JOHN MacARTHUR NEEDS TO TALK WITH ROSALIND MOSS
Before she became a Catholic, staff apologist Rosalind Moss used to be a member of John MacArthur's congregation, Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California. He runs a ministry called Grace to You. Its motto is "Unleashing God's Truth One Verse at a Time." The unleashing is done chiefly through a widely-syndicated radio program.
In a June letter to his ministry's supporters, MacArthur wrote about John Paul II and the "amazing release of emotion" that accompanied his death. "From politicians and media pundits to Hollywood celebrities and everyday citizens, everyone had praise for John Paul II, his gentle ways and his social and political achievements as a world leader and statesman. I can understand that.
"What I cannot understand," continued MacArthur, "is the response of some Evangelicals to what matters most about the pope: his beliefs about God and the gospel. … Influential leaders embraced the deceased pope as a brother in Christ and the Catholic church as just another Christian denomination. …
"During the Reformation, countless men and women died rather than deny the biblical truths of salvation. Countless others today are giving their lives as missionaries to people lost in the darkness and guilt of Catholicism."
MacArthur goes on to write about the "damning error" that is Catholicism and notes that he has released a new 90-minute lecture called "Unmasking the Pope and the Catholic System." He says that "the church I pastor is loaded with people who were saved out of the Catholic church. … A longtime Grace to You board member and dear friend of mine is a former Catholic. He speaks with great emotion about the bondage he and his wife lived under."
How many times have we heard these claims before? "The Catholic Church is not really Christian." "Catholics believe you 'earn' your salvation through good works." "Catholicism is based on guilt, not truth." "People are in 'bondage' to Catholicism–and we need to save them."
Each Sunday 7,000 people attend MacArthur's church. This is what he tells them about an institution that was around for nineteen centuries before he was born and that is now headed by a man who shows not a hint of MacArthur's arrogance.
It is MacArthur who claims a divine commission: "I do have a mandate from God to compare what others teach to the gospel of the Bible." He says, "'Does the pope teach the gospel?' is a valid question."
Rosalind Moss left John MacArthur's church because she realized that, yes, the pope really does teach the gospel–and that John MacArthur does not.
The Grace to You ministry's letterhead has this slogan at the bottom: "The Bible Teaching of John MacArthur." Benedict XVI is more modest in his claims. His letterhead does not have at the bottom "The Bible Teaching of Benedict XVI" because the Pope is not trying to push his own agenda.
Instead, he is the custodian of what has been passed down through the centuries. His job is not to refashion the Bible in his own image but to convey to us what each of his predecessors conveyed to the people of their time.
Grace to You is built around one man. It may have many employees, but when John MacArthur dies, his ministry will die. His flock will scatter, taking with them the silly prejudices he has imbued them with.
When Benedict XVI dies there will be another pope to succeed him, and another, and another, until the end of time. Each of them will demonstrate to those with open minds and hearts that, yes, the pope does teach the gospel.
Karl Keating E-Letter, August 23, 2005. To subscribe to Karl's E-Letter, click here.
(Steve once wrote a letter to MacArthur challenging him for his anti-catholic attititude. The letter was addressed to John Ankerburg because of a book he wrote and I sent it to MacArthur as well since he wrote a foreword for the book.)