My Answer to Justin Taylor and Pyro Blog Regarding the “Gospel-Centered” Take on “Gossip.”
“By the way, the term, ‘gospel-centered’ saturates the Pyro blog, and it means much more than you think it does. Understanding the meaning of this term is key to understanding why they think the crying out on behalf of raped children is gossip…. This is much more than just a common understanding of how we are saved—this is a radical worldview.”
“Susan also came from such circumstances and slept one night in contemplation with a gun under her pillow. ‘Survivor’ is a word that is only worthy of irony in the minds of New Calvinists like Frank Turk who have a twisted worldview. And one only needs to read the SGM legal brief to know exactly who Frank Turk is mocking.
As the New Calvinist cartel circles the wagons around CJ Mahaney, an abnormal number of blog posts concerning “gossip” have appeared on the Evangelical blogosphere. I checked my calendar to see if perhaps February 12 is Gossip Awareness Day. Hmmmm, not finding it on the calendar.
Dan Phillips is one of the authors of the Team Pyro blog along with Frank Turk. Phil Johnson, most prominent in the John MacArthur venquilitrist show, is a former author on the blog. Phillips posted the exact same article that Justin Taylor posted (and the same day) on the Gospel Coalition blog. The post insinuates that the survival of a local church is paramount to all else. “Gossip” is a “church-killer.” Bill Gates would be asking me for money if I had a nickel for every time we hear this from the who’s who of New Calvinism:
Yes, yes, what they did to you is horribly wrong! But exposing this under any circumstances could destroy that church, and whoever destroys the temple of God will be destroyed by God!
Per the normal, an exegetical argument from the Bible was not executed, but rather run of the mill Reformed orthodoxy. That brings us to the gospel-centered motif that drives almost everything in the American church in our day. By the way, the term, “gospel-centered” saturates the Pyro blog, and it means much more than you think it does. Understanding the meaning of this term is key to comprehending why they think the crying out on behalf of raped children is gossip. And it starts with orthodoxy. In the Reformed construct, elders receive the word from God, and then repackage it in a way that can be understood by the totally depraved unenlightened masses. Hence:
It is wholly an issue of whether or not authority comes from God through the Scripture to the elders and pastors of your church and is therefore the basis for their credibility and their exercise of spiritual responsibility.
This was a comment made by Frank Turk in the comment thread of a Post by Johnson entitled “Should Type-R Charismatics Get A Free Pass?” Type-R refers to Reformed Charismatics. And yes, according to Team Pyro, they should get a pass because….
I have warm affection and heartfelt respect for most of the best-known Reformed charismatic leaders, including C. J. Mahaney, Wayne Grudem, and Sam Storms. [Let's call them "Type-R Charismatics."] I’ve greatly benefited from major aspects of their ministries, and I regularly recommend resources from them that I have found helpful. I’ve corresponded with the world-famous Brit-blogger Adrian Warnock for at least 15 years now and had breakfast with him on two occasions, and I like him very much. I’m sure we agree on far more things than we disagree about. And I’m also certain the matters we agree on—starting with the meaning of the cross—are a lot more important than the issues we disagree on, which are all secondary matters.
Got that? ALL other issues apart from their “meaning of the cross,” i.e., gospel-centered are “secondary.” This is the tie that binds. “Cross-centered” and “gospel-centered” are often used interchangeably. This is much more than just a common understanding of how we are saved—this is a radical worldview. The uniqueness of it can be further demonstrated by this:
We are glad that you admit it Frank. Refreshing. But before we continue, let me interject an example of the kind of hypocrisy that comes part and parcel with this worldview. Here are the five points outlined in the post by Pyro and TGC blogs:
1. Ask, “Why are you telling me this?”
2. Ask, “What’s the difference between what you’re telling me and gossip?”
3. Ask, “How is your telling me that thought, that complaint, that information going to help you and me love God and our brothers better, and knit us closer together as a church in Christ’s love?”
4. Ask, “Now that you’ve told me about that, what are you going to do about it?”
5. Say, “Now that you’ve told me about that, you’ve morally obligated me to make sure you talk to ____ about it. How long do you think you need, so I can know when this becomes a sin that I will need to confront in you?”
But yet, consider this by Phil Johnson:
Shortly after that (in early 1992), John MacArthur, Lance Quinn, and I met with Paul Cain and Jack Deere in John MacArthur’s office at Jack Deere’s request. Deere wanted to try to convince John MacArthur that the charismatic movement—especially the Vineyard branch—was on a trajectory to make doctrinal soundness and biblical integrity the hallmarks of Third-Wave charismatic practice. He brought Cain along, ostensibly so that we could see for ourselves that Cain was a legitimate prophet with a profound gifting.
But Cain was virtually incoherent that day. Lance Quinn remarked to me immediately afterward that it seemed as if Cain had been drinking heavily. (In retrospect it seems a fair assumption that this may indeed have been the case.) Even Deere apologized for Cain’s strange behavior that day, but Deere seemed to want us to assume it was because the Spirit was upon Cain in some unusual way. They both admitted to us that Cain’s “prophecies” were wrong at least as often as they were right. When we cited that as sufficient reason not to accept any of their prophecies at face value, they cited Wayne Grudem’s views on New Testament prophecy as justification for ignoring the errors of prophecies already proven false while giving credence to still more questionable pronouncements (Ibid.)
If Johnson and Quinn confronted Cain about their concerns before they gossiped to Deere about it, they may have known exactly why Cain was acting the way he was. Furthermore, why was his demeanor relevant to what he specifically stated? Moreover, unbeknownst to Deere or anyone else for that matter, Cain could have been on medication for a medical problem. That is why Matthew 18 states that if you have a concern or issue with someone; first, go to them “ALONE.” This is only a grain of sand on the beach in reference to the kind of hypocrisy that is constantly vomited out of the Pyro blog and is indicative of their grossly distorted worldview.
What is that view? I have written on this extensively, but here I go again. Volumes could be written about this, but I am stating what coincides with the subject of justice. Luther’s Heidelberg Disputation was written about six months after the 95 Theses disputation. It is really the magnum opus of the Reformation. Calvin then took Luther’s HD worldview which he got from Pope Gregory/Augustine and developed it into a full orbed philosophical statement adorned with Bible verses. That would be the Calvin Institutes.
Reformed theology sees all reality from Luther’s Theology of the Cross. Basically, there is only two prisms from which to interpret the world: the glory story (existentialism), or the cross story (all reality is seen through objective redemption history outside of us). The cross story objectively categorizes all of life into two categories: God’s holiness and our sinfulness. Reality is the difference between the two and defines each more fully leading to greater and greater understanding. The first known counseling manual written by a clergyman was based on this concept; i.e., Gregory’s “Pastoral Care,” which is the model for most Reformed pastoral counseling in our day. Everything else is the glory story which is considered to be a gargantuan cesspool of subjectivism; specifically, anything at all about us.
….I think that the idea that Christians have been given The Truth, and The Truth is utterly embodied in Christ, and that we shouldn’t pretend like other explanations of reality have any worth because they have no eternal worth is, at its core, the only true monotheism. Its unquestionable that this is the reason we evangelize and not merely discuss our faith as if it was one of several viable choices (Frank Turk: Unleash the Response; Pyro blog).
It’s really a great gig if you want to believe in it. You can totally separate yourself from the realities of the world by focusing your whole mindset on our worthlessness, powerlessness, and hopelessness. All of our hope is in Christ and everything He has done—not anything we do. At all. To the degree that we are able to empty ourselves, we can detach ourselves emotionally from the world. This mindset enabled Puritan Christopher Love’s pregnant wife to write him a seemingly celebratory letter prior to his impending execution for meddling in English political affairs. Love could have escaped execution and not left his wife with a quiver-full to care for on her own by merely promising to mind his own business. He refused. Luther’s worldview, articulated by Calvin, spawned the most radical religious sect ever known to man—the Puritans, who are the envy of New Calvinists—particularity Phil Johnson.
Therefore, all of the misfortunes and tragedy of life serve to humble us. They eradicate the glory story, and lift up the cross story. Luther specifically states this idea in his HD. Life is about deathly humbling that brings about resurrections. These resurrections are experienced by joy in our deprivation for the clay vessel is being shattered and thereby allowing the glory of the cross to shine forth into the world. We have this treasure in earthen vessels; the glory of Christ, which can only be manifested when we suffer the way He did. All suffering is a cross event. Are we not to take up our cross and follow Him daily? Got cancer? Awesome! Another cross event! Been raped? What an awesome opportunity to show forth the forgiveness you have received! There aren’t any victims, just preordained cross opportunities.
This is why the Reformers were indifferent to suffering and didn’t take the concept of justice seriously. Calvin called justice, “mere iniquity” (CI 3.12.4). This is why New Calvinists disdain the idea of victims, justice, and “survivors.” They often preface these words in what we grammatically call scare quotes. Scare quotes preface the word with the idea of “supposedly,” or “so-called.” So, let me give you an example from Pyro blog:
OK: enough is enough. I’m opening this post and the comments below for one reason only: SGM “Survivors”.
Note the scare quotes utilized by Frank Turk. Interesting. You see, Susan and I counsel people who have left abusive church organizations, and when we asked one counselee to tell us about other families that left—this is what we heard:
Some turned their back on the faith. Some do church at home, and some committed suicide. Not many marriages survived.
Susan also came from such circumstances and slept one night in contemplation with a gun under her pillow. “Survivor” is a word that is only worthy of irony in the minds of New Calvinists like Frank Turk who have a twisted worldview. And one only needs to read the SGM legal brief to know exactly who Frank Turk is mocking.
This would also explain why Pyro continually defends the president of SGM, a defendant in the class action sexual abuse lawsuit filed against SGM. The following screen shots from Pyro illustrate this below, including Frank Turks indictment of SGM whistleblower Brent Detwiler:
This Reformed worldview is the reason for the present-day tsunami of spiritual/sexual abuse in the church. While the Reformed accuse dispensationalists of escapism their doctrine is a gnostic-like escape from the here and now. It has always appealed to intellectual elitists and run along the upper socio-economic paths. It avoids the messy, painful experience of fighting for the most vulnerable among us. Embracing pain and suffering as the gateway to joyful resurrections is the pastoral easy-button. This gives them time to blog about the “deep things” of God and supply cover for abusers.
The logic is the same, the mentality is the same, and the behavior is therefore the same: coldblooded, vindictive, and controlling.