It breaks down sort of like this:
Bob Johnson practices what I would call a Conspiracy Driven Life. Practically everything supposedly “wrong” with contemporary evangelical church can be traced back to the United Nations, the CFR, Hegelian Marxists, and Al Mohler according to Bob Johnson’s worldview. In response to Bob’s kooky accusations against my church allegedly engaging in Hegelian Marxism and Total Quality Management within our singles ministries, I merely pointed out to him what true church growth philosophy of which we are concerned with at Grace really looks like.
I can clearly see what a purpose driven ministry looks like: The watered down preaching, trendy music replacing good worship music, the emphasis on getting people to feel comfortable rather than on sound doctrinal teaching, marginalizing older saints as not having an important role to play in the life of the church, attempting to be relevant toward current cultural issues, for example, the interview Rick Warren did with Obama/McCain in the summer of 2008.
Enter then Kent Brandenburg, freshly returned from rescuing the soul’s of men from the villainy of Facebook, Molotov cocktails lit and in hand. He and his ready squad of anti-lordship head waggers ready themselves to lob them at those hypocritical neo-Calvinist MacArthurites. He zeroed in on three points in my outline quoted above: 1) the trendy music replacing good worship music, 2) the emphasis on getting people to feel comfortable rather than on sound doctrinal teaching, 3) attempting to be relevant toward current cultural issues.
It is with these three points Kent is convinced we are hypocritical because the single ministry The Guild (one of the key ministries criticized by Bob the wacko) and the college department’s yearly Resolved conference, both use contemporary Christian music in their services. Kent then makes all the grand leaps of logic we have come to expect from Fundamentalists over the years and basically concludes:
A few things to note with Kent’s rant:
First of all, Grace Church has always set a high standard for worship music in both theological content, style, and performance. Sunday evenings is a bit more contemporary in sound than Sunday mornings, but the music is well done, God honoring, and theologically sound in lyrical content in spite of what Kent and his flame throwers may think about it.
Second, Kent criticizes The Guild (and Mainstream, a young marriage fellowship class) for allowing a band called The Narrow Gate to perform their take on classic Christmas hymns for a fellowship get together. But that band linked on his website is not the same band that played at a Christmas party on a Saturday night. They were a group of local attendees to our church who sang. Kent is totally wrong about this, which is typical of the type of flame throwing coming from his brand of Fundamentalism.
Third, the Resolved conference takes place off site of Grace Community Church and it doesn’t reflect the general tone of worship set during the main worship services of our church. That means that yes – horrors – the music is probably more edgy, fast paced, rock-and-rolling sounding than for Kent’s tastes. It is, of course, geared toward younger folks. I would even say – and this comes from a guy who likes good rock-and-roll – I don’t necessarily care for it either. I realize Kent may think we have a Christianized Burning Man festival happening out in the desert above Palm Springs. He even quotes another unbalanced fundamentalist, Peter Masters, who basically says that; but what I personally prefer with music does not mean what I don’t like is automatically sinful and ungodly and Christians can’t listen to it.
Kent then goes on to ask some heart penetrating questions:
Where in Scripture do we see the church segmented like this? Where does God’s Word say that one part of the church will have a different emphasis than others or will accomplish what it does in a different way than the rest of the church? Where in the Bible does this philosophy come from? And what is tone?
Well, Kent, “Where does the Bible say we can’t have different emphasis?” The Church is a diversity of gifted individuals unified around the Gospel. Resolved may have music you dislike and think is wicked, but that’s you, and what you personally dislike doesn’t equate to being sinful. That’s the logical disconnect among Fundamentalists of Kent’s stripe. In truth, the music is theologically rich in content and played well and is merely the supplement to the hours of solid, Bible believing theologically sound preaching those young people hear during the week.
And then to make sure he heads off any rightful criticism to his muddled thinking he has tried to pass off as “standing for truth,” Kent remarks,
I can already hear the defenses. I’ve read them over at Pyromaniacs among other Grace Community and MacArthur apologists. The defenses are very similar to those offered in revivalist fundamentalism. The one criticizing us “has a small group of supporters.” “He’s a hyper fundamentalist.” He’s one of those “King James Only types.” In other words, no substantial defense, just name-calling and blatant arrogance.
Talk about irony, especially with that last “blatant arrogance” comment. At any rate, there is a reason you hear those defenses Kent. THAT’S BECAUSE THEY ARE TRUE!
You’re a small group of hyper minded individuals who equate their personal preferences with biblical truth that you think should be held by all Christians and anyone who challenges your claim to the facts of the matter are blatantly called arrogant for disagreeing with you.
It couldn’t be any clearer.