John MacArthur and Pulpit & Pen Exposed
Pulpit & Pen blog (hereafter referred to as P&P) is a big player in the “discernment” community, and has become synonymous with polemics (their favorite phrase). With a penchant for exposing error, it behooves anyone who is even flirting with heresy to mind the crosshairs of the sniper squad at P&P. They are known for ruthless and unabashed shaming and anathematizing of any and all who deny fundamental truths of the Gospel, and have no time for the silly games of the “seeker sensitive” movement. Though much of what they say is true, biblical, unapologetic and with precedent, it is what they refuse to say about John MacArthur that brings us to this particular juncture.
The “mastermind” behind P&P is JD Hall, pastor and preeminent one of Fellowship Baptist Church in Sidney, Montana. P&P describes itself on their website as, “a ministry of Pastor JD Hall.” And also states that, “All published content is ultimately the responsibility of Pastor Hall.” Hall mentions himself 5 times in the about section, 3 of which contain his coveted honorific style of “pastor.” Most simply cannot stand not to have “Rabbi” in front of their name. I suppose Matthew 23:10, which expressly forbids such self glorification fell out of his bible. He might have replaced it with a page right out of the book of Diotrephes; he loves the preeminence.
There are other contributors at P&P but since JD has placed all responsibility ultimately on him, we’ll kindly oblige him.
Hall is no stranger to controversy; sometimes justified; sometimes not. He likes to gather “scalps” as he puts it (at least that’s what he said on the phone). “Polemics” is his favorite unbiblical word, and his potential undoing, as it doesn’t seem his aim is focused anywhere other than everywhere. JD has been critiqued by many for this directionless explosive-vomit style polemical punditry. Janet Mefferd was attacked by JD Hall on Twitter back in 2015, and she re-posted the same article last month because of his continued “insulting and abusing” of Christians, as she put it. Though this is not my primary concern, I find it interesting to note. Confronting someone’s error is indeed commanded in Scripture, especially when it is doctrinal, but Hall seems to anathematize anyone who is not subscribed to his blog. Just something to note before we move on to real issue; hypocrisy. While I can admit that P&P has rightly rebuked many such as Beth Moore, Steven Furtick, Carl Lentz, John Piper, and Al Mohler, it is what they have refused to say that everyone ought to take umbrage with.
JD is close personal friends with Phil Johnson (executive director of Grace to You), the right hand man to John MacArthur. JD and Phil are not only personal friends, but routinely partner in ministry together and speak at conferences. Sharing the platform at a billed christian conference with a presumed christian audience where there is no rebuke of another on the platform is an endorsement of that person. It is the extension of the right hand of fellowship (Amos 3:3). This is evident.
This alliance; this brotherhood, is one that is to remain unbroken no matter the cost. Given that papa John (MacArthur) is the source of their proverbial pizza, they dare not cross him or any of his cohorts. There is a partiality shown among these men that is pathetic if not gross. Unity in the faith is one thing, and to be encouraged, but unity to the exclusion of necessary rebuke and separation from leaven is impudent and sinful.
So, what’s the big deal?
P&P are staunch defenders and promoters of John MacArthur. After all, who wants to jeopardize their invitation to the famed Shepherd’s Conference, and opportunity to rub elbows with other like-minded Diotrephetic celebrities who love greetings in the marketplaces and titles before their names… right? Though MacArthur has spoken many truths in his years this, however, does not excuse ANY error on his part. Recall the awesome words of Jesus to the church in Ephesus: “NEVERTHELESS I have this against you…” So great was this “nevertheless” that if not heeded the lampstand would be removed. Past good does not justify any sin… ever… by anyone….including John MacArthur. What a sad testament to the dereliction surrounding us that this even has to be stated.
John MacArthur is in open fellowship and ministry partnership with Al Mohler, Mark Dever, Matt Chandler and John Piper. They are all members of “Together for the Gospel” and have been for years. They gather TOGETHER every year as those in agreement; with one accord.
Since at least 2006, John MacArthur has been a member, partner, advocate, and partaker in everything T4G is and represents. These men are his brothers in arms, his allies, and he theirs. They are all members of different churches and backgrounds who have seen fit to come together with one accord; to unite for the gospel. They are an elite crew of men who are known to stand for truth, orthodoxy, modesty, and reject error.
To say they are not partners (as some bereft of reason altogether have foolishly stated) is to reject reality and conform to a standard of make-believe that Walt Disney himself would find comically disconnected. So, what’s the problem? Christian unity is a good thing, right? Ephesians 4 makes that pretty clear, doesn’t it? We are supposed to come together, especially for the gospel. While those things are true, they assume something very important: That those we come together with are walking in accord with the commands of Christ and the whole of Scripture. Herein lies the problem.
Since 2010 (at least), John Piper has openly embraced heretics with no subsequent repudiation. He infamously invited “Purpose Driven” heretic Rick Warren to the 2010 Desiring God conference. Amid the ensuing backlash Piper doubled down and invited Warren to a sit down to “grill him” on doctrine in an attempt to assuage the anger and confusion of those around him.
The meeting was largely Piper trying to convince others of what he had already deluded himself into thinking, namely that Warren was christian enough to parade around with and that the Purpose Driven Life, if contorted just the right way, could be deemed to have some modicum of sound doctrine in it. This was all a pretext to prove his unwavering love of truth and prudence to his followers. Piper then doubled down saying of Warren,
“…I think he is theological and doctrinal and sound.” Since then, Piper has continued, at gold medal pace, in his pursuit of buffoonery, and all out apostasy, embracing the likes of Beth Moore, Francis Chan, Louie Giglio, Carl Lentz and the entire Passion Conference movement in all its heretical “glory.” In 2012 Piper joined Beth Moore at the Passion on stage for a little afternoon session of Lectio Divina. Nothing like capping off a day with mystical Catholic contemplative prayer.
Piper has continued strong with the Passion movement embracing all they are, including music by Hillsong United (of Brian Houston’s apostate Hillsong Church) and Jesus Culture (of Bill Johnson’s apostate Bethel Church). Nothing if not consistent.
Matt Chandler is also a friend to the Passion movement and Louie Giglio. Giglio is the founder and leader of the Passion Conference which generates millions at stadium events yearly and showcases some of the newest and most tattooed fledgling heretics in the game including Carl Lentz and Levi Lusko. But this is not surprising, however, considering that Louie Giglio found himself at the Vatican, in July of 2015, with his wife Shelley waiting in line to greet the Pope with a hug and a kiss . The same Roman papacy that Spurgeon called, unabashedly, “Antichrist.” This pope kissing, heretic embracing, seeker sensitive guru is Matt Chandler’s friend, associate, and partner in ministry. They are not mere acquaintances; Chandler considers it a joy to be part of the Passion Conference.
Beth Moore is not only a friend to Giglio and the Passion movement but she is quite fond of veteran prosperity heretic Joyce Meyer. She is friends with Christine Caine, the Hillsong pastrix, and she loves Joel Osteen as well. This is who Beth Moore is and has been…. and guess what? Matt Chandler is her friend and partner in ministry. He partners with her at conferences, promotes her books, and tweets her regularly in a brotherly, friendly, “we’re in this together” kind of way.
Are you starting to see a pattern here? Albert Mohler and Mark Dever are two peas in a pod. Remember our buddy Rick Warren; the man who says, “If you love Pope Francis, you’ll love Jesus.”? The Rick Warren who is a friend to Oprah and the world? Well, our other buddy Al Mohler is friends with him too. We wrote an article about this earlier in the year. In 2013 Al Mohler took a trip to Saddleback Church to hang out with the Purpose Driven pastor, and then they continued the love on twitter. Al Mohler is also a member of the ever apostate Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). The SBC invited both Warren and Francis Chan to speak at their conference in 2014. Francis Chan has publicly stated, TWICE, that he loves false prophet Mike Bickle. This same SBC is home to Russell Moore who is the president of the ERLC (Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission). Russell Moore joined a fight to help build a mosque in a New Jersey township. This was a fight that they voluntarily joined. He went out of his way to speak in defense of an antichrist religion who had been denied a permit to build.
Any guesses as to who Russell Moore’s good friend and ministry partner is? You guessed it; Mark Dever of Capitol Hill Baptist church. He and Moore travel and speak together frequently. This whole network looks more like a spiritual orgy than it does the body of Christ. Mark Dever and Al Mohler are both ministry partners with mosque-supporting Russell Moore. Al Mohler is also friendly with Rick Warren. John Piper openly embraced Rick Warren as of 2010 and never repudiated that endorsement. He has since gone on to become a staple at Louie Giglio’s Passion conference along with Matt Chandler. Chandler is also friends and partners in ministry with Beth Moore. This kind of soap operatic tangled web of love and lies becomes taxing rather quickly. So, what does it all mean?
The bible gives us clear commands about how to deal with those who embrace heresy and false teaching; SEPARATE!
Romans 16:17 says to “mark” and “avoid” those who cause divisions contrary to sound doctrine.
This is a command not a suggestion. 1 Corinthians 5:11 says that if a named brother is in sin, that we are not even to eat with him. Again; not a suggestion, but a command. 2 Corinthians 6:14 says not to be yoked with an unbeliever as light and darkness have no fellowship. But, most haunting is 2 John 11 which says that if anyone comes bringing false doctrine, not in accord with what Christ taught, that we are not to welcome them into our homes or even to greet them for to greet them would be to share in their evil; to become a partaker of the very same thing they are doing. This is aiding and abetting the enemy of Christ and would be akin to treason in our world. Some have ignorantly tried to dismiss this by saying, “that’s guilt by association.” Call it what you’d like; it’s 2 John 11, and you’re not the Holy Spirit. Charles Spurgeon, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, and Matthew Henry agreed with this as well. Spurgeon once stated,
“Participation with known and vital error is sin… That I might not stultify my testimony I have cut myself clear of those who err from the faith and even from those that associate with them.” Martn Lloyd-Jones was asked to partner with Billy Graham in 1963 and refused to do so, in part, because Graham shared a platform with “Catholics and liberals.”
In his commentary on 2 John 11 Matthew Henry states:
“Favour and affection partake of the sin. We may be sharers in the iniquities of others. How judicious and how cautious should the Christian be! There are many ways of sharing the guilt of other people’s transgressions; it may be done by culpable silence, indolence, unconcernedness, private contribution, public countenance and assistance, inward approbation, open apology and defence. The Lord pardon our guilt of other persons’ sins!”
We cannot join someone in meaningful fellowship without endorsing what they endorse (Amos 3:3). And if there can be no meaningful fellowship, as Spurgeon said, there ought not even be the “pretense of fellowship.” Piper, Mohler, Dever and Chandler are partakers in the evil of all of their evil cohorts despite any truth they may say. This makes them as guilty of the same thing, and therefore in sin.
When John MacArthur joins hands with them, he joins hands with people partaking in evil. Ah, but some will say, “that is secondary separation.” How foolish! The word “partaker” makes the notion of “secondary” utterly without merit. It is
now the first degree all over again. One cannot get secondary AIDS, or secondary herpes, can they? NO! STD’s are no less potent the 5th time around; in fact, sometimes worse. It is interesting to note that every time God condemns his people for going astray spiritually, He likens it to harlotry; prostitution and
adultery. He uses vivid, intimate sexual analogies to convey just how egregious their error is. What is the result of promiscuity, but disease? These spiritual orgies are causing an epidemic of STD’s (Spiritually Transmitted Diseases).
The bible knows nothing of “secondary separation,” but only “a little leaven leavens the whole lump.” MacArthur is guilty, not of mere association, but of open embrace and partnership with men who parade around with heretics and have therefore become heretics themselves.
Have we forgotten the folly of the Pharisees whom Jesus called sons of hell? They received His harshest words, and in part, because they knew and said correct things, and did the opposite. Speaking truth is meaningless if your actions contradict your words. Many say, “Yes, but MacArthur has said this true
thing, and that true thing.” But what of his actions? Jesus said of the Pharisees, “…they say and do not do.” (Matthew 23:3). Piper and MacArthur are partners together in a group with “TOGETHER” in the title. It can’t be more plain than that. Piper has fallen; MacArthur embraces him; MacArthur has fallen.
So, what does all of this have to do with JD Hall and P&P? For a guy and a crew who love nothing more that to engage in polemics, and attack pretty much anything that has breath for error in any sense, why are they so unwilling to touch this subject? They have covered all of these people individually but when asked in private why he wouldn’t address John MacArthur, JD maintained that he only affirms “one degree of separation.” He has no biblical foundation for this, as I’ve just shown. The real reason is self preservation. JD and crew are in the business of church business. They are sycophants who cannot bear the thought of alienating themselves from their crown affiliation; John MacArthur. This is, in short, idolatry. Unwillingness to rebuke ANYONE in error, because of their stature or status, and especially because of what they have to offer you, betrays a self love that would make Madonna envious.
JD Hall and P&P are little boys in little league who think they’re swinging with the Babe, when in fact, their desire to maintain the status quo, and protect their affiliations and platforms ensures they will never make it to the big leagues. Oh, they may amass a following of other little leaguers, but that’s still little league.
Boyish partiality has no business in the kingdom of God. God calls soldiers who can fight, and will lay down their lives for their King, not little boys in dress up who have vivid imaginations. If you can’t call out a hypocrite in your midst, what are you going to do when they march you to the gallows?
If you can’t call out a heretic embracing derelict like MacArthur, what are you going to do when persecution unto death comes knocking?
Generally speaking, when guys like this feel threatened, they resort to ad hominem attacks. They resort to questioning the integrity of the messenger rather than confronting the issue; they seek to discredit the messenger’s education, background, church or fellowship. It becomes purely retaliatory. This is the best they can do when they have no answers and refuse to humble themselves. Hopefully we see the latter.
It’s time that someone discern the “discernment ministries” for their hypocritical, and cowardly personal favoritism.
Justin Peters is unfortunately next. We have an hour long phone call that will showcase his blind loyalty to MacArthur.
P.S. Piper and MacArthur are slated to join together twice in 2018. This is NOT old news.