Lass o' the Glen
mhbm -- It's been my experience that attempts to dissuade MacArthur followers from believing the false teaching only causes them to hang on tighter to it. They are convinced that they alone possess God's truth, and that anyone who doesn't believe as they do is a false Christian. I myself was very stubborn in this regard, to which my family and friends can attest. If your daughter likes to research things, you might ask her to look into MacArthur's close association with C.J. Mahaney in light of the pending SGM sex abuse lawsuit. You could also ask her about MacArthur's inviting Douglas Wilson, a self-described paleo-Confederate and Federal Vision theology apologist, to speak at The Master's College Creation Symposium this Saturday. The Holy Spirit used my own investigations into these and other MacArthur associations to open my eyes and help me break free.
Mnbm, I would tend to agree with LOTG, his close association to CJ Mahaney is hypocrisy in the highest, as Mahaney has covered up for so many sexual preverts in his organization, the real kicker is that John Macarthur Does Not believe in spiritual gifts and condemns those that do as -Deluded, or Demon possessed, in his book Charismatic Chaos.
So why does CJ Mahaney get a pass?
There is no answer for this extreme hypocrisy.
I tend to give people unbiased information about the false belief system or destructive church groups so they can make an informed decision, not based on my own opinion.
Scientology is a secular humanistic cult, so it really is not a good comparision, nor can plumbing the depths of that kooky group be helpful to convince your daughter of its similarities to JM.
Links to follow about CJ Mahaney and Chrismatic Chaos quotes to follow.
Just a few notes here...
Charismatic Chaos, as well as the Creation symposium, and all other comparitive religion debates are all ways to slip "Lordship Salvation" in to those who have not yet accepted it. For instance, many people have relatives that join a charismatic church and are concerned whether or not this is true Christianity, so they will go to a Christian bookstore and pick up a copy. After reading the book it convinces them how intelligent MacArthur is and is a good intro to convince them to purchase "Faith Works," "The Gospel According to Jesus," and "Biblical Counseling." These books will introduce them to the Lordship movement and get them into a church that teaches this, possibly even getting them into the college or counseling program. Also, comparitive religion helps convince them that all other Christianity is slipping deeper and deeper away from the truths of Lordship Salvation.
When I was in the hot button at the time was infant baptism, and MacArthur went in and debated RC Sproul on the subject, and I believe the ECT movement was also debated at the time.
Scientology is actually a good comparison to this group as they are both counseling cults, the difference being GCC hides behind a veneer of Christianity. The proof is in this link:http://www.nytimes.com/1985/05/20/us/church-sued-over-a-suicide-says-it-will-change-training.html
After my psychiatrist told me that MacArthur took much of his doctrine from L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology I decided to do some research with both anti and pro Scientology websites, here's what I found compared to what I went through during my time in Lordship Salvation:
When I entered counseling at GCC I had to sign a contract saying the church would not be sued if I were injured or committed suicide while in their care. Scientology critics call this document the "Lisa clause." At times my counselor would expect me to confess sins to him, looking for things from my life for me to confess. When I had nothing my counselor and the witness (usually a Wow Staff member, the elite Lordship believers at the college) would occasionally become aggressive, yelling at me until I came up with something. Scientology critics say Scientology calls this practice a "sec check."
If you did not top your last progress or committed the same sin two counseling sessions in a row it was known as "stumbling." Stumbling three times meant you were to be shunned or "treated as a pagan or a tax collector." The shunning did not end until you showed your counselor enough improvement. The same treatment was given to any who disagreed with Lordship Salvation, meaning if any friends or family disagreed you were to break off ties until they accepted the doctrine. Scientology critics say this is called "disconnection" in Scientology speak.
Seeing a psychiatrist is prohibited, since MacArthur believes they are evolutionists and are trying to infiltrate the church. In fact, one article on the GCC site says accepting the word of a psychiatrist is the equivalent to adding to Scripture. The belief is that all mental illness and life problems are caused by unconfessed sin in your life. By going through the counseling you are supposed to be able to be cured of these problems. The Kenneth Nally lawsuit mentioned above was because Nally was told his problems were caused by sin and could be cured by Nouthetic Counseling. This is a gray area in the United States because if MacArthur & Co. would have lost it would interfere with freedom of religion, which is valued in the US. If you look at a similar lawsuit for Lisa MacPherson that Scientology had (which I believe was in the mid-90s) the court ruled in favor of the church for the same reason. If you are ill you have every right to refuse treatment and depend on religion solely to be healed, and if any court rules against that they are interfering with your freedom of religion. So, while GCC should have been held liable for malpractice in this case, courts cannot rule when religion is involved. GCC told the NY Times it would change its practices, but when I got into the cult a decade later they were still practicing the same counseling, only making you sign a waiver beforehand.
All of these practices bear a striking resemblance to Scientology, and since this cult was founded much later it appears many of the practices were copied and adapted for a "Christian" perspective. (and no, despite what the museum propaganda said, they weren't founded in 1927) Also, in my opinion, Scientology is more honest because they flat out tell you on their website how your life will be if you join. If I would have known how GCC/Masters was I would never have joined. I think prospective students should be given a packet, maybe even a copy of "Faith Works," and told all of the practices at GCC that are peculiar compared to the rest of Christianity.
So, considering all of this, I don't understand how Scientology is not a good comparison. I think in terms of the commitment involved Jehovah's Witness may be a good comparison as well, since the believer is expected to do so much work for the group as well. (See "Character of Genuine Saving Faith" in the back of the MacArthur Study Bible.)