hippo critter?

It’s all very well to call the young, the restless, and the reformed to maturity and discernment, but… well, just read the comments following the post.



  1. Jonathan Hunt says:

    thats… illuminating!

  2. Darren says:

    After reading his good articles dealing with the YRR, I reflected upon the irony of such. The first few comments do point out this irony of His advice to the YRR.

  3. Keith says:

    Is your point that it appears as if it is okay for MacArthur to critique the YRR but it is not okay for others to critique MacArthur? If so, I think we’ve found one of those rare occassions on which we agree.

    Of course, I’m guessing that your position is that there is a big problem with what both the aspects of the YRR and Mac which are under discussion (“fashion conscious yrr church planters” and “charismatic/worldly music”). Whereas my position is that there is not a big problem with either.

    Don’t get me wrong, I think the hipster church planters are comical in their fashion consciousness and it is not wrong to rib them about it and encourage them to take care in that area. Of course Mac/GCC is also fashion conscious — just a different fashion. Everyone has to wear something, so everyone is identifying with some group’s fashion.

    I also think that it is really unarguable that the resolved music is contemporary (what was at one point trendy and fashionable) and that much of the ethos of that type of contemporary music originally developed in the charismatic groups, and it is not wrong to discuss that with Mac/GCC.

    It’s just that neither of these things is the end of the world. Neither of these things justifies division in the body of Christ. These kind of foibles and differences will always exist until we see Christ face to face.

    Anyway, even though I’m fairly certain that we disagree about the details, I’m glad to agree with the main premise of your post.


    • Well, Keith, it’s been a while.

      It would probably be better to just ask questions if you aren’t sure of my view, rather than make assumptions.

      However, in a post rebuking the YRR for lack of discernment the ‘Resolved’ conference is a huge hypocritical red herring. The people asking about it in MacArthur’s comment section are MacArthur ‘fans’. They are on his side. They are confused about the OBVIOUS inconsistency.

      But I think you know that already.

      Don Johnson
      Jer 33.3

  4. Keith says:

    So, I think we agree. Right?

    I agree that this is an inconsistency, and I agree that what’s good for the goose is good for the gander — if it’s ok for YRR to get called out, it’s ok for Mac to get called out.

    I think we’re agreeing, but your last sentence has me wondering.


    • ok, I guess we agree. I wasn’t sure what you were after in your earlier post.

      Don Johnson
      Jeremiah 33.3

  5. I never would have read the comments; thanks for pointing them out. :)

    Look at comment #21. “It really boils down to what your convictions are. ” Is it really only a matter of personal convictions, and there are no standards at all? I very much doubt that Macarthur would agree with that statement, but thinks like Resolved lead to people who follow his teachings adopting that view.

  6. d4v34x says:


    I’m curious to know the difference between a standard and a conviction.

    Also, they’re at it again over there. Alcohol this time.

    • Dave,

      I am sure Jon will have a good answer, but thought I would offer something that happened in our ministry the other day. People have often asked if we have a dress code, and I have said, “It’s good if you’re dressed.” That would be a conviction. This summer, some of our men have taken to wearing shorts on our Wednesday evening services, including when they were serving in some capacity on the platform. We tend to be informal on Wednesday nights, but I didn’t want to be that informal. So I asked the men to wear khaki trousers as our minimum standard for platform service. I told one of them that I don’t think wearing shorts is a sin – that would be a conviction, but for leading in our church services, we wanted something a little more formal than shorts. (Shorts would be fine at a campfire service or some such thing.) This fellow used the word ‘standard’ in his reply (and he had no problem with setting standards).

      So… short answer: standards are a code of conduct, convictions are (at minimum) a rule of conscience and, maybe, in fact a rule of sin.

      As for being “at it again over there”, I don’t know that this is a hypocritical matter exactly. I don’t think MacArthur or his ministries have ever been known for a loose attitude towards alcohol. The point that I am criticizing is perhaps the biggest blind spot in MacArthur’s ministry. He has deliberately chosen to not make an issue of music because “the young people like it”. Maybe he’ll change his mind on this at some point. I hope so. But it is pretty hard to put the genie back in the bottle.

      Don Johnson
      Jer 33.3

  7. d4v34x says:

    Hi Don.

    My point about at it again was the stir among commenters rather than any apparent incongruity between belief and practice.

    On this other thing, I’ll give you my taxonomy up front.

    1. Character of God
    2. Commands of God
    3. Principles (derived from Scripture)
    4. Convictions (personal application you can’t cross without believing you’ve violated one of the above)
    5. Standard (safety fence you seek to abide by in order to not violate any of the above)

    Based on this I think you can understand my question to Jon. And my sort of disagreement with your taxonomy, but my taxonomy is just a Standard, so . . .


    • Your taxonomy is fine, although I think we quibble on the meaning of Standards. I don’t think a standard has to be set for “safety”, there are other good reasons for setting standards besides safety.

      But I don’t think we would be that much in disagreement.

      We’ll see if Jon is still following this.

      I agree that the hornets nest is stirred up again at the GTY site. The moment you touch a sacred cow, the devotees howl.

      Don Johnson
      Jer 33.3

  8. Hello, Dave. Fair question, thanks for picking up on sloppiness.

    I would give “Standard” two meanings beyond personal conviction. The first would be an absolute standard, a direct question of right and wrong.

    In my opinion there are three kinds of absolute standards. 1) That which is directly forbidden by God. 2) That which is obviously inconsistent with God’s nature and commands (this would be supportable by Scriptural principles). 3) That which is not inherently immoral of itself but carries immoral messages in a particular culture. Elsewhere, it might be acceptable, but within a particular place/time it is clearly violating God’s nature and commands. An example would be the use of particular words which in one country would be acceptable but in another would violate the command about seemly speech.

    The second type of standard, again in my view, would be those things that are agreed upon within a particular community. An example of this would be speed limits, which have no moral component. Ecclesiologically, an example would be items agreed upon in a church covenant, or rules for corporate worship established by a church as most appropriate for that church to practice.

    The general point is that this concept that the only thing that matters is personal convictions is deeply flawed. In all of life, there are objective standards external to us by which we must abide.

    Hope that helps explain my comment, anyway.