Monday, March 26, 2012

Celebrity Pastors And The Gospel Of Grace

It may seem fitting that the mighty TBN ministry is in crisis right now, given the false prosperity gospel upon which Jan and Paul Crouch, undeniable the most celebrated ministers in the country, have built their empire. Given the current discussion of celebrity in the reformed church, it is timely, if nothing else to ask if this drift towards self-destruction is the direction that all celebrity pastors end up taking. All of the discussion seems centered on the celebrity of the Mark Driscoll, James MacDonald types, but is not limited to just them. They beg the discussion because of their current book tours, and their high profile at the last Elephant Room conference where they seemed to blur the lines between solid gospel understanding and heretical preaching by their inclusion of word/faith pastor TD Jakes in their very public conference, even though the conference was designed to bring different views to the table.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Still Mired In Clay?

So the conversation has begun. Just how much tolerance are we to have concerning questionable associations between pastors when one pastor has been thought to be in doctrinal error? Judgments abound about the controversies between the mega pastors, to the point where even just being a mega pastor has been frowned upon.

DA Carson, in his book, The Intolerance of Tolerance, points out that the very meaning of tolerance has changed over the years. It used to be that you could disagree with someone, even strongly, but not be accused of intolerance. This left the discussion open for civil discourse on what the differing issues are, and look for common ground where you can then proceed to explain/persuade your opponent of their possibly errant ways. He was mostly speaking of issues between the church and the secularized world. But the new definition of intolerance is that if you disagree with someone, you are intolerant. This causes the discussion to be shut off, and no further conversation is possible since each side of the argument has turned into condemnation of the other person, not just the issue. His book is worth reading!

So how does this affect the Christian to Christian dialog, which it certainly has? The reasonable discussion of issues is virtually stopping, and the possibility of understanding another’s point of view, with or without an aim to correct, vanishes. This cannot possibly be good. For instance, John Piper is still being condemned for inviting Rick Warren to speak at the Desiring God conference last year. Rick Warren is being condemned

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Christian Justice and National Security vs Freedom

"The NSA has become the largest, most covert, and potentially most intrusive intelligence agency ever" from Wired Science.

Many see the governmental take over of the health care system, with mandates for all to purchase insurance they can't afford, as a loss of freedom, just as is seen the imposing of health care rules on both religious organizations and people that find those rules to be against their morals, a loss of religious freedom, all of which is supposed to be protected by our constitution; and the jury is still out on where all of that will go. But there is no doubt that the current administration, including the congress, is making the largest power grab in history. 

The president has taken over the auto industry, the health care industry, the oil industry (preventing new leases), and countless other industries like the insurance industry by regulations and loans, and the housing purchasing industry by the same methods (note: when one has regulated something to the point that they are coming to you for money with strings attached, you have successfully taken them over), and now, as possibly the largest assault on privacy and freedom, the NSA will not just be scanning the internet "chatter" for terrorists anymore, and studying secret transmissions between governments, they will be reading, reviewing, analyzing, studying, and using as they wish, YOU.