The title of this post is a bit of a misnomer. It should be, perhaps, The Bible vs. Shawn McCraney. And this really is "the heart of the matter". . . .
Local Pastor Jason Wallace of Christ Presbyterian Church was invited by Shawn McCraney of Heart Of The Matter podcast . . . to a sort of 2-hour debate, contention.
Shawn has been teaching a slew of controversial doctrines for the past year or so and Pastor Wallace has been his most public, local critic. Shawn was irked that Wallace has sometimes played clips from Heart Of The Matter podcasts on his own show "Ancient Paths" and finally challenged Wallace to meet in person to hash out some of the issues.
I make the point regarding the title above . . . to say that what is obvious and at the crux of the matter--and what Shawn simply seems unable to see . . . is that Shawn is merely defending his own personal, subjective opinions and speculations . . . while Jason is defending the fundamental truths of Biblical Christianity.
In the Q & A time, this was made all the more apparent when Shawn's emotionally wrought daughter and wife took turns lambasting Wallace, addressing NONE of the doctrinal issues actually in controversy, but just attacking Wallace for his supposed attacks and "mockery" of Shawn. They weren't angry that Wallace was attacking Jesus . . . or the Word of God . . . or Christians in general; no, they took personally Jason's responses to Shawn's teachings. Jason, meanwhile, has merely been doing what he is called to do by scripture and as a Pastor of the Church. He recites the verses that demand of him that he defend the faith "once delivered to the saints."
Jason argued from scripture, never "attacking" Shawn's character or person, but just the errors he has been teaching. I don't recall him ever "mocking" Shawn on his "Ancient Path's" program as charged by the McCraney's . . . but there was Shawn through the whole debate, mocking, sighing, making snide comments, making fun of Jason's person, making faces, rustling papers during Jason's time to speak and on and on.
Shawn admits he has never watched Jason's show, yet he accuses him for its content. . . .
The bottom line of the whole thing is that Shawn wants to be able to teach whatever he feels like at any given moment, call it "real" Christianity . . . and never have to answer for it.
How is this different than what New Agers . . . or Muslims . . . or Hindus . . . or cultists claim, when they use Jesus and certain parts of the Bible in their own false doctrines asserting that THEY have true angle on things. Is there actually a TRUTH to be had? According to Shawn, not really, it's all "subjective".
But this is precisely what separates Biblical Christianity from all other religions. There IS objective truth to seek AND TO FINALLY FIND. There is a truth to proclaim and defend. We are called to confront error and false teaching, as uncomfortable and misunderstood as it usually proves to be.
There are doctrinal points that are non-negotiable. There are other areas which are debatable WITHIN the faith, where believers can differ and still be considered "brothers, sisters in Christ."
The debate between what Jason is stating vs. what Shawn is teaching . . . is the issue of truth versus opinion. Objectivity versus subjectivity. Absolutes versus relativity. The Gospel versus "another gospel."
A frustrating part is that Shawn seems to think he has discovered a new twist--almost something like a "new revelation" of what the Gospel of Jesus Christ actually is. When what it appears to be is that he is managing to find every basic, knee-jerk heresy that has sprung from the foundation of the Church to present times, and touting it a new discovery. His questions on the Trinity, eschatology, church discipline, the role of scripture . . . have already been dealt with, many times over.
Shawn keeps emphasizing how "truthseeking" and being a "truthseeker" is the greatest thing. But he seems to want it open-ended, never ending. I think there is a verse covering that. . . . The Word refers to certain people "always learning and never able to come to a knowledge of the truth."
There IS a truth to be found. By definition, the "truth" is objective, real; once found it is to be held on to, promoted and defended. That is all that Jason is doing, as he is called, being a "handler" of the Word of God, responsible for the sheparding of souls. Shawn is but promoting and defending himself, his ideas, his subjective opinion on what may or may not be the truth.
He mocks, he sneers, he chides, he tears down, he assaults . . . then cries, "it's all only about 'love'"! Then reacts in outrage when anybody, especially an ordained Pastor of the church, answers or contests his views.
As a character, a person, I like Shawn--and care about him and his family. He's a charismatic, self-effacing, smart guy. He's an excellent teacher (which is why it is so disturbing, sad and alarming to see him careening into error and leading others as he has.)
But this isn't about Shawn. Jason isn't making it about Shawn. It is about the Word of God. It's about the Gospel, "once delivered to the saints." It's about objective truth versus the subjective opinions of a man. It's about defending the faith, correcting error; not "attacking Shawn."
The changes coming to the internet could prove fatal to blogs like mine. The army of all those others who can't "handle the truth" and want it silenced may just be about to shut truth-telling down, via this type of forum. If and when that happens, I plan to continue writing and will try to do something like a regular newletter, old-school style. So, take note of the po box and send me a note or letter with your address if you would want to be a recipient of that.
A lot of my early education on the real goings on (ie., re the "conspiracy" and many other "alternative" issues . . . came about just that way. I got newsletters and such in the mail, pre-internet, and learned a lot. . . . .