Arminian Today

A Jesus-Centered Arminian Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Watchdog Ministries

Short Thoughts on Watchdog Ministries

I keep up with a few watchdog ministries in blogs, Twitter, and listen to one watchdog ministry on iTunes so I am familiar with watchdog ministries.  I do believe that we need men and women of God who love the Lord, His Word, and desire for sound doctrine to be preached in the Church.  I appreciate their emphasis on examining major ministries and pointing out doctrinal issues involved with them.  Recently we saw this helpful when James McDonald hosted his “elephant room” meetings with men such as Mark Driscoll, T.D. Jakes and several others.  Jakes is known for his oneness Pentecostal beliefs and his rejection of the orthodox position on the Trinity.  Driscoll asked Jakes what he believed about the Trinity.  Jakes seemed to approve the Trinity but watchdog ministries were helpful to show that his view is still flawed and not clear.  In other words, Jakes did what he always does on the Trinity, seemed to affirm it but didn’t which helps him maintain his status in both trinitarian and oneness Pentecostal circles.

What bothers me about some aspects of watchdog ministries (and this is not true of them all but several of them) is that they can be flat-out rude.  For instance, I am no fan of seeker churches nor do I have a high view of seeker preachers but I don’t believe that I should pick on seeker pastors and how they dress or how they do their hair.  Who cares?  Let’s stay focused on doctrinal issues and not become rude and make fun of how people look.  After all, we are all made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27) and this means that we are all unique before Him.  Psalm 139:14 is true of us all no matter our skin color or our eye color or our hair color.  We are unique and loved by God.

Now again, I have no problem with pointing out errors theologically but Paul tells us in 2 Timothy 2:24 that God’s worker must not be quarrelsome and 1 Peter 3:15 says that we are to answer people with gentleness and respect.  We are not to be argumentative.  We are not to be arrogant.  We are not to be rude.  We are ambassadors of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20) and we are to reflect our King who is loving and good (1 John 4:7-8).

So please, watchdog ministries, please continue to help us understand where ministries are errant in theology and help us to correct our own wayward theology through truth but I also urge you to be holy (1 Peter 1:15-16) and to seek to be at peace with all people (Hebrews 12:14-15).  I urge you to answer others with the truthfulness of the Word of God but do so with grace and mercy and not arrogance and pride.  I also ask you to pray for those whom you critique, that God would bring them to repentance (2 Timothy 2:24-26).  I have no problem naming names of people who are teaching heresy after all, Paul did (2 Timothy 1:15).  But let us seek to answer these heretics with grace and with love and not anger or bitterness or wrath.

Written by The Seeking Disciple

03/26/2012 at 8:08 AM

Critiquing the Church: Bear This In Mind

I am all for calling the Church to repent.  Jesus did this as well in Revelation 2-3 when He called the seven churches to repent.  The New Testament epistles are basically calling the Church to sound doctrine, to avoid sin, and to rebuke and exhort.  A case in point is 1 Corinthians where Paul corrected many aspects of the Corinthian church that was corrupt in many areas.

With that in mind, let me state two things about those who feel that its their duty to call the Church at large to repentance.  I am familiar with “watchdog” ministries that seek to point out any and every heresy that they can find.  I agree with them in most aspects.  My only drawback is that from their writings it seems that the Church is doing nothing right.  Some of them will point to the churches of John MacArthur or even John Piper but for the most part, they spend their days critiquing the Church here and there and everywhere.  We do need them.  Don’t get me wrong.

But we must keep two things in mind.  First, even the New Testament Church needed correction.  The epistles demonstrate this.  From 1 Corinthians to James, the Church needed correction.  They were not perfect (Romans 3:23).  The only perfect one is Jesus who died for our sins (1 Peter 2:22).  All the Apostles and all the saints recorded in the New Testament were sinners saved by grace (Ephesians 2:8-9; 1 Timothy 1:15).  They did not abide in sin (1 John 3:6-9) but they still lived in the flesh and needed correction from the Lord (Hebrews 12:4-11).

Secondly, I believe correction should be done in gentleness and respect (2 Timothy 2:24-26).  We are to rebuke (2 Timothy 4:2) but let us do so with a spirit of love and not hatred.  Many of the seeker churches pastors, I believe, do love God.  Some are in it for the money.  Some for the power.  Some for the fame.  But I do pray that some of them love God and just want to touch as many lives for the kingdom as possible.  I don’t agree with much of the seeker church but I do pray that the leaders love God and fear Him.  I do fear that they don’t listen to watchdog ministries and they tend to pat each other on the back but we all need correction.

I do believe we all need correction from time to time.  Oh how many times have I opened the Word of God only to have His Spirit correct me.  I was reading the book of Joel just two days ago and the Lord used the words of Joel to correct me.  I want to be close to Lord as I can be and I know that sin will separate me if I don’t allow His Spirit to convict me (Isaiah 59:2).  Praise God that His Spirit does convict (John 16:8-11)!  I need it.

We do need watchdog ministries.  I simply ask that they not be disrespectful or appear as “holier than thou” when dealing with people whom they disagree.  We Arminians and my Calvinist brethren could all do well to heed these words as well.

LIsten to counsel and accept discipline, that you may be wise the rest of your days.
– Proverbs 19:20 (NASB) 

Written by The Seeking Disciple

03/02/2012 at 11:54 AM

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