Freed to live through the death of another.

You Just Don’t Get Me…

Scoldings are hard to hear. Especially when you feel misunderstood.

I’m really having a hard time obeying Tim Challies. He told us that we need to listen to John MacArthur. MacArthur has begun a series critiquing the ‘Young, Restless, and Reformed’ movement and Tim says we need to listen to him because he’s older, wiser, and proven. He has perspective and experience that we do not. He has seen more, lived more, and earned the right to speak.

I agree. But man, it’s hard to hear.

I talked to Tim about it. The best analogy I could give him (ironically enough) is that of a young adult being scolded by a parent. When I read MacArthur’s post I can’t help but feel that he’s the dad who is disappointed in how I’ve turned out (i.e. I’m not like him) and I’m the son who thinks, ‘My father just doesn’t get me.’

MacArthur’s opening comments about the positive things in the movement feel condescending — you know he is about to lower the boom. And then he does. And it’s so predictable. When Tim first mentioned to me that MacArthur would be doing this series the first thing that came into my mind was this: ‘He’s going to tell us to dress in suits.’ And then I thought, ‘Don’t be so harsh. Go in with an open mind. Be ready to hear.’ So I read. And this is what I read:

But for heaven’s sake don’t dress for hardball. HCo. clothes and hipster hair are essential tools of contextualization. The more casual, the better. Distressed, grunge-patterned T-shirts and ripped jeans are perfect. You would not want anyone to think you take worship as seriously as, say, a wedding or a court appearance. Be cool. Which means (of course) that you mustn’t be perceived as punctilious about matters of doctrine or hermeneutics. But whatever you do, donot fail to pay careful attention to Abercrombie & Fitch.

And yes, the italics are his. The one paragraph italicized and set apart from the rest. And it’s about clothes. Really? And then he adds this:

I sometimes think no group is more fashion-conscious than the current crop of hipster church plantersβ€”except perhaps teenage girls.

Was that really necessary? Is that really going to win a hearing with the crowd he’s ‘admonishing’? Or is it merely a dig so that all the MacArthurites around the world can rejoice that they’ve struck down another foe?

I feel like he doesn’t get me. It seems like he’s so angry at Mark Driscoll that he hasn’t taken the time to get to know me. Like the father who thinks his son is the same as the rock stars on MTV. That’s Driscoll, not me.

Sure, for some fashion may be a thing. But it’s not for me. I just don’t care about clothes, as long as things are done decently and in order. Even his analogies fall short. A lot of people in our generation don’t wear suits to weddings or to court. Or to funerals for that matter. It’s not that I pay careful attention to Abercrombie; it’s just that I don’t think what I wear to church is nearly so crucial to the gospel as you.

This series seemed to me like it could be a really good thing. I honestly was looking forward to reading it, once I preached some truth to my heart. But this tone and these opening observations make it hard. Very, very hard.

But now here’s the most frustrating part for me. When a wise parent scolds, the wise child listens. Even when the child feels self-assured. In life I’ve seen this. Things that older parents and older Christians have told me — though I didn’t believe them when I was younger — have proven to be true as I’ve grown up. And I’m sure, in some senses, even though I may hate what MacArthur says now, I need to grin and bear it. I know we need to grow up as a movement. I know I need to grow up as a man. And if a proven man like MacArthur can’t scold me, then who can?

If I listen only to those who agree with me, is that to my credit? Even the pharisees do that…


  1. Julian

    Agreed, Louis! Well said.

  2. salutations75

    Maybe I'm just belligerent, but if someone came up to me with a bunch of accusations that failed to hit home and were all a result of some personal issues that individual is having then I may not give much thought to their opinions regardless of their time spent on the earth.

    Being well educated and respected in a field does not qualify anyone to ramble on to me about things in my life without first taking the time to get to know the issues in my life properly. Such a person would appear wiser with his mouth shut.

    But maybe I'm belligerent

  3. Dave B

    I enjoyed your post. I had the same thoughts. MacArthur has some good criticisms and then he has the fashion issue and the shot at things he thinks are immature but are they more immature than MacArthurs love of sports? Is MMA more immature than the NFL? Why does he put smoking cigars and beer with partying hard and bad boy activities? They all seem like shots that he fails to include Biblical support.

    It is hard to listen to the good, through the shots.

  4. Sharmayn

    I'm a Jesus-loving, Bible-dependent, 40 something (pushing 50), African-American wife and mother of four, ages 22-6 ( and follower of Tim Challies). That is the perspective from which I read and write…
    I say *Listen to the man ( John MacArthur) and let the Lord deal with you…* I have written before that I think the generation to whom MacArthur is speaking seems to have become way too sensitive and easily offended. If MacArthur says something that doesn't apply to you, keep it moving. He is a respected spiritual father. Since you know his heart, that he is a man following hard after God, you should remember that even his mistakes ( if he makes any) are born out of love for God and you. There is no need to be offended.
    One of the verses of Scripture that the Lord seems to be deeply tattooing (ok, engraving) on my heart is John 3:30… I think everything we Christ followers do, think and say should be steeped in this…. "HE must increase and I must decrease." We *really* need to get over ourselves. πŸ™‚

    • Julian

      Thanks, Sharmayn!

      I think that's the wisdom that Tim is calling us to as well. I really, really want to hear from those older than me; I see the need for it biblically and practically. All I'm saying is that MacArthur doesn't make it easy with the way he presents things.

      Can I draw a comparison? If CJ Mahaney were to be bringing this criticisms, I think I would listen a lot easier. Notice I didn't say better. When CJ speaks, I'm convinced he's trying to understand, and he's committed to my good. When John speaks, I feel like he's condemning me and wishing I would become more like him.

      But that's weird, right? I don't know either man. It's just all tone of communication. The (very) good things that MacArthur has to say are harder to hear because they're crowded out by the noise of seeming misdirected condemnation.

      But I really do want to listen. πŸ™‚

      • Sharmayn

        I do * get * that Julian… πŸ™‚ The two styles are quite different. John MacArthur does have a very *stern* approach to his teaching. I have also been uncomforable with it at times over the many years that I've followed him. I know it's easy to be *put off* by him. Mahaney is much more savory in his approach. (It's like the difference between a favorite fruit and a vegetable… We need them both but one is much *sweeter* to the taste.) I just don't want anyone to miss the heart because of the rough exterior…

      • Sharmayn

        I see that you want to listen and I am very encouraged by that. One of my Facebook friends recently posted this: " Salvation is free, but sanctification will cost you everything." I see in my Reformed-Christian raised, 22 yo son and his peers a subtle self-reliance. I've been a student of the Bible for a long time and I am often surprised by how much I still DON'T know. ( Crazy me!) πŸ™‚ I just know how easy it is to settle into an unconscious belief that we really have "arrived" in the faith, no matter what our age. My point is just that sanctification really is a lifelong process. I just want young Christ followers to filter all of life thru a Psalm 86:11 lens praying, " Lord, allow me to view nothing thru my own understanding. Don't just teach me Your way, Teach me YOUR way."

        I think that maturing in Christ is also like that pearl of great price in the parable. We will have to be willing to give up everything – even our *comfort* with a (true) messenger- to obtain it! Thankful for you and this dialogue.

      • @adamrshields

        Maybe you are right, but I read CJ Mahaney's book on worldliness (several chapters were written by others). Mahaney's chapter was on how to dress. So many issues (heart issues) about love of world and he spends a long chapter on how to dress. Most offensive to me was a section about wedding dresses and saying that many women never are dressed more inappropriately than on their wedding day. I don't know what weddings he has been to, but I have never been to a wedding where I would consider the dress the most inappropriate thing a woman has ever worn. The how to dress thing is culture and what MacAurthur and many of that generation do not seem to get is that it is a culture issue. They want to make it a biblical issue and when you confuse bible and culture, then real biblical issues (like sexual morality) are dismissed because you have expended your credibility with minor cultural issues like how to dress.

  5. Andrew Wencl

    With MacArthur, given that I've grown to love and respect him for his ministry and wisdom, I think these verses are applicable:

    Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good. (1 Thes. 5:20-21, ESV)

    • Julian


      Agreed! I just can't help but chuckle at your choice of verses, given MacArthur's doctrine of the Spirit. πŸ™‚

      Your point is well taken, though!

  6. Jeremy

    I'm with you salutations75. Why does the fact that someone has been doing this thing for a number of years automatically grant them license to say whatever they want and it has to be taken seriously? Frankly, I don't care if he's preached through the whole Bible, MacArthur comes of as a smug jerk in the blog. And ironically enough, his incredibly immature comments are directed in a criticism at immaturity. I mean honestly, take MacArthur's name off the article and is anyone actually taking it seriously at all? OK, that aside, I'm trying to remember the last time a father told his son "Grow up you immature punk" and the son responded with "you know what dad, you are right. I am an immature punk and I should grow up. Could you please take me to Joseph A. Banks to buy a couple of suits?" Why doesn't MacArthur let the Author and Perfector of our Faith worry about polishing our rough edges and spend his time on something worthwhile?

  7. benthorp

    I think you may have hit on the thing that was causing me the most problems – it's not the content, it's the tone. I suspect that many of his criticisms are accurate. I want to listen to all that he has to say. But that initial "salvo" was too specific, and too harsh – the tone was not the gentle correction of a father.

  8. John

    I think it is the tone that frustrated me and disappointed me the most! I found it condescending and superior – it did not come across as "advice" from a older, wiser man but rather over- harsh criticism about "them young people and their clothes" I can understand and perhaps at times agree with some of McArthur's concerns about the YRR movement but this post was divisive polemic not gentle yet firm "advice." It sounded like an older version of Driscoll in some of his least wise moments.

  9. Kathy

    "Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you; reprove a wise man, and he will love you." Prov. 9:8

    The question for all of us is, "Which one am I?" I for one want to be willing to be reproved, corrected, taught–even scolded upon occasion if necessary–by men and women who have steeped themselves in Scripture and have long track records of fruitful ministry, which John MacArthur does. But just because he's older and wiser does not make him always right. Neither does it mean he couldn't possibly "get" those who are younger than he is, or that his observations are totally off the mark. "Eat the meat and spit out the bones."

    • Julian

      Helpful distinctions, Kathy! Thanks!

  10. Russell

    I believe the disappointment and frustration comes from a generation who is still trying to tell their dad just what Julian is thinking, "you just don't get me" the problem is "you just don't get it". While many in a generation may not wear certain clothes to events of importance and the attire and atmosphere has changed, it is only because the younger generation feels that they have the right to do as they please, "what may be right for you is not right for me, so I will choose what I want."

    Right now we are tiptoeing on the edge of the post-modern side of subjective thought in which everyone has their own opinion and view of things. When we come to realize that God is worthy of our best and that which we are saved from is worthy of great thought and praise, how we present ourselves to Him will matter. So much of the culture today follows abercrombie and forever21, I don't know many more but see them every week, that if you want to be hip that is what you wear.

    Our focus needs to be on the the One whom we are going to worship and not the latest fashion statement that can be made with my attire. We need to look into the mirror and see who it is we are dressing for and for what occasion. If blue jeans is your best, then so be it, but if there is a suit there, put it on. Stop trying to make a statement and stop trying to emulate society, we are warned about that, the Israelite's were warned for centuries about being and acting like others. If we are God's children, we need to act like them, holy and set apart for a purpose.

    "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect." Rm 12:2

    The world is slowly creeping into the thoughts and ways of many of this young generation and we need to keep the world out, let sinners in to hear the good news, but the world stays on the outside. Once the world gets in, nothing is safe and everything begins to change; it begins to dictate who we are and who we worship.

    • Steve

      Right off the top of my mind, Russell! Thank you for your wise and perceptive comment. I agree – as a pastor in his early 30's – that the main problem is the subtle worldliness in the assumption that others need to "get me." Latent arrogance behind such statements are grievous (even as they're present in my heart as well). By His grace, let's get over ourselves!

  11. JM

    Those critiques might not apply to you, but I have definitely interacted with my fair share of church planters who are as much concerned with their look as teenage girls.

    His critique might not hit everybody, but it does hit somebody.

    • Julian

      Agreed, JM. And that's the difficulty with painting with a broad brush, isn't it?

  12. Dan

    Great thoughts. Thanks for sharing them. My concern with MacArthur, and it isn't only in this article, is that at times he seems to distract from the gospel. The clothing is good example. I realize that the gospel is connected with everything about our lives, and that includes the clothes we wear. But expressing the gospel with clothing can take very different shape in each one of our lives. Some people dress in suits in reverence to God as they worship. I know others that dress down to bridge the gap between the poor of the congregation. I personally have spent a good deal of time telling my people, young and old, that we are about Jesus and not suits or t-shirts. So I preach in suits and in casual attire. Clothes can be such an unnecessary distraction.

    At the same time, clothes can be a great gateway to clarifying what the gospel is and is not about. Is dressing fashionably a worldly sell out to pragmatism? Or is it an act of incarnational mission? Can it be either? Can suits be every bit the sell out to worldliness as an Abercrombie shirt? Those questions seem like the real essence of the matter. At least they do to me.

  13. Nick

    Macarthur's ministry is one of discernment. One negative aspect about a ministry that focuses on defending is that one can get so used to it that you begin to defend and oppose the wrong things. I think that J Mac has the tendency to do this. Sometimes it seems (notice I said "seems") as if he is making an issue bigger than it really is so that he has something to fight against. Although Tim's advice that we should listen to those who are older and wiser than us is sound there are plenty of faithful older and wiser teachers that don't make non-issues a big deal. I don't think this is a small problem because Macarthur almost has a "cult" following and these qualities will rub off on people who are committed to him.

    The gospel is about God building a society of people who are incredibly diverse but have Jesus in common. If we pick on each other for not wearing "our Sunday best" then we are just creating unnecessary division. God's desire is that we will worship him with "one-voice". This won't happen if we major on things that don't even matter.

    • Jaime

      Your comments are certainly worth considering, but remember it is the little foxes that spoil the vineyards. Song 2:15

    • Tubal

      Oh yes, indeed, some of his followers do get kind of culty. That's a danger we've seen explode in the faces of Christians in the past. Idolatry. When the idol has clay feet. Everything coming out of MacArthur's mouth is not "the" Gospel. Some of it is merely personal opinion. His statements need "discernment" in the sense of what is from God, or merely from man. J Mac is, in the final analysis, only a man.
      This clothing kerfluffle he started appears to be the legalistic imaginings of an individual who wants to create a worship environment comfortable to himself, in disregard of others. His idea of what is God-honoring is merely that – his idea. In Scripture, there is no record of Jesus having a dress requirement for those approaching Him. The Pharisees though……
      Anyway, Blessings to you.

  14. Joy

    I had to smile as I read this post. It immediatedly brought to mind a conversation I had years ago with a college-age child of mine. He protested that he should be able to go to church in shorts and sandals because what's important to God is what's in your heart, not the clothes on your body. "Yes, indeed," I replied,"What's in your heart IS important to God, but what you wear is an indicator of RESPECT. You would not go to the White House for an appointment with the president wearing shorts and sandals; why then should you go to meet the sovereign Lord of the universe so dressed?"

    • Bart

      There are two people who wear shorts and sandals around the President all the time: his children.

      • Julian

        Excellent point, Bart. πŸ™‚

        • jaime

          Actually Bart misses the point all together. It is not debatable that children act like children yet maturity is measured often by what one does not do.

      • jaime

        While true it does not make it correct for those not his children. To say that since we (being overly general) are God's children we can do so as well, is a false conclusion.

        His children also wear a dress from time to time.

    • Henry

      That oft used analogy just doesn't work – Obama and the people at the WH don't see your heart so the only way to show respect is through external appearances – church-wise my experience is that a focus on the external often goes hand in hand with a neglect of the internal

    • John

      So, you are teaching your child that God lives in a building and only sees their clothing when the come to His temple?

    • Andrew

      I would absolutely show up to see the president in cargo shorts, flip-flops and a t-shirt. I wouldn't show up barefoot, with soiled work pants and a pitted-out undershirt. Shorts and a T-shirt can be perfectly respectful.

      Everyone is stuck on the clothing issue, but that's really just a symptom that JMac is singling out. We know from other things he's written that he see no value in contectualization or being missional (regardless of how you work that out with your clothes)–and he's clearly wrong on that point.

      His point on what is meant that we should "not let other look down on us for our youth", I believe is off-base. Certainly, we should aspire to maturity, but I believe Paul's point is that there is indeed a place for youthfullness in the church, and Timothy should not less older, wiser brothers in the church stifle the freshness that he can legitimately bring.

      • jaime

        Seriously, it seems a better hermeneutic is called for regarding Paul's admonition to Timothy; that is just not what Paul is saying at all.

  15. J. Schwagerman

    I appreciate your comments and I believe they have merit, however, I have heard from my own children (they are 23 and 17) and other young people that same phrase, You don't get me". When I hear that my first thought is it is not about you it is about what is right. It is about professing the Lord's Majesty. I know how we profess the Lord, we like to add our own individuality however, I think we have to use caution. Are we making the Lord in our own Image or the Lord according to the word. I don't know John MacArthur personally or you for that matter so I am not digging or judging but I think we all need to know what the main focus is. I think MacArthur is trying to do that but I am sure people will be put out by what he says. I know Jesus had the same affect.

    • Julian

      So many times I've thought those who are older than me in my life and in the church don't really know what's right. Then I grow up and I think the same way. So I want to listen.

      But then, sometimes, I do think that those who are coming up under us have a new set of eyes to help the 'clean sea breeze' (as Lewis would say) of generations blow through our minds and help us to think through things we had previously left unchallenged.

      Hopefully my generation listens to MacArthur. But, I would hope, that MacArthur would listen to us to be corrected as well as listen to us in order to correct.

      • J. Schwagerman

        I think you are right…We all want to be understood but at the same time we have to make the MAIN thing (Majesty of the Lord) the main thing. I do believe your blog is serving a purpose. I do think it is self examination on each of our parts. In that respect, we all, young and old have something to learn and at the same time learn from each other. Take it as encouragement instead of critism. (sp).

  16. Jaime


    Yep maybe you are belligerent, I am not sure. However, the point of Dr. MacArthur’s series will not be to address each individual circumstance within each individual’s live. It will be to make a point specifically regarding the thrust of the YRR movement at large. That it does not address nor take into account every circumstance within everyone’s life will not mean that his points are not valid. And that while “Being well educated and respected in a field does not qualify anyone to ramble on to me” is certainly true, one would be best served to at least listen, as it seems you have tuned out before actually tuning in.


    I certainly agree with much of what you write, but I think you may have missed the point of Dr. MacArthur’s regarding dress. I think he is saying that the worship of God should stand apart, at least in outward appearance, from the secular things. So that if one would wear a suit to appear in front of a secular judge, should we not at least hold to that standard when we worship the Judge of creation. While he did use mode of dress, the principle is applicable across the board.

  17. Jared Wilson

    My first thought is that he sounds like the guy shooing those whippersnappers off his lawn.

    My second thought is that my generation is a bunch of hyper-sensitive ninnies who can't hear wisdom when our feelings are hurt.

    My third thought is that I smell a ghostwriter. No way JMac knows what Abercrombie and Fitch is. πŸ™‚

    • Julian


      How dare you suggest that John MacArthur doesn't personally pen everything that goes out with his name on it?! Scandalous! πŸ™‚

    • Dan


      My first thought was, "Can you say Bob Jones?"

      My second thought was, "I can't believe a guy who probably thinks wearing a yellow turtle neck under a sports coat is a good look is telling people how they should dress. He is so caught up in clothes. And so judgmental. Unlike, you know, us who realize that cardigans look ridiculous." Yes, that is sarcasm.

      My third thought was, "I beseech you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God to present your bodies dressed up like you are going to meet the president (or emperor). Is this just an American 'we have enough money to buy whatever style of clothes we want' thing? I mean for most of the recipients of the NT, dressing up meant wearing the sandals that don't have holes in the soles."

  18. Elaine

    When I started reading I was thinking about when the child grows up and realizes that most of what their parents did/said was for their own good. I know it too well and my parents were hardly Christians, not even close.

    It wasn’t until your last paragraph that I could agree with you. =)

    As one of the comments says, some of MacArthur’s critique might not apply to everyone. But there’s truth in it, and much that needs to be taken.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts Julian!

  19. John

    I think some people were offended by MacArthur's comments, in part, because they hit a little too close to home.

    • Suzanne

      An old Southern saying comes to mind: "I always heard that dog that yelps the loudest is the one who got hit."

  20. joel

    One of the best things I learned in a parenting class is the difference between childishness and foolishness, and that discipline for childishness will exasperate your child.  But Proverbs tells us correction for foolishness is required. It seems that the clothing thing is more childishness (until clothing becomes more important than the content of the gospel) than foolishness.  Perhaps a better exhortation is this: You will be tempted to allow your contextualization to diminish the content of the Gospel. Don't let the cool clothes you wear become more important than Christ and his redemptive work on the cross. The grain of salt that I took from it was that it is true that we should show honor due the preaching of the word.  So however it is that you "get your game face on", that is what you personally should be emphasizing in your own heart before hearing the Word preached. After all that, MacArthur has never been known to say things softer to gain a wider audience.  He trusts that the truth will hit where God wants it to hit.  Since I believe in God's absolute sovereignty over all things, I will trust God as well and try to let the truth hit my heart appropriately.

    • Joy

      Well said!

  21. Stephanie

    I believe that macarthur is just very irritated with the yrr focus on being "cool"…the whole focus on being "cool" is symptomatic of this generations tendency towards perpetual adolescence. Mature believers should take their focus off of being "hip" & instead focus on living godly lives.

    • Joy

      Thank you for replying to the problem of "perpetual adolescence"!

    • Dan

      Yes, Stephanie. I think you hit the nail on the head. Why didn't JMac just say that? Every YRR can hear and profit from that message.

      The reason many are having a hard time with JMac is because he said a bit more than that and generally says a bit more than that. "Don't focus on being 'hip' but on living godly lives." Stop there and we're good, but he goes on, "And this is what godly living is about: Suit up. Keep away from bars and cigars. Don't listen to that rock stuff. (He didn't say anything about music here, but he has said it before)." And that I think is where the difficulty begins.

  22. Edwin

    If you look carefully, the italicized paragraph cited is a continuation not from MacArthur's words, but from the "self-styled growth expert" whose counsel he does not advocate. Therefore, what is ironic is that the cultural stiffness cited is actually not MacArthur's words but somebody else entirely.

    • Elaine

      Thank you for you accurate conclusion.

  23. justinthelesser

    Good discussion here. Thanks for the article Julian. I grew up listening to John MacArthur. As a boy, I attended his father's church in Burbank (I was born in 1978). I currently attend a church where my Senior Pastor (whom I love and appreciate) is a TMS graduate and where many of the younger folk are Master's College grads. I briefly attended Master's Seminary myself until fahterhood called me into the ministry of taking care of my family (not that the two are separate). I have grown to love and appreciate JMac's preaching, teaching and even his example. You will be hard pressed to find a better bible teacher and shepherd of God's flock.

  24. justinthelesser

    That being said, I do think he is human just like the rest of us. And so the MacArthurites (this is a pejorative term that really isn't helpful) or I should say those like myself, who have grown to love him and his teaching, need to guard against protectionism and those who feel disconnected from him and less inclined to hear his advice need to guard against being puffed up, knowing better than our elders. Pastors are humans just as those of us in the flock of God are humans. We need to be gracious to one another just as Christ is gracious with us.

    But I have been thinking about this alot lately and I do think their needs to be a graciousness on the part of both the elder and the younger. I have found this article by Ken Sande, the director of Peacemakers Ministires, to be extremely helpful for how we are to view leadership in the church.

    Approachability: The Passport to Real Ministry and Leadership

    • Elaine

      Don't you think though, that people are always using the argument of no one being 100% right all the time when at the same time they expect precisely that from JM? I mean, they say he cannot be 100% right in all he says, but get really upset when he is not?

      • justinthelesser

        Yes that's true. In general, I don't think it is the place of a younger person to correct an elder (a very serious charge in the NT). There are things (secondary isssues) that I disagree with at my church,but God has placed me under their leadership and I do my darnedest to submit to their care and decision making (for it is to my advantage to do this joyfully because they watch over my soul).

        However, that does not mean that we should not check what our leaders say and do with Scripture. And when there is a discrepency it is only with much rechecking and much sorrow that one should approach an elder with his apparent sin. I find that many times, there is a misunderstanding on my part that led to a disagreement.

  25. Cathy

    Some of the above comments betray the rebellious spirit of our age. If an older, respected, proven man of God has an exhortation, then we younger ones should lend an open and submissive ear–period. This discussion wouldn't even have happened 50 years ago. The new Calvinism won't make any long-term Spirit-led impact if it's resting on a foundation of edgy rebellion.

    • Jonathan

      Even if the critiques are mostly irrelevant?
      J. Macarthur might be an amazing Bible expositor but he is not God, and he clearly misses something here.

    • Mark|

      Even the Apostle Paul's own teaching was compared against Scripture. There is no reason we should not do the same.

  26. Deb

    It's interesting to see how defensive & agitated people can get over MacArthur's comments on clothing. Particularly when this isn't the main focus of his articles. Are there any who are willing to prayerfully listen with humility and say "Lord, show me what applies to me and where I need to change."
    Can you imagine what a priest from OT times would say if he walked into our churches today? I wonder to myself why God established for the priest to wear such specifically described robes? Why did he say they were not to drink strong drink? Why did he establish in the NT specific requirements, as far as their personal life, for pastors and elders? What are the principles God was establishing and how should they play out in our daily life?

    When we choose to fully follow Christ, our focus should be on making HIM the focus. My clothing can easily make me the focus. Everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial. If clothing doesn't matter to the message, why do presidential candidates spend so much time laboring over what suit and tie (or no tie) to wear? Why do lawyers still wear suits?

    Just thinking out loud.

    • Julian


      Thanks for the comment! I would imagine that if an OT priest walked into one of our assemblies, his first thought would be, "Why aren't we in Jerusalem?" Then we'd tell him about how his work as a priest actually pointed forward to a greater priest, a true High Priest, who never had to make atonement for his own sins, only those of the people, through a final sacrifice that cleanses people once and for all to the core of our being.

      We'd tell that priest about how Christ fulfilled all the righteous demands of the law, which has now been consumed and taken up in a greater law defined by self-sacrificial love.

      I suspect that the topic of clothes wouldn't come up — it would be self-apparently unimportant in light of the glorious fulfillment that Christ accomplished since the priest's time. Which is exactly the point. When we now go back there, we minimize the importance and significance of what Christ has done by flattening redemptive history and submitting again to a yoke of slavery.

  27. Clint Humfrey

    What I like about what you said Julian, is that it is coming from a guy who is clearly not an Acts 29 sycophant.

  28. Andrew

    I don't understand how MacAurthur is even relevant at this point. When T4G asked Driscoll to speak a couple years ago, MacAuthur pitched a fit and said, "It's Driscoll or me!" EVERYONE else at TG4 said, "OK. See ya John."

    Long before Piper said "farewell" to Bell, he and all of the other guys we look too, said farewell to MacAuthur. I don't understand why we're even bothering to him attention.

    • Mike

      The better question is why should anyone consider you, Andrew, relevant, or bother to give you any attention? Let's see, on the relevance scale, where do you think you'd fall, in relation to Mr. MacArthur? Do you really even want to go there?

  29. Mark Edwards

    I seldom see anyone but attorneys wearing suits to Court in this day and age. However, I think Dr. M's comments hit pretty close to home. I have seen a Youth Pastor cause shock in our congregation by wearing an outfit to speak that was so "grunge" it smacked of defiance to many.

  30. John

    Thanks, J. I was disappointed (but not surprised) with JMac's article. The church is not where God lives – it is a building, and the same God who smiles down on your silly (expensive) suit on Sunday is also smiling down on your naked butt when you get out of the shower on Monday. I attend a church that is sort of in the hood, and we dress down to keep the gospel from being hindered. The last thing we want is the poor and destitute to feel inferior because they can't afford to play dress up. I suppose JMac doesn't get the irony. I wonder, though, is anyone so culturally illiterate that they don't know that suits are associated with power, business, and colonialism? Not to mention false gospels. I betcha won't see Creflo Dollar wearing jeans anytime soon.

    • Julian

      Excellent insight, John. Your church is to be commended for keeping the main thing the main thing. If anything, the NT condemns people who dress nicely to come to church (Jas 2, 1 Tim 2, 1 Pet 3) precisely for the reasons you point out: there should be poor people there and they should not feel like second-class citizens!

      Our clothing choices should be informed by modesty. As CJ Mahaney puts it: 'humility expressed in dress.'

  31. Henry

    Isn't much of this just a law (religious legalism) vs. Christian freedom debate? For me having grown up and still very much connected to a conservative church community, I find they're always preaching and stressing law even though they'll never admit it.

    I will also admit though that I'm at all impressed by leaders who are just a little too hipster cool. They seem to be trying just as hard as the super holy guys in suits while claiming to be different.

  32. Bogdan Kipko

    Great post Julian thank you —

    Regarding the fashion piece — there is not a difference between someone who shops at Abercrombie and spends an exorbitant amount of money on jeans that look like they have been wore by someone for about four decades and another person who goes to Brooks Brothers and purchases dress shirts and ties that cost more money than it would take to feed an entire family for about half a year.

    The difference is that the former example is more externally visible and characteristically is associated with youthfulness or immaturity while the latter exemplifies esteem, prestige and adulthood — but either one is a fashion statement —

    Also, different parts of the country dress differently — SoCal is much more relaxed than SoHo

    But, with age comes wisdom — and if you are teachable and humble — maybe you will get away without getting any slack for those distressed jeans with the deep V. πŸ™‚



  33. Cho

    I believe that since MacArthur is blogging a series to the YR&R as a whole in general and not specifically one person individually, there will be many things he says that will not apply to many, but will apply to others. His understanding of our generation may not be as complete as our own, but I believe he has some many good points that we can take away and listen to. Not all things will apply to us ourselves, but many will. That's why I think when we read blogs and such as these and react we have to be careful as to consider who the admonishment is written to. In this case it's the whole – a general category – and so if it doesn't apply to you then it doesn't. If it does – it does. Now the clothes part probably doesn't apply to many of us (hopefully), but it does apply to some that I do know. Sometimes we do need to hear a hard word. Admonishment is always hard to hear. And a firm one – however ungentle it may be at times – is good to hear too.
    I'm sure he is doing so out of love and want for us to 'grow up' and 'mature.' That's fine. I long for examples and men of older faith to say these things – I don't always agree with everything they say, but I need – absolutely need – this sort of guidance, firmness, and loving yet hard admonishment to remind me of the important things.
    As for the gentleness aspect… I am quite sure when he speaks to you personally, he will be gentler and loving yet firm. It's hard to meet the demands of each person on a blog when referring to the whole, just as your pastors probably are firm in the pulpit and gentle when dealing with specific people and needs.
    My 2 cents from a young inexperienced 23 year old Christian.

    • Mike

      "MacArthur?" Is he a personal friend of yours? If not, and since he's nearly thrice your age, show some respect and refer to him either as Rev. or Mr. MacArthur.

  34. JOe

    you just don't care about clothes except you do? Look, everyone has standards

  35. Luke

    It is not that jmac doesn't get "us," it is more that he assumes any approach to God in worship that does not look or sound like his can't be biblical. I agree with a lot that he says, but there are few that can match his inability to recognize that anything different from his style of pandering is an evil kind, or immature, kind – but a pandering nonetheless. He has effectively created a theological, proof text, for every nitpicking thing in the church, so naturally any expression that differs from his by more than 15-20% will be sure to receive the heat of his antipathy directed at their rebellion and relativism – as these, in his clear estimation, are the only logical motivators away from his way.

  36. Mike

    Julian, I noticed on your church's site, on the "About Julian" page, a picture of you and your lovely wife. This photo was obviously taken at a wedding, and, interestingly enough, you're wearing a dress shirt and a tie (and presumable, a suit as well). Now, why did you choose to do so? Could it be because if you'd shown up wearing the type of outfit the typical "hipster" YRR pastor wears on the stage and in the pulpit, that the bride and groom and their families (as well as others) would consider it highly inappropriate and be suitably offended, given the nature of the occasion? After all, it's a wedding, for goodness' sake, right? That's important! You can't just show up at something like that dressed as if you were going to Starbucks, or taking your daughter's hamster to the vet, or, or… going to church! I honestly don't get the whole "it doesn't matter how I dress" mindset when it comes to worshiping the thrice-holy God of the universe. Would it have mattered to you and your wife if all the guests at your wedding had "kept it casual and real"? I don't think it's assuming too much to believe that yes, it would have. And please, don't hit me with a "legalism" screed or a "God sees the heart, so it doesn't matter what we wear" blast. Each and every one of our actions and decisions — every one — provides insight into where our heart and will is at any particular time and on any particular issue(s). That's what bothers Mr. Macarthur (which, by the way, is how he should properly be addressed by someone who's never met him, and most especially by someone young enough to be one of his kids). A wedding is serious and important, but infinitely less so than the worship of the Lord. Why does the former deserve more consideration of how you present yourself than the latter?

    • Julian


      Thanks for your comment! It's always easy to point out what we think to be double-standards, isn't it? For example, I noticed that you referred to me as Julian. But you've never met me, so I'd prefer if you stuck to "Rev. Freeman" if you don't mind.

      Of course I'm joking.

      Brother, I love John MacArthur and I'm thankful for his ministry. Honestly. If it were not for him my life and my church would look very, very different. As I said, I want to listen and know that I should. All I'm doing here is expressing why that's a challenge.

      As for the seriousness of worshiping the Lord requiring a suit, I think you're making some logical leaps. When I eat meat and drink wine I do so to the glory of God. Whatever I do in my life as I offer myself as a living sacrifice is my spiritual act of worship. And I simply will not wear a suit to eat dinner or sleep. All of worship is serious. The gathering of the church is serious. But that doesn't mean that therefore I have to wear a suit or tie or whatever you want to make the standard.

      • Mike

        Rev. Freeman,

        As I am your senior, albeit not quite so senior as is Rev. MacArthur, being somewhat closer in age to you than to him, I deemed it not at all inappropriate to refer to you in the breezy, familiar tones employed by the YRR set. Still, I beg your forgiveness for displaying what, in your view at least, is the same lack of respect with regard to you as I upbraided you for having committed with regard to Rev. MacArthur.

        Now, if you don't mind, please answer the following question (something you pointedly failed to do in your initial response): Why did you wear a suit to that wedding? Could it be because there was something about the occasion that demanded a certain show of respect from you, exemplified, in part, by how you presented yourself sartorially? Come on, you're a pretty smart guy. Think about it…


        ps. Please, find for me, in my initial comment to you, where I wrote that the seriousness of worship required the wearing of a suit. Now, now, that's dirty pool. You should know that, just as a preacher shouldn't try and make a Bible verse or passage say what he wants it to say, or, in other words, put words in the Bible's/God's mouth, neither should he put words in anyone else's mouth either.

        • Nick


          Did anyone in the first-century wear a suit to church? My guess is people just went dressed how they wanted as long as it didn't draw away from worship. Clothes are very contextual and change from culture to culture (even from city to city). What may be appropriate at your church may not be appropriate at our church and vice versa. You asked Julian not to pull the legalism card but I think I kind of have to if you are making it a law that people have to wear suits in order to worship God rightly. The important thing that I ask as I decide what to wear to church is, "Am I loving God and serving my neighbor with what I am wearing today?" In some instances that might mean that I have to put on a suit (I've done it before) other times it might mean that I wear shorts and a T-Shirt.

  37. OFelixCulpa


    I agree that MacArthur was condescending. I think that comes across in the title ("Grow Up") and the way he at least appears to think of himself as the standard of maturity. That is unfortunate.

    However, your reaction seems to be a little over-sensitive. I haven't looked them up, but I take it that the words he cited actually were written by someone in the group–how is so outrageous for him to cite them? Doing so gives you an opportunity to explain that you don't share that opinion (or why you think it is the right opinion). It would be wrong for him to assert that those words necessarily represent everyone in the movement, but he doesn't do that.

  38. Steve Jon es

    After reading through the comments I have one simple question, why are we so sensitive? Whether it is advice, reproof, or rebuke, I have found that we, as in young Christians, usually have one of three, or all three, responses:

    1. You are generalization and saying things that don't specifically connect with me.
    2. You don't know my story and haven't invested in me and therefore you can't speak into my life
    3. Your tone is condescending and therefore you are wrong

    All of these, though they may be true at a surface level, do not at all make MacArthur's words illegitimate. Why? Because they're bred from a self-centered worldview rather than a Christ-centered worldview. Instead of writing someone like MacArthur off when he speaks, we should ask ourselves how his words, though he may be generalizing, though we may not like his tone, though he may not know us personally, may apply to us. Sure, we may not like to party, but maybe our immaturity is shown in other areas of foolishness that MacArthur did not touch on. And come on, we need to have a stronger back bone. I don't know about you but when I read the Bible there are many strong and authoritative men that rebuke and reprove with not the "nicest" words or tone, even Jesus.

    • justinthelesser

      Point#3 is indeed a logical fallacy and if this were a formal debate I think you are spot on. But advice is more than just stating the facts and the solutions. Much of being a leader is also about care. And I think at the core John MacArthur cares deeply about the next generation; hence his desire to give sound and biblical advice to the YRR's. These are honest and true concerns.

      But a person's tone is equally as importatnt as what they are saying. And while many are probably oversensitive (they wouldn't last a day under Coach John Wooden), there is still a need for sensitivity and relationship. I think this is primarily a generation gap. John is speaking to young MEN as his father would have spoken to him. And yet fathers today in general do not speak to their sons this way. So perhaps we do need to gird up our loins and be men but we also need to be wise as serpents and gentle as doves.

  39. Nick

    I just read th article for myself and an "us" and "them" mindset really comes through in the piece itself and in the comments. Very saddening.

  40. Phil Kloster

    When Dr Mac speaks…I listen….and I learn.

    • cynthia

      So do I, Phil. So do I. How I would love to have the opportunity to spend a day with him. Just listening and learning. What an enriching experience that would be.

      My pastor used to wear suits or nice jackets and slacks. Now he is in his fifties and wears faded out jeans, his shirttail hanging out over his large, middle-aged belly, and Converse type sneakers. Yes, his preaching is wonderful but the way he presents himself these days projects something about him that actually detracts from the message. My teenagers say that Pastor ______ is trying to look cool but they clearly don't think he looks cool. I find myself embarrased for him.

      What the Pastor wears matters.

      • Nick

        Yes it does matter but the important thing is NOT whether he is wearing a suit as opposed to Converse shoes but if he is loving God and serving his neighbor with what he wears. Also Cynthia, have you spoken directly to your pastor about this before you posted this comment. It's another opportunity to ask am I considering others more significant than myself?

        • Cynthia

          You missed the point, Nick. It doesn't end with whether the pastor is "loving God and serving his neighbor with what he wears". I think that "self focus" is one of the things that Dr. MacArthur is addressing. When the pastor compromises the message with his personal presentation, there is a problem. There is a distraction that takes away from the Word of God the pastor is called to proclaim. He needs to be aware of how his personal presentation, including his speech patterns and dress, contribute to the proclaimation of God's Word. It's not just about him. It's about the office of pastor and the dignity of that office. Our pastor is a perfect illustration for the purposes of this discussion. He is a wonderful preacher and a godly man, but he looks like the stereotypical middle aged man going through a mid-life crisis. It is a distraction. And yes, it has been addressed with him.

  41. Harold

    I agree wholeheartedly with John MacArthur's post. This blog post and many of the comments prove the point he was trying to make:
    1. Being defensive about the issue of clothes – sign of immaturity. A mature person says "Lord, am I pleasing you in this area, am I following you or fashion?"
    2. Thinking John MacArthur is scolding or being condescending – sign of immaturity. A mature person would see him speaking with love in his heart and a tear in his eye
    3. "you just don't get me" – major sign of immaturity. No one is supposed to "get you", we are all to "get Christ". Grow up, it's about Christ, not about you!

    • justinthelesser

      I think you're probably right on all 3 points when it comes to addressing an argument based on the merits of what is being said and not merely on who is saying it. And this is perhaps the biggest problem have with John MacArthur. And it's really not the fact that he is saying it but rather the way in which he says it. John is admittedly given to overstatement to make a point. It can be a very effective tool in getting people to relly think about the point being made but the flip side of that technique is that it can sound condescending and generalized.

      So I think YRR's need to take this advice with a grain of salt and yet at the same time really evaluate themselves (myself included here). I am in no position to sit in judgement over an elder and man of the word but if it were me I probably would have used a different technique to get my point across.

  42. bob

    Something interesting I heard a little while ago – a few generations ago in one of the Mennonite denominations, wearing a suit to church was considered scandalous and worldly, so they adopted "plain dress" rules about what you could wear – I think it goes to show there is no holy way of dressing – one man's holy suit is another's scandalous fashion statement – seriously, why would God care if your pants are pressed, your shirt is starched white and you've got a fancy strip of cloth tied around your neck?

  43. Jim Henkling

    Me me me me me me and some more me. What about me? This makes me feel bad. Me me me me me.

    Interesting response to MacArthur. Apparently, his call for maturity is greatly needed.

    • Julian

      Wow… well maybe while you were writing that comment you missed the last line of the post.

      "I know I need to grow up as a man. And if a proven man like MacArthur can't scold me, then who can?"

    • Nick


      That was an incredibly uncharitable comment.

  44. Ben L

    Julian, I understand what you mean about feeling like a child scolded. Maybe Tim finds it easier to take admonition than you? πŸ˜‰

    I think what I've learning since having a father to being a father is that I take what the person is telling me and try to see if they are pointing to an area of sin in my life, or an area where I need to improve/ change. Maybe the analogy they are using is flawed, but it points to something that I can look at and see in my heart and my life.

    In regards to salutations75, there's a difference between some schmoe coming to you off of the street vs someone who you respect or who is a leader over of you of some sort.

  45. Betty-Anne

    Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time. I'm probably closer to McArthur's era than yours, and I know clothes are NOT the point. But he says a lot of stuff that IS the point. If we, the church of God, don't listen, we will be failing to honour God. Be a good Berean. Discern what matters according to the Scripture and press on. This is the humility of a teachable spirit that He asks of us. If we do, one day we will be in the position of McArthur to do the correcting … and God will be building His church and He will have used us to keep the gates of hell from prevailing against it. That's all that really matters!

  46. justinthelesser

    This is how I kind of see this whole thing.

  47. Duane

    I agree that too many of the YRR are too easily offended. I am a pastor and retired military so I see this issue through the lens of my experience. The reaction of many in the YRR is likely the result of not having fought the battles MacArthur has had to fight. MacArthur reminds me of General Patton. When you have been shot at and found yourself knee deep in blood and guts you tend to be more frank with people. You know you don't have time to waste beating around the proverbial bush. I have seen a similar response to young recruits coming into basic. They are raised in a protectionist bubble and steeped in a politically correct education system and media so when a seargant comes along attempting to wake them up to reality they cry "no fair." Did my sergeant have to cuss me and belittle me every day during basic to make me a good soldier? No. But one thing his harsh tone did for me was wake me up to reality and made me realize there is no room for "momma's boys" on the battlefield. When was the last time you saw a soldier complaining about tone? I agree with MacArthur's points. The church needs fewer hipsters and more soldiers. I doubt this kind of discussion would even come up in the churches of say Iran or or Burma. They are too busy fighting the battle to worry about "tone."

    • cynthia

      Good points, Duane. I think some of these YRR are forgetting that we are in a battle.

    • Nick

      I really appreciate this comment. However, I don't think that Julian, or all of the YRR for that matter, are being whiny. The image that the bible uses for a pastor and his people is the relationship between a shepherd and his sheep. It's a really moving image. Another one we might use is the relationship between parent and child, like Julian does. I hope that parents don't think that "this is wartime therefore I need to raise my kids like a drill sgt." I'm certainly not going to treat my children like that and I hope, by God's grace, that I will be able to "woo" them to Christ; I doubt yelling at my boy, calling him a wuss, and making fun of him because of the way he dresses (or that he cares about the way he looks) would accomplish this at all. In that case my guess he would resent me not respect me.

      Now don't take this as whining. It's not. In fact, I really don't care much about what Macarthur says; he's not my pastor. But if he is attempting to offer correction maybe he can stop acting like a nit picky parent and offer some real, fatherly, help.

      • Duane

        Thank you for your comment Nick. I am not advocating that pastors, or parents for that matter, acts as drill sergeants. You are correct we are shepherds and should behave accordingly. My point was that many of those in the YRR movement (and I am not singling out Julian, I appreciate his candor here) and even more broadly, this current generation of youth are too sensitive and easily offended. I am amazed when I read the writings of the reformers at the candor and forcefulness of their arguments. I see a similar trait in the writings of Paul and Peter. The men of the YRR movement should wait until they are in the midst of the battle and under fire before they start criticizing MacArthur over his tone. It seems to me like a new recruit criticizing refusing to listen a battle hardened veteran simply because he doesn't like his tone. Yes, MacArthur is just a man, but he is a man whom God has used mightily over the last 40 years. The fruit of his ministry speaks for itself therefore all of us should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger (James 1:19)

  48. deborah

    How we present ourselves, our appearance, including our clothing, communicates something about ourselves. There is no escaping the truth of this. While my salvation does not depend on what I wear, what I wear says something about me as an Ambassador for Christ both to other believers and to the lost.

    My vote is for the plain black Genevan robe.

  49. Ben Mordecai

    As for the clothes or fashion, I think MacArthur totally misses the point. For most people, choosing clothes isn't something done "to contextualize," or to "relate to the culture." People wear clothes that they like and in the styles that… most people in their circles of friend wear. Is this really a big deal?

  50. gary

    Julian doesn't care about clothes?
    Isn't that you in a nice shirt and tie! out for dinner with your lovely wife on 'about Julian'?
    Methinks you protest too much

    • Nick

      Seriously gary?

  51. samrwill

    MacArthur is an older version of Driscoll, and Driscoll a new and trendy Macarthur – self assured to the point of arrogance, at times. Thank God not all the time.

  52. Mark|

    Interesting observations in this post. When people try to make the argument about supporting dressing up in church in light of not being worldly does this mean that a suit, for example, is some how heavenly and has nothing to do with worldly culture?

    Also, when it is pointed out that people dress up for their own wedding and assert that this translates into dressing up for church is not a argument for their case. It is an assertion that assumes equivalency, but on what level? If the scenarios were to be compared for what they are which is cultural acceptance the assertion fails. However, I'd like to see actual reasoning on how dressing one way for one situation necessitates dressing the same for other occasions.

    That said, there may very well be a problem with pastors and church leaders going out of their way to try to dress hip and cool. They may put on clothes they would not normally wear to try to fit in or "reach" people, etc. Who is to say for sure without knowing them or their environment?

    • Julian

      Excellent insights, Mark. Very well balanced. Thank you!

  53. dlc

    … someone once said to me "there's people who sell, those who tell, and then those who yell" and JMac is in the 3rd category. Which got me to thinking "I feel like he's a high school coach who tries to motivate me with the yelling approach" … sure I may comply, for a while, but the changes coming from that approach rarely stick.

  54. Brandon

    I'm not a new school or old school for that matter calvinist but stumbled here thru a link. With that context, my comment might not be worth much but share I will, none the less.

    I'm actually an 'm' overseas in a very urban environment. I remember my first week here in 2008 when I met a guy I'll call Harry. We shared the gospel with him, which he was extremely excited to hear, and got to talking. We asked about church and he said he could NEVER go. Too shameful. He as most people here livedin extreme poverty. Church though carried the expectation of status. He had no suit, no slacks, no tie. Theyd never even let him in the building. Wasn't, and til he had those things, would never be good enough.

    Meanwhile the pastors fleece the flocks. The sheep put on a great show. And the spiritually hungry are left standing, deserted, on the margins.

    And discussions like these sound so trite as, like it or not, they feed the discipleship deficit and false doctrines like prosperity doctrine, that plague places like africa. So…to MacArthur and whoever else is so concerned with our suits on Sunday mornings, I'll continue to wear old jeans and Tshirts and such while standing with friends, sometimes in rags, hungry fora God that will love them for who they are and not wh owe expect them to be.

    • Julian

      I'm glad you shared, Brandon! Sometimes I think we in the North American church lose sight of the reality of the global church pretty quickly in debates like this.

      Thankful for the input, brother!

  55. greenandfrugalsamanda

    I have not listened to Macarthur's sermons, nor do I know much about him, but I guess this is more a comment of the paragraph in which you posted that he wrote about how we should dress.
    The past year has been a discovery of myself and who I am, and as crazy as it sounds, how I dress is an extension of that. Although I definitely don't have an obsession with clothing, I am known around here as "hippie" and my clothes often reflect that. I discovered something as I started making these changes. There was much judgment. And for me, it's actually a good thing because I think it allowed me to put myself in other people's shoes on how we as Christians judge and how such little things shouldn't really be our focus when there are much bigger issues to extend our energy on. It actually helped me develop more compassion for people. It made me start to really question why people were more concerned with the fact that I put dreads in my hair instead of hurting people in and out of the church.
    I'm not saying we should all show up to church dressing like we just walked off the street, but if you show up to church in what is deemed "appropriate" to many, but don't have a heart for furthering the kingdom, then what is the point?
    And believe it or not, there are people, even right here in Canada that need to be in church that would never enter through the doors because they can not afford the proper attire. Trust me, I know this one as my own parents would fall into this category. I keep wondering where we are putting our effort into as a church….into how we look, how many programs per week we can run for our own congregation and not much more, or how amazing we can make the music? Although I have spent many years being guilty of all this as well (which in itself, there is nothing wrong with having great music, looking decent, or having good programming) I am starting to get the feeling that when I get to Heaven my lame explanation of how I "lived the good Christian life" just isn't going to fly. I am hoping I figure out how to fix that before I get there.

  56. Nelster

    I actually find Macarthur's article to be encouraging. Sure he didn't have to make those comments about how people dressed, but that wasn't his main point. From the times I interacted with young reformed folks it seems so many times they got solid doctrine but lacking character. Macarthur does well by pointing to folks like Spurgeon to be our role model.

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