It’s been impossible for me to miss the controversy that’s been brewing in Southern California between Governor Gavin Newsom and Sun Valley’s Grace Community Church as led by their pastor-teacher, John MacArthur.

As a former member of Grace (and custodian), and graduate of The Master’s Seminary, it’s been interesting for me to consider his recent refusal to comply with the governor’s unconstitutional (and therefore, illegal) order against gatherings in places of worship. His boldness and courage are a stark contrast to the myriad of evangelical leaders who kneeled at the feet of the social justice mob just a couple short months prior and are criticizing him for taking a stand on the lordship of Jesus over human government.

This entire situation has me curiously pondering: What is it that makes a “John MacArthur?” What keeps him from the mad rush to find the middle ground on every issue? What has caused him to take stand after stand over the past fifty years yet remain unmoved because “the Bible says so?” I remember him saying once that he’s never once cared about what people are going to think about him—how’s that even possible?

Examples in the Past

As I consider these questions, I am reminded of church history class and the International Council on Biblical Inerrancy (1978). A beloved college professor of mine made us memorize paragraphs from that statement.  After he died in 2002, his wife gave me his audiocassettes of that council.  The names on those tapes are a “who’s who” of the glory days of 20th-century evangelicalism—men like J.I. Packer, Norman Geisler, Gleason Archer, Edwin Yamauchi, John Gerstner, R.C. Sproul, James Montgomery Boice, Francis Shaeffer, and almost 300 others.  Many of the signatories were giants in the church of their day.

As one of those who signed it, John MacArthur (at that time, a 39-year-old pastor) is in their rarified air. He is one of the last men standing of a fading generation who knew the truth, loved the truth, defended the truth, and were not at all afraid to contend for it either.

His life has made me wonder: Who is alive today that will take his place in evangelicalism? At over 80 years old, who will fill the leadership vacuum when he’s taken to heaven? Where are the leaders who are ready and happy to take the social media mob head-on, both inside and outside of the church, and refuse to back down? They do not exist, as far as I know. He is the last of a dying breed I’m sure many are happy to see go, but I’m terrified to lose. Far too many of our 21st century evangelical leaders are better at being politicians or motivational speakers than they are at being warriors, and this is at a cultural moment when we have a desperate need for warriors.

This, again, causes me to ask, why? I think it’s because those men grew up in an era before relativism had the cultural dominance it does now. They lived in a world where right was right, wrong was wrong, the truth was the truth, lies were lies, and sin was sin. These faithful men saw it on the horizon and warned Christians against its potential to undermine every single thing evangelicals believe.

Emptiness in the Present

That is not our world at all.  Evil is good; good is evil (Isa 5:20). Nothing is right or wrong except what our politically correct masters tell us is. The intent of an author is impossible to determine. Power is oppressive. Feelings determine our decisions. Truth is not objective; it is merely a personal or societal construct. Lies and hypocrisy are useful tools that help advance one’s agenda. The ends justify the means. In the church, we baptized the fear of man (also known as co-dependency or peer-pressure) and turned it into a ministry philosophy, assuming that, “If the non-Christian world likes us—thinks we’re helpful, cool and relevant—they’ll like Jesus too.”

Everything leftover is considered “gray area,” as if non-essential doctrines for salvation mean “unimportant” for the faithfulness and courage of a church leader. Where conviction was once found, we now found deflecting or straw-man sentiments like:

  • “There are good people on all sides.”
  • “They may be in error but they are such a nice person.”
  • “I want to be known by what I am for, not against.”
  • “It must be nice to have all the answers.”
  • “My truth is my truth. Your truth is your truth.”
  • “The Pharisees were good at pointing things out too.”

This is the cultural air that I’ve breathed since I was born.  Most adults my age (43) and younger consider relativism “just the way it is.”  As Allan Bloom once said, denying it is like trying to convince people that 2 + 2 isn’t 4 (which was embarrassingly attempted recently).

Emasculation in the Future

In a culture where relativism reigns, a culture without reality, without truth, without right and wrong answers, pastors will have a hard time going beyond, “Well, there are 4 views on that.”  Without doing the hard work of determining which views best match the Bible through exegesis and logical argumentation, pastors simply do not have the tools to do what MacArthur’s doing now. Instead, they’ve become convinced that the only stand they should take is not taking a stand (unless it’s a stand the culture approves of) and standing against anyone who does. So, I predict we’ll see more and more Christian leaders cave to the culture, call it heroic, get affirmation from their cheering section for being relevant or shrewd or loving or reasonable, all while assuring their deadened consciences that they’ll take a stand when it “really matters.”

No, they won’t! This is wishful thinking at best and self-delusion at worst for one overwhelming reason: John MacArthur can do what he’s doing because he has convictions, but relativism makes convictions impossible. In a world where there is no truth, there’s nothing to take a stand on. Oh, people will have convictions—don’t get me wrong—but instead of coming from the truth (John 17:17), they will come uncritically from their upbringing, a hierarchy they trust, heroes they admire, or the cultural overlords who are all too ready to choose their convictions for them.

Without convictions that are well thought out and deeply rooted in the bedrock of Scripture, pastors cannot have courage. We’ll never have the bravery we’re seeing in John MacArthur. Truth leads to convictions and convictions produce courage. Without convictions, the church will continue to be led by “men without chests” (C.S. Lewis) who genuflect before the mob, who won’t have the fortitude needed to stand in these dark days, but who will feign courage by passionately criticizing nobody but those who have it. Wavering and weak, many will seek to insulate themselves from ever being a target of the world’s hatred, something Jesus told His followers to expect and embrace (John 15:18-20). In Christ’s mind, it seems that we have a choice to make: we can be faithful or popular.  All of us, sooner or later, will be forced to choose and we can only choose one!

In the end, you may not agree with John MacArthur, but he doesn’t care, and neither should you. What you should be asking about John MacArthur is not, “Do I agree with what he’s doing?” Instead ask, “Will I have his courage when it’s my turn to stand?” Courage is the lesson young pastors (and a ton of older ones) should be learning from John MacArthur right now. Thank God for him.

________________________________

Jon Benzinger (@jonbenz) is the Lead Pastor at Redeemer Bible Church in Gilbert, Arizona (@rbcgilbert). He has a passion for teaching God’s word and has been doing so in both the local church and academia for nearly twenty years. He lives with his wife and three children in Queen Creek, Arizona.

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Comments to: The Courageous Example of John MacArthur
  • Avatar
    August 14, 2020

    Thank you!

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    August 14, 2020

    Amen! Thank you for this sobering article.

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    August 14, 2020

    Jon, with respect, it is not for you to say whether or not the restrictions in California are lawful. That task falls to the courts, and I can see this going all the way to the Supreme Court.

    My own Bible studies, exegesis, and logical argumentation (to borrow your terms) lead me to conclude that the Lordship of Jesus over human government does not give us a free pass to ignore the laws of our land. Yes, there may be circumstances where Christians should break the law, but there is nothing about the current situation to justify this. I have checked the restrictions in California and they seem quite reasonable. Churches are allowed to meet outside, and they are not being discriminated against. They are actually being given favorable treatment in view of the first amendment – other comparable events are not allowed.

    This is not a case of giving in to the culture. It’s not a theological issue or moral relativism. It’s a public health emergency that affects the whole world, and the US leads the number of deaths (approx 170.000 at time of writing). I cannot see how anyone can look at that grim statistic and choose a path of civil disobedience. I think many other people in the church think this way.

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      August 14, 2020

      The argument is whether to obey Jesus or Newsom…and the courts are never the final arbiter…I would be in a cotton farm now if that was the universal view

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      August 15, 2020

      Ian I find myself in the same frame of mind. Are they telling John MacArthur to stop preaching the gospel? This does not seem to be in the same category as a Richard Wurmbrand type of situation…

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        August 16, 2020

        Eric, absolutely, churches in LA county can meet outdoors, or have online services, they’re just not allowed to meet indoors. It’s the same for all faiths, so no targeting of Christianity.

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          August 16, 2020

          I have found no evidence of targeting Christianity.If anything, the loud complaining and whining is highlighting us as a cold -hearted group that cares not for its community by our demands for gathering and not abiding by rules set forth for all establishments. I think we’ve been conditioned as churches to expect persecution and flooded with stories from Voice of the Martyrs for years. For the American church, many see this as their moment to shine. And that pent up desire to claim persecution and fight a “holy” war against an evil political monster is just too much for rational thought to overcome.

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            October 4, 2020

            Agreed entirely. I believe the extreme selfishness and insistence on having things “our way”, casting ourselves as victim – no matter the cost to others – is a very poor witness to the world. We are supposed to be the ones that would take care of and protect our brother, even lay down our lives, MORE than the world. Thank you for posting and to other Christians who are voicing the same.

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          August 18, 2020

          What world have you been living in?

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        August 16, 2020

        You’re all missing the point. It’s the God-given right to assemble as a Church that’s on the line here.

        But… they will start editing out the Bible in the near future. I am 57 and I will see it in my lifetime.

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          August 16, 2020

          “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.
          Matthew 24:9-14. Jesus himself tells us to expect this. Should we allow our witness to be lost for Christ to try and stop what will inevitably happen. In all these lawsuits and arguments from these churches I see one thing getting shelved… the Gospel of Jesus. Which is supposed to be our sole mission. Let them take it all and see how the the Gospel will never be stopped. Even if we lose our ability to meet indoors… which is nothing on the persecution scale when you compare it to the rest of the world.

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          October 4, 2020

          As for God given right – we can assemble to our hearts content, no one has taken that freedom, but we need to do it in a way consistent with laws and – past that – with protecting and respecting our fellow man. Indoor gatherings do not do that during a pandemic.

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      August 15, 2020

      Well said Ian. This smacks more of hubris than courage. I’m not so sure that the restrictions on large gatherings are not the judgement of God on the institutional churches and their gross misuse of resources intended to be spent on the poor, both within the fellowship of the saints and in the community. Where does Christ command his disciples to gather in large numbers? Being ordered not to may interfere with our fleshly plans, but He that sits in the heavens must laugh. Alan

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        August 16, 2020

        Wow. That’s a great point. Interestingly this whole pandemic has brought out some of the worst in large mega churches and the best in small local groups/churches… as I study more and more I’m starting to come to the conclusion that perhaps massive church gatherings are not necessarily ideal… I won’t go so far to say they are wrong but perhaps the Biblical model of a church should resemble that of the disciples in the early days. We are united with our fellow believing brothers and sisters in the world by our common faith… not some worldly building with thousands of people we never interact with.

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      August 16, 2020

      That is complete relativism, just as the article points out.

      By asserting that the courts are the final arbiter of right and wrong, you are thereby asserting that the civil law is the standard of right and wrong. Courts, councils, popes, and law-makers can and do err. They pass laws that are unjust, wicked, immoral, or deviate from the truth in many ways. To make the argument that you have, is to assume the correctness of those laws and those adjudicators which is strikingly ignorant of church history where many of our heroes defied kings and parliaments for the faith.

      The reason why you simply cannot see the point is that you have accepted, uncritically, everything you have been told without much in the way of analysis or evaluation at all. You are simply begging the question that the virus is particularly dangerous, or that people need to be controlled for their own good, and you have arbitrarily determined that the restrictions are “reasonable”. You are, of course, entitled to your opinion.

      But for all the talk of exegesis and logical argumentation, there’s not a lot of content in your post. The relationship between the church and the state is an important, theologically-rich and historically-rich topic, and simply concluding that that something is reasonable (as you see it) and that it is “not a theological issue” does not make it so.

      In the end, the argument you are making is that according to your values system, something is more important than the corporate worship of God.

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      August 16, 2020

      Ian, what about the great numbers who gather for rioting& looting and the gov doesn’t stop them. I can accept your view but when I’m singled out by a gov who is partial to some and not others, than I must take my stand. I think it’s possible that this is where MacArthur is seeing a gov inconsistency and simply wants to pound on the church.

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        August 16, 2020

        Well said Vincent.

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      August 16, 2020

      Ian, I know you truly believe what you say here. Don’t mean to be harsh, but you clearly have been brainwashed into believing what you are hearing 24/7 from the media. Not necessarily your fault and this is how much of the population thinks as well. That said, it’s really not that hard to dig a little deeper and to do some homework about something that is this disruptive and damaging.
      The numbers are nowhere near what you have been led to believe. A cursory study of the actual data, studies, and experiences of other states and countries belies everything you state. The restrictions are a great evil and are accomplishing nothing. The California governor is acting out of anti-Christian animus in the most draconian illegal inclusion upon our most basic human, natural, and fundamental constitutional rights. If ever there was a time for civil disobedience by pastors, it is now.
      BTW, I am an anesthesiologist and the director of intensive care for a large hospital system and can say with 100% certainty that the rules imposed by government have made the health hazards exponentially worse by preventing necessary herd immunity, the destruction of millions of livelihoods, the psych trauma, unprecedented suicide rate, prevention of life saving chemo treatments, ED visits, and surgeries, depression, child and spousal abuse, and the list goes on and on. So, as a Christian we should support this? I don’t think so.
      There is increasing evidence that masks actually increase Covid infection by trapping the virions (which freely pass through even N-95 masks) in the respiratory film inside of the masks. Regarding the actual science (not the evening news nonsense) there is much, much more that could be said, but I’m not writing a book here.
      –Wm. F, Brown MD

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        August 17, 2020

        Dr. Brown,

        Thank you for sharing your expertise. I have a background in research and epidemiology and I peer review articles for several journals. I am astounded by the poor peer review of articles being published in good journals and how many articles are being retracted from journals like the Lancet. I am astounded how decisions are made regarding COVID-19 without evidence to support them. I listened to a county Board of Health meeting held last week (I do not live in California) where board members admitted they were making judgment calls without data or evidence to back up their recommendations and these recommendations called for more restrictions in what we are permitted to do. As you state, these restrictions lengthen the time we are in this epidemic, but they do not result in fewer total deaths once this epidemic ends.

        John MacArthur is one of the few Christian leaders willing to take a biblical stand.

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        September 19, 2020

        This may seem like a very delayed response to you, however. I totally agree with you, and so it seems, do a handful of believers.

        It is utterly tragic that so many nations across the world have bought into this lie and have been totally led astray by the situation. The overall message that I hear is that this global situation has been strategically orchestrated and masterminded to bring about the dreadful situation across the world.

        There are other pastors/ministers in California who have now stood firm and one such man is Jack Hibbs of Chino Hills. For the last few years my wife and I have been watching and listening to him.

        Then there is Andy Woods of Sugarland Bible Church and J D Farag and many others who are also associated with Prophecy Watchers. The majority of these people are sound Bible teachers and one lady among them is Jan Markell. The USA is blessed by many such teachers and encouragers.

        These folks that I mention along with your comment and many medics that are also awake is quite heartening. Yet it is devastating to see so many confused and afraid.

        The orchestrator of this dreadful situation can only be the Father of Lies, he is the evil genius behind what I, and perhaps others, have come to realise is the culmination of his battle with God since he was evicted from his position of The Leader of Worship of God in Heaven.

        There is no doubt that the Creator God of the universe has not been taken by surprise and everything is not falling apart but Falling into place.

        May you have the courage to stay the Courss and keep your eyes upon our Eternal Saviour, Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

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      August 26, 2020

      I think you need to check your stats. Remember, the more we test (and no one has tested more than the U.S.), the more positives we will have. We also do not know how many of us have the antibodies wo/ever showing symptoms. Bottom line, this isn’t as deadly as we were told it would be and it is absolutely being used by politicians to grab power while they can. The death numbers align just over a flu season. Do we shut down churches for the flu? Do we stop driving cars for fear of accidents?

      Reply
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    August 14, 2020

    Yes, John’s courageous example illustrates that he is one of a kind. I praise God for his true leadership in standing for the truth.

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    August 14, 2020

    Ian.

    Your (as well as many others’) point of disagreement here is really about the severity of the pandemic (or as you refer to it as a Public Health Emergency).

    MacArthur & GCC did initially heed the govt warnings & he preached online (in an empty church) for several weeks as this saga has unfolded…but once he & the GCC elders (In my view correctly) saw that this health emergency had mutated into a political one, and that the initial fears of millions dying (as with the Spanish Flu) were way overblown (along with the original projections), he saw no legitimate reason to abide by over-reaching governmental rules (that the state government chose to selectively apply, turning a blind eye to large violent protest gatherings that had little regard for social distancing, masks, etc.)

    Discernment is crucial in these times where deceit is rampant among mainstream media, in the political arena and even in a previously unassailable medical community that has now been breached with corruption from the pharmaceutical establishment.

    I don’t know Dr. MacArthur personally, but I feel like I have gotten to know him simply from listening daily to his “Grace to You” radiio program for the past 7 or 8 years, and my view is he is a most humble man of God who truly desires to obey the high calling he has been given and seek to serve and please His Lord, and oversee His flock. I don’t for a nanosecond believe that he took this decision lightly, but did so in faith with the agreement of his fellow church elders, trusting their Lord for Divine Providence.

    I pray that I have such courageous faith and willingness to stand for and proclaim the truth of the gospel which is so desperately needed in these very last days.

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      August 15, 2020

      Well said ….God bless…

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      August 16, 2020

      Fred, I must disagree with your claim that the rules are “over-reaching”. As I said in my original post, churches get preferential treatment compared with secular activities. Virtually all other meetings and events are banned. But “large violent protest gatherings”, by their very nature, are extremely difficult to deal with – you need huge numbers of police, many of whom would end up injured – so any government is going to take a different approach with these compared to peaceful events. You try to put on a theatrical performance, concert, sports match, academic conference, etc, you’d find the government isn’t selective and you’d be shut down.

      This particular dispute has nothing to do with preaching the gospel, any doctrinal truth, or any form of bias against Christians. It’s simply about holding indoor services at a time of pandemic, and it strikes me as an unwise battle to fight.

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        August 26, 2020

        Unwise to fight a battle to hold church services for citizens who CHOOSE to attend? 🤔. So, freedom unless the government decides it’s not in our best interest. I can’t believe the lack of critical thinking I’m seeing here. Follow these arguments out to their logical conclusions. What you are saying is that the government knows better than we do as to how we should conduct our lives and what “risks” we should take. As a believer, we are called to lay down our lives for others-holding services to encourage each other in the faith and corporate worship-Not protect ourselves at all costs from getting a virus that I have a 99.9% chance of fully recovering from.

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      August 16, 2020

      Well said Fred!

      Reply
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      August 16, 2020

      “MacArthur & GCC did initially heed the govt warnings & he preached online (in an empty church) for several weeks as this saga has unfolded…but once he & the GCC elders…”

      Fred, you highlight a very important aspect of this discussion. It is the nature of civil government to rule in a manner we don’t particularly agree with. There are many things we may disagree with, yet according to holy writ we are still emphatically commanded to submit (Romans 13,1 Peter 2). To take things into our own hands is anarchy. This does not mean we cannot petition for redress, but we most certainly don’t have biblical cause for outright defiance as in the case of JM/GCC. This continues to be cast as a God v. Man issue, but that is not the case. Yes, faithful churches are essential as the JM lawyer states. I would add they are also flexible. There is nothing hindering GCC from observing Covid requirements and honoring God. It is not an either or issue.

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      September 19, 2020

      The rules are not “overreaching”. To me GCC had pandemic fatigue, and when it wouldn’t suit their feelings about meeting outdoors they decided to disobey. Anyone with a small bit of historical inquiry would realize the Spanish Flu didn’t go away immediately, it hung around for over a year. The numbers of deaths and the infectious disease rate is not inflated. We have almost 200,000 Americans dead. 93 million Americans (or almost 1/3rd) live with an underlying condition that makes them more prone to falling extremely and violently ill from Covid-19. Moreover, since we don’t know much about this disease, new reports are coming out weekly about brain damage, heart damage, and lung damage even in moderate or sometimes mild cases. Back in January when I saw the Chinese government basically weld people into their house, you knew it was more than just “the flu.” You don’t don’t that for a flu. Americans have such distrust of anyone in authority (including God) that they can’t listen to basic rules designed to help everyone. We always say “the Bible isn’t about you!” Well neither are the rules the government made. If we all arbitrarily stop social distancing, germ each other up by singing indoors, we’ll have an even larger 2nd wave that will kill even more vulnerable people. I’ve never seen a more foolish hill to die on as a Christian. Particularly when we have amazing weather here in Southern California and they were already set up for outdoor services. To me it seems that they are just bothered by the inconvenience.

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    August 14, 2020

    Who is alive today that will take this man’s place in Evangelicalism? —a very telling question! Thank you!
    /GO, set a Watchman

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    August 14, 2020

    Thank you for your effort in writing this good article. The article is a good attempt to explore the reason why many pastors and Christians misrepresent themselves in making such important decisions about government restrictions and prohibitions.

    But I can’t understand why you quote a heretic like C.S. Lewis?!

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      August 15, 2020

      In all probability he quotes C.S. Lewis because rather than being a heretic he is one of the greatest Christian thinkers (In his mode) of the 20th Century. I do not agree with a lot of what Lewis had to say (for reference I am a reformed baptist, and was trained at a reformed seminary.) But the issues are on the periphery of the gospel, not its core, and if you cannot understand the difference then you are either uneducated or deceived. Rob Bell is a heretic, C.S. Lewis is a Christian intellectual giant (though highly fallible.) Read the totality of his work, compare it to scripture, come back with a list of errors he makes on the gospel, and get back to us.

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        August 20, 2020

        Well spoken!

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    August 14, 2020

    Great article Pastor Jon. I pray that we as a body of believers will have the same courage and live out a bold convicted lives. Thank you very much for writing this

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    August 14, 2020

    I believe that Jack Gibbs is another Californian that has taken the stand. Surely there others.?

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    August 15, 2020

    Its sad that you believe there would be no one to take his place. Im far from perfect but I know I would not be influenced by this world. For I have given it up. I have been able to boast in the truth and have kept myself from lies. I dont feed myself what this world has to offer. I first gave up this worlds music. God rewarded me by removing depression from me. I have since given up tv and video and God has rewarded me purity. You are what you eat. How true is that statement for Christians? If you feed yourself things of this world you will be a carnal christians with many struggles. If you feed yourself things of the Spirit you will be a spiritual Christian. Might I suggest that Christians stop imitating the world and come away from the culture of this world? It is beginning to get hard distinguishing who is a christian and who is a gentile. If you look like the world how can you be a light to it? You can’t for the world is darkness and Christ is the light. So of course you find yourself blind to the light because we are hard pressed to see Christians who are reflecting the image of Christ. Today’s Christian’s would sooner be told they are healthy when in fact they are sick. They dont want to change but that is because they love the world more than they Love the Father. This is not supposed to be the case. Anyway im on tiktok with many others who are like me. We are spreading the truth there in the darkest parts and have a created the Christian side to tiktok. I could go on but I would suggest reading AW Towzers The Crucified Life and How to be Filled with the Holy Spirit. You have to apply the Bible to your life if you want to live in the land of plenty but first slay your giants by giving up the world. God Bless

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    August 15, 2020

    We appreciate these words pastor Jon
    We attend your church in Gilbert in the 4 months that we live in Mesa.
    We very much are honoured to be taught by you!! Thank you for your passion for truth…just like John MacArthur!

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    August 15, 2020

    No disrespect, but what is the real “cost” of “standing up” to the evil government authorities when John MacArthur has a net worth of $15,000,000? Is the state of California threatening to confiscate all his money and property? Defining “the cost of discipleship” becomes very difficult in light of the huge amounts of money these mega church pastors are making who are supposedly standing up for righteousness and who by all accounts won’t be losing ANYTHING by standing up to the governor. In fact, they will probably be able to write a book about it next year, and the masses will joyfully purchase it and feel comforted by the fact their pastor “stood up for Christ.” I am not trying to be obstinate, but I am questioning the use of terms like “warrior” or “heroic actions.” When I see words like that describing people, I think of men like Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Franz Jagerstatter, Martin Niemoller, or dare I say, John Lewis.

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    August 15, 2020

    Excellent article. Not too many left like him.

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    August 15, 2020

    Thank you for the stand you have taken. I hope more will decide to stop riding the fence allowing politicians to decide what is best for the church. If no backbone is found in the church today and no one has the courage and convictions to say enough is enough I am done letting government make decisions on how we worship God, we may wake up someday and find that we no longer have any of the freedoms we have enjoyed and cannot meet together in church. It happened in Germany under Hitler, Christians did nothing, said nothing, and then it was to late to do anything.

    Thanks to John for taking a stand.

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    August 15, 2020

    Beautifully written Jon.

    And the angel of the LORD appeared to him and said to him, “The LORD is with you, O mighty man of valor.”
    Judges 6:12

    This is why John has the determination and vigour of a young man…

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    August 15, 2020

    Putting your life at risk is courageous
    Putting other peoples lives at risk is not

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    August 16, 2020

    “Everything leftover is considered “gray area,” as if non-essential doctrines for salvation mean “unimportant” for the faithfulness and courage of a church leader.”

    Bingo!

    Oh by the way, it turns out that once you go down the “gray area” path, you end up on a path that results in believing nothing! That fallacy that so-called “secondary-and-therefore-unimportant” matters are somehow unrelated to the gospel looms large in today’s post-modern evangelicalism.

    Instead, “stand firm in the faith” (1 Cor. 16:13) And, “contend earnestly for the faith that was once for all handed down to the saints.” (Jude 3)

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    August 16, 2020

    I live and respect Dr. MacArthur, but are you implying that I lack courage if I don’t agree with his decision on this matter?

    Whether or not this issue is purely political I am not able to discern. But does acting with an abundance of caution even if I could be wrong mean I don’t have courage? Am I less of a follower of Christ by not defying the authority?

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    August 16, 2020

    Praise the Lord for our precious Johnny Mac 🙏

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    August 16, 2020

    “In the end, you may not agree with John MacArthur, but he doesn’t care”. Actually he does care, that’s why he made what is a matter of conscience into a matter of gospel fidelity which he then preceded to use to beat on others. And that’s where he blew it. His life wasn’t at risk. If you want to see what true gospel bravery looks like then read this: https://infuyin.com/article/34

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    August 17, 2020

    Hey guys, here is a more balanced and arguably more biblical response to this whole situation. Pastor Jon I love listening to you guys at RBC and will continue to do so because you guys are right on, but this article seems a bit more biased and man-praise-like due to possibly your historical relationship with Grace church.

    https://www.9marks.org/article/a-time-for-civil-disobedience-a-response-to-john-macarthur/

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    August 17, 2020

    John, Thank you for your insightful article. Judging from many of the negative comments it appears your point is well taken.

    Carol

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    August 18, 2020

    Excellent blog post. I have that same sense in my heart you expressed here: “He is the last of a dying breed I’m sure many are happy to see go, but I’m terrified to lose.”

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    August 18, 2020

    Jon: Excellent piece. I first came into contact with JM in 1968 when he was a traveling speaker for Talbot. We were fortunate enough to have him as our speaker for high school camp for one whole week. He led me to the Lord that week. I have followed him ever since, even attending the church for a couple of years in the 80’s. The stand he’s taken here is something that I would’ve expected him to do. He is nothing if not consistent. No one can hold a candle to him in the exposition of the Scriptures. I only hope that TMS is training SOMEONE to take his place.

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    August 18, 2020

    What a GREAT article.
    The good news is that God will raise an Army of men to continue His church when needed.
    If the gates of hell cannot stop His church then realitivism doesn’t stand a chance.

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    August 20, 2020

    Good article, really inspiring. I agree with you 100%. However, Help me understand, is this church lead by one man? I thought this was lead by a group of elders whom I believe made the call. Why do you attributing this bravery to one man? Am I missing something?

    I really like what they did and it’s a challenge to all the churches, but I have a problem with the tone of this article, it sounds as if this was done by John MacArthur alone. Great reflections to you man.

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    August 22, 2020

    I applaud Dr MacArthur and I pray God raises up more men like him. THIS COUNTRY, the Church desperately needs men with convictions who will stand up for them.

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    September 19, 2020

    Well Said. Politics plays into this. It all started with a phone call from President Trump to JM. Too me they failed the test of obeying Christ and his word. Never was JM hindered from preaching the Gospel.

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