Re: Ex members of John MacArthur's church
Date: January 22, 2013 01:23PM
Dear GTW and Mark:
Your comments are so right on and appreciate both of you and your concern about MacArthurizm:
I have to go through both of your comments so we can work together regarding, JM, Calvinism, Neothetic Counseling and the whole of how they have hurt so many people. First let me say this. In each of these they take the word of God and the work of the Holy Spirit and twist everything to fit their doctrines and their dictorial attitude. And I agree having been a member of Grace for so many years seen how the scriptures have completely been taken out of context.
GTW, you are right about doctrine. But I think it is more than doctrine. It is attitude, it is a lack of trust in the Holy Spirit, it is a lack of compassion on people's lives, people's hurts and people's individuality. There was a time in my life even at Grace that I went through conflicts in my life. I was afraid to go to any counselor there because I was afraid they would throw, SIN, SIN, SIN. So I would just go to the mountains and spend an hour or two talking to the Lord. I really felt at peace, but the next time I attended the church, it started all over again. When my wife and I moved to Washington state, we got the same thing. It got so bad that decided I was just going to let the Word of God teach me. Having been to Bible school, I learned principles how to study the Bible, how to keep context, how to relate one first to another and how to ask questions, not just about lverse relationships but about how to take scriptures personally and like I like to call it, take ownership of the Word in your inner being. I began with the gospel of John because I wanted to know Christ intimately in my life. If I was going to beable to deal with all the stress and frustration of the church, I needed to let the Spirit teach me. I was really reward. First, I understand that I had to put myself as a disciple of Jesus as the disciples. They had a mind that could learn, so I had a mind that could learn as long as I kept scripture in the same context that Jesus was teach them. Let me share with both of you a few verses and these are just a few.
In John 3:17 it says For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world but the world through Him might be saved. What that means is even as much as we have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, Christ came to redeem us from the curse of the law, not to make us guilty of the law. Remember Romans 8:1, There is now no comdemnation to those who are in Christ. God I do not believe looks at us through sin, but through the righteousness of Christ. That is why He paid the price for sin. I do not believe that if you are in Christ you deal with sin. My mind was so focused on sin because that is what Calvinism, Reformed Theology and JM says that you have no mind to focus on Christ. I decided I needed to focus on being saved, acknowledging my sinful by mourning and being broken that I have suppressed the truth of the Spirit in my inner man, and then focus on who I am in Christ. I am loved by Him, I am a partaker of His divine nature, I am owned by the Spirit to let Him live out His life in me, I am hidden with Christ in God, I am buried with HIm in baptism that I may be raised with Him in righteousness. That helped me look not at sin but who I was in Him.
Shortly after this, I left this church. It wasn't easy, because they started tell me how much they loved me. They even bought a new car for my life and I. I said "no thank you" They called me ungrateful and not willing to submit to the authority of elders. That was OK with me, becauise to me, I was going to focus on Christ and not allow them to put that Calvinistic guilt trip on me. I got so made that I told them to shut up and get out. I never had been that bold in my lifel. But it was God's word helping me see who I was in him so I could discern their attempt to bait me and hook me back to them. That helped me when I went back to Grace. When we finally left JM attempted to lure me with "I love you" Hogwash. I loves himself, he loves what he is in the pulpit so he can dominate. I wrote him a letter to tell him that his ministry was so full of the earrth and not of the Spirit. He wrote back and called me hostile and argumentive. I guess I was both according to his philosophy and his rules. But between me and the Lord, it sure felt good because after 20 years I finally stood up to this man. But I had to have confidence with the scripture and the Spirit. I could not allow these situations to let my mind deal with sin which I did not have to because there is not condemnation. Let me ask you guys a question. If there is sin in a person born of the Spirit, then how can the Spirit be in that person. Sin an righteousness are opposites. So if we are in Christ and His righteousness sin is not and issue with us. Righh? That is why Christ was made sin for us.
Calvin believed in Total Depravity. I do not think that is true. We have a soul. We were made in the image of God's likeness. While the fall made us sinners, the soul still exists in us. Psalm 139 says that we cannot hide for the Spirit of God. It is always in us even thougjh we fall short of God's glory. I don't believe that sin involves acts of sin like JM teaches or like neuithetic counseling teaches. Falling short of God's glory is the issue and that is why we need redemption that we might live in His glory and glorify Him in Christ. That is what John 17 talks about. Us being one in the Father, the Son being one in us, we being heirs of God and joint-heirs of Christ. I don't know about you but if Total Depravity is true, then all of us would be damned. But who wants to listen to Reformed Theology that will make a depressed person feel guilty? Christ died for the ungod. I was ungodly once, but I am no more depravited because of Christ in me the hope of glory. I would much rather live in the Spirit, than have to deal with Calvinism or JM or neuthetic counseling.
Now, I think we all have a right to be angry. Why? Because the word of truth has been suppressed by men who have a form of godliness but deny the power because like you said GTW, there is no Holy Spirit and if there is no Holy Spirit, they have commited the only sin that is not forgiveable, blasphemy of the Spirit. They are under greater condemnation than they tell us we are under. I think we need to like your friends know how much they are loved by Christ and help them see the grace of God in the midst of their hurt.
Mark, I can't believe that they would do that to your friend with bi-polar and yet that is what Reformed Theology does. It makes you the guilty party because they want to control with earrthly wisdom of the Bible to make you think they are so holy and righteousness. And in the case of JM it is doubled. In the twenty years I was at grace I never heard him talk about a sin he said committed or any brokenness in his life and yet he will condemn others, even national figures that they are unsaved and they need repentance right in the middle of 4000 people. How can national figures help a person in the congregation in their spiritual life? To me that comes from a nationally known Bible figure that is unregenerated.
Let me tell you both that I just wrote this man a letter to respect to a couple of lthings he told me. First he didn't understand where I was coming from, referring to my arguments on what was going on at Grace. I am him my testimony on how God was working in my life. Then he told me a had to stop venting, in others being frustrated. Let me ask you, would you be frustrated if you went to a chuch for 20 years thinking you were getting truth and helping so many kids in AWANA to point them to Christ, then finding out that the guy is a jerk and probably not even of the Spirit. That is heartbreaking for me especially when I know him an I have worked with his children in the past. Let me give couple of things I wrote in this letter: He almost demanded that I get before the Lord and get right with God. I told him I am in the word every day, which I am. I go before the Lord and search my heart out before Him and ask HIm to teach me truths that will help me know Him better. In his letter to me he said, "I don't know where you are coming from." I told him that I embrace truth, I embrace Christ, I embrace what I am as a living member of the church in my soul, I embrace all that I am in the Spirit of Truth. That brings me inexpressible joy that the mind that focuses on doctrines of this world cannot not know and therefore you cannot understand me or wherte I am going. In other place I told him that that I didn't think that he was teaching of the Spirit in fact I doubted that he even had the Spirit in him.
Reformed Theology teaches doctrine even as wrong as it is, but Reformed Tehology leaves out a personal relationship with God and they leave out the Holy Spirit completely.
Now, about the question regarding the mansion. I haven't been to the new house, but I was at the old house. It was quite large. The thing is, when I was at that house his ministry was still small and he was much more person oriented. He loves baseball, football and basketball. In fact he had a tryout with the Washinngton Redskins. I remember going to a retreat and he was the guess speaker. He spent the whole afternoon with me getting to know me. That met a lot to me. But that has all changed. He and I are only two months apart in age. I have seen this man change from a reasonably speaking fair human being to a dictator worse than the pope. When the Master;s College came into play, that changed the whole structure of the church. The church would send him around the world. NOw I understand there is even an academy in John's honor in one countryl. It is spreading so fast and your right Mark, it is time to do something about it. People are getting tripped into this. It isn't just Grace but so many others you come to the shepherd's conference learn then take MacArthurism to their church. I saw on the internet by one who says it is like a one-world church. That is scary for me since I know so many people who still go there but have no idea what is going on because the staff feelings they have to 'PROTECT THEIR FLOCK" I can tell you this about John's finances. He makes mega bucks. Every time a book is sold he get royalties. Every time Grace to You is broadcasted he gets royalties. The guy is loaded. Do you think lhe is going to give all of that up and his reputation by repenting of sin he doesn't think he has? No way. That tells me he has no conscious mind toward the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ who was rich went into poverty for us. Paul says when he was a Pharisee of Pharisee, and found blameless, he gave up everyrthing to know Christ and be found in Him. We considered it as rubbish. But MacArthur wouln't do this. He has an empire. People idolize him. They want to be a part of what he is doing. Boy, they blinded. Again I haven't to his current residence but I can tell you that it is in a high-rent districrt.
As far as JohnnyMac's using commentaries and copying them. I don't know that he does that. He is very opinionated so that we says in his commentaries and books are very well his own views and remember he has several that edit them so they are going to be very careful about what he writes. I can tell you that except for a few instances all that you hear from GTY are what he has taught from the pulpit.
Next, anything that I can do to help expose this most dangerous theology church and man I will be happy to help out.
Also, GTW, you asked about his belief about the cross. He does belief that Jesus died on the cross. He does believe that Christ's death paid the penalty fior sin, The problem is. It is a theology, not something he has really taken personally for himself. Like he said, "I never knew a time I wasn't saved. I always have known Jesus." RED FLAGS.
Let me give a little bit of testimony. I have actually so called a Christian since 1963, I have been to Bible school for about five years, but never got a degree. That's OK because if you rightly divide the word of truth and you allow the Spirit to work in your life, then what is the difference between me and a man you has a degree? I'll tell you. Wisdom from the wolrld of other Bible scholars and a man allowing the Christ of Christ to give spiritual wisdom from above through the Spirit. I would say my 1963 experience did not make me a Christian. In fact I really don't like using that term or the term believers because that is a loosely used term in churches. I like the term born of the Spirit from John 3 because that is what my life is about. If I sound new, it is because I am excited about what I am in Christ, I am excited about us sharing this with each other, and I am excited to find people like me who want to expose this cult in the name of the truth of the pure gospel and not the gospel according to MacArthur.
I've said a lot here, but I want you to know, we need others. And second, my life is Christ and him crucified. I am crucified with Christ and I live because Christ in me. He is my life and He is my joy.
You guys are a light and fresh air for me and I appreciate you both in Christ. I mean that with all my heart.