Please be sure to read editor’s note at the bottom…
Though I’m currently on a reduced blogging schedule, I got tagged in for something special.
On July 19th, John MacArthur preached a sermon entitled We Will Not Bow.
It got no small notice online and has been posted all around the internet (and ‘the internet’ means ‘Facebook, Twitter, and WeChat’). I listened to the sermon a few days ago and, like many, found it to be a biblical breath of fresh air in what is quickly becoming an unsettling age.
MacArthur placed the recent supreme court decision in the light of spiritual reality. He commented on how Satan is behind the attack against the family in all its fronts (feminism, the sexual revolution, abortion, same-sex marriage, transgenderism, etc.). He reminded Christians that what they’re seeing is neither new nor abnormal. He went through several sections of the Old Testament and commented on how all the issues that we see today were all issues in Israel: homosexuality, transvestism, etc. He talked at length about various sexual issues as they were addressed in both the Old and New Testaments, and then commented on how those same issues have arisen to the forefront of public affairs in the last few decades. He quickly walked through Romans 1 and then, when he got to Romans 1:32, he stated that the reprobate mind is taking over our culture and will demand compliance. Before moving on to preach from 2 Thessalonians 1, MacArthur talked gave examples of Romans 1:32 that are already occurring or coming soon: churches losing their tax exempt status, Christian colleges losing their accreditation for not accepting the new morality, etc.
His sermon shocked everyone who listened.
Okay. I tell a lie.
It didn’t shock anyone. It agitated everyone.
Okay. I tell a lie.
It agitated one person. Shockingly, it was Joel McDurmon over at American Vision.
Okay. I tell a lie.
I’m not shocked at all. Someone at American Vision tends to get upset every time John MacArthur says anything. MacArthur breathes too premillennially.
McDurmon recorded his thoughts in an article over at American Vision. I’ll summarize the article for you:
1. McDurmon opened by summarizing the sermon as being “about social decline in general over the past decades” and went after MacArthur’s “worldview of premillennial defeat and pessimism in history”.
2. McDurmon suggested that MacArthur’s defeatism and pessimism comes as “a consequent belief of the premillennial worldview” where Satan reigns on earth and Jesus doesn’t reign, at least “in any significant way”, until the Millennium.
3. McDurmon corrected MacArthur’s theological puerility, saying “First, Satan does not hold this world in his hands, and he does not rule the world.” McDurmon’s reason was that Jesus said he had all power in Matthew 28:18 and also because Jesus said that Satan was going to be cast out in John 12:31. In other words, MacArthur has some basic facts about Satan dead wrong.
4. McDurmon further proved that Satan doesn’t rule the world by pointing to an article he wrote on ISIS (where his main refutation of conspiracy theorists is quoting Calvin’s Institutes 1.14.17–18). He then quoted Calvin’s Institutes 1.14.17–18 and quoted his own writing about the Calvin quote (from the ISIS article) for good measure.
5. McDurmon then pronounced this judgment:
For this reason, and I will say this only in passing, I do not believe that premillennial dispensationalists can truly bear the labels of Calvinist or Reformed. Aside from other issues of baptism or ecclesiology which could be debated, the assumption of Satan’s current sovereignty in this world alone conflicts with the basic presupposition of Christ’s current sovereignty with [sic] underlies Calvinism or Reformed theology. Thus, this position is not Reformed.
6. Following that, McDurmon jumped on MacArthur for not having “a clear understanding of the mandate for us to construct our society according to God’s Law in light of the great antithesis between God’s people and the waning kingdom of darkness.” He agreed with MacArthur on the role of the family, but he suggested that MacArthur is inconsistent because he “leaves open public schools as an option for the Christian.”
7. McDurmon closed off by implying that MacArthur doesn’t preach the whole great commission. He urged Christians to “not rest in our duty to shape law, government, and social ethics to conform to His word, let alone retreat from that duty.”
So, let’s respond to his response. I’ll ignore the theonomy hobby horse since I don’t want to plunge the Cripplegate into that battle. I’ll also ignore his whole “I do not believe that premillennial dispensationalists can truly bear the labels of Calvinist or Reformed.”
Read more at Cripplegate…
[Editor’s Note: This article was written by Lyndon Unger, posted at Cripplegate and entitled “We Will Not Bow”… As I’m currently on vacation, I’m so very glad somebody else addressed this nonsense – JD]