Tag Archives: Scripture

John MacArthur’s misunderstanding about the sufficiency of scripture

I recently listened to several sermons by John MacArthur on the sufficiency of scripture, which is what is prompting this article.  By the middle of each sermon I was shouting at the radio, and not “Amen” or “Hallelujah.”  The lead-off was talking about how psychology has infiltrated the church.

Now, I have to be clear from the outset, I don’t think a psychologist has the requisite training to be a pastor, that takes a whole other type of schooling and training.  The opposite holds true; a pastor that has only been trained to teach out of the Bible doesn’t have the requisite training to be a psychologist.  What does any of this have to do with the sufficiency of scripture?  Well, Johnny Mac’s point was that the Bible is sufficient for all spiritual need… which apparently includes mental need from his POV.

Does the Bible contain teachings that apply to psychology?  Yes.  Is it, sufficient in and of itself to treat someone’s mental disorder?  Well, let me ask this; is the Bible sufficient to teach someone to set a broken leg?  The answer to both is “no” without any insult to the Bible.  A human is physical, mental, and spiritual.  The Bible is mainly a spiritual guide, with overlap in the physical and mental areas.  We would never make the argument that if someone is suffering from cancer, that the Bible gives us specific cures.  It is the same for mental health.

MacArthur bemoans the fact that people look for answers outside the Bible… we do that all the time, in fact he does that all the time.  When you have a problem with your car, the Bible does not teach you how to fix it.  Beyond that, what MacArthur teaches sounds like a form of idolatry; the Bible isn’t to be worshiped, God is.  The Bible, as a physical, written document is not sufficient to save anyone.  Only God is sufficient. That is why the Bible should be labeled the word of God, while Jesus is The Word of God.

Further, I did not hear MacArthur teach on Ephesians 4; specifically:

Ephesians 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

Notice that these people are to teach, so a written manuscript is not sufficient for the perfecting of the saints.  It takes teaching and guiding, it also takes the Holy Spirit!  Should psychology run the church? No.  Should psychology be preached from the pulpits? No.  Do humans have a mind that can have issues that need addressed outside of scripture? Yes.  To teach anything else is to neglect a God-given aspect of humanity, and to put believers in danger who are listening to John MacArthur.  The danger is that someone suffering from a mental disorder, or mental pain may not get the help they need, being scared that psychology is somehow “of the Devil.”

The Bible teaches us about life, and eternal life.  Without God we are doomed, without Jesus we are doomed, so the eternal state of your soul should be your number one priority.  However, there are aspects to our earthly lives that will have to be dealt with alongside scripture, not out of scripture.  Mental health overlaps with spiritual and physical health, and we need to make sure each of the three is getting fed, and treated.  Scripture helps with all of them, and is sufficient for moral and spiritual teachings, but it was not meant to cover all we humans will encounter here, so the next time my power goes out, I’m not going to quote scripture and think it will magically come back on, someone at the power company is going to have to fix it.

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Filed under Christianity, Ministries, Psychology, The Bible

Judgmental Hypocrites Annoy Me…

That title is my whole blog post…well, my words anyway.

Matthew 7:1 Judge not, that ye be not judged. 2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. 3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? 4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?

Luke 6:37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: 38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

Romans 14:4 Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.

Romans 14:8 For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s. 9 For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living. 10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. 11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. 12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. 13 Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way. 14 I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.

1 Corinthians 10:12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall

Proverbs 6:16 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: 17 A proud  look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, 19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

Proverbs 16:18 Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. 19 Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.

James 2:10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.

John 8:6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. 7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. 8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. 9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. 10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?

Luke 18:9 And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: 10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. 12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. 13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

Galatians 6:14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom  the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. 15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. 16 And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God. 17 From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus. 18 Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.

I’m not immune to any of these; preaching to myself too.

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Feedback; The Bible…

I had a recent question on my stance on the Bible; here is the link to a previous article on my blog: The Reliability of The Bible.  I encourage all the new readers to my blog (hello, BTW!) to utilize the “search” function on the side of the page when looking for certain topics.  As always, comments welcome…

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Filed under Apologetics, Christianity, The Bible

Christian Movies…

I just rewatched The Nativity Story, which got me thinking about the history of Christian Movies (movies with a Christian theme) and the state of Christian movies today.

I grew up on movies like The Ten Commandments with Charlton Heston as Moses, Ben-Hur, The Robe, etc… which my family collected and watched together.  One thing that I do recall is that when I was growing up, there were no new Christian movies being produced, so I’d turn to the old ones, the classics, for entertainment of that variety.

I do realize now that during my childhood, and adolescence, there were Christian movies being produced, it just that they were so silly, cheesy, and poorly acted that no one cared to see them.  I do think that that is starting to change.

Honestly, those of us looking for Christian stories well told in film owe a lot to Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ.  While debate about this movie still occurs amongst Christians, there can be no doubt that it gave the movie industry a goose to start producing better Christian-themed movies.  I’ve watched and enjoyed The Gospel of John (for all my fellow Lost fans; Desmond plays Christ, which is fun, and kind of hard to get used to) , The Nativity Story, The Chronicles of Narnia, Amazing Grace, One Night with the King, and even films like The Last Sin Eater.

Independents out there, like Sherwood Pictures are giving it a go with films such as Flywheel and Facing the Giants.  Their new movie “Fireproof” is coming out.  While they’re a bit more straightforward in their preaching (especially preaching at you, which can get annoying even for fellow Christians), and the acting isn’t Hollywood level, at least they make profit on their movies.

However, there are some Christian movies that keep the cheese alive and well in this day and age; I expected more from the first two Left Behind installments, but I enjoyed the third one better, though it still fell below expectations for me.  Other shows try to tackle the end-times, but again, they come out “a bit” sub-par.

I also enjoy movies that borrow Christian themes that aren’t anywhere near scripturally accurate, nor particularly Christian; The Prophecy series, Constantine, and the like.

Now, what movies would I like to see made?  Movies on the level (and even more scripturally accurate) of The Passion, and The Nativity Story.  Movies about Old Testament happenings on an epic scale would be nice, such as David, Daniel, Noah, etc…  Also a high budget movie based on Peretti’s angel novels; This Present Darkness, and Piercing the Darkness would be very nice indeed.

So, how ’bout it?  Any Christian movies you love, hate, love to laugh at?  Old, new, future?  Any recommendations?

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Filed under Of Interest, Reviews, Sacred Secular