As theological debates on sexuality and marriage become more and more central, many Christian denominations are being asked to clarify their views.
The Executive Director of John MacArthur’s “Grace to You” ministry severely criticised Evangelical Focus. Director Pedro Tarquis responded by saying that the information was “rigorous and adequate”.
Last Sunday’s incident regarding a self-proclaimed prophet in Grace Community Church (pastored by John MacArthur) has had repercussion in many media outlets and blogs. One of the videos which recorded the incident has already reached 60,000 views on Youtube.
Evangelical Focus and Protestante Digital also reported the event in a news update written by Will Graham. The report explained how an individual made his way up to the platform of the aforementioned church and accused MacArthur of “being in error” due to his cessationist theology.
According to Evangelical Focus’ Editorial Board, the news update more than fulfilled journalistic standards and only contained a small error in a quote made by MacArthur. It was the selfsame author Will Graham who asked for his error to be amended so as to include the exact words used by the pastor.
JOHNSON: “THE MUSINGS OF A CHARISMATIC HOUSEWIFE”
The Executive Director of John MacArthur’s preaching ministry, Phil Johnson, severely criticised Evangelical Focus on Thursday night.
In a Facebook post, he accused the online news site of publishing “shoddy journalism from start to finish”.
Johnson added that the update read more like “the musings of a charismatic housewife whose religion was learned via The Kenneth Copeland Show” and that the article was neither “professional” nor “objective”.
The theologian also accused the author of having a “charismatic bent”.
TARQUIS: “STEP DOWN FROM IDEOLOGICAL IVORY TOWERS”
Evangelical Focus’ Editorial Board considers Phil Johnson’s opinions as “disproportionate”.
Pedro Tarquis, the Director of Evangelical Focus, thought the article was “rigorous and adequate”. “If anything characterizes us at Protestante Digital (after twelve years of work) and Evangelical Focus, it is seriousness and journalistic rigour. In this case, the incident concerning the self-proclaimed prophet is public information, of general interest and based upon a video which we also attached to the article”.
“There is no theological inclination in the news article nor in our websites. Both websites respond to a broad theological plurality, but always based on the centrality of the Bible. Evangelical Focus and Protestante Digital are under the umbrella of the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (which is more than 130 years old - and a member of the European Evangelical Alliance and The World Evangelical Alliance). This identity is far away from the caricature that Johnson used to define our website.”
“Our rigour always includes the right to reply and clarify, even when this clarification is made on social media without us having received any type of notification. In this sense, it is difficult to ask much more of a media outlet”.
“With regards to the accusation of ‘shoddy journalism’, I think that some Evangelicals get terms mixed up. It was news when a shoe was thrown at George Bush for what that event signified, even though the incident was anecdotal. In this case, it is news because of the debate surrounding MacArthur’s theology and what the incident means in a larger context”, continued Tarquis.
The Director of Evangelical Focus concluded: “I think that there is a pending duty for many Evangelicals to step down from ivory towers in order to step on the ground of day by day life, and do it with realism and simplicity”.