If you thought CCCM had anything to do with Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, you’d be 100% correct! But this is less about CCCM as it is more about the dual deception match that is going on between John MacArthur and Brian Brodersen.
You see John MacArthur is a Calvinist and a “Cessationist,” which is loosely defined as one who believes the spiritual gifts that the Apostles did following the outpouring of the Holy Spirit after Jesus’ ascension has completely ceased and is not available today. Brian Broderson, new papa smurf of CCCM, is an avowed “Continuationalist,” which means he does believe that the spiritual gifts can be exercised and experienced today.
What these two men leave out are their similarities. They are both playing a game of deception and its end game is causing further injury to the flock. Both are ecumenical and headed to Rome. Broderson and MacArthur are on two different trains headed to the same destination. John MacArthur is calling on his brethren within CC who are closet Cessationists to join him and gather under the “Reformed” umbrella he espouses to be holding up. MacArthur’s puritan beliefs and clinging to Calvin is supposed to be alluring. It is enticing for those who’ve not departed since the death of patron Chuck Smith, and are fearful about the new direction of CC; to return to the glory days of being “slain in the spirit,” more intense emotional and experiential “outpourings” like they once felt under Smith Sr. and Lonnie Frisbee. Then there are those new young hipster “Pastors” who were raised on soy and corn products (empty universalism and no absolute truth theology) who secretly love Calvinist ideals but also love their gluten free cupcakes (Charismatic emotional services and that “heathenistic worship music”).
Let us be clear, John MacArthur is friends with Calvary Chapel. You don’t show up at Greg Laurie’s church and embrace the upper echelon of CC popes without stamping them with your whole hearted approval.
John MacArthur wrote a book, Strange Fire, (there’s always a book) and had a conference, of the same name, which exerted such magnitude and veracity it ignited a response “video interview” (I’d call it a PR/PA) by Brian Broderson. I did not know until after viewing the following video (scroll below) that MacArthur and the “reformed” clan have been attacking/”warning” about CC and their “charismatic” ways for some time. My first impression when watching the video was this, “Isn’t MacArthur friends with CC? Didn’t he speak at Harvest Church and for other CC pastors? Why is he all of a sudden blasting them?” But then I did some research on MacArthur and Brodersen because truly (forewarning of my ignorance) I don’t know much about either of these guys. What I know is what I’ve gathered in the past 24 hours. Sure, I’ve had people I’ve known send me links and articles “warning about MacArthur” but (no offense) I didn’t bother to read up on him because I never bothered to read/listen or watch the guy preach. I had no basis to condemn him and the greatest offense the people who sent me his info was that “he’s a “Calvinist!” Eee gads like there’s not worse out there (CC). Also I don’t know much about “Calvinism,” other than a guy named John Calvin is responsible for the ism. Sorry to inform you, I don’t know about every false doctrine out there. I was first growing in Christ, then deceived for a short time (CC), then made aware of the deception I was in and by those I had grown to trust, after which I exited and landed in a fellowship that is peculiar but nonetheless grounded. I never read John Calvin. I never read Nelson Darby, Harry Ironside, or Charles Spurgeon either. I was never taught what Armenianism is even though I attended CC for10 yrs. I’ve been busy reading Ezekiel, Daniel, Isaiah, Paul, James, Timothy, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and others!
The first time I read anything John MacArthur had to say was yesterday. I am way late to the bus on this. “Strange Fire” conference happened back in 2013, his book was also released then. Here is the link and a few quotes: http://m.gty.org/resources/sermons/TM13-18/an-appeal-to-charismatic-friends-john-macarthur (*Not an Endorsement*)
Deep breath-grab a barf bag if needed. It’s a lot of Quote because you need to read it in context and read discerningly looking for the switchback.
“An Appeal to Charismatic Friends.” John MacArthur ~Strange Fire Conference (transcript?)
“A few years ago I was doing an interview with NBC and there was a huge scandal in the evangelical world and this reporter on NBC television here was talking to me and he said, “Why do you let this stuff happen? Who…this is his question…who polices your movement? Who polices your movement?” He couldn’t process the fact that evangelicalism was this free-for-all that didn’t have to answer to any authority, or any centrality?
And I said, “Well, really nobody polices the movement. And that’s sad. Who should police the movement? I’ll tell you who should police the movement. Every faithful pastor, and every faithful elder, and every faithful theologian, every faithful preacher and teacher of the Word of God. And I will say this. If Reformed leaders who know the truth and know the gospel and know the Word of God don’t police this movement, the spiritual terrorists will dominate. It’s like Islam. We keep hearing, “Wow, the terrorists, they’re just a small minority on the lunatic fringe.” And we all keep saying, “Why then don’t conservative Muslims come together openly in mass and reject the terrorists?” They don’t. I think there’s a heavy burden that weighs on the back of all men who know the Word of God to rise up and denounce this movement. But you don’t hear that.
So people say, “Ah MacArthur, he’s fixated on this, he’s a one-trick pony, he’s a one-ring circus, he’s always haranguing about the Charismatics.
Well if you’re a part of Grace Church, you’d know better than that. We’ve spent over 40 years going verse-by-verse through the New Testament. I don’t think we’re fixed on one thing. I came here in 1969 and since 1969 we’ve had one conference on the Charismatic Movement, and this is it, and it’s come too late, really, it’s come too late. We lanced a wound that should have been lanced long ago. But we’ve tried to exercise patience. I’m not fixated on this. And by the way, they were accusing me of that yesterday when we were only two days. Two days out of 45 years…there are other issues who have occupied us, like the exaltation of Jesus Christ, and every other thing in the Word of God.
And then we have been accused of offending people and hurting their feelings. I don’t want to purposely do that. I was introduced by a Charismatic leader once at a book sellers convention who introduced me as, “This is my friend, John MacArthur, who is much nicer in person than he is in his sermons.” I hope that’s always true. I hope that I hold the truth with kindness. I hope I hold the truth with love. But when I open the Word of God, it must speak. And to be honest with you, I do care about the feelings of people. I do care about offending them. But not nearly as much as I care about offending God. (Applause)
This is an alien movement. It is an alien movement. I don’t want to get into all the history of that, but I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. There is a stream of sound teaching, sound doctrine, sound theology that runs all the way back to the Apostles. It runs through Athanasius and Augustine, and it runs through Luther and Calvin, and it runs through the great Reformation and the Reformers, and it runs through, as we were hearing last night, the Puritans and everything seemed to clear to them. It runs through the Westminster Divines and runs through the pathway of Charles Spurgeon and David Martyn Lloyd-Jones and it keeps running and it runs through people like S. Lewis Johnson, and Jim Boice and names that we’ve used and it runs down through today to the R.C. Sprouls and others, and that’s the stream of sound doctrine. The heroes of this generation of people in that stream, we know who they are. You’ve been hearing about them this week. Our hearers run back down through that same stream. We go back to the John Rogers, we go back to the 288 Marion martyrs, we go back to Foxes Book of Martyrs, and we shed tears on the pages of that book when we see what was done to the people who carried the truth to the next generation at such a great price.
We have a deep and abiding love for a person like William Tyndale for what he has done. Those are our heroes. But you have to understand, this other stream of evangelicalism goes back about to 1966…1966, When the hippies came out of San Francisco, showed up in Orange County, joined Calvary Chapel and we had the launch of an informal, barefoot beach drug-induced kind of young people that told the church how the church should happen, how it should act. Hymns went out. Suits went out. For the first time in the history of the church, the conduct of the church was conformed to a sub-culture that was born in LSD and Marijuana in San Francisco, migrated to Southern California. It’s a completely different stream. That launches the informal culturally driven, culturally defined, give them what they want, kind of church that ends up in the seeker-friendly church, takes a branch in the Vineyard and the Vineyard leads to the excesses of the contemporary Charismatic Movement. That’s a completely different stream. That’s not our stream. Those aren’t our heroes.
I don’t go back to Lonnie Frisbee who led the Jesus Movement and died of AIDS as a homosexual, I don’t go back there. That’s not my stream. But that’s the stream that has produced the culturally bound, culturally driven, seeker-driven church movement. And while there are good and bad and better and best, and worst elements of it, that’s where it comes from. We’re very different…very different. Our heroes are very different. We know who our people are and if you say you’re on this side and you are on this side, then you have a responsibility to be faithful to this marvelous history. If anybody is going to police this movement, it has to be the people here.
This concerns me so much that if you haven’t seen it already, I wrote a twelfth chapter in the book, don’t open the book, I want you to read the book. But in the opening chapter, the title of the chapter is An Open Letter To My Continuationist Friends; An Open Letter To My Continuationist Friends. Who are my continuationist friends? People who are my friends, real friends of mine whom I respect, who have made great contributions to the church, the body of Christ, who’ve taught all of us, who’ve taught me, who’ve ministered alongside me, hand-in-hand with me, with whom I’ve prayed, sometimes for hours and hours, with whom I’ve spoken and talked, hammered out convictions. But they call themselves continuationists because they want to give place to the Charismatic Movement.
I want to suggest that they’re not helping…they’re not helping. We need them to help police the movement. And in that final chapter, Open Letter To My Continuationist Friends, I give eight important statements as to why they must help us.
Number one, the continuationists position gives an illusion of legitimacy to the broader Charismatic Movement. If you say I’m a continuationist, you’ve just given credence to that movement. You may want to contain that a little bit. You may want to control that. But when theologically respected, conservative continuationists who represent a very small minority in the Charismatic Movement, when they give any credibility to the movement, the whole movement gets respect because of who they are.
And then you have this young generation of young, restless, Reformed, young people coming along and attaching to their heroes who are open to this Charismatic Movement and affirming the continuation of the signed gifts, and so they follow their heroes. And either embrace that idea of continuation, or are open to that idea which is essentially one and the same.
When notable continuationists, scholars give credence to Charismatic interpretations, or fail to directly condemn unbiblical Charismatic practices, they provide theological cover for a movement that is deadly dangerous.
Secondly, the continuationists position degrades the miraculous nature of the true gifts that God bestowed upon the first century church. And we’re summing up with these statements what you heard this week. The second point again, continuationists position degrades the miraculous nature of the true gifts that God bestowed upon the first century church.
We know God was giving revelation during the time of Christ and the Apostles. And the gifts, signs and miracles were to validate those who were proclaiming and writing that revelation. Hebrews 2:3, “The gospel at the first began to be spoken by the Lord and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him. God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders and various miracles and gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His will.
Now listen, that text is meaningless…meaningless if the signs and wonders and miracles and tongues and prophecy and healing belong to everybody and everybody’s experience today. It’s meaningless. It isn’t any sign of anything.
Furthermore, when continuationists use the terminology of the New Testament gifts, but then define them to mean something else, they depreciate the remarkable character of the real thing. They diminish the glorious way in which the Holy Spirit worked in the foundation of the church. If the gifts practiced in Charismatic Churches today are equivalent to the gifts described in the New Testament, then those original gifts were nothing special and so the era was nothing special. Hi-jacking New Testament terminology and redefining biblical gifts essentially degrades what was genuinely miraculous and what God was doing in the first century. Reformed continuationism aids this misrepresentation.
Thirdly, the continuationists position severely limits the ability of its advocates to confront others who fall into Charismatic confusion. What are they going to say to people who plunge into chaos and confusion? In the book, you’re going to read some of THE most bizarre things that have been basically proffered as spiritual experiences by some of the very most well-known Charismatics, one of whom was even here today. You’re going to read about the bizarre kind of things that should be wholesale denounced. And we keep waiting for the denunciation to come from the continuationists you would think would know better.
But it doesn’t come. They have given up the high ground and they can’t speak because they allow for it. So by what criteria do they then discredit the claims?
Number four, by insisting that God is still giving new revelation to Christians today, the Continuationists Movement opens the gates to further confusion and error. I mean, this is just another way of saying what we’re saying. They say there’s prophecy today but it can be wrong. There’s tongues today, but it’s not languages. There’s healing today but it’s not like the healings in the time of Christ and the Apostles. The Continuationists position then invites any Christian to interpret anything as from God. Any kind of gibberish, any kind of supposed spiritual experience, or impression, or notion, or idea that floats into the head can be considered prophecy. It removes the authoritative, objective standard for questioning the legitimacy of anybody’s claim to revelation.
Continuationists by allowing for any of it, end up allowing for all of it because they don’t have any criteria to decide what is and what isn’t accurate. The very idea that Christians should expect extra-revelation, extra-biblical revelation from God, mystical experiences, words of prophecy just creates a theological train wreck. When you get beyond the Word of God, you can’t contain the error.
Number five, by insisting that God is still giving new revelation to Christians today, the Continuationists Movement tacitly denies the doctrine of sola scriptura. I don’t need to camp on that because Steve made an unforgettable case for that last night. And I’ll tell you this, no…none of my friends, none of my Reformed Continuationist friends would deny the closing of the canon. They wouldn’t deny that. They certainly wouldn’t deny there are 66 books in the Bible. They wouldn’t deny the authority of Scripture. They wouldn’t deny the sufficiency of Scripture. Yet they default on the very thing they deny because they teach believers to expect extra-revelation. There’s so many ways that can be abused. And I’ll tell you who abuses it most, people in positions of power who want you to think they speak for God.
Number six, by allowing for irrational tongues speaking even as a private prayer language, continuationists open the door to a mindless ecstasy of Charismatic expression. They will admit that tongues is not a language today, so what is it? It’s this simple. If the prophecy today isn’t like the biblical prophecy because today’s prophecy is fallible, if the tongues isn’t like the biblical tongues because it’s gibberish and not a language, if the healings aren’t like the healings of Christ, they’re not continuationists. They’re closet cessationists. (Laughter/applause) They’ve just said it’s not what it was, so what have they done? They’ve simply accepted a counterfeit. You can’t be proud about that. That’s not a noble posture to accept a counterfeit. And it’s a counterfeit by their own admission.
Number seven, by asserting the gift of healing has continued to be present, the continuationists position affirms the same basic premise that undergirds the fraudulent ministry of Charismatic faith healers. If you say the gift of healing is still around, and you say it whimsically, there’s no evidence it’s around, either experimentally or biblically, but if you say it’s still around, then you have just validated healers. Who would want to do that? Are they not the lowest of the low? Are they not the worst of the worst? They don’t go to hospitals, they prey on the most desperate, the most severely ill, the most hopeless, the most destitute, very often the poorest, telling them lies and getting rich. Who would want to do anything to aid and abet them?
And finally, the continuationists position ultimately dishonors the Holy Spirit by distracting people from His true ministry, enticing them with counterfeits. Is it not enough to have the indwelling Spirit in the fullness of the Spirit? Is it not enough to have the gifts of the Spirit, to have the fruit of the Spirit, to be graced by the Spirit? Is it not enough to have all the promises of the Spirit? Do I need to come to God and say, Give me more, give me that other thing? I want that. What kind of deficiency are you accusing the Spirit of? You have dishonored the Holy Spirit. And you have enticed people toward counterfeits, rather than heart-felt, all-consuming gratitude for the fullness of all that the Spirit has given us. And He gives not His Spirit by…what?…by measure. The continuationists position, I think, sends stumbling blocks into the path of sanctification, spiritual growth. For two reasons. One, it makes people think they don’t have what they need, and two, it makes people think there’s something they need to chase. It’s really sad.
A lot more can be said about that, and you’re going to read a lot of detail about it in the book. But I’m convinced that the broader Charismatic Movement has opened the door to more theological error, listen, more theological error than any other doctrinal aberration in this modern day. Liberalism was bad. Psychology was bad. Ecumenism was bad. Pragmatism was bad. Mysticism was bad. Nothing is as bad as Charismaticism cause of its extensive impact. And once that kind of experientialism gets a foothold, there’s no brand of heresy or wickedness that will not ride it into the church.
So that Charismatic theology then becomes the strange fire of our generation and evangelical Christians have no business flirting with it at any level. And I think this is the time for the true church to respond. This is a time for the people who now stand on the shoulders of the Reformers in every area of their theology to be faithful to Reformation theology to its full rich intent. If we claim allegiance to the Reformers, then we ought to conduct ourselves with the same level of courage. Don’t call yourself a Charismatic Calvinist. John Calvin would reject that. John Calvin did reject that. You’ll have to drop the Calvinist part.
I’m concerned because I think these good and godly friends could make a massive difference in what this young generation and next generation believes about this movement, if they would take a stand where they need to take a stand.” End of Quote
I added bold to certain parts that I’d like to draw your attention to. The first statement about “policing the movement” is disturbing. When I read it I instantly thought of the Ecumenical One World type religion; and, the implications that “policing” people’s religious beliefs being advocated by a certain Calvinist Reformist to be disturbing.
The “alien movement” comment was actually funny. I thought of Chuck Missler, Douglas Hamp, and Tom Horn doing the wave of joy and high fiving each other.
There’s a section when MacArthur summarizes the birth of the Calvary Chapel movement, the Vineyard movement, and it’s consequent false teacher, gay hippy founder Lonnie Frisbee. Those elements are exactly true statements. When did he become made aware of this? Has he always preached against it? When I was discovering CC’s history and its birth I never came across a John MacArthur article admonishing people to flee Calvary Chapel based on these truths. Who knows? If he knew for a long time why was MacArthur joining hands with them, speaking in their churches? Oh yes, they’re his friends. (switchback-double standard, forked tongue, liar, playing the game)
Then MacArthur correctly states that the CC movement or some within it try to “control” the gifts and put a lid on it so that it doesn’t get spun out of control. And yes everything is a miracle in CC, but so it is also in other churches of other denominations that I’ve been to who also deny the gifts for today! So which is it, are we all closet Cessationists or closet Continuationists?
The subtitle of this post could easily be “N4TM’s ignorance on doctrine and 1t post on MacArthur and Broderson.” I truly don’t know a lot about this topic. I learned the phrases, Cessationist and Continuationist, and the meaning of it in the last 24 hours; and, as I’ve stated earlier, it is by reading what John MacArthur has stated in his appeal to his friends in the Charismatic church of Calvary and Brian Broderson’s PR video in his response to John MacArthur. I watched the video first, then started my research. As I watched the video what popped out at me is that Brain Broderson is a bold face liar. He’s selling his story that John MacArthur and CC are friends, they read the same theologian’s books, they attend similar theological seminary schools, they are more alike than different but then Brodersen back tracks and says the CC system as a whole (CCCM specifically) wants to “return” to the days when they exercised “the gifts” more prominently. He ends his charade with video of MacArthur giving his Calvinist reformed blessing on CC decades ago. We who know CC more intimately than the pew potatoes know that CC is and is becoming more Ecumenical, more on the Road to Rome, than ever before. MacArthur states “Calvary” was the FIRST post modern, emergent, purpose driven, mega-seeker friendly church of the modern church history! Agreed MacArthur, agreed. There are young hipster pastors within CC now who are very much “closet Calvinists,” for the most part, they are rather open about reading Augustine, Calvin, and Luther; so what’s the big difference between the two camps?! I submit to you, nothing, there are no differences, they are both deceivers and both liars and they are friends in the end so this is all for not.
What you should know is that this is very sticky, very complicated double crossing and triple crossing. Don’t be fooled. The implications of this is the greater Apostasy in this is staggering. The move to gather the chicks under the Roman hen is more evident. It’s less subdued now and I suppose it will only get worse. Stay focused here, I’m not saying Catholicism is the One world religion, the Babylonian false church that birthed the RCC is at the helm. The Borderson-MacArthur false debate is deceiving and we should at least be made aware. As I stated at the beginning, this is less about CCCM (Brian Broderson) as it is more about MacArthur, but what this post is really about is Ahh-pasta-sea (Apostasy).
If you made it this far, please watch this video. It’s 2o min. but you’ve already wasted time reading this post!
BTW this is my first post on MacArthur so be nice and give me grace if I don’t beat the drum so loud ok. I know many of you have more knowledge on MacArthur’s false teaching. I know he’s said some pretty outrageous stuff, just from my research in the past 24 hours I can see why people disdain him. I really don’t have the time nor the stomach to waste MORE time on this topic. I think I provided enough for this post, and now back to N4TM’s regularly scheduled programing.
ADDED SUPPLEMENTAL INFO:
“Brian Brodersen was your archetypal Southern California surfer living as he did in Huntington Beach, which is known as “Surf City.” But then at the age of 22, God got hold of his life and he began riding God’s wave instead.
Brian, in an interview at the recent Calvary Chapel Missions Conference in Murrieta, CA, said, “I grew up in the surfing sub-culture of Southern California and I was involved in just about everything that people were doing at that time – drugs and alcohol and promiscuity. Surfing was the one recreational thing that I did that had some sort of a healthy aspect to it. But, in the course of living in Southern California and doing all those kind of things, I sensed the futility of life at an early age. I felt that if this was all there was to life it was really disappointing.”
Brian said that he had been raised in a nominal Roman Catholic and he knew there was a God, but didn’t know Him and didn’t know that he could.
The Beginning of His Spiritual Journey
“In the course of time, still sensing the futility of life, I began to cry out to God. One night in the late 70s, I said, ‘If you are there and if You are real then help me.’ The Lord did. One night, in my home, all by myself, I called out to God and asked him to save me and He did and that was the beginning of my new Christian life. It was the beginning of my spiritual journey.”
A Vision for England
Brian said that during this time, he began to sense a desire to plan a church in England. He said that his great great grandfather was Lord Cecil Haig who belonged to the Haig family, which was famous for brewing Scotch whisky, so this was his connection back to Britain.
“With the family connection back to Britain there was always an interest in the UK and having been involved in missions in Europe for quite a while God just began to put England on my heart specifically,” he said. End of Quote
Source: Surfer Brian Brodersen Link to full content here not an endorsement
Another Article– Not an endorsement: http://www.spiritual-research-network.com/broderson-stewart-roman-catholic-confirmation.html
Don Stewart & Brian Broderson Give Pastoral Counsel
That Roman Catholic “Confirmation” is Not Harmful
Another Article– Not an endorsement: http://www.gty.org/Blog/B131030
Quote “Several years ago in a live Q&A session, someone asked John MacArthur if taking the mark of the Beast during the Great Tribulation would be an unpardonable sin. His answer, in short, was no.” End Quote
Another Article– Not an Endorsement:
April 24th, 2009 Posted in essentials, Pastor’s corner, Preach the Word, questions, sermons
“John MacArthur, one of the greatest preachers alive, is always willing to speak his mind about what the Scripture teaches. I have many of his volumes in my library and am honored to count him as a friend. In addition, John was one of the featured speakers at our recent Preach the Word Conference.” Greg Laurie Harvest Church