By Elizabeth Prata
The issue covered in this essay today concerns participating with folks who might not be the most solid. Concerns were raised when John MacArthur participated in the Sing! Getty Music Worship Conference last month where also slated to speak were Anne Graham Lotz, Jackie Hill Perry, Conrad Mbewe, and in 2018, Tim Keller on video, Ravi Zacharias, and so on. There were over 30 speakers slated to speak at the conference.
Discernment isn’t cookie cutter nor is it dot to dot. Making decisions upon what one notices discernment-wise rests on the individual’s maturity, depth of study, conscience, and ability to apply scripture. It’s a process rather than a snapshot.
There were many people who became distressed when it came out that Jackie Hill Perry had partnered with the Christine Caine crowd at Caine’s Propel Activate Women’s conferences for the last few years, and more distressed when she declared Jenn Johnson of Bethel Church a friend and a sister. Many also became alarmed when Beth Moore did the same with Joyce Meyer, appearing on Meyer’s interview show and declared each other friends & spiritual sisters.
If one is partnering with known heretics, then they are not brothers and one should not partner with them. Nor should one definitively declare them in the faith. If a person does, that is cause for concern over their own discernment.
If one is participating in a conference and someone else is participating that promotes some doctrines that you disagree with but they can’t definitively be declared a heretic, then it’s up to the individual’s conscience to make that decision whether to participate and we should leave it to trust them to make it well.
Phil Johnson and Todd Friel discussed this issue in the following podcast “Degrees of separation and where to draw the line.”
Gerhard Woest also made the following comment on Facebook about partnerships. Sometimes people who claim to be discernment teachers use these issues to purposely confuse people and divide. Their own intents are not good and their activities certainly aren’t discernment but are discontent and stirring up strife.
JOHN MACARTHUR’S PARTICIPATION IN “SING 2019” by Gerhard Woest-
A lot of rumours are going around about John MacArthur sharing the stage with some “heretics” at the Sing 2019 conference.
And to be honest, although I have the utmost respect for John MacArthur, after I saw this ad I also became concerned and asked myself, “What on earth is John MacArthur doing there?”
Well, the Bible teaches us to judge fairly, but it also says “believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” I therefore decided to look a little deeper into the matter and discovered that John MacArthur also participated in the Sing 2018 conference!
My next step was to watch the video (8 minutes) and it then became clear to me that he used his time as an opportunity to glorify God. There was nothing Charismatic or “strange” about it. As a matter of fact, I believe his motives for attending is right – most probably to open some eyes.
People like Servus Christi (Joshua Chavez) are so quick to run with a skewed sensational video and sadly, we often buy into these ungodly types of ministries so easily. –end Gerhard Woest
Todd Friel spoke to that issue in this short clip, “Rules of Discernment”
John MacArthur at Sing! 2019-
You will want to make your own decisions when you see a person participating with wonky folks but do so with good intent, thinking the best of the person first, exhibiting patience, and watching them over time. A one-time stumble isn’t enough to dispense with an other wise solid brother or sister who had for decades or years demonstrated their trustworthiness.