Sunday, January 30, 2011

RedBeetle and the problem of Frank Turk

One aspect of Frank Turk's attack on the "discernment mafia" is his idea that "the focal point and center of discernment should be in the local church." That has always been his mantra in his attacks on the "discernment mafia". The problem is: What happens when the person doing the discernment not only is in a local church, he is the pastor of said local church?

Turk's attack on believers of course has no impact on Pastor Ken Silva. However, let's assume that Turk does not have Pastor Ken in mind. Alright, so in the interest of refuting once for all Turk's rationale for his ridiculous crusade against believers, I will choose the worst case scenario as a reductio ad absurdum against his position: Red Beetle aka Monty Colliar.

So who is Red Beetle? It is to my regret that I have linked one video from his channel (which will however remain). Since that time, I have seen some of his other videos and have cringed when I looked at them, for reasons which are self-evident as seen below.

Red Beetle aka Monty Colliar is a "Teaching Elder at Geneva Dutch Calvinist Church" (Source). In Reformed terminology, a teaching elder is basically the same as a pastor. Red Beetle therefore qualifies for the "discernment ministry" according to any criterion Frank Turk has came up with. Involved in a local church? Check. Elder? Check. Pastor? Check. For all intents and purposes, Red Beetle more than qualifies according to Turk's list of qualifications for doing discernment.

Yet, when one actually looks at Red Beetle's videos, it is hard for one not to be astonished. Shock would probably be a more appropriate emotion for some people I guess. Red Beetle tells us that we should not have any non-Christian friends, attacks Paul Washer and John MacArthur as teaching heresy, and he attacks R. Scott Clark for his view of the Church, to which Dr. Clark repudiated his nonsense. It is hard to think of any person who is more out of touch with biblical teachings and the teachings of the Creeds and Confessions, not to mention his seeming inability to comprehend the words of others.

The problem with Frank Turk is that his unbiblical criteria mean that schismatics like Red Beetle qualify for the "good discernment crowd" while others who are true followers of Christ are disqualified as they are not pastors, elders, and some may not even have a church home due to the fact that there are no Reformed churches near them! How inane can it be when afflicted Christians are penalized for not being able to find a biblical church while fools pastoring their own churches are considered to be qualified based solely upon Turk's criteria?

As a baptist, Turk has no right to assert that Geneva Dutch Calvinist Church is not a proper church. After all, Baptists are all autonomous. They have no idea of ordination and most certainly no presbytery or synod or any of such governing bodies. Turk can of course appeal to Scripture and the Gospel, but those seem to be strangely absent in his present criteria of what makes for being part of the "good discernment crowd".

As stated, Turk is a hypocrite. It is time for him to be called to account for his attack on Christ's flock in demonizing those who are concerned about the Church as "heresy hunters", "watchbloggers" etc. Instead of using the Gospel as the criteria for judging truth and error, he creates his own unbiblical criteria to be used in bashing those who disagree with him, not a very Gospel-centered action I might say.

Are some of the people out there "doing discernment" wrong, even Pharisaic? Probably. So should we have the idea to go out and club them with Turk's criterion of "It's the Church, stupid!"? True shepherds will love the flock, and not attack those who are wounded. Our criteria for distinguishing between sheep and goats, between sheep and wolves, is the Gospel and the Gospel alone.

May God cause the under-shepherds of the flock to continue to care for them gently, not roughly; tending to the wounded and feeding the lambs.

P.S.: Monty Colliar can call himself a "Clarkian" all he wants, but as a semi-Clarkian I do not recognize him as a Clarkian, and will even question whether he can be even qualified to be called a Christian.


Joel Tay said...

Red Beetle has some excellent videos on his site, but as you said, some of the videos are way off.

If Frank Turk says that only those within the same local church should criticize the errant believer/heretic, then why isn't he applying the same standard to himself? That is, why is he criticizing "discernment-ministries" that are outside his local church?

PuritanReformed said...


that IS the issue, isn't it?