I Will Bless Those Who Bless You

I haven't been active on this blog for a few months. I didn't know how much I would actually use it when I started, although there are several big areas of study that are on my mind that I plan to publish here when my research is complete. However, I came across a story today that is over a month old. I don't keep up with The Master's University and Seminary, so I only became aware of it through the infamous YouTuber Servus Christi.

As it turns out, TMUS are under academic probation and at risk of losing their accreditation for several reasons.
  1. A lack of board independence,
  2. Allegations of conflicts of interest regarding student financial aid,
  3. Institutional leaders being hired who lack qualifications for the higher education positions they hold, and
  4. What the WSCUC described as “a disturbing climate of fear, intimidation and bullying” at the university.
The first thought that entered my head upon hearing this is the abhorrent way John MacArthur terminated and shamed Bill Schlegel back in March of this year after he announced his intentions to quietly resign due to his newfound Unitarian Christology. In the spirit of John Calvin burning Michael Servetus at the stake, MacArthur figuratively executed a man who has passionately pursued the truth of Scripture to whatever end, even “forsaking all” in pursuit of the faith of Abraham and Yeshua.

As I said, I don't keep up with news regarding TMUS. However, I do follow news about Johnny Mac somewhat. I spent ten years attending a church that was largely MacArthurian in its doctrine. I wouldn't go so far as to call the pastor a disciple of MacArthur, but he held the man in high esteem. Many of my friends from that church attended TMU. John and I were even in the same building just two days ago, although I missed the opportunity to meet him. (I may have more to say about this in a future post.) I have been particularly interested in following him because of the excellent reporting of Servus Christi.

As a disclaimer, I disagree with Servus Christi on just about every point of doctrine I've heard him articulate. I can't say that with perfect certainty, but my areas of disagreement are much more numerous than those where I agree with him. He has the same critical, “us vs. them” spirit that I've come to abhor in the likes of MacArthur and the pastor of my old church home. It is a spirit that believes theological orthodoxy is the supreme virtue, and my version of theological orthodoxy is the only legitimate one. Anyone who disagrees is a servant of Satan. While what we believe is of great value, I have come to see the beauty in diversity and the true love of Yeshua that binds us together as we are at different stages of our walk of faith. Maybe being a heretic myself has made me a softie toward those I used to condemn as heretics, but these days I'm much more concerned about whether someone is walking in the faith of Yeshua than ticking off my theological check boxes.

So I have many issues with Servus Christi in his approach and attitude. But it is refreshing to see the MacArthurian standard applied to MacArthur. The good doctor certainly has made some questionable moves of late. The most prominent is the announcement that John MacArthur Partners With Rick Warren. The major issue I have with this (shared by Servus Christi) is that Rick Warren is a friend of the pope, whom I believe is the False Prophet of the coming Antichrist (cf. Revelation 13:11-18). Matt Slick of CARM.org, another devotee of MacArthur and someone with whom I thoroughly disagree on most points of doctrine, wrote a substantial article examining Rick Warren's comments on Roman Catholicism. So for Pastor John MacArthur to partner in ministry with Rick Warren, we are seeing a tacit endorsement of the Vatican herself from a man who has preached a sermon series Explaining the Heresy of Catholicism.

Not that this surprises me all that much. While MacArthur is certainly among those protesting the Catholic Church, he still falls under her skirt on two key points: the Trinity and Sunday worship.

While the Trinity doctrine was largely formulated before the bishop of Rome became the god-man, it is still a decidedly Catholic doctrine. I'm not making an argument from history as much as saying that this doctrine is the product of the same stream of creedal tradition that produced the Roman Catholic Church. The Reformation stopped far too short in restoring biblical faith and practice. Now personally, I am still willing to fellowship with Trinitarians because (1) we affirm the same Scriptures and (2) most Trinitarians I know have never examined the doctrine themselves and therefore are unaware at how devoid of biblical truth it is. But Dr. MacArthur isn't so innocent. In 1999, John publicly changed his view on the sonship of Jesus from incarnational (that is, the Logos became the Son at the incarnation) to eternal (Jesus was always God the Son). (If you're rolling your eyes and asking yourself “How does this make anyone a better follower of Messiah?” you're not alone.) He has the education and resources to give the doctrine of the Trinity careful scrutiny, yet he still affirms it. He is as much a slave of Church Tradition as the pope.

As for Sunday worship, I don't make a big deal about this very often. Like the Trinity issue, I'm willing to fellowship with people who don't keep Shabbat according to Scripture. However, the Catholic Church has declared that Protestants who worship on Sunday are Catholic by virtue of the fact that they keep the Catholic day of worship and not Shabbat. As a pastor, MacArthur should know better. By worshiping on Sunday and blaspheming the Shabbat, he is effectually a Catholic.

It is certainly interesting to see what appears to be the beginning of the end of John MacArthur's Calvinist empire. Maybe cursing Bill Schlegel has brought a curse upon him. Only time will tell.

Source: “John MacArthur's Seminary on Probation for ‘climate of bullying,’ Board Problems,” churchleaders.com

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Why I Left Answers in Genesis

Response to TMU: A Synopsis of the Deity of the Messiah

Response to Acts17Apologetics: The Trinity in Red Letters (A Reply to Yusha Evans)