Saturday, April 03, 2010

Peter Masters on the dangers of not practicing secondary separation

In his booklet Stand for the Truth, Rev. Dr. Peter Masters of the Metropolitan Tabernacle informs us of the dangers of not practicing secondary separation. In his own words:

... When professing evangelicals (especially leaders) disobey the command of God to maintain a distinctive testimony, unassociated with false teachers, they participate in the evil deeds of the latter in at least four different ways:

(1) Non-separators deal a terrible blow to the exclusive nature of the message of the Gospel. When evangelicals are seen to accommodate the viewpoint of non-evangelicals and to accept their claims to spiritual life, the clear teaching of the Word is undermined. The line between Truth and error becomes blurred, and also the distinction between saved and unsaved. Believers who look on are liable to stop thinking of 'conversion' in precise, evangelical terms.

(2) Non-separators help the devil to achieve one of his main objectives — to cause such confusion that the world no longer sees a distinctive, biblical Christian community standing clearly apart from Catholic and liberal error. Non-separating evangelicals communicate to the world the idea that all so-called Christian churches are the same. Nothing is more crippling to the true testimony of evangelicalism. In the nineteenth century even unsaved people knew the Protestant arguments against Catholic dogma. But today (through compromise) evangelicals have long since surrendered any distinctive place in the general knowledge of the public.

(3) Non-separators lower the guard of the people of God, exposing them to infiltration by false believers and false doctrine. Once the people follow the example of their non-separating ministers, learning to tolerate and accept 'other views', then the way is prepared for a major doctrinal collapse. Non-evangelicals could never penetrate evangelical churches without 'inside help'. They need a 'pass' into the household of God, which only an evangelical 'collaborator' can give them, as he extends to them credibility, recognition and opportunity

(4) Non-separators encourage false teachers in their infidelity and sin, and so strengthen in their work. The rise of theological liberalism in the denominations, and its take-over of them, was funded almost entirely by evangelicals. When these opponents of the Gospel first infiltrated colleges and publishing institutes, non-separating evangelicals continued to pay the bills and support them. Almost all the present-day liberal theological colleges and churches in the historic denominations were originally built by the blood, sweat and toil of evangelicals. Then, a subsequent generation of non-separating evangelicals gave them away! This continues today in denominations where evangelicals give their money to support hoe and overseas missions mainly staffed and run by non-evangelicals. Non only do non-separating evangelicals support false teachers at a practical level, but they also seal them in their spiritual delusion by failing to challenge them about their lost spiritual condition.

There are the tragic consequences of disobedience to God. Satan rejoices, the Holy Spirit is grieved, and the cause of Christ is seriously wounded. If the non-separators are ministers, their flocks see a major area of biblical teaching set aside by their spiritual leaders, and thus the authority of the Bible is further undermined. The words of 2 John 11 condemn compromise. They indicate that the person who places himself on the side of the enemy must be regarded as guilty of a grievous sin against the Lord and His work. The non-separator makes himself a sharer of the damage done by the false teacher. Without doubt there is guilt by association. (pp. 16-18)

It is ridiculous for some to use the example of Charles Simeon in his interaction with John Wesley, in the case of John Piper. Wesley was an evangelical who affirmed and practiced evangelical doctrine. Warren on the other hand professes to be an evangelical but does not practice any of it. His ministry is a mishmash of Pelagianism/Market-drivenness, Pragmatism, Moralism, "Doctrine as mere knowledge" doctrinal minimalism, and the practice of kicking out resistors who oppose his unbiblical vision. The Gospel is mangled beyond recognition, the Church is treated like a corporation, members as slaves of said corporation etc. There is simply no comparison possible.

16 comments:

Lou Martuneac said...

Brother Chew:

Thanks for engaging the Piper/Warren issue. I too have a copy of Master's Stand for Truth (formerly Separation & Obedience) and appreciate it greatly.

You may be aware of a 2009 article Masters wrote titled, The Merger of Calvinism With Worldliness.

I find it helpful companion article. With permission from Dr. Masters I reproduced it at my blog last summer and added vivid pictures to illustrate some of his polemic. I hope you find it helpful.

See- The Merger of Calvinism With Worldliness

FWIW, I was a missionary (1993-1999) and ministered directly under Dr. Ernest Pickering. In a previous article you noted his book, The Tragedy of Compromise. You might also appreciate Dr. Mark Sidwell's The Dividing Line: Understanding and Applying Biblical Separation.

Kind regards,


LM

PuritanReformed said...

@Lou:

I was aware of the article, but thanks for bringing it up again.

I think my reticence in referencing this article stems from the fact that Dr. Masters spend quite a lot of the article on the issue of Contemporary Christian Music. While there are certainly some issues of concern in that, it seems to me a minor thing compared to the New Evangelical zeitgeist that permeates the "New Calvinism".

Thanks for the sharing regarding your ministry under Dr. Pickering. I will look up Dr. Sidwell's book on the subject.

Lou Martuneac said...

Brother Chew:

Thanks for the reply. Master's article on The Merger... exemplifies that there is more than one big fish to fry on the so-called conservative evangelicalism camp. CCM is an issue, but Masters also highlights the charismatic theology of Piper and Mahaney, which is increasingly permeating the “new” Calvinism. And that is where Masters notes that to be part of the group (T4G) the ministry of warning over such things must be killed off. I suspect that once this latest major dust-up cools off, there will be a return to situation normal in regard to Piper as if nothing is or ever was amiss in his theology or choices.

FWIW after nearly a week since I broke the news about Piper/Warren there is nothing from the other high profile men who are about to join Piper on the platform of T4G. I suspect there is an effort to admonish him behind the scenes, but he seems resolute in his decision and unlikely to repent of it. IMO, and I want to be wrong, I don’t think even this will cause any of those men to “withdraw from, “mark” and “avoid” Piper. Maybe something later will appear prior to or after T4G.

Last Fall we had Mohler and Duncan signing the Manhattan Declaration and now another whopper with Piper hosting Rick Warren. As you noted, this latest from Piper removes any doubt that Piper for one is much more a “new” new evangelical.

I suspect this issue with Rick Warren will be swept aside for the sake of unity with Piper and to keep the coalition together. We’ll know soon enough when DG rolls around. Mohler and Sproul are to join Piper and Warren on the platform there. Will they?


LM

Lou Martuneac said...

One other timely read is Dr. Pickering's Biblical Separation. The new edition includes an extended article he wrote titled, Should Fundamentalists and Evangelicals Seek Closer Ties.

At the end he speaks of the “mood of broadmindedness,” which he noted, “We fear such moods since we have seen in our lifetime, their final outcome - a full-blow movement steeped in compromise.”

In his video isn’t Piper asking for the “mood of broadmindedness?” He is asking for compromise and I fear many of his followers are going to compromise at his request.


LM

PuritanReformed said...

@Lou:

I really do not know how the others will react to Piper's gaffe. Mohler is unlikely to do much probably in order to preserve his reputation and spot as President of the Southern Baptist Seminary. Thabiti Anyabwile strikes me as a broad evangelical, but I could be wrong. Francis Chan is a New Calvinist and the infamous author of the "Just stop and think" video whereby God is said to stoop down on hs kneee begging sinners to accept him, so I don't expect him to be much different from Mark Driscoll.

The only person who may withdraw is R.C. Sproul of Ligonior Ministries. Therein lies my one hope of some form of sanity prevailing in the broadly Reformed circles.

As for T4G, we'll see about it

PuritanReformed said...

@Lou:

there is a new edition of Pickering's book Biblical Separation out now? That would be superb. The previous one was out of print so I was unable to get it.

And yes, Piper is asking for "broad-mindedness". Or rather he is asking to be seen as magaminous and broad-hearted. The problem is there is nothing loving in confirming heretics in their error, or in allowing the sheep to sit under the teachings of wolves.

Lou Martuneac said...

Brother Chew:

Based on his reaction to Mohler and Duncan signing the Manhattan Declaration Sproul may be the the only one who has anything to say, and possibly pull out of DG.

Mohler signed the MD, which leaves him in no position to be critical of Piper hosting Warren.

T4G- I suspect they find this fiasco very inconvenient on the eve of their meeting. I plan to post on some speculations I have on that from my blog on Monday.


Lou

Lou Martuneac said...

Yes, Pickering's classic is back in print and expanded slightly. You can order it on line from Regular Baptist Press, here-

http://www.rbpstore.org/productView/showprod.
cfm?prodnum=5361


Lou

Lou Martuneac said...

The problem is there is nothing loving in confirming heretics in their error, or in allowing the sheep to sit under the teachings of wolves.

And Piper is doing both!

In Tragedy p. 45, Pickering wrote, “It is not a mark of graciousness to allow false teaching to be propagated.”

The Bible teaches that we must refute and resist the doctrine of false teachers. It is a biblical command!

IMO, a responsible pastor or Christian leader will refrain from attending DG and will encourage all those under his influence to stay away.


Lou

Lou Martuneac said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Douglas Kofi Adu-Boahen said...

Great post, especially considering Dr. Masters is my own pastor :-)

I attended a lecture at the London Reformed Baptist Seminary where our assistant pastor looked at the Biblical motives for secondary separation - the very thing Piper waved off as sectarian in his APJ from March 31. I hasten to say Piper has taken leave of his sense, considering he's off to be my grandfather, but this is actually insane. Jonathan Edwards would do 1000 rotations per second in his grave, were his pop-student's action known to him

Side issue: As I recall correctly, Dr. Masters doesn't take to being titled "Rev.". Just helping out :-)

PuritanReformed said...

@Lou:

thanks for the link to the book, and I agree with you.

PuritanReformed said...

@Doug:

I agree with you. As for Dr. Masters, I am sure there are many things he doesn't really like... =P I hope he is doing fine though?

Douglas Kofi Adu-Boahen said...

Oh behave LOL. Yes, Dr. Masters is well.

PuritanReformed said...

@Doug:

that is good. Back in 2005, he went through some surgery and wasn't too well, so I was wondering whether he would continue in the pastorate.

James Sundquist said...

Dear Dr. Peter Masters,

I invite you to be alerted and equipped, based on the following.

John Piper quote about Rick Warren's Purpose Driven Life:
“Frankly, I’m appalled at the kinds of slander that have been brought against this book by people whose methods of critique, if they were consistently applied to the Bible, would undo it as the Word of God… When I read the book, I thought “what’s the issue here?”” John Piper, May 28, 2011 Christian Today


Mark Dever (IX Marks) on Rick Warren:

“First of all, let us affirm that we love and respect Rick Warren as a Christian brother, and we consider him a genuine comrade in pastoral ministry. His heart for evangelism is second to none. His passion to see people reached for Christ is pulsating, contagious, and quite frankly, convicting. His sincerity is unquestioned, and his apparent success is unparalleled. And we agree with Warren on the fundamentals of the faith. In fact, one of our primary concerns in releasing these reviews has been that we’ll be misperceived as turning our guns on our own guys if we say anything corrective. We’re not shooting at our comrade in arms here. Our intent is constructive, not destructive.” Mark Dever, IX Marks

Now contrast these quotes with this new film documentary on Rick Warren vs. Scripture:
Church of Tares: Purpose Driven, Seeker Sensitive, Church Growth & New World Order
http://www.theperfectpeaceplan.com/peacemedia.html

Having written two books exposing Rick Warren, published by Southwest Radio Church, it could not be more timely in light of Rick Warren major secular media blitz with the re-release of his 10th Anniversary Purpose-Driven Life and Global Peace Plan.

Rick Warren/John Piper Alliance
http://www.theperfectpeaceplan.com/post/a-public-rebuke-of-rick-warren-john-piper-burk-parsons-and-kevin-young/


I hope you will alert your people!

Thank you!!!

Sincerely in Christ,

James Sundquist
http://www.theperfectpeaceplan.com