Wednesday, October 25, 2006

A Criticism of Emergent, Rob Bell and Mark Driscoll

Phil Johnson of Pyromaniac is "Fed Up".

The following from his blog:

"Perhaps you are one of those who thinks I have been too hard or too shrill in my criticisms of "the Emerging Church." In all honesty, the more I have been exposed to the various streams of the movement, and the more closely I have examined the agglomeration of trends and ways of thinking that make Emerging-style "ministry" distinctive, the more I want to distance myself from everything "Emerging." If any ostensibly-Christian movement since late-nineteenth-century modernism was more deserving of a shrill warning, I can't imagine what it would be.

Here is a lie writ large: "Postmodern Ministry Takes Us Back to The Bible." I invite you to follow that link; read the page; notice the sound file linked at the bottom of the page; and give it a careful listen.

It's a sermon by Rob Bell. David Posthuma introduces the message with this hopeful claim: "I present this teaching for one purpose alone . . . to illustrate how radically different postmodern Biblical facilitation is from the Seeker-Sensitive Topical Talk model so prevalent within our churches today."

OK. I'll grant that Bell's message is completely and radically different from anything you would hear in a seeker-sensitive context. But Posthuma's blogpost seems to imply that Bell's sermon proves Emerging-style ministry is somehow more "biblical" than seeker-sensitive worship.

Hardly. Bell's message is not only unbiblical; it's anti-Christian. He takes a bit of drivel he apparently learned from a yoga instructor somewhere, badly rephrases in quasi-biblical terminology, and spends 36 minutes doing "exposition" on a breathing exercise.

The result is not merely trivial: it's flat-out heretical. And in more ways than I care to enumerate.

I'll give one brief example, though. Here's a sample of what Bell does with the gospel: "You can't get enough points to get in with the Big Guy. You can't do enough good deeds and then God will like you. One of the things the Spirit does is remind us that we belong. Period. Just exactly as we are. You are loved by God."

Bell's syncretized amateur yoga exercise is not Christianity by any stretch of the definition. I'll go further: if this is what Bell really believes, he himself is no Christian.

The message actually proves that the stream of Emerging religion represented by Rob Bell hasn't a clue or a care about basic biblical truth. It's nothing but an experiment with the deconstruction of Christianity.

On a side note, but a related subject I thought in the interests of balance, after hearing that sermon by Bell, I ought to listen to a sermon from the "conservative" side of the Emerging movement. So I listened to this one by Mark Driscoll. I wish I hadn't. Driscoll's smutty language and preoccupation with all things lowbrow are inappropriate, unbecoming, and dishonoring to Christ. I completely agree that many Christians fail to appreciate the true humanity of Jesus. But it's not necessary to get vulgar in order to communicate the truth about His humanity.

This is the first time I have ever posted anything critical of Driscoll. I have appreciated his defense of the atonement and his willingness to confront the neo-liberalism of other Emerging leaders honestly. But I don't think his perpetually coarse language in the pulpit and his apparent preoccupation with off-color terms and ribald subject matter are merely minor flaws in an otherwise healthy ministry. It is a serious shortcoming.

No, it's actually worse than that, because it blatantly violates the clear principle of Ephesians 5:3-4. It is shameful (v. 12) and therefore a reproach. It's characteristic of the old man and one of the fleshly behaviors we are expressly commanded to put aside (Colossians 3:8). Scripture even seems to indicate that unwholesome language signals an impure mind (Matthew 12:34). And yet this seems to be a deliberate, calculated, and persistent practice of Driscoll's. It is practically the chief trademark of his style.

That's troubling, and even more troubling when I see young Christians and older believers who ought to know better mimicking the practice. If this is the direction even the very best Emerging-style ministry is headed, it's not a trend any Christian ought to find encouraging, much less one we should follow."

--Phil Johnson

36 Comments:

Anonymous Gigi said...

The message by Driscoll linked from Johnson's website is so bad, that I was only able to listen to 12 minutes of it -- then shut it off. It is crass in its use of language and illustrations. It doesn't minister grace to the hearers, for sure. Some of these people forget the Lord's admonition that the disciple will be just like his teacher. They become careless with their talk and their walk. I don't want to offer the lost person what they already have.

9:00 PM  
Anonymous Ben said...

I understand why you are put off by Driscoll's use of examples and so forth. I do. Have you considered though, how much of pure language is culturally driven? In Australia and New Zealand the Christians there swear... and great number of them. They have other things that they consider unpure or unclean ways of speech... some things that we say (as Christians) without thinking about it. With this in consideration, our younger culture doesn't have the same views of pure language as we do... such as words like "crap." I would've been punished for using this word, but that's not nessecarily the case now. We used the word crud... how is this really different in the end? Obviously the danger of this is going off the deep end... but that's what trust is faith is for... not fear (in my opinion at least). but then Again, Paul says that all things are permissible (of course that has to be taken with a grain of salt) but not all things are benificial.

Anyway, just my two cents. I enjoy your blog a lot. Have a good one.

2:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Both Mark Driscoll and Rob Bell are men with big hearts that want to minister the gospel to unbelievers and devout tons to that cause. What does Phil Johnson and all these other blog critics do? Back bite and point fingers and judge. Give me break. Get a life and quite being a pharisee. Who cares if one of them "cusses" or if you don't agree with every little doctrinal point of the other? What are you doing?

4:01 AM  
Blogger Rich said...

Rob Bell-Thousands attend a church planted by this man that would not otherwise. His ministry explodes in a matter of months, hundreds are granted saving faith through this ministry.

Mark Driscoll-Plants a church in a city where dogs outnumber Christians. That church now numbers in the 1000's. He speaks out against liberalism in the Church while taking on every radical liberal faction in the Church; still 1000's come to know Christ through this ministry.

When Jesus cast out demons, his critics said he did so by satan himself. He warned them not to blaspheme the Holy Spirit by giving credit to satan for the Spirit's works. Same warning to you Mr. Johnson.

1:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

who is phil jophnstone again?

9:15 AM  
Blogger Kennyo said...

Anonymous,

Here is Phil Johnson's blog:

http://www.teampyro.blogspot.com/

Here is Phil Johnson's bio:

Pastor Phil Johnson is the Executive Director of Grace to You. He has been closely associated with John MacArthur since 1981 and edits most of John’s major books. But he may be best known for several popular Web sites he maintains, including The Spurgeon Archive and The Hall of Church History.

Phil has a bachelor's degree in theology from Moody Bible Institute (class of 1975) and was an editor at Moody Press before coming to Grace Community Church. He is an elder at Grace Community Church and pastors the GraceLife fellowship group. Phil and his wife, Darlene, have three adult sons, Jeremiah, Jedidiah, and Jonathan.

9:55 AM  
Anonymous Thomas Weaver said...

Phil, my reformed brother. You have missed it. Your understanding of scripture is much more vast than mind, so need I remind you of scripture references that are super vulgar, super coarse, and super offensive? Come on! This Pollyanna response to Driscoll is a bit much. With Bell I can see your point. I think the guy is off his rocker and has held the crane position 5 minutes too long, but not Driscoll. Does he has issues? Yeah. Is he ministering the Gospel in the name of Jesus? You dang skippy. Oops! Was that a bad word?

10:34 PM  
Blogger bayside said...

First, I came across this blog and like many other blogs of this nature I don't see any real criticisms. You provide an "example" of what you're criticizing, but never really say what's wrong with it or how it should be.

Second, I 100% believe that we should be constructively criticizing our brothers and sisters so that we move towards God, but what you're doing here is destructive. You are BASHING Rob and Mark. If someone were to come across this blog with an open heart to hear what you have to say (which was my goal) it is very difficult to get past the insults you are hurling at Rob and Mark ("So I listened to this one by Mark Driscoll. I wish I hadn't. " and "He takes a bit of drivel he apparently learned from a yoga instructor somewhere, badly rephrases in quasi-biblical terminology, and spends 36 minutes doing "exposition" on a breathing exercise.") and get to the healthy criticism that might lie beneath, which I really couldn't find.

My question for you: Do you really think that the way you went about this is really beneficial or are you just venting your frustration or possible jealousy in an insulting way on a blog?

2:44 AM  
Blogger Jon said...

phil....

judge not, lest ye be judged....

unless you are prepared to say rob and mark are not Christians, then they are your brothers in Christ.

I go to Mars and i dont necessarily agree with everything rob says, but he has a great heart and he genuinely cares about people.....

so if they are Christians, they will be in the SAME heaven as you, so PLEASE stop judging and criticizing.... it ISN'T helping...

8:51 AM  
Anonymous Tom Torresson said...

Sorry Phil.

Love Wins.

As a recovering catholic, 37 married, and someone who has not attended church in decades, it was with great reservation that I allowed my wife to talk me into Rob's Mars Hill church a few months ago.

I have become a believer. Rob is able to take that which I have had a hirstorically hard time understanding, let alone beleiving, and delivers his message (actually THE message) in a way that brings it home today.

Rob's sermon this Easter morning brought tears to my eyes. It spoke of resurrection, hope, and love. He brought it to a real level by discussing faith and how not matter WHAT your view, on Christianity, science, the church...whatever, you have faith in something. I am putting my faith in Hope. And Love.

It's good to be home.

10:05 PM  
Anonymous Jay Mitchell said...

I am not a Christian. I am from Seattle though.

The nicest guy on my construction site goes to Mark Driscolls church and has been bugging me to come for weeks.

He told me about Mark Driscoll and it would be a good place to go to church. I don't like church.

I went just once. I like it. For the first time ever I learned something. And he was funny! I didn't know you could laugh in church! I thought you just had to sit there and if you did anything wrong they would tell you to leave.

Then I wanted to look up more about Mark Driscoll and found this.

I don't know Rob Bell.

I don't know what your talking about when it comes to Mark bein rude or crass because I work on a construction site.
If you want rude and crass I can have you meet up with me and we can hang out with my guys. You wouldn't last 10 minutes on my site. You would be offended I think and leave.

11:48 AM  
Blogger Banyer T said...

Someone mentioned the thousands that are "granted saving Grace through this ministry." First off, no ministry has the right or ability to grant saving grace. Secondly, I don't care if millions are gathering in a church. If the church is preaching heresy, it needs to be rebuked. And Jon.... "judge lest you be judged"? You're right. And I hope that my brothers and sisters will always judge me and keep me accountable to the infallible word of God that I might never be permitted to preach heresy. The apostles warned against the things that we are seeing. They never said to tolerant untruths in order to not judge or be judged. They simply warned that you would be judged according the standards in which you judge. As for me, I prefer to hold to high standards.

4:07 PM  
Blogger alex said...

Thank you Banyer T for finally saying something biblically based.

Does it not say in 1 Corinthians 5 that we are not to judge those outside of the church but those WITHIN the church who are living immorally? Is heresy not something to be included in this? It says in verses 12 and 13 "Do you not judge those who are within the church?...remove the wicked man from among yourselves..." If we don't keep the leaders of our churches accountable in their teachings, then how are we supposed to maintain a biblical view of Christianity that sticks strictly to the truth?

Where in the Bible does it say that our faith should be put in anything but Christ alone (hope, love???). All ways of faith are not the right ways and tend to lead straight to heresy.

I'm sick of big-shot pastors taking what the Bible actually says and changing it to make it "socially acceptable" and "relevant" and therefore what they interpret to be "right". How can anything be right apart from the Word?

Anonymous, you seem to have some complaints about Johnson judging Bell and Driscoll, when you, in turn, are doing the same. Calling someone a Pharisee seems to me to be a bit condemnatory. I'm just a little confused?

I am also from Seattle and attend Mars Hill (Driscoll's, not Bell's) regularly. I have seen Christ work through the ministries of this church, and yes, even through Driscoll's sometimes less than appropriate use of language (ben makes a good point), immensely. He sticks to sound doctrine and the truths of Scripture.

12:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To each his/her own.
Let's just agree to disagree and respect each others' points of views.

5:20 PM  
Blogger Clay said...

Everyone seems to agree that souls are being saved in Bell's church....souls are being saved in Driscoll's church......I assume souls are being saved in Johnson's church. What is the problem? Only God knows how He will use his children. It is not our place to judge another when God's plans are so beyond anything we could comprehend. How do we know that God is not using Bell exactly as he would want. The same with Driscoll. To claim that you know how God plans to use people is (forgive me for using your word Mr. Johnson) "heresy" in itself. We must guard ourselves from allowing our college degree, or status at our church, to blind us from the simple truth that we will never fully understand God's plan or actions. There is freedom in giving God complete control in how things will play out...perhaps we need to embrace the liberty.

9:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Phil, I couldnt agree with you more! Those who think they can preach as they choose just to gain numbers are not honoring God or His word! I consider your assessment most accurate and commendable!
Many blessings!!

8:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is wrong with someone using every day examples to preach God's word? Jesus Christ, the living son of God in heaven the creator of the earth, used parrables to better relate His message to his listeners.

Not that Rob Bell is close to Christ, not that I am, none of us are or ever will be.

I've read the theology posted on the Mars Hill Bible Church website, I've read countless blogs and articles by people who disagree with Rob Bell. Not all, but a large percentage are taking small quotes (out of context) and saying that he teaches to "please man" or "anti-christian." Read it for your self. It is 100% biblical.

I think the problem people have with Rob Bell and his teaching is the realization that we are not better than anyone else. Christ made himself lower to lift God higher. We should absolutely strive to do the same. Completely serve those who hate us.

He has found a way to preach the message that is obvioulsy very affective. He is relating to his shere of influence in a way that those who are critical of him never could.

Philippians 1:15-18
"Some indeed preach Christ from envy and strife, and some also from goodwill. the former preach Christ from selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my chains; but the latter out of love, knowing that I am apppointed for the defense of the gospel. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached; and in this I rejoice, yes, and will rejoice."

So to the last post. Not that it is the best way, but you can preach as you choose just to gain members and honor God and His word.

However, Rob Bell doesn't do that anyway. If you listen straight from him he will tell you he does'nt have it all figured out. He preaches from good will and from truth. He loves people. He loves God. His ministry is touching people and saving their souls, and God's kingdom is advancing because of it.

10:51 PM  
Anonymous benjamin said...

Mark has (since that sermon) stopped using crass language as a result from advice given from John Piper. His ministry is biblicaly based right down to the tee. His "Doctrine" series are some of my favorite sermons and all of them are straight out of Wayne Grudums systematic theology.

No one can give an actually reason for disliking Rob. No one, they always say that they have mountains of evidence piled in their basement or something but the truth is they dont. I own all of the nooma videos, all three of his books and listen to his sermons regularly. He is a christian, but as a teacher, he is about a 2 out of 10.
His style of communicating is amazing, but what he says almost ALWAYS lacks actual content. He uses what called as a "trajectory hermeneutic." and it goes something like this; Gays were killed in the old testament, Gays were only banned in the new testament, so in todays society, Gays are ok. Its wrong and flat out illogical, not to mention heresy.

2:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Forgive me, but the name of the speaker slips my mind however I know he was a big deal back in his day. I will do my best to retell his exact words while speaking to a group of pastors:

"My message will focus on three things, one, between now and the time I finish my message, 3,000 children will die in Africa from starvation; two, you don't give a s*** about those children; and three, you care more about the fact that I just said s*** than the fact that 3,000 children are about to starve to death."

I think there is a time and a place when perhaps one word is more appropriate than another. Listen to the language of the Bible. Some of the rebukes of Jesus and Paul were far more vulgar than anything said by Rob and Mark. If we are going to criticize them for these words, (please don't be offended by this) then maybe you would've crucified Christ too.

I will say this. No one's theology is perfect. Not mine, not Rob's, Mark's, or anyone else's on Earth. With the Yoga issue, I have do it without any spiritual relation and don't feel guilty about it, but I agree that it should not be linked to a 'spiritual exercise,' so Rob does have a problem there.

Having read two of Rob's books I will say the man has some great teaching points, and having read pretty much all his 'controversial' quotes in context, I have seen that his points are not heretical but actually thought provoking.

I scanned his Church's statement of faith and didn't see anything wrong with it. Inspired Word, Salvation by Faith, Jesus is the Way, etc. etc. In my opinion extended dialogue with him would be the way to solve any problem but not widespread published rebuke. It only guides the Christian church to act the way the rest of the world thinks it does. Divided and corrupt.

4:14 AM  
Blogger Richard Polipnick said...

I'll give one brief example, though. Here's a sample of what Bell does with the gospel: "You can't get enough points to get in with the Big Guy. You can't do enough good deeds and then God will like you. One of the things the Spirit does is remind us that we belong. Period. Just exactly as we are. You are loved by God."


Eph 2:8,9 (8)For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (9) Not of works, least any man should boast.



Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us.

1:16 AM  
Blogger The Grem said...

Oh is it not funny that those who can quote chapter and verse from the Bible are first to forget John 8:7. Remember people, when pointing a finger at someone, three are pointing straight back at you.

2:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was Tony Campollo that used the "3000 children" quote.

It's interesting that when Jesus spoke in parables, the only people who understood him were non believers. And He used stories and ideas that the every day person could relate to, that were relevant to the time. Stories about fishing and farming etc.

If Jesus was here in the flesh today, would He not be doing the same, but using images and stories that are relevant to todays culture, to communicate the Gospel?

He would be talking to those people that we should be talking to, the tax collectors, the prostitutes etc.
To quote a great communicator, "If Jesus were here today, He would be sitting in a gay bar in San Francisco, having a drink with the homosexuals, because they are todays lepers".

9:12 AM  
Blogger John said...

I find Rob Bell incredibly refreshing and grace filled in his message. That people like Mark Driscoll find it heretical is nothing new. Driscoll is nothing more than a fundamentalist retread who thinks anything and everything except his own narrowness is heretical. Rob Bell preaches grace, Driscoll preaches decision theology and self righteousness. I'll take Rob Bell's message any day over more of the same narrow minded rhetoric of those who are keeping thinking people away from the church.

3:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What exactly is unbiblical about.."You can't get enough points to get in with the Big Guy. You can't do enough good deeds and then God will like you. One of the things the Spirit does is remind us that we belong. Period. Just exactly as we are. You are loved by God."?? Does God love some of us more than others?

8:45 PM  
Blogger relevant?dave said...

I think this post points to the cultural shift that has happened in Canada and the US in the last number of years. We have the "old school" mixing it up now with some of the new guys on the block, and we have to realize that different people will do things differently. We need the "old school", and we need the forward thinkers, the ones we think are breaking "the rules". How do you think in the past the church moved forward? Does that mean you will like everything that happens? Probably not. But I do know the church has a history of pulling down and criticizing ministries which have experienced growth. Be glad for those ministries that have grown, and if you don't like what they are saying, you don't have to listen.

12:20 PM  
Anonymous Dan said...

I don't know why you said you couldn't listen past 12 minutes... sure some of the things Driscoll says are a little bit crude, but at the same time, I haven't heard anything so far that's incorrect. If you watch a lot of what Driscoll says and read some of his books, you'll realise that often he overemphasises things for humours sake - sometimes he goes a bit far, but that's part of his attraction and way of communicating with non-Christians. They understand him and they are willing to listen to him. I don't think we should spend our time criticising and pulling apart a brother in Christ who is reaching people with the true Gospel who we probably couldn't reach ourselves. He's preaching the full Gospel of salvation by grace through faith - let's not pull him down for that.

10:41 PM  
Blogger Jeremy said...

In his indictment of Bell's "points" analogy, Phil seems to be under the mistaken impression that we have the human ability to earn salvation. It is his own line of reasoning, which he fails to expound on, that could be considered Anti-Christian. Where in the Bible does one find that salvation is anything other than what Rob Bell suggests? Salvation is NOT a reward for behavior or for the unattainable perfection of the sordid thought life that permeates our daily, imperfect human existence; if this was indeed the case was we would all be doomed. Phil's condemnation of Bell's reasonable conclusion illustrates his lack of understanding regarding the message Bell was trying to convey. If Phil is incapable of understanding such a simple message, I seriously doubt his own ability in terms of Biblical exegesis. Here he has clearly demonstrated a serious inability to hear the underlying message, and even worse an inability to clearly write a comprehensive refutation in support of his decidedly ambiguous position.

11:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ummm are you god? Who are you to judge and know which form of worship is correct... People will interpret the bible as they see it for themselves.. I always find it funny that certain christians (not All) who all read the same bible and bass their lives on the same things still wanna disagree...

Thats the human condition... You think you are right..Rob Bell thinks he is right ...So then who is right?

How bout this.. Phil Johnson..Grow up.... Your ego has cut you off from God and Jesus... Jesus's message is simple... Love... That includes evryone.. Love and Judgement does not exist simultaneously...

So again grow up and stop acting like a selfish child who wants to be right .. The will of god is his alone to know ...Not for you to claim to know so you can convince others to believe what you want them to or be condemned as a heretic...

You give christians a BAD NAME..

6:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for another great article. Where else could anyone get that kind of information in such a perfect way of writing? I have a presentation next week, and I am on the look for such information.

5:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

lol... what is REALLY funny is when people accuse Phil of "judging" and then turn around and judge Phil for judging!!! roflol... apparently Phil can't offer his opinions for why Driscoll and Bell have gone wrong... no... thats being "judgmental"... yet this same person, who is oh so concerned about judging and being judgmental can tell Phil to "grow up", that he has an ego problem, to stop acting like a selfish child etc etc etc!!!! roflol... This is the very height of hypocrisy! If it is wrong for Phil to judge (granting for the moment that what Phil was doing was actually "bad", eg in contradiction to Matt 7:1ff) then it is certainly wrong for a person who is supposedly so concerned about "Love" to say such things to Phil!!! This is about a blatant contradiction and example of hypocrisy as you are likely to find, the perfect example of the pot calling the kettle black lol... So if Phil supposedly thinks he is God for judging Bell and Driscoll, then likewise, this person thinks he is God because he/she is judging Phil.

Furthermore, if the will of God is His alone, and Phil is wrong, and its not for Phil to "convince others to believe what you want them to", then guess what, yep, its that same tune again, likewise the will of God is His alone, so its not for YOU to claim to know (that Phil needs to grow up, that he has an overinflated ego, that he is acting like a selfish child etc) what YOU want them to, eg to stop judging Driscoll and Bell!!! If judging someone is only to be done by God, then what in the world are you doing judging Phil!?!?

Lastly, Jesus did not condemn all judging!! That is where you have really gone wrong. The bible itself is filled with examples of judging acts to be pleasing or not pleasing to God, and judging teaching to be either true or false. In fact, it is impossible to NOT judge, as the poster I have focused on as shown. For as soon as they complain about someone else for "judging", in this very act of complaining they have, themselves, "judged"! It is inescapable. Where the mistake is in thinking that all judging is aboslutely and immediately wrong, its not. Not only is it impossible to not judge as we think 'this is wrong" or "that is false" but secondly, Christians simply HAVE to judge behavior and thought, we are commanded to make right judgments, to be discerning, to know false teachers and false teaching and furthermore, clearly communicate that the teaching and teachers ARE in fact false.

What Jesus condemns in Matt 7 is hypocritical judging, the very thing the poster I have in mind does repeatedly. The Pharisees were being faulted for laying burdens on others that they themselves were not willing to abide by and which they constantly failed to do themselves, namely they criticized others for what they themselves did. That is the kind of judging Jesus will not allow, there is a difference between judging and being judgmental. If Phil was guilty of condemning Bell and/or Driscoll for doing what he himself did, then yes, he would fall under Christ's condemnation. But I don't see where he did/does any such thing. However what I DID see was a person condemning/judging Phil for the ACT of judging another person's teaching to be unbiblical. Phil may or may not be mistaken about that, but that is not my point. The point is if Phil is being unloving, judgmental, etc in his criticism of Bell and Driscoll's teaching, then the anonymous poster at 6:07 am did EXACTLY the same thing he complained that Phil did!!! If Phil was unloving and judgmental, so was anonymous....

blessings,
ken

12:47 AM  
Blogger wisdomseekerprov4 said...

Take heart Phil Johnson. Even though this blog post is quite old, I just happened to come across it today while researching Rob Bell. There is only a small REMNANT even left within the Church who actually have any spiritual discernment. You will be called every name in the book: judgemental, negative, legalistic, etc. I can tell by reading many of the comments that most of these people are just clueless about what the Bible itself (the WORD of God) actually says. We are REQUIRED by God to judge our own brothers and sisters WITHIN the church to try to get them back on track so that they may see the error of their ways and get back in line with God's Word. It is out of love (not hate) that we do this. If we didn't love them enough to speak the Truth into their lives, we wouldn't even fool with them. You are right on track. Keep up the good work. Being a "watchman on the wall" is not an easy calling. You will be ridiculed a lot, especially in these latter days when good is called evil and evil is called good and that very same philosophy has entered into the churches. It's really hard to even find a church that is teaching the true Word of God (all of it) anymore. Remember this, since the very beginning, there has always been ONLY a remnant who "get it" and that's how it will always be. There will only be a remnant who will enter in through the narrow gate. The PATH is wide but the gate is narrow and few will enter in. The kingdom of God is NOT a party as some are fond of saying. It is a lot of hard work and study.

3:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

im astouned....astounded at the fact that men of such caliber character could be so far off the mark of true relationship with Christ. I think all this goes to show the call of God to move away from Church as a building,to being THE CHURCH. We all should be feeding ourselves, and once we do that we should be, being the church in every nook and cranny of our respective societies. Im only 23 years old and i will admit my wife and i of two years have plenty more to learn about discernment and the how the spirit of GOd works. But to be perfectly honest does anyone see how this is clearly pointing us to a new frontier which in actuality is the basis in which christianity was founded. the bible never talks of a church smaller than a city! our score cards are so messed up we think that micro managing our brothers is the answer to the problem with our churches today but its really not. our mega churches are bigger than ever, we got smoke machines to let us know when the holy spirit shows up, we got countdown clocks to let us know when Jesus is about to come on stage.But we have got to move away from the idea that our branding of theology or methodology is what is killing us as a whoole church. But the true killer in all this is the idea that we can continue to make larger and larger churches and make sure we are all on the same page doctrinely. it wont happen if we are all running by our ideas that our methodology is the "right" way. Hey feed hungry people, help widows, show Christs love to a broken dying world within yourself and to those around you. That cuts across all methodology ideology theology "blogology" and every other kind of ology.

10:20 AM  
Blogger J G Beauford said...

Blah, Blah, Blah. Nobody here has any authority.
All this arguing is enough to drive a person back to the Catholics.

11:00 PM  
Anonymous Paul said...

Oh dear Mr. Johnson,
Splitting a hair with a razor. I am sure that many critics could listen to your style, your particular take, your understanding of the 'good news' and smash it to pieces. In reality I would listen to you and give ear to what is good whilst discounting anything dodgy. This is called discernment. Guess what I can do the same for Mr. Bell and Mr. Driscoll. Why try to harm others who most probably bring more converts to Christ than you ever will? Converts are not Fools, as they grow they change. If these men are bringing lost sheep home, the sheep will still be there long after they and you are gone.

4:28 AM  
Anonymous will lee said...

Get off your highhorse.
Jesus spent more time warning the religious than he did warning the sinners.
These guys are real humans with real lives trying to share their faith with those they come into contact with.

I'm always concerned when blogs like this spend more time kicking others instead of spending time with God and having a personal relationship with Him.
God loves us all. But he loves us too much to leave us like this.

6:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw something about that topic on TV last night. Good post.

2:56 PM  

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