

We should have no idols. I’m not afraid to get cancelled by a denomination anymore. God's truth shouts louder than anybody trying to suppress it. Click To Tweet The Luther part was the deciding factor to determine a winner in this conversation for me. But like I said earlier, this wasn’t about winners and losers and sides. We are one body. God always wins, so everyone who loves truth won.

You may be wondering, what should we do next?

Get to know Christians from different accepted denominations in the body. Fellowship with them, and see for yourself, they are your brothers and sisters in Christ. You’ll be better off for it, and God will get glorified by it.

God bless.

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Israel

He’s learning to serve the Christian community better and better each day through his teaching on the Bible (both theory and practical application for everyday life). Israel Ikhinmwin loves to share the truth of God’s Word and be an example for other Christians looking to develop your faith.

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