Two videos from a 2011 discussion with John MacArthur are gaining some traction again. In these videos MacArthur calls out the young Reformed guys that have adopted a Calvinistic soteriology but seem to be Arminian in everything else. He decries their worldliness; noting things like music, movies, beer, cursing, and even the pull to be and/or follow celebrity pastors. He also believes that the rise in “flat screen churches” stems from our catering to the larger culture. You can watch the videos below:
And part 2
My gut reaction to these videos is to place Dr. MacArthur as the leading candidate behind Twitter’s Church Curmudgeon. He simply seems ticked off at all these new fangled gadgets. In my opinion he is painting with a brush that is a bit too broad and making a mountain out of mole hills (like what clothes guys wear). The whole thing just rubs me the wrong way.
Truth be told, I simply want to dismiss his words here. Which is why I should listen. Bad history is made by us young whippersnappers not listening to our elders, like MacArthur. As I continued listening to Dr. MacArthur I came to realize that there is a great deal of wisdom in his words. All of us YRR (Young, Restless, and Reformed) guys ought to heed his words here. He has earned our ear and we ought to listen.
Here are 3 reasons that we should listen to him:
- We can wrongly assume that right theology, right cultural engagement, etc. will be a formula for reaching the lost. It does seem like even in Reformed circles there is a drive to figure out the code to reaching the lost.
- We are prone to celebrity and rock-star pastoring. You really can’t shepherd from a flat screen*. We need to listen to this seasoned pastor about what it really means to be a shepherd.
- Ecclesiology is not unrelated to soteriology. Ecclesiology is not clay that we can mold however we want. It is just as much revealed truth as our soteriology.
Let’s not too quickly dismiss this dear brother. He has words that we need to heed.
*I realize that there is more to the debate about multi-site churches. It’s not quite as black and white as MacArthur has presented it. But his point is worthy of serious consideration.