Elephant in the Room: Rodney Howard-Browne and America’s “Great Awakening”


Rodney Howard-Browne – A still shot from a CNN report on Holy Laughter.

“Elephant in the room” or Elephant in the living room” is an English metaphorical idiom for an obvious truth that is either being ignored or going unaddressed. The idiomatic expression also applies to an obvious problem or risk no one wants to discuss. It is based on the idea that an elephant in a room would be impossible to overlook.1

Lighthouse Trails recently published a booklet titled False Revival Coming: Part 1. The booklet expressed our concern that Holy Laughter/Holy Ghost bartender Rodney Howard-Browne was not only back—but had apparently never gone away! With discernment at an all time low in the church, Browne is traveling the world with what he describes as his God-mandated “Great Awakening Tour.” He hopes his tour will ignite a global transformation to the Christian faith. Partnering with New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) figures like Bethel’s Bill Johnson, Randy Clark, and others, Howard-Browne and his NAR colleagues would have the church believe they are bringing about the ultimate end-times “revival”—a “Great Awakening” move of God that will usher in a planetary Pentecost.

Howard-Browne’s “revival” activities were brought to our attention when we were informed that the “Holy Ghost Bartender” had organized and hosted a star-studded two-week “Celebrate America” event over the 4th of July last summer (2014) in Washington D.C. The event featured pastor/author Jonathan Cahn, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, Senate Chaplain Barry Black, Fox News commentator Todd Starnes, author/columnist Dr. Ben Carson, and many others. “Celebrate America” was sponsored by a number of organizations that included The Washington Times, World Net Daily, Christian Coalition of America, and Cornerstone Television Network.

Rodney Howard-Browne, known for imparting Holy Laughter to countless people around the world, is once again placing his ministry in the limelight. Because of his heightened activity in today’s church, we believed it was important to reissue an article that attempted to honestly critique Howard-Browne and his holy laughter “revival” back when it was originally happening. The 1994 article is titled “Holy Laughter or Strong Delusion?” and was written by author Warren B. Smith. Initially published in a discernment newsletter, his article quickly circulated around the world. It helped many people to see the many problems associated with Howard-Browne and his Holy Laughter “revival.”

Just after republishing in booklet form Warren B. Smith’s provocative article, Rodney Howard-Browne announced that he was returning to Washington D.C. in July 2015 for another two week “Celebrate America” event that will include the fourth of July. Continuing his run on the nation’s capital, the speakers have yet to be announced.

Three “elephant in the room” questions that need to be addressed:

1) Are we to believe that God has appointed Rodney Howard-Browne—the Holy Ghost Bartender—to lead the church and the world into a “great spiritual awakening”—into global “revival?”

2) What Christian leaders will be speaking and aligning themselves with Howard-Browne at his “Celebrate America” event?

3)Is it possible that what looks like a “Great Awakening” will actually be a spiritual distraction that inadvertently leads to“Great Deception?”

A clip from the 2014 Celebrate America:

A CNN news video on the Holy Laughter movement:

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