JOHN MacARTHUR: MANDATED BY GOD

by Steve Ray on August 25, 2005

JOHN MacARTHUR NEEDS TO TALK WITH ROSALIND MOSS

Before she became a Catholic, staff apologist Rosalind Moss used to be a member of John MacArthur's congregation, Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California. He runs a ministry called Grace to You. Its motto is "Unleashing God's Truth One Verse at a Time." The unleashing is done chiefly through a widely-syndicated radio program.

In a June letter to his ministry's supporters, MacArthur wrote about John Paul II and the "amazing release of emotion" that accompanied his death. "From politicians and media pundits to Hollywood celebrities and everyday citizens, everyone had praise for John Paul II, his gentle ways and his social and political achievements as a world leader and statesman. I can understand that.

"What I cannot understand," continued MacArthur, "is the response of some Evangelicals to what matters most about the pope: his beliefs about God and the gospel. … Influential leaders embraced the deceased pope as a brother in Christ and the Catholic church as just another Christian denomination. …

"During the Reformation, countless men and women died rather than deny the biblical truths of salvation. Countless others today are giving their lives as missionaries to people lost in the darkness and guilt of Catholicism."

MacArthur goes on to write about the "damning error" that is Catholicism and notes that he has released a new 90-minute lecture called "Unmasking the Pope and the Catholic System." He says that "the church I pastor is loaded with people who were saved out of the Catholic church. … A longtime Grace to You board member and dear friend of mine is a former Catholic. He speaks with great emotion about the bondage he and his wife lived under."

How many times have we heard these claims before? "The Catholic Church is not really Christian." "Catholics believe you 'earn' your salvation through good works." "Catholicism is based on guilt, not truth." "People are in 'bondage' to Catholicism–and we need to save them."

Each Sunday 7,000 people attend MacArthur's church. This is what he tells them about an institution that was around for nineteen centuries before he was born and that is now headed by a man who shows not a hint of MacArthur's arrogance.

It is MacArthur who claims a divine commission: "I do have a mandate from God to compare what others teach to the gospel of the Bible." He says, "'Does the pope teach the gospel?' is a valid question."

Rosalind Moss left John MacArthur's church because she realized that, yes, the pope really does teach the gospel–and that John MacArthur does not.

The Grace to You ministry's letterhead has this slogan at the bottom: "The Bible Teaching of John MacArthur." Benedict XVI is more modest in his claims. His letterhead does not have at the bottom "The Bible Teaching of Benedict XVI" because the Pope is not trying to push his own agenda.

Instead, he is the custodian of what has been passed down through the centuries. His job is not to refashion the Bible in his own image but to convey to us what each of his predecessors conveyed to the people of their time.

Grace to You is built around one man. It may have many employees, but when John MacArthur dies, his ministry will die. His flock will scatter, taking with them the silly prejudices he has imbued them with.

When Benedict XVI dies there will be another pope to succeed him, and another, and another, until the end of time. Each of them will demonstrate to those with open minds and hearts that, yes, the pope does teach the gospel.

Karl Keating E-Letter, August 23, 2005. To subscribe to Karl's E-Letter, click here.

(Steve once wrote a letter to MacArthur challenging him for his anti-catholic attititude. The letter was addressed to John Ankerburg because of a book he wrote and I sent it to MacArthur as well since he wrote a foreword for the book.)

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Daniel April 24, 2009 at 10:46 AM

I came across your article here regarding John’s sermon series against the Papacy. I don’t know which series you are referencing because he has a few, but nevertheless we’re thinking of the same man and of the same substance. I just finished listening to them myself and i found them very dead on historically. I love history, i study it almost daily, i love looking at the lives of men and women who have come before us and have left a spiritual legacy for us to emulate and some who have left a devastating legacy, not worth emulating.

I believe that before you dismiss John on the basis of your emotional attachments with a system you need to be able to ‘destroy’ his arguments.You can’t simply dismiss him and his arguments based on such weak statements of observation mingled with emotions. I’m not trying to pick a fight with you at all but i love debates and digging for the truth so please keep that in mind.

What you cannot deny is the facts that he has presented, regarding Mary veneration, relics, works-faith salvation system, an ‘illegitimate’ priesthood and the whole doctrine on Transubstantiation. He presents very solid and convincing arguments against such teachings, using Scriptures. It would be a good use of your time to see whether what the Bible states regarding these issues is in tune with what the RCC has and is teaching.

Based on the fact and real realization that the RCC is in direct contradiction with certain Biblical teachings, it is your responsibility to get to the bottom of why they are so. John has quoted Bible verses galore. You simply cannot dismiss them without further investigation.

STEVE RAY HERE: Just read your comments on my blog which I don’t have time right now to respond to in detail. However, I know John quite well and know his theology even better because I used to be one of him — an anti-Catholic Evangelist who spent time trying to convert Catholics. But, alas, I studied too much :-) I am now a Catholic. It has nothing to do with emotional attachment since my only emotion toward Catholicism was disdain! Over time, after listening to the anti-Catholic bigotry of men like John, I read my way into the Catholic Church with little or no emotion. It was the Bible and history that convinced me. You may want to read my book Crossing the Tiber which documents some of my findings and my reasoning. I dare say you wouldn’t be quite so quick to write and criticize if you read this book and my others.

In Rome now teaching an intensive week-long course on Apologetics at the Regina Apostolorum University.

ssj March 11, 2014 at 1:35 AM

Once upon a time John Mcaurthur said the “Blood” of Christ counts for nothing, but it is the death of Christ that all but matters. before you put so much faith in the Gospel according to JMA, know the facts; the actual facts. Having once spent Many years as an evangelical I am happy to saythe Lord led me into His one True and Apostolic Church!

ssj March 11, 2014 at 1:38 AM

Oh .. PS I too was once extremely anticatholic … mayGod forgive me … (as with Saul / Paul) .. we should be very careful of that which we fight against .. it just may be God!

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