Welcome back to Defender’s Voice. This is Paul Kattupalli. Thank you for joining us. Today I would like to discuss John MacArthur bad mouthing religious freedom.
First things first: I like John MacArthur. I have his complete New Testament series in my library. I listen to his sermons on Grace to You mobile app. He takes a stand for his convictions. He sent me a copy of his famous MacArthur Study Bible. When I received it, I was excited to see his signature on the front page. My wife and I study it every evening and have our devotions. He is a great man of God and we need him more than ever. But, every now and then, he surprises me with weird comments. This week he said,
let me quote, “The Gospel offends the sinner and seeks to break the sinner’s comfort and contentment by bringing him into stark realization of the eternal judgement of God. Evangelicals have become like Peter. They are looking for alliances with Satan that they think somehow can aid the Kingdom,”
“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?”
Evangelicals have become like Peter. There is some truth to it. Most preachers are not preaching the Cross of Christ. Most preachers are not calling sinners to repentance and forgiveness through Christ.
Then John said, ‘I could never really concern myself with religious freedom.” ‘I could never really concern myself with religious freedom.”?
Are you sure John? You were fighting so fiercely with the government of California and of Los Angeles to keep your church doors open through the Covid Pandemic. Then he said, “ I wouldn’t fight for religious freedom because I won’t fight for idolatry.” Why is that idolatry? America did not create religious freedom. Religious freedom created America. The Pilgrim Fathers came to America because they wanted religious freedom. They wanted freedom to worship God in the way their conscience dictated.
It is not idolatry.
Then he said, “ Why would I fight for the devil to have as many false religions as possible and all of them to be available to everyone?” The Devil did not create religious freedom. God created it. All freedom came from God. The Devil is only known for tyranny. He enslaves people, he never gives freedom to choose. “ Why would I fight for the devil to have as many false religions as possible and all of them to be available to everyone?”
Why do we have so many false religions? Because God gave us freedom. He told us truth, but when we deny His truth He leaves us to embrace falsehoods. That takes us back to Romans chapter 1, John MacArthur’s favorite chapter in the Bible.
19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
God speaks to us through the Created order in nature, through our conscience, through our moral obligations and through His Word. But when we deny His truth, he gives us freedom to go down our own paths. As we go down those paths, we create idols and false religions. Even atheism is a false religion. So, false religions are here because God gave us freedom to choose.
Our Lord Jesus Christ said, in Matthew chapter 7, Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat.
Enter the straight gate. It may be narrow but it will take you to heaven. But if you don’t like the narrow way, go on the broadway. It will lead you to destruction, the eternal hell. God gave that freedom to people either to choose him or deny him. So, for John MacArthur to say that religious freedom is bad is wrong.
It is the little Calvin inside him speaking out. John Calvin called human nature a “perpetual factory of idols”. How do deal with these idols and false religions? Let us burn the heretics. In Geneva, John Calvin burnt the heretics and ordered only married people should have sex only married people should have children. We know that Geneva did not last long.
Salem Witch Trials….People who were accused of witchcraft were executed The false religions must stop.
I don’t think John MacArthur would try to convert Los Angeles into Calvin’s Geneva, but the ideology is the same. More freedom means more false religions. Of all people, Christians should be more concerned about religious freedom. Pope Francis is visiting Iraq now. The Muslim radicals denied religious freedom to Christians. Christians are being hunted down for worshiping Lord Jesus Christ. Over a million Christians had to leave Iraq because there is no religious freedom to Christians in that nation.
Also consider the Asia Bibi blasphemy case in Pakistan. This Christian woman was convicted of blasphemy by a Pakistani court and was sentenced to death by hanging. Her crime was she accused of saying bad things about Muslim prophet Muhammad. In Pakistan, Christians don’t have freedom to freely exercise their faith. In 2011, at the time of his death, Shahbaz Bhatti was the only Christian cabinet minister in Pakistan’s federal cabinet. He opposed the blasphemy law and was murdered in broad daylight in the capital city, Islamabad. He became a martyr for religious freedom.
Those Christian brothers and sisters in persecuted nations around the world knew the value of religious freedom. Chike Uzuegbunam…..he was preaching the gospel at Georgia Gwinnett College. He was stopped by the authorities. His gospel preaching was stopped. He started a legal fight, which went all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States. In 8-to-1 ruling, the Supreme Court supported this young preacher. We got another John on the Supreme Court, John G.Roberts, who does not believe in religious freedom and he voted against it. He is the lone dissenter in this case. Chike Uzuegbunam….we can’t even pronounce his name right. He knew that we should do better when it comes to religious freedom.
In India, the Government is squeezing Christian organizations, which have been helping the people in need. They need religious freedom.
So, religious freedom is a gift of God. We should cherish it, enjoy it and fight for it. With all due respect, John MacArthus is wrong to belittle the importance of religious freedom in our society.
Please leave your comments and opinions. Thank you, God bless you.
Paul Kattupalli MD