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Jason Harris

Jason loves to communicate God's word both in the local church and at conferences and retreats. Jason has been involved with Worship Music since 1996 and InFocus since 2005. Jason has degrees in theology, music, accounting, and research and is currently a PhD candidate and lecturer in the College of Business, Law, and Governance at James Cook University, Cairns. Jason is also a pastor at CrossPoint Church. You can contact Jason at jason@teaminfocus.com.au.

11 Comments

  1. avatar

    PJ

    Jason, thank you for this very generous reply. I appreciate your time and consideration. Your points are well made – this is the kind of mature and reasoned debate that we need.

    While there’s more I could say on the points you’ve put forward, but I’ll leave it to others to pick up the thread.

    Thanks again and more power to you and this site!

    Reply
  2. avatar

    Steve

    Interesting post Jason, you have obviously been thinking about these things for awhile.

    I think some self evaluation and critique is a good thing, and perhaps needs to be done more often. I take it this was your intention.

    I agree with some of the points you make, especially the former glory of the idependent baptist movement here in Australia. While that was before my time, with the benefit of hindsight and detachment, I will say that the failure of the movement in many places was solely due to a lack of focus on the word of God. There was no depth in the teaching/preaching and when adversity came, the churches withered away. This comes as no surprise, as this principle is seen time and time again in the Bible.

    I can only comment on the present state of the churches in our immediate vicinity here, and I am not as pessimistic as you are. I see young pastors who preach the word faithfully, who are building up their congregations not just in numbers (which can be deceptive) but in spiritual maturity. I see expositional preaching and thorough exegesis of the word of God the likes of which I have not seen before.
    Young men who love the word and who love God’s people.

    Issues like dress and bible translations are not even issues because the people are busy feeding on the word. That’s the way it should be.

    Sure there are still problems but God willing they will be solved using God’s wisdom, as found in His word.

    I really can’t comment on the state of churches in other areas but as long as there are people like you who are willing to take a good, hard, honest look at where the church is at, then things will be OK.

    Reply
  3. avatar

    Alen Basic

    2 posts by Jason in a single day? I must be dreaming! Thanks for the posts Jason, they’re as usual very thought provoking.

    Reply
  4. avatar

    TheOlderMen_1611KJVonly_NoPantsOnWomen

    The only “crisis” is in Jason’s mind. These rants are masterpieces of ignorance.

    To help confused readers, let me define some terms that Jason uses:

    “Young men”: Not young men, but individuals who have been influenced by writers such as Piper, and institutions such as BJU, and who have departed from fundamentalism. That is, people who Jason hangs out with.

    “Older men”: Not old men, but those who have remained steadfast to militant Biblical fundamentalism. That is, the people who Jason used to hang out with.

    “The truth”: Anything Jason Harris believes.

    Now, as to some of the points raised:

    The “decline” in fundamental education institutions and fellowships, and the “explosion” of “conservative” (now THERE’S a relative term) evangelical influence amongst the “young men”. If it is true, then what does it prove? Are we saying that popularity equates to God’s blessing? Should we reprove Paul for the “decline” in his popularity? (2 Timothy 4:16). If anything, we should be wary of those religious movements that “explode” into popularity, and the leaders of these movements who receive the adulation of the world (Luke 6:26). (See the reference to Time magazine.)

    With regards to the accusations of idolatry, the greatest idolatry I have seen is amongst the “young men” (1 Kings 12:10) who hang on every word of their “prophets” like Piper, White and MacArthur. (Note the name dropping in Jason’s rant.)

    With regards to dress standards, the argument that certain scenarios are “not addressed in Scripture” is the same one used by the CCM movement when justifying “christian rock”. “The Bible doesn’t specifically say that rock music is bad, so let’s use it,” they say. “But,” we reply, “there are principles regarding music in the Bible that show us what is godly and what is ungodly.” The same can be said for dress. There are principles throughout the Bible that demonstrate we can glorify God through our dress, and dishonour Him through it also. (Eg, you can recognise a harlot by simply looking at her attire (Proverbs 7:10)). The people I know don’t have a problem weaing their “Sunday best” to church, because they love the Lord and want to honour Him in every way, including in how they adorn their bodies.

    As for Texts/Translations, this one goes beyond ignorance to outright dishonesty. The book refered to: [REMOVED FOR VIOLATION OF RULES], is available online through the [REMOVED] website. Jason’s assertion that “almost the whole of the book is spent addressing comparative differences in translation rather than addressing the textual variants or grammatical issues that underly those differing translations” is plainly false. I would encourage readers to download the pdf of the book and see for themselves that [REMOVED] does indeed make comparisons between the KJV and the NIV, but explains the background of many of these variations with reference to textual evidence. The fact is that numerous chapters in the book deal in detail with manuscript evidence and related issues. To say, as Jason did, that the book relies on readers’ ignorance and does not adrdress issues such as “underlying textual variants, grammar/syntax issues, etc” really relies more on Jason’s readers’ ignorance than anyone’s.

    There are many scholarly works that provide the arguments Jason is pining for. See books by Dean John Burgon, David Otis Fuller, Thomas Holland, Sam Gipp, Donald Waite, David Cloud, William Grady, etc. Jason says, “My concern is that the arguments that are given are not valid.” No, his concern is that these men reject the textual criticism that he embraces.

    It is a tragedy to see anyone who once stood for the truth, become beguiled by error, and then seek to tear down those he once stood with, but the more I read of Jason, the more I support his blacklisting among the independent baptist churches of Australia. (Romans 16:17-18).

    The Older Men (Jeremiah 6:16)

    Reply
  5. avatar

    Jason Harris

    @Steve,

    Much is left up to perception I suppose. If good things are happening in your corner of the country, I’m thankful to hear it.

    @TheOlderMen_1611KJVonly_NoPantsOnWomen,

    Thanks for the comment, though it does seem a bit jaundiced. I could be forgiven for feeling that there was a personal edge to your comments. Since I don’t know who you are, I can’t really address that with you privately. Perhaps you could drop me an email if there are personal offences to be addressed. Otherwise, if you feel you need to publicly call for my “blacklisting,” I feel it would be honourable to do so under your real name rather than anonymously.

    As far as young/old men, I don’t mean to imply that age is the sole, or even the primary delineation in this issue. For instance, last week I gave several older men as examples of “Young Fundamentalists.” This isn’t about age primarily, but it does tend to be the younger generation that is sorting through these issues at this time.

    Your warning about explosive movements is well taken. The #1 response to that TIME article by the “new Calvinists” was fear that it would make Calvinism popular. They argued that the previous persecution was much better for them.

    I agree with you that all of our hearts are idol factories and we can idolise Piper, White, and MacArthur just as well as others idolise Hyles, Chappell, and Jones. That said, you will note that my “name dropping” was a question of fact. I gave no personal evaluation of these men.

    Again, I completely agree with you that we have principles by which to make our dress decisions. It’s just that your logic is invalid. Pants do not necessarily equal immodest (there are plenty of situations in which pants are inarguably more modest than dresses). Sunday best does not necessarily equal appropriate for Sunday (Can you afford a tux? Do you wear one?). It’s just bad logic. I believe we should “carefully exegete both the Scriptures and the culture and seek to apply the former to the latter in order to reach a geoculturally contemporary expression of Christianity.”

    I have indeed considered the writings of the men you mention. Some of it puts forward reasonable arguments that should be considered. Much of it is self-published rubbish. I’d be happy to discuss these books in more depth and even do a public debate provided that you are willing to read books of the opposite persuasion and carry your side of the argument (and of course do so under your real name).

    Grace to you.

    Reply
  6. avatar

    Al Garlando

    As one who has been previously “black listed” it still amazes me that anyone who asks honest questions with a view to genuinely “contend for the faith” is greeted with the same response.

    How on earth matters of education institutions, clothing etc constitute an offense contrary to the doctrine of the gospel (which is THE matter under discussion in Romans) is completely beyond me.

    Cowardly pot shots are not characteristic of the so-called “old men … who have remained steadfast to militant Biblical fundamentalism” in years past – so why would someone hiding behind an alias pretend to align themselves that way? IF you have legitimate feedback why not discuss and debate it openly? As a contemporary of King James once said, “truth will out”. Surely debate and discussion is a healthy thing, not to be feared or “black listed”?

    Reply
  7. avatar

    PJ

    “Answering Questions on the Current Crisis” is Jason’s reply to concerns I raised about his original post on the crisis in fundamentalism. I believe Jason gave my concerns fair consideration and was highly respectful in answering them.

    While I disagree with Jason on some points I believe the comments posted by ‘TheOlderMen_1611KJVonly_NoPantsOnWomen’ have significantly lowered the tone of the debate and are contrary to the spirit of exchange this site endeavours to maintain. Personal attack is the lowest form of argument and they are symptomatic of exactly the problems with fundamentalism that Jason raised.

    Reply
  8. avatar

    cecil

    Jason, I fondly recall several of the discussions we had together in Greenville. I rejoice that you are still passionately pursuing truth and charitably communicating it with others. Praying for you.

    Reply
  9. avatar

    Jason Harris

    @Cecil,

    I rejoice often in the fellowship we had that year and pray for you as I do.

    Reply
  10. avatar

    Steve

    Just wanted to make a comment re. dress standards in churches. It is difficult, if not impossible to see matters like dress standards outside of the context of culture and tradition. What is acceptable in our culture is not acceptable in another culture. Examples abound as to this point.
    What I’m saying is that in these issues that the Bible does not address in much detail (eg modesty), it is left to us to make the decisions based on our own cultural norms and standards or traditions, as well as other factors like the weaker brethren principle, wisdom, etc.

    What do you think?

    Reply
  11. avatar

    Jason Harris

    @Steve,

    Yes. Absolutely. And unfortunately what I think we’re seeing happen is that we’re applying Scripture to the culture of Fundamentalism instead of the culture we actually live in. This tends to perpetuate Fundamentalist culture instead of adapting to whatever culture it actually exists in.

    The application of biblical principles should look different in different places… Europe vs Australia, city vs country, warm climate vs cold climate, etc.

    If it just looks the same as it does when it’s applied on the campus of [insert favourite Fundamentalist college/church], then we’re probably confusing Scripture with culture.

    Reply

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