Paul's Passing Thoughts

Strange Fire Conference: John MacArthur’s Insufferable Hypocrisy

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on October 16, 2013

ppt-jpeg4John MacArthur may go down in church history as one of the most confused pastors ever to step into a pulpit. His steroidal cognitive dissonance constantly results in insufferable hypocrisy.

For certain I thought he could not outdo himself in this regard, but he has. After writing Charismatic Chaos in 1992, he partnered with Charismatic CJ Mahaney for eight years in the Resolved conferences sponsored by his church, Grace Community in Sun Valley, California. One year after the last Resolved conference, MacArthur is hosting the 2013 Strange Fire conference that is fustigating Charismatic doctrine in no uncertain terms. The hypocrisy of it all is staggering.

MacArthur also seems to have a problem with the mysticism promoted by Charismatic theology, but yet is a close confidant of John Piper who not only has Charismatic leanings himself, but led the 2012 Passion conference in the mystic practice of Lectio Divina.

Furthermore, Geneva style Calvinists (also at the conference: Sproul, Lawson, Phil Johnson, et al) criticizing Charismatics is beyond the kettle calling the pot black. Calvin and Luther both attributed their theology to Neo-Platonist St. Augustine. The practical outcome is sanctification by faith alone through gospel contemplationism resulting in realm experience/manifestation. MacArthur himself now claims that he only explains the word of God and the Holy Spirit applies it resulting in his followers obeying God without realizing it (

Moreover, Calvinism is based on Hindu-like sanctification that posits perpetual mortification followed by vivification. As we dwell on our sin only, we are brought to despair (mortification) leading to the joy of our original rebirth (vivification).  Calvinists Paul Washer and Michael Horton have both referred to this as continually “reliving our baptism.”

In MacArthur’s keynote address at this year’s Strange Fire conference, he also criticized Charismatics for their misrepresentation and overemphasis on the Holy Spirit leading to the dishonoring of the other two Trinity members. But likewise, Calvinists do the same thing with their Christocentric approach to the Scriptures. In the forward to Rick Holland’s book, Uneclipsing The Son (an in-your-face Gnostic treatise), MacArthur stated that ANY emphasis on ANYONE or ANYTHING other than Christ hinders the sanctification of God’s people.

All in all, Charismatics are barely any different than Calvinists. They both partake in epistemology that sees the horizontal as purely subjective and the vertical as purely objective. The goal is to experience the spirit realm horizontally through mysticism. For the Calvinist it is gospel contemplationism. For the Charismatic it is speaking in tongues.

What’s the difference?


27 Responses

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  1. Allen O'Brien said, on November 16, 2013 at 2:10 PM

    Well put.


  2. Adam said, on November 22, 2013 at 4:35 PM


    I think you are the one confused. MacArthur has faithfully preached the word for half a century. He remains close friends with Piper and others; he merely called them to reexamine this part of their theology, and asked they also join in condemning those like Benny Hinn that abuse charismatic tendencies.

    Luther and Calvin, by their own admission, were not continuationists for the most part. MacArthur is not against experiencing Christ. But he is against this post modern “mystical” approach to feeling God’s leading and learning God’s revelation (i.e. He directly speaks to them in dreams, etc.). He is actually very consistent with what the reformers pushed: Sola Scriptura.

    And, although MacArthur merely attempts to be faithful to Scripture (he is not “reformed” per se), he does see to a large extent the reformed emphasis on explaining Christ in the Scriptures. Everything DOES point to Christ. If you cannot see that, you’ve missed the point of the Bible. From Genesis 3. to Isaiah 53, to the road to Emmaus, to the cross, and culminating in Christ returning the glory to the Father (as they work hand in hand). An overemphasis on the Spirit and gifts and tongues misses what all those things pointed to… Christ.

    If you cannot see that, don’t blame MacArthur. He has preached that for years. I don’t think he is the one confused.


    • paulspassingthoughts said, on November 22, 2013 at 4:58 PM

      No Adam, you are the one that doesn’t get it. Piper believes that you have to live by the same gospel that saved you to keep your salvation. He even preached a sermon on how the gospel continues to save you daily. He also continually refers to the saving works (plural) of Christ. Hence, we have to live by faith alone in our Christian life in order for the obedience of Christ to be continually applied to our account in order to maintain a “just standing.” One more problem with the whole Calvinistic construct is the fact that a perfect keeping of the law is the plumb line of justification. It’s not justification apart from the law. Who keeps it is irrelevant. Living by faith alone in sanctification so that the obedience of Christ will continue to be applied to our justification is merely backdoor works salvation. If justification is not finished and still requires a standard, it’s works salvation regardless of who keeps the law–you are doing something to maintain your salvation, in the case of Calvinism: antinomianism is practiced to maintain your salvation. Moreover, Calvin clearly believed in absolution which proves this theses–this is not arguable. But yet, Mac claims Calvin.

      Piper is a heretic, and Mac stands with him. MacArthur’s credentials cannot save him.


      • Anonymous said, on April 16, 2018 at 11:14 PM

        Paulspassingthoughts… then if I’m hearing you right, you are claiming to be THE TRUE CALVINIST? by your 11-22-2013 post?


      • Paul M. Dohse Sr. said, on April 17, 2018 at 5:55 AM



  3. Matt said, on March 13, 2018 at 11:24 AM

    There is very little difference in the mysticism of Calvinists and Charismatics. How they get there is different but the goal and result is the same. John MacArthur has demonstrated his hypocrisy over and again (defense of Mohler signing Manhattan Declation is another example). How do the sheeple let him get away with selling books like Charismaic Chaos and condemning the Catholic Church while partnering with the ilk of Mahaney, Piper, and Mohler year after year? “Touch not God’s anointed!” There is little difference between the New Calvinists (MacArthur, Piper, Mohler, Mahaney) and the false prophets of the New Apostolic Refromation (Bickle, Johnson, Engle, Cain, Arnott, Bentley, Joyner, Wagner). The leaders are worshiped and the followers have a perceived inability to reach objective truth by studying the Bible on their own. The politics of dominionism creates a bridge between Calvinism and the Prophetic Movement. Francis Chan is helping mainstream the Latter Rain Movement. YRR is strickingly similar to Joel’s Army. Why doesn’t MacArthur admit he is a Super Apostle?

    MacArthur = Piper = Chan = Bickle


    • Paul M. Dohse Sr. said, on March 13, 2018 at 12:29 PM

      You hit a nerve with what is buzzing among the PPT authors or at least this one…kingdom theology/doctrine. Andy doesn’t know it yet, but I am going to ask him to partner with me on the kingdom aspect. John is going to do “the fall” and Susan is still working on a few things and hasn’t decided.


      • Matt said, on March 13, 2018 at 12:59 PM

        Kingdom Now
        Social Justice
        They are creating a “church” that persecutes Christians.


  4. Dale said, on April 16, 2018 at 12:26 PM

    Greetings to all that LOVE Christ above all others,

    WOW, I am super impressed with the comments here. I want to know if it is true that John Mac, told the LA police to go hard on the abortion protesters, years ago? Which i was told by one that was there. As MATT SAID, “They are creating a “church” that persecutes Christians”. WELL, history does repeat itself.

    The balanced Pentecostals are relying upon the HOLY SPIRIT within them, that promise of Pentecost (2000 year ago) will be the same today just as the words of Christ are applied today by others, not tongues. It all applies, the whole bible, doesn’t it? I believe so.

    It is so cute that both sides throw mud at the other and thereby get it all over themselves. You know, if it were just mud of disagreement that is one thing… but pronouncing judgment on them wholesale… WOW… Have they never read with what judgment you judge, you shall be judged.?

    WHEN will we LOVE all those that ARE attempting to honestly live for Christ, regardless of their PROTESTANT name over the door? WHEN we are all in the same jail waiting to become modern day martyrs…!!! Persecution is coming to America because of how we do not repent, those called by HIS name.

    It will be the SELF-righteous that will be their judge and executioner.

    The divided kingdom canNOT stand. Can you imagine what honest thinking unbelievers THINK seeing READING all this mud throwing? They SEE our attitudes better than we do..!!! And we wonder WHY people don’t want to be real christians. They don’t want to be REAL hypocrites, they are honest sinners… WHO just need to read the bible for themselves, believe it, rely on the Holy Spirit, and then do they ever want to really wade around in mud puddles??? Or make them?

    It’s one thing to preach against sin, proclaim righteousness to come, and judgment. It’s quit another to always be splitting theological hairs thinking we know better than the Holy Spirit, or even think of ourselves so highly that we “can not be wrong”…. Do we know better than CHrist knows and understands the scriptures? ha ha ha I’m afraid many are going to find out that “the joke” is on themselves instead of others.

    Love the brethren.

    We just can’t figure out WHO is the savior…. denomination, preacher, doctrine, our group, the elders, or or or


    Well, love those that LOVE CHRIST and STAND for CHRIST…

    WHO Christ is… God come in the flesh… God is NOT divided folks, that was a Roman Catholic invention.


    • Paul M. Dohse Sr. said, on April 16, 2018 at 3:22 PM

      We proclaim justification by new birth and not justification by faith. That is our only contention; all other matters flow from the latter false gospel.


      • Dale said, on April 16, 2018 at 4:33 PM

        Then what are your mechanics of being lost to “the new birth”? Thanks


      • Paul M. Dohse Sr. said, on April 16, 2018 at 10:11 PM

        The new birth is the standard for righteousness, not the law.


      • Anonymous said, on April 16, 2018 at 11:09 PM

        So then, how do you tell one to enter “the new birth”? Your system, method, etc… Since this is your only difference with those you call preaching a false gospel.


      • Paul M. Dohse Sr. said, on April 17, 2018 at 5:59 AM

        The premise of your question is found wanting, so I won’t be answering it.


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