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Monday, October 31, 2011 | Comments (40)


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#1  Posted by Rebecca Schwem  |  Monday, October 31, 2011at 8:11 PM

When John MacArthur gets to heaven, he will never hear,"Why didn't you tell them? Why didn't you warn them?"

His devotion and sincerity for our Lord just leaves me speechless. So rare. And I am so privileged to listen to his lessons.

#2  Posted by John Delgado  |  Monday, October 31, 2011at 10:23 PM

Well said John. My only hope is that your concerns are heeded and correction made. We know it is said in love and in the light of biblical truth.

#3  Posted by André Le Comte  |  Monday, October 31, 2011at 10:44 PM

I don't know how my local 'reformed church' will avoid being young and restless.

#4  Posted by William Metzler  |  Tuesday, November 01, 2011at 1:57 AM

Amen! We can only pray that the Spirit lays the conviction upon their hearts to see the error and the trap that they are falling into. I'll echo John Delgado's words... Well said John.

#5  Posted by Patrick Driscoll  |  Tuesday, November 01, 2011at 5:51 AM

I thank the Lord for GTY!! For many years I have been supporting this ministry and by Gods grace I will continue. The Lord has used pastor John to preach with clarity, boldness and reverence. When he needs to rebuke someone, he does it with grace, gentleness and humility.

What a contrast in the recent ER video where most of the guys were immature and irreverent.

#6  Posted by Keith Farmer  |  Tuesday, November 01, 2011at 6:08 AM

Well said John...I agree 100% with your conclusions. I also think you are demonstrating tremendous grace to the group you addressed.

#7  Posted by Mel Oliver  |  Tuesday, November 01, 2011at 8:00 AM

Dr. John and readers,

I've been reading this blog for some time now. I am a self-identified YRRer and am serving in ministry in Ohio.

Through reading/listening to these postings, both from GTY staff and commenters, it has been difficult at times.

Dr. John, without question, God has been faithful to your ministry, in both your scholarly and pastoral work and I like countless others have been blessed by you. Your commentary set is one of my favorite resources. But it has been hard for me. Many of these men that have been so critically reviewed are some of the men that have been the most influential in my life.

I and so many others in my generation have been greatly impacted for the Kingdom by these YRR leaders.

Are there any other YRRer folks who have been engaging with this blog as I have?

What are your thoughts about all of this?

My desire is to be humble and sit under sound council and doctrine but I very heavily associate with what Dr. John has been so adamantly against and in so many ways simply don't agree.

I realize this isn't exactly an argument are rebuttal but I just want to put this out there. Am I the only one?

#8  Posted by Sam Dillon  |  Tuesday, November 01, 2011at 8:46 AM

As I listen to John it reminds me of how things seem to go as we mature both in age and as Christians. It's funny how he describes some of the ' young guys ' he sees. As I get a bit older, and I'm only in my mid 40's, I think I probably would have identified more with a pastor who takes a bit of a cultural approach to preaching when I was in my 20's and 30's than I would have taken to one with more of an exposititorial approach, though certainly as I mature in faith I wish I could have been pastored by someone like Dr. MacArthur as I've found out over the years how completely Biblically illiterate I've been. I would expect some of the younger pastors to be products of their respective generations but what I have a hard time understanding is why some of the older guys like McDonald or Driscoll are emulating what the younger guys are doing. It's almost like a pastoral midlife crisis. Just when you think they should be maturing they're headed in the opposite direction.

#9  Posted by Dwayne Senn  |  Tuesday, November 01, 2011at 8:48 AM

I might add, that having been somewhat in their midst, there are YRRs that are either anti-ekklesia or are marginalizing the local church. Their spirit of "liberty" often reflects hostility towards godly counsel or accountability. These two things alone reflect their attitude towards the authority of scripture. There is no sole scriptura. What, I might ask, is the solution to this matter other than to critique it and make us all aware of these concerns? I believe the concerns are valid.

#10  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Tuesday, November 01, 2011at 9:05 AM

Mel,

I haven't been keeping a super close watch on the comments, so I'm wondering what specifically you disagree with. Is it that John is misrepresenting the movement, or that his view of Scripture is inaccurate and the movement is correct in its practices?

Speaking for myself, I think it's only fair to say that there may be some within the YRR movement for whom John's criticisms don't fit. So if the shoe fits, wear it. If not, move along. So many people (Christians and non) criticize evangelicals and fundamentalists. I would probably fit under both categories (rightly nuanced), but it doesn't bother me when a criticism is thrown that doesn't apply personally.

Anyway, it would be helpful, for the sake of discussion, if you would be more specific than, "What are your thoughts about all of this?" All of what?

Thanks for your willingness to discuss...

#11  Posted by Kyle Bryner Grace Bible Church  |  Tuesday, November 01, 2011at 9:08 AM

@Mel Oliver, No you are not the only "YRRer" that has been blessed by Pastor John's ministry as well as some in the YRR movement.

I have also been following the GTY blog postings and at times have had a tough time with it.

That being said, I am very thankful for the reproof that Pastor MacArthur has offered. As a wise elder, it would be good for those in the YRR movement to respect and take heed of the cautions that are offered.

I know not every YRR pastor is the same, and not all have the same issues that need to be addressed...but I think that we all should listen to MacArthur's caution and examine ourselves to see if what he is saying is accurate of ourselves.

It is hard to hear these things about other pastors that I like, but for the sake of the Gospel, we would do well to continually do self-examination and I thank Pastor John for helping us to see possible flaws in the way we minister.

#12  Posted by Josué Morissette  |  Tuesday, November 01, 2011at 9:43 AM

This is a great issue that needs to made cleared to people, but I'm afraid that the vast majority of people who need to hear this simply won't. They might eventually hear about these matters later on, but it might by too late by then for them to be receptive to these issues. I can relate with the two issues very well. Our local YYRer does 4 sessions of worship every Sunday in two different places (30miles apart) and two different languages. It's great to try to reach as many people as you can, but I'm not sure that it builds a very strong Church in the long run. The lack of duplicity of leadership is also something I would add as far as deficient in their ecclesiology.

When it comes to their view of Scripture, I would also add that they don't hesitate to twist Scripture in a very subtle way which, they believe, will make the message more appealing to people in general. I was made aware of this very thing, when one such pastor decided to teach on 1 Corinthians 7:5. People were being welcomed in the Church by a big "PG-13" sign, because he transformed the "Stop depriving one another" into "Please one another". Of course we all know what the context of this verse refers to. Needless to say, I'm fairly certain that is not what Paul intended to say.

This is a very slippery slope and when you add the lack of accountability, where is it going to stop?

#13  Posted by Tommy Clayton  |  Tuesday, November 01, 2011at 10:55 AM

Sam # 8

You said of some of the YRR pastors: It's almost like a pastoral midlife crisis. Just when you think they should be maturing they're headed in the opposite direction.

Interesting insight, Sam. You may be on to something there..."pastoral midlife crisis." That might make a good blog post.

#14  Posted by Rebecca Schwem  |  Tuesday, November 01, 2011at 11:51 AM

#11 Kyle Bryner Grace Bible Church Very wise comment. I was trying to think of a way to say what you said so well.

This morning while pulling weeds, I began to wonder if the Driscoll's and Noble's and Furtick's of this world realize what was going on in John MacArthur's generation at the time he was only 29? I can tell you there was a radical change.

That generation introduced drugs to the youth as never before. America's trendsetters, celebrities on drugs, were worshiped the most. For the first time drug use was flaunted for all the public to see. It was a badge for many in that generation. Do they know how close that was to Grace Church?

And what about the sexual revolution? No more modesty. Girls wanted the right to act like the boys in the locker rooms and they did. That too was a badge.

TV shows changed. Bleeped out words bleeped less and less. A new show called Laugh In brought us a new liberal way of thinking and believing. Shortly thereafter, came Saturday Night Live and it was anything goes...any topic, any language. Nothing was taboo. And nothing was sacred. Both of those shows were huge successes and each had political leaders on as guests. How to you spell influence? The show really reflected the culture of the new America.

So John MacArthur knew what was popular and knew what was getting the attention of the public, especially the young. And yet, he never compromised, he never did a bait and switch. Do they think he couldn't have cratered? Do they think no one wanted to pressure him? Most of these young and restless leaders we've discussed are older than he was at the time! But this young pastor bridled his restlessness and was faithful to feed his sheep and not the culture. You can hear his humility even when he was so young with so much responsibility. This done in a region addicted to fame! This done in an area that exalts sin, sets the new standards for living and then streams it cross country. If there is a bible belt, then this has to be the sin belt! What a test, what a place to grow a ministry, a church!

God has richly blessed John's ministry throughout all this change. I agree, it would do these young men well to sit at John's feet and beg to hear more. Because John's ministry has stood the test of time, because of his consistency & these men would gain so much by listening to him.You can tell, John MacArthur loves the church, the authentic church. You can tell it's his desire for these young men and any coming up like them to get on the straight path. What is it like to serve God so long and be obedient to God's Word and not have regret dominate your personal history? I would imagine a peace that is beyond all understanding. He is truly a model for other pastors.

"Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God," (Hebrews 6:1) and get back into the race and finish the course. (Acts 20:24)

#15  Posted by Richard Owen  |  Tuesday, November 01, 2011at 12:07 PM

Leaders in any realm, including the church, can get carried away with themselves. MacArthur makes some good points and expresses some valid concerns about some elements of the YRR.

I also like his closing remarks about the need to acquire a biblical understanding of the church and its practices. I couldn't agree more, although he and I might arrive at some different conclusions about this.

Functioning as a body, versus an audience with a keynote speaker, helps church leaders avoid the pride of the spotlight. And it helps the saints mature and not be so enamored by charismatic personalities and talented speakers.

#16  Posted by Mark A Smith  |  Tuesday, November 01, 2011at 1:40 PM

Serious question here.

I am no expert on YRR. I am 38, and only heard of it from this blog. What are the YRR crowd "restless" about? The church? Opposing tradition for tradition's sake, or tradition that gets in the way of God? OR, are they restless about the depravity in the secular culture? How ungodly in character America society in particular has become in 50 years?

What I perceive from many clips of video linked here and from further research at those blogs is OPPOSITION TO TRADITION JUST BECAUSE IT IS TRADITION. When Jesus said your traditions have made the Word of no effect, He wasn't opposing tradition "just because". He was opposing extra burdens that religion put on people that distanced them from God. Those ought to be eliminated. But, all to often young people today don't want to see how corrupt and flesh driven "normal" things are in our contemporary society...We shouldn't bring that into the church of the Living God.

#17  Posted by edward corless  |  Tuesday, November 01, 2011at 2:12 PM

Icant agree more. This new movement seems to be cool, and trendy.They know scripture but are looking for shortcuts to become big. Holiness about how the church operates as a body seems to be secondary. They are overly simplistic in how GOD changes people and grows HIS church.

#18  Posted by Omar Zambrano  |  Tuesday, November 01, 2011at 3:20 PM

It is so comforting to know that there are older wise men who we can all look to as an example and be confident that whatever they show us and teach us will brimg us closer to Christ. It will probably take the rest of my life to read, watch and study everything Jesus has led this man to accomplish. Through the Word and your exhortations, I have been able to surrender my life to the Lord of lords. Thank you! Peace and grace to you.

#19  Posted by Ed Merkel  |  Tuesday, November 01, 2011at 3:30 PM

I first heard John on radio in the early 1970's. Even then he had an uncompromising commitment to the truth. There was a spirit-filled immediacy to his sermons that always seemed uplifting. Over the decades he has not waivered in his approach, or his commitment to the gospel. His teaching has always been an anchor in a calm harbor. Along with a couple others pastor-teachers today, I can honestly say I've had the best 'training' and theological upbringing I could have had. In each generation, God lifts up great teachers, so that He is never without witness. I do believe John is one of those men.

#20  Posted by Travis Allen  |  Tuesday, November 01, 2011at 4:35 PM

Mel Oliver:

Are you having a difficulty with men you respect disagreeing with one another? Or, is it the fact that John is critical? Or?

Perhaps you could you could flesh it out a little more. We'd be happy to interact.

Travis

#21  Posted by Mel Oliver  |  Tuesday, November 01, 2011at 8:02 PM

Thanks to everyone who has addressed my posting earlier. Tuesday's are when my ministry has its weekly meeting so i've been away from my computer most of the day.

I think the thing that has become difficult is that the pastors and their respective ministries that have driven me to dig into the Word in ways that I never did before, influenced my ministry philosopies and are frankley reaching my generation in huge ways are the people and ministries that come under the most scruitiny here.

I do have immense respect for Dr. John but I also have great respect for these men. One of the biggest differences that I find here is that Dr. John has been in ministry for several decades while many of these men have only been in ministry for a couple of decades or less. There is a significant difference in both the age of their ministries and their ages as well. However, Dr. John from my perspective seems to seperate himself from these men while other men who have been in ministry for similar lengths of time are instead engaging these men, working side by side with them and helping to provide leadership, guidance and discipleship within the younger evangelical movement and the YRRs, ex: John Piper, D.A. Carson, CJ Mahany, Tim Keller, and others.

I feel like there is a movement to draw a line in the sand and that Dr. John is encouraging such a line. My fear is division.

Also, in response to all of this I don't want to be naive. I realize I am young, I realize that I have much to learn and that there is immense wisdom from those who have come before me. However, lives are being changed and people are meeting Jesus. Many of these churches God is using to make huge impacts in their respective cities.

I'm sorry if this is a bit rambly, I have felt very uneasy for quite sometime and have not been sure what to say or how to say it.

#22  Posted by Juan Moncayo  |  Tuesday, November 01, 2011at 10:38 PM

As an alumni from TMC it's always great to hear Dr. MacArthur's voice. Thankful for the many times the Lord has used him in my life... Specially now that my wife and I are overseas.

... interested and thankful for Mel Oliver's comment as I would consider myself a YRR and wanting to grow from this interaction.

#23  Posted by Raymond Longoria  |  Tuesday, November 01, 2011at 10:46 PM

I have been seeing these young pastors and have been concerned by their attitudes and demeanor. The biggest point John stated is that they need accountability from older, wiser men who understand the church. These young "americanized" pastors are displaying the "americanized" church which is not biblical. We need to pray for them.

#24  Posted by Taylor Lett  |  Tuesday, November 01, 2011at 11:21 PM

@Mel,

One thing that might help would be to recognize that not all men associated with the YRR are guilty of the errors addressed here. There are many men I respect who probably merit the label, but don't fit the negative distinctives that sometimes come with the territory. Kevin Deyoung tops my list in that category, but there are many others.

Also, people have blind spots, even ministry leaders. Even ministry leaders who critique other ministry leaders. The Lord uses imperfect men to minister and to encourage each other to sancitification.

So take the good critiques. Without dismissing Dr. M, realize that even GTY does not have the final word. Focus on the One taught, not the teachers and it all gets a bit easier.

#26  Posted by Steve Cornell  |  Wednesday, November 02, 2011at 4:40 AM

While I appreciate the effort to address this matter, I fear that the vagueness of expression used by John could produce responses that are themselves harmful to the Church. John repeatedly used third person plural "they" to speak of the "YRR." Then he used terms that could be misleading to those who perhaps didn't know who the "they" implies. For example, to use descriptives like "lack of soberness and seriousness" and "rock and roll culturally accommodated events," opens a wide door that could feed the kind of misguided judgmental attitude that Jesus so strongly condemned (and I believe John would condemn). Would we want people "sensing" a lack of seriousness in their Church and accusing their pastors of falling for the YRR movement (whatever that is to the minds of those who do not really know what it refers to but are "concerned")? Would we want people projecting things on their Churches because they hear music that sounds like that "rock and roll" stuff that John mentioned?

For what it's worth, please receive this encouragement to guard against "broad strokes" when offering critique. It seems it would serve the body of Christ better to be more specific. It would also assure that critique is based on explicit teaching of Scripture and not personal preferences. This would protect unity in the Church and better avoid fostering disunity over nonessentials based in wrongful associations. While I am sure John knows who he means by the "they" I am equally sure that MANY do not. This opens a wide door when communication circulates via the internet. Please consider this in future critiques.

Steve Cornell

#27  Posted by Mary Elizabeth Palshan  |  Wednesday, November 02, 2011at 6:16 AM

Dear Mel Oliver,

It would be unfair to lump all YRRer’s into one like and same category. It simply is doing an injustice to the many young men and women who identify themselves with said movement, and who faithfully exposit the true Word of God. John MacArthur is simply speaking to the FRINGE element of that young and restless group, who are currently embracing some pretty scary, and not to mention some demonic and unsound practices. Sadly of which, resemble nothing even remotely close to the faith that was once delivered to the saints.

Case in point: Mark Driscoll speaking to demons and how he declares that he has this uncanny ability to cast them out, also his soothsayer-like ability to see evil, foreboding visions in his mind, which he claims is of God. He also flatters himself by claiming that God speaks to him directly.

Is this not Oral Roberts-esque type theology, which many good, solid Reformed types openly and most freely denounced many years ago? Is this miscreant type theology slowly slithering back into this movement? If so, where is outcry? Where is the clarion call to openly rebuke and denounce this type of nonsense? AND there are multiple other abuses by a few flamingly, erratic showman, who feel numbers are of elemental importance as opposed to sound teaching practices. The abuses are many and varied in this current movement.

Anytime something is categorically new, different, trendy, hip, or given some new nomenclature, red flags immediately go up. Is this something to be alarmed over, to watch carefully? Is there a Watchman on the Wall, and should there be? Yes! A resounding, yes! Scripture declares such in no uncertain terms.

But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, so that the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any one of them, that person is taken away in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at the watchman's hand (Eze 33:6).”

“Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me. If I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, in order to save his life, that wicked person shall die for his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. But if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, or from his wicked way, he shall die for his iniquity, but you will have delivered your soul (Eze 3:17-17).” Also, Isa 62:6; Rom 16:17.

I say John MacArthur is this “Watchman on the Wall.” Praise the Lord for raising up such a man as this in our generation!!!!!!!

In Christ's love,

Mary

#29  Posted by Michael Riccardi  |  Wednesday, November 02, 2011at 9:47 AM

Hi Mel,

I feel like there is a movement to draw a line in the sand and that Dr. John is encouraging such a line. My fear is division.

The thing is, that division exists because of the substantive disagreement between these men and John MacArthur. Drawing the line in the sand doesn't create the division; it simply brings to the fore the division that already exists. And if you think about it, that's the only way that division can get addressed.

Regarding your other comments, specifically that there seems to be positive results from these ministries, and other men have come along side and endorsed these men while Pastor John has not, I would invite you to read this post. It addresses those very concerns, particularly in the second, fourth, and fifth points.

Hope that helps.

#30  Posted by Mary Elizabeth Palshan  |  Wednesday, November 02, 2011at 10:17 AM

Mike,

Your link did not come through. It says file or directory not found.

Thanks,

Mary

#31  Posted by Mel Oliver  |  Wednesday, November 02, 2011at 11:27 AM

Hi Michael,

Thanks for the link. It was a good read...looks as if I'm a little guilty of a lot of those points.

I think a lot of the reason why I find myself in the position that I'm in is that I frankly do disagree with a couple major doctrinal positions that Dr. John and GTY holds, ie: I am not a cessationist nor am I dispensational, I tend to fall more under the "new" covenant position.

Thanks for not ripping me up one side and down the other. I don't see the greater discussion regarding the YRRs and their affiliated pastors ending anytime soon. It'll be interesting to see where we find ourselves in the future.

#32  Posted by Rebecca Schwem  |  Wednesday, November 02, 2011at 1:57 PM

#27 Mary Elizabeth Tyler - Excellent! Great perspective. You got it together! Amen, sister!

#33  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Wednesday, November 02, 2011at 3:01 PM

Mel,

I'm not entirely sure how your theological disagreements with John play into the discussion (at least the ones you stated).

The whole "attractional" model of ministry (which, when rightly understood, is the modern "seeker-sensitive" model), can only be held by those who believe the church (corporate gatherings) is for believers and unbelievers--with emphasis on the unbelievers.

Biblically, that is indefensible. But most (not all) YRR's live and breath this unbiblical ecclesiology.

We should always be grateful if anyone's impact on our life results in our further study of Scripture. However, our ministry philosophies should always come out of Scripture not out of the influence of others. If someone you respect is doing something that appears to be good, do it if and only if there is biblical reason to do it, not just because your hero is doing it.

After spending four life-changing years at the church where John MacArthur shepherds, I am now a pastor of a very small church. I have made changes that to some would be a reflection of my time at Grace Church--and that would be true in some sense. But it would be more accurate to say that Grace does certain things, and now I do certain things because we see those things as imperatives from Scripture.

Now I don't know you or your ministry so as to encourage or exhort you, but it's something all ministers of the gospel must be cautious of. Do our philosophies come from biblical mandates, or imitation of a hero? I think it can legitimately be both, but if it's only the latter, then we need to go back to Scripture and see if that philosophy is actually in Scripture.

#34  Posted by Sam Dillon  |  Wednesday, November 02, 2011at 6:50 PM

' It'll be interesting to see where we find ourselves in the future. '

For me, at least, this is the position I'm in. While I find a number of things to be critical of the YRR movement I also find hope that there are a larger number of people who are being introduced to Christ and will go on to seek the deeper things of Him. As it's college basketball season, and I hope this isn't an odd analogy, I see it this way: A lot of fans complain about those who go to the games because they aren't loud or boisterous enough. Generally, these are the younger fans ( go figure ) and they complain that us ' old guys ' sit on our hands too much. Kind of a valid complaint actually. We have a bit more interest in watching the intricacies of the game play out. We're a bit more patient and quiet, however, 25 years ago we were in the same place they were wondering why all the old people didn't get off their butts and cheer their lungs out. I think a lot of the newer people coming into the church are like this, however again, I believe we need mature leaders and pastors to guide their enthusiasm and direct their energy positively. I'm not involved with ministry nor am I a pastor but I think 10-20 years down the road is where we'll see the result of what's happening now. God, guide us and help us.

#35  Posted by Richard Owen  |  Wednesday, November 02, 2011at 7:26 PM

Some questions to consider related to Dr. MacArthur's important concluding words about recovering New Testament churches (distilled from THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE LAMB website).

(1) Is the assembly gathering for a 'worship service' organized around a sermon, which is nowhere prescribed or modeled in the NT . . . or to break bread (the Lord's supper), which IS the stated reason a church meets when a purpose clause is used twice in the NT (Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 11:33)?

(2) Is the Lord's Supper practiced as a token meal in a solemn, private way . . . or a real meal (as the Greek word "deipnon" signifies), where the saints eat, edify and 'eulogize' together in Christ-centered fellowship as His unified body?

(3) Are the meetings arranged around a platform with only a few members serving (ministering) and the rest of the congregation passively observing as an audience . . . or is the meeting conducive to participation by many members of the body using a variety of gifts as active and responsible members of God's royal priesthood?

(4) Is the ministry of the word the domain of 'the pastor' . . . or are the saints equipped and encouraged to actually use the sword of the Spirit, contend for the faith, stand together as the pillar and ground of the truth, teach and admonish one another, provoke and encourage one another to love and good deeds, speak the truth in love, and proclaim God's excellencies in spirit and truth?

(5) Are praise and worship responses to God's word pre-scripted via an 'order of worship' or bulletin . . . or is the body of Christ trained and encouraged to sincerely and spontaneously share songs, testimonies, confessions, prayers, exhortations and strengthen one another through mutual edification?

(6) Are the saints equipped or eclipsed by their leaders in doing the work of ministry, according to the proper working of each individual part, and growing toward maturity as Christ's unified body?

(7) Is the local assembly getting too large to function as a body . . . or is it dividing and multiplying into new areas, planting new churches, multiplying leadership, and mentoring disciples in more places?

(8) Are multiple leaders (elders, pastors) raised up from within the congregation, according to biblical qualifications (as seasoned, faithful husbands, fathers, workers) . . . or is the focus on one or a few men with impressive academic credentials and 'pulpit prowess?'

(9) Does teaching and preaching resemble a one-way monologue or lecture . . . or is the instruction like that of a father leading his family, engaging them in discussion, allowing them to participate as much as they can, even making himself unnoticed or 'unnecessary' when all is going well among the family's members?

(10) Are the meetings more like secular meetings, conferences or auditorium presentations . . . or Jesus' simple and unique "ekklesia" (summoned assembly) of equals who gather in His name to strengthen one another in the Lord as fellow brethren?

#36  Posted by Josh Kittinger  |  Wednesday, November 02, 2011at 8:37 PM

I think to be fair, part of the anti-ecclesia fervor found in parts of the YRR, may stem from a life time spent dealing with the lack of reformed churches (read not arminian or pelagian in nature). Even as Christians, our fallen nature still frequently compells us to turn a noble sentiment into error. It is possible for many people to subconsciously make the mental leap from frowning on poorly construed churches to simply not taking church seriously at all--any church. This is obviously a great error, because the Biblically constituted church is very necessary. In short, I agree wholeheartedly with Dr. M. But, as a YRR myself (I suppose--age 31) I must admit I understand how these mistakes are being made.

#37  Posted by RICHARD GIANNOTTI  |  Wednesday, November 02, 2011at 9:20 PM

Amen, Brother. As in my last post I fear that America's version of the Church is where pre WWII Germany's Church was in the 1920s, many professing Christians didn't even attend Church then. Now it is just information being passed around, sprinkled with some kind of neo-relevance. It is a result of the dumbing down of the 80s and 90s, no transformation then and no transformation now. God is just the one to help us make the best of "this life now," not real Biblical. The Word of God properly delivered carries with it the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. The Post-Modern reformed movement in America has gotten bored with God I fear as Germany had. She never recovered.

I like the quote:

"If you run into satan sometime you know you're traveling in the opposite direction he is, but if you never meet him then you are traveling in the same direction, parallel to him.

#38  Posted by Kallie Haynes  |  Wednesday, November 02, 2011at 10:54 PM

#14 Dave H Vancouver Wa. When my wife and I came to Grace Community

Church it was June or July 1970. We both were of the culture of

the times. I had just been home from my tour in Vietnam. We

came to Grace because my dad who was 61 at the time told me

about John and how he thought I would like the church because

John preached in a way that was more like going to college than

preaching a traditional way of the past, he was correct. My girl

friend then wanted to KNOW THE TRUTH and I also. We didn't

care about the culture only THE TRUTH and John gave it. The Church in those days was as straight as today! It was

as my dad said, John taught a class to us young married,

there were about 15 couples in those days in that class.

How John teaches today is the same as then, no different.

We wanted truth and we got it every Sunday and all the

other classes as well. My wife and I were led by the Spirit

found salvation there and were baptized by John. John

married us. I'm now 61 and can tell you for sure, that

it doesn't matter what the culture is, what matters is, is what

is taught!! So though we were of the young culture of those

times it wasn't the culture that drew us to Grace Community

but what was being taught! The church today doesn't have to

bend to the culture to reach out to the lost, my wife and I are

proof and friends I know from those days also are witness to

that fact. It is the Word being taught in Truth. Culture means nothing to a person truly seeking God. My wife and I

can say without hesitation that John is one of the most sound

teachers and caring pastors of the flock known today. We often say to each other how blessed we have been over the

years to have started out with him. Because of his LOVE for

the flock he searchers for the TRUTH and TELLS THE TRUTH

because he knows that is the only way of true love. God bless

all of you who want the truth and nothing but the truth!!!

#39  Posted by Danny Decker  |  Thursday, November 03, 2011at 8:03 AM

I have similar concerns, we just completed the MBC Annual Meeting and at the pastors conference the preaching was really weak and lacked real Biblical exposition. Not only that but at the Annual Sermon the text was absolutely missused. The whole point of the text was missed. May God deliver us from this. Thanks Dr MacArthur for your helpful and insightful leadership in trying to guide us back to the Scriptures and back to a correct biblical view of the Church.

#40  Posted by Gm R  |  Friday, November 04, 2011at 11:44 PM

John Mac is such a brave soul. Yes, its hard to rebuke those outside the church and point out their mistakes for their improvement, but its harder to rebuke those within the church who claims to be believers. I highly understand that his reactions are offensive to those who are superficial simply because they follow the Lord out of emotions and convenience. And who said that we have to bend to the trendings of the time just to win people for Christ when Jesus plainly said "Preach my Word". Simple! No frills! I have been listening to his sermons since I was in my late 20s and because he preaches rawly from the bible and for sure that I'll listen to him for the rest of my life because his vision has been the same since he started. I thank God for Johnny Mac. For the so called YRR, enough with the childish things.

#41  Posted by Lupita Cruz  |  Saturday, November 05, 2011at 8:46 AM

My heart aches for the struggle you're going through Mel, it shouldn't be that way.

God's Word is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thought and intents of the heart. AND THERE'S NO CREATURE HIDDEN FROM HIS SIGHT, but all thins are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.

We don't need to bow down to the culture. Teach the Word and let the Holy Spirit work. His Word will never return to Him empty!

Thank you Pastor John for your faithfulness in teaching and exposing the Word of God.

We must be diligently in prayer for the church!

#42  Posted by Lamar Carnes  |  Sunday, November 06, 2011at 5:14 AM

All Saints and leaders in the body of Christ are to be engaged ALL the time in reformation. That is the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer. We, after being saved, have so much baggage hanging around our "thought processes" due to prior teaching, the worldly system and its influences on our life and just the "newness" of the revelations from God's word we discover through the Spirit as we study and mediate upon it! So reformation is a on-going process. Any Church, Minister or Saint in the Body of Christ that isn't going through constant reformational processes in life is stagnant and that would be unhealthy spiritually.

I am so thankful and have great joy when I hear a "long time" Pastor get up in the Pulpit and admit he was wrong about a certain teaching or approach to spiritual issues. That means he is growing in the Lord, reforming and being sanctified into having the "mind of Christ" in all things! It is sad because you see most of them "set in their ways" doing and saying the same things all the time as if they have arrived at the absolute truth in every area of doctrine. Pride gets in the way also because many will "know" about a truth which trhey have been shown by the Lord but will not preach or teach it because it is the opposite of what they have done in the past and so "PRIDE" comes up in their life and they "lay it aside" and ignore it! I have had ministers actually tell me that!

Perhaps we would really know God is working mightely and bringing a great awakening in this world if we saw the POPE get saved and admit their positions were not biblical, or a Pastor of a large Aremenian Church get up and state he was wrong about the Doctrines of Grace and the Reformed position is correct, etc.! Or the Reformed Pastor get's up and states his ideas on Covenant theology are not right because God has shown him that the New Covenant theology is more biblical, or that God loves music to be played LOUD and passionately and we should lift our hands unto the Lord worshipping Him, as others play All types of instruments in our praise and worship of Him because He likes it and very cleaerly states we are to do this in the Pslams! Wow! Would that not be a change! Pastors are so "up-tight" and have to present some kind of an "image" of "decor" they would never "dance" like David anywhere much less in the body of Christ before the people of God! Those who criticize others for doing so may just "have God respond to them as He did to Michal, with some sort of life time difficulty! It is time we take OFF our masks and be REAL in the house of God and offer Him total worship and devotion in all ways that glorify Him!