If you were harmed, does that mean you’ll blame God? And other questions for John MacArthur

John MacArthur a long time ago

John MacArthur recently spoke against social justice as one of the most dangerous current threats to the gospel. There have been three sermons as well as some blog posts, but the quotations in this post here are all taken from sermon #3, which is here. Continue reading “If you were harmed, does that mean you’ll blame God? And other questions for John MacArthur”

Social justice is not the gospel: a response to John MacArthur

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”

No “digging up the past” allowed: a response to nouthetic (“Biblical”) counseling

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”

Reflections on my 61st birthday: “Why don’t I ever meet those people?”

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 maybe I can explore one day in a therapist’s chair. Continue reading “Reflections on my 61st birthday: “Why don’t I ever meet those people?””

Should The Master’s University insist on loyalty to authority more than care for the oppressed?

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?”

Thoughts on conspiracies and conspiracy theorists, inspired by the Thomas Chantry trial

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”

Are you exiled from God?

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.

Here’s the joy for the people of God. The answer to the question in the headline is, if you have trusted in Jesus Christ for your salvation,

No! You are not and cannot be exiled from God. He is your Father and loves you.

There is great joy in that.

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Note: You can share this poster on Facebook here.

Cleanse your guilty conscience, get grace, and other solutions to the noisy soul (a response to Jim Berg, Part 3)

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)”