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The Man-Centered Gospel of the Gospel Coalition & T4G

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I have been fairly quiet about the nonsensical remaking of the gospel that has taken place in my theological ghetto called the reformed world. While some Reformed theologians would have you believe that Bishop T.D. Jakes is one of the biggest threats to biblical Christianity, I believe one of the biggest threats is in fact a home-grown bushel of bullstinky I dis-affectionately call “The Man-Centered Gospel.”

Birthed partially out of a need to respond to the “evangelical feminism” or egalitarian folks from the likes of the CBE, Reformed folks like John Piper, Wayne Grudem, Mark Driscoll, and whoever else you can spot on a T4G or Gospel Coalition website have gone out of their way to make it very clear that men alone are called to lead both in the home and in the church.

Somehow, these well-meaning gentlemen, men whose love for Jesus is unquestioned (at least in my book), have wrapped complementarianism around the Cross and called it “the gospel”.

Should one’s support or opposition to complementarian or even egalitarian perspectives so mute the gospel of grace in and through Jesus Christ that they–and not the finished work of God the Son–be the standard by which we judge whether a Christian is “undermining the gospel” by not adhering to it?

I hope not.

Bottom line: anything sitting on the throne that ain’t Jesus doesn’t belong there. I contend that ministries like T4G and the GC have made an idol out of their own manhood to the extent that their gospel is as man-centered and graceless as any legalistic ministry one could think of.

Just a thought….

Written by missional girl

January 29, 2012 at 1:32 am

Those Pesky Detweiler Files

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Here are the files that former SGM pastor typed. According to Brent Detweiler, someone else uploaded them. For the sake of fairness, this is his side but his side is a formidable 600+ pages of letters, emails, etc. There are some shocking things that I was not even prepared for.

Judge for yourself:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Written by missional girl

July 13, 2011 at 8:14 pm

Sovereign Grace Debacle & Southern Seminary

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Now that SGM is doing damage control now that CJ Mahaney has stepped away from leadership to deal with sin in his heart, his supporters are stepping to the forefront including one very prominent leader: Southern Seminary’s own Al Mohler. I have written here before about what I think here and here.

That said, I am disturbed that Mahaney was ever careful to point out that his stepping away did not involve any kind of “immorality.”

Really CJ?

Sexual abuse isn’t immorality? The stories I have read about from various sources are heart rending. What I want to see is some serious submission to the Spirit on the part of all parties relevant to this growing story. I would also like to see how certain leaders like John Piper respond. It’s easy to tweet about theologically bankrupt books about hell but not so much when dealing with a topic like this.

As for Mohler’s support? While I don’t doubt Mohler’s loyalty to Mahaney, I must remember that money makes people do and say stupid things. If Southern Seminary can get out of the back pockets of SGM and Mahaney long enough to examine ALL the evidence (both pro and con) regarding SGM difficulties, then I could live with Mohler’s response.

For now, I can’t.

Written by missional girl

July 12, 2011 at 8:08 pm

Posted in Church Issues, Scandal

10 Awesome Things I Learned From Church As a Kid

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Slightly different from last night:

1. Activities outside of worship services
2. A respect for hymns (yeah, I think hymns still rock)
3. Inter-generational friendships
4. Good Sunday school teachers (they impacted my perspective toward the teaching ministry more than anyone else growing up)
5. Decent kids program
6. Faithful participation of the senior saints (who are now passing away)
7. Children participating in the worship experience (I got the chance to read the Easter passages one Easter Sunday. I could barely see over the podium, lol)

Ok. Seven is all I have at the moment.

Written by missional girl

September 4, 2010 at 1:10 am

10 Things I Hated About Church As a Kid

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What bugged me as a young PK growing up in the eighties?

10. Deacons sitting in special chairs in chairs up front facing the congregation. Two words: worship police.
9. Hobby-horse sermons that always focused on the evils of girls wearing shorts-shorts. Do I really need to go there?
8. Ordination by association. I saw guys with unproven character get licensed and ordained like that just because they knew the right person. Wrong.
7. Women not being allowed into church in pants. I always use to think, “What if that’s all they have to wear to church? Would Jesus still tell them to stay home?” I don’t think so.
6. Discipleship gone wrong: Actually, there was little discipleship or spiritual information after a person received Christ. Teen discipleship? BTU, ushering, or the choir. Pfff!
5. Homogeneity: everybody in my church looked like me. I thought black churches were the norm until my teens. Not God’s plan at all for everyone in your church to look only like you.
4. “Yawn!”: Making Jesus boring is a grave sin. My then 3-year old brother would complain to me, “I’m bored!” Out of the mouth of babes….
3. Deacons in a smoky back room: I always got unnerved going to the back room where all the deacons sat, smoking and counting the offering. It felt more like a casino than the house of God.
2. Irrelevant Preaching and Teaching: This wasn’t the case every Sunday but it happened enough for me to write about it over 27 years later and pray to Jesus that I never commit the same egregious error. Preaching and teaching that is not Spirit-led leaves the spirit dead. Match. Point. Game.
1. High-level hypocrisy: I know for a fact that there was major moral compromise at the highest levels of leadership in my church. One major incident destroyed my family so I’m not blowing smoke here. Here’s the lesson: pastors will never deal with issues they themselves never deal with. And churches get strangled by this nonsense.

Tomorrow: 10 Awesome Things I Learned About Church As a Kid

Written by missional girl

September 3, 2010 at 2:23 am

The Mandate of the Church

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Luke 4:18-19

Jesus’ prophetic proclamation of His purpose was not meant strictly for His time.  As His ambassadors, we must follow Him, doing only what He hear from the Spirit of the Lord.  We can glean some of the divine purposes that the Lord Jesus Christ has for His Church.

  1. We the Church must rely on the power and leading of the Holy Spirit.
  2. We the Church must understand that we have been anointed and appointed for a God-ordained task
  3. We must preach the gospel faithfully
  4. We must recognize the targets of God’s grace:

1.      The poor

2.      The brokenhearted

3.      The bound

4.      The oppressed

E.      We must recognize our responsibilities:

1.      To preach the Word

2.      To bring healing

3.      To bring liberation

4.      To be agents of recovery and restoration

5.      To bring a message of divine favor

Written by missional girl

December 22, 2009 at 3:07 pm

Could the Church Have Dealt With a Saved Michael Jackson?

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The unexpected and untimely death of the King of Pop three weeks ago today literally rocked the world and completely altered the landscape of entertainment as the world said goodbye to the biggest star–however controversial he was–in the world.

But do not think for a minute that his death also silenced debates and arguments about the entertainer. Hardly, now Christians are literally fighting over whether or not Jackson was saved before he died.

I posted a link from legendary gospel singer Andrae Crouch’s Facebook page where people were telling of how the Crouches led Jackson to Christ 3 weeks before his death. Crouch denied this story later and the fight was and still is on.

On one side are those who believe that God was pursuing Jackson while knowing the end was coming. On the other side are those Christians who believe that Jackson’s alleged sins and his lack of a public profession of faith in Jesus Christ PROVE that he could not have possibly been saved before his death.

I’ll hold my own opinion on the matter until the end but I will say this: what if Jackson hadn’t died? What if he DID make a public profession of faith.

Would the Church today, especially in America, been able to deal with it?

In my opinion, NO.

Why?

Because the church in America is a fraud for the most part, masquerading in a loveless apologetic and theological bravado vigorously defined as Christ-centered, Spirit-driven discipleship. There would certainly be those wise, seasoned saints who would have walked with the singer through his faith journey without compromising the truth of God’s inerrant Word.

But I fear that the majority of Christians, especially those with any kind of media platform would have either attempted to exploit his newfound faith in Jesus OR hounded him about child molestation allegations and the trial (being tried and acquitted means nothing to Romans 13 Christians, I suppose), plastic surgery, his appearance, his sexuality, his marriages, his children, and on and on.

And ministry?

Forget it. By virtue of everything I just listed, he would have been deemed unqualified for any kind of ministry. The child molestation allegations alone would have done him in, even in the minds of some readers right now who have priests, pastors and bishops who wink at their indiscretions (AKA sin but don’t tell anyone).

The entire Jackson-salvation discussion has caused me to think long and hard about what salvation is and how the Spirit of God “does” it. I am deeply troubled by the legalistic and narrow view that anchors genuine, biblical faith to saying the “Sinner’s Prayer.”

What in the world is the sinner’s prayer? I never said one. I just remember lying on my bed at the age of 16 and saying “Jesus, I’m yours.” I stumbled along the way but I never looked back. One of my dearest friends doesn’t even have a date for her salvation “experience.” She just remembers it finally “clicked” in her heart that Jesus was exactly who He said He was and she started her journey.

Public professions of faith in Jesus are absolutely awesome—when they are real. Too many people have been duped by the false belief that if you say the right things, then everything is “cool” with you and King Jesus. But we all know people who walked the aisle, uttered the prayer but their hearts were never in it and they walked away from the faith.

So much for leaning on confession to prove you’re saved.

The last few weeks of Jackson’s life were marked with an accelerated spiritual search that culminated June 25th. God alone is absolutely certain Jackson is spending eternity.

But if some Christians can easily dismiss even the possibly of Jackson’s 11th hour salvation, then I can take the opposing view. I personally believe that at some point before his death, he DID surrender his life to Jesus.
And then Jesus took him and spared him the foolishness of having his faith ran over by both a world that made fun of him and a Church that would have constantly questioned his credibility.

No matter which side it “right” I think what is most troubling is the horrific, tabloid-saturated legalism that misguided saints (including me) get wrapped up in when judging. I just want the heart of Jesus to beat through me even if it makes my flesh uncomfortable.

How funny that Jesus loved the one lost sheep enough to risk everything for it while the 99 probably questioned the quality of that sheep. Spiritual amnesia—forgetting the hole from which one was rescued by the Lord Jesus—is dangerous and I believe dampens our passion for reaching the lost.

Just my opinion.

Written by missional girl

July 9, 2009 at 11:09 am

Posted in Church Issues, Culture