(June 22, 2016 – Update: This article has been updated to include the following comments from Phil Johnson of Grace To You. They are included with his permission. The original article continues following the screen shot below.)
Greg Laurie’s promotion of his Harvest Ministries upcoming crusade in Georgia, scheduled for September 23-25, 2016, has included endorsements from numerous “church” luminaries. It now has one less such endorsement.
Laurie’s website had previously included a glowing endorsement from none other than John MacArthur. Yes, that John MacArthur – mixed in with the sorts of fellows that one would not normally associate with the doctrinally astute, Biblically-solid teaching from the pastor known to millions from his Grace To You ministry.
The endorsement, that actually appears to be a legitimate endorsement from a 1996 crusade, (you know, before it was abundantly clear that Greg Laurie wasn’t a solid expositor of God’s Word, to say the least), read:
I want to invite you to be a part of the Harvest Crusades — a wonderful opportunity for you to bring friends who will hear the gospel of Jesus Christ presented by Pastor Greg Laurie. I believe God has His hand on this man, and I believe that the Word of God which he preaches is clear and penetrating. I want to encourage you that this is an opportunity for you to touch the life of someone for eternity. Bring them, and let them sit under the anointed preaching of God’s Word and the gospel of Christ.
The charismatic, baptism of the Holy Spirit, inclinations of Laurie seem well-fitted for the many other spurious spiritual hucksters lending their names and faces to the endorsement efforts of this crusade. But when you see John MacArthur listed next to guys like Robert Morris or Rick Warren or Ronnie Floyd (gotta say, my own heart skipped a beat at that!) something is amiss. (That or else the whole “Strange Fire” conference was grossly misunderstood! For more on Laurie, see HERE and HERE and HERE.)
Today, however, Pulpit & Pen received emailed confirmation from Grace To You that the Harvest Crusades website endorsements have been edited to delete MacArthur’s long outdated endorsement–at the request of Grace To You.
Hmmm. How did John MacArthur’s “endorsement” end up on Laurie’s site to begin with, only to be later removed by JMac’s request? It appears that since Laurie has lost his own credibility with MacArthur, that he’s attempted to hijack MacArthur’s credibility–ostensibly against his will.
What’s up over there in Laurie-land? Spurious endorsements intended to garner apparent, though illicit, approval for what can only be seen as a doctrinally worrisome ministry seems to have prompted a bit of Internet hocus-pocus from Laurie’s folks. Wonder if they even prayed about it first?
We at Pulpit & Pen are grateful to John MacArthur and Grace To You for responding to our query about what we now know was an improper endorsement by Greg Laurie and Harvest Crusades. We’re equally grateful that the spiritual truth that nothing can be reaped that has not first been sown has been beautifully illustrated in this little Laurie-led endorsement scandal.
There simply is no fruit when attempting to “harvest” what was never sown. And that just confirms, perhaps, what Jesus said, “You will know them by their fruit.” (Matthew 7:16)
[Contributed by Bud Ahlheim]