What someone said about some of you…

February 2, 2008 in Sovereign Grace Ministries

Someone emailed me a link to a discussion on a “Reformed Theology” site, where one of their more revered posters (who writes under the handle of “TheoJunkie” and attends a Sovereign Grace church) evaluated this blog.

Here is what Mr. Junkie had to say:

Regarding SGM… Excellent point that first hand is best and all else is silly (and by the way, even me speaking to you all is only second hand from your perspective…)

The spirit of the accusations here and on the linked blog, is not one of conversation/discussion. There is a clear agenda to be furthered, and anyone who says otherwise will be pronounced to be brainwashed by the “authorities” at SGM. Thus my –yawn–… I shan’t waste much time on this.

1) What is the difference between saying “I would only go somewhere that had another SGM church” and saying “I would only go somewhere that had another [Presby/Methodist/Catholic/AOG/PCA/whatever] church?”

2) Such statements (if/when made) are by preference of the congregants because they love what SGM stands for… VERSUS a cult-like rote recital or requirement. My church (in both the membership class and then again in the discipleship class) has very clearly stated that while of course they hope people will attend this local church (not SGM, mind, but this local church)… if this local church is not for the person, they should diligently seek A local church to get hooked in with. One of the scenarios we had in our discipleship class dealt with “what if your friend came to you and said they got a great job offer in another city…” The scenario was, that the city did not have a “doctrinally solid local church” (no mention of “another SGM church”… the only criteria was “doctrinally solid”).

3) SGM routinely quotes folk like Sproul, Grudem, Piper, Spurgeon, Owen, Calvin, and others… NONE OF WHOM, dead or alive, are/were members of an SGM church.

4) People who leave our local church frequently come back. Not because they fear for their souls, but because they find the grass just ain’t as green elsewhere as they thought it would be.

5) I have disagreed with my pastors on several issues (and continue to disagree on some issues), and never have I been forced to change my mind or leave/be disciplined. One biggie is the issue of believer baptism for those (such as myself) who were baptized as infants. I flat out told my pastor at my membership interview that I would not at this time be baptized because I firmly uphold my infant baptism. I did agree to look into it diligently. However, my pastor’s final words to me were simply that whatever I decide on this issue, he wants me to decide with integrity between me and God. And not only have I not been pestered further on this, but I was invited to be a leader of the childrens’ ministry.

6) It’s one thing to disagree with doctrine (and even policy)… but quite another to pontificate on hearsay. If anyone wants to go EXPERIENCE AND LIVE IN an SGM church and then decide it’s not for them and leave… GREAT. But to sit around on the internet “warning people” about a church just because they personally found it not their cup of tea… well… whatever. The internet surely is a free place, thank God.

7) SGM is very very different from practically any other church denomination/family you are likely to encounter in the western world (or eastern, probably). Does that make it wrong and dangerous? Probably to some. If you don’t like it, don’t go there. But just like brussels sprouts and spinach… if you’ve never tried it, how can you say you don’t like it?

8) We serve Kool-Aid at church functions (along with coffee, soda, and iced tea), but so far, everyone has survived.

9) Blah blah blah blah.

10) Whatever…

Criteria for Evaluating Any Church:
1) Do they teach from the Bible.
2) Do they go forth.
3) Do they make disciples.

In short, whatever church you pick, it needs to be doctrinally sound, gospel-centered, and needs to take life in and with Christ seriously.

Later, he added this:

I am fully aware that my response above (“If you don’t like it, fine” / “SGM isn’t for everyone”) is exactly what would be expected from one who has been woefully brainwashed such as I… as the linked blog has so very wisely predicted and preempted.

Yes, I find SGM to be the best church around– else I wouldn’t be there. Think about that. If you don’t find YOUR church to be the best around, then ask yourself why you are attending.

No, I don’t think SGM is for everybody. And while yes, I think this has something to do with a Christian’s maturity… no, I don’t think this has anything to do with whether a person is a Christian (at least not necessarily). By the way, statistically speaking (and also somewhat by observation), I would not be surprised in the slightest if some attendees (even members) of SGM churches, including my local church, are not ACTUALLY Christian– just like at any church. I would be the percentage is smaller, but no doubt they are there.

The main thing I’m peeved about here, is not that “people are being mean to poor old SGM”… but that the whole question is set up like, “Do you still beat your wife?” You can’t win. If you defend SGM, then you have been brainwashed by them (this has been firmly established). So the only option is to jump on the bandwagon and cut them a new one along with your fellow man. Foolishness.

Strange thing is, just like Reformed Theology and indeed the Gospel Itself… the more people that get offended at it, the more right it is proven to be!

If a person has a problem with the concepts of sound doctrine, the gospel, or taking Christ as their Lord and growing with Him at every opportunity… I would suggest the problem is personal.

Please note his last line in particular.  What do you all think of his critique?

© 2008, Kris. All rights reserved.