Today Newt Gingrich made an appearance at River Church in Tampa, Florida, pastored by Rodney Howard Browne. Slate’s Dave Weigel tweeted that in introducing Gingrich, Browne prayed that America “will not allow the killing of unborn babies, and the takeover of Islam” and “the Constitution that we have, and your word, and Jesus is the only way we can be delivered from this plight.”
Browne is no inconsequential—or uncontroversial—figure in the world of charismatic Christianity. He’s been described by Christianity Today as the “often flamboyant Pentecostal preacher.” He’s associated with the “holy laughter” manifestation of charismatic gifts, which the same CT piece characterized as “rang[ing] from uncontrollable laughter to the noises of animals.”
Adherents to a more orthodox brand of Christianity object to Browne’s doctrine, along with his preaching of Word of Faith (or prosperity gospel), calling their views heretical and unbiblical.
Critics range from the Christian Research Institute, which aims to “provide Christians worldwide with carefully researched information and well-reasoned answers that encourage them in their faith and equip them to intelligently represent it to people influenced by ideas and teachings that assault or undermine orthodox, biblical Christianity” to televangelist watchdog Ole Anthony of the Trinity Foundation. Anthony called the high produced by Browne’s revival “a phony euphoria,” adding, “What happens to these converted people when the crusade packs up and leaves town? They get depressed. They get confused. So all they can do is wait for the next one so they can go back and get another fix.” CRI’s Hank Hanegraff, also known as the “Bible Answer Man,” has called Browne’s activities a “counterfeit revival,” and accused him of preaching “fabrications, fantasies, and frauds.”Continue Reading on www.religiondispatches.org