Paul's Passing Thoughts

Strange Fire Conference: John MacArthur’s Insufferable Hypocrisy

Posted in Uncategorized by Andy Young, PPT contributing editor on February 24, 2016

ppt-jpeg4Originally published October 16, 2013.  See addendum below.

John 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 (http://wp.me/pmd7S-1In).

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?

paul

Addendum:  John MacArthur is one of the scheduled speakers at the 2016 T4G conference in Louisville, KY.  He will be sharing the stage with John Piper, CJ Mahaney, and other influential reformed leaders.

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