Thursday, February 21, 2013

In the Pink

Some time ago in another place I voiced (a little tongue-in-cheek) the opinion that A.W. Pink may not have been genuinely converted.  I based this speculation on the fact that though he travelled the world, living on three continents, he could not find a single church that was worth joining – and this at a time when, for example, Lloyd-Jones was ministering in Westminster.  ‘They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us’ (1 John 2.19).  I used the analogy, I remember, of a ‘minister’ conducting adulterous affairs on several different continents and arrogantly defending his right to do so.  We would not consider a man who was so contemptuous of his wife and marriage vows to be a believer or, at very least, a man to be admired.  Why then are we so wimpy about a man who was so contemptuous of Christ’s bride?

Recently, Pyromaniac Dan Phillips weighed in with his critique of Pink and does it so much better than I.  Tom Chantry’s replies (several of them) in the ‘comments’ section are illuminating and worth reading, too but the rest of the comments – not so much.

Of course, I have no way of knowing the state of Pink’s heart, regenerate or not.  But let it be faced about professed Bible teachers who dismiss all of evangelicalism that does not agree with them on every jot and tittle.  Such men are not to be followed.  They are not to be supported.  They are not to be admired.  Their souls are in danger.

Let the reader understand.


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Gary Benfold said...

The two anonymous commentators need to read the rules - they're not allowed. And the one who criticises me for not saying what I have, in fact, said several times on this blog - needs to do his research a bit more carefully.

Nin said...

I am sorry I didn't follow your rules regarding posting comments. It's all new to me.
I'll try again. My point was- we are all prone to be contradictory due to our sinful nature. This becomes more apparent when we put our arguments and thoughts in writing (whatever form that may take.)
I trust we'll be more gracious to Mr Pink when we get to Heaven.

T. E said...

Well said Nin! These blogging Pastors need to read Matthew 7:1 a bit more!

Gary Benfold said...

Dear T.E.
It's always wonderfully ironic, to be criticised for criticising someone! (I wonder if you can see the irony? In my experience, many who do it, simply don't have the mental equipment - I hope you're the exception.)
The irony is compounded though when Matthew 7.1 is quoted. Have you read its context? The Lord goes on to tell us not to give dogs what is sacred - so we must judge who is a dog. Not to give pearls to pigs, so we must judge who is a pig. And to watch out for false prophets, so we must know how to judge false prophets from true. Now, either Jesus and Matthew were stupid, or the Lord doesn't mean what you think he does. Do you think the apostle John - who wrote 'they went out from us because they never belonged to us' - should have read Matthew 7.1 more? (He was there at the time.) I think you need to do some serious Bible study; perhaps, talk to your pastor? (Or maybe you're like Pink, who thinks he doesn't actually need to attend church - or at least, not stick with one - and don't have a pastor? Perhaps that's why you're so sensitive over my criticism of Pink that it's put smoke in your eyes?)

I can hear the sneer, too, in 'blogging Pastors' and someone else had a go at us recently for time-wasting. When I preach a sermon, a couple of hundred people hear it. When I write - articles, blogs, books - it's read by many more; this blog has had over 800 visits this week. I don't think it's wasting my time to try and provoke people to think - especially about the exceedingly sinful behaviour of some non-blogging pastors.

And finally - a word about anonymity. 'I don't let people in my house if I don't know who they are.' Initials or nicknames don't really tell me - T.E.? Who are you - Lawrence of Arabia? If you want to come back to me, you'll need to say who you are or I'll remove your comment without response. Do remember - it's my blog, you're my guest. You don't have to come, but if you do, a modicum of courtesy would be nice. Not to say, Christian.

Gary Benfold said...

Dear Nin,
Thank you for your very gracious apology; it's much appreciated. 'Nin', though, doesn't take away your anonymity - but there we are; I'll let it stand!
Yes, we are all inconsistent and contradictory. We need to have those inconsistencies pointed out to us if we are to grow.
HOWEVER, there is a type of Bible-teacher who just loves to find negatives, and to criticise their brethren in the harshest of tones, and call it 'love'. When folks I know say to me 'Do you mind if I say something to you in love, Brother?' I now reply 'Not at all - if you don't mind if I reply in the same manner.' At that point, they usually decide to keep silent.

I'm not at all sure where you think I was ungracious to Pink? I criticised one aspect of his behaviour which the Bible criticises. Sadly, there are many Christians today who follow Pink's example, and they need to see that it is extremely sinful and - in fact - casts doubt on whether they are saved or not.

So, if Pink is in heaven - and if I am - he will already know how grievous his sin was. And I'll know far more about how grievous mine is. And together, we'll praise the Saviour who washed us clean.

Unless, of course, Pink has insisted on an isolated part of heaven all to himself...

Jonathan Hunt said...

I have often wondered if we should be as uncritical of Pink as we are, but further wondered if he was, perhaps, a struggler with mental health or other issues.

Ninian D said...

Dear Gary,
Those posting rules were more complex than I thought! You' d be more than welcome to come into my house even if you gave your name as Gaz, G E or Lawrence of Arabia. A cup of tea awaits.
My point was - you were speculating that Mr Pink wasn't genuinely converted. Perhaps Banner of Truth ,Baker, Zondervan etc were all deceived?
I think Jonathan makes a valid point.
I'm confident Mr Pink is already in heaven (despite his sin) and am confident we'll both be there one day (despite ours). Praise God for His mercy.

I am confi

Gary Benfold said...

Dear Ninian,
There's nothing completed about asking who you are, surely? When you fill in a form and it says 'Name' do you write 'Well, that's rather more complicated than I thought?' ;)

Yes, I think Jonathan Hunt makes a valid point, too. And here's another one: people with such serious mental health issues (if that's what they were) shouldn't be teachers in Christ's church...

But the REAL point of this post is being missed. It's a point about the church, and the importance of the church, and the sinfulness of separation from the church.

I don't actually care much whether Mr. Pink is in heaven. I care about the church.

By the way - do you not think it possible that Baker, Banner and Zondervan are mistaken?

Ninian D said...

Dear Gary,
I'm glad you care about the Church. Presumably that includes the whole Church - including the ChurchTriumphant. I am sorry to see, therefore, you don't actually care whether Pink is in Heaven.
Your readers will have to decide who's right regarding your final question: Gary v Banner of Truth et al