My journey into the podcasting & polemics/discernment world has definitely been a learning experience. Now, I do want to say, I don’t describe myself as a polemicist or The GK as a discernment ministry. I feel like that puts us in a box and limits the scope of what we discuss and our focus overall. The GK is not Pulpit & Pen. We are not Lighthouse Trails. We aren’t even WorldView Weekend. Not that this is a bad thing, by any means. Lighthouse Trails and WorldView Weekend do an amazing job helping their audiences to be able to discern between truth and error. We are what we are. I don’t want to be pigeon-holed into what we have to focus on. However, many of the controversies and debates that we’ve found ourselves to be a part of have been within the discernment & polemics world.
The ironic thing about many of the big-name discernment ministries is that they aren’t actually using discernment.
What I’ve come to realize is that the evangelical church is split up into tribes. Even more so within the polemics world. It’s less about truth. It’s all about the alliances.
We saw this with the Shepherds Conference Q&A session this past March. We saw men on stage that found themselves on both sides of the debate on Social Justice. On one side we saw Phil Johnson and John MacArthur. On the other side we saw Mark Dever, Al Mohler & Ligon Duncan. It was the perfect opportunity to bring clarity to a chaotic & confusion situation. Instead, what we saw was Phil Johnson asking good questions in as nice a way as possible (I commend Phil for his line of questioning. He got a lot of blowback that he did not deserve), and then we saw Dever, Mohler and Duncan get defensive and downright hostile in response to the line of questioning. And then to sum it all up, we saw Pastor MacArthur give his now famous line: “I’ll fight error, but I won’t fight my friends.” Every single person who saw that Q&A session saw that Pastor MacArthur chose his alliance with these men over the truth.
But that’s just one example. We see this over and over again within the church. It’s a direct reflection of what we see in the secular non-Christian world. All of us are sick of the Swamp in Washington DC. Why? Because we don’t believe a word that comes out of the mouth of a politician. We see them campaign a certain way, but then will change their positions based on who they are aligned with. We see that happening in the Democratic Party today. For an even better example, take a look at the Democratic Presidential candidates? They don’t have beliefs or positions, they just oppose Donald Trump. So if President Trump takes a position, they’ll compete to see who can hold the most polar opposite position as possible. The exception to that is Andrew Yang who, though I disagree with many of his positions, clearly believes what he’s campaigning on. But I digress.
We saw the Apostle Peter choose alliances over truth. Paul discusses this in Galatians 2:11-14:
But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. For before certain men came from James, he was eating with the Gentiles; but when they came he drew back and separated himself, fearing the circumcision party. And the rest of the Jews acted hypocritically along with him, so that even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy. But when I saw that their conduct was not in step with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all, “If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you force the Gentiles to live like Jews?”
How did Paul deal with this situation? He opposed Peter to his face. Now think about this: Peter wasn’t directly compromising the Gospel. I mean, why would Paul have to deal with this so confrontationally? Peter was just choosing to eat with different people?
Here’s the problem: He was compromising the Gospel by his actions by treating people differently depending on what group they were a part of. Does this sound familiar? Peter was applying a form of intersectional hierarchy, dividing the Jews and Gentiles and treating them differently based upon their group identity instead of the simple fact that we are all one race & all one family within the Body of Christ.
But now, we are seeing similar behavior in the church today, and even more so within the discernment/blogging/podcasting world. It all depends on what group you identify with and if you are in the right group you get a pass. If you are in the wrong group, you are separated from and often times condemned. You could have the exact same theology, same beliefs and say the exact same things as someone else, but if they are in the right group and you aren’t, you get cast aside. It’s high school cliques all over again.
We are in the middle of a war for the soul of the visible church. We are in a civil war, going up against the Evangelical Leaders who’ve been entrusted to safeguard the church, but have betrayed each and everyone of us by allowing Social Justice & Cultural Marxism to infiltrate the church without putting up any resistance.
The problem is that the resistance is splintering, constantly infighting and jockeying for position. Most of the leaders care more about being seen as the leader of The Resistance, as opposed to just winning the fight. So they’ll put everyone else down to make themselves look good. The problem with this is that the SJWs are in lockstep, while we are over here out of sync.
So the question is this… how are we going to handle this? Are we willing to take a stand for truth? Are we willing to take the risk to take on the big dogs? Paul didn’t care about taking on the Biggest Dog. Think about it, Peter was the ultimate Apostle, and Paul was the outsider. Confronting Peter was a big risk. The rest of the Apostles had actually walked alongside Jesus during his earthly ministry, while Paul hadn't. So they had a bond with each other, including Peter, that Paul simply did not have. For all Paul knew, the Apostles could've behaved as we are seeing the modern day Evangelical Elites behave, circling their wagons and defending their own against the Paul the Outsider. Did that stop him from confronting the error of Peter? Of course not! He went for it. That’s what we need to do, as well. It’s for the sake of the church. It’s for the sake of the Gospel. It’s for the sake of future souls who may hear a false Gospel because of this error that we are seeing running rampant in the church.
Are you going to play politics and make decisions about confronting error based upon who is the one promoting the error? Or will you set aside the personalities involved and just expose truth and confront error? Are you going to fight error but not your friends? Or are you willing to take on even your friends if they are publicly promoting theological error such as Social Justice? Are you going to participate in infighting to keep everyone else down so you can look like the leader? How you answer these questions shows what your focus is on... Are you focused on glorifying God and getting truth out there or are you focused on glorifying yourself and jockeying to position yourself in the hierarchical game of fame & fortune within the church? Fight error. Fight your friends when they are promoting error. There are eternal souls at stake.
#jeffdornik #jeffthegk #thek #gatekeepers #peter #paul #pulpitandpen #worldviewweekend #jdhall #jordanhall #brannonhowse #lighthousetrails #evangelical #evangelicalelites #shepcon #shepherdsconference #philjohnson #johnmacarthur #almohler #albertmohler #markdever #ligonduncan #sinclairferguson #thegospelcoalition #tgc #sbc #southernbaptistconvention