Hello AG supporters! I wanted to give an update on what I'm working on. I have four one-hour episodes in progress. Two of them are 95% complete, and the other two are still in rough form, but nearing completion.
For context, “American Gospel: Spirit & Fire” is shaping up to be a 10+ episode series. The series will begin by explaining the debate regarding the existence of the New Apostolic Reformation; is it a real movement or a myth? It will also lay foundational work for understanding the Biblical views of apostles and prophets and where the new apostolic and prophetic movement goes beyond the debate between cessationists and continuationists into error that both groups can agree upon.
The 2 episodes that I chose to edit first are titled, “The Attraction” and The Encounter.” Both episodes follow the stories of people who were drawn into the NAR movement through the films of Darren Wilson (director of Finger of God, Furious Love, Father of Lights, Holy Ghost, Holy Ghost Reborn, and The God Man), examine his understanding of the gospel and his promotion of “encounter evangelism.” The episodes also dive into Biblical truths like regeneration, adoption, true and false conversion, and the nature of true repentance.
Recently, Darren Wilson was interviewed on The Remnant Radio (where his work was promoted favorably), and he had this to say about his critics:
“Maybe it’s time to start giving people a little bit of... little bit more grace than we normally do, especially like the online heresy-hunters. Maybe just be little bit open-minded, you know? And maybe just try to meet these people and talk to them.” -Darren Wilson
I have tried to communicate with Darren (through his friends) to explain my differences, and have invited him to defend his work in this series, but he has declined to communicate with me. Darren appears to have incorporated some of our criticism into the marketing of his new film, "The God Man":
“I’ll admit, my films have always been a little controversial. I've been called the devil, a deceiver, a liar, and even someone masquerading as an "angel of light". I've had a certain very large Christian retail chain refuse to stock my films simply because Bill Johnson was in them. So I'm pretty used to people saying no to my films before they've ever even seen them.
But something is different with The God Man. We're seeing people and ministries coming on board to support this film after they've seen it that we never would have dreamed would have supported me in the past. Regardless of what you think of them, the fact that they are willing to put the reputation of their ministries and names behind a movie like this is truly amazing.
Joel Olsteen's ministry supports it. Pray.com is partnering with us to promote it. David Harris Jr, a conservative political voice supports it. Kathie Lee Gifford supports it. The Belonging Co supports it. The Whosoevers support it. Shoot, Fathom Events, which isn't even a faith-based company is pushing it into theaters alongside us.
All that to say, there is something special about this film that even people outside our "charismatic" world is seeing. Jesus is glorified. Jesus is lifted up.”
Just for your information, we do not claim that Darren is a devil disguised as an angel of light in these episodes. We do however critique his encounter with a dark angel named "Breakthrough" (who he claims he saw behind his eyelids, vibrating with energy) that he claims told him to make his first movie, "Finger of God." Darren's mention of Joel Osteen's endorsement of his film as a good thing is an unfortunate reflection of the shallow gospel that can be seen in each of his films. I hope to publish a longer critique of "The God Man" (and his other films) in the future.
In another AG3 episode titled, “The Greatest,” we’re exploring Bethel’s view of man’s nature and identity for both believers and unbelievers, and what it means to follow Christ’s example. You can see a clip of that episode here:
We also have a full episode devoted to the “Grave Soaking” controversy, which examines all of the evidence (both old and new) of Bethel’s involvement in that practice, their responses to criticism, compared to eyewitness testimony.
Please continue to keep our team in your prayers! Thank you for the support!
-Brandon Kimber & The AG Team
Hello American Gospel supporters! I am writing to give you an update on the progress of AG3: Spirit & Fire and to answer some of the questions related to its estimated release date. First, I would recommend that everyone watch my recent interview with Chris Rosebrough, where much of this is explained. You can find that interview here on AGTV:
Earlier this year, during the release of the extended 12-minute preview, I gave an estimated release date of late Spring, which is a little over a month away. At this point in my progress, I have completed two 1-hour episodes in the docuseries (with progress on other episodes), which is essentially equivalent to a single film. Those episodes are being reviewed by a few individuals with whom I disagree and who appear in the docuseries. I'm inviting further commentary from them in order to make these episodes as fair as possible.
Because AG3 is a docuseries, I'm expecting to make at least 10 episodes, and I have enough content for even more than that. At this point, I'm not sure how that will impact the release. The major issue I have is that I must get permission from those who appear in opposition interviews in order to release anything. This could mean I may have to wait until all of the episodes are at least finished in rough form, or perhaps I would be able to release some episodes as I complete them (so long as I'm given the green light).
All that being said, my estimate has been pushed back until late Fall at this point. I know that is disappointing for many. Trust me, I want this to be completed more than anyone, but it has to be done within the constraints that I mentioned above, as well as the constraints of being a small team working on such a large project. As many of you know, in addition to working on AG3, we're also running and maintaining a streaming service (AGTV), which is essentially helping support us in the completion of this docuseries.
In other news, last month we finished filming an almost 4-hour roundtable discussion with Justin Peters, Jim Osman, Michael Brown, and Sam Storms, which was very successful. That roundtable has been transcribed, and a sound mix is almost completed. I'm hoping that perhaps I can release content like this in an uncut form before the total docuseries is completed.
Thank you to everyone who continues to support us with prayer, and through subscribing to AGTV (and for being patient with the release of AG3). In the meantime, I will try to keep you all more updated with examples or previews of some of the content that I am working on. Below is an edit I recently did on the topic of Kris Vallotton’s encounter with Michael the Archangel:
Description: Kris Vallotton of Bethel Church, claims that Michael the Archangel appeared by his bedside in wrestling tights, and in a bad mood. But does this description of an angelic encounter match the description of angels that we see in Scripture?
Next week we are recording our final roundtable discussion for “American Gospel: Spirit & Fire” with Michael Brown, Sam Storms, Justin Peters, and Jim Osman. We’ll be discussing where we differ and agree on the topics of discerning false teachers and false prophets, as well as the work of the Holy Spirit today. Please join us in prayer that this discussion would be fruitful, and edifying for everyone involved. Our goal is to have a respectful, and God-glorifying discussion.
If you’re familiar the American Gospel films you’ll know that we’ve attempted to be fair in our representation of those we are critiquing. In the first film, you’ll notice a lot of text graphics which say something like, “[insert person] declined [or did not respond to] an interview request.” In AG2: Christ Crucified, we were more successful in getting some opposition interviews to agree to appear in the film, including Bart Campolo, a secular humanist. Our approach with people like Bart is to give them the ability to review and approve of how we have edited their interview before they sign their appearance release (Bart describes his experience here: http://www.watchagtv.com/videos/campolo-recommend). We think that overall, this approach is a helpful way to discern truth and error, when two opposing views are contrasted side by side with Scripture.
In AG3: Spirit & Fire, we’ve continued with the same approach in interviewing people like Dr. Michael Brown, Dr. Randy Clark, and Will Hart (hopefully a few more people will agree before AG3 is finished). Some of our viewers have brought up concerns with this approach, which we do understand. However, we think it’s healthy to have these people involved no matter how difficult the process may be. We need to know and understand the arguments from the other side for a number of reasons. First, this can ensure that our critique of their positions is honest and fair, and we can avoid being dismissed for taking people out of context. Second, this approach can help our arguments to be stronger, or perhaps help us to see weaknesses or errors in our own beliefs compared to Scripture. Third, we think this approach can help open up this content to a wider audience for the purpose of evangelism, or challenging other Christians who may be in error. Finally, if we were to release this content without any input from those we disagree with, they would likely spend a lot of time commenting and critiquing this project from the outside after its release, just like many did with the Strange Fire Conference in 2013. Instead of spending the time responding to their critiques, why not allow them to critique our perspective, and respond to that within the film?
As you can imagine, this approach has made it very difficult to create a trailer for the project. The point of a trailer is to tease the content of a full-length feature film, not to spoil everything, or present every argument that will appear in the final film. A normal trailer is around 2 minutes in length, which makes it impossible to address every argument, or to be completely balanced (in hearing the opposing argument) on every single point. All of this has created the need to create a longer, extended preview, in order to have more time for differences to be explained. At the end of this 12-minute preview, we allowed Dr. Michael Brown and Dr. Randy Clark to add a summary of their disagreements and concerns that didn’t make it into the main body of the trailer. Much of what they say, we disagree with, and we plan to address many of their points within the final docuseries.
In response to some of their criticisms, it’s important for our audience to remember that they are critiquing a preview* of a docuseries (*a small teaser of something that is much larger and more detailed) which is still a work in progress. So any claims of us taking Scripture out of context, or taking those we are critiquing out of context, are premature. We plan to go into great detail about these issues in the full series, including the controversial issue of “grave-soaking” (which is shown briefly in the preview). Here are some other important questions to consider in response to some of their points: Does the doctrine of cessationism itself necessarily lead to a shipwrecked faith or apostasy? Regarding judging the fruit of a movement, is it Biblical to equate church growth to church health? Are we to judge quantity of fruit, or quality of fruit?
As you can see, the differences in perspectives here are big, and require a lot of time and nuance to fully understand. Lord willing, this April we will conclude our production with a final roundtable discussion with Justin Peters & Jim Osman discussing their differences with Dr. Michael Brown & Dr. Sam Storms. Please continue to pray for the production of this project. We do not like giving estimated release dates, due to the nature of all of the issues above and size of the project, but we we are hoping it will be done by the end of Spring, 2023.
-Brandon Kimber & the AG Team
A massive theological movement has been sweeping through the Church in recent decades. Millions of professing Christians around the world believe that God is restoring the lost offices of apostle and prophet to church government. They claim these restored apostles and prophets are needed to usher in a global end times revival by delivering new revelations and performing great signs and wonders. This modern apostolic and prophetic paradigm has been called the “New Apostolic Reformation.” Though there is some debate over that label (NAR), the core issues place a demand on all Christians to respond to these claims of authority. Has Christ Himself sent these new apostles and prophets to His Church?
“American Gospel: Spirit & Fire” will compare and contrast the true person and work of the Holy Spirit with the manifestations and prophetic revelations attributed to Him by leaders in the modern apostolic and prophetic movement.
For all of our followers who are anticipating some AG3: Spirit & Fire news, here is an update! For the past few months we have been working on a ten-minute extended trailer of AG3 (in addition to progressing with work on the final docuseries), to give you a preview of the content of this project.
As many of you know, we have been working to include opposition interviews in this series (similar to what we did in AG2: Christ Crucified), including charismatic leaders like Dr. Michael Brown, Dr. Randy Clark, etc. The goal in working with these men has to been to ensure their perspective is fairly represented, so our audience can see both positions articulated in a debate style format, which includes both individual interviews as well as some roundtable discussions. One of the final roundtable discussions that we need to film (that has been approved, but not yet scheduled) is with Justin Peters and Jim Osman vs. Dr. Michael Brown and another guest.
Keep in mind that this project started in 2019, and will be released in 2023 (five years later, and 10 years after the ‘Strange Fire’ conference). At this point, there have been about 70 interviews, and 7 roundtable discussions filmed. As you can imagine, this process has been a challenge and has slowed down progress in ways that we didn’t anticipate (it was much easier to do in 'AG2: Christ Crucified' with progressives, or atheists), which makes it difficult to predict a final release date at this point. In addition to the volume of the content captured, there is much involved in behind-the-scenes conversations, and trying to coordinate public discussions between people who disagree. But we believe that the overall result will be worth it, and will result in much stronger content, which will challenge both sides of this debate over how we discern truth and error in the teaching and practices from the modern apostolic and prophetic movement, as well as the person and work of the Holy Spirit, and the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Recently, this ten-minute preview has been approved by every opposition interview except one. Please continue to pray for us, and this process— for wisdom and favor in the midst of disagreement. We are still working to make some additional changes, along with creating the final music. We will be publishing a 3-minute version of that extended preview shortly. Once the extended version is completed and approved, it will be published exclusively on AGTV (for a limited period of time, for subscribers only), and then later will be freely available to the public.
AGTV Trailer link:
Thank you all for your prayers, patience and support!
Director of American Gospel: Spirit & Fire