Pastor Kevin DeYoung has written a follow up post to the Jeff Bethke video saga. In this post, Bethke has contacted him and the two of them had a cordial conversation via email. Such is being held out as the way Christians should resolve conflicts, but is that really the case?
First of all, we note that the entire issue of Bethke's attack on the Institutional Church, which as we have seen was not mentioned by DeYoung in this earlier response, was not even addressed. Bethke did not see his error in his attack on the Church. Sure, the Church was mentioned, but it was a minimalist idea of the Church. Remember, Bethke was against the forms associated with the institutional church, and sneered at those who followed these forms as mere religiosity without true love for Christ. One of course wonders how he knows the hearts of these church-goers. How does he know that those who follow the forms but do not have his "burning in the bosom" are hypocrites who are like those who act "like a church kid, while addicted to pornography"? Is he given the nefarious gift of "discernment" a la Mark Driscoll to see the secret sins of these "religious but unconverted" people?
Hypocritical judgmentalism stinks, and nowhere does it stink more from those who attack the institutional Church and her forms, while boasting in his "weaknesses." Let's say it bluntly: Bethke is judgmental. He has not repented of his attacks on the institutional church and her forms, and DeYoung did not call him to repent of that. What's the point of being loving if the core sin is not addressed? To those who extol DeYoung's approach of resolving conflict, what's the point of such "conflict resolution" if in the end Bethke has not repented of his sin?
Some may of course find my tone objectionable, and I make no apologies for that. Realize however that this is a blog post, not a counseling session! This is about principles, not people. People are not blog posts neither are they comments. Don't expect me to give a counseling session online, as if that is even possible.
Secondly, while we are on the issue of "tone," note that in the New [Evangelical] Calvinism, the topsy-turvy nature of how they speak can be seen when we contrast two posts by DeYoung. The first example is the post attacking single men in their late 20s for not having a wife. The second one is the follow-up piece DeYoung wrote regarding the saga which we have seen. Note the difference in tone. In the first, DeYoung literally hammered single guys in their late 20s for not having a wife, accusing them of being immature brats who are more interested in playing video games and fooling around. In the second, we see DeYoung pastorally interacting with the errors of the viral video and lovingly called Bethke to be more biblical. The first regards practice and the personal lives of young men. The second regard doctrine. True to the New Evangelical spirit, errors in practice (real or perceived) are regarded as serious offences, whereas errors of doctrine is treated with kids' gloves. It cannot be more topsy-turvy than this. And then one wonders why despite having the Gospel preached, the churches are full of moralism. Why not? It would be a miracle if it wasn't! What one truly believes does translate to practice. If one esteems errors in practice as more serious than errors in doctrine, then of course one will treat errors in practice as more serious than errors in doctrine! The flock will follow the example of their shepherds and do the same, and then one wonders why the preaching of the Gospel translate to the message of "live godly lives and do good works." They are just learning that from their shepherds who do the very same thing.
If a pastor is more grieved by pornography than grieved by the promoting of false doctrine, then they shouldn't be too surprised when their flock think that doctrine is less important than practice. If the church winks at one of the flock embracing for example evolution, while not being willing to fully forgive an ex-homosexual, the church has embraced moralism. Don't bother telling me that you are "Gospel-centered" or whatever slogans you come up with. Your practice reveal what you truly believe.