it’s not about separation

Tim Challies makes a concluding observation about the Piper-Warren kerfuffle that, I think, misses the point.

At yet let’s heed Piper’s warning not to fall into an error of secondary separation. There is no need for us to separate from Piper over such a decision. We have plenty of latitude to disagree with him; let’s do so with respect for him and for his long and faithful history of ministry to the church. The sky is not falling, the world will go on.

JayC over at Sharper Iron asks a question:

In a context like mine, I’m not really sure that I ~could~ “separate” from Piper. The extent of the relationship that Piper and I have is that I download his books and will occasionally download a sermon. So in what meaningful way could I “separate” from Piper?

Jay’s question is a good one. How would anyone actually do secondary separation from Piper (assuming it is warranted)? In fact, let’s go a step further: How would anyone actually do primary separation from Piper?

The only way I could do either is if I was in some kind of ministry partnership with Piper. That is, if I was also invited to speak at Desiring God, then I could refuse to attend because of the Warren invite. Or if I was on the staff of Bethlehem Baptist, or a member, I could confront Piper personally and if I failed to achieve reconciliation, I could leave. If I were part of the BGC, I could raise the issue in the AGM and, if not satisfied with the Conference response or Piper’s response, I could pull out of the BGC. If I were involved in some other joint ministry with Piper (T4G, etc.) I could tell Piper that either he dis-invites Warren or we are dis-inviting him. Or failing that, I could break my relationship with him in this ministry and simply refuse to participate any longer as long as Piper were to remain part of it.

Have I covered every possibility?

Now, I am in NONE of these relationships with Piper.

So why should I care about who he invites to Desiring God? What difference does it make to me? What, if anything, should I do about it? Should I comment to anyone, should I make any criticism to anyone, should I discuss it with anyone? Should I blog about it?

[Read more…]

and now, a word from a fundamentalist

My friend, Matt Recker, offers a powerful sermon entitled “The Dangerous Direction of Rick Warren

Here are a few words from the concluding paragraph:

Warren mocks Fundamentalism and has said, “There aren’t that many Fundamentalists left in America.” May I remind Rick Warren that “might does not make right?”  Although Warren may interpret God’s blessing in terms of numbers, God never does. There were not many who got into Noah’s Ark.  There were not many who accepted the prophetic statements of Isaiah or Jeremiah.  There were not many following Jesus when He went to the cross!  Nevertheless, there are still some very godly, balanced, loving, and doctrinally sound Biblical fundamentalists and churches throughout our nation, and there is still this one, and as long as God allows, I will contend for the holiness of God and the purity of the Gospel.

Not much ‘nuancing’ going on here!


HT: Lighthouse Trails