A few weeks ago, I read some allegations against John MacArthur and Al Mohler in a “discernment” blog. The specifics of these accusations may or may not be addressed in another post. I haven’t quite decided whether or not I’ll take them on yet, though my gut instinct leads me to think doing so would probably be a waste of time. So today I want to restrict my remarks to my response to reading such criticisms of Christian teachers that I respect.
Let’s begin with my initial reaction to her posts. Immediately I felt defensive. Who did this blogger think she was to malign these respected teachers? But in acknowledging my defensive emotions, the thought crossed my mind that supporters of Beth Moore, Rick Warren, Sarah Young and Joyce Meyer feel those same emotions when they read my blog. Now that the shoe was on the other foot, how was I going to deal with it?
I decided, first of all, to examine the links she provided. But I did more than read the articles; I vetted the websites which featured the articles. None of them struck me as particularly credible, and some of the websites she linked to very clearly exist with the sole purpose of discrediting MacArthur. I’ve yet to locate anything in regard to one of her claims either to verify or refute it, but even if it proves true, it’s about MacArthur’s ancestor, not him. (Heavens, I’d hate to be judged by things my ancestors did!)
She offered only one example of doctrinal disagreement with MacArthur, and that disagreement revolved around a point of echatology. The problem there had more to do with the timing of the Rapture (which she admitted herself). On that basis, however, she labels MacArthur as a false teacher, even as she states that she agrees with 95% of his teachings.
Goodness, I don’t agree with everything John MacArthur says either! Nor do I agree with everything John Calvin or Charles Spurgeon said. Occasionally I even disagree with my own pastor. I need to judge all teachers (and bloggers) against God’s Word. But I can’t label any of them as false teachers unless they distort the Gospel and/or assault the sufficiency and authority of Scripture.
This blogger also believes John MacArthur (and probably R.C. Sproul) must be avoided because they allow Al Mohler to speak at their conferences. She has bought into some overblown conspiracy theories based on misunderstandings about the U.N.’s endorsement of Mohler. I then googled her allegations against Mohler and found only a reasoned refutation of her “research.” I found more evidence of Mohler criticizing the U.N. than of him being a diabolical agent joining its schemes to usher in the Antichrist.
I welcome correction if I endorse teachers or practices that directly contradict Scripture. If a favorite teacher of mine habitually says and/or does things that damage the Gospel or undermine Scripture, let me know. Provide evidence from several credible sources, along with Scripture quoted in context that demonstrates their error. Then let’s determine whether that error is on a major or minor point. If we examine their associations (which is legitimate in evaluating them), make sure those associations are strong enough to discredit the original person. And, as much as possible, please find substantiation from their own media.
You’ll notice that I haven’t identified the blogger that made the allegations about MacArthur and Mohler. Out of a desire to protect her reputation, I won’t. But tomorrow I plan to discuss the problems of “discernment blogs” and conspiracy theories that her blog (and others) have forced me to consider. Please join me then.