I think that CRN is having a mild case of schizophrenia. They recently posted an article on the danger of moralism. Upon reading it, I was first frustrated with this quote from MacArthur

So on the one hand, we are called to the exposition of scripture, explaining the Bible verse by verse, book by book.

Um, where exactly are we called to expository preaching of scripture, going line by line through the book? But I digress. The rest of the quote is great, discussing the dangers of legislating morality through the government. People are saved and changed by the Holy Spirit, not George W Bush. The article ends with this paragraph

And in a related issue here is the link to a message by Phil Johnson that “addresses the controversy that exists between the ministry of Dr. John MacArthur and that of Dr. James Dobson (Focus on the Family), on the issue of preaching the gospel to change the wickedness of man versus using political legislation to accomplish that end.”

Yes, you are reading this right… from the website that calls for petitions against gay marriage, calling your senator to have the ten commandments put back into court houses, berating politicians for not legislating the scriptures, comes this. So which is it CRN? Are we supposed to flee from the dangers of legislating morality? Or are we supposed to get a petition going to make sure that Genesis is the only creation theory taught in schools? Or maybe we just change our views every time Johnny Mac opens his mouth.

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57 Comments(+Add)

1   Lee Hoy    http://unhingedpastor.blogspot.com/
April 6th, 2008 at 5:21 pm

In MacArthur’s world, he truly believes that (which is why he should read Pagan Christianity by Viola and Barna) and discover that the “word” he often stands upon is not the Word.

It isn’t so much as there is danger in legislating morality, it is just that it has NEVER worked, will NEVER work and is NEVER something Jesus called us to do!! I could care less if we EVER overturn Roe vs. Wade, because it is possible to change hearts such that there is no need for the law. That is when we as followers have reproduced the ministry of Christ on earth.

2   Evan Hurst    http://breaktheterror.wordpress.com
April 6th, 2008 at 7:04 pm

it is possible to change hearts

on top of changing hearts, it’s also possible to address, from a political and/or social perspective, the conditions that lead to so many abortions in the first place…

pragmatism, people.

worldly problems call for worldly solutions.

3   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
April 6th, 2008 at 7:07 pm

We as folloers, yes I said FOLLOWERS, of the Lord Jesus Christ should do nothing spiritually dualistic. No petitions, no phone calls, no speeches, nothing political at all. We have only a vested interest, and indeed a divine calling, to preach Christ and His gospel.

To believe that God blesses or for that matter curses America or any country is idolatry at its highest form. Jesus upon the cross is God’s sacrificial expression of love for souls, ,not for a geographical collection of people aligned with a form of government that has been given some title.

God dealt with Israel like He deals with the church, not a secular country set up by man. I read MacArthur’s sermon and he is coming my way! I hope those at CRN and other sites will follow his lead.

Come out from among them and be ye separate, says the Lord. (New Testament!!)

Politics – comical recreation? Yes!
Politics – serious Christian business? Never!
There will be a test, class. Yes we can!!

4   chris    http://agendalesslove.wordpress.com
April 6th, 2008 at 7:07 pm

worldly problems call for worldly solutions.

I would argue that all worldly problems stem from spiritual issues thus requiring spiritual solutions.

5   Evan Hurst    http://breaktheterror.wordpress.com
April 6th, 2008 at 7:17 pm

I would argue that all worldly problems stem from spiritual issues thus requiring spiritual solutions.

i dunno if i can swing with that one…

6   chris    http://agendalesslove.wordpress.com
April 6th, 2008 at 7:33 pm

i dunno if i can swing with that one…

What worldly problems stem from non-spiritual issues?

7   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
April 6th, 2008 at 7:45 pm

They all stem from one single act of disobedience. Adam’s sinful “big bang” has now evolved into a universe of sin.

8   Evan Hurst    http://breaktheterror.wordpress.com
April 6th, 2008 at 7:46 pm

What worldly problems stem from non-spiritual issues?

hunger.
poverty.
climate change.
most religious wars, since “spirit” doesn’t have anything to do with it.

maybe it’s a matter of perspective, but i see these things as human issues.

9   Evan Hurst    http://breaktheterror.wordpress.com
April 6th, 2008 at 7:47 pm

They all stem from one single act of disobedience. Adam’s sinful “big bang” has now evolved into a universe of sin.

now, you know i can’t swing with that one either because i don’t believe in a literal interpretation of the Genesis account.

:)

10   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
April 6th, 2008 at 7:53 pm

“now, you know i can’t swing with that one either because i don’t believe in a literal interpretation of the Genesis account.”

That’s like Alpha Centauri saying “I don’t believe in the Big Bang! :)

11   chris    http://agendalesslove.wordpress.com
April 6th, 2008 at 8:00 pm

hunger.
poverty.
climate change.

I would argue that all of those, to some degree, stem from greed towards or misuse of God’s creation.

Thus I would actually rephrase my former statement to now say that “All worldly problems are spiritual problems which can only be solved through spiritual obedience to God”

12   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
April 6th, 2008 at 8:03 pm

chris – Where do I sign?

13   Keith    http://fivepts.blogspot.com
April 6th, 2008 at 8:07 pm

Nathan: If you don’t like the way John MacArthur defined “declaring the whole counsel of God”, how would you define it. Seems like verse by verse, book by book would cover it…but if you’ve got a better method…

Nitpickers.

14   Evan Hurst    http://breaktheterror.wordpress.com
April 6th, 2008 at 8:11 pm

I would argue that all of those, to some degree, stem from greed towards or misuse of God’s creation.

well, when you say it that way, i can meet you like, i dunno, 63% of the way?

ish. ;)

Seems like verse by verse, book by book would cover it…but if you’ve got a better method…

well, you don’t interpret Dali or Van Gogh by analysing individual brushstrokes…

likewise, if you spend hours obsessing over the various contrapuntal methods employed by Beethoven in his sonatas, you’re liable to miss just how exhilaratingly beautiful they are.

15   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
April 6th, 2008 at 8:11 pm

Someone please explain the difference between expository and topic preaching? The expositor goes verse by verse and stops on a verse, pulls others from all over the Bible to expound on the topic he believes the verse reveals, and that is his method.

The topic guy starts with a topic in The Bible and pulls verses from the Bible to expound on the topic, and that is his method. As long as both of them remain Biblicall accurate I don’t understand the problem.

16   Evan Hurst    http://breaktheterror.wordpress.com
April 6th, 2008 at 8:18 pm

i would suggest that option A is tedious and boring for those who have to listen…

i had a pastor once who spent over THREE YEARS preaching Matthew verse by verse by verse by painstaking verse…

after a while, it was like, okay, you have OCD, stop, please.

17   Tim Reed, Owosso MI    http://churchvoices.com
April 6th, 2008 at 8:30 pm

Well, its fairly simple.

Expository is a modernist method of Biblical interpretation that has its strengths and weaknesses.

Topical is a pre/postmodern method of Biblical interpretation that has its strengths and weaknesses.

Neither is commanded in scripture, and anyone claiming so is adding their personal view into scriptures, which strikes me as, at the least, unwise.

18   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
April 6th, 2008 at 8:32 pm

We all know that narrative is all wrong and heretical… and that Jesus Himself only taught line by line and verse by verse… Also Jesus was mean and hated sinners and was angry with everyone…. the last thing He would do is say something like, “The Kingdom of God is like…” or “What should I compare the Kingdom to?”

If only Jesus had read the “Truth War” He would be reassured that He is in control…

iggy

19   Keith    http://fivepts.blogspot.com
April 6th, 2008 at 8:33 pm

I know of a pastor that is currently in his EIGHTH YEAR going through the book of Luke. I’ve listened to every sermon to date. Good stuff when you’ve got good material.

Rick: The danger (sometimes) with the topical approach is that one might be tempted to leave things out or pull verses together–out of context–in an attempt to prove a point. I once heard of a pastor that preached essentially that suicide was ‘OK.’ His texts? “Judas went out and hanged himself.” (Mt 27:5) “…Go and do likewise.” (Luke 10:37b)

Verse by verse through a book keeps you within the context…and of course that’s the way JM does it, so it MUST be RIGHT!!!
8^)>

20   Keith    http://fivepts.blogspot.com
April 6th, 2008 at 8:35 pm

AND he does it (expository preaching) in a suit, which obviously is more Godly. (Are those angels I hear singing?)

21   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
April 6th, 2008 at 8:37 pm

But keith, aren’t there also preachers who preach verse by verse who significantly disagree on the meaning and context of those verses and hence they both use the same method to a different teaching in the end?

Biblical truth is the standard, methodology is preference, no?

22   Keith    http://fivepts.blogspot.com
April 6th, 2008 at 8:43 pm

[fingers in ears] “I’m not listening, I’m not listening. La la la la la la la la la…..” (Don’t talk bad about JM!!!)

Seriously. Rick it sounds like you’re saying “Biblical truth is standard…” but we can’t really ever know what it is. Quite a quandry.

23   Evan Hurst    http://breaktheterror.wordpress.com
April 6th, 2008 at 8:46 pm

I know of a pastor that is currently in his EIGHTH YEAR going through the book of Luke. I’ve listened to every sermon to date. Good stuff when you’ve got good material.

it makes me wonder, though…

1. is his flock missing a larger message?
2. does that allow the pastor to stay relevant to the needs of his congregation?
3. what of people who come into the church in year five – how easy is it for them to jump in and feel “part” of everything?

i dunno. not necessarily knocking it, and the preacher i had who did the Matthew thing was dynamic, though i disagreed with him frequently. it just seemed forced.

24   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
April 6th, 2008 at 8:48 pm

No, I’m saying that is possible to pull verses to support a topic without compromising their context.

Let’s see, John MacArthur teaches verse by verse and comes up with believer’s baptism by immersion as a public act of obedience without any forgiveness of sins attached.

R. C. Sproul teaches verse by verse and he comes up with infant baptism with the remission of sins attached.

Same verse by verse preaching, two very different teachings. What I conclude from that is that methodology is not the issue.

25   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
April 6th, 2008 at 8:48 pm

Actually I prefer expository teaching and teach that way myself… as in my series on Romans at my blog. Yet, sometimes I don’t have the luxury and must get to the point and use the shotgun approach.

I am not saying one way is right or wrong… that would be what JM states… and Kieth… who bows at the GTY alter…

(that last statement was just a little jab… not meant in any malicious intent!…. no really…!)

iggy

26   Tim Reed, Owosso MI    http://churchvoices.com
April 6th, 2008 at 8:48 pm

Seriously. Rick it sounds like you’re saying “Biblical truth is standard…” but we can’t really ever know what it is. Quite a quandry.

I’m starting to think that Keith is just a bot that quotes randomly from Team Pyro.

27   Keith    http://fivepts.blogspot.com
April 6th, 2008 at 8:59 pm

Tim: Don’t start thinkin’. It’ll just get you in trouble. (Actually, TeamPyro just doubled my pay. SWEET!)

Rick: “…I’m saying that is possible to pull verses to support a topic without compromising their context.” I could agree with that statement. Sproul just gets it wrong…but I still like the guy.

Iggy: Man, you stuck that knife in pretty far on that one! OUCH!

28   Keith    http://fivepts.blogspot.com
April 6th, 2008 at 9:01 pm

Rick: One of them is right, and one is wrong OR they are both wrong. They both can’t be right.

29   Evan Hurst    http://breaktheterror.wordpress.com
April 6th, 2008 at 9:02 pm

One of them is right, and one is wrong OR they are both wrong. They both can’t be right.

what?

30   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
April 6th, 2008 at 9:04 pm

MacArthur is right.

Case closed.

Page 4 of chapter 3 – Frueh’s Systematic Theology (Red Letter Edition)

I’ll send you one, Keith.

31   Keith    http://fivepts.blogspot.com
April 6th, 2008 at 9:06 pm

[clapping hands] Oh goody! I can’t wait! Can you get me an autographed copy to sit on my JM altar?!!!

32   Keith    http://fivepts.blogspot.com
April 6th, 2008 at 9:06 pm

Evan: Apply statement to MacArthur to Sproul.

33   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
April 6th, 2008 at 9:09 pm

Hey Keith, I noticed a link to Glenn Beck. Besides my well known view of politics, may I have your permission to start a rumor that you are a Moron..I mean Mormon?

34   Tim Reed, Owosso MI    http://churchvoices.com
April 6th, 2008 at 9:12 pm

Hey Keith, I noticed a link to Glenn Beck. Besides my well known view of politics, may I have your permission to start a rumor that you are a Moron..I mean Mormon?

Now Rick, you know only ODMs assume that a footnote means you agree 100% with the original source.

35   Keith    http://fivepts.blogspot.com
April 6th, 2008 at 9:12 pm

I have a link to Larry Elder and Ann Coulter too…if you want to start a rumor that I’m an angry, republican black woman.

36   Keith    http://fivepts.blogspot.com
April 6th, 2008 at 9:14 pm

Tim: Are you labeling me an “ODM” now? You once stated here on this blog that you didn’t consider me an ODM…or was that Chris L–what does he know, right?!

37   Tim Reed, Owosso MI    http://churchvoices.com
April 6th, 2008 at 9:16 pm

Keith,
Either I misjudged you, or you changed your behavior.

38   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
April 6th, 2008 at 9:16 pm

Rick,

I need one to sit on my generous orthodox alter!

K?

igs

39   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
April 6th, 2008 at 9:16 pm

I would rather listen to a sermon by MacLaren than listen to three sentences from that insufferable windbag Ann Coulter who exhibits no Christlike attributes and makes Mrs. Schlueter seem like Mother Theresa.

She needs to spend more time in the kitchen!

40   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
April 6th, 2008 at 9:18 pm

“or was that Chris L–what does he know, right?!”

Very little…

41   Keith    http://fivepts.blogspot.com
April 6th, 2008 at 9:20 pm

Rick:OK, how do you REALLY feel about Ann Coulter.

Iggy: Order two of them; use ‘em for bookends.

Tim: Come on, Tim. Don’t be like that. I was just funnin’ with ya!

42   Dave Muller    http://blog.thewebsiteguy.com.au
April 6th, 2008 at 9:20 pm

likewise, if you spend hours obsessing over the various contrapuntal methods employed by Beethoven in his sonatas, you’re liable to miss just how exhilaratingly beautiful they are.

*gasp* did someone just say something technical aobut music?? I’m nearly moved to tears to even hear a word from AMEB (or whatever music theory standard you have in your country)!

If you stop and analyse pop you miss the beauty of hearing G-A-D 64 times with a perfect cadence at the end.

43   Keith    http://fivepts.blogspot.com
April 6th, 2008 at 9:21 pm

Tim: “Judge not lest ye be judged…” (Note use of proper use of KJV English) 8^)>

44   Keith    http://fivepts.blogspot.com
April 6th, 2008 at 9:23 pm

Rick: Mother Teresa is dead. What are you implying about Ann Coulter?!

45   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
April 6th, 2008 at 9:25 pm

I have named my systematic theology the

“Key to the Scriptures”

46   Dave Muller    http://blog.thewebsiteguy.com.au
April 6th, 2008 at 9:25 pm

We all know that narrative is all wrong and heretical… and that Jesus Himself only taught line by line and verse by verse… Also Jesus was mean and hated sinners and was angry with everyone…. the last thing He would do is say something like, “The Kingdom of God is like…” or “What should I compare the Kingdom to?”

If only Jesus had read the “Truth War” He would be reassured that He is in control…

Did you forget to sign in as ITodyaso?

47   Keith    http://fivepts.blogspot.com
April 6th, 2008 at 9:29 pm

Rick:You’re a pistol…
Good night all. It’s been blast.

(I really like this place. These guys are a lot of fun.)

48   Evan Hurst    http://breaktheterror.wordpress.com
April 6th, 2008 at 9:30 pm

would rather listen to a sermon by MacLaren than listen to three sentences from that insufferable windbag Ann Coulter who exhibits no Christlike attributes and makes Mrs. Schlueter seem like Mother Theresa.

that’s because Ann Coulter only “believes” what she “believes” to make money.

Firsthand accounts suggest that she’s more likely to be “doing cocaine” and that the place where she claims to go to “church” has, in fact, stated on the record that she’s “never been there.”

Also, she’s had two drivers’ licenses with two different birth dates. So that’s fun.

My favorite Ann Coulter moments are when she shows up last night’s slinky black cocktail dress to do an interview on the Today Show. It’s like “Oh, the poor dear came straight from the club…”

49   Evan Hurst    http://breaktheterror.wordpress.com
April 6th, 2008 at 9:32 pm

*gasp* did someone just say something technical aobut music?? I’m nearly moved to tears to even hear a word from AMEB (or whatever music theory standard you have in your country)!

haha, well. piano performance major.

not all pop is that bad though…but i guess it depends on what you define as “pop.”

i had a high level theory class where we analysed Led Zeppelin, Tori Amos, Neil Young…etc.

50   Dave Muller    http://blog.thewebsiteguy.com.au
April 6th, 2008 at 9:45 pm

i had a high level theory class where we analysed Led Zeppelin, Tori Amos, Neil Young…etc.

That’s different. I’m more talking typical mindless soft-pop/rock or silly hard core bands that play 20 gazillian tritones in their song without knowing what mode they are in. Arrrg rant mode started!!

I suppose in the end I consider nearly anything that’s purely homophonic to be crass. It’s my goal in music to blend counterpoint with rock. I’m not quite successful in implementation yet, but I love my pedal tones :) I should send you some of my scores.

51   Evan Hurst    http://breaktheterror.wordpress.com
April 6th, 2008 at 10:22 pm

well, i’m a singer/songwriter/pianist now, in the early stages of career development, but i know what you mean about bringing counterpoint into songwriting – i’m one of those players where my left hand is doing A LOT, and the music is just as important a voice as the voice itself.

52   Dave Muller    http://blog.thewebsiteguy.com.au
April 6th, 2008 at 10:52 pm

You don’t happen to be a countertenor do you? I need one for a few songs I have written.

53   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
April 7th, 2008 at 12:46 am

Dave,

Did you forget to sign in as ITodyaso?

Nope if I had I would have stated it more like this…

Those of us like Keith and myself, as we bow to our Grace To You Alter and kiss our copies of the Truth War, know of only One and True honorable and righteous Way of the Master Discernmentalist Way to read our most holy book of OUR Holy Doctrines.

Too bad you all here can not understand that you are not regenerate so that you can repent and read under the Inspiration of our Holy and Inspired John MacArthur.

Don’t believe because it’s true, Believe because,

I, Todyaso

iggy = )

54   Keith    http://fivepts.blogspot.com
April 7th, 2008 at 7:09 am

Iggy: I don’t believe I could have said it better myself. I’m honored by your kind and thought provoking words.
8^)>

55   Evan Hurst    http://breaktheterror.wordpress.com
April 7th, 2008 at 7:34 am

You don’t happen to be a countertenor do you? I need one for a few songs I have written.

i can sing countertenor…

i have a really weird big range, but that’s because i sing in head-voice a lot (as opposed to falsetto, which is different…i do that, too, but like most “tenors” my falsetto range isn’t as high as, say, a baritone’s)

56   Dave Muller    http://blog.thewebsiteguy.com.au
April 7th, 2008 at 7:44 am

Do you have a contact page on your blog?

57   Evan Hurst    http://breaktheterror.wordpress.com
April 7th, 2008 at 8:01 am

nope, but leave me a comment & i’ll have your e-mail.

aren’t you in like Australia?