44 Comments

Picketing John MacArthur’s Church


This is where its heading folks…if you decide to stand on the word of God before standing for anything else, there will be others (also calling themselves Christians), who are going to eventually turn on you.These are people who have went off the old Gospel path and wandered into the territory of the enemy. In this instance a group, Concerned Citizens for the First Amendment, who claim to be Christians, have made an idol out of the first amendment.

Are We as Citizens to be Subject to Civil Authorities Such as Adolph Hitler or Joseph Stalin

Prominent U.S. Pastor of Grace Community Church, John MacArthur, teaches his congregation that we must be subject to the civil authorities even to Hitler or Stalin

LOS ANGELES, March 4 /Christian Newswire/ — Using Nehemiah as an example, Concerned Citizens for the First Amendment have notified the Mayor, 15 City Council Members, the City Attorney and the Police Chief of Los Angeles they will go to the public sidewalks at Grace Community Church in accordance with the First Amendment to ask why Pastor John MacArthur would teach his people to be subject to Hitler or Stalin.  Grace Community Church is located at 13248 Roscoe Blvd., Los Angeles, Ca 91352, the group will be there from 6:30 – 7:15 PM.

Concerned Citizens for the First Amendment note there are three (3) reasons why they  are doing this:

1. To educate citizens about the First Amendment.

2. To familiarize all citizens with our cherished First Amendment rights.

3. To educate all who follow John MacArthur that his statement that we must obey Hitler or Stalin is  not in accordance with the Constitution of the United States or the Holy Bible.  more

44 comments on “Picketing John MacArthur’s Church

  1. I am not an American and have no vested interest in the 1st amendment, but Macarthur is wide of the mark. What if Hitler orders you go and round up some Jews or Gypsies? He should learn from Pastor Neimoller who started out as a supporter of Hitler, until he realised what was happening.

    First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a communist;
    Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a trade unionist;
    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew;
    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak out for me.
    Pastor Neimoller

    • Gordon, the mark we should be shooting for is what the bible tells us is the correct action or response. Don’t you agree?

      If we do that we cannot go wrong.

    • Gordon, I really believe it is possible to deal with these issues and STILL be subject to authority.

      1) While subject to authority, we have no obligation under God to participate in ungodly acts no matter if that authority orders us to perform them. I have no issue with the concept of the conscientious objector. I simply believe it is used in ridiculous and very politically correct ways these days.

      2) We have to look at the example of David and Saul. We can maintain our allegiance to those in authority over us and at the same time attempt to thwart their evil agenda. But we must do it in a way that does not promote a revolt against authority itself.

      Quite honestly, I am a major admirer of Dietrich Bohnhoeffer. While I do think there are some issues with his participation in the plot against Hitler, I think he was doing the best he could with what he had to work with. What we see playing out before us today bears absolutely no resemblance to what Bohnhoeffer faced. My view of Bohnhoeffer is that he did what he did with fear and trembling. Not fear of Hitler, but fear of God. Within that framework he made some very hard choices. That is patently NOT what is happening in our day. And there were many Christians in both Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Russia that were MAJOR thorns for those governments who at the same time acted totally within Biblical constraints. In comparison, most who attack most governments today, including our own are pansies by comparison. They are reeking of greed and the desire to rule and reign with their own agenda. They are not putting their own life on the line for others. Quite the opposite. And yet they have the nerve to play themselves as martyrs when things don’t work out.

    • Firstly, I apologize that business has prevented me from responding to this earlier and, dear P.J., be assured that I appreciate you and your blogs very much. That doesn’t mean I have to agree with you on everything you say.

      So yes, of course I believe that we should be shooting for the Bible and, as I said in my first response, I have no allegiance to the first amendment as I am not an American, nor do I endorse the actions of the pickets. However, since JM may have been taken, or presented, out of context let’s leave him out of it and simply address the question which rose up – are Christians biblically bound to subject themselves to rulers like Hitler and Stalin?

      Then let’s look at two key scriptures:
      First Romans 13.1 Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority, except that which God has established’ v 2 goes on to say that whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against that which God has instituted etc.

      Now let’s look at the qualities of godly instituted authority.
      V3 Rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. In the cases of Stalin and Hitler exactly the reverse was true.

      V4 He is God’s servant to do you good. Again Stalin and Hitler did the exact reverse.

      V4 He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Again these two despots did exactly the opposite.

      Conclusion: these men did not exercise godly authority and do not qualify as leaders who merit our submission.

      Second scripture Hebrews 13v17.
      Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.

      Verse 7 indicates that this is probably referring to church leaders (we will come back to that in a minute) but it could have a wider application due to similarities with Romans 13.

      How could believers obey Stalin and Hitler when their goal is to extinguish the Christian faith and act in ways that are diametrically opposed to the gospel.

      My conclusion is that these men are not due our submission (which is after all an attitude of the heart) because they do not exercise godly authority. In fact they are in rebellion against God and against the Lord Jesus Christ who alone merits our total obedience.

      Those who advocate obeying despots like Stalin and Hitler, until they require us to do something that violates our conscience, miss the point. Their whole demonic philosophy violates our conscience.

      Finally, to return to the Hebrews 13 injunction to obey church leaders? Are there not leaders of churches, regularly mentioned on here, whose followers we regard as being in peril of their soul because their leaders preach a false gospel? Would we counsel their congregations to submit to them on the basis of Hebrews 13?

      I leave that as a rhetorical question.

  2. Picketing John MacArthur is stupid, but didn’t Paul uphold his rights as a Roman Citizen? We still have a Charter of Rights and Freedoms in Canada and a Bill of Rights in the US.

    John the Baptist give behavioral instruction to Tax Collectors and Roman Soldiers and criticized the behavior of King Herod. All persons in positions of authority.

    I’m trying to understand where you stand as I am fairly new to this site. Do you equally condemn politicking on the Christian Left or social liberalism.

    Do we have to question the salvation or those we deem to be a little to political for our taste? Some Christians like animals, art, history and some like politics. Do we have to question their faith in God because they disagree on some issues we feel strongly about that is not a matter of sound doctrine? I suppose I would have to draw the line if someone said they were a communist or fascist.

    Just asking questions and I hope that I can feel free to do that on this site without being labeled a heretic.

    • Paul, Peter, John the baptist nor any of the early disciples spoke out against [or picketed] preachers of the truth.

  3. PJ I have received more grief over my stance in this matter than anything else I have ever preached. You are correct, patriotic Christianity is an idol and a perversion of the truth.

    Our kingdom is not of this world. None of the apostles ever suggested fighting for or against the kingdoms of this world. The problem in America is we believe that we select our leaders. We do not understand that God is sovereign and He decides who rules in the kingdoms of men – yes even here in the good old USA. We get the leaders we deserve.

    We must obey the leaders that God has put in office with two exceptions

    1. If the government compels us to perform sinful or unrighteous acts we must refuse
    2. If the government prevents us from doing what God has called us to do, ie; preach the gospel, then we must obey God rather than man

    Except for a few isolated and mainly correctable incidents neither of those conditions currently exist in our country. When they do happen we must obey God but we must also be ready to suffer the consequences at the hands of unjust men if that indeed be our fate.

    1Peter 4:14
    If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy [are ye]; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.

    • PJ I have received more grief over my stance in this matter than anything else I have ever preached. You are correct, patriotic Christianity is an idol and a perversion of the truth.

      Steve i can sure understand. Any time i post on the topic–even if its just remotely touched upon, im guaranteed to have a number of comments left from Christians who are outraged at the article and me personally.

      At least 3 out of every 5 are so bad i can’t even post them.

      Because it can elicit such outrage says something in itself, doesn’t it…

      Our kingdom is not of this world. None of the apostles ever suggested fighting for or against the kingdoms of this world.

      amen.

  4. I totally agree with John MacArthur. The Bible never tells us to fight against wicked government. Heaps of scriptures for this. Im on my way out so haven’t got time for anything else God bless

  5. Oh brother! lol.

    Wow. Scratching my head right now. That was an excellent sermon series. It was right on!

    It’s amazing to me that if you actually have taken the time to listen to the sermon, which is a two-parter by the way, you will find it is clearly Biblical. The way it’s being twisted is completely nuts! Taking 1 sentence out of a 2 hour sermon is laughable. However, it’s to be expected when sound Biblical teaching is goin’ on.

    Here’s a link to the audio version below if you want to know what was said in context.

    http://kittykit.wordpress.com/2009/09/09/christian-responsibility-in-pagan-society/

    I think I’m gonna repost it. It really was a good one!

    Is it not true that our mission is to tell people about Christ? Isn’t that the only thing we are in the world to do? If someone goes to hell, who really cares who ruled their government while they were alive?

    Could you just image Paul fighting over first amendment rights? John? Peter? Jesus?

    People who are doing this picketing stuff have obviously not heard the entire message, or if they have…they are completely blind and deaf and Biblically illiterate.

    • Kit thanks for posting the link to the audio of John MacArthur’s sermon. I had planned on locating and listening to it earlier but had company stop by.

      Is it not true that our mission is to tell people about Christ? Isn’t that the only thing we are in the world to do? If someone goes to hell, who really cares who ruled their government while they were alive?

      Amen Amen!! 🙂

  6. Hey PJ,

    The funny thing is Johnny Mac did this sermon in 1997, but the protestors must have just read about it in their monthly Tea Party Newsletter. LOL They can’t seem to get their information unless it is spoonfed from Glenn Beck.

    What JM said was completely scriptural, if they had read more than a line taken completely out of context. He pointed out that we are to submit to the point where it infringes on asking us to do something outside of the Bible. At that point, we must obey Our Lord and be willing to be inprisoned or killed. Otherwise, we are to be model, peaceful and loving citizens, a light in the darkness of the pagan world.

    Good night, these zombies are like the pew-warmers of the emergent church who can’t handle more than catchy soundbites and then they run with it.

    • 1997? Well for goodness sakes!! Thirteen years ago and its just now being pointed out.

      Keri, i think this shows us just how divisive American Political ‘Christianity’ has become in the last 2-3 years–the movement itself.

      These folks are digging through the archives of preachers who still peach the gospel, looking for quotes which do not line up with their type of Americanized Christianity.

      Its actually spooky.

  7. John MacArthur is right. Scripture is clearly on his side. I would REALLY like to know where his opponents are finding scriptural support for their position. I certainly don’t see anything in the linked article that provides a clue. But, of course, his opponents are POLITICALLY CORRECT and thats all that matters these days. Jesus taught his very followers to be subject to Rome and the government of Rome was in its time unmatched for cruelty and injustice. But a lot of folks misunderstand “subjection” to be slavery, which it is clearly not. Whether the issue is Christians being subject to rulers or wives being subject to husbands, the point is a matter of respect, not a matter of putting the ruler or husband higher than God Himself. So there is room for some godly civil disobedience. But the Bible AND the church fathers are clear. Open rebellion and challenge to civil authority is scripturally forbidden no matter how “evil” the ruler. Here is Irenæus again on the subject, this time the full cut:

    As therefore the devil lied at the beginning, so did he also in the end, when he said, “All these are delivered unto me, and to whomsoever I will I give them.” For it is not he who has appointed the kingdoms of this world, but God; for “the heart of the king is in the hand of God.” And the Word also says by Solomon, “By me kings do reign, and princes administer justice. By me chiefs are raised up, and by me kings rule the earth.” Paul the apostle also says upon this same subject: “Be ye subject to all the higher powers; for there is no power but of God: now those which are have been ordained of God.” And again, in reference to them he says, “For he beareth not the sword in vain; for he is the minister of God, the avenger for wrath to him who does evil.” Now, that he spake these words, not in regard to angelical powers, nor of invisible rulers— as some venture to expound the passage—but of those of actual human authorities, [he shows when] he says, “For this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, doing service for this very thing.” This also the Lord confirmed, when He did not do what He was tempted to by the devil; but He gave directions that tribute should be paid to the tax-gatherers for Himself and Peter; because “they are the ministers of God, serving for this very thing.”

    For since man, by departing from God, reached such a pitch of fury as even to look upon his brother as his enemy, and engaged without fear in every kind of restless conduct, and murder, and avarice; God imposed upon mankind the fear of man, as they did not acknowledge the fear of God, in order that, being subjected to the authority of men, and kept under restraint by their laws, they might attain to some degree of justice, and exercise mutual forbearance through dread of the sword suspended full in their view, as the apostle says: “For he beareth not the sword in vain; for he is the minister of God, the avenger for wrath upon him who does evil.” And for this reason too, magistrates themselves, having laws as a clothing of righteousness whenever they act in a just and legitimate manner, shall not be called in question for their conduct, nor be liable to punishment. But whatsoever they do to the subversion of justice, iniquitously, and impiously, and illegally, and tyrannically, in these things shall they also perish; for the just judgment of God comes equally upon all, and in no case is defective. Earthly rule, therefore, has been appointed by God for the benefit of nations, and not by the devil, who is never at rest at all, nay, who does not love to see even nations conducting themselves after a quiet manner, so that under the fear of human rule, men may not eat each other up like fishes; but that, by means of the establishment of laws, they may keep down an excess of wickedness among the nations. And considered from this point of view, those who exact tribute from us are “God’s ministers, serving for this very purpose.”

    As, then, “the powers that be are ordained of God,” it is clear that the devil lied when he said, “These are delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will, I give them.” For by the law of the same Being as calls men into existence are kings also appointed, adapted for those men who are at the time placed under their government. Some of these [rulers] are given for the correction and the benefit of their subjects, and for the preservation of justice; but others, for the purposes of fear and punishment and rebuke: others, as [the subjects] deserve it, are for deception, disgrace, and pride; while the just judgment of God, as I have observed already, passes equally upon all. The devil, however, as he is the apostate angel, can only go to this length, as he did at the beginning, [namely] to deceive and lead astray the mind of man into disobeying the commandments of God, and gradually to darken the hearts of those who would endeavour to serve him, to the forgetting of the true God, but to the adoration of himself as God.

    Just as if any one, being an apostate, and seizing in a hostile manner another man’s territory, should harass the inhabitants of it, in order that he might claim for himself the glory of a king among those ignorant of his apostasy and robbery; so likewise also the devil, being one among those angels who are placed over the spirit of the air, as the Apostle Paul has declared in his Epistle to the Ephesians, becoming envious of man, was rendered an apostate from the divine law: for envy is a thing foreign to God. And as his apostasy was exposed by man, and man became the [means of] searching out his thoughts (et examinatio sententiæ ejus, homo factus est), he has set himself to this with greater and greater determination, in opposition to man, envying his life, and wishing to involve him in his own apostate power. The Word of God, however, the Maker of all things, conquering him by means of human nature, and showing him to be an apostate, has, on the contrary, put him under the power of man. For He says, “Behold, I confer upon you the power of treading upon serpents and scorpions, and upon all the power of the enemy,” in order that, as he obtained dominion over man by apostasy, so again his apostasy might be deprived of power by means of man turning back again to God.

    And not only by the particulars already mentioned, but also by means of the events which shall occur in the time of Antichrist is it shown that he, being an apostate and a robber, is anxious to be adored as God; and that, although a mere slave, he wishes himself to be proclaimed as a king. For he (Antichrist) being endued with all the power of the devil, shall come, not as a righteous king, nor as a legitimate king, [i.e., one] in subjection to God, but an impious, unjust, and lawless one; as an apostate, iniquitous and murderous; as a robber, concentrating in himself [all] satanic apostasy, and setting aside idols to persuade [men] that he himself is God, raising up himself as the only idol, having in himself the multifarious errors of the other idols. This he does, in order that they who do [now] worship the devil by means of many abominations, may serve himself by this one idol, of whom the apostle thus speaks in the second Epistle to the Thessalonians: “Unless there shall come a failing away first, and the man of sin shall be revealed, the son of perdition, who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself as if he were God.” The apostle therefore clearly points out his apostasy, and that he is lifted up above all that is called God, or that is worshipped—that is, above every idol —for these are indeed so called by men, but are not [really] gods; and that he will endeavour in a tyrannical manner to set himself forth as God.

    NOTE how Irenæus

    1) Painstakingly makes his case SCRIPTURE by SCRIPTURE to show that Christians, without exception, are to be subject to government authorities.

    2) Then painstakingly explains WHY Christians must be subject to civil authorities by outlining WHY God established civil authority in the first place.

    3) Then outlines how rebellion against civil authority advances the work of Satan in the earth.

    4) Then connects all this with the eventual appearance of the Antichrist.

    This drive on the part of even religious people to justify rebellion against government authorities for reasons of conscience plays right into the work of Satan and the coming of the Antichrist. We are at the end of the age brethren and the coming “messiah” that most “Christians” will likely embrace with open arms is a fake. Those who insist on following the Bible alone in defiance of the Bible’s own admonition are in grave danger of being deceived:

    Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle. [KJV] II Thessalonians 2:15

    The Lord appointed teachers in the Church for a reason. If the Bible alone were sufficient, there would be no need for teachers. Rightly dividing the Word of God requires godly instruction. In cult after cult the deceived search the scriptures and are convinced they have found life. Without a foundation of historic Christian teaching we are adrift in a sea of religious confusion as cut and paste theology bombards us from all sides with conflicting interpretations of scripture. Sound doctrine requires the scriptures. Sound doctrine ALSO requires sound teaching. And the soundest teaching of all is found in the historic teaching of the church from the apostolic period forward.

    • I would REALLY like to know where his opponents are finding scriptural support for their position.

      George i would too. I don’t think we should hold our breathe while waiting though…cause it just isn’t there!

  8. I happen to have listened to that sermon. They are quoting it out of context, of course. MacArthur does say that, but also says to not subject to anything sinful.
    E.

  9. I have no idea why these people are dragging in the First Amendment on this as they picket…if they believed in it so much they should understand that MacArthur has the constitutional right to say what he did.

    I love John MacArthur’s teachings and have many of his books, including his study Bible. However, while I agree with some of what he says here, I think he is way off base to imply we should follow the dictates of those like Stalin.

    “Reason number four, government is designed to restrain evil. Verse 3, “Rulers are not a cause for fear for good behavior but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you’ll have praise from the same.” In other words, government is designed to restrain evil.”

    The government of the Soviet Union was designed to restrain evil? Must be…since MacArthur put Stalin in his list of leaders we should obey. It would seem rather difficult to imagine evil restraining itself – the purges of the 1930s didn’t seem to show much restraint.

    “There comes a point in time when the state turns against the church and tells the church not to do what God has mandated to do, then we have to obey God and suffer the consequence…be it prison or death. The only time we disobey is when we have been mandated by Scripture to do something we are forbidden to do or not to do something we are being compelled to do. We are obedient.”

    So, when the state turns against the church and tells us not to do what God had mandated, it’s okay for us to not follow their dictates? The Soviet Union did NOT start off as a benevolent government that lost its way. On March 19, 1922, shortly after the end of the Russian Civil War, Lenin issued an order concerning confiscation of church property and the execution of priests and others who sought to block such seizures.

    “[I]f it is necessary to resort to certain brutalities for the sake of realizing a certain political goal, they must be carried out in the most energetic fashion and in the briefest possible time because the masses will not tolerate prolonged application of brutality … Therefore, … we must give battle to the Black Hundreds [a pre-revolutionary, proto-fascist organization] clergy in the most decisive and merciless manner and crush its resistance with such brutality that it will not forget it for decades to come. The trial of these people should be conducted with the maximum of speed and … end in no other way than execution by firing squad of a very large number of the most influential and dangerous rebels.”

    Yet, MacArthur would lead us to believe that we should follow this type of government…until they start going against Biblical teaching? They went against Biblical teaching from Day one!

    1. You shall have no other gods before Me.

    Stalin had had Lenin mummified, and set up “Cult of Lenin” with himself as the high priest. He felt that peasants needed something to replace God in their lives.

    2. You shall not make for yourself a carved image–any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

    Throughout the Soviet Union, there were innumerable statues and paintings of Lenin and Stalin that evoked god-like reverence from the people. I read about one statue that had electrical currents run to the head to stop birds from defacing it. Inadvertently touching/defacing one of these paintings could and did lead to the person being sent to a gulag.

    3. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.

    Obviously they didn’t follow this commandment – seeing as they thought that only “backward” people like the peasants believed in God. Most Communists were atheists.

    4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.

    Once again, a group of people who were predominantly atheist wouldn’t put much stock into this commandment.

    5. Honor your father and your mother.

    Children were expected to inform on their parents if they said disparaging things about the state. Pavlik Morozov became a hero in the Soviet Union for denouncing his father to the secret police…many statues and parks were named in his honor – turned out that the official story wasn’t quite accurate though.

    6. You shall not murder.

    Don’t even know where to start here…40-60 million people died under Stalin’s government. Made Hitler look like a girl scout…

    7. You shall not commit adultery.

    Many in the Communist Party thought marriage was an antiquated idea and sought to do away with the idea of marriage eventually. Marital fidelity was outmoded to them…

    8. You shall not steal.

    Breaking this commandment was one of the most basic foundations of socialism. Taking over privately-owned businesses and land/livestock. They led the peasants and workers to believe that they would get their fair share of the property, but that was never the true intention.

    9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

    One need only look at the Great Purges of the 1930s to see what the Soviet view on bearing false witness was. For the most part, trumped up charges to do away with people who MIGHT cause problems in the future. As Stalin said, “No man, no problem.” There were quotas to be met and people willing to go far beyond what was required in an effort to enhance their promotion prospects.

    10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.

    Covet…yes, there was a lot of coveting going on in the Soviet Union. Peasants wanted the land owners’ land, plus their blood while they were at it. The workers wanted control of the factories and the leadership wanted control of the peoples’ very souls.

    This part of the Bible has caused me some consternation and I don’t think MacArthur’s teaching here does it much justice. The caveat regarding the government requiring you to go against God’s will seems to almost be an afterthought. I can see the government using these verses to coerce people into doing what they’re told and anybody who doesn’t think so needs to read some history.

    No, I do not think that the Constitution is above the Bible…in any way. However, I am glad that we have it since it helps protect my right to be a Christian if I choose to. Subject to Stalin’s government? I wonder if John realizes that he would be one the very first ones put to death under that regime? Not that dying for God is something to be afraid of, but his use of Stalin casts a pall over Christians who refused to be bullied into not spreading God’s word in Communist countries. From day one, the Soviet government was one that went against Biblical teachings…

    • Mark, what he was preaching was what the scriptures say about government and about what our obligations are (biblically) concerning it.

      The emotions may not like what the Word says, but we can’t deny it. 🙂

    • Interesting. I am not sure you are aware of some of what you said. You agree about the fact that all authority is established by God, right? Well, you’d have to, according to His Word:

      “Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.” Romans 13:1

      Now, there’s a difference in us knowing what the Word of God says, and accepting it. We need to accept it because it IS the truth, no matter what our puny human minds think, right?

      Now, what we (as in collective humans) always try to do is to fit our lives, our ideas, our circumstances IN the Bible, and not the other way around. The Bible doesn’t care for circumstances, races, being in the year 2010 or 1550 for that matter. And when we don’t like what the Bible has to say about our particular issue, we fight it.

      Of course Christians are called to be subject to authority. But always as long as the subjection doesn’t go against the Word of God, against His holiness (and not our “idea” of holiness), against the One and Living God.

      And if we have to face persecution, if we have to face even death, so be it. Our hope is not in this world. We are not from this world, we are here just for a while, and then we are gone. Those who obey earthly authorities to the point of sinning against God, those will be judged accordingly.

      But… to go back to what you said and caught my interested. “Yet, MacArthur would lead us to believe that we should follow this type of government…until they start going against Biblical teaching? They went against Biblical teaching from Day one!” You yourself say that they were against the Bible from the beginning. Does Pastor MacArthur says anywhere that we are to obey and be subject to this kind of authority? No. He clearly says that the subjection and the obedience is to do what honours God! Killing Jews would honour God? Would you justify your sins before God saying “I know it was wrong, I didn’t wanna do it, but your word said to obey authority!”
      What do you think that God would say to you then? That although you didn’t love HIM to the point of death, He would allow you in heaven?

      E.

    • My emotions have nothing to do with it, J…and I don’t think I tried to deny the Word in my response either – at least that wasn’t my intention.

      As a field artillery officer, I was extremely careful when I computed firing data because an error could lead to somebody’s death…as a transportation corps officer, I paid close attention to my load planning because if it was wrong it might cause the plane or helicopter to crash…as a manager in the civilian world, I took my duties very seriously and tried to do was right for the company I worked for.

      Maybe that makes me a detail freak (I’ve been called worse), but it just doesn’t make sense to me that I should have lower standards when interpreting the Bible. I’ve always been of the belief that if there is ever a disconnect in communications between myself and one of my soldiers/employees, it was entirely my fault because it’s my responsibility to make myself clear.

      If my nephew was really sick and not hungry I would never say, “Well, you need to make sure you eat so you don’t lose your strength…chicken noodle soup, macaroni and cheese, peanut butter sandwich, rat poison, ravioli, whatever. Oh, but make sure you don’t eat something that would kill ya…”

      Yes, that’s probably an over-simplification but that is another thing that I’ve found works well when trying to communicate my thoughts to my people. Why in the world would I even mention rat poison to him in the first place? It makes no sense… Rat poison…yes, that’s exactly what Stalin was for the Russian people.

      Yes, I know that MacArthur said that we shouldn’t follow orders later in the sermon…despite what some might think, I can understand the English language quite well, thank you. I also remember listening to this teaching a few years ago and didn’t agree with the Stalin part then either. Does his caveat really change things? Yes, I know most of you think it does.

      At the Nuremburg trials following WWII, many Nazi leaders tried to use the “I was just following orders” defense regarding Hitler. Didn’t work too well for them…

      I think that the interpretation of the Bible needs to be very clear and to the point…in my opinion, this is one of John MacArthur’s strongpoints – what sets him apart from most other preachers nowadays. I have next week off and I plan on spending some time reading his teachings and the Bible…what I have said doesn’t change my opinion of him or my belief that most of what he said in this teaching was correct. I just don’t completely agree with what he said…shame on me, I guess.

      Once again, for the most part, I do agree with what MacArthur’s teaching here but I can see how nefarious people could take this line of reasoning (minus the caveat) and use it to their own advantage in the future. I hate to say it, but I can see many being deluded by it.

      Obviously, most if not all here, disagree with me or think I’m a nit-picker who clearly cannot understand the English language. That’s fine, I stand by what I said and will continue to express these sentiments to those I interact with on a daily basis where I live. If I’m wrong and God decides to send me to Hell for it so be it…I deserve to go there for a million different reasons anyway – only Jesus stands in the way of my well-deserved damnation.

      Yes, I place the Bible above all else…including the Constitution…but I will not stand by idly and watch tyranny come to be in this country. And, no, I do NOT think that President Obama is a tyrant…

  10. 1 Tim 2:2 was written while Nero was Emperor.

    Those picketing MacArthur should open their Bibles before they picket, particularly the overwhelming testimony of the New Testament.

  11. This is nuts..John MacArthur is right and scripture backs him up. If this is not proof that Nationalism is much more important to folks than following Jesus Christ I don’t know what is. I see where another angry at the goverment suicide killer attacked people at the Pentagon….this political zealousness is beyond scary folks, it really is. I think we need to look up, our redemption is on it’s way really soon.

    • If this is not proof that Nationalism is much more important to folks than following Jesus Christ I don’t know what is.

      B you’re right. The fact that the topic can elicit angry responses, is proof something is seriously wrong: i see (elsewhere) more Christians willing to defend to the death National ‘honor’ and pride, then the name of Christ or the word of God!

  12. Responding to Gordon: you are correct that Neimoller and Bonhoffer were appropriate in resisting Hitler in that Hitler was trying to control the churches, as has communism in places where they allow only a “state” church. A pastor cannot biblically allow that, not allow himself to compromise his preaching, not allow another authority in the place of God’s authority, so in that case it is proper to not obey the state and keep doing the “forbidden” preaching of Christ.

    If the state directs you to round up Jews or anyone else, you are biblically obedient to NOT obey the state. Obey God, which is to protect and bless human life, like what the ten Boom family did in Holland during the Nazi occupation. But the ten Booms never did evil toward the Nazis. “Overcome evil with good.”

    Exposing sin and Satanic thinking is part of our priestly calling in Christ. Calling men to repent, even men in government. But hating them, slandering them, fighting them, using the same wordly means of intimidation, force, threat, etc. is NOT Christian.

  13. Thanks, George for your article.

  14. JM did not say we are to FOLLOW government–any government. We are to honor it and submit to it as unto the Lord, UNLESS or UNTIL it asks us to disobey God. We are to follow CHRIST. What is so difficult for some of you to understand about this? It looks to me like some are not reading or listening carefully to the teaching, but are reacting hastily to something you think you hear but is not being said.

  15. Tell me Vickie is exposing them a slanderous sin? Anyone? Fine line between exposing and gossiping if you ask me, for some would think you were slandering just for bringing their sins to light even if it is good for them! Some even have even killed for being exposed. Seen people who were told of their sins in a spirit of love to bring them out of harms way treat you has if you were being legalistic and walking all over their freedom.
    What about the Reformers who had had enough of the authority of the Catholic church and started a new life away from the church of Rome in Geneva. And when one one of the priest showed up from the Vatican they had him hanged…?

    But as they do to us is not only slander but shows who they are those who would picket!

    2Pe 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
    2Pe 2:2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.

    Seems some love the world more than the one who is to come, could it be they are not really walking in the way?
    Mat 24:11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
    Mat 24:12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
    Mat 24:13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
    Mat 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

  16. J… There is a good posting titled “Answering Big Questions About Sovereignty of God” It speaks about this topic in a larger scope. Really a good listen.

    http://www.oneplace.com/ministries/grace_to_you/

    It brought a greater clarity to me on the bigger picture.

    blessings
    kim

  17. It is eminently possible to submit to an evil government in a biblical way and not participate in its sins or abet its evil agendas. The realm of government is huge. Probably 99% of Hitler’s own soldiers did not face war crimes trials precisely because they did not commit war crimes. The same is even true of some in Hitler’s government. Of course many of those paid severe consequences for their refusal to participate in evil. Some paid with their lives. For many others it was either jail time or lack of career advancement. And on the civilian side, there is absolutely no way that people like the Ten Boom’s violated scripture in any way by sheltering Jews in defiance of the government. I think it is really easy to make disastrous mistakes here in either direction and we really need to understand this whole subject well. I also believe that John MacArthur did an excellent job of laying this all out and those who carefully listen to the whole thing will find this true. Of course there will always be those who cut and paste his sermon to fit their own agenda just like people do with the scriptures. There is nothing we can do about that. The answer is not to pretend that the biblical admonition to be submissive to government doesn’t exist. It is rather to understand the whole context which many are to intellectually lazy to do.

  18. Jonathan, I am sorry for the confusion. That wasn’t meant for you, but for PJ. It goes way back for us in email communication. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

    kim

  19. Thats OK Kim, Here Christ tells us how to be in such situation as we have here.
    Mat 10:13 And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you.
    Mat 10:14 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.
    Mat 10:15 Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment, than for that city.
    Mat 10:16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.
    Mat 10:17 But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues;
    Mat 10:18 And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles.

    Did you get that…as a testimony against them.

    • Jonathan, Excellent scriptures! Indeed this is the other side of the equation and needs to be just as loudly proclaimed. As believers we have a duty to take a stand against evil, but not against authority itself as such. While we must accept and respect their authority, we have no obligation to accept or tolerate their wicked baggage. – George

  20. I believe that Christ showed us how to be in such situations too. At the Cross.

    I suppose that many thought that it was unfair for Him to be scourged and crucified by ungodly men. They were evil in their hearts.

    But that was the government that was set up in that time. That was the government that was allowed by God His Father.To fulfill His divine plan that the was set before the foundations of the world, that the Lamb would be slain.

    That’s all i am saying, I acknowledge that God’s thoughts are much higher than my own. I do not understand why so many things are allowed to happen in our world.

    But I do know this… God is good ALL the time, and when He tells me to submit in His word, He is telling me to trust Him in all situations in my life.To trust that He knows best. That He can work good out of any evil that is devised by man for His glory and my good.

    Christ was the greatest testimony against them all.

    kim

    We can only keep before the Lord in prayer until we are convinced of what He is telling us. He does tell us that He will reason with us to receive understanding of His word.

  21. jonathan: of course exposing evil and sin is not slandering. But there is a LOT of slandering and invective in the USA today done by “christians” and in “christian” blogs. Perhaps you are blessed to have no exposure to such, but I have, and i know others commenting here have. and I have heard things right out of the mouths of brothers and sisters that is in a wrong spirit and attitude and based on conjecture. There were christians who were actually praying for President Obama to be killed, in total disregard for the instruction of Paul to Timothy.

    George Mitchell has expressed my thoughts well enough in his latest comment so i refer you there.

    I brought up the tenBooms as an example of godly, humble, respectful, prayerful, non-violent resistance, which had more to do with being committed to acts of mercy and kindness for Christ’s sake than with opposing rulers.

  22. slan·der   –noun
    1.defamation; calumny: rumors full of slander.
    2.a malicious, false, and defamatory statement or report: a slander against his good name.
    3.Law. defamation by oral utterance rather than by writing, pictures, etc.
    –verb (used with object)
    4.to utter slander against; defame.
    –verb (used without object)
    5.to utter or circulate slander.

    EXPOSE
    4.to present to view; exhibit; display: The storekeeper exposed his wares.
    5.to make known, disclose, or reveal (intentions, secrets, etc.).
    6.to reveal or unmask (a crime, fraud, impostor, etc.): to

    I do not see a fine line, rather a clear distinction, between exposing and slandering or reviling. It has a lot to do with motive and the condition of the heart.

    • Vicki, I think you are right on. Its the passions that make it a fine line, not the definitions. When we get hot and angry and torqued out about something, thats when we can’t tell the difference between righteousness and sin. And it happens to all of us at times. We just need to own up to it and confess it. There is nothing wrong when we express righteous indignation toward our government, however what is often pandered as righteous indignation in our day is actually a very self centered indignation, as in “how dare they increase my taxes to pay for that”. Nothing wrong with not liking to pay more taxes, but there is certainly no biblical basis for being angry over it. And that is just one example.

  23. Yes George, we are to be a light shinning in a dark world, Which not only hates us for the good that is in us, though its not really ours, but we are lit by Gods light, but for just that, because we are his through Christ.

    Vickie, believe me I know what it is to be slandered for my belief that God is sovereign in all things. But not from the world but family, I’m suppose to to be some kind of cultist according to them for not giving glory to my sinful will, and not being able to look back to some point in my life where I made some kind of a decision.

    But what I tell them is this, some two thousand years ago Christ died and three days later he rose and made intersession for me, Before the foundation of the world he put my name in a book. His book not mine and there is my hope and in it I have all the assurance there is and its in him and not me. And for that I am shunned.

    Yes MacArthur is being slander for his stand on the word as we all will, Christ said it would be so and in the above verse he said; for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues;……..Yes it seems we have many who think more like Pharisees than brothers and sisters.
    But then they said it would be so. And whether they are tares or those who have fallen away or we just don’t tickle their ears just right, something is missing. And as the mob calls for us to join them we must stand firm…in his righteousness. And don’t put your light under the bed!

  24. Greetings brother jonathan. I empathize with you being a target of slander, from those close like family and former fellowship family. I have not always quite understood your comments in this thread, so my responses may not make sense to you. Perhaps I thought you were taking a position you were not. In any case, it is good for us to sharpen and challenge one another in love and the holy Scriptures, that we might receive its full end in us. I love that the word tells us that “the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a sincere faith.” I want a pure heart and a sincere faith and to be growing in love, by which all men will know we are His.

  25. I must say I am absolutely moved and comforted by all the Godly and faithful followers of Jesus who have posted here in defense of God’s TRUE will for us. I didn’t even have time to read all the amazing Truth that was posted on this site, and decided I just HAD to post that I thank God for each and every one of you who truly seeks God’s will. The new ‘American’ Christian agenda is a violent and prideful depiction of what Satan himself would seem to demand, rather than the humble example of the Christ they claim to follow.

    May the Truth be preached forever and the glory be to God! God Bless You all my brothers and sisters in Christ. You bring joy to my heart.

    Philippians 1:21
    “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”

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