Friday, August 19, 2011

But seriously: more on MacArthur and Driscoll

I finally feel compelled to write this after watching a 45 minute radio spot with Phil Johnson and another guy at Grace to You defending John MacArthur to young reformed guys who should know better. 

I have not read much of John MacArthur's posts on the YRR movement, nor do I necessarily agree with everything he says, but from what I understand, he's absolutely right.  I could consider myself young, reformed, and restless, but MacA warns us to not take so much pride in what we know and our eternal security.  God did not have to give anybody salvation.  He would have been just to send us all to hell.  How dare we take pride in our unearned salvation as if it makes us better than anybody else!  Even more appalling, how dare we take that as a license to drink, smoke, gamble, and get tattoos. 

It's true that because we are saved, we don't have to worry about being good to get to heaven.  However, if we are saved, we're not going to see how worldly we can be without sinning.  You're already sinning with that attitude.  Smoking, according to John Frame, falls under the murder category.  You're slowly killing yourself willfully every time you light up, and it's worse for secondhand smokers.  This is murder and not treating holy the temple of your body the Lord gave you. 

Granted, I do like a glass of wine from time to time.  However, pretty much all the kids in my youth group come from families with histories of addictions.  I would not be acting in love if I was caught with a drink around them.  I would not be acting in love if they walked in my home and saw beers in my fridge.  I most certainly will not parade my love for wine around for all to see.  I never talk about it on Facebook, and I never talk about it around my kids, sometimes not even around my friends.  I want people to know me for my devotion for the Lord, not for my enjoyment of alcohol. 

And also, I'm not as against tattoos as I used to be.  It's an argument I won't start.  But I still think they are wrong, not because of Leviticus 19:28, but because of the scenes in 1 Kings where the Baal worshipers would cut themselves to try to appease Baal.  This is nothing short of emo culture, and after watching 5 seconds of Miami Ink, I'm convinced that tattoos are still idol worship.  You will never see a tattoo on my body.

Why the ranting?  Because I know too many people who think they can to whatever they want because they are saved.  Whether they have sex outside of marriage, have abortions, or brag about their drinking and tell crude jokes, they make a mockery of God's mercy that's supposed to save them from the world to be a light to the world, not try it match it in every respect.

People need to start taking seriously Ephesians 4, to live as children of the light and to not live in the ways of darkness that enslaved them when they were still dead in sin.

So, I thank John MacArthur for his fatherly advice.  He's experienced and almost always right, and he's has almost 50 years of faithful ministry to both his church and to America. 

Which brings me to Mark Driscoll.  His recent rantings make me sad, because when he's not trying to prove to Seattle that you can be a Christian and still have fun, he's actually an amazing preacher.  I watched his most recent sermon since his Resurgence foot-in-mouth disorder, and it was amazing.  If he really examined himself, he'd realize that he and MacA actually teach the same things.  They're both Calvinists, Baptists, always railing against religion when people could have freedom believe in Christ, and really have more in common than not.  Both speak out against Rob Bell and the emergent church.  They may disagree in end times, the extent of Sola Scriptura, and I disagree with them both on baptism and women in ministry, they should reach out to each other.

Maybe John MacA could invite Mark over for dinner.  Mark should definitely apologize for his remarks about us cessationists being deists.  It's far from the truth and actually dangerous.  Do you know how many cults began because people thought God's word continued?  All of them.  Mormons, Moonies, PCUSA, pretty much all of them thought God still gave new revelation, would not consult their Bibles, would not take advice, and they turned away from the Lord to follow religion and slavery, not freedom in Christ's salvation that can change you. 

And I can understand.  When I was a young seminarian at a super-Reformed seminary coming out of a Super-arminian college, I was appalled when my first church history teacher claimed that God does not give new revelation outside the Bible.  It was James McGoldrick who is a semi-famous author.  He would rail against folks who had prophesies, visions, and miracles, and I'd get so angry because those people seemed to match Scripture.  I thought he was denying the work of the Holy Spirit.  But when I started crusading against Rob Bell and really understanding cults, they all claimed new revelation that nobody had but them.  They all had new works by the Holy Spirit and led people astray.  I finally believe it too.  I still believe in miracles, but more like it's a miracle that people are saved, that there's still good in the world.  I can see God's hand working in so much of my life, and that's a miracle.  But no, I no longer believe in the prevalence of tongues (especially not without someone to interpret), spirit slayings, and especially not prophesies and trips to heaven and hell.  These things are making money and people are expecting so many magic gifts from God that when it doesn't come true, then they lose their faith.  We don't want to perpetuate that.  We need to listen to John MacArthur and rely on the sufficiency of Scripture to give us all we need.

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