So that happened, when during the discussion of John's Gospel during today's Bible study on GCC Zoom, I was able to ascertain more of the pastor, though not as successful as I would have liked, through series of questioning.
Unless there was misunderstanding, which could very likely be the cause, when I asked about the Eastern Orthodox's take on filioque, I was expecting answers that's describe the faults in the Eastern church for holding a belief against filioque. Perhaps, one would say that the Eastern church is the reason why the their members do not engage in being salt and light of the world, because the Son does not send the Spirit, therefore the Spirit's work is not related to the Son's as much as the Catholics would have it. This is highly speculative for now, because I haven't had the chance to look deeper in the Orthodox church.
Next I alluded to the curiosity on how John would remember chapter 14-16 at an old age, to which the pastor insinuating that I ignored the work of the Holy Spirit, that I was thinking of this only like a man. But though I did not rebut properly, leading of the rail with my question about cessationism vs. continuationism, which I also didn't get a clear answer from him (or rather the answer was too simple - healing of God vs. putting on hands to heal?!?), but I should have asked if we were able to learn about the different characters among the apostles. Surely they are not drones, built to function equally, which is what the pastor's answer kind of imply: That they all remembered the Lord's words, they wrote differently because God instructed them to write differently. This is a rather shallow conclusion, it is an understatement, unless they are clones of the exact same copies.
The shallowness is what I always stumble across with these bunch. They view evangelism as just simply a broadcasting ministry. The rest is relational evangelism: friends and families. Where is the labor, where is the cry? There is none. From play safe technique several generations before until now, it becomes a conviction of their faith. As of anyone opposes them must be in the wrong: ie. that they accuse their opponents of viewing evangelism as harvesting the number of converts. I don't understand why they couldn't see or admit the refusal of these two extremes (about the numbers vs. doing evangelism with indifference) and could conclude to only doing a relational evangelism. Sure Jesus didn't convert everyone he spoke to. I would say so what, the great commission is never about the number of converts.
But if he were to say that we do not judge others' characters, such as that of the apostles, I would say this nonchalant attitude never truly work and results only in hypocrisy: We do have to judge who is our spouse to be. We do have to judge who is the right candidate for presidency, and there's nothing wrong doing so. I fear that I may get rejection for him and the likes of the pastor who would defend themselves by saying somehow God is still the only judge. Where is the blessing of the ability to judge that God has put in His creaturely man? As if they've denied this as a gift. Such is the shallowness of the fundamentalists.
Last but not least, I notice it's always the assumption of the pastor and the likes that everyone asks questions because they want to learn from him. Which begs the question that kept ringing in my mind since Pak Tong first asked it: Could someone knows more than his pastor? And if so, by what right the pastor pastors over him? Now I can guess many's answers are probably in the vicinity of: By ordination, by certification. And perhaps the worst answer would be: If that person knows better than the pastor, why is he not becoming a pastor himself or going out to be missionary? Why is he staying as a lay person? As if it's wrong to do so. I believe Rev. Lin made this mistake as well. So if I hear such principle, I need to strongly rebuke it: "I don't believe that's biblical - just because one knows more, sure more is required, but that doesn't mean he cannot remain a lay person". It's shallow, and again, not biblical. I had finally gotten the answer to Pak Tong's question which I have answered elsewhere in this diary: hint: love my sheep!
I think next time I would probably seek the opportunity to insist that I am skeptical, very skeptical to a point of denying that when pastors (including the ones at GCC) move away, quit, etc. it is the holy spirit's guidance. I say nay, it's more like because they are just the hirelings mentioned in John 10. Hirelings do not care about the sheep. Maybe have a one on one talk with this pastor, about evangelism, about our theological differences, minor enough to encourage my love for the pastor. Even if we may have to agree to disagree from time to time, but at least we grow close relationship-wise. Despite my critique of Pastor Chris, he's still standing out as better than the other older, more famous, experienced ones. He struck me as someone shimmering between fundamentalists (maybe his uncle?) and reformed.
Now touching the Holy Spirit, while these fundamentalists or the American reformed love to maintain a neutral stand when confronted with some wacko saying "The Lord / The Holy Spirit spoke to me - that the Lord is coming on 2055 July 3rd", I would gladly, boldly, immediately proclaim: I swear by the Lord, as long as your God lives, Lord Jesus will not come on 2055 July 3rd!!! This is my theology on the Holy Spirit as opposed to them, as they respond: Oh...Timothy...you shouldn't...how would you know if theirs is not from the Holy Spirit.