Archive for john macarthur

Fight for Religious Freedom

Posted in uncategorized with tags , , , , , on April 24, 2021 by andelino
Pastor Shane Idleman and Pastor John MacArthur.

Fight for Religious Freedom
by Shane Idleman

Pastor MacArthur has been an exceptional example of standing for religious liberty. I truly value his ministry. This article is not meant to take anything away from that but to clarify the importance of standing for “religious freedom.”

We recently had a Christian from the “persecuted” church in China speak at our church. Her story was very moving as she talked about spending six years in a Chinese prison for her “faith.”

I kept thinking, “I wonder if persecuted Christians would like more freedom?” No doubt many would say, “Absolutely.” Religious freedom is a gift from God.

Although we disagree on non-essentials like the gifts of the Spirit, I have benefited greatly from the ministry of John MacArthur, and I use the MacArthur Study Bible. However, there are times when we need to lovingly show the other side of the coin.

In a recent article, Pastor MacArthur was quoted as saying, “I told our congregation a few weeks ago that I could never really concern myself with religious freedom. I wouldn’t fight for religious freedom because I won’t fight for idolatry. Why would I fight for the devil to have as many false religions as possible and all of them to be available to everyone?”

I understand where he is coming from, but shouldn’t we “defend our freedom” to worship Jesus when given the opportunity? And isn’t that what he and other pastors like myself, Jack Hibbs, and Rob McCoy are doing by staying open during the pandemic . . . “exercising and defending religious freedom?”

Promoting religious freedom is not idolatry. “The Word of God is like a lion. You don’t have to defend a lion. All you have to do is let the lion loose, and the lion will defend itself” (C.H. Spurgeon).

Ironically, many of the men and women who died for our freedoms did not die for what America is becoming today. Many gave their lives in order that we would have religious freedom rather than capitulate to a godless society.

I wonder what Luther, Zwingli, Calvin, and Knox would say if asked the same question about religious freedom? They all pushed for it during the Reformation. What about Tyndale and Huss who were burned at the stake for simply declaring the truth? What would they say about having the freedom to worship God and read His Word?

Politics won’t save America any more than a dumbbell will save someone who is drowning; however, we cannot ignore our God-given civic responsibility and the massive impact that politics has on our society. We make a huge mistake in comparing our system of government with the system that the Apostle Paul was under. God blessed America with religious freedom, at least initially.

In the realm of government, there are two primary areas of responsibility for us to consider. One is God’s eternal kingdom; the other is the world’s political system. We have a responsibility to both, and God’s eternal principles establish the foundation for both.

Our political system, ordained by God, oversees the affairs of men. The primary role of government is to secure our God-given rights. One of the primary purposes of government is to protect the freedom to express our love for God.

This issue of religious freedom has never been more important in America than it is today. Mr. Potato Head is being renamed, but Cardi B can pollute the minds of the innocent. We’ll allow a transgender person to be the Assistant Secretary of Health, but say nothing about the sexual exploitation of our children.

Pastors are being threatened with large fines and jail time for keeping churches open while pot shops, liquor stores, and abortion clinics get a free pass. If you ask me, and countless others, “religious freedom” is worth fighting for.

We don’t have to compromise our principles to be involved in politics. What good is salt left in the shaker, or a light that is hidden? “Politics” is not a bad word. In simple terms, politics refers to governing or leading a group of people. I think God’s Word has a great deal to say about that. Silence is not an option.

I’ll close with a story I often tell: “Why didn’t someone do something?” Those five words still haunt my thoughts today.

Some time ago, I sat speechless as I listened to a man recount his trip to a “holocaust” museum with his young daughter. As they walked by photos of the “death camps” and “gas chambers”, his daughter silently contemplated the horrors that were unfolding before her eyes.

When the tour ended, they drove home without saying a word. The father wondered if she truly understood the significance of the event. Was she too young to view such depravity? Would it make a negative impact on her life? Would it leave her fearful and wounded? Would she begin to doubt God?

His questions were answered nearly two hours later when his daughter finally spoke. She looked at her father and asked, “Daddy, why didn’t someone do something?”

Will we hear those same haunting words from our children and grandchildren? Yes! If we fail to contend for what is right via “religious freedom” we may see a time in our future when our children will ask, “Why didn’t someone do something?” Sadly, we may not be able to answer.

Pandemics & Skin Colors

Posted in uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on September 27, 2020 by andelino

Christians and Virus Hoax

Posted in uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on August 26, 2020 by andelino

Pastors are belatedly coming to the conclusion that letting Caesar decide when and where they can worship was a bad idea from the beginning. The fact the vast majority of churches meekly shut down and surrendered, demonstrates how deeply secular culture has penetrated the pastorate.

These collaborationist forgot the one time Jesus lost his temper was when secular concerns were interfering with the worship of God inside the Temple. Pastors evidently confused “meek with weak” and that faulty thinking dominated their Flu Manchu decision making.

The rush to surrender to secular authorities and be good little church people was positively French in its intensity.

These so called “shepherds” surrendered a constitutional right to worship like it was an expired handicapped parking tag. Instead of outsourcing outreach to Facebook, pastors should have kept their churches open. Urging the frail elderly and those with underlying conditions to stay home and watch, while the healthy gathered together as Christians are instructed to do.

During the week, the staff could’ve visited elderly parishioners in person and prayed through the storm door. That would have been much more work than the “virus vacation” the clergy opted to take. More important, it would have been biblical.

Now a few pastors are beginning to understand that if Costco can remain open, so can church.

It took him until July, but in California Dr. John MacArthur, pastor of “Grace Community Church”, finally announced, “We will obey God rather than men. We’re going to be faithful to our Lord. We’re going to leave the results to him.”

At a later service, MacArthur welcomed members to the “Grace Community Church Peaceful Protest”…

“We stand firm to continue fulfilling our biblical mandate from Christ to proclaim the Gospel and assemble together, and I earnestly hope that our stance will encourage other pastors, churches, and the general public across America and the world to also stand firm for biblical Truth, Church is essential,” MacArthur said in a statement.

The big problem with that announcement is timing. MacArthur was six months late. Prominent pastors and denominations should have met in March and announced that Christians would continue to worship, as is their right guaranteed by the Constitution, and each church would make “Kung Flu” mitigation efforts on its own.

The “Flustapo” specializes in making life miserable for individuals and the disorganized. You didn’t notice health officials requiring masks on mostly peaceful looters. A massive pushback from believers would have saved Churches and established that Christians will suffer no infringement on their duty to God.

Also in California, Pastor Rob McCoy of “Godspeak Calvary Chapel” didn’t surrender, but he mistakenly thought a little “going” along would mean “getting” along.

When BLM riots were deemed essential and church wasn’t, that was enough. McCoy told Just The News, “Who would ever have thought you’re standing on the front lines because you’re going to church on a Sunday?”

McCoy defied a temporary restraining order from the local Caesar forbidding indoor worship. “I’m not being disobedient to anybody, I’m being obedient to God. No government gets in the way of worshipping the one who created us. We’re living on His dirt, breathing His air, drinking His water, eating His food, we’re going to live by His rules.”

McCoy isn’t alone on the front line. A vindictive county government is seeing to that. A lawsuit against the church also includes 1,000 criminals to be named later who will also be charged with McCoy and fined up to $1,000/day.

My favorite response to “Flustapo” minions took place in little Holly Springs, MS. Cops who worshiped Mammon and not God broke up a Sunday Service at the First Pentecostal Church. Pastor Jerry Waldrop then took his 45 members to the local Wal-Mart, which has never been closed, and held services there.

Franklin Graham also decided to enter the belly of the “lockdown” beast. He announced he will lead the 2020 Prayer March in Washington, DC on September 26th.

Graham and his supporters are hoping thousands of believers will show up and march from the Lincoln Memorial to the steps of the Capitol, stopping along the way for prayer for our nation.

Mayor Muriel Caesar isn’t going to like that. As this is written, travelers to DC from 29 states are ordered to self–quarantine for two weeks after they arrive. “Mass gatherings” of more than 50 people are forbidden. Face Burkas are required indoors and out.

A camel will pass through the eye of a needle before DC will issue a parade permit for Graham’s march.

It’s time for a showdown with secular anti–Christian authorities and DC is the perfect location. I hope Graham stands firm and thousands march with him regardless of consequences. It’s time for the USA to remember what “prohibiting the free exercise” really means.

Another In The Fire

Posted in uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on August 24, 2020 by andelino

Pastor Shane Idleman said that there is no hindrance too GREAT…no battle too HARD…and no power too STRONG for God. But what do you do in the midst of the fire, when trials are testing you and the enemy is taunting you? Take a listen to the message: Another In The Fire.

Free speech is being severely compromised. This new “free speech” platform is amazing – many solid voices are moving over.

Recently, a few news outlets asked, “What’s going on in California?” That question prompted me to write these articles (you can view the first one here.) With the beach gatherings, along with Pastor’s Jack Hibbs’, Rob McCoy, and John MacArthur’s bold stances, we decided to launch a Saturday night service in Lancaster, California, at JetHawk Stadium on July 25th. It was tagged the “Stadium Revival.”

To get you up to speed. Although the event was primarily for our local body as a way to come together, word quickly spread and approximately 1,000 people show up every Saturday. We are not collecting names for a database or trying to elevate our church; it’s simply a time to elevate Christ. It was an incredible event that will run through September 2020, God willing.

This second weekend we witnessed even more salvation’s, re-commitments, and powerful personal testimonies leading to 30 baptisms, 29 of which were spontaneous. This move of God simply shows how hungry people are to be encouraged and uplifted … and even convicted. The message can be seen here and if you subscribe to us on YouTube here or on Facebook you can see the full service.

For those asking, what we are doing is not connected to Bethel in any way. Although I know Sean Feucht, for example, and appreciate him leading worship in obscure places (would be to God that more would step up to the plate), God is doing something different in our area. My messages are focused on the simple message of repentance. It’s a call back to God … back to truth, holiness, and the fear of the Lord. As a matter of fact, if God doesn’t change my plans, next week’s message is: “There is No Fear of God in This Place.”

Conservatives think I’m too charismatic, and charismatic’s think I’m too conservative, but God will be my final judge. I have one desire: “To see the Spirit of the living God revive dead churches and convict causal bystanders. To encourage believers and convict sinners, and to build the local church. “

Sadly, some are coming against these events throughout California. This is not uncommon. Every book I have read on revival always has a word spoken against it. George Whitefield had to retreat to the open fields to preach, and John Wesley was criticized often. Revival stirs the waters … dead churches are convicted about their barrenness, and carnal Christians are deeply challenged.

What many have experienced are valid moves of God. However, while revivals may grow from pure motives and humble beginnings, they can be quenched by bizarre behavior or by leaders who lack character, or by those who take the glory and promote themselves. God calls us to be concerned, prayerful, and surrendered to Him.

We easily ignore Scripture when we embrace views outside of God’s revealed Word. When we default to our old nature or cultural trends, and can be easily led by false teachings.

Jeremiah 23:16 sheds even more light on the need to discern, “This is what the Lord Almighty says: Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you; they fill you with false hopes. They speak visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the Lord.”

We are to discern truth from error, light from darkness, and right from wrong. But not all leaders in revival movements are false and misleading. Many are sincere and open to the work of the Holy Spirit and understand that “experiences” cannot supersede the Word. God’s Word is the foundation on which all truth stands. “If I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.1 Timothy 3:15

What is true revival, and is California experiencing it? As stated, a genuine revival is God reviving His people — Psalm 85:6 “Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you?” He fills us with joy, love, and an even greater presence of His Spirit, and repentance is often a mark of true revival.

Christians can embrace one of two extremes concerning the word “revival.” At one extreme are those who embrace pure emotionalism and hysteria — “if it’s odd it’s God” — all weird behavior is excused. The other extreme lacks a living, vibrant spiritual life. The church feels dead, cold, and lifeless. Talk of reviving the things of God is either dismissed or ridiculed. Both extremes can hinder the work of the Holy Spirit and genuine Christian growth. Those truly filled with the Spirit reflect the personality and nature of God.

Someone truly filled with the Spirit though bold, is often not bizarre. We cannot dismiss the truly miraculous works of God that happen daily, nor can we minimize the incredible power of God to radically change lives through the power of the Spirit. However, in our zeal and excitement we often minimize the need for discernment. A discerning person considers supernatural experiences in light of God’s Word, nature, and character.

That said, the short answer is yes. I believe what we are seeing in California is genuine in most cases. Is there genuine fruit? Does the experience align with God’s Word? Is the fruit of the Spirit found in Galatians 5 present: “love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control?” A true, genuine experience with the Holy Spirit will produce godly fruit and obedience to God. It seeks to promote those things that are pure and righteous.

Join me in praying: “God, please keep the revival fires burning from California to all 50 states and beyond. You are our only hope.” The testimonies have been overwhelming: “salvation’s, re-commitments, marriages restored, prodigals coming home, addictions being broken – God is on the move.”

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