Thinking Out Loud

May 20, 2018

The Original Day of Pentecost United; Present-Day Responses to Pentecost Divide

As I considered options for Pentecost Sunday here on the blog, I re-discovered this article from 2013. I don’t usually repeat the non-original items which have appeared here, but the idea of doing that with this kept gaining traction in my mind…

A Prominent Pentecostal Responds to John MacArthur

J. Lee Grady (pictured below) epitomizes, for me at least, the phrase “balanced Charismatic.”  Here’s the opening to his article, To My Fundamentalist Brother John MacArthur: Grace to You Too

J. Lee Grady 2Fundamentalist pastor John MacArthur is a gifted preacher, author and lover of Scripture. His Grace to You radio program points countless people to the Bible, and his Master’s Seminary trains hundreds of ministry leaders. He’s a staunch Calvinist, but that doesn’t make him any less my brother in Christ.

Unfortunately, MacArthur can’t say the same about me—and that’s sad. In his new book Strange Fire, he declares in no uncertain terms that anyone who embraces any form of charismatic or Pentecostal theology does not worship the true God.

My brother in Christ has written me off.

In John MacArthur’s rigid world, anybody who has sought prayer for healing, claimed a miracle, received a prayer language, prophesied, sensed God speaking to them, felt God’s presence in an emotional way or fallen down on the floor after receiving prayer has already stepped out of the bounds of orthodoxy.

MacArthur says charismatics think they worship God but that actually we are worshipping a golden calf. “Every day millions of charismatics offer praise to a patently false image of the  Holy Spirit,” MacArthur says early in the book. “No other movement has done more damage to the cause of the gospel.”

He doesn’t just write off fringe elements of our movement; he skewers the original founders of Pentecostalism and even goes after Baptist author Henry Blackaby for teaching that God can speak to people today.

MacArthur, who is 74, urges evangelical Christians to engage in a “collective war” to stop the spread of the charismatic movement, which he describes as a “deadly virus,” a “deviant mutation of the truth” and a “Trojan horse” that has infiltrated mainstream Christianity…

Continue reading here

Perhaps we can paraphrase MacArthur’s statement — quoted in the 5th paragraph above — and say that, “No other individual has caused more potential for dividing the Body of Christ in 2013 than John MacArthur.”

1 Comment »

  1. No pastor, no person, is 100 percent correct in his theology. Rev. Martin Luther had some very odd views on the Book of James. Along with other prominent people, he was antisemitic as well.

    Pastor MacArthur may have been correct in so much of his teaching, and his work, but he is wrong on this point. And that’s okay, no body’s perfect. But there is a line that is crossed when one fails to simply disagree, and begins to abuse other Christians for their views.

    Furthermore, in his apparent zeal to denounce those who seek a First Century-style experience with G-d, he feeds directly into the hands of the antichrist-types that would divide Christianity in an effort to eventually suppress it completely.

    But, hey, YeshuaJesus said we’d be persecuted. I’d imagine Rev. MacArthur would not appreciate being named among those who persecute Messiah’s Followers. Those who choose tp persecute us flourish for a day, but calamity follows that they might come to repentance, turning from their error.

    On one point I can agree with Rev. MacArthur. There have been excesses within the Pentecostal movement. There have been raw displays that made us look pretty bad. Feathers floating from a church ceiling? Okaaaaaay. . . But I would argue that denominations following the ways of the world is of more concern and worthy of concern.

    L-RD Bless, Keep, Shine. . .

    Comment by jonahzsong — May 20, 2018 @ 2:14 pm

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