Reproaching One’s Brother – Jonathan McLatchie
After spending sometime among Christian activists and preachers, a prominent theme I found amongst them was having the ability to discern between right and wrong, and the act of reproaching fellow Christians if they fell out of line. Many verses were given to me, some of them are as follows: Proverbs 27:17, Galatians 6:1-2, James 5:16, Ephesians 4:25, Hebrews 10:25, etc. This act of reproaching fellow Christians is seen as a mandatory spiritual duty, failing to do so indicates that one isn’t devoted to Christ as much as he should be. A Christian, as I was told, that lacks the ability of spiritual discernment, lacked Christ.
In light of these beliefs, it was brought to my attention sometime ago that most Christian polemicists actively don’t care about Christianity, see my article: Do Christian Apologists Care About Theology? One of the polemicists I didn’t comment on in that article was Johnny (Jonathan McLatchie). I gave him the benefit of the doubt and waited to see what he’d do with his entrance into polemics. Sadly, I waited in vain as he repeated articles from Rogers, Wood and Shamoun. Nothing new was coming from him, nor was he attempting to reach out to heretical Christians. Take for example, his relationship with David Wood.
David expressly declares his agnosticism on core Christian beliefs and has made those views public. Jonathan as a fellow Christian, who now posts on David’s blog has had the opportunity to reproach David and preach the Gospel to him. However, Jonathan has failed to do so, and according to the aforementioned verses, this would mean he lacks devotion to Christ. Consider the case of David’s agnosticism over God’s ontology. The very nature of God is something that David is agnostic about. How can one be so hypocritical as to preach a religion about a God that they are doubtful about? If Jonathan was a devoted Christian, shouldn’t preaching to, and reproaching a popular Christian speaker be his most important goal? It needs to be asked, does Jonathan simply not care about Christ and is he merely speaking about Islam (an area he is demonstrably uneducated in), for private and personal gain?
Regarding God’s ontology, David is undecided about the power and knowledge of God. He does not know, and he does not care to accept one of the two mainstream beliefs in Christianity: Calvinism and Arminianism. In Calvinism, the Person of Christ – whom Christians consider to be God – did not die in the same way for everyone. This is known as limited atonement. It teaches that Christ/ God did not die in the same way for all men, otherwise everyone would be born-again. On the opposite end, Arminianism teaches universal atonement, that Christ/ God died for everyone in the same way. These are two fundamentally differing views of God. Christians trying to preach to David had to endure verbal threats and abuse from him, one Christian stated:
David himself said:
David in this post admits to flip-flopping between his beliefs. This is problematic because it involves his own salvation. According to Calvinist beliefs, the elect cannot become apostates or lose their faith. By this definition, since David is undecided and flip-flopping, then he is not of the elect, which would mean he is not saved according to Calvinist theology. On the other hand, Arminians believe a Christian can fall from grace and lose their salvation. Which view does Jonathan take regarding David? If he takes the Calvinist view, then David is an apostate. Since David flip-flops between the two mainstream views, he’s an agnostic and is not certain about his own salvation. In that case, it must then be asked, why isn’t Jonathan worried about David’s salvation when readers on the blog he posts too are?
Being undecided about God’s nature regarding God’s attribute of love is a serious issue. It would then mean that Jonathan and David fundamentally believe in two different Gods, with two different attributes of love. It would mean that they believe in two different plans of salvation, two different plans of soteriology. This isn’t something minor and to be ignored, it deals with a person’s salvation. This is the most important discussion that should be happening. Yet, it isn’t. There are many other things we can ask about. Has Jonathan ever condemned and reproached David for cross-dressing?
The question needs to be asked: is Jonathan interested in Christian theology, or does he just want to gain popularity? Let’s take for instance, Jonathan’s appearing on ABN TV. David in an e-mail dated September 15, 2015 says of ABN’s audience:
“The more complicated the set-up, the more problems are going to slip in to derail the debates. Second, the vast majority of viewers would rather listen to us address a topic than a questioner asking us questions. It would be nice if all callers asked relevant, probing questions, but they won’t. Good questions will be only a fraction of the actual questions we get. People will call in with insults, they will start yelling and we’ll have to cut them, and most of the questions will be completely irrelevant to the topics. That’s just what happens when phone lines are opened for anyone to call in.”
David recognizes that ABN’s audience are Christians who insult, yell, and who ask irrelevant questions. David went so far as to cut ABN off, in an e-mail of the same date he says:
“As for ABN, I’ve been working with them for years, but I’m at the end of my rope. I simply want to get these debates out of the way so that I don’t have to deal with this network ever again.”
While David condemns and reproaches ABN, Jonathan runs to them and attempts to get on as many programs as he can. Does this mean that David is lying about ABN and its poor quality of viewership, or does it mean that he is telling the truth and Jonathan just wants to serve his ego? If David is wrong, then Jonathan should condemn him and reproach him for lying about a Christian network. On the other hand, if David is correct, then Jonathan needs to reproach ABN and condemn them. If he does neither, which is most likely, then he is failing to uphold his spiritual Christian duty of reproaching fellow Christians when they fall into evil, whether that be having heretical beliefs, cross-dressing, and lying about fellow Christians.
It remains to be seen whether Jonathan cares about David’s salvation, or of his own.
and God knows best.