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Featured I've Seen John MacArthur In A New Light

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by Oscarr, Jun 9, 2019.

  1. MarkRohfrietsch

    MarkRohfrietsch Unapologetic Apologist Supporter

    Maybe it is time to concentrate on Christ and word of God instead of failable men who apply their own interpretive standards to see what they want to see, instead of relying on Scripture to keep scripture in context.
  2. Oscarr

    Oscarr Senior Veteran Supporter

    New Zealand
    I read the works, and view the Youtube videos of faithful men of God, because then I don't have to reinvent the wheel with personal interpretation of Scripture when it has been done excellently already. For me, I call it being teachable. There are those who insist on their own interpretations of Scripture and will not listen to anyone else. That's how cults are formed by unteachable people. They say they are following Christ, but actually they are making up their own imaginary Christ through their own interpretation and imagination.
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  3. swordsman1

    swordsman1 Well-Known Member

    I thought Macarthur's understanding was that paganism, with its ecstatic utterances etc, had invaded the Corinthian church - in the same way unbiblical ecstatic tongues has invaded the church today (which you affirm). Not that genuine Corinthian tongues speakers were under demonic influence.
  4. Oscarr

    Oscarr Senior Veteran Supporter

    New Zealand
    I understand that as well. The point I was making was that Paul did not say that this is what was happening in the Corinthian church. If we read 1 Corinthians 14 carefully, his comments were around the Corinthians talking in tongues in the meetings without interpretation. There is no mention of paganism infecting the church, or that the tongues spoken were ecstatic. In fact, the word ecstatic is never used anywhere in the New Testament that describes tongues. We shouldn't make inferences that are not in the actual text of Scripture. I believe that the Corinthians were genuinely converted Christians who had left their paganism behind. However, there were much to correct in that church because these were people who were converted directly out of paganism and did not have the background of the Jewish law to show them the correct standards. So Paul wrote his letter to them to give them the correct standards of Christian doctrine and conduct in fellowship meetings.

    Now, having said that, I fully agree with Mr MacArthur that the Charismatic movement has been infiltrated and hijacked by paganism and the occult, and this has given rise to the false prosperity, positive thinking and confession, guaranteed healing, false prophecy, uncontrolled public tongues, and other kundalini manifestations.

    When I was first converted in a Pentecostal church, I saw very little of that. I got saved in that church because the true gospel was being preached, and the Bible teaching was on a sound foundation. We knew that there was the wacky stuff, but that was on the lunatic fringe in 1966 when I got converted to Christ. What saved me was the friend who discipled me introduced me to Puritan literature, and that gave me the foundation that I have always had. I left the Pentecostal movement in 1978, and this was as the result of that iniquitous Shepherding Discipleship movement that was causing power hungry people to exercise witchcraft control over ordinary believers.

    In the late 1980s, I and my baptist pastor friend went to a Charismatic service, where I saw the lady preacher pushing people backward so they fell over. My friend and I were sniggering in the back row like two naughty little boys!

    It was a bit of a shock to me to find out, through Dave Hunt's messages and books, that what we saw was in the wacky lunatic fringe in the 1960s, is now a prominent part of the mainstream Charismatic movement. I can't identify with that, even though I remain a continuist. But in reality, even though I believe that the genuine gifts of the Spirit are available for churches today, we see very rare occurrences of them, in spite of the many claims. For example, when I was with the Pentecostal movement, I went to all the healing meetings involving the big name ministries who visited. Heard great claims, saw many prayed for, but did not see one person being healed of a serious, life threatening medical condition. I saw legs lengthened, but I have since learned that most of it is a party trick, and there is a Youtube video showing how it was done. A good friend of mine had broken his ankle, and he was prayed for and his leg got lengthened, but the following week, he still limped, because his leg wasn't lengthened at all!

    I believe that the gifts are available, but only through the sovereignty of the Holy Spirit to manifest when and where He wants, and they can't be "manufactured" by anyone who decides to. And He will only manifest them through godly, holy, prayerful, self-controlled, humble believers who have got their gospel foundations right. You won't see these ones getting up and making great claims of signs, wonders, and miracles, which don't actually happen. There seems to be a lot of smoke and mirrors, but little else. I have heard of the ones who have sat able people in wheelchairs, taken them down to the front, and prayed for them and pulled them upright to give them the impression that they were healed, when they were able to walk all along; and truly disabled folk in wheelchairs are left wondering why they aren't healed as well. I saw the documentary exposing Popov where he had his wife transmitting "words of knowledge" through a wireless link to him; and others who met family members and asked personal questions, and then called the "victim" out and gave "words of knowledge" based on the knowledge he got from family members beforehand.

    I think that the Charismatic movement has shot itself in the foot in its desire to convince Cessationists that the gifts are for today. The overwhelming evidence, or lack of it, contradicts the claims.

    As for me, I have decided to concentrate on the gospel foundations and let the Holy Spirit decide whether He wants to do anything supernatural in the way of the gifts.
  5. swordsman1

    swordsman1 Well-Known Member

    It is quite a common theory that the Corinthian church was infected by paganism. I understand it comes from the following observations:
    • They were eating food offered to idols which Paul commanded to stop (1 Cor 10:14-22). Some seemingly actually consumed it whilst at pagan temples (1 Cor 8:10).

    • Throughout his epistle Paul constantly warns against idolatry, indicating this must have been a problem with the church. There is no doubt they were surrounded by paganism and that many were previously pagans.

    • There was sexual immorality in the church (1 Cor 5, 1 Cor 6:12-20), something that was common in the pagan religions.

    • Apparently someone, while claiming to speaking in the Spirit, had said “Jesus is accursed” and Paul links that to paganism (1 Cor 12:2-3).

    • Some of the Corinthians denied the resurrection (1 cor 15:12), indicating an influence from Gnosticism.

    • Some were getting drunk at the Lord's supper (1 Cor 11:20-22). Drunkenness is a characteristic of pagan rituals.
    I am not fully convinced myself, but it is seems to be a valid theory. One that Macarthur and other theologians subscribe to.

    I certainly concur with the rest of your post regarding the Charismatic church of today.
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  6. Endeavourer

    Endeavourer Well-Known Member

    United States
    I was reading this thread with interest and came across this mention. Not to threadjack, but just wanted to point out to swordsman1 that those verses, if written by Paul, were quoting the Pharisaical oral law. There is no Old Testament law that says anything about women speaking being shameful, but there is a nearly identical passage in the Talmud. The law Paul would have been quoting was from the Pharisees, so in that case is was likely quoted in order to refute, or in sarcasm. Neither Paul nor Jesus had any regard for the Pharisees' hyper-legalisms, many of which were just made up.

    Yes, there is manuscript evidence suggesting scribes inserted this Talmud quote later. Dr. Philip B. Payne writes about this at long length in his book Man and Woman, One in Christ.

    The reason threads of J. MacArthur catch my attention is his exceedingly anti-Biblical interpretations on a woman's obligation to suffer and submit under abuse for the rest of her life rather than be divorced.

    "So, what we do is this; we counsel people this way:if you’re in an abusive situation, there’s not adultery involved, it’s just abusive, cruelty, or something like that–I don’t think alcoholism is necessarily in the same category. But where there’s beatings, where it affects you or the children, there’s nothing to say that you shouldn’t step away, get away to preserve your own health, and your own safety, and your own security. You don’t need to stay there and just be beaten to a pulp. God’s given us a self-defense mechanism. But I don’t think that’s grounds for divorce biblically. I think you have to hang in there and that’s what makes great prayer warriors People who can turn that kind of a thing into a draw nigh unto God kind of relationship. You know, when all your family has forsaken you the Lord will be your family.”

    I have the cringe at abuse and cruelty being "just"... yikes.

    More at:
    Does John MacArthur Teach that Suffering Abuse is Meritorious Before God?

    I get that J.McA may have some areas of truth in his teachings but when someone gets the heart of Christ so wrong in one area, the plight of the least of the little ones, the rest of his teachings feel very suspect to me, by instinct, so I tend to avoid spending much time on their other teachings. Part of his theology on the topic of marriage is affected by his heavy theology that focuses more on wives submitting to husbands than on Christ's precious daughters' worth, and particularly under abuse.

    OK.... I just wanted to put it out there that J. McA is certainly, as Oscarr put it, an earthen vessel. He has contributed to the suffering of many of our sisters in Christ.

    Threadjack over.
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2019
  7. Grip Docility

    Grip Docility Well-Known Member

    United States
    As heated as it can get... discussion and debate helps us get outside our own grey matter.

    Disclaimer: Some nuggets are thicker than others..