My on-line friend, Jon Gleason, wrote me in response to the current controversy. I thought it would be worth reposting here with his kind consent. His embrace of separatistic principles is not unlike mine. Both of us came out of evangelical backgrounds. Those who are moving leftward are perhaps naïve about the problems they will encounter as they join up with evangelicals. May this current controversy be a “Hold on!” moment for them as Jon describes below:
I am glad you commented on your blog on Thabiti Anyabwile’s recent article. I’ve been watching events with great interest, because Pastor Anyabwile is saying many things I was saying and thinking some 22 years ago. While some may think nothing is going to come of this, I’m not so certain.
As a student at Biola University and then at Western Conservative Baptist Seminary, I held a position which is virtually identical to many who would today be called “conservative evangelicals”. If I could sum up what I believed back then, it would be thus: “I’ll hold to the truth of God’s Word; I’m absolutely committed to it. I oppose apostasy – but I’m not one of those wacky second degree separatists.”
God’s Word is powerful, and so is obedience. If you obey, you occasionally have those “paradigm shifts” as new areas of obedience open up to you. We might call them the “Hold ON!” moments. That can happen when you realise, “I’m in fellowship with those who are dabbling with heretics!” My “hold ON!” moment came when Biola invited a music minister from the Crystal Cathedral to speak at a music seminar. I couldn’t overlook the fact that he was aiding the propagation of Robert Schuller’s heresy, and Biola thought it was acceptable to bring him in.