With the recent posts about alcohol and tobacco use by MacArthur and the “Young, Restless and Reformed,” I’m reminded of the difference between a biblical worldview and the Fundamentalist worldview. I liked the way one poster on the Puritan Board summed it up;


Carnality is not measured by what goes into our mouths, but by what comes out (Matt. 15.11) and piety is not measured by our abstention from temporal pleasures (Col. 2.20-23). The fundamentalist mindset is akin to the gnostic mindset which led to asceticism and monasteries. The Reformed understand that all of life is sacred, that is, temporal things are not evil in themselves, neither is non-ecclesiastical employment to be despised if it is lawful, but rather God is glorified in the right use of the things of this world. True godliness is a matter of the heart. Therefore, spiritual pride or neglect is a much greater concern to the Reformed than whether there is a beer in someone’s refrigerator at home. The Reformed view themselves as pilgrims traveling through this world with our eyes and hearts lifted heavenward to the next, which is to say, using the things of this world rightly but not setting our hearts on them but keeping our treasure above and our eyes on Christ (Heb. 12.2).

3 thoughts on “Old and Grumpy? Young and Restless?

  1. While it is clear that MacArthur is attempting to dilute the truth about wine in Bible days (as if all other scriptures regarding such were not proof that wine was not diluted as much as he would have liked, i.e. that many verses prove that wine “made the heart glad” (Proverbs), was good for weddings (and Jesus made the best, water was transformed into wine, not a diluted mixture) or sinfully “drunk” (see Noah, Lot, and Acts 2, Ephesians 5:18), he does however bring out some legitimate things about “lifestyle” issues, i.e. imitating the world and its emblems and carnality (e.g. tatoos, dressing without reverence, etc) which ought to be heard loud and clear. And it is true, that too much is being made about beer among the YRR and others (what he terms “perpetual adolescence”), while Christianity is very much only nominal and apostate, while Christians seem to be wine-bibbers or gluttons (no one speaks on the latter at all anymore) in truth, and love going to carnal movies or TV watching as much as the world. Have you noticed how Christians dress now, even in church, under pretense of “liberty”, while jettisoning “reverence”, “gravity”, “sober mindedness” and Paul’s condemnation of “silly talk”? Friendship with the world, or imitating it in its Fashions (a very broad term, its manners) is contrary to scripture. Paul did teach he “kept his body under”, which is self discipline, holy jealousy to subdue the flesh from any excess (he certainly drank wine, but did not make a big deal of it), and dare not be called “asceticism”. Who among Calvinists is teaching any “self denial”, at all these days? Rather it seems to be “let us eat drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die”, as the world does, as if the pursuit of pleasure (see 2 Tim. 3 warning) and being “earthly minded” is “Christian liberty”. If Christians follow scripture they most certainly ought to look very different from the world in how they dress, both men and women, as well as speak, eat, drink, “or whatsoever you do, do unto the Lord”. The mark of being unregenerate is conformity to the world, never being contrary or rebuking it by example in living. (This is why so many professing Christians feel they must display fish symbols or other things on their cars or persons, otherwise nobody would know the difference, which is true!)

    Dr. Peter Master’s in criticizing New Calvinism unfortunately promotes prohibitionism too, which is legalistic and wrong to “require” or impose by pretended authority from scripture, except upon the unhealthy, young or addicted. Albeit bear in mind that the entire UK is drowning in Drunkeness (the evidence of despair, being under tyrannical government control, seeking to escape it mentally, instead of actively). It is tempting to set up Prohibitionism under such circumstances, even as America did for a time in history.

    The fundamentalist error is in the self righteous and Pharisaical “tradition of men” in teaching prohibitionism, but the other matters he states are no traditions of men, and therefore ought not to be “the baby thrown out with the bathwater”.

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