Sunday, September 07, 2014

Attacking the "Fundamentalists": Bravo to John MacArthur and David Cloud, Bombarded by C. J. Mahaney and Fred Butler

When an evangelical wants to take a shot at someone, he will call him a "fundamentalist."  That's supposed to be an ultimate insult.  I read it coming from two men aimed at two preachers in the last three or four days for the same reason.  In one, I read C. J. Mahaney affronting John MacArthur in a post by Brent Detwiler, and in the other Fred Butler assaulting David Cloud.  These two are very, very similar, and they both illustrate how "fundamentalist" is used as an invective by evangelicals, to discourage men from standing against certain corruption.  I read what Mahaney and Butler did, to be identical to each other.  They are dealing with similar situations and using "fundamentalist" as a means to discourage it.

The first example relates a situation with John MacArthur confronting Mark Driscoll and being opposed then by Mahaney.  This is reported by Brent Detwiler, who was there.  Here's how Detwiler tells it:

Fundamentalist tendencies cannot ultimately be restrained [This was a slander.  Mahaney was saying MacArthur would not back off or change his view of Driscoll because of “fundamentalist tendencies.”]

Driscoll has a large movement – trying to protect from Driscoll’s worldliness [MacArthur is trying to protect those following Driscoll from his “worldliness” which Mahaney discounts as a fundamentalist concern focused on externals.]

Stumbles over shirt he is wearing [MacArthur stumbles over the shirts Driscoll wears.] 

There is finally a small chance Mark Driscoll will be held accountable for his reign of terror.  He should have been disciplined and removed from ministry years ago for multiple traits and actions that violated the clear qualifications of Scripture in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9.  Instead he was held up as an example by “all the high-profile Calvinist leaders involved with The Gospel Coalition and Together for the Gospel” except for John MacArthur who was dismissed by Mahaney as a fundamentalist.

Here you can see that Mahaney calls MacArthur a fundamentalist because of what MacArthur says about Driscoll's worldliness, concern focused on externals, and his shirts.  Fred Butler writes about David Cloud:

Bro. Cloud is one of those screeching fundamentalists who likes to pound his pulpit against the encroachment of modernity in churches. Such modern things like contemporary music in worship or the use of the ESV by parishioners.  So, if he is not railing against the worldliness of CCM artists from 25 years ago, he’s blasting away at modern Bible versions.

I'm focusing on Butler's calling Cloud a "screeching fundamentalist" for opposing the contemporary music, which the men, including MacArthur, at the Strange Fire Conference, by the way, said is the primary entrance into the Charismatic movement.  Both MacArthur and Cloud are dealing with worldliness, that they see as a problem in Christianity.

Is there irony here?  Very much so.  Fred Butler works for John MacArthur.  For a Driscoll or a Mahaney, this kind of thing has to be confusing or loony.  If you're not going to be consistent and if you are not going to come at this from a foundational or philosophical basis, then it all comes across as entirely subjective.  If you are open to talk about Driscoll's shirts, then someone else should be able to talk about music.  The music is directly worship and the shirt is related, but not directly like music is.

The critics want their own way.  They want their music.  They want their dress.   They want their worldliness.  And they use name-calling as an argument.  Notice it.  It really is typical of these evangelicals.

No comments: