Are You Seeing a Pattern? | John MacArthur

jmacarthur_caricaturefrom Ligonier.org

Preachers are men—that’s all. And men are not perfect, so there is no hope of perfection in the ministry.

If God could not use poor instruments and feeble voices, He couldn’t make music. Abraham was guilty of duplicity, yet he became the man of faith and the friend of God. Moses was a man of stuttering speech and a quick temper, yet he was the one chosen to lead a nation, to represent them before God, and to receive His law and deliver it to them. David was guilty of adultery, conspiracy, murder, and unfaithfulness as a husband and father, but he repented and was regarded as a man after God’s own heart. He was also the greatest songwriter of all history. We still sing the songs of this “sweet singer of Israel.” Elijah ran from Jezebel, pleading for euthanasia, but this same Elijah defied Ahab and all the prophets of Baal, and heard the still small voice of God at Horeb. In the midst of the heavenly vision, Isaiah said, “I am a man with a dirty mouth; I live among people with dirty mouths. I’m certainly useless to you, O God.” But when he had been cleansed, he said, “Here am I; send me,” and God said, “Go.” Peter was another clay pot, the leader and spokesman of the twelve apostles, but he denied his Lord with oaths and curses, and even had the audacity to correct the Lord. However, he was restored by the compassion of Jesus in the midst of his disobedience, and was enabled by the power of the Holy Spirit to speak with such force on the day of Pentecost as to be the agent by which God orchestrated the great introduction of the church. John the apostle expected to be praised by Jesus for refusing to allow a man not of their company to cast out demons in the name of the Lord. Likewise, he and his brother James wanted to call down fire from heaven and burn up a Samaritan village, and they sent their mother to ask that they might be given the chief places in the kingdom. Yet John became the beloved disciple, the apostle of love, the eagle who soared to great heights. He became, it seems, the apostle who pierced the deepest into the mystery of the incarnation.

Are you seeing a pattern?

This excerpt is taken from John MacArthur’s contribution in Feed My Sheep: A Passionate Plea for Preaching.

Mark Driscoll in Christianity Today

Christianity Today’s September issue features a story on the life and ministry of Mark Driscoll, pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Washington. Understandably so, Mark garners a lot of attention, whether he means to or not. Here are few quotes from the article by Colin Hansen. You can read the entire article here.

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Driscoll can’t stand in front of a crowd for long without stirring things up. That’s what you get from a pastor who learned how to preach by watching comedian Chris Rock. Before long, he has the audience going. “If you’re going to be a fundamentalist or moralist … pick things like bathing with your wife to be legalistic about,” Driscoll says in his distinct, gravelly voice. “Don’t pick something stupid like, ‘Don’t listen to rock music.’ I don’t know who’s choosing all the legalisms, but they picked the worst ones. Eat meat, bathe together, and nap—those would be my legalisms. Those are things I can do.”

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Indeed, according to Breshears, “he offends everybody.” “[Driscoll’s approach is,] ‘If Jesus says it, I’m gonna stick it in your face. Get used to it,'” Breshears says. “But that’s part of what people respond to. Here’s a guy who stands up, opens his Bible, and says, ‘Dude, this is it.’ When he says, ‘Dude,’ he turns off a whole lot of folks. And when he says, ‘this is it,’ he turns off a lot of folks.”

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Even among those who share his views on gender roles and his concern about the emerging church, Driscoll is scarcely less controversial. John Piper says no other speaker at his Desiring God conference has caused such a stir. Some Calvinists do not fully trust Driscoll because it took time for his Reformed theology to solidify. Preaching through Exodus early in his career, Driscoll was struck by God’s sovereignty over Pharaoh. He saw how God acted to deliver his people. The Book of Romans eliminated any remaining doubt about Reformed theology, which he summarizes this way: “People suck, and God saves us from ourselves.”

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Venerable Reformed expositor John MacArthur has complimented Driscoll’s soteriology. He is thankful that Driscoll stresses substitutionary atonement and justification by faith alone. But that doesn’t make up for his “infatuation with the vulgar aspects of contemporary society,” MacArthur wrote last December in Pulpit magazine. “[T]he lifestyle he models—especially his easygoing familiarity with all this world’s filthy fads—practically guarantees that [his disciples] will make little progress toward authentic sanctification.”

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“Fundamentalism is really losing the war, and I think it is in part responsible for the rise of what we know as the more liberal end of the emerging church,” Driscoll says. “Because a lot of what is fueling the left end of the emerging church is fatigue with hardcore fundamentalism that throws rocks at culture. But culture is the house that people live in, and it just seems really mean to keep throwing rocks at somebody’s house.” (Driscoll)

A Story of Grace

I have been blessed greatly by the faithful ministry of C.J. Mahaney, and for their 25th anniversary Covenant Life Church produced this tremendous video testimony of the life and ministry of C.J. and Carolyn Mahaney. You will be blessed by this two part presentation. Josh Harris narrates.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b3eM3h0Vhj4]

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bzuHS3M7sU]

Will the Real T.D. Jakes Stand Up?; An Open Letter to Albert Mohler

Source: Apprising Ministries

From Pastor Ken Silva at Apprising Ministries comes two posts dealing with the T.D. Jakes/Ed Young, Jr. issue.

First comes the post T.D. Jakes is a Spritual Coward. Its yet another appeal for Jakes to step forward and admit he is an adherent of the herectical Oneness doctrine. Not surprisingly, Jakes steps around the issue and can’t bring himself to clarify his beliefs.

 Secondly, Pastor Silva shares a letter addressed to Dr. Albert Mohler, requesting that he address the Jakes/Young issue. Read Al Mohler:Unanswered Letter Regarding Ed Young Sharing His Pulpit with Oneness Pentecostal Dr. T.D. Jakes.

 NOTE: Pastor Silva will be my guest on The Mike Corley Program, Tuesday, January 30 at 12 noon central.  

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones on Modern Evangelism

The following is an excerpt of an interview with the late Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, conducted by the late Dr. Carl F.H. Henry. The interview appeared in Christianity Today in 1980.

Q: What specific reservations do you have about modern evangelism as such?

A: I am unhappy about organized campaigns and even more about the invitation system of calling people forward. Mark you, I consider Billy Graham an utterly honest, sincere and genuine man. He, in fact, asked me in 1963 to be chairman of the first Congress on Evangelism, then projected for Rome, not Berlin. I said I’d make a bargain; if he would stop the general sponsorship of campaigns-stop having liberals and Roman Catholics on the platform and drop the invitation system (altar calls), I would whole-heartedly support him and chair the congress. We talked for hours, but he didn’t accept these conditions.

I just can’t subscribe to the idea that either congresses or campaigns really deal with the situation. The facts, I feel, substantiate my point of view; in spite of all that has been done in the last 20 or 25 years, the spiritual situation has deteriorated rather than improved. I am convinced that nothing can avail but churches and ministers on their knees in total dependence on God. And long as you go on organizing, people will fall on their knees and implore God to come and heal them. It seems to me that the campaign approach trusts ultimately in techniques rather in the power of the Spirit. Graham certainly preaches the Gospel. I would never criticize him on that score. What I have criticized, for example, is that in the Glasgow campaign he had John Sutherland Bonnell address the ministers needs. I challenged that. Graham replied, ‘You know, I have more fellowship with John Sutherland Bonnell than with many evangelical ministers.’ I replied, ‘Now it may be that Bonnell is a nicer chap than Lloyd-Jones—I will not argue that. But real fellowship is something else; I can genuinely fellowship only with someone who holds the same basic truths that I do.’