I'm Not Out to Win Any Popularity Contests

Discussion in 'A Puritan's Mind Updates' started by C. Matthew McMahon, Jan 27, 2007.

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  1. C. Matthew McMahon

    C. Matthew McMahon Christian Preacher

    I really do hope this does not come out the wrong way. Be patient. I’m a little tired and greatly grieved.

    I remember beginning the Christian ministry with the hopes of winning the entire world to Christ. I suppose all neophytes think that way when they start out. The further we mature, the further we are modeled toward sanctified restraint both in our practical walk and in the fuel for that walk – sound doctrine.

    As a man under authority and vows with my church and denomination, I am bound to uphold the truth.

    Practically, that means that I'm not out to win any popularity contests with the world or the professing church. As most of you know, I'm pretty vocal about most issues. A Puritan's Mind is filled with all sorts of historical and theological writings to that end. I don't mind calling a spade a spade so long as the work done to make sure a spade is what it is, is really a spade, I’m OK with calling it a spade, and even shouting that it is spade, or writing books about how much of a spade it is.

    So when we find people dropping like flies out of the church, away from the gospel, off the board, or even out of Christendom completely (whole churches!), that saddens the heart, but should strengthen our resolve for the truth all the more.

    Christ asked, "When the Son of Man returns WILL He find faith?" Such a difficult idea to contemplate.

    As such rotten doctrine enters the church and we find that the minds of those people have been corrupted, and they are those that we have conversed with for many months, and with some even years, we are grieved and saddened. Yet, even then, I am not out to win a popularity context hoping to appease everyone and every thing that comes along. In a desire to uphold the truth, I am not so arrogant (as I once was years ago) to believe that I have stumbled upon some new doctrine, or that being "Reformed" means changing the history of the church or its theology to invent a new fangled system that serves me better. I am just a parrot. A mimic. We are to think God's thoughts after Him. We are reforming, which means we are CONFORMING to the truth that the church already has, and has been hand-delivered by God – the faith ONCE given to the saints.

    As a result, when people are suspended from the board, or excommunicated from the church, though it is grieving to me, it is necessary since we live in a sin ladened world, and have it's affects everywhere. We find the devil capturing them into his fold, though we know the gates of hell will not ultimately prevail.

    In all that, I'm not out to win a popularity contest with people. In loving the truth, and the God of that truth, I choose God over men. What has that got me? Things I won't find out until heaven, I would suspect. It has given me a small church, relatively nothing materially, and continues to be a great burden in upholding the pattern of sound doctrine without compromising for the sake of “every wind” of doctrine that blows here and there.

    And it is not that I don’t love those who have fallen from grace, or have become deceived. Rather, I just love God more than I love them. That means I must love God, His Son Jesus Christ, and His Word more than I love all of you.

    My mother and father sent me a birthday gift that I opened early. It is a desk plaque with my name on it which is very nice, but they, being discerning about the Word of God as they are, had a Scripture engraved on it that is most awesome – “But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine.” Titus 2:1

    That, over anything else, is what I’m bound to do.

    May God be glorified in all things and in our actions as we uphold the truth.
  2. turmeric

    turmeric Megerator

    Matt - i'm angy, with Satan, with heresy, with indwelling sin - but I'm not angry with you. All of you did what you could, now it's up to God.
  3. non dignus

    non dignus Puritan Board Sophomore

    Pastor, be of good courage.
    God bless you.
  4. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member


    I'm no Pastor and am not under the kinds of attacks that Satan levels so squarely against those men.

    I am, however, fully ensconced in working with those whose Christian lives have been impoverished by years of neglect and error. I think many who find these kinds of disputes curious have never lived up close and personally next to the havoc that Satan wreaks in this world.

    My perspectives have been formed over years as a leader, as a member in many Churches, and even on foreign battlefields. I've seen the depths of depravity and I've seen the spiritual havoc that false doctrine causes in families. Most people see the surface. They see the smiles. They have no idea how many people live impoverished lives.

    In my current Church over time I have learned that I simply cannot get along for the mere sake of not offending. The stakes are too high. The amount of ignorance, the lack of reverance for a Holy God, and the disorder that occurs during Worship is symptomatic of years of neglect.

    I will say this: We need men in the Church today who are willing to stand up and be unpopular for truth's sake because so many men are sitting down in most Churches and letting them decay. The fact that some are migrating to a movement that is perceived as a recovery of men in their roles leading their families after Christ is symptomatic of the fact that many Reformed Churches have a ton of wimps sitting both in the pews and, in some cases, on sessions.

    Men and women are tired of not having committed and manly shepherds and they see those in the FV Churches that take that seriously and lack warriors in their own congregations who will guard them against it.

    So I'm sad. It's another example of the devastation that is being wrought as much from the FV as from a lack of MEN in Reformed denominations and throughout Christendom.

    May God raise up more warriors for the faith and strengthen the hands of those who grow weary for the smallness of their band!
  5. QueenEsther

    QueenEsther Puritan Board Sophomore

  6. Gryphonette

    Gryphonette Moderator

    Oh, my!

    Rich is on a roll, so he is. [​IMG]

    (BTW, I don't suppose you saw the Blue Ridge in port there in Okinawa? My son [​IMG]on it last night. Not sure how long they'll be in your neck o' the woods before setting off again.)
  7. Theoretical

    Theoretical Puritan Board Professor

    FV and FV-sympathies.
  8. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritanboard Commissioner

    This thread was opened because of the grief Matt is experiencing over having to implement board discipline (if I can for the sake of this conversation use the term); a few members joined deceitfully, holding to FV and knowing that the board rules restricted such. As well, having to deal with issues as such is sad and painful. It brings us no joy in having to go there, if you follow. This whole FV thing is a thorn in the churchs' side and much like Paul, we must pray more earnestly; I have to admit, we have all been lackadaisical in this regard.

    As far as who the hammer fell upon, thats irrelevent to a degree and the best any of us can do is seek God in prayer about those who have been affected. May our grief for this scurge drive us to our knee's more often than not.

  9. Richard King

    Richard King Puritan Board Senior

    Stick to your guns.
    There is plenty of history where compromise was the beginning of a crumbling body.
    I was told recently about a time where around 300 pastors took a controversial position that was contrary to the confession that was held and the presbyterian churches declared they did not agree with the confession and most of the church body didn't agree with...BUT decided the breakers of the confession could stay.
    What could it hurt? Kumbaya.
    The result has not appeared to be to God's glory.
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2007
  10. Jeff_Bartel

    Jeff_Bartel Puritan Board Graduate

    Thanks Matt. I agree with you entirely. May God continue to bless your efforts and faithfullness.
  11. KMK

    KMK Administrator Staff Member

    "A man that is a heretic after the first and second admonition reject..."

    I think it is dangerous to argue hour after hour with a heretic. It just makes them better arguers and that makes them more dangerous.

    Good job!
  12. Redaimie

    Redaimie Puritan Board Freshman

    I must say the reason I like to read this board is because it stands behind truth. I am saddened at the amount of people embracing FV theology & saddened for the many who may read FV advocates & than are led into error. There are not many boards that will make a stand & not allow it to be taught. I thank you for this place & I pray God will bless your faithfulness.
  13. Richard King

    Richard King Puritan Board Senior

    A good quote regarding truth
    "It is better to be divided by truth than to be united in error. It is better to speak the truth that hurts and heals, than falsehood that comforts and then kills. Let me tell you something, friend, it is not love and it is not friendship if we fail to declare the whole counsel of God. It is better to be hated for telling the truth, than to be loved for telling a lie. It is impossible to find anyone in the Bible who was a power for God who did not have enemies and was not hated. It's better to stand alone with the truth, than to be wrong with a multitude. It is better to ultimately succeed with the truth than to temporarily succeed with a lie. There is only one Gospel and Paul said, 'If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.'"

    Pastor Adrian Rodgers, excerpts from talk, Nat'l Religious Broadcasters Convention, 1996
  14. Machaira

    Machaira Puritan Board Freshman

    That's because FV proponents, for some strange reason, desperately want to be considered Reformed. It would be like a paedo baptist joining a baptist denomination, extoling the virtues of infant baptism, but insist that he be known as a Baptist. :duh: They just don't get it. So I would agree with many others here that Dr. McMahon did the right thing. :up:
  15. Kevin Lewis

    Kevin Lewis Puritan Board Freshman

    But what about

    What about people who are new the the reformed faith, say one to two years. They are growing in their faith...and they hear somewhere about FV, and because it comes from someone they respect, they start looking into it (as with any doctrine as such we are called to be discerning and without error). My understanding is anyone who speaks of FV in this board will be band. If someone reads the board regularly and trusts the input of members here, but anything or any input about FV is banned, how should a person go about learning what is true and what is not? By the way, I am not really sure what Federal Vision is. I have heard of it and understand it to be controversial. In some ways I think this is THE place to discuss these things and let God's Spirit teach us. Am I off on this? Any thoughts or recommendations??
  16. Machaira

    Machaira Puritan Board Freshman

    You can speak about it . . . just not advocate it. Let me recommend the following link as a good way to learn what Federal Vision is all about.


    Scroll down to "Brian Schwertley, Auburn Avenue Theology Refutation." You will find six mp3 files to download.
  17. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritanboard Commissioner

    Wanting to be reformed is one thing, lying is another. The board rules clearly annunciate that FV advocates or sympathizers are not welcome.
  18. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritanboard Commissioner

    First of all, that is exactly why we hold to these rules here so as to not perpetuate the error; which by the way is damning. You can learn here @ PB what the error entails without being tied into proverbial knot by the lies the discipline spreads. We don't need the advocates here as a means to understand it. There are enough well seasoned men of God here to gird our loins.
  19. Machaira

    Machaira Puritan Board Freshman


    It sounds like you think I'm disagreeing with you. That's definately not the case. I couldn't agree more.
  20. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritanboard Commissioner

    Not at all James. Sorry if I came across as such.:cheers2: I'm the board imbecile; you'll get used to me.
  21. Machaira

    Machaira Puritan Board Freshman

    Sorry, the misunderstanding was mine. :handshake:
  22. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritanboard Commissioner

    I edited. see additional statement. :pilgrim:
  23. Machaira

    Machaira Puritan Board Freshman

    Well . . . if you say so brother. :lol:
  24. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritanboard Commissioner

  25. Machaira

    Machaira Puritan Board Freshman

    I thought you were "super immoderate?" :D
  26. turmeric

    turmeric Megerator

    You're an excellent driver.
  27. QueenEsther

    QueenEsther Puritan Board Sophomore

    bc you drive every one NUTS!!!

  28. turmeric

    turmeric Megerator

    It's from Rainman, Josh. Just kiddin' ya!
  29. Ivan

    Ivan Pastor

    :rofl: You guys are fun!
  30. kvanlaan

    kvanlaan Puritan Board Doctor

    To be perfectly honest, I had never heard of the FV position before I became involved with the PB. I had to look it up and study it a bit before I could give it a 'yay' or 'nay'. But I don't understand the fuss: Board rules say that those advocating the FV position will not be tolerated. We all knew that before we joined. Where is the problem?

    Rev. McMahon, I'm sorry to hear that you've been given trouble over this decision. We will be praying.
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