Re: Ex members of John MacArthur's church
Posted by: isitacult? ()
Date: October 24, 2009 07:44AM

To the person who has sent me a PM-

I must have 10 posts before I can respond to a PM. Thank you for your patience. I should be able to respond to you after my next comment.

Re: Ex members of John MacArthur's church
Posted by: isitacult? ()
Date: October 25, 2009 12:33AM


OK. I think I understand your concerns on those issues better now. Thanks for the clarification.

If you don't mind, I'd like to go back to what you said here:

What I do know is the consistent attitudes and "fruit' of the many people over the years that attend there. I personally suffered as a pastor in a church where the elders had read MacArthur's false teaching on Lordship Salvation called "The Gospel according to Jesus" This teaching promotes modern day Phariseism where the people no longer recognize their fallen nature and sins and rationalize their destructive actions as holy. These MacArthurphiles would rationalize lying, backbitting, destructive gosip, and harsh critisism of others and call it a holy attempt to protect God's kingdom.

It is the fruit of MacArthur's teaching in the people he influences that really concerns me the most. I completely respect if you don't want to share anything that happened to you personally. But I wonder if you could elaborate on what you saw others do/become as a result of being influenced by MacArthur? You said the elders at the church where you were a pastor had read TGATJ. I take it that they demonstrated a change in attitude as a result of reading that book? (I have read it myself, the 1988 version. I understand there have been two more versions since then, one very recent.) What were they like prior to having read that book? Where were they doctrinally? Were they aware of Lordship Salvation before that? What effect did this change have in that congregation? Did they read other MacArthur books? Had they been MacArthurphiles before they read TGATJ, that you know of or was this particular book a turning point for them? Did others notice a negative change in them as well?

Re: Ex members of John MacArthur's church
Posted by: pastrpath2 ()
Date: October 25, 2009 08:30AM


Yes...the elders of the church had been under the influence of a graduate of the Master's college and read MacArthur's teachings for a long time before I got there. As a result - no one in leadership could admit to being a present tense sinner less they disqualified themselves as church leaders and part of the redeemed. The concept of saints that sin was foreign to them. So they would rationalize all they did as good, like throwing tantrums in elders meetings when they did not get their way, making other people the butt of their jokes, their wives and daughters were aloud to wear provocative clothing on the worship team, they routinely used character assassination of people that got in their way and politically polarized the people for and against each others. One elder would have weekly meetings with his cronies to trash talk about everyone in the church that did not live up to his standards for any reason. Another elder would teach Sunday school classes using MacArthur material usually focused on holiness.

To me, a big problem was a compete lack of compassion for sinners, either in or out of the church and thus no passion to evangelize because everything was predestined to be what it would be. They tended to be rude and standoffish to visitors because if God wants them saved then they will come back and ingratiate themselves to the church and "follow what the Lord was doing there". No outreach to the poor, because they must deserve what they are getting. In their minds they were saved because they "faithfully" came to church to do the Lord's will each week and had a conservative statement of faith. When I preached on sin in the church and that we can all fall into self-righteous pride they finally asked me to leave - because I had removed the joy of their "salvation." One of the elders is now attending an emergent congregation where there is no core doctrines or talk of sin only love. The other is still teaching at the church to a handful of people. This is Phariseeism - putting heavy burdens on others and not lifting a finger to help, oblivious to their own selfishness and sinfulness. They maintain their superior status by looking down on the spiritual condition of others that they determine are unworthy.

Re: Ex members of John MacArthur's church
Posted by: BraveHeart ()
Date: October 25, 2009 08:53AM

In reply to []
Dear “IsItACult?”
I have sent you two Private Messages and you have refused to respond.
You don’t sound like you have ever attended Grace Community Church or that you live in the area-state?

I am looking for testimonies from any ex members of the Grace Community Church in California pastored by John MacArthur. I would also like to hear from anyone who has visited the church or knows anyone who has gone there or goes there currently. What are/were your impressions?

I posted another comment in the former cult members forum as well.

I am interested in first hand accounts of what the church is like- the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Some specific questions I have are whether you felt you were in full control of your own thoughts and whether it was OK to disagree with any of the teaching there. I would also like to know if there seemed to be any kind of condescending attitude toward the congregation coming from the leadership. Did they seem to regard you as less spiritual/Godly if you were not in leadership? What was their attitude toward other churches that have a different governmental structure (i.e.- congregational)? Was there a spirit of elitism there?

Did the people there seem genuine or did they seem as though they were performing?

There are several other questions in my post on the other thread, if anyone would like to share their account.

If you would like to respond but don't feel comfortable doing so publicly, please reply by personal message.

Any help will be very much appreciated.

Thank you.
In other words you don’t have any first hand examples or testimony, your working simply off hearsay and innuendos.
It appears like you’re just digging for dirt here?
What’s the deal here?
Maybe you could give us readers a better understanding about your beliefs and your theological concerns.

Jesus teaches in Matthew 18:15-17 "If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that 'every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.' If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

Have you followed this instruction? it looks like that would be a big...NO

You said

"Some specific questions I have are whether you felt you were in full control of your own thoughts and whether it was OK to disagree with any of the teaching there.
I’m not up on John MacArthur I have never read one of his books, however I have listened to a few of his sermons and Bible teachings over the internet. So why are you appealing to person’s emotions asking "whether you felt you were in full control of your own thoughts" and not doctrine or specific teachings?
You said:

I would also like to know if there seemed to be any kind of condescending attitude toward the congregation coming from the leadership.
This is a leading line of questioning! This is not very honest journalism here and it sure would not be accepted in the court of law.

Did they seem to regard you as less spiritual/Godly if you were not in leadership?
Objection if I may: Your leading the line of questioning and stirring the pot or muddying the waters in your line of questioning.

What was their attitude toward other churches that have a different governmental structure (i.e.- congregational)?
Was there a spirit of elitism there?
I'm really having a hard time understanding your motives here...Are you condemning the people who attend Grace Community Church?

You say you have specific questions yet you are asking generalized and leading questions.
I’m going to call it like I see it you are coming off like a web troll or mole.

Maybe the problem you're having is the accepting that the Bible is the word of God...

I sent you a PM and you did not respond to me so what is the deal here?

What is your Background and what specifically makes you uncomfortable about the teachings from MacArthur?

A month passes by from your original post and suddenly this post shows up...
Dear Isitacult,
In my opinion their are many cult like aspects of Grace Community. My step daughter and son in law go there. They seem to be incouraged to judge everyone else's faith and theyconview to them they are not saved because they do not live Stepford wives kind of lives. Here are some other observations.
What do you mean here? Is this a TYPO? "they do not live Stepford wives kind of lives." or "They seem to be incouraged to judge everyone...."

1. Corrupt Leadership
a. Pope like devotion of His followers Wow I have not see this in the membership of Grace Community Church Could you give a specific example?
b. Can not be criticized Dude I find many examples of where John MacArthur has openly and publicly debated several topics even on live TV. So your comment “Can not be criticized” does not hold any water.
c. Writings treated as authoritative as Scripture Sir I have searched the internet and I have not found any examples or claims to support this statement.

2. Scripture Twisting and Redefinition of Biblical Terms
a. Faith is the power of transformation and not the Holy Spirit is the
power of transformation
b. Repentance is turning from sin to be worthy of salvation -
instead of recongition that you are helpless to save yourself and need a savior.
c. Salvation requires Lordship Submission – or works righteousness
d. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is not a literal infilling but an
assumption of a person’s faith.
dude I can’t find any remarks or teachings from MacArthur that support what you are saying here! Are you coming from a "Post modern...Word of Faith” position here? Because that would explain your strong disagreement or effort to slander MacArthur.

3. Doctrinal Deviation:
a. Lordship Salvation – Salvation by Works
b. Faith as a Substitute for the power of the Holy Spirit
c. Denies the reality of Holy Spirit experiences Again Your statements are generalized and not backed up with specific examples.

4. Elitism:
a. Promotes the attitude of “We are the only true Christians and our church is
the only true church. And we have the only true Man of God. I don’t get that...MacArthur is it willing to publicly debate. Dude I came out of a cult and the cult leader there will not be interviewed or publicly debate!
Have you first take your concerns to MacArthur first?

5. Control System – Public Shaming – Small Group Shepherding
6. A False priesthood mediating to the congregation - Pastor tell people the will of God instead of encouraging a personal relationship with Christ.
Since I sent you the second private message I have listened to 3 different sermons and again I do not see any of these examples coming out from his teachings.

If you have an ax to grind go sit down and start grinding. But if your just going to come here and make false accusations that you can not articulate the specific issue that you disagree with.... then your more the problem.

Re: Ex members of John MacArthur's church
Posted by: isitacult? ()
Date: October 26, 2009 02:40AM


I am glad you decided to post this publicly as that is where it belonged to begin with.

I will briefly respond to the part of your post that is addressed to me.

I have not "refused to respond to your PMs." When I first posted I did not know there was a 10 post minimum rule before one could send PMs. I learned about it from reading someone else's comment on another thread somewhere. I appologize for any confusion this may have caused. I take it that you did not know about that rule either even though you have been here long enough to post over 600 times. In any case, I have now reached 10 posts. This is my 11th. I am now free to send PMs as well as receive them. However, I am glad I no longer have to deal with you in private as I find your tone way too offensive to deal with without everyone being able to see what is going on.

I am here to gather information from people who have had first hand experience at Grace Community Church. I asked for the good, the bad and the ugly. I am open to all three kinds of testimonies. I have no intention of debating John MacArthur with you or anyone else here. Nor do I intend to justify my concerns to you beyond reposting for you here what I already posted on the other thread, with the parts most pertinent to your concern in bold:

I have observed for maybe the last 20 years or so some common outcomes of people who put themselves under MacArthur's teaching. Often they take on a sort of different personality, and the new one is not an improvement over the old one. It is decidedly fake, seeming to sort of generate an appearance of exaggerated, "plastic" righteousness, and talking like someone else was thinking their thoughts for them. And they inevitably say (because apparently they can't help themselves), "I was listening to MacArthur this week and he said..." or, "I was reading such and such book by MacArthur and he said..." I have seen this effect often enough to coin the term "MacArthurized" to describe it. If it is a relatively rare occurrence then it goes away. But the more exposure they have, the more established they get in this mindset and they become increasingly "plastic" and fakey and less like themselves. I don't know of any other Christian teacher that has this effect on people. I don't think I've ever seen any Christian teacher so doted over and exalted. It seems cultic to me, and certainly inappropriate.

That is my motive. I want to see if my observations have any warrant or not. I figure people who go there or have gone there would be the best source of accurate information. Of course I am coming from a perspective of skepticism, the reason for which should be obvious given my experiences to date. I hope you do not require further explanation than that. As a former cult member yourself, I do expect you to understand this kind of thing and am frankly shocked at your level of hostility, especially given that you are “not up on John MacArthur.” I should think if that is the case that you would have no horse in this race and I do not understand your accusative tone.

As a former cult member you really should know better than to disrespect my (or anyone's) concerns about a particular teacher and the apparently negative effect he seems to have on people I know and care about no matter who that teacher is, especially if he is someone you are not up on but have only listened to a few times. You are acting like I have no right to investigate my concerns.

You want me to be specific about my concerns without being leading in my questioning. I am supposed to be as polished in my questioning as though I were a reporter or this were a court of law. That is quite a heavy load you put on me in order to be able to ask my questions here. Not being trained as a reporter or as a lawyer, I doubt I will be able to fulfill your requirements.

It is because of just this very attitude of yours that I have invited people to PM me instead of posting publicly, if they prefer. I do not want anyone who may have a difficult story to tell to feel as though they are under the Inquisition, which is another thing I have seen happen to people who dare to disagree with John MacArthur.

If GCC/John MacArthur has blessed you and you have a testimony to that effect I am happy to hear it. I did say I want to hear the good as well as the bad and the ugly.

However, I will not engage in dialog with you in public or in private if you continue to present this hostile accusing tone to me.

Re: Ex members of John MacArthur's church
Posted by: BraveHeart ()
Date: October 31, 2009 01:35PM

Dear Sir (isitacult?)

Sorry I forgot about the 10 post rule.

As for my PM questions or post, there is no tone here.
In fact I would challenge you to go back a read what I posted with a National Public Radio mono tone voice. It would sound like an announcer from NPR.

I am sorry sir if you have been offended by my asking direct questions of you. Again this is not my intent here. I am simply wondering what your motives are and I am asking you to be honest here and share your first hand experience or be more specific as to the issues that have made you uncomfortable?

You started this thread titled “Ex members of John MacArthur's church” and your ID is “ISITACULT?” put them together and your get

Sir if you’re inferring that this church group is a cult then where is your first hand evidence? After all these are serious accusation that you are making, are you willing to back then up?

I sent you a private message first…and I backed up my statement with the bible verse that supports how we Christians are to address a difference with another Brother. Jesus teaches in Matthew 18:15-17 "If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that 'every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.' If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector. That my reason for sending you the PM

I have seen all too often people in the Christian Church dropping there guard and allowing wolves into there midst. People are so willing to accept a new person into there church with out checking out what they believe and why. Sir these are serious charges that you are making and yet you are running on a feeling that you get or an attitude that you picked up. Come on please come out with what you got or shut up!

Re: Ex members of John MacArthur's church
Posted by: trollybaz ()
Date: November 01, 2009 12:27AM

Hi isitacult (and everyone else),

I've been to GCC (Grace Community Church) several times, I used to attend evening services sporadically for fun a few years back. I still occasionally go for conference events there. I was never a member- I am a member at another church- but I enjoyed MacArthur's sermons and listened to a fair amount of Grace To You, which is MacArthur's radio program that basically broadcasts his recorded sermons. I also used to attend one of their fellowship groups on Friday nights, so I got to know some of the people as well. The reason for so much "participation" at Grace Community but a lack of "membership" was because the church I was serving at on Sundays was about 45 minutes away, but during the week it was difficult to drive back there. After my wife and I got married we decided it was better to find a more local church that we could serve at, and even Grace was a tad too far for us, so we're still not members at Grace.

Based on all of this, I would say Grace is not a cult. It's sort of with a mix of pain and mirth that I read some of the things said about Grace. I would say in general sweeping terms that everybody there likes MacArthur- otherwise I don't think they would be at the church. We all like his teaching. There are some things that I don't like- for instance, MacArthur's jokes- but hey, it's a small price to pay if I'm growing because I'm receiving a good exposition of God's word. I'm sure there are some people who like MacArthur too much, but everybody I met were never slavishly devoted to MacArthur. In fact, since Grace (as I am sure many churches do) emphasizes the Bible so much, we're all taught to question what any person says, and look to the Bible itself. I think that's a fair assessment.

What I think is most ironic is pastrpath2's website (sorry pastrpath2, I want to address this to you personally too, so don't feel like I'm ignoring you). Apparently it has stuff like the King James Bible is the only inspired version of the bible. Don't get me wrong, I'm totally pro-life and probably agree with many of the positions on there, but to me thinking that the KJV is the only inspired word has a more cultish flavor than anything at GCC. Not saying you belong to a cult, but I'm more wary of groups that think exclusively that way.

Anyway, I think the best definition of a cult is they distort the gospel, so I think the most serious issue is whether MacArthur teaches salvation by works. I would definitely say not. It is true that among different ministries I'm familiar with, that MacArthur emphasizes the costs of discipleship more. But knowing that it costs a lot to follow Christ is not the same as believing salvation is not through faith alone through Christ alone. What I mean by costs is summed up in Matthew 16:24-25 and Luke 14:28-33:

"Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it."

"Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, 'This fellow began to build and was not able to finish. Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple." -emphasis mine

It costs a lot to follow Jesus. To follow Jesus you must lose your life. True Christians bear good fruit just like a good tree bears good fruit. You don't bear fruit to be saved, but if you genuinely trust in Christ Jesus then you will bear fruit. Is this salvation by works? I don't think so.

The "tricky" paradox is resolving the above verses (that discipleship is costly) while knowing that salvation is not earned (but given via faith). How can salvation be "free", as in "not earned", yet being a Christian disciple is "costly"?

I thought John Piper gave a good answer (rest of this message is copied and pasted from his sermon):

Now we can ask what these pictures of the race and the fight illustrate. What is involved in keeping the faith, if it is like a race and a fight? The first thing we can say is that keeping the faith must be hard. There must be some sort of stress and strain and discomfort involved. Boxers get hit in the face, and runners push themselves to the limit of tolerance, and both train for long, monotonous hours. Therefore, keeping the faith must involve some sort of stress and discomfort like this. It must be hard. Jesus put it like this:

The gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.

The way that leads to life, or to the crown of righteousness as Paul put it here in our text, is like a super marathon in the Himalayas, or fifteen rounds with a heavyweight champion. It is hard.

But how do we square this with Matthew 11:28-30, where Jesus says,

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

So, if you yoke up with Jesus, it is easy. How can it be easy and hard? The answer is that the thing required by God is intrinsically easy, but the contrary condition of the human heart makes it hard. What could be easier than faith? What could be easier than to stop trying to work our way to heaven and simply rest in the free grace of God and the power of Jesus Christ? What could be easier than trusting God to make us secure and happy, rather than rising early and going late to bed, eating the bread of anxious toil? And yet, all that assumes that our hearts are willing. But they are not.

Until the Spirit of God blows all unbelief out of our hearts, there remains a tendency in all of us to overcome the obstacles to our happiness by ourselves. It is humiliating to accept charity, even (perhaps especially) from God. We do not like to appear helpless, so we don't like to trust the mercy of God. As long as this tendency remains, faith will be a struggle. And to the degree that this proud tendency is strong, to that degree is faith in the promise of Christ hard and not easy. The easiest thing in the world is impossible for people who want to get glory for themselves by doing something hard. Which is harder: to make a fortune or to give it away? Well, to make a fortune, surely. But Jesus only asked that the rich young ruler give it all away and follow him. What could be easier? Unless you love the prestige and power of your wealth more than you trust the word of Christ who says, "Follow me, and you will have treasure in heaven" (Mark 10:21).


Re: Ex members of John MacArthur's church
Posted by: isitacult? ()
Date: November 01, 2009 07:15AM

Dear Sir (isitacult?)

I have seen all too often people in the Christian Church dropping there guard and allowing wolves into there midst. People are so willing to accept a new person into there church with out checking out what they believe and why. Sir these are serious charges that you are making and yet you are running on a feeling that you get or an attitude that you picked up. Come on please come out with what you got or shut up!


Thank you for the clarification. I am going to assume that last sentence came out of the damage you incurred from being mistreated in a cult so I will not hold it against you. But "come out with what you got or shut up!" is definitely not subject to NPR monotone.

However, if more information would help assuage a fear that I am some sort of vicious wolf, then I will try to be more specific about where I am coming from. But first I will say this:

I am not saying GCC is a cult. I am asking if it is. If I were saying it was my screen name would be itisacult! not isitacult? However, for the record, there are other pastors who have said in so many words that JM's influence is cultic. I have a tape of an interview they gave to a pastor named D. A. Waite from the 1980's entitled “John MacArthur's Cult in Maine”. They have given account of churches in Maine where the pastors have taken JM's teaching and brought great division in their churches to the point where one of them counseled at least one member to divorce her husband because he did not agree with the doctrine being presented. I do realize this could be that particular pastor and not MacArthur at all except as a catalyst. While I did not find their account to be conclusive proof, I did find it worth exploring the matter further, especially given my experiences with others who sit under his teaching in the form of books and radio. In fact, if anything, it would be these pastors who have made accusation that I am trying to ascertain the validity of.

I do not live in a part of the country that would allow me to go to GCC myself- which would be my preferred option- or even to know people who attend there. So I am left to pursue my concerns in the best way I know- to ask others who have personal experience whether there is any validity to these concerns. As for why I am asking ex members- I figured they are ex members for a reason and I want to know what their assessment is. I certainly don't expect current members to say GCC is a cult or even to be able to entertain the question. On the other hand, ex members may (or may not) have had a bad experience there but would not necessarily say it was a cult, unless that was the conclusion they came to having been out of it for a while and being able to get some backward perspective. Hindsight, if you will. I realize that there are ex members who might say it was a cult out of vengefulness. I can't help that. I will just have to do my best to ascertain as well as I can with the information I receive. What I was hoping would happen is that there would be ex members who would say either yes, it is a cult and here is what happened to me (and maybe even others) there. Or else would say, no, it is not a cult, though I no longer attend there and this was my experience while I was there. I have read a bit on this forum, enough to feel fairly confident that at least some people, if there are still any here, might discuss this openly (or privately) and fairly in one direction or another, or both and I was hoping I would be able to learn from people with first hand experience. It seemed to be the fairest most realistic way of inquiring.

Perhaps I should have said “former members” instead of “ex members”.

Now, if you want specific descriptions of what it is that goes wrong with the people I have known who become “MacArthurized” that is difficult to put in to words but I'll try.

General symptoms- sometimes 'MacArthurized” people get sort of dreamy, and like they are not even present in the conversation. Almost like they are maybe infatuated? Or otherwise very preoccupied. They are “not there.” And what is there is not really them. Sometimes they demonstrate a sort of exagerated zeal, which is really a form of hostility. It's kind of scary sometimes. Sometimes they exhude a falseness, like they are trying to be something they are not but think they should be. Invariably they will introduce MacArthur into the conversation at some point. They will say they were listening to MacArthur this week and he said... or that they were reading such and such a book by him and he said....or give some specific quote from him. There is no inherent problem with quoting teachers we appreciate and who have taught us something valuable, but these people are distracted and speaking from a point of emersion rather than mere influence, if you see what I mean. They are totally in his groove and it effects them adversely. Maybe you understand what I am talking about from your former cult experience. Perhaps there were people who knew you then who could see that you were just not quite yourself, like you were under someone else's control, but not God's, and that made them nervous? That is where I am.

That absent quality has been demonstrated by more than one person, but the one that stands out the most was about a year ago when I was attempting to have a conversation with one of the wives of a leader in our church. She was almost totally vacant, which is not characteristic of her. The only thing she was not vacant on was JM. She had been at home that week from a foot injury and spent the whole week listening to him. I could tell there was something really off about her that seemed familiar but I couldn't place just what it was until she said “I was listening to John MacArthurt this week...” That was when I knew what it was. She had been MacArthurized. It had been some time since JM had come up in my circles. But I was most struck by the similarity of symptoms that I had seen from others at earlier times. I had almost decided that the personality change I thought I saw in MacArthurites was just me. But this was a completely different circumstance and a different church with different people but the effect of JM was still the same. It is very creepy.

My own pastor has occasionally preached sermons with a somewhat harsh, ascerbic tone that is very different from his usual graciousness, and that contain teaching that is so clearly influenced by JM that it could have come out of one of his books. Again, someone who is not quite himself and clearly had been dining at MacArthur's table recently.

There was a woman I knew who was a strong MacArthur devotee. She has two sons, one of whom, last I heard, can barely stand to be around her at all and the other is in a similar place. The reason for this is because of an oppresiveness that pervaded their home when they were growing up due to her idea of what righteousness would look like in a person, if they were really saved. She ran her home like an army barracks and expected them to submit with an attitude of full agreement to this. If they were not instantly obedient to her or their father, their salvation was called into question. I had been in that home. I don't think I as an adult could stand to live there myself. Several of the other moms in that congregation had spoken to her and tried to reason with her about the effect she was having. I tried to speak to her myself. She would not hear it. Needless to say, both sons rebelled as soon as they were old enough. Is this because of JM per se? I don't know, but I know she swore by him as a teacher.

Then there was my friend who is a little on the needy side as it is. He became so enamoured by JM that he practically venerated him. He was ready to move to California (from very far away) so he could go to GCC because no other church is good enough. He did take a vacation out there for the express purpose of attending GCC, even though he and his wife do not really have enough money to do that sort of thing. They did not include a visit to MacArthur's church in a vacation they were going to take anyway. They took a vacation so they could go to his church. What I am saying there is that his appreciation has gone beyond appreciation into adulation. He is unable to exercise any critical thought toward MacArthur. He is also unable to accept that not every one of his friends is as in to JM as he is. Another friend of ours has received e mails from this fellow promoting JM even though my other friend has firmly and expicitly told him he did not want them. No matter. He just kept sending them like he never got the memo.

To be honest, I cannot think of one case of someone I know who has put themselves under John MacArthur's teaching that has turned out well as a result.

Back to what other men have said, I think this quote by someone named M. James Sawyer is important as well:

A pastor in the Bay Area recently told me he has never had to counsel parishioners concerning the teaching of Professor Hodges, but has been besieged as a result of Dr. MacArthur’s teaching.

It is from an article that can be found here (I am not sure what the rules are for posting links here so I will give this in cut and paste fashion.):

(http://. No www.)

(BTW, I am not here to debate Lordship Salvation, nor am I a follower of Zane Hodges.)

As to your mention of dealing with a brother first, I can only assume you are referring to MacArthur himself. First of all, MacArthur has not sinned against ME personally. He does not even know me. He is in no way available to even be able to sin against me personally. If he was, then I would certainly be able to personally confront him about it and hopefully resolve the matter between us. What I am asking about involves the results of his public teachings and ministries and affects many people. Further, he has been confronted publicly on a number of issues by other men who are his peers. One example I would refer you to is that of Miles Stanford. MacArthur misrepresented Stanford in print and Stanford sent him an open letter on the matter which can be read here:

http:// (there is no www)

Others who have taken some issue or other with JM and have been able to be heard at all on it have ended up dealing not with MacArthur himself, but with Phil Johnson. (One such person is George Zeller, whose writings are available at www on that one. It is also worth noting that Stanford includes at the end of his open letter a parenthetical request for personal response if MacArthur was inclined to issue a response, showing that he was familiar with MacArthur's unavailability.) On the one hand, this is understandable and I don't really fault JM too strongly for it. I am sure he is much too busy to be fielding every matter than comes before him. (I do think he should be available to his professional peers.) But it shows that even he does not see this verse the way you are applying it.

At any rate, that is what I am doing here. I hope that is enough information for you, BraveHeart, as well as anyone else who may have had any questions.

I found a lot of things that pastrpath2 had to say made a lot of sense and support what I have seen myself or read from others. However, I do not take one account as conclusive. I would still like more first hand accounts and I hope more people answer in one way or another, as long as their answers have to do with MacArthur and not with me.

Re: Ex members of John MacArthur's church
Posted by: isitacult? ()
Date: November 01, 2009 07:40AM


Thank you for sharing your experience.

I realize in all the hubbub I forgot to say that.

What you have said is a lot to think about.

Re: Ex members of John MacArthur's church
Posted by: pastrpath2 ()
Date: November 02, 2009 02:16PM


Let me clarify, I did not say GCC was a cult, but that it had cultic tendencies. Next...there is nothing on my web-site Frank that promotes King James Only....Next I have been to GCC church and the dynamics of the people mirror cultic tendencies.....again I do not know if it is from John MacArthur or others in the church who promote it. Finally - Lordship Salvation is a violation of the entire epistle of Galatians, where Paul says that legalism that adds to Salvation is accursed by God....and another gospel. A false Gospel.. Salvation is a free gift and the new birth is not progressive. Discipleship is costly but is an outworking of salvation and not the means of it.

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