The Transformation Buster
I first encountered Bob in May of 2006 out in front of Grace Church on Roscoe Blvd. He was passing out a multi-page report that allegedly documented how a couple of our fellowship groups had succumbed to Purpose Driven Life philosophy and were engaged in seeker-sensitive church growth techniques. He further claimed the PDL philosophy was really akin to Hegelian-Marxist techniques that seek to brainwash individuals to think in terms of an ungodly group think (whatever that maybe). Some of the ways this “group think” supposedly manifested itself was in the manner of “vision casting” talk, small group dynamics where “facilitators,” as Bob called them, would lead the group in “brainwashing” sessions, and the building of relationships.
Bob also had it in for Al Mohler, claiming that he was a secret, U.N. agent bent on infiltrating the Christian Church in America.
I spent a good 30-40 minutes talking with Bob and I wrote up our initial encounter with a snarky posted entitled, My Interview with a Crackpot.
I thought Bob would remain something of a onetime, local conspiracy kook, but before I knew it, he had taken to the internet with his screeds against John and Grace Church. Both Phil Johnson (no relation) and I would receive phone calls and emails from individuals from all over the world asking about the accusations in Bob’s papers. One of the recent mission conferences even addressed Bob’s material, because he was claiming our Master’s Academy International, a seminary ministry designed to train foreign national pastors in their home countries, was a secret group with the agenda to subvert the Christian churches in the various countries where they operated.
It became clear Bob needed to have something of an answer, at least to me. I pulled together a number of personal emails I exchanged with Bob and a couple of his minions (though I think one or two of them was the Bob in question) and I published them as apologetic articles for inquirers who had run across his internet sites.
This past Friday, August 27th, Phil Johnson informed me he had received a phone call from Bob apologizing for the articles. He further informed Phil that he had taken down his websites and would no longer be posting against John. His main reason is that he believed he was too judgmental in an unbiblical way. Phil encouraged him to make some public announcement of his change, which to Bob’s credit he did at his The Watchman Wakes in Vain site.
Seeing that I have been Bob’s most vocal opponent, I thought I would post it here:
I have deleted the article regarding the transformation of John Macarthur’s church. The reason this article was deleted is because it was an article written in judgment which is unbiblical. It was also written more in a spirit of “I’ll show you” than in love.. Does that mean that the facts in the article were untrue? I am unaware of any factual errors in that report.
For instance, did Grace Church have purpose driven ministries? Yes. Do/did they have ministries that partner with governments and UN-NGO member orgs? Yes. Are their agents transforming Grace Church from within? Absolutely. Phil Johnson belongs to an org called FIRE. This org has a slogan identical to that of Phoenix Freemasonry. I said that was of interest but I never intended that anyone assume Phil Johnson was a Mason. I apologize to others at Grace Church who have been similarly hurt.
Judge not lest you be judged. It was wrong for me to sit in judgment of Grace Church and John Macarthur and others. Only by God are they judged. How can I judge the speck in the eye’s of others when I have a log in my own? And I fear now that His judgment is upon me.
In spite of Bob’s claim that what he wrote he believed was factually true, it was not. I will say a lot of his charges against our Church stem more from his strange interpretations of what he considers “church growth” philosophy. If he begins with his particular model in place, I can see how he can easily find ghouls when none really exist. For instance, we have never utilized “Purpose Driven Life” principles in any of our ministries. The use of small groups, utilizing contemporary music, even talking about “catching a vision” does not equate to church growth-PDL philosophy and is only a figment of Bob’s conspiratorial mindset.
I will say I am concerned for Bob, especially regarding his last sentence of how he is fearful of God’s judgment coming upon him. I have never wished such a thing on Bob, just that he would admit his mistake and cease from lying against my pastor and church.
In addition to Phil’s admonition to put up an announcement about why he is doing what he is doing, I would even encourage Bob to write up a page to be handed out to our congregation expressing his wrong doing and asking for forgiveness and spend a Sunday or two handing it out to the folks coming and going to church. Maybe it is a little too much and perhaps unneeded, but I for one would love to see how God can change one of the biggest critics of my church into one of the biggest supporters.