Monday, March 16, 2009

"Primary" and "Secondary," Biblical Separation, and Application of Scripture: Johnson, MacArthur, Driscoll, and Murray pt. 2

Quintessential Christian biographer, Iain Murray, wrote a sketch of John MacArthur that was included in the book, Truth Endures, a 2009 commemoration of MacArthur's forty years of ministry at Grace Community, published by Grace to You. Phil Johnson, executive director of Grace to You, preached at the 2009 Shepherd's Conference against smutty pulpit language, exposing this ungodly practice with Titus 1 and 2. From these two sources, we get some surprising and contradictory information regarding the essential and non-essential teaching propagated by Johnson and MacArthur, their standard teaching on the doctrine of separation, and the evangelical position on the application of Scripture.

Let me explain. MacArthur and Johnson believe that the doctrine and practice revealed in Scripture should be ranked into categories of essentials and non-essentials, sometimes also referred to as primary and secondary or tertiary doctrines. You'll also hear the "essentials" called "fundamental" or "core" doctrines. In Johnson's message at the conference, he said that the gospel was the essential for Christian fellowship, so that the gospel is also the basis for separation from other professing brethren. MacArthur and Johnson would also say that we don't make standards of practice except from statements in scripture, that is, we can't require any kind of behavior that you can't read right from the text.

In the first part of this series of posts, I showed how in his sermon from Paul's epistle to Titus that Johnson violated his own teachings in these above areas. How?
1. He moved the speech of a believer into the category of an essential (not just the gospel).
2. He made the speech of a believer a separating issue (not just the gospel).
3. He said that Scripture forbid a believer from using certain words in his speech, when the identity of those words is found nowhere in the Bible.

More about the Sermon by Johnson

In his sermon from Titus, Phil Johnson wove the conduct of a believer into the gospel itself. He made speech an essential by tying it into the gospel, what he had said was the essential. Phil is right that behavior comes out of the gospel. The book of James says the same thing. We might say we have faith, that is, we've believed the gospel, but if we don't have works, then it isn't genuine faith. When the children of Israel received the Lord in Deuteronomy 30 (the text that Paul quotes in Romans 10:6-9), they agreed to do everything that God had told them He wanted them to do. Their faith was tied into obedience to all that God had taught them.

What's new about this, as far as what I've read and heard from these conservative evangelicals, is their willingness to separate over a practical and really a cultural issue. There is a cultural application to bad speech. Greek foul language is different than English foul language, which is different than French foul language. We must discern what the corrupt terms are in the culture to make the application of Titus 2. And this is raised to the level of an essential for the first time I've ever heard from an evangelical.

It isn't that I don't agree with Johnson on this. I do. My problem is that he is applying it so selectively to the behavior that in particular offends him. Other conduct that is unscriptural and worldly, they allow to go, even though it is just as Cretan as the bad language. The pictures on this post are from the MacArthur's Master's College website. One promotes the trap set and the other boys having their hands on the girls, despite the scriptural instruction that it is not good for a man to touch a woman. They use this to attract young people to their school. Is this pragmatism?

A couple of times at Johnson's blog, he has posted pictures of women with their thighs showing---one of a woman diver and the other a video of a female sprinter in tiny speedo, panty-like shorts. When criticized, he becomes defensive and even derisive. From all his evangelical friends come the most hateful words you will see in his comment section. They see this kind of picture as a liberty and one about which they do not want judgment at all. On one occasion, he wrote: "For all the fundamentalist lurkers whose minds are in the gutter, the girl in the picture is wearing shorts, not a miniskirt or hotpants." He labels his critics as having an "artificial sanctimony." Mark Driscoll could probably use the same defense that Johnson makes against Johnson's sermon, which targets Driscoll.

In the Biographical Sketch by Murray

How does this tie in with the Iain Murray biography of MacArthur? Murray, vaunting MacArthur, wrote concerning him (p. 48): "The truth is that his parents and mentors had recognized how time that (sic) is wasted and unity lost when brethren major on minor subjects---and expect all to agree with them." Later he gave this further description on this point (p. 56): "[MacArthur] has made it clear that it is the ideas fellow-believers have supported, not their persons, which he is opposing; and where separation over essential truth is necessary, he insists that it has to be without 'abusive, spiteful, or venomous, (sic) behavior toward others.'" So we hear repeatedly "majors" and "minors" and then "essential truth."

I showed in the first post how that music and worship has not been one of those essential truths for Johnson and MacArthur. Now they are saying right speech is essential, which is directed towards men, but they don't see worship to be worthy of that designation, despite it's being directed toward God. God, of course, is more scrupulous than we are. That should matter, but it hasn't to Johnson and MacArthur. They make worship something about which we can agree to disagree. To them, language an essential, worship not an essential.

Murray spent two whole pages in a sixty page biographical sketch criticizing MacArthur over this. He wrote (p. 57):

I want to add a measure of regret that MacArthur does not seem to have given fuller attention to an issue connected with all these controversies. The contemporary decline in public worship bears a relationship to antinomianism, with the charismatic movement, and with the practice of the Church of Rome. . . . A lost consciousness of the majesty of God has turned worship into providing what people desire.

Murray talked about MacArthur's position that music is "only a matter of taste" (p. 57) and has a "subordinate place" to the gospel if it has a good intention (p. 58):

How does this argument differ from the pragmatism which says we may give people what they desire, provided our intention is goo and not actually forbidden in Scripture? Protestant history does not favor that argument. I twas readiness to supply what people liked that brought on the corruption that necessitated the Reformation. In the words of John Owen, 'Dislike of the purity and simplicity of the gospel worship is that which was the rise of, and gave increase or progress unto the whole Romans apostasy.'"

So Murray spends considerable space going after MacArthur for his negligence in this area. Murray says that MacArthur is pragmatic with his music. And he isn't talking about the words, but about the music itself.(1) He is saying what anyone knows about music. Music itself has a message that it communicates in notes and sounds and composition and chords and dynamics a meaning that can fit with the nature of God or is incompatible with God and His attributes. Of course, worship is directed to God. Since God is greater than man, the communication to God must be subjected to even greater scrutiny than the speech to men.

Great harm is done to the respect of God's Word when pastors use smutty language while preaching. I believe greater damage is done to people's understanding of Who God is when worldly, fleshly music is offered up to Him as worship. Why don't MacArthur and Johnson care about that? Why doesn't it bother them what God is hearing? Why does MacArthur not only allow it go on but participate in the production of it? Most of the church growth books talk about the worldly music being a key ingredient to get and keep people in the church. Just like the right speech, the right music must adorn the gospel of God. It is true that in the speech issue, we must discern what is foul language, but it is also true that in the worship issue that we must discern what is profane music. Both types of discernment can and should be done.

(1)Part of the music curriculum at MacArthur's Master's College is the jazz program. Here is the Master's College jazz concert. Is this sensual? Does it make provision for the flesh?

32 comments:

Charles E. Whisnant said...

Wild, can't believe you believe that the jazz program is wrong. But then again I guess you do. Sad.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Charles,

I can understand people liking jazz. I understand feelings that they have, but we as Christians are required to have more discernment than that, and we are to judge the substance.

Consider the history of jazz, it's philosophy, the emphasis on human passion, relativism, and subjectivity, and you'll find at its root similar themes as the postmodernism that is reflected in Mark Driscoll's smut language.

Paul commanded in Philippians 4:8, "Think on these things...." The reality of jazz doesn't conform to the things Paul mentions. There is a lot more that could be said.

True Fundy said...

I would also add the inconsistency of playing fleshly music and the other carnal practices of the MacArthur/Johnson axis and their statement of faith. I nearly fell off my chair when I read that they believed in Biblical Separation!! I thought they just believe in separating from the Separationists! What a pity they do not practice it according to their doctrinal statement:


Separation

We teach that separation from sin is clearly called for throughout the Old and New Testaments, and that the Scriptures clearly indicate that in the last days apostasy and worldliness shall increase (2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1; 2 Timothy 3:1-5).

We teach that out of deep gratitude for the undeserved grace of God granted to us and because our glorious God is so worthy of our total consecration, all the saved should live in such a manner as to demonstrate our adoring love to God and so as not to bring reproach upon our Lord and Savior. We also teach that separation from any association with religious apostasy, and worldly and sinful practices is commanded of us by God (Romans 12:1-2; 1 Corinthians 5:9-13; 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1; 1 John 2:15-17; 2 John 9-11).

We teach that believers should be separated unto our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Thessalonians 1:11-12; Hebrews 12:1-2) and affirm that the Christian life is a life of obedient righteousness demonstrated by a beatitude attitude (Matthew 5:2-12) and a continual pursuit of holiness (Romans 12:1-2; 2 Corinthians 7:1; Hebrews 12:14; Titus 2:11-14; 1 John 3:1-10).

http://www.masters.edu/DeptPageNew.asp?PageID=61

Reforming Baptist said...

When they say "vital or essential" doctrine, they are not saying vital to believe or essential to believe, but rather vital and essential to the gospel. Women wearing pants doesn't effect the doctrine of salvation. So whatever your standard is about that is not on the same level. If something is true, then it's essential to believe. But I think some of your standards and alot of other IFBers believe things that are false while at the same time they will assert that they are true.

The difference between me and you, is that I'll still fellowship with you if i disagree with you on something that is not "essential" to the gospel. Whereas you won't.

I mean, as I understand your position, you'll separate over something as silly as not believing Jesus was crucified on Wednesday. (Or whatever day you think He was crucified.)

BTW, I find it funny that you linked to my youtube video in your last post on the Shepherd's conference as an example of worldly music. I'm still trying to figure out how it's worldly...because of drums?

Charles E. Whisnant said...

I agree if you look at the history of many forms of music you might have problems of using them.

"Think on these things...." I have spend 40 years doing just that. Thinking. Reading. Studying. Praying, etc. Discernment is really the key as you said. Discernment of the philosophy, as well as to those who sing and preach.

Those who have justification, should lead to sanctification. And I guess I believe if you teach the theology of God, that will lead people to godliness of living.

If the teaching of men like MacArthur doesn't lead one to godliness, I am not sure what will.

But I do like this form whereby these issues can be address in the manner they are.

Kent Brandenburg said...

True Fundy,

Thanks for that statement on separation. I never looked for it. I wonder how it is that they put it into practice. I did look at some of the standards that they have there. They do have standards. By the way, how can they have standards if the Bible doesn't expressly say them? I noticed that the way the standards were stated that the language didn't require them, but they were asking for them. For instance, on female modesty, a woman cannot wear a skirt that is shorter than one hand width above the knee. I guess when she sits, that would pull up to where? It doesn't fit what Scripture says about nakedness.

Reforming Baptist,

I didn't know I linked to your shepherd's video when I went to youtube. I googled to get that at youtube. I knew I would find examples of bad music. It doesn't change what I think of the music.

Let me take what you write in order. By the way, tell me if you ever feel disrespected by me, because I wouldn't attempt to do that.

I fully understand what they mean by "essential." Your interpretation of them is not correct. They are saying that it is essential in that it is something worth separating over. They fellowship around the essentials. They don't get that from scripture. Does that bother you? They say unscriptural things bother them. Nowhere teaches that we separate only over the "essentials." Through their tradition, they make the Word of God of no effect.

Phil has moved pulpit speech into the realm of the gospel, which is what they will separate over. This is a new.

You wrote: "But I think some of your standards and alot of other IFBers believe things that are false while at the same time they will assert that they are true."

I'm always willing to have you help me understand what my false beliefs and practices are. This would be important. That I know of, you've never told me what one of those was, that is, my false beliefs and practices.

You wrote: "The difference between me and you, is that I'll still fellowship with you if i disagree with you on something that is not "essential" to the gospel. Whereas you won't."

Part of what is difficult to understand in the MacArthur/Johnson, conservative evangelical, framework is what exactly is essential to the gospel. They have now made sound speech essential to the gospel. Can't we say that anything biblical doctrine and practice adorns the gospel of God? If we refuse to practice it, our conduct or speech are affecting the gospel? Is false worship worth separating over? Is nakedness worth separating over? If they permit mixed nakedness, is that worth separating over? Who is separation about? Isn't it about God?

You said: "I mean, as I understand your position, you'll separate over something as silly as not believing Jesus was crucified on Wednesday. (Or whatever day you think He was crucified.)"

You don't understand my position. I might put a separation section on the sidebar with a ranking doctrines section. I've done very careful work about what I believe. I wrote on separation in these issues of ranking doctrine over at Jackhammer---my last post for that month. I am very explicit there about what I believe on this.

You said, "BTW, I find it funny that you linked to my youtube video in your last post on the Shepherd's conference as an example of worldly music. I'm still trying to figure out how it's worldly...because of drums?"

How was it funny? Did you think that the Resolved video linkage and the Master's Jazz program was funny too? I'm trying to understand what you think is funny. Relegating discernment to, "does it have drums?" I think you know is a bit of an insult. Have I insulted you? Let me know, because I try not to do that. Some people may think I'm insulting them though. Regarding, what is worldly about it? The music---its style and rhythm---is all about popular culture, with its syncopation, vocal tonality, sliding and scooping. It aims right at human passion---not affection, but the fleshly lust of men, which is just the opposite of what worship is supposed to be. The rhythm of it is a modern dance rhythm. It is a performance for the the gratification of human desire. The godless Beatles were generally more tame than that song.

ReformedFundy said...

The great musicians like Beethoven and Mozart were the Jazz, R&B, and Rock'n Roll stars of their day. It wasn't uncommon for men of their stature to have numerous groupies come to their door, same as today. Their music was considered sensuous, same as today. It was all about pop culture, style, rhythm, modern dance, human desire. Some of our renowned hymns are set to that kind of music. Some of our hymns that we sing today were considered in their time to have the wrong kind of music, or to be lyrically shallow and not fit for churches. Many non-Catholic Christians of eras gone by wouldn't set foot in a church that uses the organ, or that plays the Hallelujah Chorus at Christmas time.

And just to point out, simply touching a woman isn't sin, nor is it forbidden by Scripture. Touching a woman with intent to light a fire within her is however. I have female friends who I can give a hug to without it being sexual in anyway. The passage that you are referring to is talking about sexual immorality, not just touching.

Reforming Baptist said...

KB: "They are saying that it is essential in that it is something worth separating over. They fellowship around the essentials. They don't get that from scripture. Does that bother you? They say unscriptural things bother them. Nowhere teaches that we separate only over the "essentials."

RB: It doesn't bother me, because the Bible tells us to separate over false doctrine and unrepentant sin. Phil's separation from Driscoll lands in the sin category. The Bible says let no corrupt communication come out of our mouths. Driscoll has been confronted about it and he doesn't respond.

KB:How was it funny? Did you think that the Resolved video linkage and the Master's Jazz program was funny too? I'm trying to understand what you think is funny....The music---its style and rhythm---is all about popular culture, with its syncopation, vocal tonality, sliding and scooping. It aims right at human passion---not affection, but the fleshly lust of men, which is just the opposite of what worship is supposed to be. The rhythm of it is a modern dance rhythm. It is a performance for the the gratification of human desire.

RB: I was so moved by the words of that song and the quality of the performance that it lifted my spirit to worship. So when I see you use it as an example of worldly music with all those criteria for what defines worldly music, it just makes me laugh because it's so hard to believe. That whole description you wrote sounds more like human psychology than Biblical argument.

The way they do the Resolved format disturbs me. I wrote some stuff about it on SI and got nailed left and right about it. You can see the thread here: http://sharperiron.org/showthread.php?t=7868

The jazz thing doesn't bother me. It's a music program and they are learning a legitimate genre of music. When I hear music by Peter White or Marc Antoine I am not tempted to think or do immoral things.

Titus 1:15 Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.

Reforming Baptist said...

To add something else concerning the picture of the guys and gals touching. The context of that verse is about touching is speaking of illicit sexual contact, something that photo is not depicting, and not something TMC would condone in the least.

I would dare any IFB college to show me their expulsion rate for sexual violations in comparison with TMC. The kids in IFB colleges are so sexually charged when they are told over and over not to do sexual stuff...it becomes something they can't stop thinking about.

Romans 7:7 Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.

The kids at TMC are taught to see the opposite sex as their brothers and sisters in Christ. If they have a biblical understanding of their relationship with the opposite sex, they can think purely about them and not have to try real hard to not think impurely.

Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus said...

Reformed Baptist - Christianity will only again approach what it ought to be in God's eyes when Christians stop the self-justification, and start following the whole counsel of God. Pleasing God involves more than just believing and teaching the Gospel of salvation. Pleasing God involves living by His Word, standards of behaviour and all.

Pastor Brandenburger - Great article. There are a lot of wolves in sheep's clothing out there, and you are helping to shave off the wool and expose them. Keep up the good work.

reglerjoe said...

Wow. Murray actually criticized MacArthur in a book intended to honor him? From the GTY website it seems that Truth Endures was a surprise present for MacArthur's 40th anniversary. Am I not reading something right?

I haven't listened to Phil's sermon yet. He always seems to get assigned the most controversial topics for the Shepherd's Conference.

Kent, what do you think of Psalter-only worship?

Reforming Baptist said...

Titus,
Even with all their faults, I've found that MacArthur and his buddies preach the whole counsel of God much more than any IFB ministry I've ever been exposed to. They have their faults, and Kent is great at pointing them out..sometimes exagerating them, but fundamentalism has become so wacked out over the years its like the the pot calling the tea kettle black.

I know what Kent's going to say...this is not a fundamental or evangelical thing, it's a Bible thing. Yes, I agree. Resolved violates several obvious biblical principles. At least they're obvious to us who have had a mind set of separation all of our lives. To them, they just don't get it.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Titus,

Thanks.

Reglerjoe,

Total psalmody was a debate hundreds of years ago, but I am not persuaded by the arguments that I've read. I think it is easy to argue scripturally. The songs of Revelation are not in the psalms.

Reforming Baptist,

The Mozart and Beethoven equivalent to CCM argument doesn't work at all for several reasons. Before I get to that, one question and a follow-up, what books have you read on culture? What do you know about it historically?

First, we judge music be objective standards from scripture. Certain qualities do not fit the nature of God, so He wouldn't accept them as worship. The music must fit within certain perimeters.

Second, we can explain the shift away from those qualities in music in history and culture. We also know why it happened because of post-enlightenment rationalism and romanticism. Things were entirely different in the pre-enlightenment culture.

Third, there are major quality and then cultural differences between the music of the baroque and classical period, out of which came historic hymnody and psalmody, from the modern period that we are talking about, where the music was influenced by paganism and its characteristics. This major change is seen in the kind of syncopation, dominance of rhythm, sliding, scooping, and use of chords. When I say dance, I'm talking about something that sexual--that is dance music today---not waltzes.

These are all things that men have known and the people that invented the music know. They knew what they were doing. The music is popular all over the world, even in Asian cultures now, because of the degrading and yet addictive quality to it.

As far as the touching goes, study all the usages of the Greek word in the NT. The plain meaning of the word is not sexual. I recognize that men have interpreted it as intercourse as well as a kind of touch that encites sexual fire. It doesn't say it is wrong for men and women to touch, just that it isn't good for them to touch. They're going to touch innocently for sure, but when they have their arms around each other like that, it is not good. I believe it is a laxity that would you never see forty years ago in Christian circles---only in the world. That standard has gone down.

Reformed Baptist,

I'm not comparing anything to IFB schools, especially ones like HAC, etc. I believe there are other reasons there that relate more to their understanding of the gospel and of sanctification. Where I went, problems occurred, but very little relatively.

On the music, I believe that the language argument of Phil in his message and the music argument are the same. Both are second premise arguments. Likely a majority of biblical applications are second or minor premise. You have a principle or a command and then you have a practice that is true in the real world. For instance, flee youthful lusts. You've got to figure out what that is in the real world. Make no provision for the flesh. You've got to understand what that is in the real world. We should look at how Christians practiced in the past---we shouldn't give those up so easily.

As far as the music being a blessing to you and that being the determining factor, I would say that I've had the same experience, where I thought something was a blessing and later found out through growth in knowledge, that it wasn't. Many charismatics are regularly having blessings that are actually unscriptural.

I believe your not understanding Titus 1:15 correctly. Purity on the inside results in purity on the outside, just like corruption on the inside results in corruption on the outside. Someone could do everything right, at least in his own mind, on the outside and still everything is corrupt if he is corrupt on the outside.

Obviously in light of the next verse, 16, he isn't saying that bad activities are justified by some internal condition.

Regarding Romans 7, somehow saying that by having a stricter standard that you encourage the sin, I don't believe that. That's also not the meaning of the verse. You seem to be arguing that if you give everyone a little bit of touching that they'll be less likely to commit fornication, as if you've given someone a little bit of flue in an inoculation, to keep him from the real flu. No, a sensitive conscience will help someone win the battle against lust. How will the conscience be more sensitive? Not with a lower standard.

Reforming Baptist said...

Kent,
Thanks for your reply, although you directed it to the other guy. Anywho,

If you want to apply "Flee youthful lusts to never touching someone even in a friendly way ie. handshake or greeting hug, then I don't despise your standard, just don't despise someone else who doesn't apply it that way. Not touching a woman has to do with illicit sexual touching that starts a fire. I'm not saying a little bit of touching is like inoculation. But it's not forbidden. Don't place your application of scripture on someone's shoulders as if it was a clear cut command in scripture. This is how I see Fundamentalists treating the music issue. No grace whatsoever. They have strict methodology derived from scripture and then demand everyone else to follow their scruples. The Pharisees did the same thing and it makes for a very mechanical Christian life.

Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus said...

Reforming Baptist - John MacArthur has denied the necessity of the blood of Christ. Whether he still does, I don't know, since his position on it seems to shift every couple of years. In doing so, MacArthur has denied, rather than affirmed, the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Titus,

Real quick. I don't think you can get Mac on the blood. He doesn't deny it or deny it is a necessity. I believe he falls short of the scriptural teaching as a metonym for death, but he does believe it is necessary.

Reforming,

I talked to the Reforming Fundy on touching because you both dealt with the identical point and he did first, so there was no slight to you there. You call it an application. It says "touch," and in every single other usage it isn't sexual. In one location, people choose to make it sexual. Why would it it say it is not good for a man to touch in a sexual way? You tell me that. That is forbidden in Scripture.

Plus, why would you say that this means men and women "can't" touch, when I said that they will touch. That's why it says it as it does.

There is nothing inherent in the word that would have someone think that it means "inciting sexual fire." I recognize that commentators say that.

On top of this, history says that it was practiced this way: Christian men and women did not touch.

The major point I was making is this: They are advertising this kind of relationship between boys and girls on campus. That isn't good.

Regarding music, we have a basis for not offering God carnality. Something may not "make you lust," but that isn't the point. I believe there is more to it than that, including profanity in the way of banality. It is a big show production that choreographs the wrong emotions---passions, not affections---that are produced by the music itself. They aren't some real reaction to the Lamb's Book of Life. They're jiving to a worldly beat---drums or no drums.

The Greeks love wisdom. The Jews love a sign. Americans love their pop music.

We don't have liberty to make provision for the flesh. We don't have liberty for fleshly lust. We don't have liberty to conform to the world.

Kent Brandenburg said...

One more thing Reforming Baptist (not Reforming Fundy),

Phil Johnson should not despise the liberty that Mark Driscoll has with Titus 2, right? It doesn't tell us what smutty speech is. It forbids us, but doesn't give the vocabulary. Driscoll sees liberty in his speech. He doesn't have a word or joke list in Titus 2. Same thing here. That's my point. Except Driscoll is talking to people and that music is supposedly going to God.

Reforming Baptist said...

Denied the blood..hello Titus, where have you been for the last 3years?? That whole thing was a misquotation of MacArthur and he straightened out what he meant back in the late 70's

Reforming Baptist said...

Cultural norms decide what is smutty speech. "Bloody" is not dirty in the USA, but in London it is a bad word.

Same with music, over the years certain sounds are no longer associated with the things that they once were.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Where does it say cultural norms decide? It sounds like you are adding to Scripture and limiting the liberties of Mark Driscoll.

reglerjoe said...

Will: "Don't place your application of scripture on someone's shoulders as if it was a clear cut command in scripture. This is how I see Fundamentalists treating the music issue. No grace whatsoever. They have strict methodology derived from scripture and then demand everyone else to follow their scruples. The Pharisees did the same thing and it makes for a very mechanical Christian life."

I think Driscoll would say the same regarding Phil Johnson. That's Kent's point. Everybody has standards. Everybody makes secondary applications of Scripture. And everybody accuses those with stricter applications of being legalistic and Pharisaical.

I like the Pyros. They're one of my favorite blogs. I remember the incident with the shorts-clad goth girl. Someone called Phil on it and a brouhaha ensued. Phil insisted that the girl was modest because her shorts came to mid-thigh.

What did I learn? Everyone has a standard. With some, anything above the knee is immodest; with others, anything above mid-thigh is immodest. But everyone draws the line somewhere - few draw the line based on Scripture.

I have a question, though (for anyone): I've never listened to much of Driscoll's preaching...does he actually use profanity in his preaching or does he just use euphemisms? I'm not trying to be salacious here...

More questions: which words cross the line? Who gets to draw the line?

Anonymous said...

Forgive me folks, I may be sticking my proverbial neck out here, but if groping on woman like them guys are and it doesn't excite something within you the you're either dead or as queer as a football bat?

I think it says a lot about the nature and culture of that college. A lot of negative actually. Just the fact that the college would support a "jazz" program in itself is disturbing. Jazz has long been a musical genre that celebrates sensuality. It appeals to the flesh. Thats worldly. It can't even be misconstrued as godly?

I came from a Church that played all of that garbage and I knew just what I felt when they played it. It was in tune with my "feelings" I could rock out and "feel like me and G-d were like so close man" [/sarcasm]. It appealed to my flesh.

When I got back into a Church that sang out of the red book and had musical standards I realized the serious error of my ways.

I know I am speaking for myself. But, I wouldn't send my daughter to a college like Masters (?) if I knew the boys were going to be groping all over them like that picture. After all that groping they have no reasonable means to release all that tension within them (the men)? Its pretty sickening. I'd just as soon send them to a liberal arts college than send them to Masters.

Forsaking the obvious fact that Johnson and Macarthur only apply separation when either its A)convenient or B)will get them hits on their blog/website.

Again this is just my immediate reaction and my 0.02.

Respectfully Submitted

Bro Steve

Gal 2.20

Kent Brandenburg said...

Regler,

Yes, you got the point I've been making. Most application is second premise. We must look at historic practice, I believe. We have the same Holy Spirit as former generations and we shouldn't be moving with the world.

Related to Driscoll, he doesn't use classic profanity but scripturally non-sacred, therefore profane, speech. I say smutty because they are loose sexual references and then disrespectfully connected with Jesus. There is general profanity in the whole Driscoll act, from the dress to the music to the style of language. Grace Community doesn't have the language, but it does have the music among other kinds of profaning, as pointed out by Murray. He calls them on the pragmatism.

Steve,

I agree with you, and I understand you calling what they were doing to be "groping," because you have a high standard, but I wouldn't call it groping.

Everyone,

I want to clear up my 1 Cor 7:1 reference one more time. The way the verse reads would say that incidental touching, etc. are not sin. However, men shouldn't be touching women. And I agree with Steve, that touching period incites lust, and regular touching that is approved by leadership, even propagated in the advertising materials is a problem. By the way, you can find this yourself among MacArthur's material, but he believes that it is permissible for the saved to "date" unsaved people. I'm not making this up.

To I have a thing against MacArthur. No, like Will I believe he does better with the Word than most IFB, but I don't like people giving up the biblical doctrine of separation. Not being IFB doesn't mean you go over to conservative evangelicalism. Stay independent and practice separation properly in honor to God. This is all about God. We want to honor Him.

Kent Brandenburg said...

One more thing about jazz. Jazz isn't some innocent music education material. They are approving of it as an art form. A Christian should know the history and the point of jazz and see that it clashes with scripture on many fronts. Approval of it is approval of the Cretan lifestyle. What does Phil say about that?

Reforming Baptist said...

ok, sorry for my ignorance, but what do you mean that most application is second premise?

Obviously there was a communication breakdown.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Will,

The Scriptural teaching is major or first premise. The true statement in the real world is the minor or second premise. From this we get a conclusion.

Here is what it would look like.

Major Premise: Scripture prohibits making provision for the flesh.

Minor Premise: Pop music makes provision for the flesh.

Conclusion: Scripture prohibits pop music.

Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus said...

Reformed Baptist - That's just it - MacArthur's position on the blood of Christ seems to be a bit, ah, fluid (if you will excuse the expression). He's on the record with statements that sound very strong on the matter, and he's on the record with statements that do, indeed, seem as if he's denying the necessity of the blood. That suggests a troubling confusion about it on his part. Combined with his Calvinism and looseness on standards, your statement,

"I've found that MacArthur and his buddies preach the whole counsel of God much more than any IFB ministry I've ever been exposed to."

Makes me chuckle just a little bit. His statement, appearing in one his "clarifications" of what "he *really* meant to say this time around",

"We are not saved by some mystical heavenly application of Jesus' literal blood."

Does make me wonder what the whole point to the imagery of Jesus as our great High Priest in heaven, as found in Hebrews, is all about.

Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus said...

Reformed Baptist - "Cultural norms decide what is smutty speech. "Bloody" is not dirty in the USA, but in London it is a bad word."

By this logic, I can walk down the streets of Tokyo, dropping F-bombs hither and yon, eh?

"Cultural norms" are based on the fallible, indeed sin-encouraging standards of man. The "cultural norms" you're pointing to as determinative of what makes for smutty speech are largely determined by the most ungodly - indeed ANTI-God, elements of our civilisation. Essentially, you're letting drug-addled homosexuals, for instance, tell you what is and isn't acceptable.

No thanks.

reglerjoe said...

JMac"We are not saved by some mystical heavenly application of Jesus' literal blood."

TQC:"Does make me wonder what the whole point to the imagery of Jesus as our great High Priest in heaven, as found in Hebrews, is all about."

FOR THE SUGGESTION BOX: Kent, perhaps you could post about the blood issue on here or at JackHammer. Did Jesus take His physical blood to the mercy seat in heaven and apply it there? Did it just soak in the ground beneath the cross?

Anonymous said...

I see the above suggestion and move to second the above suggestion.

R/S

Bro Steve

Gal. 2.20

Reforming Baptist said...

Titus,
About cultural norms...so, what makes for bad speech? Because you or your group of friends have picked what words are right and wrong?
There are words in our language that are universally known as bad. In another culture such as England or Australia the same word may not be considered bad. Where did homosexuals drug addicts come into this?

Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus said...

Yes Pastor Brandenburger, I third the suggestion!