Paul's Passing Thoughts

John MacArthur: Like Rape, How The Church Handles COVID Is Church Jurisdiction Alone

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on August 5, 2020

ppt-jpeg42I do believe, and am thankful to God accordingly, that many in the church are confused enough to be saved. Pastor John MacArthur often calls salvation an “atonement.” No, the new birth is not a covering for sin (atonement); it is an ending of sin. John MacArthur is confused about that, and many other things. Yet, I do think he means well and believes in God. Nevertheless, many will be surprised to learn his ultimate value to the true kingdom of God.

Since he was swept up in the New Calvinism movement, he is particularly confused about the sovereignty of God. His confusion about the difference between a body and an institution, may or may not have been present prior to his New Calvinism conversion.

Interestingly enough, the New Calvinism movement proclaimed run of the mill Evangelical new birth salvation a false gospel because it separated justification and sanctification resulting in many church members being re-saved again. I witnessed this while I was still attending church; longtime faithful members were being re-baptized and confessing they were never really saved. The idea that sanctification was something different than justification, and not the progression of justification, was deemed an Evangelical false gospel that sent many to hell.

Hence, the New Calvinism movement proclaimed itself as God’s avenger on evangelicalism and ordained by God to retake all of the spoils gained by the Evangelical false gospel. My point in mentioning that follows: NO church leader who was swept up in this movement ever made a re-profession of faith, MacArthur included. While New Calvinists constantly indicted the Evangelical church for being a false church while it was taking it over, the subsequent elephant in the room has always been ignored. Only a few contradictions highlighted by the pandemic will be discussed in this post though there are innumerable contradictions in the illogical morass we call “church.”

The COVID pandemic has incited many provocative questions about the church. In many cases, it has further exposed church folly. Initially, Protestant churches, all but totally taken over by the New Calvinism movement,  accepted the government lockdowns. Say what? This, after teaching the necessity of the “ordinary means of grace” that can only be executed by elders of the church, for years. This is just one of many Protestant elephants in the room mindlessly ignored as a normal course of existence. While the lockdowns continued, there was NO discussion about the “ordinary means of grace” necessary for the existence of Protestantism’s core doctrine of Double Imputation.

Then, according to my best guess, the money started running out. Now, the narrative is changing. It has gone from, “We must obey the civil authorities ordained by God,” to “We must obey God rather than man.” Nothing new here when it comes to church. And again, where are all of the sermons on maintaining Double Imputation in all of this? Look, let’s be honest with ourselves, nothing that goes on at church is really taken seriously; it’s all about institutional salvation.

In addition, this article is not about the political disaster that will occur for Democrats if they perp walk MacArthur. This article is about the illogical ideology of the church flushed out by the COVID pandemic. MacArthur’s reasoning for changing the narrative is a train wreck. According to a statement by MacArthur and his elders:

God has established three institutions within human society: the family, the state, and the church. Each institution has a sphere of authority with jurisdictional limits that must be respected. A father’s authority is limited to his own family. Church leaders’ authority (which is delegated to them by Christ) is limited to church matters. And government is specifically tasked with the oversight and protection of civic peace and well-being within the boundaries of a nation or community. God has not granted civic rulers authority over the doctrine, practice, or polity of the church. The biblical framework limits the authority of each institution to its specific jurisdiction. The church does not have the right to meddle in the affairs of individual families and ignore parental authority. Parents do not have authority to manage civil matters while circumventing government officials. And similarly, government officials have no right to interfere in ecclesiastical matters in a way that undermines or disregards the God-given authority of pastors and elders.

This is a joke for many, many, reasons. First, where does the Bible say church and family are institutions? Here is where the church, which is, in fact, an institution, finds itself at odds with everyday worldly life on a continual basis. The ekklesia of Christ is not an institution, it’s a body, and Christ being the “head” of the church isn’t a statement of authority, but rather speaks to a “head” of a body.

A body does not function like an institution. An institution functions by hierarchical authority. A body functions according to healthy members and organs working together for a common cause. The head has no authority over the body. The head can make decisions that edify the body for the collective benefit of the whole body, but most functions of the body are what we call, “involuntary.” The knowledge of the body’s head (mind) is central to the body’s edification. The more a body is edified, the healthier it is.

This statement by MacArthur and his elders is wholly disingenuous as well. It is well documented that their position follows: the church has authority over families that are members at Grace Community Church. This is a hallmark of New Calvinism. Fathers of a family are “under-shepherds” or “sub-pastors” (Voddie Baucham) of the elders. The statement that, “The church does not have the right to meddle in the affairs of individual families and ignore parental authority” in no way matches the reality in New Calvinist churches. It is an utterly absurd statement.

And, where does the Bible state that Christ has granted authority over the “church” to church leaders? That is not biblical. Neither is it biblical that God has given church authority over families. I will not reiterate here the hundreds of articles this ministry has written on these issues, but I will toss in this meme that we published some time ago:

elders 2

While Christ’s ekklesia is instructed to be submissive to governmental authorities, the very structure of God’s ekklesia, that is, body and family, avoids unnecessary conflict with the government. The ekklesia is the family of God that functions like a body. It functions according to freewill offerings of love, not authority. In a marriage, according to the Bible, the husband is the head, that is, the primary edifier, not the authority in the family. Church does not understand the salvific reality between law and love.

This is why the early ekklesia was small groups who met in private homes. While these groups formed a massively large network of believers who worked together for common purposes, they rarely found themselves at odds with the government because the ekklesia is not an institution.  Many ekklesias were distorted by becoming authoritative institutions in the 4th century, but before that, persecution was always via institutional religion; primarily, the Judaizers and Gnostic sects. Most so-called “persecution” after the 4th century is little more than institutional competition.

Where honesty shows up in MacArthur’s unbiblical assessment of humanity’s institutional framework can be found in New Calvinism’s response to church scandals. In no case ever has any church member found justice within the church for pedophilia, rape, extortion, or theft. When disillusioned members appeal to government authorities for justice, said members are excommunicated (because the church claims authority over salvation), and civil authorities are told to butt out because it is a “church matter and not a civil matter.”

In several cases this has been the Grace Community Church position, and at the very least, yet endorses ministries that are very vocal about this position; namely, CJ Mahaney and Sovereign Grace Ministries (SGM). MacArthur did not separate himself or his ministry from association with SGM regardless of  numerous scandals and documented criminal behavior.

lastly, MacArthur is very good at being wrong about most cultural topics. He mentioned in the statement that, “Parents do not have authority to manage civil matters while circumventing government officials.” Well, actually, the USA is a government by the people and for the people, so he is wrong about that as well.

American government is structured to protect individualism and the individual in particular. That necessarily circumvents any “jurisdiction” that violates the self-evident rights of an individual.

This is anathema to the world and the church as well: God is an individualist, and not a collectivist. He will leave a flock of 99 to save the one. “Jurisdiction” does not nullify that reality.

Once again, confused men posing as martyrs will lead the way in institutional competition while calling it, “persecution.”


2 Responses

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  1. Michael Fritsch said, on August 5, 2020 at 2:50 PM

    Spot on Pilgrim!


  2. lydia00 said, on August 14, 2020 at 10:43 PM

    It’s amazing how many don’t get this? As if obeying unconstitutional “rules” (there are no laws for it) they are being good Christians. it’s really rather amusing. The democrats are trying to put them out of business and they are obeying!


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