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  1. Nonnie says:

    Nice work, Derek! I especially like how you are “beside yourself.” 😀

  2. Derek, you are one talented dude!

  3. Nonnie, I like that one too.

  4. The one where you make yourself beside yourself is pretty easy. I could show anyone how to do it.

  5. Babylon's Dread says:

    John wants to scare us about offending God by not being like John

  6. Steve Wright says:

    I have to run for a large part of the day, but thought I would throw this out there.

    An absolute foundational belief I have is that God desires to communicate to His people through the word of God. All His people – directly through the word in the Spirit. Nobody can shake me from that belief and I hope that comes out clearly when I teach the word – that they don’t NEED me, but I can help in a few places to bring some things together.

    Yes, there are a couple exceptions where God tells us He is deliberately hiding the truth from a people for a season, but these are rare (Jesus’ parables and the end of Daniel for example). However, even in these rare cases God clearly tells us who is able to understand them – and as noted, they are pointed out to us as the exceptions.

    Exegesis may be defined in slightly different nuances but at the heart of the definition is the act of seeking to understand the original author’s message to his original audience as given in the original language.

    Thus, the role of the pastor/teacher is twofold. First, to learn and share the various historical, cultural, and linguistic issues to help a modern audience understand these ancient writings by ancient authors to ancient peoples. We have a difficulty that those hearing the original authors did not have, as the original audience knew the culture, history and language of their day. We don’t (without study).

    Second, because we recognize One True Author of all Scripture, the pastor/teacher is to study the entire word of God and be able to interpret Scripture with Scripture, rightly dividing the word of truth.

    And note, nowhere am I saying that only the current pastor is able to be that teacher of the word, or that we can’t derive great benefit from teachers that have gone before us.

    But all of God’s people can understand God’s word without any human intermediary (especially if investing enough time to know the entire Bible and the history, culture and issues of the original languages which is what the human intermediaries are used for by God)

    In fact, after some time it seems that regular Christians “ought to be teachers” to others and to not do so is a sign of lack of growth or maturity. Heb 5:12

    So I reject in the strongest of terms ANY argument, from ANY side of ANY doctrinal discussion that says we need a certain man to tell us what it means. That is little different than the Pharisees who always quoted their rabbis and refused to make definitive declarations of the word of God. In fact, it is a little like the cults too – who say we can’t understand the Bible without going through their literature first.

    That’s what I believe. Your mileage may vary.

  7. Babylon's Dread says:

    To worship we now have to ask “what would John do?”

  8. Babylon's Dread says:

    Implicit in the Strange Fire conference is the idea that they were demonstrating what God likes the most. What did you learn?

  9. Michael says:


    In the long run, this will diminish MacArthur…but not as much as Driscoll and MacDonald diminished themselves yesterday.

  10. I had no interest in watching it.
    But I did learn something.
    One person had a conference to promote his book.
    Another person crashed a conference to promote his book.

    What I learned:
    something, something something….buy my book.

  11. Michael says:


    I don’t think Mac cares about book sales.
    He honestly believes in this cause….as wrong as he is, I think his motives are pure.

  12. London says:

    Your post brought to mind a series we studied a million years ago when I hung out at church regularly…
    Besides God speaking topple through the Bible, I’m curious what other ways people believe God uses?
    I have my own thoughts, but curious about what others think/teach

  13. Steve Wright says:

    I think his motives are pure.
    Maybe. But then he is either blind or deliberately leaving out those charismatics not guilty of the radical excesses he bemoans.

    And since he is in So Cal – seems doubtful he is blind to all the CCs in his neighborhood as he says that all charismatics put experience over teaching the word.

    So if someone wins his argument by willfully framing it to avoid evidence to the contrary I have a hard time assigning pure motives.

    But hey, maybe that is why we can’t ever assign motives. 🙂

  14. Probably true on the book sales, but still motivated to get you to buy his book, because he wants your “mind right.”

    Truth, I don’t have a lot of use for charismatic stuff. That is the way I am wired.
    However, I believe that God can and does do miraculous stuff today.
    To just blanket say that most of those in the charismatic movement aren’t real Christians is too far.
    To claim that they may be blaspheming the Spirit is way too far.
    I think you are right, this diminishes him, and that is probably for the best.

  15. Steve Wright says:

    London, I definitely believe God also speaks through His creation. (Nature, other people etc.)

    The challenge there is to recognize that message is a little “blurry” due to the fall and the curse.

  16. London says:

    By that do you mean he shows he exists through what he’s created (there’s creation so there must be a creator)?

  17. London,
    Lately, I have read some stories from Muslims coming to faith in Christ. A lot of times dreams and visions are used to bring them to search. which usually leads them to the Word of God or a missionary who tells them the Gospel.

  18. This is funny to read. The Strange Fire is no Different from the Elephant Room – it is no different than all the renewal conferences Babs runs off to and it is no different that the apologetics conferences all over, not to mention the numerous last days conferences.

    I am proud to say that Lutherans participate in none of these let alone sponsor them. Preaching the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ week after week is the only thing that works. And yes, Jesus on the cross is for the Christian also.

  19. Steve Wright says:

    More than that London. I think we can learn much about God besides just that He is the Creator of it all. The Creation reflects God’s attributes in many ways, but since the Creation is marred by sin, we have to make sure not to transfer the sin to God as well.

    The same man that is capable of creating a beautiful painting or sculpture can also produce a pornographic film.

    The beauty we examine in nature can also be disrupted by a mountain lion jumping out and tearing a rabbit to pieces.

  20. Nonnie says:

    MLD, I disagree with you. I think Strange Fire conference set out to exclude many believers from the body of Christ, whereas most of the other conferences do not. I’m sure each one of those conferences believe they are offering something important, and perhaps different, but their goal is not to draw lines in the sand as to who is and who is not a Christian.

  21. MLD’s #20
    They need to take those conference dates off their schedule of events then.

  22. This is what I read from Challies who was liveblogging the “Strange Fire” debacle.

    Macarthur thinks this:
    “From his vantage point, this is a movement made up largely of non-Christians that lacks accountability.”

  23. Scott says:

    Derek, Lutheran conferences are okay, all others are not 😉

  24. Derek, LOL – those are professional and vocational conferences.Campus ministry, Rural missions ministry

  25. Nonnie, I don’t think that any of the types I mentioned are any less destructive than Strange Fire – which just happens to be getting the notoriety on this particular day.

    Bill Johnson and his renewal stuff is just as bad – same with prophecy conferences etc.

  26. Mmmmhmmm….sure.

  27. I say if you have to have a big conference on one of your pet beliefs you are probably wrong and were not able to persuade people in normal theological methods. So you take to the bully pulpit.

    Like I said before amil folks are completely content in their position – the dispensationalists on the other hand are in denial – so they hold conference after conference, and then write a hundred books to convince themselves.

    I look at these conferences as an actual confession that you know you are wrong, but have too much vested in that position to back down.

  28. On the other hand, I also like to place responsibility on the pewsters also, who cannot get enough scratching for their itchy ears. A pox on the conference goers also.

  29. Scott Barber says:

    My two hopes: 1) that charismatic Christians were not at all discouraged in their ministry; 2) that MacArthur would soon learn that truth and love are distinct from one another, but that truth serves love, and love serves truth–the exclusivity of truth is met with the inclusivity of love.

  30. Are conferences usually for pewsters?
    Most, besides youth ones, seem to be tailored for pastors and ministry professionals.
    You know, sort of like the Lutheran ones.

    Most pewsters have life and work going on and don’t have much time for conferences.

  31. Nonnie says:

    Derek, I know several “pewsters” (MLD’s term) who travel far and wide to conferences (usually with the theme of last days/prophecy) several times a year. I have some friends now that are currently in Israel attending a conference.

  32. Nonnie, my point is that “most” don’t.
    I know that some do.
    I myself, have watched quite a few messages from some online, but I don’t have two or three days to go to one.
    If I were a pastor or ministry leader, I would go to some because that is what people do to learn more in their field.

  33. Reuben says:

    Conferencing is a way to bolster ones position, like MLD said. CC does it every year around the country with pastor/leader conferences. I used to attend regularly.

    I think a point might have been missed here. Mac is a little slow at this, but the new conference was made to draw attention back to himself. Attention he lost to Acts29.

    Many things have been said of Driscoll the last two days, however, Mac and Mark are guilty of the same thing…

  34. Reuben says:

    This has quickly turned into a “mine is bigger than yours” shouting match, and reformed lay-people consider this an embarrassing moment in church history. I know Anglicans do.

  35. London says:

    Dreams and visions was a way we learned about. I was curious if anyone here would bring it up

  36. Scott says:

    Do most Charismatics even know, much less care about who or what John Mac thinks? Me thinks not. I wouldn’t of even known about this conference unless I read about it here.

  37. Derek, when CC has their apologetics conferences around the country, starring Norm Geisler (whom I like) almost all of the attenders are “pewsters” and not of the church professional world.

  38. This is a review of a book I read recently.

    The actual stories are bit longer and more involved.
    Here is how she summarized one of the stories:

    One phenomenon that I have heard about for years is how Jesus is revealing Himself to Muslim adherents through dreams. Reema and her husband, Mike, heard firsthand about one of those dreams from the building attendant in their apartment building:

    “Well, one night I was sleeping,” the young man began. “I was sleeping but I heard someone calling my name. Ibrahim. Ibrahim. So I sat up and looked, and there at the foot of my bed was this…this man. But he was like nothing I’ve ever seen before. He wasn’t standing on the ground; he was somehow above it. And he was wearing brilliant clothes of amazing whiteness, with a band of shining gold around his waist and across his chest. His hair and beard were dazzling white-gold. And there was light…coming from his face…” (p. 134)

    Reema and her husband, Mike, pointed Ibrahim to Revelation 1:12-18, and he came to the realization that Jesus appeared to him that night. The following happened:

    In the next moment, Ibrahim became a child of God through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
    He was radiant. The glory filling his newly cleansed heart shone through his face. I couldn’t help but ask how he felt. Smiling broadly, glowing with new life and freedom, he said, “The fear is gone! I’m not afraid anymore. Now if they kill me,” he pointed upward, “I know where I’ll go!” (p. 138)

    Jesus is really moving in the Muslim world, and it is amazing!

    I love these testimonies!

  39. Wow, just googled it. See that even Lutherans have conferences on apologetics for, and I quote:
    ” youth, congregation members, and church workers”
    Obviously not all professional and vocational conferences.
    I stand corrected.
    Wonder if they push their pet beliefs?

    That is a ridiculous thing anyways.
    We get on to some denomination or non-denomination for pushing their pet beliefs.
    What do we expect them to have a conference that does not?

    If I hear an Anglican speak, I expect to hear Anglican beliefs at some point.
    If I hear a Lutheran speak, I expect to hear Lutheran beliefs at some point.
    But apparently, if someone in CC has a conference then suddenly they are narrow minded and not broad enough.

  40. Note: That last was directed generally and not to anyone in particular. Just a general vibe I am getting.

    Building off that and what I have heard on MacArthur in general:

    If you go to hear MacArthur speak, expect to hear condemnation at some point.

  41. Nonnie says:

    Derek, did I miss something here? I can’t see where anyone has accused anyone of being “narrow minded” and not broad enough (other than the Strange Fire, since they are saying that Charismatic Christians are not true Christians.)

    My beef is people making huge sweeps of throwing out professing Christians because of their views on the gifts of the Spirit.

    I don’t give a hoot if people go to conferences. I was simply pointing out that many many lay people attend conferences and some attend several each year.

    I have been to some wonderful conferences. (Just went to a CC conference for missionaries in Europe this past Aug. It was one of the best conferences I’ve ever attended.)

  42. First, I am not angry at anything or anyone.

    “pet beliefs”
    “bolstering positions”
    Guess it was only two things that gave me the vibe.

    All I was saying was to throw out all conferences, because someone like MacArthur has a nutty one, is sort of ridiculous.
    Also, to expect a group not to put forth their beliefs in conferences is the height of ridiculous.

    Not anti-Conference, nor pro-conference, but this seems to be becoming a heaping on of condemnation of specialized conferences.
    But, what group doesn’t have a specialized conference?

    If I sell dog food for a living, I may go to general conferences about selling.
    But, if I work for Purina, I expect that I will have to go to one that touts the benefits of Purina dog food.

    My continued poking at MLD with the Lutheran conferences was to show that even Lutherans don’t follow his #20.

    “My beef is people making huge sweeps of throwing out professing Christians because of their views on the gifts of the Spirit.”
    I agree.

  43. Derek, you miss the point. Because a church puts on a local conference on a topic is not what I am talking about. You had to go search the internet to find some of these conferences.

    But I will bet you didn’t have to do an internet search for Strange Fire, the Elephant Room or any of the others we were talking about. They are huge efforts to make a point to those outside of the conference circles.

    We will see if Tim Chaillees live blogs the Rural Mission Church conference you pointed out earlier.

  44. I guess, I thought that if the discussion turned to “all these groups and their specialized conferences” that it would soon turn to “CC and their specialized conferences” and the world revolving around CC is tiresome.

    You are right Nonnie, stay on target.

  45. Anyway to make the point would be if a Lutheran group rented a big hall, invited all groups and broadcast live on the internet a conference on the Lord’s Supper. (which is a similar topic as tongues, last days etc)

    The title would be “Real Presence (our belief) vs no presence (evangelical beliefs)

    That is what I am saying you won’t see Lutherans participate in.

  46. Nonnie says:

    Derek, you were getting beside yourself, again. 😉

    Bless you!

  47. MLD,
    I am sure people out there exist who have no idea that “Strange Fire” and “Elephant Room” exist.
    They would have to do an internet search.
    They are the blessed ones.

  48. Hey, I just thought of something.
    Basically, JM is saying that charismatics are guilty of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.

    Now, someone correct me if I am wrong, but from the context in Matt 12:22-32 it seems that blasphemy against the Spirit is attributing Jesus miracles and power to the devil. Thus they blaspheme the Holy Spirit who was the motive power behind miracles.

    Isn’t that basically, exactly what JM did at the conference at one point, attribute things in the Charismatic movement to the power of the devil?

    See, this is what disturbs me and makes me think that JM himself is treading on thin ice.

  49. J Mac is treading on no ice at all. He is quite publicly sinking into the abyss.

  50. Ricky Bobby says:

    Nah, Mac will always have his supporters. He’s built quite a following and his Colleges will continue to crank out talented Mac’ites.

  51. Steve Wright says:

    Years ago I served at the annual CC men’s conference in praying with people who came forward for public profession of their sins and a desire to repent.

    The young man I spoke with afterwards was addicted to prostitutes. And yes, addicted is the right word. He shared just a couple examples of total self-destructive and foolish behavior to satisfy his flesh.

    I believe we had some good encouragement in the word, and a good time of prayer. I spent almost 30 minutes with this young man. He knew the gospel and was already trusting Christ as Savior

    That is one, personal example, I can share – and why I detest broad brushing against anything in the Body of Christ.

    Our church has one Saturday a year where we invite local pastors and local churches to our place for a day of worship and the word (and some good food and fellowship).

    I guess the more spiritual thing is to sit around drinking and watching sports on Saturdays – while bagging on how stupid Christian conferences are.

  52. Steve,
    I don’t know if it is broad brushing – and I don’t even know if I would put the CC Men’s conference in the same category.

    The men’s conference is really just an extension of the teaching ministry of CC.

    But Strange fire, the Elephant Room and the many others put on by the Gospel Coalition etc – who are they from, for and directed at.

    I find most of those to be just a time for a celebrity teacher to sign on to get face time and the audience is just an indiscriminate bunch who show up … because their favorite guy is speaking locally.

    Does anyone art any of these ‘conferences’ present papers and offer them up for publication in the theological journals… or are these straight to DVD presentations? 😉

  53. Scott says:

    Just received notice from my wife’s health insurance company, Regence of Oregon.

    As of January 01, 2014 (when Obamacare gets into high gear) her high deductible premium went up 100%.

    That’s right, 100 freaking percent!

  54. Ricky Bobby says:

    Christian conferences are stupid. Drinking and watching football is about its intellectual and practically beneficial equivalent.

  55. Scott, sorry to hear that.

  56. Scott says:

    Derek, oh well. I fully expect my company sponsored insurance to jump after our next open enrollment in February. Thus, I am pretty sure about $5, 000 of my income will be siphoned off next year to help subsidize you know what.

  57. Linnea says:

    Perhaps Johnny Mac might be better suited to Stirring the Fire 😉

  58. Ricky Bobby says:

    This is catching on:

    Thanks to 0bama (and the Liberal Agenda’s) fear of Muslims…Christians* are able to open this 0bamacare loophole as well…and bypass the 0bamacare tax and get what is in essence affordable insurance type health insurance while bypassing the ACA.

    There are many of these “ministries” popping up. I’d join one that has a large membership and some history. We’re considering it.

    Praise Jesus! I’ve found religion! 🙂 😉

  59. Gary says:

    When I was a child I played with toys such as speaking in tongues, pleading the blood and wearing Jesus trinkets. When I started to grow just a wee bit those things fell away. No one had to tell me. It wouldn’t have mattered anyway. So why don’t certain churches collectively grow up? Can one grow beyond their daily diet of preaching and fellowship? How is hardness of heart inbred?

  60. Steve Wright says:

    Scott, it’s going to get a lot worse. If this fiasco of a computer system NEVER worked for anybody, it would be better than the way a handful of people are eventually getting through after hours and hours of effort.

    Because now what is happening is people with high medical bills are going to do whatever it takes, to get through the system. I know I would work around the clock until I had success.

    But if you are one of the millions of young, healthy Americans, who don’t really care about having insurance anyway, but maybe want to do their patriotic duty (per our President) and sign up – there is no way you are going to go through the same hastle.

    Even the Huffington Post has turned on this debacle.

  61. Gary says:

    There are a lot of good thoughts on this thread. I wish I could address them all.

  62. randallslack says:

    I can’t even draw flies…

  63. Gary says:

    Can you draw water?

  64. randallslack says:

    Oddly, while I am a continualist, I loath being in meetings where spiritual gifts are exercised. Typically, poor teaching and emotionalism lead to un-scriptural excess. Thus I avoid such.

  65. London says:

    I am kind of the same way but for entirely different reasons.
    When, what I perceive to be, real spiritual gifts are exercised, as you called it, then I don’t feel weird.
    But as soon as it feels fake, phony of for show, then all I want to do is run for the door.

    However, I absolutely believe that the gifts were not just for a time long, long ago.

  66. brian says:

    Personally I would not wish to ask God for any gifts, I always figured the fact He has not yet killed me in some OT way was good enough. To actually ask for anything would be rude.

  67. Gary says:

    You have an armload of gifts. 😉

  68. Gary beat me to it. Brian, what he said!

  69. Nonnie says:

    I’m with London on Spiritual gifts.

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