John MacArthur on Spiritual Formation, the Holy Spirit, Rock Star Pastors and Christian Discernment Ministries

By John MacArthur

 Spiritual Formation:  “It’s very dangerous, the spiritual formation. It’s a pagan approach. It’s more like Hinduism than Christianity.”

 The Holy Spirit:  “(W)hen God the Father’s honor is under attack, everybody rises to defend Him…….. When Christ is attacked as to His deity or as to the nature of the cross, we get a movement like Confessing Evangelicals, we get documents responding to ECT [Evangelicals and Catholics Together] on the Gospel. We get T4G, The Gospel Coalition. We get everybody mounting a massive effort to protect the integtrity of the Gospel, Christ, the cross and His vicarious substitutionary atonement. But the Holy Spirit is just being slaughtered everywhere and where is the outrage?”

 Rock Star Pastors:  “(Rock Star pastors) don’t want to ask anything of anybody. Just superficial, name Jesus and rock and roll with us and you’re going to Heaven.”

 Christian Discernment Ministries:  “The Apostle Paul named names all through the New Testament: good, bad and indifferent. There are times when the Church has to be warned when something is dangerous, that’s part of spiritual responsibility…… I think there are times to name names. I have a rule about that and that is, I will respond to anyone who has published something, but nothing that is private. And that’s fair.”

Erin Benziger’s interview with Dr. MacArthur can be read in its entirety here.

 Additional Resources 

John MacArthur: “Who would have thought that John Piper would have Rick Warren at a Desiring God conference?”

John MacArthur: “Don’t Go To A ‘Flat Screen Church’.”

Charismatic Chaos (by John MacArthur)

 

8 thoughts on “John MacArthur on Spiritual Formation, the Holy Spirit, Rock Star Pastors and Christian Discernment Ministries

  1. Has anybody noticed that the Sola Sisters blog has no facility for reply? I find this very Interesting. This means that there is no fair means of refuting some of the things they say. Not exactly what one would call “contending” as far as I can see. I am a Christian but I won’t swallow all their so-called expertise about the New Age hook, line and sinker. Some of what they say is correct, but a lot of it is patently prejudiced by their past experiences and a legalistic mind set. Some of it is plain wrong.
    Not only should we be “Bereans” in searching the scriptures daily to be sure of sound doctrine, but also in the sense that we need to question assertions made on the basis of some person’s own understanding of a particular subject, (In this case grouping all alternative therapies under the banner of “New Age” and dismissing them out of hand. In addition, their use of “ad hominem” arguments seriously undermines the sense of fairness which should be employed when assessing suspect therapies.). Just because someone proclaims to be an expert in a subject because they led a certain lifestyle before they got saved does not mean they are necessarily correct.
    If challenged then maybe they might be able to make a good case (maybe not) but their credibility is totally undermined when they remove the possibility of a right to reply on their blog.
    These girls need to be challenged but all I can see amongst the reviews online, including on this blog, is a back slapping fest.

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    • Richard, thank you for your comment. There is a group of “Discernment Divas” that sadly make it their duty to make a legalistic doctrine without realising it and we do not associate with such. These are the words of a faithfull man ………..God’s Servants Are Watchmen, Not Watch Women!
      I know that in this day of feminism, when women want to look, act, and talk like men and men are taught to look, act, and talk like women, people are aghast when they hear it, but hear it you will in this place – No woman has ever been called of God to preach the gospel, pastor a church, or serve as a deacon in a church. The Word of God is crystal clear in this matter. And no other argument or sentiment is of any importance in this matter.
      A. Preachers, pastors, elders, and deacons are Men (I Tim. 3:1-13; Tit. 1:6-9; Acts 6:3).
      1. Men, Not Sisters!
      2. Husbands, Not Marriage Partners!
      3. Fathers, Not Advisors!
      4. Men full of the Holy Ghost and Wisdom!
      B. In the Home, in the Church of God, and in God’s Order for Society Women are to Be In Subjection to Their Husbands As Unto The Lord (Eph. 5:22-24; I Cor. 11:1-3).
      This is not a matter of superiority or inferiority. It is God’s order!
      C. In the Church of God women are to learn in silence and submission, as becomes women (I Cor. 15:35; I Tim. 2:11-12).
      It is always wrong for women to push themselves forward, to usurp authority over men, and seek to dominate men. Only weak, spineless men will allow it to happen. And only proud rebellious women want it to happen. God’s people honor God’s order!
      http://www.donfortner.com/sermon_notes/23_Isaiah-series/Isa%20166%2052v07-08%20Thy%20Watchmen.htm
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    • Richard

      I am a Christian but I won’t swallow all their so-called expertise about the New Age hook, line and sinker. Some of what they say is correct, but a lot of it is patently prejudiced by their past experiences and a legalistic mind set. Some of it is plain wrong.

      I fully agree with what you have said here.

      (In this case grouping all alternative therapies under the banner of “New Age” and dismissing them out of hand. In addition, their use of “ad hominem” arguments seriously undermines the sense of fairness which should be employed when assessing suspect therapies.). Just because someone proclaims to be an expert in a subject because they led a certain lifestyle before they got saved does not mean they are necessarily correct.

      Again you are spot on with your observations. They have, as many others similarly, merely substituted secularism with legalism and an enthusiastic, but useless religion. Will worship, works salvation and confused theology in action there, I’m afraid.

      This means that there is no fair means of refuting some of the things they say…. If challenged then maybe they might be able to make a good case (maybe not) but their credibility is totally undermined when they remove the possibility of a right to reply on their blog.

      The fact remains that their blog is their own intellectual (albeit virtual) property. It is by no means unfair that we cannot place our comments on someone else’s blog. It is not our right to be able to oppose or refute another’s viewpoint on that person’s blog.

      More often than not, I am moved to close down our own comments section on this blog, simply because of all the rubbish and abusive comments we receive, most of which are simply a waste of time or a source of annoyance. Those commentators actually believe that they have a right to make their point heard, whereas the blog owners have the right to publish whatsoever they choose to.

      Therefore, while I agree with you regarding the legalistic, religiously ridiculous and unsubstantiated opinion of the “internet investigator’s” blog (Sherlock Sisters) you mentioned, I’m not convinced that the right to reply would make any real difference, other than to stir emotion and fan the flames of your own frustration.

      …including on this blog, is a back slapping fest.

      That sounds like a game one would play at a boy scout camp. I can assure you that if someone tried to involve me in a back slapping fest, I would first give them an uppercut to the jaw and then head-butt them on the nose…

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  2. Nice one Grant🙂 – I’ve no complaints with what you say – there is no automatic divine right of reply to blogsters. To Christian blogsters wanting to persuade others maybe there ought to be.
    There is a more gracious option surely? I run my own blog and allow comments but reserve the right to edit abusive or inappropriate comments. That at least gives a chance to someone to say i might be wrong or mistaken. I want to be open to correction. Nevertheless in the case of the Sola Sisters they just spout and no-one can answer their assertions. Fair enough they can exercise the right of free speech but it doesn’t mean anything if their arguments cannot stand scrutiny. in their case we will never know because there is no right to dialogue with them.
    Isn’t this what Paul did on Mars Hill when he strove with those with contrary viewpoints? Isn’t this what it means to contend for the faith? How are we to contend if we don’t allow contrary viewpoints? One speaker at a debate equals: no debate.
    My reference to a back slapping fest was provocative – i apologise – but at least it got you guys out of the woodwork! Yes it evokes images of Austrian guys in ledehosen with frothing mugs of lager

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    • My reference to a back slapping fest was provocative – i apologise – but at least it got you guys out of the woodwork!

      No need to apologise, Richard. I certainly enjoyed toying with the imagery, and now even more so after the comparison you made! Back slapping chaos, beer slopping and spurting out of mugs over everything and everyone… eventually it’s a few front teeth and an assortment of dentures embedded in the woodwork, a black eye or two… all in good cheer🙂

      I want to be open to correction.

      I don’t think too many others would agree with you, current discussion being a typical case in point. The question remains as to whether we have a Biblical mandate or commission to debate with those who are opposed to the truth. Or rather, in contending for the faith, are we not to simply to give them the Gospel (Rom 10:17) and let God do the convincing work? Surely there is no good reason for true Christians to engage in debate and argue with unbelievers who find the Word of God to be foolishness? 1 Cor 2:14.

      Wipe the dust from your feet and move on, if you have done your part. Do not let their continued opposition to the truth concern you further. It can do nothing other than frustrate you and make you question your own faith. Simply ignore those sources because you do have the correct source at your disposal. Jesus Christ is all. Nothing else matters.

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  3. “The question remains as to whether we have a Biblical mandate or commission to debate with those who are opposed to the truth. Or rather, in contending for the faith, are we not to simply to give them the Gospel (Rom 10:17) and let God do the convincing work? Surely there is no good reason for true Christians to engage in debate and argue with unbelievers who find the Word of God to be foolishness? 1 Cor 2:14. ”

    Right on Grant – I’m no man for apologetics to hostile unregenerates either – like those Richard Dawkins debates which just generate more heat than light – a total waste of time and energy in my opinion. (Proverbs 13:10)
    That said however, the Sola Sisters seem to be believers so I would not (necessarily) categorise them amongst those who are ” in opposition to the truth”
    I came upon your blog because I was wanting to make a comment to them about their article on “New Age therapies” – I was looking for a contact email or something. I do not do Facebook any more – it drives me nuts. Someone had sent me the link to their article knowing that it would elicit a response in me. I agree that it might be a frustrating quest but I still want to try. You see my wife and I have been having to deal with some real health issues and have benefitted from non- mainstream practices in the area of herbs and certain mineral supplements as well as dietary changes.
    We eschew the Benny Hinn model of healing by the way🙂
    All of us have to deal with health issues and there is a lot of propaganda and misinformation from those with vested interests to sift through. As an ex-nurse ( I worked in CardioThoracic ITU) I feel it a duty of mine to educate others on health issues. I merely want to wake people up to the fraud that is linked with modern medicine and encourage folks to look to better solutions – lifestyle, nutrition, exercise etc . I have no desire to go ‘political’ with this it’s just raising awareness I’m after.
    This does not in any way mean that the preaching Gospel, where possible, is not the priority.
    You are bang on – Jesus Christ is all and nothing else matters. Nevertheless I still have decisions to make on a daily basis when I’m seeking to live in a healthy God-honouring way. Righteous living springs out of the new life in Christ and involves sound healthcare practices. I’m sure Florence Nightingale would agree and I suspect you do too.

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