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General discussions discuss Lig Duncan, John MacArthur, and CJ Mahaney in the General Forums forums; http://www.reformation21.org/Reforma...bId=617&pm=114 8/22/2005 posted by Ligon Duncan Yesterday, C.J. Mahaney preached the worship services at Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California. In my opinion, that ...

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    pastorway is offline. Inactive User
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    Lig Duncan, John MacArthur, and CJ Mahaney

    http://www.reformation21.org/Reforma...bId=617&pm=114

    8/22/2005
    posted by Ligon Duncan

    Yesterday, C.J. Mahaney preached the worship services at Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California. In my opinion, that is a sign of good things quietly astir in the evangelical and Reformed community today - new networks of friendship, kinship in the truth and cooperation in ministry. And it's something you wouldn't have guessed twenty years ago.

    Many evangelicals will recognize Grace Church as the congregation pastored by John MacArthur. Many will also know that John has been a strong critic of charismatic theology (how many printings and editions has Charismatic Chaos gone through?), and that C.J. is leader of a family of churches that is both Reformed and charismatic. So what's up? Is John going soft on his positions? No, not at all.

    But they've gotten to know one another (through mutual friends like Mark Dever). And John has seen that C.J. is a man of the book (you can be sure that John would never entrust his flock to someone in whom he did not have that confidence). Indeed, C.J. and John are bold soldiers of the Gospel - they delight in God's sovereign, saving grace and they love to proclaim it. John is still a committed cessationist, and my dear friend C.J. is not. But they are both committed to the powerful and propositional truth of the Word of God. I'm also glad to say that they are both colleagues of mine, serving as Council members of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals.

    Both these men are huge encouragements to me. C.J.'s infectious passion for Christ and zeal for the truth (the veritable personification of heat and light!), John's sheer steadfastness and serious commitment to following the Word of God where ever it leads him -- these things and more, in them, spur me on in serving the Lord, his Word and his people.

    So, together with them, in the Alliance, we are working to spread the humbling, delighting, God-exalting, Christ-centered Gospel of sovereign grace, through the churches, to the ends of the earth, all to God's glory and for the everlasting good of his redeemed.

    Thanks John and C.J. We love and appreciate you both!
    NOW that is refreshing! Fellowship instead of frenzied fanatical fighting!!! THIS is unity around the gospel and around the Word of God and the Person of Jesus Christ!!

    Phillip
    Pastor Phillip M. Way
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    Wet blanket:

    The RPC BCO states:

    However, the [RPC]...rejects the following teachings and practices as unacceptable to the Gospel of Jesus Christ for the New Testament Church, and forbids the teaching and/or practice of such systems within the membership of the church:

    (1) charismatic theology and its unbiblical practices
    (2) dispensational theology
    (3) Arminian theology in any form
    (4) the practice of `altar callsī in the worship of God
    (5) the participation in abortions in any form
    (6) the teaching, practice, or promotion of homosexuality in any form or type
    (7) participation in any secret society which violates the Scriptures or Confession
    (8) neo-orthodox and neo-evangelical theology in any form
    (9) modernism and humanism in all forms
    (10) the teaching, practice and promotion of feminism
    (11) the teaching of evolution in any type or form.

    I don't see how one could say they are "charismatic" and "Reformed"? At least not int he sense that Lig is defending it (and its intersting that such a note "must" be written to "defend" the practice.)

    Fellowship is found in the unification of truth, not the ecumencialism of tolerance. I can't see how either Macarthur allowed it (or rather, yes I can see it but I don't like it) and how Duncan OK'd it. I just don't get the AoCE? They seem to be becoming a picture of today's "Evangelical". I don't think that is somethig they should propagate even by recommending one another's preaching that way. But I guess if the Alliance has redefined "evangelical", then its ok by modern standards.
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    "NOW that is refreshing! Fellowship instead of frenzied fanatical fighting!!! THIS is unity around the gospel and around the Word of God and the Person of Jesus Christ!!

    Phillip"

    to you big time, Pastor Way!

    As far as CJ is concerned, he is a WONDERFUL man and preacher and proclaims the Gospel so zealously; he lives and breathes the Gospel in all he does! I'm not at all charismatic, but I love this guy, and he is doing great work for the Kingdom of God!
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    Well, check out this link: http://togetherforthegospel.org/video.php Four great Christian men being serious and joking a bit.
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    Originally posted by webmaster

    The RPC BCO
    Forgive my density...what is this?
    Josh
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    For God will save Zion, and will build the cities of Judah: that they may dwell there, and have it in
    possession. The seed also of his servants shall inherit it: and they that love his name shall dwell
    therein.- Ps. 69

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    What does Mahaney believe?

    What does Mahaney believe re: tongues? Does he advocate "angel speak" or a known language?
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    Reformed Presbyterian Church Book of Church Order
    ????Right?
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    Beyond Sharing Pulpits

    I was interested in finding out some background on CJ Mahaney and what he believes re: the gifts of the Spirit. I was able to view the Statement of Faith of Sovereign Grace Ministies http://www.sovereigngraceministries.org/about/faith.html.
    Under the heading, "Empowered by the Spirit" is an annotation link. It allows you to open a .pdf file by Jeff T. Purswell titled, "Empowered by the Spirt - Room for Differing Views." Let me quote one paragraph that concerns me:


    On the other hand, one can also imagine a "third waver" who says, "Don't tell me I need the Spirit - I got all I needed at conversion!" This caricature illustrates a similar misapplication of a faithful third wave view in which the necessity for the ongoing work of the Spirit is ignored, and confidence is placed in a past experience - in this case, conversion
    No matter how you slice it, this type of theology introduces (and perpetuates) a caste system within Christianity. There are the "have's" and the "have nots." Some people are driving Cadillacs while others are putzing around in Yugos. That is how I see it. The theological arguments against the operation of the sign gifts notwithstanding; there is no separating the fact that the logical conclusion of pentecostal/charismatic theology is that there are some that are more spiritual than others. So when someone who holds to that view wants to stand up with me and proclaim Christ, I have a difficult time with it. I see it as more than just rhetoric. I see it as substance. Is the ground at the cross truly level? Is Ephesians 1:3 not true?

    I know...blame for me for picking up my ball and running home. But I have to be honest on how I feel about this this issue. If I am wrong, may God grant me the grace to repent.
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    I don't believe in 2nd Work of Grace theology, it's perfectionism. The Dispensationalists have a kinder, gentler version of the same thing. That being said, that God could even enlighten Charismatics to His sovereignty in salvation is refreshing. Let's agree on what we can and be honest about our disagreements, trusting God to enlighten us. We should be concerned and pray for the church; it's amazing how far perfectionism has spread throughout evangelicalism. Only the Holy Spirit can root this plague out.
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    brymaes is offline. Puritanboard Sophomore
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    As much as I respect Duncan and have benefited from MacArthur, Mahaney is in unrepentant error and I would not be comfortable with him in my pulpit. Charismatic theology is serious error, with grave implications against the sufficiency of Scripture. I realize that Mahaney is a brother, and that we may have fellowship with him and other Charismatic brethern over the Gospel. But as Matt said in another thread, the church in Corinth was a true church, but none of us would invite one of their presbyters to preach in our churches.
    x

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    Much to my suprise, I AGREE WITH MATT MCMAHON.

    and others who have posited that Charismatic Theology is SERIOUS error. Fellowship is one thing, allowing a teacher of serious error into your pulpit is another.

    Let me lay my wet blanket down over this thread and run and hide...

    JH
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    Being brought up in charismatic theology and seeing the devastating effects of it first hand, I just couldn't take this guy seriously. I am glad he is starting somewhere with the true gospel.

    Aren't they just making him think "hey I'm ok I don't need to change anything." This reaching out is great and all but we should never budge on the important stuff. I struggle with just where this line should be drawn. I understand us uniting under the "gospel" for the sake of helping each other out but...I don't like compromise. Maybe they aren't compromising though. I am sure they are all secretly trying to influence each other. Maybe CJ will see how out of his depth he is.
    Traci
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    NOW that is refreshing! Fellowship instead of frenzied fanatical fighting!!! THIS is unity around the gospel and around the Word of God and the Person of Jesus Christ!!
    It is refreshing that dispite their differences on baptism and the charismatic gifts, they can stil call each other brothers in Christ!
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    An Excerpt from their Website

    "What do you believe about spiritual gifts and the work of the Holy Spirit?

    We hold to the complete continuity of all the spiritual gifts referred to in Scripture. We find nothing in Scripture that suggests that these gifts have passed away or will pass away. Rather, Scripture portrays these gifts as available to believers and vital to the mission of the church. We want to be obedient to Scripture's commands, not simply to acknowledge spiritual gifts, but to "earnestly desire" them (cf. 1 Corinthians 14:1).

    Thus, we are "charismatic" in that we believe in the present-day work of the Holy Spirit in the many ways that the Spirit's work is described and manifested in Scripture. However, we are careful to emphasize the broad work of the Spirit. We never want to be preoccupied with the more "spectacular" aspects of the Spirit's work to the neglect of the countless ways in which the Spirit is at work in our lives. Most importantly, nothing could be more spectacular, miraculous, or powerful than God's work of regeneration in a person's heart."


    Here's their FAQ's:

    http://www.sovereigngraceministries.org/about/faq.html
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    C. Matthew McMahon's Avatar
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    Originally posted by wsw201
    NOW that is refreshing! Fellowship instead of frenzied fanatical fighting!!! THIS is unity around the gospel and around the Word of God and the Person of Jesus Christ!!
    It is refreshing that dispite their differences on baptism and the charismatic gifts, they can stil call each other brothers in Christ!
    Knowing that they both beleive int he deity of Christ, the Trinity, election, and other fundamentals, this should be the case!
    C. Matthew McMahon, Ph.D., Th.D.
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    Just looked at their statement of faith - they believe in a second work of grace. Oops!

    Thank God they believe in salvation as a monergistic work of God. I don't doubt they will progress in their understanding of the Holy Spirit's work.
    The man who is disposed to think of his sin as a great calamity, rather than as a heinous crime, is not likely either to reverence God or to respect His law. - John Kennedy, 1873
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    Puritanhead is offline. Puritanboard Professor
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    I went to C.J. Mahaney's church in Chesapeake, VA quite a bit from fall 2003 to spring 2004... and attended their Christmas banquet for twentysometihngs. Every message I heard was doctrinally sound, and the preaching there was such a welcomed break from all the shallow evangelical independent churches. Their soteriology was right on the nose! The expository and topical preaching was amazing -- and they don't compromise on the doctrines of grace to be "seeker-friendly". I'm not saying I assent to all of their doctrinal beliefs as I was only briefly acquainted with them... I have a tough time throwing any criticism at Mahaney or any of their guest preachers having heard so much powerful and sound Bible preaching. Their bookstore is a nice touch.

    They do not have that chaotic malaise of 1,001 people praying 1,001 different things at charismatic churches... best I can fathom, their theology parallels that of John Piper and Piper's books crowded their bookshelves along with the old Puritans. They hold to believer's baptism. They rotated some good guest preachers from the other churches in Sovereign Grace Ministries, such as the original one planted in Maryland. I personally think John MacArthur goes to other extreme on spiritual gifts...

    The service is essentially contemporary, which is what is popular in urban Virginia-- frankly, it's hard to find traditional services in urban enclaves... I prefer traditional hymns and find it most fitting for the solemity of a church service and perhaps listening to some contemporary in my car-- if it's worth listening too.

    [Edited on 8-31-2005 by Puritanhead]
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    My question would be if CJ Mahaney believes that the charismatic sign gifts are for today does he earnestly seek it in his church as he should if he is truly convinced of it? Did you Ryan witness any of it when you attended his church?

    What bothers me is that the people who walk that fence need to get off on one side of the fence or the other. You either see true spiritual gift activity and none of this wishy washy "I feel" this or that. It should be "thus says the Lord" and only the most arrogant person of our time would actually do that, or you reject it outright. And if you are going to have healing etc. lets try the deaf hearing and blind eyes opened and lame people walking. None of this tooth filling and leg extensions that is totally unprovable. Remember these are supposed to SIGNS. Meaning everyone is amazed and not just scratching their heads.

    Can you tell I come from this background or what!
    Traci
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    "I have taken all my good deeds, and all my bad deeds, and cast them through each other in a heap before the Lord, and fled from both, and betaken myself to the Lord Jesus Christ, and in him I have sweet peace."--David Dickson

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    Originally posted by turmeric
    Just looked at their statement of faith - they believe in a second work of grace. Oops!

    Thank God they believe in salvation as a monergistic work of God. I don't doubt they will progress in their understanding of the Holy Spirit's work.
    If I am not mistaken most of the Puritans believed in a second work known as being sealed by the Spirit. It brought great assurance in the faith and promoted good works in the life of the believer. John Owens didn't buy into it but it was an accepted doctrine in the Puritan era. D. Martyn Lloyd Jones believed in it also.

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    Originally posted by puritancovenanter
    Originally posted by turmeric
    Just looked at their statement of faith - they believe in a second work of grace. Oops!

    Thank God they believe in salvation as a monergistic work of God. I don't doubt they will progress in their understanding of the Holy Spirit's work.
    If I am not mistaken most of the Puritans believed in a second work known as being sealed by the Spirit. It brought great assurance in the faith and promoted good works in the life of the believer. John Owens didn't buy into it but it was an accepted doctrine in the Puritan era. D. Martyn Lloyd Jones believed in it also.
    Iain Murray had a Banner of Truth article in the seventies that tried to steer a middle ground. I will dig up the bibliographic info later.
    Jacob
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    pastorway is offline. Inactive User
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    I just love that I predicted privately to others that when I posted this that it would not be long before people on this board started attacking Mahaneys theology.

    I did not post this to talk about the merits or demerits of anyones theology BEYOND THE GOSPEL. I had hoped to focus on the COMMON GROUND.

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    gwine is offline. Inactive User
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    Originally posted by pastorway
    I just love that I predicted privately to others that when I posted this that it would not be long before people on this board started attacking Mahaneys theology.

    I did not post this to talk about the merits or demerits of anyones theology BEYOND THE GOSPEL. I had hoped to focus on the COMMON GROUND.

    It is sad that people are so quick to look for the bad in others.

    Let he who is without sin cast the first wet blanket . . .
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    I don't think that people want to look for the bad. What I see here are a lot of weaker brothers who come from various arminian, charismatic and dispensational backgrounds who are sensative to these various abberant forms of theology.

    I think a little understanding is in order here. Why would anyone want to put a stumbling block in front of brothers and sisters in Christ and then come in here and triumph over their success?

    10 But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
    11 For it is written:


    "œ As I live, says the LORD,
    Every knee shall bow to Me,
    And every tongue shall confess to God."

    12 So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.
    13 Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brotherīs way.

    I don't think there is anyone here who does not want us to find common ground when we can. We have but one gospel and we cannot unify under anything else. So I hope that all of these leaders who like to make nice do so in a way that does not in the least subvert that gospel.
    Traci
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    Originally posted by JonathanHunt
    Much to my suprise, I AGREE WITH MATT MCMAHON.

    and others who have posited that Charismatic Theology is SERIOUS error. Fellowship is one thing, allowing a teacher of serious error into your pulpit is another.

    Let me lay my wet blanket down over this thread and run and hide...

    JH
    Having spent over nearly 10 years in "Charismania" (from 80-88 and then some in 94-95), I'll give a HEARTY AMEN to my brother's concerns. It's not just the doctrine (or lack thereof) in these circles that concerns me. They are breeding grounds for all manner of error that not only distorts the true ministry of the Chruch, but also winds up have devsatating impacts on marriages and families.

    [Edited on 8-31-2005 by BrianBowman]
    Brian Bowman
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    Apex, NC

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    ChristianTrader is offline. Puritanboard Graduate
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    Originally posted by pastorway
    I just love that I predicted privately to others that when I posted this that it would not be long before people on this board started attacking Mahaneys theology.

    I did not post this to talk about the merits or demerits of anyones theology BEYOND THE GOSPEL. I had hoped to focus on the COMMON GROUND.

    But you cannot talk about common ground and allowing various people in one's pulpit without talking about if their differences should not allow such to happen.

    So the question is how far astray a person can be while still retaining the priviledge of teaching one's flock? That is a very special position.

    CT
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    Raleigh, NC

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    Originally posted by pastorway
    I just love that I predicted privately to others that when I posted this that it would not be long before people on this board started attacking Mahaneys theology.

    I did not post this to talk about the merits or demerits of anyones theology BEYOND THE GOSPEL. I had hoped to focus on the COMMON GROUND.

    I know. But having come out of the charismatic movement and knowing the caste system that it creates in Christianity, it is difficult to find common ground.
    Bill Brown
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    Originally posted by Puritanhead
    I went to C.J. Mahaney's church in Chesapeake, VA quite a bit from fall 2003 to spring 2004... Every message I heard was doctrinally sound, and the preaching there was such a welcomed break from all the shallow evangelical independent churches. Their soteriology was right on the nose! The expository and topical preaching was amazing -- and they don't compromise on the doctrines of grace to be "seeker-friendly".
    I have a tough time throwing any criticism at Mahaney or any of their guest preachers having heard so much powerful and sound Bible preaching.
    ... best I can fathom, their theology parallels that of John Piper and Piper's books crowded their bookshelves along with the old Puritans.

    [Edited on 8-31-2005 by Puritanhead]
    Keep in mind what Puritanhead said above.
    I mean if someone has their "soteriology right on the nose" and "doesn't compromise on the doctrines of grace," then we have a lot to rally around. I have a feeling that if many of you would have the opportunity to sit under Mahaney's preaching, you would have a very difficult time not coming away with the impression that this is a man used of God in a powerful way.

    Sure its right to critique his denomination's views on charismatic gifts, but he's got the Gospel right, and we need as much of that as we can get in this day and age.

    Even in churches where they have their theology all in line, I've heard preaching that doesn't even come close to what Mahaney brings to the table. This man is a "soul-converter" thru the power of the Holy Spirit! His messages are delivered with such passion and authenticity and power that its difficult to remain unchanged after hearing him.

    He would be a welcome reprieve in MOST churches (at least most that I've ever visited).
    Name Not Shown
    (to prevent my posts here from showing up on web searches of my name)
    Northland Church
    (Currently residing in Greenville, SC)

  28. #28
    JonathanHunt's Avatar
    JonathanHunt is offline. Puritanboard Senior
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    I don't think anyone denies the power in the ministry of CJ Mahaney!

    I don't think anyone would mind sitting under his ministry if they happened to be in the area.

    I don't think anyone wishes to deride this man of God nor his church.

    I think everyone would be glad to fellowship with him and his church.

    But the crucial issue, as Hermonta has said, is where do we draw the line around our pulpits? In who we (speaking from an oversight angle) endorse by pulpit invitation or book review, or whatever, we make a powerful statement to our flock.

    Overseers have a solemn responsibility. By opening our pulpits to charismatics, whatever their good points, we are saying that charismatic theology is a minor issue and doesn't really matter.

    I don't say this out of pride, smugness, elitism, or anything else, and in truly pains me to say it. It all comes down to what we consider to be 'essentials' and 'non-essentials'.

    JH
    Jonathan Hunt

    Pastor, Morton Baptist Church Thornbury, South Gloucestershire, United Kingdom since 2012

    Logic is a systematic method of coming to the wrong conclusion with confidence. -- Thomas Elsworth

    *Please note* I've been a member of this board for over ten years. Things I wrote in 2004 and intervening years do not neccessarily represent my attitudes or positions now. Thank you!

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