One good thing was that Macarthur telling me I was saved gave me some ammo against his followers that continously told me I wasn't, but unfortunately that didn't last long. There were still many that kept telling me I was lost.
That is interesting. His followers were more "MacArthurish" than MacArthur! And that makes me wonder if his followers are more cultic than he is himself. Maybe he's unintentionally created a monster and what we see here is the law of unintended consequences? Or maybe he is inconsistent. Maybe he didn't really exactly change his theology with Angelica, but the reality is that the theology that seems so logical and seems to work so well on paper and in the classroom fails when it must be applied in real life. By all rights he should have said you were not saved if you were "unrepentant" in reading Bob George who teaches false doctrine and an allegedly unsaving gospel. He should have at least questioned it until you showed the proper "fruit".
Do you have any ideas on why MacArthur has this kind of effect on people, that his organization would be cultic? What is it about him that causes this? What is the dynamic? And how do you think it was that you were protected from being caught up in it?
There were times that I even fell for it, but I questioned it most of the time. MacArthur has a very charismatic personality, and very easily charms his followers. He also makes himself seem very intelligent by using Greek/Hebrew and theological terms. He makes people think that Christianity is headed down the wrong path and that he's attempting to get it back to the way it was originally, and he's very good at "hopscotching" through Bible verses to get people to believe this. It is definitely a very carefully crafted scheme that is good at suckering people in.
I also believe that MacArthur has many accomplices in how this cult is ran, such as the Nouthetic counseling in which I know he recruited several different authors to staff the counseling department at the college that teaches the Nouthetic Counseling classes, some have extensive psychology backgrounds, and I'm sure a lot of the counseling ideas were borrowed from L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology. Dianetics and Nouthetic both contain the Greek root word "Nous" and I know Scientology claims that Dianetics comes from the Greek "Dia" and "Nous" which is also the root of "Nouthetic." While Dianetics deals with healing mental illness by ridding the mind of past "abberations," MacArthur's brand of Nouthetic counseling deals with healing mental illness by going through the mind's past experiences and searching for unconfessed sin, and ridding the mind of it by confessing the sins. So, it really is a similar concept in confronting past experiences. Also, both make the person sign a release and forsake any kind of psychology or psychiatry, and both see these as a conspiracy.
I'm not sure how he came up with the ideas for the salvation doctrines, but I can imagine it was carefully crafted to gradually take over a person's freedom and scare them into obedience. They probably looked at many different cults and were careful about making sure they don't spring the doctrine on someone all at once. From what I hear about the Jehovah's Witnesses and Scientologists it seems like there are similarities, like requiring so much work on the part of the church member, not allowing anyone to question doctrine or leaders, shunning unbelievers or those who disobey leaders, punishing disobedience through shunning until repentance, making people constantly question their salvation and/or spirituality. It seems like the Lordship Salvation/Nouthetic Counseling views of MacArthur are like a "best of" of what various cults teach with some Christianity thrown in or misinterpreted to fit the doctrine.
I believe he has a complex and is hungry for the power his followers give him. He always came across to me as very arrogant and feels he is the ultimate authority on everything. What makes him dangerous is all the people that will follow him no matter what.