As many of you know, Jesse Johnson recently devoted his entire Shepherds Conference breakout session to issuing a critique of our The Way of the Master evangelism principles. After Living Waters drafted its official response to the critique, Ray corresponded with Dr. John MacArthur about the matter, expressing, among many things, his concern that Jesse Johnson misrepresented Dr. MacArthurs official stance on the nature and function of The Ten Commandments. In his response, Dr. MacArthur made it clear that he would have done what he could to alter Mr. Johnsons session, had he known the direction it was going to take ahead of time. Dr. MacArthur subsequently sent Ray the following official statement for public posting:
For the record, we have no problem using the Ten Commandments as a mirror to show people their sin. We agree with Living Waters that the Decalogue is a summary of the moral content of God's law. The law's moral principles reflect the unchanging character of God, so they are eternal, universally applicable, and by definition unchanging. Given those facts, surely it is appropriate to use the Decalogue as Jesus and the apostle Paul often did to confront sinners with their sin.
Furthermore, we're grateful for the way you have trained and encouraged so many people to do hands-on evangelism. You deserve a lot of credit for stirring the consciences of countless young believers and motivating them to share the gospel boldly. In no way would we ever want to discourage that.
We continue to believe that it is critically important for people training in the Living Waters method to 1) strengthen the gospel content of their presentation so as to be equal to the law, 2) see the law as not simply Ten Commandments, but much more as Scripture reveals, 3) To place particular emphasis on passages such as John 8:24 where Jesus says they would die in their sins for refusal to acknowledge Him. This is the greatest sin that goes beyond the Ten Commandments in its condemnation extending to every sinner.
I am grateful for your eagerness to enrich the people you train in these ways.
Yours for the Master,
We are grateful to Dr. MacArthur for graciously clarifying the matter. Living Waters will remain deeply committed to continuing in our efforts of encouraging believers to fully and exhaustively exalt the glorious truths of the gospel, once they have presented the Law; highlighting the fact that it is appropriate to reiterate all sins mentioned in the New Testament, in the context of evangelism; and expounding the undeniable truth that refusal to believe in the name of the only begotten Son of God will lead to condemnation, being the ultimate sin of epic proportionsleading unbelievers to die in [their] sins because they are void of Christ as their propitiation.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon