What is the spirit behind this performance?
A feature of New Calvinism is that it mixes the holy with the profane, and this, in my opinion, is because there is no fear of God before their eyes. The embedded video is an example of New Calvinist worship in practice. The scene is The Resolved Conference (2008) of John MacArthur’s Grace Community Church, renowned for its commitment to the Reformed faith.
Here I am
The Resolved Conference has just sung the words of the hymn, ‘Here I am’, based on Isaiah chapter 6: ‘Holy, holy, holy the whole earth is full of His glory… My eyes have seen the King of all kings, Here in our presence you are enthroned… Here am I send me, A witness to splendor and great majesty’. The Resolved worship leader, Pastor Jonathan Rourke, now invites CJ Mahaney, the charismatic founder of Sovereign Grace Ministries and one of the most recognized and popular faces of New Calvinism, onto the stage to entertain the audience of young people. Mahaney appears to take great pleasure in using the opportunity to play the fool on the drum. The result is raucous laughter among the audience of young people who have just declared in song, ‘Here in our presence you [the King of all kings] are enthroned’. By now any thoughts of the holiness of God have been replaced by the image of a famous Christian leader acting like a court jester. And here we must ask the question. What is the spirit behind this performance, that one minute is declaring the holiness of God, and the next minute, with the encouragement of the worship leader, is laughing at the flippant antics of CJ Mahaney performing on the drum? And note the reaction of the worship leader – I need a drink! Hypocrites! You care nothing about the holiness of God. Well did our Lord say:
‘Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouths, And honor Me with their lips, But have removed their hearts far from Me’ (Isaiah 29.13).