Call To Die

Then [Jesus] said to them all, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it. (Luke 9:23-24, HCSB)

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Follower of Christ, husband of Abby, member of Kosmosdale Baptist Church, and tutor/staff member at Sayers Classical Academy.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

"Worship Wars" Alive and Well at MetTab

This past Sunday- the final day that my wife and I were visiting family in England- we attended the morning teaching service of the Metropolitan Tabernacle. The Metropolitan Tabernacle was completed in 1861 and first pastored by C.H. Spurgeon. As a great admirer of Spurgeon's ministry- as well as the ministry of the current pastor- Dr. Peter Masters, I anticipated that worshiping at the Metropolitan Tabernacle would be a great highlight of our trip to England.

There is certainly much about which Reformed Baptists should be thankful to God in regards to the Metropolitan Tabernacle as it presently exists. As previously mentioned, there is much to be applauded concerning Dr. Masters' ministry- in particular, his book Biblical Strategies for Witness is remarkably helpful for anyone seeking to emulate Jesus' methods of evangelism. Visiting the Metropolitan Tabernacle and observing what takes place there, one is struck by how Dr. Masters has led the Tabernacle Fellowship in upholding the best features of Spurgeon's ministry: a strong commitment to biblical doctrine and a fervent passion to see people come to know Jesus Christ in a saving way. But, as blogger Dan Phillips mentioned in a recent post, Dr. Masters is also currently leading the church in following some of the less commendable aspects of Spurgeon's ministry: specifically in regards to censoring others due to stylistic differences; in this vein, Dr. Masters has recently written an article, "The Merger of Calvinism with Worldliness," in which he casts doubt on a variety of Christian leaders from John MacArthur to Joshua Harris, charging them with promoting unbiblical worship practices. Similarly much of Dr. Masters' sermon last Sunday was devoted to giving a rant about "worldliness" in contemporary worship.

Whereas Christians must certainly seek holiness in all areas of life- and especially in our worship, and whereas no leader mentioned in Dr. Masters' article can claim infallibility, the specific charges made by Dr. Masters ring false on a number of counts. Dr. Masters' charges of worldliness towards fellow gospel ministers are:

  • False in identifying a multiplicity of instruments with worldliness;
  • False in separating the mind from the body in worship;
  • False in positing a contradiction between a straightforward reading of Psalm 150 and earlier biblical texts;
  • False in promoting an allegorical reading of Psalm 150;
  • False in exalting English culture above all others.
In upcoming posts, I plan to carefully examine Dr. Masters article and his rant from last Sunday in light of the biblical text, and to demonstrate the fallacies in his reasoning as asserted above.



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