Matthew 18 is a hard scripture to work out in a trans-denominational setting, more so when the two parties are separated by great distance. I recently asked a Bethelonian "to whom is Bill Johnson accountable," expecting an answer like "his (hand picked) church board," but the answer I got was "Jesus." OK, that was helpful.
Many would say that Matthew 18 has the sense of "if a brother sins against you. That may or may not apply to someone who is not directly sinning against you, but whom you believe is teaching harmful things, other scriptures about false teaching notwithstanding.
Obviously, if he is accountable only to Jesus, an appeal to his church board, or an apostle over him (is there such a thing) would be pointless. And with a hand-picked board, and the same apostolic friends that "coronated" Todd Bentley while he was in his sinful debauchery in Lakeland, they would not exactly be open to discussion anyhow.
Nonetheless, I have -several times- attempted to engage Johnson in a discussion of some of these issues where he has brought division. Because his teachings were made in public, the discussions took place in public - on his facebook forum.
A non-response, in Johnson's forum of the greater church (more than 90,000 followers) has been his usual response. Or sometimes a trite and snarky response. At this point I suppose I have no recourse except to "treat him like a pagan or a tax collector."
Does James 4 come into play? "Speaking against a brother?" Well, as seen in Matthew 18, we are not to treat one who refuses to entertain a discussion as a brother, but rather as a "pagan."
In a more practical sense, 1 Thessalonians 5:21 tells us to "test all things to see if they are true." If the teaching or practice was made in a public venue, there is absolutely nothing wrong with a public discussion of that teaching or practice. The discussions, of course, should be done in a civil manner, without malice.
I am thankful that no one (recently ) has attempted to lay the "touch not mine anointed" trip on me, based on a faulty understanding of that scripture. Needless to say, I have not attempted to murder Johnson, or even physically touch him. And the "mine anointed" part is still up for discussion.
I think all of us would agree that we are approaching the end times, or at least are closer to it than ever before. The book of Jude tells us of those who "cause divisions."
Bill Johnson has recently taught that those who do not affirm the requirement of signs and wonders as a mandatory part of the gospel are teaching a different gospel - a reference to Galatians 1:6. In that sweeping accusation it is HE that is "causing division." He places himself, and his followers, at odds with the historical church, which has long held to the belief that God has the freedom to do whatever He pleases (Psalm 115:3). To make it clear- we preach the gospel and leave the signs and wonders to God. And nothing is more wonderful than seeing someone receive the gospel, make a decision to repent and follow Jesus the rest of their days. Nothing. Not even that gold glittery stuff that shows up in Johnson's church that Johnson says has "become the main thing."
OK, let's get down to brass tacks. Scripture tells us to "Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment." (John 7:24). An example of this might be 1 Corinthians 5:1-13 where Paul "judged" a fornicator in the church - even though that man was not present (bypassing Matthew 18, I might add).
False teachers are also fair game. Romans 16:17 tells us that we are to "mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them." We cannot "mark them " unless we judge them.
What do I get out of this? I have no desire to elevate myself at the expense of others. But as one who floundered in the morass called the "charismatic movement" for many years, with its ever-changing doctrinal aberrations, I would be remiss if I did not try to point out error in an attempt to help others. In fact Jude 22 is my personal mission statement, to "snatch them out of the fire."
This was a reference to Amos 4:11, which talks of a brand (coal) plucked from the fire. And with this I am reminded of the immortal words of missionary Eula Goodnight (Katherine Hepburn) in the John Wayne movie Rooster Cogburn:
Our work, sir,
is to pluck brands
from the burning.
If you don't want to be plucked,
then at least show us courtesy.