Trail Blazer Ministries
Base Camp for Life: A Spiritual Journey...

A Kick in the Teeth for a Feigned Peace

I think there are more things mixed here than your reaction to the Chronicle article.  Words are very important, especially when criticizing.  Yet they have been flung about on this blog to the point that the confused Chronicle article was a fair assessment of this movement thus far.  

We must keep in mind that our hearts are deceitfully wicked and that the majority of our sin comes from the desire to do good.  But, our good intentions are no excuse for the chaos we bring or the damage we inflict.  God's ends plus our means is still a recipe for sin.

"For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to right teaching.  They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever they want to hear.  They will reject the truth a follow strange myths." II Tim. 4:3,4

That time is now.  In our attempt to reach out to the lost we must not fall into the temptation to preach myths pleasing to the ears of the world.  Which is kind of what the following sounds like.


". . . But that's what makes the emerging church such a joy to be a part of. It's not dogmatic. It's a conversation. . ." -PastorMichael, posted 9/2/08


"But first, let me say that I struggle with the term "emerging church," and that I am not one hundred percent certain that this is the best label to describe our group."-PastorMichael, posted 9/19/08

"This is simply incorrect. I have never stated that there is to be 'no dogma.' "-PastorMichael, posted 9/19/08


"We do not ask people to leave their churches or abandon their denominational distinctives." -PastorMichael, posted 9/19/08

except perhaps John MacArthur's church, for he is simply:

"an exegetical preacher whose career thrives on an authoritarian, top-down system of teaching. . .

The emerging church movement totally undercuts the authoritarian church structure that has made MacArthur famous - and wealthy. . .In other words, we no longer need a John MacArthur to tell us what the Bible means. " -PastorMichael, posted 9/2/08


"I beg to differ. I see a lot of emerging-oriented Christians fighting tooth and nail for what they believe in, even in cases where brothers and sisters in Christ have approached them with negativity. It baffles me why, when it comes "fighting for our convictions," emerging Christians and their convictions about the Church don't seem to count." -PastorMichael, posted 9/19/08

Of courses they fight, as everyone does for themselves.  This is the two faced nature of false religions from Islam to the postmodern academics of our day.  On the one hand they cloak their rebellion, they claim they only want an open minded conversation, they claim to be a peaceful religion.  On the other hand they openly attack, they take every opportunity to shut down speech from the opposition, or outright kill the infidels.  Embracing this 'emerge' is no act of valor, it is simply going along with the flow of elite rhetoric, and the only fight occurs when this cultural foolishness forces itself onto the Church.  It's not as if both sides started with scripture and came to different conclusions.  The emergent side started with the assumption that something must be changed because the youth are leaving the church.  They don't like the church, therefore we need to make a 'church' more palatable to them.  We need to incorporate as much of the philosophy of the world as we can tolerate.


"But, again, if fighting for your beliefs is a good thing (and I'm convinced that it is), why is it that when I take up the challenge advanced by a book like 'The Truth War,' my willingness to stand firm in my convictions is discounted as "arrogant" or "rebellious?" -PastorMichael, posted 9/19/08

"Reading 'The Truth War' is kind of like watching a reactionary fundamentalist doing a bad impersonation of a reactionary fundamentalist. MacArthur's fear and anger are palpable on almost every page of the book, leading him into long, venomous tirades that lead me to wonder just how confident he is that God's truth can stand up to scrutiny. After reading a few chapters of the book, one reader I know of concluded that MacArthur must have been red in the face, covered in sweat, and about to burst a blood vessel as he sat growling over the pages of this polemic tome."  -PastorMichael, posted 9/2/08

Take up the challenge?  Stand firm on convictions?  Accusing MacArthur of fear or anger and calling him names like; venomous, red-faced, or reactionary is certainly both arrogant and rebellious.  

In the spring of 2003, we at Petra Academy hosted MacArthur for our annual fundraising dinner.  He proceeded to layout the case for Christians to proactively resist the temptation to take the easy way out, simply placing your child in the public schools(Which coincidentally, is most likely the explanation for the phenomenon of the youth leaving the church).  Using simple scriptures like Psalm 1: "Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful"  he exposited the truth of scripture with no apology.  No apology for the responsibilities it requires for his audience and for himself.  For he was attacked by those who attended our dinner in a way no other speaker ever was.  Our fundraising efforts and enrollment also suffered, from this and similar stands.  This is what it means to sand up for Christ.  Quite a different thing from glomming onto the latest trend and 'fighting' the 'establishment.'


"Christianity is and always has been a revolutionary (in the broad sense) faith." -PastorMichael, posted 9/19/08

"Do not think that I came to destroy the law or the Prophets.  I didn't come to destroy but to fulfill." -Jesus, Matt.5:17


Rather, these may have been the words you were looking for:

"This startling swiftness with which popular systems turn oppressive

is the third fact for which we shall ask our perfect theory of progress

to allow.  It must always be on the look out for every privilege

being abused, for every working right becoming a wrong. 

In this matter I am entirely on the side of the revolutionists. 

They are really right to be always suspecting human institutions;

they are right not to put their trust in princes nor in any child of man. 

The chieftain chosen to be the friend of the people becomes

the enemy of the people; the newspaper started to tell the truth

now exists to prevent the truth being told.  Here, I say,

I felt that I was really at last on the side of the revolutionary. 

And then I caught my breath again:  for I remembered that

I was once again on the side of the orthodox.

     Christianity spoke again and said:  "I have always maintained

that men were naturally backsliders; that human virtue tended

of its own nature to rust or to rot; I have always said that

human beings as such go wrong, especially happy human beings,

especially proud and prosperous human beings." G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy


Nick, I love you man. You've got spunk ;) This is beginning to be quite the blog! It wasn't much fun when Michael, Jesse, and I would just have these little conversations by ourselves!

Hi Nick,
Thanks for the feedback. G.K. Chesterton is an excellent writer, and I appreciate the quote.

I will try to provide a more substantial response when I have time, but for now, let me just say a few words in relation to John MacArthur. I do not suggest that anyone drop out of Dr. MacArthur's church or stop reading his books simply because I believe he has missed the mark in regards to the emerging church. I happen to have read quite a few of MacArthur's Bible commentaries, and I have learned a lot from him over the years. In my previous post on "Why John MacArthur is Afraid of the Emerging Church," I was responding to a specific book that MacArthur had written, and not to his ministry as a whole. It is not my intent to become embroiled in a controversy over MacArthur or his views. I would encourage anyone interested in MacArthur's ministry to read his books and draw their own conclusions.

You cited 2 Tim 4:3-4 in your post, Nick, and then stated that the time Paul is writing about "is now." What is your evidence for this claim? Wouldn't this passage of Scripture be equally valid as a description of Luther's situation in the 16th century, or Wesley's situation in the 18th century?

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