Written By the Bible Bashed Podcast on Twitter
The MacArthur Witch-Hunt:
This situation is an example of what happens when two sides have so many unshared presuppositions that communication becomes absolutely impossible. For the sake of those watching, I will outline some of the most significant ones:
1) What does “abuse” mean? This is a word that is being used in multiple ways throughout this discussion.
2) Is “abuse” a legitimate grounds for divorce?
3) Is “abuse” a legitimate grounds for separation?
4) Is the world neatly divided up into victims and villains or can both a husband and wife be sinners simultaneously? Can women even sin? Can a spouse provoke another spouse to sin? Is there a way to acknowledge the reality of shared sinfulness that doesn’t reduce to blameshifting?
5) Is it an elder’s job to protect his sheep from all scary/uncomfortable situations?
6) Is it wise to form dogmatic conclusions about distant events when listening to one side of the story?
7) Are elders mandated to share private counseling information to an angry mob? Whose business are these situations to handle? Who has a right to this information?
8) If church elders could be shown to have handled a single case of church discipline poorly, should they resign from ministry?
9) Is a church discipline case fairly judged as handled poorly if new information comes to light, after the case, which is unrelated to anything discussed during church discipline, which if known at the time would have provided a justified reason for separation? If such information is discovered, how do we judge its reliability? Assuming that it is judged to be reliable, then does that absolve the individual of wrongdoing, who made decisions which were deemed to be sinfully motivated because they were not motivated by said unknown information?
10) Is there any room for disagreement over how to handle difficult church discipline scenarios in a culture that despise marriage and knows nothing of biblical expectations for marriage?
11) What does due process look like in church discipline scenarios?
12) What is biblical forgiveness? What does biblical reconciliation look like?
13) Should we even practice church discipline?
14) Is it reasonable to expect perfect justice in this life? Or, are there some situations where we must await a final verdict in the last day?
There’s many more, but I am tired of typing. Needless to say, these situations can get very complicated very quickly and it’s wise to remember Michael Brown, Johnny Depp, and George Floyd and be slow to form judgments.
***He brings up many good questions to ponder. Some have asked me what I thought about this situation. I support the many godly elders from Grace Community Church and their statement about this situation FAR more than I do a woman who wrote a hit piece on John MacArthur that was published in the lukewarm Christianity Today magazine.