Paul's Passing Thoughts

Is John MacArthur More Confused Than the Average Protestant, or Deliberately Deceptive?

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on November 3, 2017


As a very busy person, I have come to appreciate low hanging fruit found on various and sundry Protestant websites. The various postings seem profound on their face, but a little thinking below the surface reveals the utter lack of common sense that Protestantism is adorned with. As a follower of some of these sites, the posts conveniently show up on my Face Book news feed beckoning for a response.

We begin with a meme inspired by a quote from Protestant superstar John MacArthur Jr. If one has actually read the official documents of Protestant orthodoxy, the question is begged: is MacArthur using assumption to deceive (meaning that he actually understands Protestant doctrine), or is he totally confused?

A No Repentance Gospel?

One time, or ongoing, as a way to return to the same gospel that originally saved you in order to keep yourself saved? The former is the assumption that keeps people in the fold until they are gradually indoctrinated into the latter, but the latter is the plain black print on white paper Protestant orthodoxy.

A No Holiness Gospel?

Whose holiness? The assumption is our holiness, but that is NOT Protestant orthodoxy. Per the Protestant doctrine of double imputation, our holiness has no merit because justification, according to orthodoxy, is clearly progressive. We only “experience” the works of Christ that are imputed to us during the “Christian” life. The former is assumed while people are slowly assimilated into orthodoxy, but the latter is the present orthodoxy and Protestant standard.

A No Submission Gospel?

Submission to Whom? The assumption is to God alone, but orthodoxy requires submission to guys accredited by the institutional church, for a fee, I might add, as a requirement for salvation. This was stated in no uncertain terms by Luther, Calvin, and Augustine.

A No Transformation Gospel?

The transformation of what in particular? The assumption is, the believer’s entire being resulting in good works performed by the believer and flowing from the reality of the new birth. But that’s NOT Protestantism—not even close. The new birth, as defined by orthodoxy, is a mere ability to “see,” or perceive the depths of our present depravity resulting in a deeper gratitude for our original salvation, or beginning salvation. That’s the “T” in TULIP. Hence, the cross, or the gospel, is glorified, or made bigger. Calvin and Luther both rejected the new birth as a state of being resulting in a personal ability to do works pleasing to God. This Protestant position is an utterly irrefutable fact. The T in TULIP is assumed to only be regarding the unsaved while folks are slowly indoctrinated into the total depravity of the saints. This is why we must, “preach the gospel to ourselves every day.” This is why Protestantism is an ongoing covering for sin found only in the church rather than an ending of sin, or a “taking away of sin” in a one-time finished work of new birth by the Spirit.

According to new birth justification, the baptism of the Spirit happens once; according to Protestant orthodoxy (justification by faith), the baptism of the Spirit is a repetitive act as a result of repenting of present sin against the law resulting in a re-justification baptism. This is the stated Protestant doctrine of “mortification and vivification.”

A False Security Gospel?

What security? Protestant orthodoxy rejects eternal security in exchange for “final justification” when the true children of God are “verified” at the “final tribunal.” This position is verified by John Calvin’s idea of temporary election; or in other words, only the saints that are granted the gift of perseverance were elected for salvation. That’s the “P” in TULIP. The temporary elect, those Calvin classified as “the called,” are only temporarily “illumined” resulting in a greater damnation. Can any self-respecting Calvinist deny that apostasy is preordained?

In addition, if we have present eternal security, why would we need to return to the same gospel that saved us every day?

A Gospel for Damned People?

Which group of damned people? According to Protestantism, “believers” remain under the “righteous demands of the law.” Biblically, that’s “under law” and not under grace; i.e., the biblical definition of the unregenerate. According to Protestant orthodoxy, “under grace” defines one who is still under law, but depending entirely on the ongoing imputed righteousness of Christ rather than a “righteousness of our own.” This is Luther’s “alien righteousness” which contends that all true righteousness remains outside of the “believer.” This is a denial of the biblical new birth that changes our relationship to the law and our state of being rather than a mere “legal declaration.”

The Unbelievable and Shocking Admission of the Institutional Church: No Clear Agreement on What the Gospel Is

In the ongoing newsfeed are other familiar themes that reveal just how dumbed-down church attendees are. In Dr. Al Mohler’s “The Briefing” program, he reminds us that the Protestant gospel is still an “argument.” I would ordinarily say, “Oh my, am I here right now,” but this is an ongoing theme that continues to trend. The transcript can be read here, but the following excerpt is the most telling:

“But of course that serves to underline the most important question for this generation. That question is not, do we really understand what Luther believed and Luther did 500 years ago today? But do we still hold fast to the gospel to faith alone, grace alone, Christ alone, Scripture alone, to the glory of God alone? That’s the real question, and one way or another this generation of Christians is going to answer it.”

Well, actually, it’s not true that present-day evangelicalism had a proper understanding of Luther 500 years later. In 1970, what Luther really intended was reintroduced to the hallowed halls of Westminster Theological Seminary by a Seventh-Day Adventist leading to the present-day New Calvinist movement of which Mohler is a key figure.

So, on the one hand, Mohler claims that evangelical pastors were ordained by God to “save His people from ignorance,” yet on the other hand, though thoroughly and clearly documented in Protestant writings, the haughty Protestant academics had it wrong for about 200 years after the American Revolution confused the religious/philosophical landscape. Moreover, the aforementioned SDA theologian rediscovered Luther’s original intent by actually reading Protestant orthodoxy for himself rather than depending on traditions passed down over several generations.

Yet, Mohler et al are in essence saying, “We were wrong for 200 years, but please trust us as God’s authority because we have it right this time!” Um, right, thanks to a Seventh-Day Adventist, but no thanks, I’ll pass.

Also, “One of the enduring Latin phrases of the Protestant Reformation is the impressive sounding ecclesia semper reformans, semper reformanda. In plain English, this means ‘the church is always reformed and always reforming.'” Get it? This is no different from the well-traveled cult doctrine of “increasing light.” It is a blank check diplomatic immunity from all error and discrepancy from reason. In addition, “paradox” is an actual theological category of the Reformation that gives license to every contradiction.

The shocking admission that Protestantism never left or departed from Catholicism.

In Phil Johnson’s sermon, “Korah’s Rebellion (another version less relevant here),” at about the 6 minute mark, Johnson refutes the argument that the Protestant Reformation itself was a rebellion against the Church’s authority, but was a mere attempt to “reform” the church. In all of the confusion that is church, this is one of the few things theologians agree on; Calvin and Luther who were both Augustinian theologians NEVER left the Catholic Church. And Augustine, who is a Catholic icon/fixture, is routinely claimed as the one who fathered Protestant doctrine. No surprise then that one of many kerfuffles in Protestant drama is ecumenism. But yet, Protestantism never left the Catholic Church.

Discernment Blogs?

Also not surprising is the massive number of discernment blogs “defending the faith and exposing error.” When there is no agreement on what the gospel really is, and reformation is ongoing, certainly, “discernment blogs” will have an endless supply and demand. Seriously though, in reality, dissecting Protestant truth is a fool’s errand based on the very statements of Protestant academia. In fact, Protestant orthodoxy itself is a theology of moving goal posts…by its very own admission.

So, how much of all of this is confusion versus deliberate deception? For the most part, religion in general would invoke the “noble lie.” Authority is truth because God’s appointed authorities understand that mankind has “total inability” in general, and an inability to understand reality specifically. God’s appointed authorities to “save His people from ignorance,” must teach us how to have our best life now through bedtime stories that the great unwashed can understand. We call that, “orthodoxy.” Confessions and Catechisms tell us what questions to ask, and then answer the questions for us. Obviously, the great unwashed don’t even know what questions to ask which also explains why we dare not ask challenging questions at church. Who are we to think that we even know what questions to ask?

Of course it is all paradoxical, mankind cannot know reality to begin with, and needs to shut up, obey, and support God’s kingdom that is slowly taking over the earth for God’s glory. Supposedly. At this point in history, you can choose your own authority because of the advent of Americanism, and it would seem the only agreement on salvation is loving and obeying the one you are with, or another authority of your choosing in the future. This is no new thing under the sun, and is the hallmark of every religion combining faith and authority/force since the deception in the garden.

Hence, the Protestant gospel seems to be submission for the sake of submission, and the correct authority that will usher us into salvation is anybody’s guess.

As I am often fond of saying, “good luck with that.”



11 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. johnimmel said, on November 3, 2017 at 9:36 AM

    so …. my vote. Johnny Mac = deliberately confused.


  2. truthseeker00 said, on November 3, 2017 at 10:55 AM

    I must ask myself that question every day – ‘Could these people be that confused, contradictory, illogical and/or self-deceived, or are they actually, intentionally seeking to deceive others?’ We may never know for sure, but their fruit, or lack thereof, provides a few hints. That was the question I struggled with concerning my former Calvinist church and pastor. In the end, I decided it didn’t matter – even if genuinely confused, the doctrine and teaching was indisputably doing more harm than good, as person after person (and families) left wounded and bleeding. And that is NOT a functioning body of Christ.


    • John said, on November 3, 2017 at 11:45 AM

      Truthseeker, since I’ve had (still do) personal clashes galore, both spectacular and downright evil, with Calvinists and reformed Pimps, I can assure you that a great number (for argument’s sake, let me put it at 95%) of them (including pastors, elders, followers) are intentionally deceiving. The evidence for that is overwhelming (the control; the fake authority; the false gospel of progressive justification; the worshipping of men; the worshipping of men’s “sacred’ writings; every point of its TULIP; the protection of sexual predators; the way they ignore all kinds of abuse; the way they treat women; the anti-biblical, evil and vulgar drivel the ACBC is spreading through its laughable “counseling,” etc.).

      It’s that 5% (more or less) still trapped in that dragon that we need to get out. They need to wake up and smell the rotten tulips. It’s for them I’m praying, as I have loved ones in that 5%.

      Your conclusion (doing more harm than good; people leaving wounded and bleeding) that that place was not a functioning of the body of Christ was 100% correct.



  3. John said, on November 3, 2017 at 11:14 AM

    My vote is in too. MacArthur . . . deliberately confused and confusing, as all Calvinists and Reformed worshippers are. Like father (the devil), like sons and daughters.


  4. Andy Young, PPT contributing editor said, on November 3, 2017 at 1:51 PM

    After all is said and done, and as John Immel is fond of saying, that these guys are third rate thinkers at best who are merely benefiting from the heavy lifting done by others and who have never had an original idea in their lives, I would say that every single one of them is confused. The deception only comes when there is a perceived threat to their self-appointed power at which point they are quick to play the authority card that trumps everything. This way they do not need to defend their confusion that is blatantly apparent to anyone who has the ability to think for themselves. If any of them for one moment would stop to honestly evaluate their own orthodoxy they would have no choice but to acknowledge the contradictions.

    ….Oh wait, but they do. They call it “mystery”.

    …..aaaannnd, PUNT!


  5. Republican mother said, on November 3, 2017 at 5:24 PM

    When the confusion pays a cool million a year, there’s not a lot of incentive for him to be a diligent truth-seeker, much less upend the profitable religious empire he has grown.

    “Be ye not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind” is a verse that comes to mind. One sees that these institutional types follow the same top-down template that all other world religions and systems utilize. One thing they have in common is NOT a reliance on the individual’s thoughts.


  6. Susan said, on November 6, 2017 at 12:24 PM

    Okay, so how about, “I don’t know” and “I don’t care” as an answer. Ignorance and apathy, apathy and ignorance. I am so done with these people. Everyone is wrong except John MacArthur. Not! The others are wrong and Johnnie is wrong too. When the Lord returns, will He find faith on earth?


    • John said, on November 7, 2017 at 7:21 AM

      Susan, I don’t give one fake hoot about MacArthur and his disciples of death either. Don’t feel alone in that sentiment. When the Lord returns, He will find something, don’t you worry. He’ll find people like you, for instance.


  7. Ken B said, on November 7, 2017 at 4:25 AM

    What I have never understood is if God has pre-selected who will be saved and who will be reprobate, why does it matter if you unwittingly give the latter a false assurance of salvation?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. johnimmel said, on November 7, 2017 at 10:54 AM

    Excellent! We have a thinker in our midst!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s