An Open Letter to Frank Turk

by Mike Ratliff

For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written,

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,

and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”

Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. (1 Corinthians 1:18-21 ESV)

Dear Frank,

I do not know if you remember that day several years ago when I walked into your bookstore in Siloam Springs. I was a bit surprised that you knew who I was, but I do remember the very cordial conversation we had that day. Both of us have traveled far since then. I was just a couple of years into God drawing me into this discernment ministry and I still did not have a clear picture of what was going on in the visible church. I doubt if any of can claim to know that even now. In any case, since that day I have always considered you a friend and one of many allies in the Truth War. However, lately you have written several things online that have caused me to hurt for you brother. 

What do I mean? As a contributor to Christian Research Network and other online resources, I know what it means to be a target of those who will use all sorts of ugly tactics from all sorts of motivations to attack me personally as well as what I have written and published. I have swung the sword against some with every intent on taking out me and my ministry “in the name of Jesus.” Therefore, I think I know what has motivated you to come to the defense of men such as Rick Warren and John Piper and others even though these men have obviously made questionable doctrinal (in the case of Rick Warren) and unwise (in the case of John Piper) decisions that baffle those of us who do all we can to be centered on God’s Word as the one and only standard of Truth.

However, perhaps you should reconsider your latest “Open Letter to John Piper.” Why? Up until about a year ago I owned nearly a dozen of his books, but then it became apparent that something had changed. He began to partner with those who I could not nor would ever partner with or even consider a genuine prophet/preacher/teacher of the Word of God. I would include in that group men like Mark Driscoll and Rick Warren et cetera. We have attempted to get him to reconsider and repent yet he will not listen. I have since disposed of all of my John Piper books. I have removed all of my links on my blogs and websites that pointed back to the Desiring God ministry. Is this permanent? Possibly, but that would depend upon John Piper and whether he heeds the warnings he is receiving from those of us who are lovingly trying to reprove him. If he refuses then I fear it will remain permanent. Frank, this is Biblical.

This is what we do:

I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. (2 Timothy 4:1-5 ESV)

We compare what they teach with God’s Word, even when they used to be sound, but now they are not:

If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain. (1 Timothy 6:3-5 ESV)

You see, those of us who use God’s Word to hold those who are outside of God’s Truth accountable are not the ones who are puffed up with conceit and understanding nothing, but the ones who refuse to repent are. I fully understand that there are some out there who think they are the sword of God attacking everyone who they disagree with, but that is not us and I challenge you to examine my ministry and that of Ken Silva and our group to show where we have fallen into guilt here. I know we have not. In my case, I attempt to work from God’s Word outward. I use His truth as the standard, showing what is truth and what is not then tell the Body of Christ that anyone who strays from that standard is not to be trusted or even heard. Why? Because we are talking about God’s Truth here, not man’s philosophy or political correctness or hurt feelings, et cetera.

Frank, when you take those standards and look at your defense of John Piper at all costs and then look at what he has done over the last few years, well, the word COMPROMISE is the prevalent theme and anyone who knows our Lord’s Words at all knows that there is no room for that. Does that mean we throw John Piper and all who support him under the bus? I have already told you what we are doing. We are calling for his repentance. We are calling for those who support him to revaluate what they are doing and for them to repent. We are calling for a return to following Christ as His disciples rather than following men.

Soli Deo Gloria!

183 thoughts on “An Open Letter to Frank Turk

  1. Brother Mike,

    Thank you for writing this pithy and on-target article. I agree with you that the verses cited from 1 and 2 Timothy are precisely the issue here. It does not matter how well known one’s name is. God makes no room for being “politically correct” when it comes to sharing the Gospel pulpit with those who question the Gospel’s essence or God’s means of carrying it out.

    Your article is also irenic without compromising at all.

    Regards,
    SPQR

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  2. Thank you for the biblical clarity. You summed it all up in a few short paragraphs, and I appreciate it.

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  3. Great article, Mike. I had just started respecting Frank Turk more, with his Open Letter to White Horse Inn, but then he went and praised John Piper! Being a fairly new Christian, I kind of “missed” the whole John Piper thing, but I do recognize that he is deeply respected and well-regarded. But by the time I came around, he was linking with the likes of Mark Driscoll and Rick Warren. Big problem 😦

    “What fellowship has light with darkness?”

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  4. Mike, I think what you and the work of Ken has done is proof of Piper’s slide into partnering with false teachings… but I’m sorry to say, fame and a following men makes it very hard to repent and so does the desire to be in the ‘book club’ with the ‘famous’ ‘christians’. These guys get a taste of some type of small fame and start plugging their books and desiring others who have ‘made it’ to also hopefully notice them and plug theirs. Everyone always thinks.. “Not him.” or “Not me” or not “my favorite guy”.
    Long time ago in a far away ( spiritually ) place in the life and time of the True ‘pupils’ of our Lord, true men of Christ didn’t look upon the ‘ faith’ as a place to gather ‘disciple after themselves’ or teach the ‘word of God for profit’. Now.. it’s numbers, fortune, admiration, followers, and pride keeps them from admitting when the ‘lowly’ and ‘unlearned’ pupils tell them they might and do just need to repent
    ( change one’s mind and turn away from the course).
    Ohhh… they will give a cursery ( conscience easing ) “thanks ‘brother’ I will think about that thing you just wrote to me”.. but to really ‘turn away’.. sadly, but I think not in most cases.
    Fame, titles, fortune, praise, followers, numbers of people who will agree with you to the bitter end has been the ruin of many from the angel Lucifer to mere men at this very moment.

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  5. I fear you are right Brent, but we must start and then proceed from here. If you read Frank’s letter to J.P. then followed the comment thread then you also know that there is a huge problem with people seeing what the real problem is. That is why I focused where I did in this post. We begin here and then proceed Biblically. No one can shorten God’s hand. He can break anyone. Look at the Apostle Paul. Sigh… In any case, let us pray for God to work through our firm stance here as we graciously do not budge at all that he will move these people away from their error back into His light through repentance. We cannot do that. They cannot do that, but God can do anything.

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  6. The first Turk “open letter” I saw was splitting micron size hairs, then it seemed to become a fad of his. Honestly, I see more Turk in his posts than reason. And I don’t say that on a personal level. I would honestly level the same charge at a MacArthur if I saw it happening.

    That in itself doesn’t bother me too much, every blogger seems to get in the way of the blogs in one way or another, some to a much less degree.

    The problem I sense is the “open letter” becoming kind of a fad or trend, much in the way video clips that often amount to “theo-tainment” lately have become a blogosphere trend.

    When that happens the original issue of doctrine or whatever soon gets lost in the cult-like personality following of “I’m a piper fan, his books rock”, or the “how dare so and so impugn my favorite writer” etc.

    So from my point of view, I encourage your stands and analysis, and also to keep in mind where this “open letter” trend might end up going.

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  7. I don’t whether I going to feel sorry for Frank. =P He is going to be mauled on all fronts, and I am looking forward to a possible debate with him regarding his attack on Mike Horton, the WHI and “discernment ministries”.

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  8. Hi Mike —

    Thanks for your kind words, and for your approach. The only thing that confuses me is your assertion, “your defense of John Piper at all costs.”

    Would you be willing to clarify that statement for me? What does that include, and what does that exclude? I’m certain that, given the gravity of your concern, you have a short list of links you’d care to offer.

    With that clarification, I’d be glad to respond.

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  9. Hi Frank! My point “at all costs” was in reference to the slant of your “letter to John” in spite of some very obvious issues with what he has been doing and saying lately as I stated in my piece. That was what I meant.

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  10. Interesting. I thought my letter was explicit in the list of things I thought worthy of praise in Piper’s lifetime of ministry. Of the things I actually listed, are any of those objectionable?

    Here’s the list:
    • Taking a year off and returning to the pulpit with a frank assessment of his personal failings, and a commitment to do better.
    • An enthusiasm for the Gospel in his preaching, including his willingness to put that above his commitments to “charismatic” beliefs.
    • the content of dg.org (all for free)
    • Being someone declaring “Hope in God” in our world which can seem chaotic.

    I’m looking forward to the further clarification.

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  11. I understand your point Frank, but the issue here is faithfulness. Faithfulness inherently speaking of continuity. John Piper has moved away from what I used to admire in him into relationships and ministry that if we examine them Biblically then we would have to say that he has moved away from that faithfulness into a form of apostasy. That was my point.

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  12. Perfect – Mike, that’s exactly what I was looking for. That’s a perfect assessment of your own complaint.

    Your complaint has nothing to do with the content of my letter — do you see this? The “issue” is your view of Piper’s faithfulness, but my letter only lists things that, objectively, do not display your complaint.

    I’m sorry to say that I think, therefore, your complaint is baseless. My response to your open letter is this:

    Dear Mike —

    My thanks for your concerns, and for the tone in which you expressed them. However, I think your open letter demonstrates what is in fact wrong with the general approach of “discernment ministries”. In this example, Mike does a very clear piece of work to tell us what is wrong with John Piper, but he cannot connect that to what I wrote — that I gave any credit to Piper at all is exaggerated into an “at all costs” defense of all that he has done.

    Consider it: if I had written on open letter to Martin Luther King Jr. (posthumously, of course) for his work in civil rights and the end of laws which now embarrass us as a nation, would that be an “at all costs” endorsement of all his theology and actions? Is it reasonable to say so?

    What if I had written a letter thanking the Pope and the Catholic Church for its tireless opposition to abortion? Does that overturn the Reformation, or does saying that it overturns the Reformation take a leap of logic only the illogical would attempt?

    My point, then, is simple: when the radical end of the so-called “discernment ministries” blogosophere repents of its own irrational, illogical and unconscionable reproaches against Christian leaders who have done more in any given month for the benefit of the faith of others than all of these alleged defenders of the faith have done in the sum of all their ministries, I’ll be glad to receive their repentance, and to receive their renewed work in the Spirit it ought to be delivered.

    God bless you, and may your conscience through the work of God’s word, convict you of the right thing to do.

    This is my last word on this open letter. My thanks for your time.

    ~Frank

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  13. Did John Piper truly take a sabbatical? Was the sabbatical purely from his own pulpit? He seemed to state he was working on personal issues yet found time for conferences including Edinburgh 2010 which appears ecumenical.

    Are we to place John Piper on a pedestal right now and praise him when he has placed arms around his “brother in Christ” Rick Warren; has joined with Mark Driscoll and those of Acts 29 Network in promotion of “spiritual disciplines and formation”? – NO, they are not the Biblical kind as some imply. What about linking with men (acts 29 network) Matt Chandler who claims to have audibly heard from God?
    Is this within God’s Word?

    How can Piper be currently praised for this, Frank?

    Haven’t some other brothers called John Piper out on some of these issues and Piper continues on?

    These are valid concerns which many of us have been praying about.

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  14. Thanks Frank, but sorry to say that you proved my point exactly. You are praising the man John Piper and, yes you did mention his own admissions to “issues,” however, you mentioned nothing about his outrageous invitation of Rick Warren to be he Key Note speaker at the last pastor’s conference at Piper’s Church. I remember you even praising Piper for doing so. You also never mentioned Piper’s relationship with Mark Driscoll and Acts 29. This was the point of me writing my letter in that you did NOT mention these things at all. So my ‘at all costs’ charge holds firm.

    Frank I will pray for your repentance as well as that of John Piper. I will also call for Teampyro to reevaluate its mission.

    I am very careful when it comes to these things and for you to say that this letter somehow makes me guilty of some far-fetched problem with ‘so-called “discernment ministries” blogosphere ministries’ as you call them, is bogus. I hardly ever do this since I am primarily a Bible teacher.

    I think the one who needs to be reevaluated is Frank Turk…

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  15. What is very clear are the accusations always made towards “discerners,” who have placed God’s Word first of all. Now, I will go have peace in reading * Rev. 12:10*

    Who accuses the brethren? Tell me.. whom?

    “These are grumblers, malcontents, following their own sinful desires; they are loud-mouthed boasters, showing favoritism to gain advantage. But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Jude 1:16,17

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  16. This is so very like the things I have come uo against in Mumbai, even with those I have earlier had so much respect for…How can love for a man stand up against love for God’s truth in the Word?

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  17. I’m not speaking for Mike, who is more than able to respond as he feels led to in the Lord.

    MY response to Mr. Turk would point out that

    1. I have a harder time giving Piper credit for a “sabbatical” in which he seems to have done everything but that. Namely, going into overdrive bonding with, enabling and validating limelight oriented Christianity emasculators.

    2. We all can provide a perfectly legitimate list of very fine things that none other than Judas did for up to 3 years. But if we do back flips to avoid mentioning a few other “minor details” about Judas, dare I say the picture is woefully incomplete? Our Lord himself had a few frightful, damning comments about Judas at the end, as opposed to acknowledging what he did BEFORE his infamous evil, traitorous end in order to make excuses.

    If Mr. Turk is STILL unable or unwilling to acknowledge the terrible enabling of famous, fad driven Gospel diluting apostates Piper has let himself become (DESPITE concerned warnings from none other than Dr. John MacArthur to separate himself from such), then that speaks VOLUMES about Frank Turk. Mr. Turk has done nothing to vitiate, and everything to validate such a sad conclusion.

    Maybe we can hang on tightly to a similar list of good stuff done by Demas, and lecture the Apostle Paul that he shouldn’t have been so mean by pointing out that in the end, he was a forsaking deserter who “loved this present world.”

    Hey, I think right now I’ll compose an “open letter to Judas” and an “open letter to Demas” thanking God for all the life changing and inspirational things they did for me. As for rumors both had some slight problems at the end, why be mean and divide the body by mentioning a couple of negatives? After all, perfect and fantastic role models like Jesus and Paul wouldn’t deign to bring up something unpleasant, would they?

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  18. Our sin nature always wants to relate to that which is earthy. We look for relationship over truth—or equate relationship with truth. The relationship that Fallen Man looks for is with his own (Adam ate from Eve). We practice the dialectic(looked good for food, I ought to be able,) against the didactic word (thus sayeth the Lord). Fallen man always tries to justify his actions thoughts by compromise or finding a others to agree with him through consensus building. So to him, the didactic word seems harsh and mean spirited—after all, “why can’t I”? So man puts down the didactic position and those that hold it—like a child who “hates” his parents for not allowing them to do what they want.

    We all need to watch this in ourselves for this dialectic process is the process of sin. But we are in trouble when we refuse to see it at all.

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  19. Fred, hence, Jesus calling the Pharisees a brood of vipers seems so mean… 🙂 Yeah, I get it. I have found that the more I write these things attempting to get people line up our ministries to God’s truth alone instead of fads or what people desire based on the world and its ways the more heat I have to take. I suppose when we do that, we had better not complain about that heat. 🙂

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  20. Excellent letter Mike and speaks for many of us with the same urgent concerns! We cannot be partial when it comes to evaluating and separating from someone who has proven to be unbiblical and unteachable.

    Good points Denise G.

    Piper has been problematic for years, with his endorsement of the heretical Federal Visionist Doug Wilson (still going on), as well as his defiant endorsement of Mark Driscoll/Acts 29, and Rick Warren.

    I see quite a Post-Modern view coming from Piper, Driscoll, Tripp, and Turk, to be honest. “Truth in everything” except discernment bloggers, it seems.

    Frank did not deal with any issue at all. Vast generalizations of demonizing all those discernment bloggers only proves our point. It seems that emotional attachment to a Paper Pope instead of dealing with the man without partiality.

    So just what is acceptable?

    Justification by works?

    Denial of the Genesis account of six literal days?

    Cuss words?

    Treating that which is holy (Jesus, His life, His words, Scripture, Marriage, The Song of Solomon, the Gospels) as UNholy and trivial?

    Ecumenicism?

    Celebrating men of the Inter-faith teaching?

    Endorsing women who teach men?

    Contemplative Spirituality?

    Pelagianism?

    Homosexuality?

    Universalism?

    Piper has, by defiantly promoting various false teachers, promoted all of the above.

    Frank, I wonder if you think its even possible to have a false teacher among your circle. Would you care? Or would you try hard to find truth among the lies? How else do you suppose that false teachers will sneak in among us, if not at least by one way, of gaining the approval of an insider who’s willing to promote them to the destruction of the sheep? Just how would you even recognize a false teacher?

    Truth is knowable and we are to separate from those who call themselves brothers, but have joined the Confederacy of Treason against the Lord.

    A little leaven leavens the whole lump.

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  21. “Yeah, I get it. I have found that the more I write these things attempting to get people line up our ministries to God’s truth alone instead of fads or what people desire based on the world and its ways the more heat I have to take.”

    THAT is picking up our cross Mike. It is when we are reviled for truths sake.

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  22. @Frank, great response succinctly presented, I was wondering when someone would point out the hyperbolic tone of this post. This can only degenerate into a mutual feeding frenzy of “discerners”. @Mike, you lost me at “at all costs”, a little perspective please.

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  23. Cephas, are you being deliberately obtuse or are you just spiritually blind? I have more than covered that. If you “don’t get it” then you are deliberately not doing so. God’s truth is the standard. Frank deliberately left out the things of most concern to those us who are witnessing Piper’s unfaithfulness and apostasy. That was the point of that statement. If you still don’t get it then I can’t help you.

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  24. Mike,

    Words cannot express how thankful I am for your Christian leadership in the midst of great spiritual confusion.

    I call into question the wisdom of someone publicly declaring praises for John Piper when Piper has legitimized and validated ministries that undermine the Christian faith.

    How many Christians will stumble into and embrace the teachings of Rick Warren and Mark Driscoll because of John Piper?

    How many will discount the warnings of MacArthur and others because John Piper supports the ministries of these men?

    This is not the time for mixed, confusing messages in the Church.

    Once again, thank you.

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  25. Perhaps some compromise? The feeling I got from Frank’s original letter was certainly one of endorsement. There’s some caution about Piper’s more charismatic leanings but overall encouragement for John Piper to end as well as he has been going for the last however many years.

    Mike, I didn’t see a defense of Piper in there (let alone an at-all-costs defense). Frank didn’t say anything about the problems you see in John Piper’s ministry but it is a tough thing if you can be called to repentance for what you don’t say on your blog.

    You are gravely concerned for John Piper, I see that. You think others should be too. Is John Piper really in the same category as Rick Warren himself though? Or Rob Bell? Or has John Piper gone so far as to not be a brother at all?

    You say that Frank “deliberately left out the tings of most concern”, and I think he did. But not maliciously. It simply was not his intent to write a corrective to John Piper (something that would take a lot of intestinal fortitude if there was a snowball’s chance of John Piper actually reading the thing).

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  26. Thank you Mike for standing for the black and white of God’s word and not compromising the truth. I have seen this over and over again..lovers of men, ready to defend
    regardless of what they teach. Stay strong and continue contending for the faith!

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  27. @Denise – I’m curious. Would you kindly provide a list of the practitioners and teachers of all of those different false doctrines? I’m not fully in the know about all of Piper’s companions.

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  28. Mike I appreciate your love for Frank and John Piper. True love is speaking Truth no matter how harsh is sounds to others.

    “For there is some danger of falling into a soft and effeminate Christianity, under the plea of a lofty and ethereal theology. Christianity was born for endurance; not an exotic, but a hardy plant, braced by the keen wind; not languid, nor childish, nor cowardly. If walks with strong step and erect frame; it is kindly, but firm; it is gentle, but honest; it is calm, but not facile; obliging, but not imbecile; decided, but not churlish. It does not fear to speak the stern word of condemnation against error, nor to raise its voice against surrounding evils, under the pretext it is not of this world; it does not shrink from giving honest reproof, lest it come under the charge of displaying an unchristian spirit. It calls sin sin, on whomsoever it is found, and would rather risk the accusation of being actuated by a bad spirit than not discharge an explicit duty. Let us not. misjudge strong words used in honest controversy. Out of the heat a viper may come forth but we shake it off and feel no harm. The religion of both Old and New Testaments is marked by fervent outspoken testimonies against evil. To speak smooth things in such a case may be sentimentalism, but it is not Christianity. It is a betrayal of the cause of truth and righteousness. If anyone should be frank, manly, honest, cheerful (I do not say blunt or rude, for a Christian must be courteous and polite); it is he who has tasted that the Lord is gracious, and is looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God I know that charity covereth a multitude of sins; but it does not call evil good, because a good man has done it; it does not excuse inconsistencies, because the inconsistent brother has a high name and a fervent spirit; crookedness and worldliness are still crookedness and worldliness, though exhibited in one who seems to have reached no common height of attainment.” — HORATIUS BONAR (1808-89)

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  29. @Mike, thanks for this article. I don’t know Frank Turk, but the rest of the information (what Paul writes to Timothy) is usefull in many cases.

    I used to read and listen to John Piper, but I could not understand why he invited Rick Warren. And now that Rick Warren is busy whith his Daniel Plan, John Piper should be honest and stop promoting Warren. I can not understand that Piper can not see the danger of the way Warren is bringing pagan things and eastern mysticism into the church.

    In my country there is man who was known as a great theologian (a professor). He onces teached the right things, but than he got involved with the prophetic false charismatic movements and now he is very dangerous. People think that because he is a theologian and professor they can trust him, but he is leading them away from the truth.

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  30. “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

    “For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.

    “Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.

    “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” – Romans 12

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  31. Frank runs his blog posts and comments like a lawyer. Carefully crafting each post and comment to win at all cost. If thier is an issue he can benefit from, that is his focus ” Piper”. Frank has nothing to gain in followers if he has one ounce of criticism of Piper.
    Again, he pulls the numbers card out and starts to compare the size and fame of the person as the reason to not take or give any criticism of them. All those other open letters only give Frank praise for correcting the person with the open letter written to them.
    Frank, because he appears driven to get something will get it. I just don’t think it will be any lasting joy.

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  32. Now Frank gets the attention of Piper ( his desire all along ) as someone who will ‘defend’ him and praise him… why? Frank is a follower of certain men and desires what Piper has and does.

    Now contrast Paul and Peter.

    Galatians 2:11-12 (English Standard Version)

    Paul Opposes Peter
    11But(A) when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him(B) to his face, because he stood condemned. 12For before certain men came from James,(C) he was eating with the Gentiles; but when they came he drew back and separated himself, fearing(D) the circumcision party.

    Fast foreward to today’s so-called public ministeries.
    Here we have Piper is ‘eating with the false teachers’ under the banner of “Piper’s ministery” and only the no-bodies ( small and not even worth 1 month of Piper’s ministery according to Frank) will say anything about it.
    Paul knew who Peter was and Peter’s fame ( although it wasn’t the worldy fame we have today) yet what did he do? Rebuked Peter to his face openly. WHY? Because Paul was a messenger for Christ and his converted heart was to the sheep, not the praise of men, book sales, and potential friendships in the inner circle of the really ‘successful’ ministeries.
    Thanks Mike !
    True ministery isn’t counted and numbered by men.

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  33. At all costs—I listed quite a few specifics. Defending a man who promotes heretics and heresies IS “at all costs” defending a man.

    Mike it seems that some Turk defenders are sounding a lot like Piper who defended Warren at all costs. Here’s what Scripture says (besides the ones Mike already posted):

    Rom 16:17 Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them.
    18 For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites; and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting.

    *Keep an eye on such men AND turn away from them* Is this not a command to keep a careful watch and then reject such men? Or is this a mere suggestion to be obeyed IF you feel like it or when its convenient? Certainly Scripture does NOT teach “truth in everything”.

    2Jo 1:9 Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, 11 for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.

    Again, Scripture teaches to REJECT THE MAN who brings false teaching, not parade him around, defend him, and give him a platform to the Lord’s people. Or again, is this merely a suggestion to be tossed if you like your Paper Pope more than Christ and the souls of His people?

    Piper not only greets the heretics, he has them teach his audience and promotes them.

    2Ti 3:1 But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come.
    2Ti 3:2 For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy,
    2Ti 3:3 unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good,
    2Ti 3:4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,
    2Ti 3:5 holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.

    Notice “avoid such men” command. Or is this a suggestion? Is this not a command from the King?

    There’s no defense of what Piper has done, nor of defending the Piper defenders. It only goes to show that people who claim biblical doctrine don’t really have discernment and wisdom to see and love the truth and the God of Truth at all costs. Their loyalty lies elsewhere and its not with Him.

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  34. Totally agree with your assesment brother Mike.

    From a recent post on JeremiahCry ministries message board :

    “I believe Piper is just showing his true colours now by buddying up to Rick Warren (a very obvious wolf in sheeps clothing) in much the same way Billy Graham has shown his true colours by endorsing the pope.

    Some have suggested that Piper “simply made a mistake” and we should forgive him and carry on as if nothing happened, however if that were true then there has been enough criticism of his decision to endorse Warren on blogs and websites by sincere Brothers and Sisters by now, that he cannot say he was unaware of his “mistake”.

    There has to be something more happening here than a simple error of judgement, and if that is true we can probably expect Piper to make more of these dangerous decisions that put the flock in danger, who knows maybe given enough time Piper will endorse the pope also ? (One wonders if any Piper “fans” would take notice then??)

    Looking to scripture for a more adequate explanation I would go with this” :

    John 10:12 But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them.
    John 10:13 The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep.

    Albert Barnes :
    A hireling – A man employed to take care of the sheep, to whom wages is paid. As he does not own the sheep, and guards them merely for pay, rather than risk his life he would leave the flock to the ravages of wild beasts. The word translated “hireling” is often employed in a good sense; but here it denotes one who is unfaithful to his trust; and especially those ministers who preach only for support, and who are unwilling to encounter any danger or to practice any self-denial for the welfare of the church of God. They are those who have no boldness in the cause of their Master, but who, rather than lose their reputation or place, would see the church corrupted and wasted by its spiritual foes.
    Source : http://www.jeremiahcry.com/forum/index.php

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  35. hi Mike! This is the first time I have read your blog in a long time; I have been out in a quiet place walking with the Lord and He has been greatly working in my life, (and i have a large family to care for) so that is why i have not been around but I love you in the Lord and am still your sister. The Lord made it clear to me He wants me to change, after 3.5 years, the focus of my internet writing, from teaching theology and methodology of biblical evangelism (which is important) to witnessing to Christians and ministering edification to Christians (from what God gives me to share, not in an academic teaching way). One of the things the Lord has burdened me with, is the allegiance of the hearts of believers: whether it will be to a Thing, a mortal man… something other than Christ alone. I have done this myself and God has dealt with me on this also. He has purged me thus. Compromise takes many forms and one is choosing to be “devoted” to or defending or following a man (or a thing) at all costs, rather than devotion Christ alone at all costs. This is part of walking the narrow path that our Lord spoke of. I want to encourage all believers to have only the Lord Jesus Christ as the allegiance of their heart, and not a man or some thing a man can create or build (this would be idolatry would it not?).
    We all must not depart from singular allegiance to Christ to be devoted (allegiance) to some created thing less worthy.
    with love,
    Loretta
    witnessingencouragement.wordpress.com

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  36. Dr. Piper has declared Rick Warren to be “sound and doctrinal” and is holding his West Coast Desiring God conference on the same Saddleback stage that on January 15 featured the following pagan practitioners who presented their “Daniel Plan” to a hurting audience:

    Dr. Daniel Amen’s meditation technique of choice is Kriya Kirtan. This is a form of kundalini yoga (see his book, The Brain in Love, p. 146). Those who have studied with discernment the New Age, know that kundalini (or serpent power) is the spiritual “energy” behind meditation. Ray Yungen explains the relationship between kundalini and the chakras:

    The chakras act as conduits or conductors for what is called kundalini or serpent energy. They say this force lies coiled but dormant at the base of the spine like a snake. When awakened during meditation, it is supposed to travel up the spine activating each chakra as it surges upward. When the kundalini force hits the crown chakra, the person experiences enlightenment or Self-realization. This mystical current results in the person knowing himself to be God. That is why kundalini is sometimes referred to as the divine energy. According to New Age proponents, all meditative methods involve energy and power, and the greater the power, the greater the experience. (FMSC, pp. 76

    Next up, Warren featured Dr. Mark Hyman, the token professing Christian on the stage and one of the three doctors who “designed” the “Daniel Challenge” for Saddleback , is another strong advocate for mystical meditation. In his book, The Ultramind Solution, Hyman emphasizes meditation, saying that it doesn’t matter what religion one has to benefit from it (p. 322). Dr. Hyman suggests that “Mindful meditation is a powerful well-researched tool, developed by Buddhists” (p. 384). On the front cover of The Ultramind Solution, sits an endorsement by Dr. Mehmet Oz, the third doctor who will be training Saddleback on health.

    Reiki Masters across America and the world had cause for celebration on January 6 (a few days before his Saddleback gig) when Dr. Mehmet Oz revealed his Ultimate Alternative Medicine Secrets for 2010 during his nationally broadcast afternoon talk show. He ranked Reiki #1. Dr. Oz said, “Reiki is one of my favorites, we’ve been using it for years in the Oz family, and we swear by it.”

    Reiki is a type of “energy healing” that is based on the New Age chakra system and puts those practicing it into contact with the realm of familiar spirits. If this sounds far fetched, listen to what one Reiki master wrote in the Everything Reiki Book:

    During the Reiki attunement process, the avenue that is opened within the body to allow Reiki to flow through also opens up the psychic communication centers. This is why many Reiki practitioners report having verbalized channeled communications with the spirit world. (cited in A Time of Departing, p. 97)

    To repeat, Dr. John Piper has publicly embraced Rick Warren, presented him as a source of biblical wisdom at the Desiring God conferences and has put his stamp of blessing on Rick Warren’s ministry. Bottom line, Frank, is, if you’re OK with that, you’re also headed the wrong direction, away from the Bible. And the next time you agree to partner with Leadership Network for the “Nines” online conference, you should warn viewers that the men you are speaking alongside like Leonard Sweet, Rick Warren, Alan Hirsch, Perry Noble, Dan Kimball and Steven Furtick are false teachers who are not trustworthy spiritually. That is, unless you believe they are.
    http://thenines.leadnet.org/2010/speakers.html

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  37. @ Frank Turk – when you compared John Piper’s ministry to others I had a flashback to this scripture:
    2 Corinthians 10:12
    We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.
    Remember who and what we are defending here…the Truth of God, not men and their missions.
    Good points to ponder from all of you!

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  38. Mike, thanks for all that you do and say. After having a face to face with a local “wolf” I see similarities with him and Frank. #1 ego. Frank, were you really just thanking JP or were you hitching your wagon to his for the ride uphill? Thanking some one is one thing; slobbering over them is quite something else. Do you really think he can help do something that you cannot do on your own? #2 fact twisting & “poor memory”. I guess you forgot all the praise you gave JP for his choice of RW. So false doctrine is okay with you and yoga masters, too? Is the next step universalism or are you saving that one for later? And just what is that you do, Frank, at Pyro? Are you there to set every one straight on matters theological? If so, by what standard? I read your open letter of slobber to JP and saw the vain and deceitful philosophy of a man on the low end of the totem pole hoping for a hand from a rising star of “christendom”.

    Mike, as you can see, I have zero patients with wolves and their co-hearts. The last two weeks have been quite the education for me and it ain’t over yet!

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  39. Denise,

    What a great point you made. One that I have also been trying to make for awhile in my denomination. How indeed will the false teaching come in, if not by one teaching it and being accepted by the sheep… after an endorsement by the trusted leader of those sheep. It is disheartening when Mr. Turk and others don’t see this and take it seriously.

    Thank you Mike, for being a watchman. This is not being mean on your part. This is caring for people and their souls. Lives are at stake here. Folks are getting pulled in by this stuff. Respected and trusted pastors and teachers like John Piper, out of ignorance or justification, are allowing this poison to come into our churches. If we don’t warn, isn’t this on our hands?! Ezekiel 33

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  40. “No man, for any considerable period, can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which one is true.” ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne

    “…what fellowship has light with darkness?” (2 Cor. 6:14)

    The problem we’re seeing today within Evangelical Christianity (or, American Cultural Christianity?) is a mass confusion/delusion/deception regarding what is true. If in fact those such as Rick Warren, Rob Bell, Brian McLaren, etc. are the ‘tares amongst the wheat’, the Church is not called to separate them but, to BE separate from them. Because of their charisma and feel-good, cotton-candy-gospel messages, millions have elevated them to where they ought not. The “seekers” who follow them have turned from Biblical truth to that which meets their felt needs. All who critique these ‘Seeker-Feeders’, are considered devisive, legalistic and dogmatic for pointing out the heretical teaching and dilluted half-truths that continue to flow from the Mega-Church-Movement.

    God’s Word doesn’t simply proclaim some truth or mostly that which is true; It IS truth. What Christ demanded from His Disciples and His Church was nothing less than the same. Often, it has been said of those such as Rick Warren, Billy Graham, Mark Driscoll, etc. that they were “on the fence” regarding this issue or that. Now, it would appear that another fence-sitter has arrived; John Piper. One would think that with all the fuss being made about what they are saying/doing (or not saying/doing), they would be quick to publically clear up any confusion or error associated with what they’ve said/done. That is, if indeed they actually DO stand on the right side (narrow) of the fence.

    Those who are genuine “slaves of Christ” will persevere and not be enticed or entertained by another master. Nor will they compromise the truth either directly or indirectly through the support or praise of those who continue to teach that which our Master gave His life for.

    Thanks to Mike and other discerners of the truth and especially to the humble shepherds everywhere who have not been lured into the purpose/seeker programs in order to build an image or church, for speaking and defending the truth w/o compromise!

    ~ktf~
    John

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  41. Wow Ingrid, thanks for the link. This speaking at venue’s with Leonard Sweet has constantly amazed me! I remember a back and forth I had a few years back with Chris Seay on another website. I was pointing out how dangerous it was to work on a Bible project with Leonard Sweet. (Seay and others were doing that at the time.) Chris replied to my comments by talking about the good points of the project and of Leonard Sweet. I preceeded to list some of the things Sweet had said, believed , his mentors, etc.

    Chris replied by saying he realized they had different views on things, but was able to put that aside to work on a common cause. I debated him on that for a bit, saying the cause couldn’t be mutual because Sweet talks of a different Jesus than that of the Bible. He said we’d have to agree to disagree and that was that. How can this make sense to anyone?! How can you preach, teach, do conferences, etc. about Jesus Christ and the God of the Bible, with folks who aren’t talking about the same Jesus and God you are?! You’re talking about Jesus Christ! They say Jesus but mean cosmic christ, new age Jesus, etc. It’s confusing, it’s wrong, it’s deception!!

    It is so frustrating to see Dr. Piper, Mr. Turk, etc. give credibility to Leonard Sweet, Rick Warren, etc. by speaking with these folks and not point out their wrong teaching! And folks like Mike and Ingrid are told to repent, and their ministries are maligned?! Really?!

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  42. Anyone wanting to more fully understand Frank Turk’s position on John Piper and his downplaying of the importance of Piper’s embracing Warren should read Turk’s defense of Rick Warren. Here’s a portion of the quote, the link and source below that. This is from the White Horse Inn blog, April 1, 2010.

    “…Somehow in his(Rick Warren’s) hands, the Gospel brings many people in. is it the power to save in your hands, dear reader? Can you show it to be the power to save? That’s a tough question, and I think we should ask it before we make Rick Warren into a downgrader.”

    http://www.whitehorseinn.org/archives/425/cpage/1.html#comment-917

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  43. Frank said,
    “”My point, then, is simple: when the radical end of the so-called “discernment ministries” blogosophere repents of its own irrational, illogical and unconscionable reproaches against Christian leaders who have done more in any given month for the benefit of the faith of others than all of these alleged defenders of the faith have done in the sum of all their ministries, I’ll be glad to receive their repentance, and to receive their renewed work in the Spirit it ought to be delivered.””

    I cannot tell you how many times I have heard the comment about how much better and what great things the ‘speaker’ is or has done than any of the sheep who have questions about what is being taught.

    I have been out of the charismatic craziness for 3 years. I thank God for opening my eyes.

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  44. Mike, well said and well done.
    I come out of a Charismatic Church 3 years ago. God graciously opened my heart and eye, God showed me what was wrong but I did not know what was right or the truth of God’s word. I got in God’s word and I found great men like Paul Washer, John MacArthur, Pastor Bob Dewaay, articles from Ingrid’s blog Slice of Laodicea, Let us reason ministries, deception in the church, herescope, Christian research services and many more.
    My friend told me about John Piper. I would listen to him preach, I would frequent his website and read his articles.

    I discerned something in him that I did not like. It was not his teachings, rather it was his Charismatic flare, way to familiar.
    I researched him and what he believes, bingo……he’s a continuous, he believes the gifts have not ceased.
    I came out of a tongue speaking church and that concerned me greatly. I did not want to have anything to do with that stuff anymore. The New “Reformed Charismatic” movement is dangerous.
    Having said all that , I was not surprised by John Piper’s actions, especially when he did not cancel the conference with Rick Warren.
    My prayer is that God will bring him to true repentance but I think he has way to much pride.
    Well, I have said enough……… Ingrid and other’s…. thank you for your wonderful comments. Mike, thanks for you wonderful article’s and we give God all the glory.
    I am greatly blessed.

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  45. Ingrid: the major difference between you and I is that I got invited to theNines in order that the Gospel would be preached there, and you think that preaching the Gospel at theNines was wrong.

    End of story.

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  46. Oh Frank, I doubt its the End of story since you keep popping in and adding more. I doubt if being invited to to theNines is something “to boast” about. I watched your piece…

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  47. Teresa, my experience has been so much like yours! But the Lord has been so faithful to lead me out of false teachings and churches, by using many of the means you mention! How wonderfully gracious and merciful He is!

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  48. Mike et al,
    About this whole theNines thing, I’d like to ask: If TBN had a braincramp and invited you on the air to say whatever you wanted to say, would you accept?

    Grace and peace,
    Rhology

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  49. Ingrid’s quote of Frank Turk;
    “…Somehow in his(Rick Warren’s) hands, the Gospel brings many people in.”

    Frank thinks that men are special. This downplays the Gospel which downplays God which glorifies men like Rick Warren.
    Same old cycle.

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  50. In light of all these open letters, this tweet by frank back in April when Piper linked up with Warren and pronouncing him orthodox, doctrinal and sound rings a tad hollow

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  51. Let’s remember God used an ass to speak truth.

    Numbers 22:27-31 (King James Version)

    27And when the ass saw the angel of the LORD, she fell down under Balaam: and Balaam’s anger was kindled, and he smote the ass with a staff.

    28And the LORD opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times?

    29And Balaam said unto the ass, Because thou hast mocked me: I would there were a sword in mine hand, for now would I kill thee.

    30And the ass said unto Balaam, Am not I thine ass, upon which thou hast ridden ever since I was thine unto this day? was I ever wont to do so unto thee? and he said, Nay.

    31Then the LORD opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and he bowed down his head, and fell flat on his face.

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  52. Mr. Turk,

    In your comment about the nines conference and Ingrid, do you really believe that’s the difference? Do you really think that Mike, Ingrid, and others here weighing in don’t believe the Gospel should be preached?

    That’s not the concern, and I wish you would address the real issues that have been brought up. You know that we as Christians want the Gospel given. When you spoke at this conference, did you confront Sweet, Warren, and others on their false teachngs, the new age teachers they promote and look to? That’s the problem. Either give the Gospel AND call on the carpet those who are peddling a false gospel right beside you, or skip the conference because of the deception there.

    The problem is giving the Gospel next to folks giving a false gospel, and letting them think there’s no difference! Is it ok that Leonard Sweet’s mentors are folks like Matthew Fox and Scott Peck? Is it ok that Rick Warren has new age doctors speak from his pulpit and talk about hypnosis, yoga, and Reiki with it’s serpent power? There’s more, but you get the jist. Is it ok to mix this garbage with the Gospel and still call it the Gospel? The Bible says don’t even invite these folks into your home, or even bid them Godspeed! But it’s ok to promote them, lull folks into a false sense of trust of them, speak right next to them, knowing they’re speaking of another Jesus?! I’m at a loss! I’ve never understood this mindset! Please help us understand why you and others think this is ok!

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  53. In your comment about the nines conference and Ingrid, do you really believe that’s the difference? Do you really think that Mike, Ingrid, and others here weighing in don’t believe the Gospel should be preached?

    Of course he does, because begging the question and other fallacies is the only way Frank wins arguments these days.

    I seem to remember a couple of bloggers the other week saying something about that kind of blogging should not occur…

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  54. Good point Paula. Isn’t it interesting how this is playing out since the “winning the argument” via that sort of argumentation has been nullified by our refusal to stand for it or abide by it or listen to it or whatever then slink off to let Frank think he won via his intimidating presence. Jesus said that I can do nothing without Him. I believe that and so I started this whole thing on the premise that truth would win out and He would be with us as long as we did not stray from it and stray into those fallacies that you were describing.

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  55. Sadly Kim, I just don’t think the issues you addressed will be responded to by Frank in full as to the list of questions you have given as others have here also. Why? Because you aren’t even remotely famous or important online. You don’t follow Rick, Piper, Frank ( I wrote those in order of fame although there are many in line between Piper and Frank ).
    One more thing… Frank really doesn’t need to explain to us why he thinks it is okay… it isn’t. Many little people know it isn’t okay and so we just hold the truth out in our explanation to him and let it cut and divide as it always has.

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  56. No, Frank, I think that working with Leadership Network, the fountainhead that spewed the Emergent Church false teachers we have today, and working alongside men who are actively teaching doctrines of demons (Leonard Sweet) does nothing to the Gospel but confuse and pollute it. Anyone watching the motley line-up at the Nines would have been completely confused by the end of it. Further, Frank, you’ve yet to answer the core issues Mike and others have raised about Rick Warren and your belief (Like Piper’s) that he isn’t part of the current downgrade. The difference between you and me, Frank, is that I refuse to defend a false teacher (Rick Warren) who parades pagan spiritual practitioners across the ‘stage’ of his church and calls it ministry. You do. That about sums it up.

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  57. Whatever happened to “a little leaveneth the whole lump”?
    Sure we could probably all find some “good” in any person, but isn’t that what the problem is?
    We are not to look for the shred of good (if there be any, the Bible says there is no one that is good) but to expose the false.
    Wouldn’t we dump a whole pot of good soup if only one drop of poison were dropped in??

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  58. Thank you!

    I get so tired of everyone being so afraid to call a spade a spade!
    By refusing to name names and call people out of their false ways we are silently condoning them!
    I would rather lose every friend, acquaintance, family member, etc., and tell them the absolute truth than to have them be mislead by some tolerating/compromising gospel that will lead them to Hell, unless the Lord Jesus Christ intervenes.

    His will be done!

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  59. So far, looks like Frank Turk and “winning the argument” are not congruent. Not even close, even though “winning the argument” isn’t the important thing. ‘Cept for people in the championship hubris zone. Frank Turk? Y’all and the Lord be the judge. To me, diagnostics are hinting cephalomegaly.

    Interesting how concerns over Piper slobbering, and striking perspective derangement turn into starting a challenge over something far, far afield. But, since you brought up, I agree with Ingrid.

    I guess if someone challenges me over my “open letter to Judas” and my “open letter to Demas,” I’ll insist they straighten out their inappropriate gospel subjunctivity!

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  60. Pingback: The Berean Library » Weighing in on Sola Sisters’ “Facebook and the Potential Dangers of Social Media”

  61. Paula and Brent,

    You both are so right in your comments. I know that it’s probably a waste of time trying to get Frank and others to give straight to the point answers on our concerns. I’ve done this for awhile with some leaders in my denomination, only to have them never answer my concerns or go off on a whole other tangent altogether. I know they don’t want to answer me, so they’ll just change the subject or call me names, which we all know is an avoidance tactic.

    I guess I’m so frustrated, and probably niave too. I always hope and pray at some point, folks who stand by the warren’s and sweet’s, will see how deceptive this all is. I just want Mr. Turk and others with his mindset to be honest about what they think. Their actions and words show that these deceptions being peddled don’t matter. That they can separate this out somehow. That the things they like about warren, sweet, etc. trump the false teachings they do, so they’ll just ignore that part of these men. Mr. Turk, your words and actions show that. So when folks with honest concerns, ask you and others how you balance these two unreconcilable issues, why can’t there be an upfront answer? If you think this, stand by it. Avoiding it or maligning discernment ministries doesn’t help anyone!

    Mr Turk, can’t you see how frustrating this is? God’s Word tells us to confront these things. He says to shed light on it. He tells us exactly how these teachers will be able to get in and what they will do when inside. Then you, Dr. Piper and others tell us we’re not seeing what we’re seeing, or hearing what we’re hearing. If it’s not deception, false teaching, what is it?! I’m spinning my wheels, I know. I’m just weary of conversations that just go round and round because you can’t get straight answers to concerns that should be easy to answer.

    Mr. Turk, you know where myself and others on here stand. We’ve been plain spoken and upfront. You may not agree, but you’re not confused as to what we think. You’ve run all around the bush here. Where do you stand? Not about getting the Gospel out. We agree on that, and you know that. False teaching, Warren, Sweet, partnering with them. Where do you stand?

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  62. “This is my last word on this open letter. My thanks for your time.” ~ Turk.

    So I guess it really wasn’t the last word.

    Let your “yes” be yes, and your “no” be no.

    “I got to be invited to the Nines to share the gospel” (whatever the “Nines” is). So? Which gospel will be proclaimed? The pelagian one that Piper says is sound?

    Turk, you’ve lost all credibility and your heel-digging isn’t showing a teachable heart to the Word and Spirit-filled Christians. Instead of dealing with the damnable doctrine of Warren that Piper are promoting, you use a Red Herring argument. The issue is about you defending Piper, not about Ingrid or anyone else.

    I’ve listed a number of errors that Piper indeed IS promoting by his fellowship and promotion of certain men which he offers to his followers as food, when God says its poison.

    Btw, your tweet is silly. Your own logic is that if Bethlehem says its ok, then it must be. Wrong answer. SCRIPTURE is the standard, not a wayward, ecumenical, compromising charismatic church. That’s nothing but a magisterium mentality…a rubber stamping.

    Furthermore it doesn’t address the issues at hand. Piper is more than a pastor at a local church–he’s teaching the masses via the Desiring I Don’t Know What Kind Of God conferences, his books, his speaking tours, his ecumenical Lausanne Congress, Acts 29 conferences, Mars Hill, youth conferences, interviews, articles, and the internet.

    So really, your tweet doesn’t shut down any concerns. Besides, we could say the same about your ‘open letters’ to various pastors too when you show your concern with, say Horton. If his church is ok with what he’s doing/teaching/promoting, then why do you care? Hypocrisy, Turk. Please, deal with the doctrinal issues of Warren first, and then show why its ok for Piper to promote defiantly, such a false teacher. THAT’s the issue here.

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  63. Forgot to ask, Mr. Turk: Since you agreed to speak at the Nines so the Gospel would be heard, I’m sure you then must agree that all of the other illustrious headliners don’t or won’t articulate the gospel?!! End of story.

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  64. Paula, that Tweet from Frank shows he believes that any ‘Elder’ at BBC can pronounce someone sound ( “OK” ) and it is done. No need for anyone to question anything any longer.. it is done, prounounced as “OK”.
    Frank does well in positioning himself online through Tweets and open letters as a good ‘yes man’ to the people in places of power in his desired place of influence, the BUSINESS of so-called Christian Ministeries.
    There is a ton of money at stake and the men who desire to make a living from the Gospel are after it in one form or another.

    1 Timothy 6:5-6 (Amplified Bible)
    5And protracted wrangling and wearing discussion and perpetual friction among men who are corrupted in mind and bereft of the truth, who imagine that godliness or righteousness is a [a]source of profit [a moneymaking business, a means of livelihood]. From such withdraw.

    6[And it is, indeed, a source of immense profit, for] godliness accompanied with contentment (that contentment which is a sense of [b]inward sufficiency) is great and abundant gain.

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  65. “You both are so right in your comments. I know that it’s probably a waste of time trying to get Frank and others to give straight to the point answers on our concerns. I’ve done this for awhile with some leaders in my denomination, only to have them never answer my concerns or go off on a whole other tangent altogether. I know they don’t want to answer me, so they’ll just change the subject or call me names, which we all know is an avoidance tactic.”

    I see this tactic in any liberal or progressive mindset—be it politics, education, social mores or Christianity. This mindest lives in the dialectical paradigm. Questions, as we propose, call for a didactic answer, They can not answer that way and remain in the dialectical paradigm. Unless they yield to the narrow road, they just can not understand what we are saying. Man loves the wide road of thinking—the outside the box thinking. God’s way is more defined.

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  66. “Some of the people, all of the time, pt 2: http://bit.ly/g01Hb6 Daniel Chew wants a debate on the issue of separation. Hilarity will ensue.”

    Turk’s tweet.

    This is the very problem. In his pride, Turk finds it hilarious to deal with a biblical doctrine– one that Daniel Chew rightly has posted on twice. Snottiness doesn’t become a man who wants to address everyone else but himself and doctrine. I wonder what Phil Johnson thinks of his friend and co-blogger’s recent behavior.

    The doctrine of separation IS the issue, the one which several of us have already discussed on our respective websites. This IS important because it IS a command (2Cor. 6,1 John 4, 2John 9-10, Matt. 7, etc).

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  67. My point, then, is simple: when the radical end of the so-called “discernment ministries” blogosophere repents of its own irrational, illogical and unconscionable reproaches against Christian leaders who have done more in any given month for the benefit of the faith of others than all of these alleged defenders of the faith have done in the sum of all their ministries, I’ll be glad to receive their repentance, and to receive their renewed work in the Spirit it ought to be delivered.

    When I become Catholic Frank, then you can serve as my confessor.

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  68. “Some of the people, all of the time, pt 2: http://bit.ly/g01Hb6 Daniel Chew wants a debate on the issue of separation. Hilarity will ensue.”

    Now, I’m confused… Frank is allowed to mock the brethren and accuse the brethren… but… no one else is?

    Never mind Confessor Frank, you can be the Pope.

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  69. I told Frank the reason for his initial open letters was to continue to set up a place for him to get praise from the readers of his blog. Frank attempts to use his intellect and doctrine to thrill his audience. His last Tweet posted by Denise is proof. He informs his ‘followers’ that a debate with a professing brother will be hilarious.
    The very fact he is geared up for laughter at the expense of anyone is proof that Frank desires an audience of men, not God and His Spirit.

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  70. “My point, then, is simple: when the radical end of the so-called “discernment ministries” blogosophere repents of its own irrational, illogical and unconscionable reproaches…”

    Again—notice the charge levied. Is this not the same charge the Left/Progressive/Liberal mindset in the political and social more realms levy against the Tea Parties, conservatives and traditional families?

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  71. Paula, Yeah, when I read that in Frank’s comment I was totally amazed at the arrogance. What measuring rod is this guy using? Has God given Him some sort of special insight into the Spiritual Faith value of one ministry over another? Bizarre logic. No, instead, we have God’s Word which lays it out there very clear. We have the standard. We have the doctrines. We have it spelled out there very plain that God’s men do not play footsie with those who are obviously apostate and call what they are doing Christianity. The only way they can justify what they are doing is that they are infected with the disease of everything is relative. Fortunately God’s Truth is not infected with this nor are those whom He has given discernment. Our role is never “fun.” I find it a horrible experience doing this sort of thing. I can’t wait until its over. However, part of this calling is obedience. We must obey our Lord and that is what we are doing. I will not stop doing that. Frank, you have been exposed. It’s time to repent. If you do not, well then, you are in God’s hands….

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  72. Cathy, indeed, I wonder that too. I’ve seen snarkiness come out of Johnson in the past, though, toward us awful discernment bloggers (painted us as “shrill” and “hysterical” and in need of “breathing into a paper bag” as he quoted heretic Doug Wilson, of all people on discerning bloggers!) when we exposed Piper for his continued folly. He wanted to wait and see and respect the man. Respect a treacherous man? Respect a man who’s ensuded mutiny against the King of kings?

    So this isn’t new. Its just being brought to a brighter light. And its no different than what Horton did with Warren either, calling him a brother as well.

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  73. Cathy, in that Phil Johnson represents Grace to You, a program we’ve aired on our network for many years, it is pretty shocking that Frank has been allowed to sow this kind of confusion while gaining credibility from Team Pyro and Phil.

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  74. I have a question.

    Although I disagree with Frank Turk’s decision to give a pass to Rick Warren and I no longer can extend the “Benefit of the Doubt” to John Piper (something is way way way off in his theology since his endorsement of Rick Warren and his return from his sabbatical), the question arises:

    What should our posture be towards our Christian brothers who continue to extend the “Benefit of the Doubt” to men like Warren and Piper?

    Frank Turk is no dummy and because of my private conversations with him I am convinced that there IS a point of no return by which if Warren or Piper can be shown to have crossed that line that Turk’s allegiance to scripture and the sound doctrine will force him to see both Warren and Piper as acting and teaching contrary to sound doctrine.

    I think the Spirit and tone of Mike Ratliff’s open letter to Frank was the right approach but I am concerned that some of the comments that followed have departed from that tone and approach.

    What I mean is this, I am not prepared to break fellowship and take an adversarial posture towards guys like Frank Turk and others simply because they continue to extend the “Benefit of the Doubt” to men like Warren and Piper. Instead, I see that it is my job to help teach and warn my brothers that Warren has crossed the line and now teaches doctrines contrary to sound doctrine and that his teachings undo and destroy the gospel and that Piper’s trajectory is in that same direction. This type of teaching takes great patience and careful instruction with evidence that is presented in context with conclusions that can be validly drawn from the evidence so that one who soberly examines the evidence will come to same conclusions.

    We must be patient and kind and loving with our Christian Brothers who have not yet come to the same conclusions that we’ve come to. And at the same time there must be an urgency in engaging them so that they see the same dangers and threats that we see. But, if we start attacking them and calling their faith and their commitment to sound doctrine into question, not because they actually teach false doctrine but because they are being charitable to questionable teachers then we are doing damage to the cause of truth of sound doctrine.

    I am concerned because I am convinced that Frank Turk is CLEARLY NOT an enemy of Christ YET some have begun treating him as if he is.

    I agree that some of Frank Turks ideas and opinions are just flat out wrong headed. But, he’s entitled to his opinions and his opinions do not rise to the level of false doctrine or heresy. Therefore, he MUST NOT be treated as if he is a heretic.

    In other words, our primary goal should be UNITY not separation.

    Let me say that again:

    Our primary goal should be UNITY not separation!

    I think one of the reasons why the discernment camp is struggling right now is because separation has become THE FIRST step rather than a begrudging LAST STEP. As a result, far too much ink and effort is being wasted arguing with Christian Brothers rather than doing the hard work of researching and warning the Body of Christ about the real threats that we all are facing.

    If a Christian Brother does not agree with your conclusions then maybe, just maybe you haven’t built a compelling enough case and you need to reassess the evidence that you’ve brought forward. We’re bloggers. We’re not a tribunal or a magisterium. If someone disagrees with the conclusions we’ve come to regarding a particular false teacher that does not make them an enemy of Christ.

    Discernment is a gift of the Holy Spirit given to build and protect the Body of Christ. If we turn on the Body Christ and attack real and true living tissue in the body of Christ rather than the diseases that have invaded the Body then we’ve ceased to be of benefit to the Body and have in fact become cancerous.

    Those are just my two cents. But I welcome your responses.

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  75. Mike, thank you for your brotherly plea to Mr. Turk. His endorsement of John Piper without a call to repentance is nothing short of tacit approval of John Piper’s recent and future endeavors.

    Mr. Turk made this comment on his blog:

    “Here’s the question I think most people are avoiding: how do these letters expose our evangelical blind spots?”

    I would have to say Mike’s letter exposes Mr. Turk’s blind spot for the very regrettable situation the John Piper created regarding Rick Warren.

    As the old saying goes…show me your friends, and I will show you your future.

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  76. Chris Rosebrough, if your concern is tone, you may want to revisit your own Fighting for the Faith program where you excoriated me and Deborah Dombrowski, by name, ridiculed my work and research, called me illogical and played a Monty Python clip about witchhunts for which you have never publicly apologized. If unity is the goal, Chris, I personally am not seeing it in your own conduct. I’m grateful for Mike Ratliff’s piece. His tone differs not a whit from the concerned commenters here. Frank has publicly stated that Rick Warren is not a part of the downgrade, and is defending Piper who has said Warren is doctrinal and sound. Thanks, Mike, for your courage in bringing up the issue.

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  77. Thanks Chris, what surprised me was Frank’s reaction to the letter. There is undoubtedly some self-defense reaction in some of his response to this stuff, but my goodness, as you said, “some of Frank Turk’s ideas and opinions are just flat out wrong headed.” I think his stubbornness in clinging to those opinions when it is shown that those he is supporting are wrong is where much of this conflict is coming from. I repeat from earlier, “I call for his repentance from that.” That is what I am praying for.

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  78. As for Frank Turk using his “intellect,” seems to me like hauteur and sophistry palooza. Would love for his sake to be wrong, but I’m worried he’s rapidly headed for the “legends in his own mind” list, if not already there. If not, sure seems to be bucking hard to get there.

    I was recently reading some stuff in this thing called the

    Bee Eye Bee Ell EEEE, messages directly from G-d and the King of Kings, Christ Jesus.

    It all had this consistent theme highlighting the vital importance of wisdom, understanding, and humility. The almighty creator delighting in using the simple to confound the “wise.”

    Intellect, Schmintellect!

    Besides, he who was easily the most profound “intellect” in the annals of the precious Savior’s church himself said that without love and humility, all of his masterful polemicism is nothing more than worthless clanging dissonance. Maybe like Keith Emerson’s groaning synthesizers in the middle of his schtik.

    The Lord and the apostles have issued clear warnings to those who think too highly of themselves. Something we all have to carefully consider. Any who don’t won’t enjoy the Lord’s penetrating gaze and eyes of fire. Far, far worse than some two bit Halloween spook house.

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  79. Paula, Yeah, when I read that in Frank’s comment I was totally amazed at the arrogance.

    Frank arrogant? pfft!

    I find it a horrible experience doing this sort of thing. I can’t wait until its over.

    Hear hear Mike. Amen to that.

    Denise said re Phil Johnson I’ve seen snarkiness come out of Johnson in the past, though, toward us awful discernment bloggers (painted us as “shrill” and “hysterical” and in need of “breathing into a paper bag” as he quoted heretic Doug Wilson, of all people on discerning bloggers!)

    Ah, you too eh?

    But I did like Doug Wilson’s 20 part review of Twilight. I don’t fully understand Federal Vision and couldn’t quite articulate why it’s wrong (i’m a bit behind on that one), but I don’t begrudge anyone else for being pretty vehement in their opposition.

    And its no different than what Horton did with Warren either, calling him a brother as well.

    I agree. It is very confusing when they do this based on what… private discussions of doctrine? When the man is out there contending for the faith and correcting error rightly on his own, then you can call him brother. Until then at best it’s a big question mark and to say otherwise is a grave disservice to God’s flock.

    Ingrid said:
    Cathy, in that Phil Johnson represents Grace to You, a program we’ve aired on our network for many years, it is pretty shocking that Frank has been allowed to sow this kind of confusion while gaining credibility from Team Pyro and Phil.

    As I remarked to Mike privately, that would be a pretty large battle lost for want of a horseshoe nail.

    Chris said: Frank Turk is no dummy and because of my private conversations with him I am convinced that there IS a point of no return by which if Warren or Piper can be shown to have crossed that line that Turk’s allegiance to scripture and the sound doctrine will force him to see both Warren and Piper as acting and teaching contrary to sound doctrine.

    Well good. Continue your private conversations. But try to avoid talking about Jesus’ private parts. I’m not sure proving yourself to be nearly as crass as the person you are talking to helps.

    (yes, I tracked back the conversation so I know the context. There were plenty of places to walk away before this happened).

    Nor does joining him in slamming your friends and pretending that equals him making an orthodox confession. “making his points” for him and all that, because your guest can’t seem to do it on his own.

    I agree he is no dummy. No one said that. He’s just wrong. And it’s very hard to overlook his gift of sarcasm when he is using it against the truth.

    What should our posture be towards our Christian brothers who continue to extend the “Benefit of the Doubt” to men like Warren and Piper?

    Perhaps you could have a show that actually talks about their guilty associations, kind of like Ingrid and Deb Dombrowski did, and explain why they cannot be trusted?

    What I mean is this, I am not prepared to break fellowship and take an adversarial posture towards guys like Frank Turk and others simply because they continue to extend the “Benefit of the Doubt” to men like Warren and Piper.

    If only you and Frank extended the same benefit toward your friends who are trying to correct you.

    We must be patient and kind and loving with our Christian Brothers who have not yet come to the same conclusions that we’ve come to.

    Yes, and not go on our podcast and say they are lying and breaking the 8th commandment because they’ve come to a different conclusion.

    I am concerned because I am convinced that Frank Turk is CLEARLY NOT an enemy of Christ YET some have begun treating him as if he is.

    Well just how much law do you want to add to the gospel, Chris? How clear do you want YOUR message to be?

    I agree that some of Frank Turks ideas and opinions are just flat out wrong headed.

    They’re wrong. And I would never have gotten that from the chummy interview. Pretty much your strongest rebuke came in the form of saying “OK but” rather than “YEAH!!!” I’ve never heard you GIDDY and doing the white man overbite about your friends with whom you DO agree. This did not bother me at all until you did this sort of gushing for those with whom you do NOT agree.

    Our primary goal should be UNITY not separation!

    Unity in what, Chris?

    I think one of the reasons why the discernment camp is struggling right now is because separation has become THE FIRST step rather than a begrudging LAST STEP

    I disagree. I think too much benefit of a doubt is extended to those who have a questionable history of contending but hey, they are popular so… until they go out and actually DENY the gospel outright, we’ll keep them on our blogroll.

    What happened to the gospel assumed is the gospel denied? What happened to making a positive confession, not led by the host into saying the right thing? Not getting out there and being willing to suffer for the cause of the truth? Frank is a good example of promoting someone in violation of 1 Tim 3:6 Regardless of how long he thinks he has been in the faith, his behavior is that of a new convert who thinks he can ‘fix’ those of us who have been online for many years contending individually and publicly with people.

    As a result, far too much ink and effort is being wasted arguing with Christian Brothers rather than doing the hard work of researching and warning the Body of Christ about the real threats that we all are facing.

    Yes, and what are you going to do, waste some more? Come up with new rules so that it doesn’t happen again? Form your own magisterium? It doesn’t work perfectly in a church where people are personally accountable to each other, so why harbor illusions it will work here? That’s just silly-talk.

    If a Christian Brother does not agree with your conclusions then maybe, just maybe you haven’t built a compelling enough case

    No doubt.

    We’re bloggers. We’re not a tribunal or a magisterium.

    Funny you should say that.

    Ingrid posted:
    Chris Rosebrough, if your concern is tone etc…

    hear hear Ingrid. Bravo.

    Charles wrote: As for Frank Turk using his “intellect,” seems to me like hauteur and sophistry palooza. Would love for his sake to be wrong,

    LOL That’s a great turn of phrase, and I admit sometimes it might apply to me too. And I echo the second part I quoted, as well. The rest of your comment was also refreshing, thank you!

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  80. “What should our posture be towards our Christian brothers who continue to extend the “Benefit of the Doubt” to men like Warren and Piper”….”In other words, our primary goal should be UNITY not separation.
    Let me say that again:
    Our primary goal should be UNITY not separation!”
    ———————————

    Our primary stance and goal is Biblical Truth. Period.

    “Watch yourselves, that you do not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward. Anyone who goes too far **and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God**; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son. **If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, *do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds.”*

    Frank Turk is defending, praising and promoting John Piper who had been approached in love to pull away from false teachers. He has not.

    Instead of receiving Mike’s letter with a spirit of concern; a spirit of defense and spewing occurred. Where are the words, “Thank you, I will be praying about this?”

    Has Frank defended the faith or defended a man?
    It seems that extra Biblical practices and teachings are fine with Mr. Turk.

    Is it fine to allow false teaching so that these seeds pollute more churches?
    What does God’s Word say about false teaching and standing alongside those who do so?

    “Now I beseech you, brethren, **mark them** which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.” Romans 16:17

    Chris; the tone here has been one of “contending earnestly FOR THE FAITH”. The sword is sharp! Heb 4:12

    But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, **but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'”**

    We are to live by God’s Word- not man’s false teachings.

    If there is a fire burning in a home, does one not shout a warning to all, or does one meekly cry as it fire burns greater and greater, “what a nice house that was.”

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  81. Chris, how about taking on Turk who has a very smug tone himself, instead of complaining about anyone here?
    So the tone by some of us is unacceptable based on your preference Chris? You don’t consider your own websites full of sarcasm should be toned down then? How about your tone and ridicule of Beth Moore? While her treatment of Scripture is horrid, your own snarky comments on your show were not helpful whatsover. So really, I think this is the pot calling the kettle black here.

    And frankly Chris, your new found friendship with Emergent founder and leader Dan Kimball is problematic, so I’m not surprised at your lack of willingness to break with another Neo-Calvinist.

    We who are loyal to Christ alone cannot “agree to disagree” with those who are commiting treachery with those who are enemies of Christ Jesus. We are talking doctrine here, not opinion of the color of carpet. Again, your low view of Scripture is clear here: you seem to think that commands and doctrine are optional here. They are not.

    The lack of separation from those who help false teachers sneak in, shows that they themselves are just as guilty as the false teachers. It shows a lack of biblical understanding, wisdom, and discernment.

    And in all these cases thus far, we are dealing with suppsed mature Christians, ones who claim to be well read, well verses in Scripture, well educated. The problem is their pride and their disloyalty to Christ while slamming us who are upholding biblical Truth. If Scripture isn’t clear enough for such people, then that shows a hard heart.

    And the point again, which is totally missed by this Red Herring—is Turk’s defense of Piper who has been proven to be a cancer to Christianity. This has little to do with tone. And I note that the ones who are offended are usually the first ones to bring up the tone they don’t like, while passing on the tone of the one they are defending. Turk gave no compelling arguments at all for his defense of Piper. Rather, he ridicules us for daring to show his gross error as well as Piper’s.

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  82. Whoaaaaa there —-Paula that is just one sick Tweet by Rosebrough…and he dares to correct US? Where’s the fear of Christ from these men who think too highly of themselves and fancy their tolerance of such things as “Christian love” while pointing at us?

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  83. Denise said:
    Paula that is just one sick Tweet by Rosebrough…and he dares to correct US?

    Mike R, this thread is going downhill FAST. Do the right thing and shut down the comments. Please.

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  84. Denise FG says
    Frank Turk is defending, praising and promoting John Piper who had been approached in love to pull away from false teachers. He has not.

    He’s also arguing with the White Horse Inn, a beacon of truth and faithful ministry, far more faithful than Piper. There’s got to be a doctrinal reason behind what Frank is doing.

    Yes, Denise (of Surph’s side) I agree re Chris’s tweet. When I have these people defending this sort of stuff (defending Chris and Frank’s tone) and then breathing down my neck and clucking their tongues at my sarcasm and tongue in cheek approach, it rings rather hollow.

    Speaking of adversarial tone, I personally don’t actually have a problem with sarcasm and other provocative literary devices being used in the employ of the truth. But that isn’t the issue here. The issue here is Frank’s inconsistency of application (while demanding consistency of application). He and and Chris are turning their adversarial tone against people who actually ARE preaching and teaching truth. At the same time they are partnering with and promoting people who they have very little in common with doctrinally.

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  85. Rhology: “Mike R, this thread is going downhill FAST. Do the right thing and shut down the comments. Please.”

    Because I posted a public tweet by Chris Rosebrough? Thank you for highlighting my point.

    In my original post I asked Mike that if he could alter the URL so that it would not automatically display the tweet, he could. He chose not to and removed my suggestion to that effect from the original post. I can’t blame him. I consider that courageous. Thank you Mike. I felt horrible putting it in there in the first place.

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  86. Rhology, I agree. There appears to be a deviation from the original concern.(rabbit trails) Other concerns (not to minimize them) should be addressed at another time. ‘said in love.

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  87. Every one seems to bounce around the biggest taboo of our day and won’t say it. These people who defend false doctrine and the proponents of such are LOST. Pride filled ego-centric, caring NOTHING for the defense of the Gospel and all the while spouting great swelling words of clap-trap to deceive those who want to hear such foolishness. Not one word to glorify the Savior and too many words telling everyone else how smart, educated and better they are than the poor souls who buy their garbage. Their words betray them every time they speak/write. Do not be fooled any longer, these men do not speak by the Holy Spirit. To be plain, I speak of Warren, Driscoll, Piper, Sweet and you Mr. Turk and all others that spew the same garbage. No way you’re a “wayward brother” in Christ. You’re just plain not a brother of Christ or in Christ. If you were you could not speak so glibbly, loosely, or disrespectful of your God. Where’s the FRUIT? All that is visible is rotten, stinking, putrid self. So, man up, repentent and believe, or move on to your father, the father of lies.

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  88. “Mike R, this thread is going downhill FAST. Do the right thing and shut down the comments.”

    In my opinion, perhaps it’s time to finally air all of this out, downhill or not.

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  89. Chris: Isn’t Benefit of Doubt another word for Compromise?
    Did God really say? That was the original sin. Not believing what God said.
    How do we remain faithful to Him? By remaining faithful to what he has said.
    When you “stick with it”, you are being faithful to Him.

    Paul says, if there ever was something to believe, believe this:
    2 Timothy 2:11-13
    11 Here is a trustworthy saying:
    If we died with him,
    we will also live with him;
    12 if we endure,
    we will also reign with him.
    If we disown him,
    he will also disown us;
    13 if we are faithless,
    he remains faithful,
    for he cannot disown himself.

    God is faithful to us when we are faithful to his Word. It’s God we will find ourselves arguing with…not man.

    Just like Eve, as soon as she gave the serpent “the benefit of the doubt” a blindness came over her and she was taken captive to do his will.
    We speak with meekness and gentleness but without compromise.

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  90. I just became aware of this by it being posted on Apprising.org

    What follows is a note I sent to my adult son in Nov 2009:

    I know you’ve read a bit of John Piper’s books and I’ve not known anything serious that caused me concern about him. Until recently.

    I’ve not been a fan of Piper – don’t like his emotionalism nor agree with his organizational structure. But lately, there’s been a lot of talk about him hanging out with Mark Driscoll and endorsing Doug Wilson’s Federal Vision. In response to this site: http://defendingcontending.com/2009/11/05/piper-the-slope-to-heresy/ I searched for critiques of Piper’s “Christian Hedonism”, which I had heard of but not looked into. Should have. Here’s what I found that Piper has written:

    “You might turn the world on its head by changing one word in your creed.The old tradition says, ‘The chief end of man is to glorify God AND enjoy him forever’.… The overriding concern of this book is that in all of life God be glorified the way he himself has appointed.To that end this book aims to persuade you that ‘The chief end of man is to glorify God BY enjoying him forever’.” (Piper, Desiring God, page 15,)

    “The radical implication is that pursuing pleasure in God is our highest calling.”(Piper, page 21, The Dangerous Duty of Delight, bold emphasis added)

    “Maximizing our joy in God is what we were created for.”(page 16, Dangerous Duty)

    “The aim of life is to maximize our joy.”(page 19, Dangerous Duty)

    “Unless a man be born again into a Christian Hedonist he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John Piper, Desiring God, page 55)

    “Could it be that today the most straightforward biblical command for conversion is not, ‘Believe in the Lord,’ but, ‘Delight yourself in the Lord’?” (John Piper, Desiring God, page 55)

    “The pursuit of joy in God is not optional. It is not an ‘extra’ that a person might grow into after he comes to faith. Until your heart has hit upon this pursuit, your ‘faith’ cannot please God. It is not saving faith.” (John Piper, Desiring God, page 69)

    “Not everybody is saved from God’s wrath just because Christ died for sinners. There is a condition we must meet in order to be saved. I want to try to show that the condition…is nothing less than the creation of a Christian Hedonist.” (John Piper, Desiring God, page 61)

    Take care in reading anything man has written, as all men have error. But this emphasis of Piper’s on the experience of enjoying the Lord is no different from any other experience based doctrine – it’s wrong and dangerous, putting the focus on the creature and his experience that must be on the Lord Jesus.
    For the glory of God and NOT the enjoyment of man and much love for you, my son and brother

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  91. In my opinion, perhaps it’s time to finally air all of this out, downhill or not.

    Thank you, Ken and Mike.

    Manfred, also thank you for that post re Piper. I agree, people should have noticed long ago that Piper was appearing shaky and ‘innovative.’ I have also heard people complaining that his “Future Grace” is problematic, sounds Roman Catholic, and explains why he has linked up with Doug Wilson, though I have not read it myself yet (sitting on my shelf). I admit that I have skimmed sections and agreed with the people who said this.

    It surprises me to see folks who I personally know, who claim to be reformational in soteriology siding with Frank when he supports Piper and Warren, argues against the White Horse Inn and advocates more law preaching to fix the church. They should open their eyes to the problems many of us have seen for years. (I admit I did not see the law preaching until 2005, and I kick myself now for being so ‘busy’ in the church and with small children that I was deceived for 6 years)

    The problem, as Chris R himself said in his two shows preceding the fawning interview with Frank, is that we have MOSTLY law (either men’s or God’s neither of which we can fulfill) preaching in churches and no real gospel preaching.

    If my friends are going to turn on the truth so quickly, I may as well not make any.

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  92. Maybe it’s Taste and See that sounds Roman Catholic, I forget which. I know I have heard both Federal Visionist/dominionist leanings and Roman Catholic sentiment attributed to Piper.

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  93. Brother Ken,

    I’m with ya on this. This has been a frustration for a long time now. Watching respected Christians turn a blind eye, as they promote or partner with those bringing deception into the church.

    Chris, I do not agree with your post that our tone has been bad, or we’re not doing good enough research to convince the Frank Turk’s out there. As for what to do with those who give the “benefit of the doubt” to false teachings, God’s Word has already told us how to handle that. It looks like many a person has tried to do that with Warren, Piper, etc., to no avail.

    After you’ve shown them the proof of these false teachers, shown them how they are giving aid and comfort to those trying to decieve, I believe there’s nothing left to do. You pray their eyes will be opened and let God take care of it. In the meantime, you don’t keep giving them credibility. You don’t keep promoting them.

    Do we only care about the high profile teachers and preachers? Some want to try so hard to not make them mad, hurt their feelings, etc. What about the rest of the flock who listen to these confusing messages? What about the people commenting here, who have been begging and pleading with leaders like John Piper to stop giving mixed messages, promoting Driscoll, Warren, etc.?

    I’ll speak for myself here, but I am so weary. Tired of trying to figure out why someone who has taught so well in the past, now promotes and partners with people and teachings that are contrary to everything we believe. Trying to warn others, only to be mocked and told, “don’t you know who he is, don’t you know who you’re talking about here? Why that’s, put famous name here. He’s too big to be criticized. He’s too famous or too smart to be doing something that’s causing confusion.”

    Is this what we’ve come to? You get to a certain level in ministry, and now you’re above being decieved? No one is above being decieved. Not John Piper, not Frank Turk, nobody! Their ministries reach so many people. This stuff needs to be confronted and answered! I can’t tell you how many people I’ve warned about Rick Warren, or some emergent teacher, only to be told, well, John Piper likes him, or he spoke at this conference with another respected pastor. Or hey, the Christian bookstores sell their stuff, or SBC endorsed them, Lifeway sells their stuff, etc.

    We’ve got to stop looking at the personalities, and look at the teaching. Those standing by these false teachers are making this harder!

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  94. Chris Rosenburg… I have several questions for you.
    Do you give the same “benefit of the doubt” to known heretics, false prophets such as Joel Osteen, Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland and many others in the WOF/NAR. People like Benny Hinn and other’s get is write sometimes to, but they are still false ministers of the gospel.

    Do you call them your brothers in Christ like you did Dan Kimball and other’s.
    You attack Mike and Ingrid on this blog for contending the faith, while you “Chris” use to do the same.

    Chris, I detect some serious pride in your tone. We all must examine ourselves daily.

    How can God’s people”true believer’s be unified with heretics and false minister’s of the gospel… we can not.

    Here is a quote from my favorite, Charles Spurgeon that is fitting.

    “Discernment is not simply a matter of telling the difference between what is right and wrong; rather it is the difference between right and almost right.”
    – Charles Spurgeon

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  95. Pingback: Walking in Truth and Love « Possessing the Treasure

  96. On Piper and Federal Visionism: http://www.trinityfoundation.org/PDF/197a-PiedPiper.pdf

    Peter Masters of Metropolitan Tabernacle in London critiques “Christian Hedonism” which I found after I did my own research of the word “hedonism” (hedone):

    http://web.archive.org/web/20080513234516/http://www.metropolitantabernacle.org/?page=articles&id=3

    This should’ve been the red flag because it was a Post-modern trick or dare I say a cultic tactic to use a strickly pagan word “hedonism” by sort of redefining it to then marry it with “Christian”. What we’re seeing these days IS “Christian hedonism” in all its glaring unholiness.

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  97. C. H. Spurgeon

    1834–1892, Baptist pastor of the Metropolitan Tabernacle in London

    “We must have no truce, no treaty with Rome. War! War to the knife with her! Peace there cannot be. She cannot have peace with us—we cannot have peace with her. She hates the true Church; and we can only say that the hatred is reciprocated. We would not lay a hand upon her priests; we would not touch a hair of their heads. Let them be free: but their doctrine we would destroy from the face of the earth as the doctrine of devils. So let it perish, O God, and let that evil thing become as the fat of lambs. Into smoke let it consume: yea, into smoke let it consume away.”

    —————————————————————————-
    “We are not praying against Babylon, we are not praying against the Man of Sin, we are not praying against the real foe of Britain: it is time we started to pray again. It is the bounden duty of every Christian to pray against Antichrist, and as to what Antichrist is, no sane man ought to raise an objection. If it be not popery in the Church of Rome, there is nothing in the world that can be called by that name. If there were to be issued a hue and cry for Antichrist, we would certainly take up the Roman Church on suspicion, and it would certainly not be let loose again, for it so exactly answers the description. Popery is contrary to Christ’s Gospel. It is the Antichrist. We ought to pray against it. It should be the daily prayer of every believer that Antichrist might be hurled like a millstone into the flood, and for Christ, because it wounds Christ, it robs Christ of His glory, it puts sacramental efficacy in the place of His atonement, it lifts a piece of bread into the place of the Saviour, and a few drops of water into the place of the Holy Ghost, and puts a mere fallible man like ourselves up as the Vicar of Christ on earth. If we pray against it, because it is against God, we shall love the persons though we hate their errors; we shall love their souls though we hate and detest their dogmas; and so the breath of our prayers will be sweetened because we turn our faces to Christ to pray this prayer.”

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  98. Thank you, Dawnmarie4. Every time one of these clowns (wolves) screams “Unity” or “Mean-spirited” or “Judgmental” or “Unloving” rest assured that a nerve has been struck and if you pour on the coals they will run for cover being afraid that more of their lies and false doctrine will exposed. “You will know them by their fruit”. Who do they promote? Jesus or themselves? Do they “defend the faith once for all delivered to the saints” or do they defend each other? Do they excuse false doctrine in each other or point to the Word of God as the only and final authority? Where is it stated that we are to come to the defence of any one who teaches error just because every one likes them? (Beware when all men speak well of you.) As for Warren and Piper and Driscoll they are II Peter 2 children and their fate is sealed. So what about the other defenders of heretics, Frank and now Chris? You boys got some ‘splaining to do. Which is it? Will you defend the faith or your favorite heretic? It’s time to pick you side and pick up your armour. Just who’s side are you on, anyway? The game is over boys. Man up or be gone.

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  99. @ Denise: After reading the Trinity Foundation paper on Piper, I am drawn back to 2 Timothy 2:
    14 Keep reminding God’s people of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen.

    I find his teachings on “future grace” and “hedonism” to be complex, mind bending teachings that lead away from the simple gospel. It is a specialized, elite kind of teaching that has spun a tangled web in my brain that is still bouncing off several super ingenious neurons and shorting out a few million of my lower IQ brain cells.
    And I thought Pentecostals had strange, elite teachings…

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  100. The word “unteachable” comes to mind!

    No one wants to face any sort of scrutiny, personally or spiritually. But, iron sharpens iron and if you are not sharpened by the Word then…….well…..maybe you are not “iron”.

    Love the Spurgeon quotes!!

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  101. Carolyn, You are right. Elitism has no place in Christianity. The Gospel is simple and all are welcome at the foot of the Cross. To get their though you have to be ready to take up your own cross and follow Jesus. Yes, it is costly, but that stuff Piper is talking about is totally foreign to this.

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  102. …”I know that charity covereth a multitude of sins; but it does not call evil good, because a good man has done it; it does not excuse inconsistencies, because the inconsistent brother has a high name and a fervent spirit”…

    Got this reminder of a Horatius Bonar quote off of Ingrid’s site. Inconsistencies. At the very least, doesn’t that describe what Mr. Turk is doing, or Dr. Piper and many others. In my opinion, we’ve passed the inconsistent part, but the point being, if we shouldn’t excuse inconsistencies, how in the world are some excusing blatant false teachings?!

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  103. Teresa,

    You asked: Do you give the same “benefit of the doubt” to known heretics, false prophets such as Joel Osteen, Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland and many others in the WOF/NAR. People like Benny Hinn and other’s get is write sometimes to, but they are still false ministers of the gospel.

    My Answer: Nope. Their heresies are clear, constant and undeniable unless your a complete doop.

    I’m not attacking Mike on this blog post. I’ve commended Mike for starting this discussion off correctly. The comments have descended to the absurd and base.

    Plain and simple the issue for me is this: FRANK TURK IS A CHRISTIAN BROTHER and he is to be lovingly addressed and conversed with AS A BROTHER, with the goal of UNITY because we are already family members.

    If Frank Turk disagrees with Ingrid about Rick Warren that does not make him a Heretic.

    If Frank Turk disagrees with Mike about John Piper that does not make him a Heretic.

    If Frank Turk exercises his Christian Freedom to speak at a Leadership Network Conference that does not make him a Heretic.

    If Frank Turk uses rhetoric that is offense to some or appears to have an overly healthy ego THAT DOES NOT MAKE HIM A HERETIC.

    There is something SERIOUSLY wrong with some in the discernment camp when a CHRISTIAN BROTHER like Frank Turk is given the HERETIC TREATMENT when he clearly believes teaches, confesses and defends the Historic Christian Faith.

    If someone cannot tell the difference between Frank Turk and Rick Warren then they need to find a different thing to do with their time than do discernment blogging BECAUSE THEY HAVE ZERO DISCERNMENT SKILLS.

    I am not standing by and remaining silent about the glaring problems that exist in the Discernment Camp, such as faulty evidence, faulty logic, guilt by association and a false Doctrine of Separation. These errors are every bit as dangerous to the Body of Christ as any heresy and Bible twisting done by Rick Warren.

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  104. Chris, from the beginning I have attempted to get Frank to discuss his “bad decisions” in a calm brother to brother way, but he won’t have it. Frank’s questionable attitude toward myself and Ken Silva when all we are doing is asking for him to explain these things to fellow brothers in the Lord is a bit hard to take. Having the door slammed in your face while being called all sorts of ugly names while all I am doing is Biblically trying to find out what is going on raises many red flags. I never imagined that this post would take on a life of its own like this. This was never my intention. I do not do what I do for the “hits” or whatever. I pray everyday for God to be glorified in me and that He would use me in the Truth War. He is sovereign. The way these things work out is not always the way I intend, but when I go to the throne of grace about those things I try to ask for God to line up my level of contentment with His Sovereign will. In any case, whether everyone agrees it exists and should be applied in full or not, there is a Biblical Doctrine of Separation…

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff

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  105. I have attempted to get Frank to discuss his “bad decisions” in a calm brother to brother way, but he won’t have it

    …and it is thus commendable to give him the heretic treatment.

    while all I am doing is Biblically trying to find out what is going on raises many red flags

    Unfortunately, so many commenters in this thread do not demonstrate that level of restraint. Many here should be ashamed of themselves.

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  106. Rhology, I don’t think I have ever called Frank Turk a heretic. I have said he has made questionable or bad decisions and we need to discuss them, but he refuses. The point of this post in the first place was an attempt to get him to do that. He won’t have it. I think if I could have some one on one time with Frank perhaps things would be different…

    I have no control over anyone but myself.

    I have discussed among my friends about closing this thread down, but it will shutdown automatically tomorrow so…

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  107. Paula,

    Since you’ve taken issue with my use of the term “bronze aged member” that I used while rebutting the feminist theology of an emergent outlaw preacher, I have a few questions for you.

    1. Would you have preferred that I used the correct anatomical name rather than a euphemism?

    2. Do you affirm the clear Biblical teaching that our Great God and Savior, Jesus Christ was circumcised or do you deny it?

    3. Do you affirm that fact that our Great God and Savior is still circumcised today or are you believing an unbiblical heresy that teaches that Jesus is no longer circumcised but has become a eunuch?

    4. Why are you judging me for engaging in a conversation/debate with someone? Have you received a new revelation from Christ that says that we’re no longer supposed to contend for the faith and that we’re only supposed to keep our theology to ourselves and never ever confront those teaching error? Last time, I checked the scriptures still say that we’re to confront, rebuke, contend and exhort.

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  108. I don’t think I have ever called Frank Turk a heretic.

    Yes, I know that. I also know you have no direct control over others. It would be commendable for you, however, since it’s your blog, to ask others to rein in their baser instincts to shoot first and consider later. Some of these comments are disgraceful.

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  109. To everyone wanting to comment on this post. While I did not know it when I posted it, there was obviously some opened and ugly wounds opened up from some previous battle that I had nothing to do with. I would appreciate it if you would refrain from any more of that arguing here. It is pitiful when viewed 3rd party. It looks childish and is fleshly to the max. In any case, I will not post any more comments on this thread not directly related to the subject of this post.

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff

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  110. Mike,

    I am convinced that you and Frank are talking past each other. You BOTH have some very valid points and concerns I think that there may be an impasse because I think that both of you want your valid points acknowledged by the other.

    We’re all sinners here and we’re all brothers and sisters here. Because of that we must stay engaged and seek to resolve the conflict with the goal of unity.

    Both of you will have failed if at the conclusion of this conversation you both walk away from each other in such a way that you’ve written each other off.

    Frank would be wise to hear you out fully regarding your theological concerns regarding Piper and Warren and to weigh those concerns appropriately.

    AND you would be wise to hear Frank out fully regarding his points and valid concerns and to weigh those concerns and points appropriately.

    You are both right and you are both wrong. But your both right about completely different issues and your both wrong for completely different reasons.

    Patience and brotherly love and respect must rule the day here because we are all forgiven sinners covered in the shed blood of our crucified and risen Lord. Patience and brotherly love and respect are the only ways we’re going to get past the partisan bickering that has overtaken us.

    Like I’ve said I think your original open letter was written in the tone of Brotherly love and concern. Many of the comments that have ensued have not followed your example.

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  111. Mike, I’m not sure if this is off topic, so you can ignore if you wish.
    I would just like to respectfully ask Chris to clarify his view with respect to Frank Turk’s open letter.

    While Mike and others are questioning Frank’s praise of John Piper without referring to Piper’s dubious association with Rick Warren, Chris states that we should not declare Frank “guilty by association.” This, according to Chris and Frank, is the main problem with discernment ministries.

    For example, Chris himself has maintained open communication with The Outlaw Preachers and some Emergent types. But in doing, Chris clearly points out their errors and makes it obvious that he does not promote their false ideas. So, Chris is not “guilty by association.”

    However, in a series of his radio shows, Chris dissected some Laverne Adams sermons (really bad stuff!!), and while doing so declared numerous times that Rick Warren had written the foreward to her heretical book. Chris stated that Rick Warren was not guilty by association, but “guilty by recommendation” (or words to that effect). So the dividing line seems to be that you are guilty if you promote the false teacher.

    So, with respect to John Piper, is he also not “guilty by recommendation”, since he not only invited Rick Warren to speak prominently at Desiring God, but also followed up with nothing but glowing praise after Rick’s talk? He promoted Rick Warren and his books. He had the opportunity to set thing right, but declined. By omitting any criticism, is Piper not giving the impression of recommending Warren?

    Likewise, with respect to Frank Turk, is he not also “guilty by recommendation”? He had the opportunity to point out Piper’s errors while listing his accomplishments. Would a casual reader not see this as a recommendation? Then, given an opportunity by Mike to bring some truthful balance into his view of Piper, Frank refuses to budge.

    So Chris – I agree with your warnings on discerners to avoid brushing everyone with the label “heretic” without any consideration. But, based on your standards, those who steadfastly recommend false or wayward teachers deserve that title.

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  112. @ Chris
    You said “There is something SERIOUSLY wrong with some in the discernment camp when a CHRISTIAN BROTHER like Frank Turk is given the HERETIC TREATMENT when he clearly believes teaches, confesses and defends the Historic Christian Faith.”
    I agree. I calling Frank Turk a heretic would be incorrect. Treating him as a heretic would then be incorrect. By the same token, people who call him out publicly on his public stances are not heretics either.
    If Frank Turk is aligns himself with people cause division, people who are influenced by his writings should to told where he stands.
    I think there is room for people in the discernment camp to announce that certain associations have taken place without an accusation of apostasy. Being concerned that somebody like Albert Mohler has been part of a particular panel is not the same as labeling him a heretic. The whole John Piper episode began with a lot of people who liked Piper being concerned about one of his associations. Sadly, it tuned out that they had a lot to be concerned about. Thankfully, this is not always the case.
    In churches, we warn our friends that some guy is a new believer, and a nice guy, but he gets a lot of free magazines from an SDA front group, and that we should be careful to take some of his ideas with a grain of salt. How much more so should we do this with men who speak publicly on these issues?
    If I, on some blog, some day decide to endorse a teacher who distorts the Gospel, I want everyone who blogs to say “Sylvia is dead wrong about this guy!” I’d rather they didn’t mock me as being some grotesque character from a movie, or laugh about my foolishness. I don’t see any call for that. But, because I know that the Gospel is a million times more important than my little feelings, I understand that when I say something publicly, there is a need to not only correct me, but to warn the people who may have listened to me.

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  113. “Frank would be wise to hear you out fully regarding your theological concerns regarding Piper and Warren and to weigh those concerns appropriately.”

    As far as I can see, based upon his dealings with me, this is the heart of the problem.

    Frank seems to only listen to Frank.

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  114. CB,

    You ask a good question.

    Here’s the rub. John Piper has a decades long track record of faithfully preaching the Gospel and rightly handling God’s Word. The drift with Piper is a new development and I don’t think it is clear yet where Piper is ultimately going to go with this.

    As for Rick Warren we got a real problem because he’s a cameleon and is gifted at working a room every bit as much as Bill Clinton was. So, it is challenging to convince our Brothers and sisters about the serious doctrinal errors of Rick Warren.

    Even my conclusions about Warren have changed over the years. I used to give him the benefit of the doubt. But after meeting with him and challenging him regarding his Bible twisting and his over emphasis on the Law and lack of Gospel preaching, and seeing him persist in his error and getting worse, I can no longer give him the Benefit of the doubt. I’ve come to the conclusion Warren is a wolf.

    But, I’ve paid a lot more time listening to and scrutinizing Rick Warren’s doctrine than 99% of the church. So I have to take the time to teach people what I’ve discovered and heard and why Warren unBiblical and dangerous. I’ve already come to my conclusions regarding Warren but that is not the case with the vast majority of the Church including Piper.

    So with Piper, because of his long track record of being a faithful Bible teacher, I must first assume that if Piper were truly aware of the errors that Warren teaches that he wouldn’t have endorsed Warren. I must first assume that Piper’s been deceived and that if the facts are soberly and dispassionately brought to his attention that his allegiance to the word of God would compel him to withdraw his endorsement of Warren.

    But, IF after Warren’s false doctrine and Bible twisting have been clearly brought to Piper’s attention, if Piper persists in insisting that Warren is Orthodox THEN and only THEN are we to reassess our position toward Piper.

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  115. “Rhology, I don’t think I have ever called Frank Turk a heretic. I have said he has made questionable or bad decisions and we need to discuss them, but he refuses. The point of this post in the first place was an attempt to get him to do that. He won’t have it.”

    Mike Ratliff makes a good point here. I would validate PuritanReform’s observation that Frank Turk is a hypocrite. I would also validate other people’s observations that Frank Turk is a jerk.

    Having said all that, I would not be surprised if Frank Turk himself stipulates that he’s both a hypocrite and a jerk! Furthermore, and more importantly, Frank Turk being a hypocrite and a jerk does not make him a heretic. Or at least it doesn’t make him a damnable heretic.

    Anyways, since Frank Turk has been writing open letters, he, at least, should not be opposed to having someone like Mike Ratliff write him an open letter.

    Lastly, I commend Chris Roseborough’s comments on this thread. He’s trying to be a peacemaker.

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  116. As this thread has come to a roaring boil (that’s a good thing), maybe it’s time to remove some dross. So how do we know a brother from a non-brother? Can’t look into the depths of his heart (nor would I want to). Can’t take some one else’s word for it (John1:11-13). It becomes hard to believe some people who claim to a “brother in Christ” with all of their inconsistant speech. Matt. 7:20 holds the answer: “Therefore by their fruits you will know them”. Does this fruit include great oratory skills and a command of language to be able to write awe-inspiring words on paper. Maybe, but isn’t that more of a gift than fruit? How many lost do you know that can speak & write rings around all of us here? There are many indicators of good fruit, like a new found love for the Savior you once despised and ridiculed; like a hatred for sin (especially in your own life); like a love and hunger for righteousness never known before; like a thirst for the Word of God; like making the Word your only and final authority in all matters. And the list goes on.

    Matt. 7:21-23 It is no accident that Jesus choose the self-proclaimed prophet/preacher/teacher to make His point. Just because some one claims to be a Christian does not make it so. Just because some one pronounces some one else to be a “brother in Christ” does not make it so. Jesus said: “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you, depart from me, you who practice lawlessness'”. So is it practicing lawlessness when defending heresies and the ones who proclaim it or not? If not, what BIBLICAL term should we use? (please, no more vain and deceitful philosophy, just SCRIPTURE). Is it good fruit or bad to insist upon unity at the expense of the truth of the Gospel?

    If the unity sought for means that I must make nice with heresy just because a “brother” says it’s the right thing to do, forget it! II Cor. 6:11-18 forbids such activity. If you think otherwise then supply the book, chapter and verse(s) from the Word of God—–ONLY!

    May the Lord bless you, Mike, and continue to expose the evil around us.

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  117. It doesn’t matter if you have 12 gold stars beside your name. It is what you are doing today that counts. We are dealing with today’s error, not yesterday’s heros.

    You are talking to many sheep who have had their concerns downplayed by passive leaders for years. They have been told their their arguments are illogical and not worthy to be considered.

    You know, Chris we don’t have to be a polished debater to have our concerns heard.

    I believe the biblical way is to first approach him and then bring it before the church, which has been done.

    We’re not calling anyone a heretic. Names are just that. We are concerned about leaders that are rubbing shoulders with those who have departed from sound biblical teachings. I don’t agree that we need time. Truth is truth and error is contamination.

    You can have your fancy arguments and dance around the issue by saying you are giving someone the benefit of the doubt, but I still say it is compromise.

    I may not be a trained debater, but I do have knowledge of the Word. And that’s what counts if you want to stay doctrinally pure. Why does it take years to figure out if someone is twisted the truth? If you are clear on the Word…it takes but a day.

    To bring him back may take years, but by then many sheep have been displaced and their faith shipwrecked.

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  118. Thanks Darrel. What rarified air it is when we reach this level isn’t it? What a shame the church visible (most of the time) seeks the shadows of so-called safe compromise rather than the path of God’s uncompromising truth which always leads right through the narrow way to Christ.

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  119. Thank you Darrel…You said

    “As this thread has come to a roaring boil (that’s a good thing), maybe it’s time to remove some dross. So how do we know a brother from a non-brother? Can’t look into the depths of his heart (nor would I want to). Can’t take some one else’s word for it (John1:11-13). It becomes hard to believe some people who claim to a “brother in Christ” with all of their inconsistant speech. Matt. 7:20 holds the answer: “Therefore by their fruits you will know them”. Does this fruit include great oratory skills and a command of language to be able to write awe-inspiring words on paper. Maybe, but isn’t that more of a gift than fruit? How many lost do you know that can speak & write rings around all of us here? There are many indicators of good fruit, like a new found love for the Savior you once despised and ridiculed; like a hatred for sin (especially in your own life); like a love and hunger for righteousness never known before; like a thirst for the Word of God; like making the Word your only and final authority in all matters. And the list goes on.

    Matt. 7:21-23 It is no accident that Jesus choose the self-proclaimed prophet/preacher/teacher to make His point. Just because some one claims to be a Christian does not make it so. Just because some one pronounces some one else to be a “brother in Christ” does not make it so. Jesus said: “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you, depart from me, you who practice lawlessness’”. So is it practicing lawlessness when defending heresies and the ones who proclaim it or not? If not, what BIBLICAL term should we use? (please, no more vain and deceitful philosophy, just SCRIPTURE). Is it good fruit or bad to insist upon unity at the expense of the truth of the Gospel?

    If the unity sought for means that I must make nice with heresy just because a “brother” says it’s the right thing to do, forget it! II Cor. 6:11-18 forbids such activity. If you think otherwise then supply the book, chapter and verse(s) from the Word of God—–ONLY!”

    And I’m posting your comment again because it needs to be said twice! Amen and Amen!

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  120. Why are we to tolerate those who side with the enemies of Christ? Why is that somehow considered good, when God says its bad?

    What part of DO NOT RECEIVE INTO YOUR HOUSE OR GIVE A GREETING to those with a false gospel/doctrine is not being understood by the Pirate and the Centurion? What part of “mark and avoid” is unclear? How can a Christian Hedonist not read the clear Scripture and simply obey such commands?

    Since when is Justification by faith alone debateable?
    Since when is Pelagianism considered Christian?

    WHAT DOCTRINAL ERROR WILL CAUSE TURK AND PIPER TO SEVER ALL TIES FROM A TEACHER AND UTTERLY REJECT HIM WHOLE-HEARTEDLY?

    Carolyn, I agree.

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  121. Food for thought:

    Quote:

    The main problem is that many religious leaders today say one thing and teach another. If you ask Gregory Boyd or the other “Open View of God” heretics if they believe in the “omniscience” of God, they will say, “Yes.” Dumb Christians are satisfied at this point and go their merry way deceived and hoodwinked. But if you force them to define the term “omniscience,” they end up denying that God knows all things! They claim that God does not and cannot know the future.

    Just because someone says, “I believe in sola scriptura,” does not mean he really believes in it. If he elsewhere says that the Bible is not the final authority in faith and practice, he has denied in substance what he supposedly affirmed as a slogan. Heretics have always done this. What they affirm with the right hand is what they deny with the left hand. It does not matter what doctrine is at stake.
    In the early 1980s, those who denied the inerrancy of Scripture did not begin by openly denying it. They redefined it until the term “inerrancy” meant errors!

    Those who deny the bodily resurrection of Christ often pretend to believe in it by tricky words and double talk. Believe me; I have heard some slick theologians in my day!

    Apostasy in Scripture is of two kinds: doctrinal and moral.
    A heretic can be a good person who is very moral. Yet, he can also be an anti-Christ. The monk Pelagius was according to all a good man, morally speaking. Thus when I point out some teacher as a heretic, evanjellyfish usually respond, “But he is sooo nice! He is a good man. How dare you attack him!”

    They assume that heretics are always mean and vile. A nice heretic who says that right phrases and theological clichés cannot be a heretic in their mind.The problem with heretics who are “nice” is that we tend to let them get away with the most outrageous teaching because they seem to be so nice.

    ~ Robert Morey
    End quote.

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  122. Amen, Carolyn and Denise. It’s one thing to give a little leeway to a fairly new Christian to be able to understand doctrine fully. We disciple and we help them to understand. But we cannot compromise and wait around for a well-known pastor and teacher of the Word to come to a basic understanding of the Gospel! Teachers are held to a higher standard.

    Piper has been teaching a false Gospel for years. There are numerous resources on the internet, as well as Piper’s books themselves, that prove that Piper preaches another Gospel. If, after all this time, people like Turk and Rosebrough have not done their homework and concluded that Piper is a false teacher, then why should we listen to them? Why should we listen to men who tell us to compromise and give people like Piper the benefit of the doubt when, for years, the evidence of false teaching has been right in front of us?

    It would be disobedience to God on our part if we ignore the evidence and follow the leadings of men like Turk and Rosebrough. It’s not personal, guys. It’s simply obedience to the Word of God.

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  123. This is what I have been waiting for. My brethren, this is my point exactly and this is why we are of like mind. There is no vendetta against any person. We are all to be held accountable to one standard. However, leaders like pastors and teachers are held to an even higher standard. That standard is that there can be no compromise with God’s Truth. The Gospel is clearly given to us in God’s Word. There is no ambiguity. We are warned not to change it through addition or subtraction. We are warned not to become antinomians, et cetera. We are to teach those who believe all that Christ taught. That is the full Christian Doctrine and we have that given to us by the Apostles in God’s Word. This is the standard. When so-called Christian leaders stray from this then we hold them accountable. No compromise!

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  124. I am going to vomit you out of My mouth!

    “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were either cold—or hot. So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold—I am going to vomit you out of My mouth!” Revelation 3:15-16

    The Lord Jesus hates lukewarmness! He would rather we made no profession of religion at all—than to profess—and then not practice His precepts!

    He loves to see His people zealous—and it is a shame to us, when we are dull and lifeless in His ways.

    It is to be feared, that many professors do not realize that their ‘indifference’ is a sin! They think that having professed Christ, if they just attend to a few religious duties, and creep along in a certain religious course—that this is enough. They are never hot—and they do not really like to see others on fire for the Lord.

    Professor of religion, Jesus says, “Be hot—or be cold!”
    Be altogether a Christian—OR throw off your vain profession!

    Do not wear the Christian name—only to dishonor it!

    Professing Christian—are you hot, or cold—or lukewarm?

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  125. well, I’m sorry for this cliche but here it is: “Birds of a feather flock together”. Compromise breeds more compromise.

    I was so thankful years ago for someone leading me back to the truth when I was deceived by SDAdventist. It takes real humility and love of the truth to get back though…When I was deceived, I couldn’t tell which way was up and I would have argued blue was white. But when I stopped, shut up and listened to someone I trusted, the blinders came off.

    I think God despises arrogance and pride and gives grace to the humble. So humble yourselves before God……

    It has been an interesting time here. There is no excuse for ignorance. The challenges and the scriptures and reasoning have been excellent. If anyone can’t hear what is being said, they aren’t listening…just talking.

    Thanks to everyone for helping us contend for the faith,

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  126. Pingback: Creating Ill Will For Jesus « Chamblee54

  127. So many thoughts… here’s just a couple.

    God created us for His Glory. We are ‘to seem’ like Him at all times. Any deviation from that produces a muddiness in the water’s reflection of Who God is (to those who are watching). God’s Name, Who He is, is blasphemed in the eyes of all. Therefore, regarding even Mr. Piper: his associations with false teachers muddies the waters of the picture of God’s holiness. Mr. Piper’s own teachings do the same. Therefore, God says he is to be rebuked and reproved. If he does not confess and repent, then he is to be sent up the ladder, more witnesses, then the church itself—if he repents, we have won our brother, if not, he will continue to muddy the waters of Glory. There is no question that leaving Mr. Piper inside of the church’s ‘condoned and pardoned’ pew is contrary to God’s will from His Word. Removing him from the arena of blessing and fellowship gives the waters of God’s reflection a chance to clear, along with giving Mr. Piper an pressurized opportunity to repent. Yet, always, God’s Glory must be the pivotal aspect.

    Another way to look at it from the viewpoint of the Word of God is that we are in Covenant with God—in Covenant His enemies become our enemies. Rick Warren has made himself an enemy of God. Therefore Piper has to break fellowship with Warren or he will be breaking Covenant with God. To not practice secondary separation, as I believe he called it (others from Piper and on, as far as is necessary), is actually breaking Covenant with God.

    As far as his ‘record’ of benefit to the church. Ezekiel 33 gives us a standing principle of God’s righteous way to guide us—“a righteous man will not be able to live by his righteousness on the day when he commits sin.” Ezekiel 18 also gives us direction—”All his righteous deeds which he has done will not be remembered for his treachery which he has committed and his sin which he has committed; for them he will die.” The death in this case is separation until he repents.

    In a simple comparison for illustration’s sake—we discipline our children for their good and for God’s glory. We do not wait and watch to see if they will turn on their own, we apply pressure in order to get them to turn. The longer a person stays in a sin, the more corruption occurs. Mr. Piper’s bread has risen to its full height and is overflowing the pan. Mr. Piper has ascended the ladder of exhortation, but no discipline has been given him. It is time.

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  128. Mike, I do appreciate your article’s because of the biblical truths you write. I love the truth of God’s word and your article feed me the meat of God’s word, thank you.

    This is the last time I will comment on this matter. I do not know Frank Turk and probably should not have commented in the first place.
    Chris R, I misunderstood your first comment, forgive me if I offended you. I do disagree with some points you made, while I agree with some points you made, they were valid points.
    However, I think the reason on line discernment ministries are trouble “as you point out” is because people like Rick Warren, Dan Kimball, Benny Hinn, and many other’s do not want to be exposed as being heretic’s and when someone like John Piper is flat out wrong for inviting Rick in the first place….
    Frank Turk has a right to his opinion, he may not be a heretic but he open himself up for this and he needs to be careful who he shares a platform with and who he praises…… that way our good is not spoken evil of……

    That is all. Mike thank you again.

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  129. Sharon, great !

    I keep thinking about 1 Cor. 15:33, “Be not deceived : evil communications corrupt good manners.”

    We are directly identified by who we associate with. If no separation takes place from the ones who err then we are like Peter warming himself by the fire, thus denying the Lord Jesus Christ.

    If a doctor is some sort of quack and does not practice sound medicine we would immediately let all of our friends and loved ones know NOT to go to said doctor. And going even further, if said doctor was a part of a medical practice with multiple doctors we would most likely avoid them all just because of the association.

    How much more important our souls than our bodies!

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  130. I’ve been reading for the last several days without comment, but thought I’d at least pop in and tell you how much I appreciate your article, Mike.

    There is no room for compromise. Compromise is what’s gotten the church where it is today.

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  131. For any of you who have the time and interest, the following would be very helpful background to this discussion-
    There is very valuable research about separation as seen in the writings of Ockengay, Henry, others and fundamentalists done by Farley P. Butler, who in 1976 wrote a 336 page Ph. D. Dissertation entitled “Billy Graham and the End of Evangelical Unity’ 

    (You can read or download at-
    http://www.archive.org/details/billygrahamendof00butl

    Address to 
American Association of Christian Colleges and Seminaries
February 2, 2005

by

Dr. Kevin Bauder, D.Min., Ph.D.
Central Baptist Theological Seminary

    Click to access Bauder%20A%20Fundamentalism%20Worth%20Saving.pdf

    Dead Right: The Failure of Fundamentalism Phil Johnson

    Click to access deadright_.pdf

    Dead Right-David Doran response to Phil Johnson
    Stop the Funeral—We’re Not Quite Dead Yet! http://www.aaccs.info/media/Doran%20Stop%20the%20Funeral–We're%20Not%20Quite%20Dead%20Yet.pdf

    Dead Right-DORAN/JOHNSON CONTINUING DIALOGUE SHARPER IRON
    http://www.docstoc.com/docs/26235196/Continuing-Dialogue-Phil-Johnson-and-David-Doran

    Kevin Bauder several articles on separation
    http://centralseminary.edu/resources/nick-of-time/132-nick-archives Oct 1, 2010 part 16 through Dec 17,2010 part 24

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  132. Ecumenical Edingurgh 2010 conferences:

    Tokyo: While local churches are invited to the evening “celebrations” during the day “it will be a very serious ‘consultation’ of mission executives and mission leaders – because, as in 1910, all participants will be delegates chosen and sent by mission agencies, no one will be invited as an individual.”[13] Tokyo may be more charismatic in nature than the others as is evident by some of its plenary speakers including David Cho, pastor of the world’s largest church (fully entrenched in Word of Faith theology),[14]Yoido Full Gospel Church in South Korea, and Minoru Okuyama pastor and organizer of Nippon Revival Association, a fellowship for charismatic and Pentecostal Japanese church leaders.

    Edinburgh: This conference is apparently the brainchild of the World Council of Churches on World Mission and Evangelism and is described on its website as a “common experience of wider ecumenism.” Further the WCC states, “The WCC will play a leading role in the organization of a celebrative and widely owned mission conference in June 2010 in Edinburgh, in coordination with partners in the ecumenical movement, within and outside the WCC’s fellowship.”[15] There will be significant presence of Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches at Edinburgh.

    Cape Town: The Cape Town Conference will be in conjunction with The Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization and is considered the most conservative of the main conferences. It features six keynote speakers (each apparently preaching a message from the book of Ephesians) from six world regions, with John Piper representing North America. Boston University doctoral student and General Secretary of the Latin American Theological Fellowship Ruth Padilla DeBorst is one of two women expositors,[16] 4000 leaders from 200 countries have been invited and special criteria have been established to “include men and women from a broad spectrum of nationalities, ethnicities, ages, occupations and denominational affiliations.”[17]

    Boston: Boston Theological Institute will develop the theme “The Changing Contours of World Mission and Christianity” and has for its goal to “discern a vision for what might constitute mission in the twenty-first century.”[18] Boston Theological Institute is an association of nine theological schools and seminaries in the Boston area including three Roman Catholic schools and one Orthodox and strong connections with the World Council of Churches. As at Cape Town, Ruth Padilla DeBorst will be a keynote speaker as will two Roman Catholic leaders: Yale Divinity School professor Lamin Sannah, President of the Catholic Theological Society of America Peter Phan, and emergent front man Brian McLaren.

    United Methodist: The United Methodist denomination is also planning a major conference to coincide with Edinburgh 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee from October 15-17. This conference is entitled, “Rethink Mission: Reflection and Action from Edinburgh 1910-2010: Mission Engagement Past, Present, and Future.”[19] Keynote speaker is Dana Robert and “the program design will include scope for interdenominational and ecumenical discussions drawing on the rich resources of the Edinburgh 2010 missionary conference. Participants of the official Edinburgh 2010 conference will lead off the sessions and selected study themes will be highlighted during three days together.”[20]

    Evaluation:

    It is important to understand that while the four primary Edinburgh 2010 conferences are somewhat different in agendas and constituencies, the organizers of all four met in the winter of 2008 in Boston “to compare notes and to pledge cooperation. All four meetings are part of a process of reflection and activism that will likely continue beyond 2010… the organizers have expressed a commitment to work together and will send representative to each other meetings.”[21] All include women who will preach including United Methodist Church professor Dana Robert at both Edinburgh and Boston, and Ruth Padilla DeBorst at Cape Town and Boston. In addition the conferences have committed themselves to appoint women as half of all delegates. [22]

    Each conference will be discussing and creating papers on unique but overlapping themes related to world missions. In one way or the other, however, the definition of the gospel itself is on the table. For example at the Edinburgh conference one of the themes is “mission spirituality and authentic discipleship” which will attempt to “articulate a motivation and dynamic for mission that is rooted in the kingdom of God.” To be addressed is “what shape does Christian mission take when it has the kingdom of God as its ultimate horizon?”[23] Given that the emergent/emerging church movement centers its understanding of the faith and the church on the kingdom of God, it is vitally important to see what definition is given to the kingdom. The trend recently within not only the emergent church but much of evangelicalism is to adopt the mainline denominational understanding of the kingdom as spreading the social gospel rather than the gospel of reconciliation and redemption in Christ.

    This is further evident at Cape Town as it will address what its organizers consider the six global issues of our day under the banner, “The whole church taking the whole gospel to the whole world.” While this makes for a snappy vision statement almost every word is fraught with potential danger. Given the high emphasis on ecumenical unity at all the Edinburgh conferences, it appears that the “whole church” includes virtually all branches and traditions within Christendom including Roman Catholic and Orthodox as well as mainline denominations. The “whole gospel” will be defined by what is meant by the “whole world.” According to the Lausanne website the whole world means “becoming empowered by the Holy Spirit to alleviate world suffering brought about by economic injustice, disease, environment and poverty.”[24] The “whole gospel” ostensibly means not only the good news that Jesus Christ has provided through His blood the means by which sinners can be made right with God, but also addresses the social injustices found in our world today. Boston will be discussing these same themes with the final of the eight themes being, “‘Saving the World: relating to secular ways of dealing with human need.”[25] Chet Plimpton of New Tribes Mission has pointed out in a paper written for NTM that “Saving the World” is based on implementing The Millennium Development Goals that have been defined by the United Nations, including: eliminating extreme poverty and hunger, reducing child mortality, promoting gender equality, universal primary education, improving maternal health, combating HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases, and ensuring environmental sustainability.[26]

    David Hesselgrave, in his excellent article for Southwestern Journal of Theology entitled, “Will We Correct the Edinburgh Error? Future Mission in Historical Perspective,” writes about efforts by fundamentalists and evangelicals to correct the error of Edinburgh 1910. Much could be said about these attempts and the various paths that they have led Christ’s people in relationship to evangelism and missions, but for our purposes he identifies three tensions that are still being wrestled with today; tensions perhaps which Edinburgh 2010 desires to address in a definite manner:[27]

    http://www.svchapel.org/resources/articles/21-church-trends/659-edinburgh-2010

    And here is the Hesselgrave link “Will We Correct the Edinburgh Error?”

    Click to access EdinburghError-Hesslegrave49.2.pdf

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  133. Another thought.

    We are all to be watchmen on the wall, including Mr. Piper. He is to warn the city (church) of danger that is approaching. The city should then close its gates and be ever on alert for the enemy.

    Instead Mr. Piper has left his place on the wall, descended to the ground, and taken up a position as a gatekeeper. In this key position he has opened the gate wide and given the enemy a welcomed entrance. The city has been betrayed and deadly destruction is taking place. More and more watchmen are abandoning their duties and, instead, taking their places alongside the faithless gatekeeper, treacherously issuing in enemy after enemy, even while the city sleeps. Much blood has already been spilled, and by the time the city awakes, it will be too late…

    This city belongs to the Great King! He will be arriving shortly and when He does, He will righteously judge His Kingdom—both those who have been faithful and those who have been faithless…

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