Man Interrupts Dr. John MacArthur’s Sermon Over Cessationism
It’s amazing to me how often “big names” within Christendom come under severe attack. I’m not talking about critiquing what they teach, preach, or write. We’re allowed to do that and certainly, using the apostle Paul as an example, he encouraged the Bereans to compare his teachings with the Old Testament (Acts 17).
I’m talking about people who attack – either physically, verbally, or both – a teacher or pastor whom they believe for one reason or another is not being true to God’s Word. In the video below, from this past Sunday August 16th, we see a clip of Dr. John MacArthur getting ready to preach. As he does so, we also see a young man approach and walk up to the dais. He then whistles and then starts his rant. He is upset about MacArthur’s teaching on cessationism, the belief that the gifts including tongues died out with the death of the last apostle. People have argued over this doctrine for years, like everything else.
Have a look at the short video.
You’ll notice that the man arrogantly states that God sent him to tell MacArthur that he was wrong about cessationism. As he’s being escorted out, he also calls on the people of the church to repent. This type of demagoguery is appalling. It’s one thing to disagree with a person’s teachings. There are useful and acceptable venues to constructively criticize someone who holds a view that others might find objectionable or even unscriptural.
However, to physically go to a church, interrupt that church service, and rant about how wrong a person is and how God sent that person is the height of arrogance. In the Old Testament, God used prophets. He used them with respect to the nation of Israel. He used them to warn godless kings and others that they had gone off the rails and were in danger of bringing judgment onto the entire nation.
There were also examples of people who visibly came out against a leader. This was done against Moses on several occasions and God intervened. God even used people like Moses go stand against leaders like Pharaoh who had nothing directly to do with the nation of Israel, because that nation had not been formed yet. But clearly, Pharaoh’s rebellious attitude and hard-heartedness against the Hebrews became a bit of a block against God. But dealing with Pharaoh hardly raised an eyebrow with God who used the situation to pour out His divine wrath on Pharaoh and the Egyptians. If we understand the Bible and especially the Old Testament clearly, then we would have to admit that in general, prophets were used by God and dealt with the people of Israel.
However, ever since the Charismatic Movement of the 1970s, there has been this dearth of individuals who believe that God speaks directly to them. They believe they have God’s ear and when He has something to say, He speaks. They react or act. Let’s not even discuss the fact that what this young man did actually went against Paul’s teachings found in his letters to Timothy and Titus. Instead of humbly approaching Dr. MacArthur via an appointment, he just decided to disrupt a worship service. He likely thinks of himself as bold, obedient to God’s call on his life. Unfortunately, all he’s done is show his own character, or lack of it.
If you’ve never had to deal with someone who firmly believes that God “told” them or “sent” them to do something, consider yourself fortunate. Too often, these people believe they have a “word of knowledge” and if you don’t accept that word, then you’ve rejected God. It’s really a very unfortunate, ambiguous, and even conceited way of living life, but these people don’t see it like that at all. Instead, they see themselves as a modern-day John the Baptist or some other godly prophet who – as a watchman on the wall – has the responsibility of viewing the landscape of Christendom and pointing out the flaws they see. In this case, the “flaw” was Dr. MacArthur’s opposition to Charismatic gifts, like speaking in tongues.
I’ve realized over the years that I cannot convince anyone of anything. It’s simply not in me. I can explain things. I can open the Word and teach from it. I can do my best to make things understandable to people. In the end though, I cannot convince people to adopt my way of thinking. In fact, in the very end (of my life), I may find that at least some of the things I’ve come to accept as truth from God’s Word were misunderstood by me. I need to be prepared for that eventuality.
This is why it is so important to approach God always with true humility. It is also equally important to relate to one another in the same vein. Admittedly, that can be difficult depending upon my attitude and demeanor or the other person’s. In the end, sometimes it is better to simply agree to disagree.
I disagree with people who don’t agree that the Bible teaches a PreTrib Rapture, for instance. While I might put my thoughts down here or in a book, I would never even consider going to their church and disrupting a service to get my point across. How absurd.
But this is the way things are today. People have become lovers of themselves. They think too highly of themselves and their pet doctrines, as if the doctrine of cessationism (or the PreTrib Rapture) has any bearing on a person’s salvation.
We are allowed to constructively address issues and people from which we find ourselves in adamant disagreement. We are never allowed to let our disagreement become arrogance and cause us to do things that are unseemly and unloving. The emotional problems that are created by people who believe God “speaks” to them are terrible. They wind up inflicting damage and do great harm to the cause of Christ.
The man who disrupted the service should be more concerned about the lost gaining salvation. Instead, he’s concerned that people don’t speak in tongues. Of course, to him, it’s likely the same thing or nearly the same thing.
Brothers, this should not be.
Entry filed under: christianity, Pretribulational Rapture, rapture, Religious - Christian - End Times, Religious - Christian - Prophecy, Religious - Christian - Theology, salvation. Tags: dr john macarthur.