John MacArthur, president of The Master’s University, founder of Grace to You, and respected speaker and author of many books, has made some strong statement against social justice in the Christian world. You can listen to and read a transcript of his sermons here and here and here.
Bloggers and commenters are pejoratively called “Social Justice Warriors” when they write passionately about social justice but don’t actually do anything about it. That’s understandable. But what John MacArthur says here is something different. Continue reading “Social justice is not the gospel: a response to John MacArthur”
Sometimes I talk with people who want healing and help from the Lord but are hesitant to “dig up the past” or who have counselors who don’t want them to “dig up the past.” For a while now, maybe over a year, I’ve been mulling over that pejorative expression.
“Digging up the past” to me conjures a picture of going to a graveyard to dig up the bones or even the rotting corpse of something that needed to be left underground to decompose the way it’s supposed to. A perverted and possibly very harmful activity. Continue reading “No “digging up the past” allowed: a response to nouthetic (“Biblical”) counseling”
In the early- to mid-1990s, we sat in our first church small group. (We’d been wanting small groups in our previous independent Baptist church, but the pastor wouldn’t allow them.)
This first one for us was at Bean Blossom Mennonite Church—which I’ve blogged about before, here—the church with the “Strangers Expected” sign over the front door, the church where the entire congregation sang in four-part harmony, the first church I joined where the women wore pants, where I couldn’t possibly bring myself or allow my daughter to do the same, a now-embarrassing memory that I can perhaps explore one day in a therapist’s chair. Continue reading “Reflections on my 61st birthday: “Why don’t I ever meet those people?””
Last fall “Jane Doe” told her story of rape and its coverup at John MacArthur’s school The Master’s University. I wrote a commentary that referenced it here.
At the beginning of this school year, John MacArthur made reference to this story in his opening remarks. You can listen to them here.
This past weekend Marci Preheim, who hosted “Jane’s” story on her blog, showed some of MacArthur’s statements, with her corrections. You can see them below, and posted on Twitter here. Continue reading “Should The Master’s University insist on loyalty to authority more than care for the oppressed?”
I’ve been reading about the Thomas Chantry trial at Thou Art the Man, and the shameful cover-ups of his abuse of young boys. Such a similar story to so many others, so many broken lives, so many years, so much harm, so much evil behavior from those who claim to represent Christ. Continue reading “Thoughts on conspiracies and conspiracy theorists, inspired by the Thomas Chantry trial”
What did God even mean when He said He had “led captivity captive”?
This is a truth from Psalm 68, which Paul reiterated in Ephesians 4. Our Lord Jesus Christ, when he defeated the enemy, took into exile the very concept of exile. Continue reading “Are you exiled from God?”
Read Part 1 here. Read Part 2 here.
In Quieting a Noisy Soul, author Jim Berg declares that the cause of the noisy soul is your sin: your unbelief, your discontent, and your guilty conscience (and as it turns out, your pride and your stubbornness). Throughout his nouthetic counseling teachings (nowadays called “Biblical counseling”), he assumes that the situation or person the counselee would have thought was causing the noisy soul is not a legitimate concern, but is instead simply the catalyst for sin in the heart, “a lust for more.” Continue reading “Cleanse your guilty conscience, get grace, and other solutions to the noisy soul (a response to Jim Berg, Part 3)”
Jim Berg claims that this nouthetic counseling program Quieting a Noisy Soul presents the solutions to anxiety, despair, obsessive compulsive behavior, panic attacks, anorexia, bulimia, and other problems.
Part 1 of this series covered the Problem (the noisy soul) and the Cause of the problem according to Jim Berg’s nouthetic counseling: your sin, specifically, your unbelief and your guilty conscience. “Noisy souls,” says Berg, “are self-absorbed souls.” Continue reading “The Solutions to the Noisy Soul – a response to Jim Berg – (Part 2)”
It’s one thing to hear or read Berg’s teachings through the ears of one who has sinned—for example, one who has traumatized another. It’s quite a different thing to listen or read through the ears of one who has been sinned against, that is, the oppressed. Continue reading “Quieting a Noisy Soul by Jim Berg – A Response (Part 1)”
Diane Langberg, preeminent Christian psychologist, counselor, and writer, has said many times, “Trauma is the mission field of the 21st century.” I’d change it slightly to say traumatized people are the mission field of the 21st century (since you can’t give the gospel to trauma, but you can give it to traumatized people), but I understand her point.
Why is it that one of the foremost evangelical Christian counselors of our day is saying this? Because especially in the complacent, comfortable Western world, trauma is increasing at exponential rates.
In the U.S., this would be in part because our government has been sending young men and women into combat without any letup for the past 15 years. Though I’d be up to a robust debate about the morality of this situation, that’s not the point here. The point here is that in the war environment they are being traumatized. Continue reading “An absolute must if you want to deeply help others in the church”