John MacArthur recently said that while his views on hot-button issues like homosexuality are controversial, his goal as a pastor is to “offend everyone” because any brand of Christianity that is “inoffensive” isn’t Christianity at all.
During an interview, author and conservative personality Ben Shapiro asked MacArthur how he addresses certain “difficult Scriptures,” pointing in particular to passages addressing homosexuality.
MacArthur, who is leader of Grace Community Church of Sun Valley, California, and president of The Master’s College and Seminary, said that while there’s “no getting around” the fact that the Bible clearly identifies homosexuality as a sin, it’s important to understand it’s “not some kind of sin that leads the parade and is separated by light years from all other sins.”
“MacArthur calls himself a “leaky dispensationalist”–meaning he rejects any and all “dispensational” soteriological innovations, holding to classic Reformed (i.e., Protestant, not “covenantal”) soteriology. MacArthur’s “dispensationalism” is eschatological and ecclesiological only. And given the fact that soteriology is central to our whole understanding of Christianity, whereas eschatology and ecclesiology deal primarily with secondary doctrines, it would be my assessment that MacArthur has far less in common with Ryrie than he would have with anyone who believes 1) that God’s grace is efficacious for regeneration and sanctification as well as for justification, and 2) that God graciously guarantees the perseverance of all true believers.” – Phil Johnson
Repentance is no more a meritorious work than its counterpart, faith. It is an inward response. Genuine repentance pleads with the Lord to forgive and deliver from the burden of sin and the fear of judgment and hell. It is the attitude of the publican who, fearful of even looking toward heaven, smote his breast and cried, “God, be merciful to me, the sinner!” (Luke 18:13). Repentance is not merely behavior reform. But because true repentance involves a change of heart and purpose, it inevitably results in a change of behavior.
The ongoing cultural situations, especially concerning the Confederate statues, are frustrating and we should do what we can to preserve our history. But for us as Christians, let’s not lose our perspective and focus and allow frustration and anger to overtake what our true identity is and what our true mission is. Im speaking to myself first and foremost. This clip from John MacArthur says it well.
Scripture speaks with absolute, unmistakable clarity on these vital issues:
(1) Sinners are utterly helpless to redeem themselves or to contribute anything meritorious toward their own salvation (Rom 8:7-8).
(2) God is sovereign in the exercise of His saving Will (Eph 1:4-5).
(3) Christ died as a substitute who bore the full weight of God’s wrath on behalf of His people, and his atoning work is efficacious for their salvation (Isa. 53:5).
(4) God’s saving purpose cannot be thwarted (John 6:37), meaning none of Christ’s true sheep will ever be lost (John 10:27-29). That is because
(5) God assures the perseverance of His elect (Jude 24; Phil 1:6; 1 Peter 1:5).
Those are the five points of Calvinism. I believe them not because of their historical pedigree, but because that is what Scripture teaches.