In this age where solidified elitism has encouraged false teachings to enter the church, discernment blogs and ministries are popular targets. Whether to fit in and or follow their Evangelical Popes, many influencers see the need to talk down at those called into discernment. The inspirational instance for this discussion is a tweet by Richard Caldwell. Caldwell is a pastor affiliated with Founders Ministry, which makes this situation a lot worse. It was Founders who dropped the By What Standard documentary. And Founders got a lot of crap from the likes of Big Eva for doing that. So one would think a larger ministry of discernment capacity would stick up for the little guy, but instead, Caldwell attacked the smaller ministries, defaming their character in strawman construct.
Every time I see a “discernment” social media guy, I have a question. What’s your history with healthy local churches? Many of these folks have hopped from place to place, and have started their own thing more than once. No one measures up (for long) except them, and their circle
— Richard Caldwell (@rcaldw) January 20, 2020
Now who could he be talking about?
JD Hall at Pulpit and Pen has been a faithful pastor at his church for years. That would seem as though a healthy relationship with a local church. A healthy relationship with the local church can also be said of Jeff Maples at Reformation Charlotte. The same can be said about Capstone Report and Pirate Christian Radio. Discernment websites of sizable influence all tend to be very transparent about who they are and what their mission is. The largest exception to this rule seems to be Churchwatch, which is understandably out of fear for repercussions from Hillsong. It’s not easy for an Australian to take on Brian Houston. Just ask Israel Folau. As far as standing with a local church, I would consider myself beneath these aforementioned men. But I love the local church and have a long history of service.
At Evangelical Dark Web, we strive to be very transparent about who we are and what our purpose is. Our purpose is not to gain favor with the likes of Big Eva. Our purpose is to serve God, making disciples by being theologically sound and culturally relevant. Part of this involves a discernment ministry. Now we do not label people we disagree with as false teachers. When a reader had asked us to look into Larry Osborne, we wrote over 3700 words on the subject under prayerful guidance. We were not petty and gave ample charity to those we disagreed with. Our standards of false teachers are transparent and hopefully easy to understand.
I say this, not out of taking offense to what Caldwell said, as being offended is a choice, but as a call to unify against the corrupt doctrine of demons infiltrating the church. Despite how this is an ecumenical fight, we at least need to unify within our own theological camps. We need to discard personality turf wars and I would say this goes both ways. There’s a larger mission that we should prayfully band together to be part of. Should God send a revival that our land desperately needs, it will bring him glory that we united for His purposes. Should God decide against sending revival, then the personalities in charge of the church organizations are deserving of all earthly scorn, for they failed. Then it would also be understandable that discerning Christians find difficulty being in an orthodox local church, for they will grow scarce in the land.
Caldwell’s words are what we would expect from the elitists of Evangelicalism and their growing disdain for the laity who learn theology outside of their studies and books. We’ve been talking about Pharisees a lot lately because of the misuse of the word. But disdain for the discerning laity is Pharisaical in its proper usage.
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