The downside to covering breaking news and important ongoing stories on the radio is that I rarely have time to slow down enough to comment on those stories on my blog. Needless to say, I’ve had that problem for months now! So with all that’s been going on of late, I’ve decided I am going to keep things simple and weigh in briefly on a few things that have been on my mind.
On Revoice, Part 1. What an awful conference, huh? This is what happens when your sexual proclivities direct your theology (Nate Collins: “Is it possible that ‘gay’ Christians are the new Jeremiah, sent to be prophets to the church?” Me: “I don’t know, Nate; is water dry?”). It’s what happens when you let psychology professor Dr. Mark Yarhouse, gay activist Harry Hay and the radical change agents at the Human Rights Campaign create all your terminology, inform your premises and direct your aspirations. Or, to put it more bluntly, it’s what happens when you jettison the Bible. But praise God that so many saints awoke from their slumber and realized what these subversives are up to and how tied they all are to The Gospel Coalition, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. It should remind us that 2 Peter 2:1 is always to be heeded and applied to anyone — famous or not, respected or not, pitied or not — who is pushing “LGBT Christianity” — “But there arose false prophets also among the people, as among you also there shall be false teachers, who shall secretly bring in destructive heresies, denying even the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.” And speaking of which …
On Revoice, Part 2. I just want to re-emphasize and record for posterity that it was Southern Baptist evangelist and writer Tom Littleton who broke the Revoice story. I know this because I spoke to Tom right after he learned of Revoice but before he wrote his first blog post about it in early May. I was sick as a dog when we talked, but we made arrangements to do our first interview on “Janet Mefferd Today” the following week. That’s why I’ve been shocked to see any number of Christian pastors and bloggers weigh in with all kinds of facts and analysis on Revoice — sometimes weeks after Tom’s first story ran — but give no credit to the man who unearthed all of it. Make no mistake: Tom is the one who did all the painstaking research, biblical analysis and dot-connecting between Revoice and prominent figures at TGC and the ERLC. Tom’s the one who was framed and kicked out of the SBC annual meeting on false pretenses, ostensibly so he couldn’t ask Dr. Russell Moore any tough questions about the ERLC’s ties to Revoice just a few hours later. So while it’s great that his work led to such an explosion of subcritiques, let’s give credit where credit is due, folks. Without Tom, none of us would have known anything about Revoice. Tom also has continued to break new ground on the infiltration of “LGBT Christianity” into conservative circles through a number of subsequent articles on Revoice and its web of enablers. Read his work here. Bible-believing Christians of every stripe owe Tom an enormous debt of gratitude for his research, discernment and biblical courage, and the least you Revoice ripoff artists can do is give him proper credit. So shape up. (And thank you for what you do, Tom. Keep up the great work!)
On Social Justice Madness. I probably have a different take on this than some conservatives, only because my earliest years in the church were marred by the same progressive, Social Gospel garbage that’s reared its ugly head again within conservative circles. These SJWs have got it all wrong, of course, and are simply recycling the same errors of the 1960s liberals who infiltrated the churches of my youth and helped destroy them. I remember one Sunday when I was young, our hippie youth pastor (who, rumor has it, earlier ran with a crowd that threw blood on the Pentagon to protest the Vietnam War) somehow convinced our church leadership to let him bang a bongo drum every few seconds during our worship service. The idea was that our congregation needed to repent of its insidious white guilt by remembering the starving children of the world (whose starvation was largely our congregation’s fault, being so white and suburban and all). So Hippie Pastor decided that we needed to remember our guilt each time he banged his bongo, representing the death of one starving child. Receiving permission for this dumb idea, he ascended into the church balcony one Sunday morning, bongo in hand. The poor senior pastor attempted to conduct the service normally, but it ended up going something like this: “In the name of the Father (BOOM!) and of the Son and (BOOM!) of the Holy Spirit. We come to (BOOM!) worship (BOOM!) …” After about two minutes of this, my mom got so agitated that she turned to me and said, “I’ve had enough of this. Let’s go!” Out we went, and my mom soon commenced her personal campaign to get Hippie Bongo Pastor fired for that and many worse SJW maneuvers (amazingly, she succeeded — you go, Mom!). This reminds me that the SJW madness can only play out one of two ways: Either great Christians like my mom will refuse to put up with it and fight it on all fronts, or the church ignores the madness, capitulates to it and dies. Let’s not forget: We’re at church to worship and praise the Lord, get fed with His Word, pray, take communion, support the work of the church and enjoy fellowship with other Christians. We’re not there for a bongo concert, a white-guilt drubbing or a scolding lecture on Muslim refugees or illegal aliens that’s dripping with Soros money. We need to stand up to these SJWs without apology. They’re twisting the Scriptures and trying to destroy the church from within. We must not let them do it. And we must remind them that even if they win, they will lose, so it’s in their best interests to either knock it off in our churches or go find a nice Episcopal Church to join. Not only will we be free of their insanity, but their defection also will help the local Episcopal Church finally get its membership back into double digits! Everybody wins!
On Willow Creek Issues. Roger Olson recently penned a good piece at Patheos, called, “Why the Mega-Church Model Isn’t Working.” Given all I’ve witnessed with the megachurch movement over the last two decades, I agree completely with what he says about the celebrity megachurch pastor accountability problem. But I would add something else. I grew up in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, and I remember very well when Willow Creek Community Church opened and began to grow. I also remember what happened to all the other churches once it did. I remember how it seemed that every traditional church in the Chicago suburbs then had to wrestle with losing members to Willow Creek, and how that led most of them to change their own worship services, replacing organs with bands and putting on their own skits, to try to stem the attrition. And they usually did it badly. And for what? I visited Willow Creek many times. I found it to be overly rehearsed, slick, relentlessly shallow and biblically wanting. I later covered some (not-so-good) goings-on there as a reporter. I even interviewed Pastor Bill Hybels face-to-face for a series I wrote about him. Let’s just say he didn’t impress me. I thought then, and I still think now, that Willow Creek largely was responsible for destroying most of the good churches in our area. And, of course, its influence later extended around the country and the world through the Willow Creek Association. Willow Creek feigned conservatism early on; a few decades later, the mask slipped, Hybels’ order to “self-feed from the Bible” came down, the progressivism flourished, and then serious scandals involving lying and sexual impropriety finally came to light. I probably shouldn’t feel any satisfaction over it, but I confess I am not in mourning. Willow Creek was a faddish business enterprise with a Christian veneer, and it should have been treated that way from day one. Christians should have known better than to worship its seeker model and try to emulate it. We’re still paying for this capitulation. Our children and grandchildren are paying for it, as many are growing up with no concept of Bible-directed, reverent and serious worship. Willow Creeky churches still abound, and you can largely thank Hybels for that. To this day, I cringe every time I see a praise band in a church — not because I dislike the participants or have no regard for their musical talent, but because praise bands’ ubiquity represents to me that too many churches would rather simply copy a “successful” church and “give people what they want” than concern themselves with what the Bible says worship should be. In the wake of the Willow Creek implosion, let’s forget these church gurus and just ask ourselves: How does God want us to worship Him? Maybe this generation of Christians can ponder that question anew and come up with better answers — this time, from Scripture.
Final Thought. For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen. Romans 11:36
That’s all for now …