I have a few John MacArthur books on my shelf. Truth is truth wherever you find it, and sometimes MacArthur speaks the truth. Sometimes. Here lately, he’s been spewing a bunch of unholy chunks of bunk. I stopped by his website to see what he’s been up to lately, and it turns out that for the last two weeks he’s been picking Rob Bell apart. (I’m not surprised.) But this makes me very happy. Let me explain.
In the early days of the Reformation, the Roman Catholic Church was in such a tizzy over the idea that the masses of stupid sheep were being mislead by Martin Luther’s heresy (that is, we are saved by grace through faith that is not of ourselves, it is God’s gift) that they concentrated their efforts on reeducating people in the same-old-same-old-church-has-got-you-by-the-balls junk, comparing their doctrines to Luther’s in an attempt to show how right they were and how wrong Luther was. Only, it had the opposite effect. People would read the Roman Catholic propaganda and see Luther’s quotes and ideas and think, “Well that makes sense. I wonder if the Bible really says what Luther says it says.” And then they would go and do their homework and find out that the church has been misinterpreting the scriptures, covering up the truth, persecuting those who speak the truth, etc. The more the Roman Catholic Church fought against the Reformation, the more they inadvertently helped the cause. Well, I’d love to do a point by point analysis of MacArthur’s material – maybe I will someday. But for now, I just want to say how disappointed I am that so many people don’t check up on what MacArthur teaches to make sure what he says is true. He has definitely been off base on his teachings in the past two weeks. For an example of just how far out there his (and a good portion of all evangelical Christian) teachings are sometimes, I’ve posted a vid that one of my MacArthian Facebook friends posted the other day. In order to make sense of the rest of this blog, you will need to watch the vid. For a good ironic belly laugh, keep in mind that MacArthur’s ministry is called “Grace to You.” Apparently that “you” is an exclusive group of chosen people, according to MacArthur, and for the rest, it is “Eternal Torment to You.”
MacArthur’s ideas are as follows:
1. “Jesus died for somebody”
Does MacArthur not know “the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us ALL”?
2. “Jesus died specifically for those who would believe in Him”
Does MacArther not understand that “He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world”?
3. “If He gets glory from judgment the way He gets glory from salvation, who are we to question that?”
MacArthur is really saying that by tormenting your Grandma or your best friend in Hell forever, God is getting glory. How can this possibly be true?
4. “If you say that He paid in full the penalty for all the sins of all the world then what is anybody doing in Hell?”
This shows me that MacArthur thinks God torments people forever because they need to pay the penalty for their sin. This also demonstrates to me that MacArthur must believe that Jesus did not pay the penalty for all the sins of whole world. Yet, anyone who argues with this can be accused by MacArthians of “diminishing the nature of atonement” as MacArthur says in this video.
5. When MacArthur is asked if believers who witness to those who I call “not-yet-believers” should bring up the idea of LIMITED atonement, he replies, “We have to be careful of what we say…”
Kudos to McArthur for at least being humble enough to acknowledge the tension with his awful doctrine, and he is “happy to concede that God can resolve things [MacArthur] can’t.”
McArthur says the resolution to this dilemma is “only in the mind of God” but he is wrong. The resolution is in His people as well. Unfortunately, the institution of church shuns and ostracizes those who try to explain this resolution to others.