by Dave MacPherson
Southern California pastor John MacArthur, head of the "Grace to You" Ministry, lives to jump into theological controversies and prove to his opponents that his "grace" is more biblical than their "grace"!
For many years he's been involved with the "Lordship Salvation controversy" (see Wikipedia).
In recent years he's sparred over Revelation's mark of the beast. To see how he's raised many temperatures, look up "John MacArthur OUTRAGE - take Mark of Beast, still be saved..." on YouTube!
Since last fall MacArthur has inspired articles like "John MacArthur Sends 500,000,000 Charismatics to Hell" which is still all over the web. An excellent article explaining this incendiary headline is titled "John MacArthurs Strange Fire (Calvinists hating on Arminians, again?)" which can be found on Google and which is a response to the "Strange Fire Conference" MacArthur had held earlier at his church which is still causing aftershocks around the world!
MacArthur's controversies began after he was exposed early in life to 19th century dispensationalism which he constantly (and arrogantly) reflects by sneaking in the "any-moment rapture" into whatever his topic happens to be. At the same time he tries to somehow combine Reformed theology with Deformed Dispensationalism. (Sorry, I couldn't resist the temptation to add the word "Deformed"!)
Who knows, maybe John (Reformedispy) MacArthur is right and the greatest Greek scholars (Google "Famous Rapture Watchers"), who uniformly said that Rev. means "preservation through" and not "raptured away from" were wrong. But John has a conflict. On the one hand, since he knows that all Christian theology and organized churches before 1830 believed the church would be on earth during the tribulation, he would like to be seen as one who stands with the great Reformers.
On the other hand, if John has a warehouse of unsold pretrib rapture material, and if he wants to have "security" for his retirement years and hopes that the "big California quake" won't louse up his plans, he has a decided conflict of interest. Maybe the Lord will have to help strip off the layers of his seared conscience which have grown for years in order to please his parents and his supporters - who knows?
One thing is for sure: pretrib is truly a house of cards and is so fragile that if a person removes just one card from the TOP of the pile, the whole thing can collapse. Which is why pretrib teachers don't dare to even suggest they could be wrong on even one little subpoint! Don't you feel sorry for the straitjacket they are in? While you're mulling all this over, Google "Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty" for a rare behind-the-scenes look at the same 185-year-old fantasy.
And if you want the real skinny on what the Bible really teaches (that is, the real meaning of words and phrases in the original language) I can happily recommend "The End Times Passover" by distinguished writer and scholar Joe Ortiz. His book "Why Christians Will Suffer Great Tribulation" is also a must read.
What's more, Joe's "grace" in explaining deep Bible truths is much more gracious than the "grace" exhibited by another California prophecy writer we've just heard about!