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Coming to today’s question: John MacArthur is being roasted for covering up Pastor’s sin.
Is this right?
John MacArthur is in the news again. Let us see the context of this allegation. John MacArthur hired Paul Guay as a pastor at his Grace Community Church. Paul Guay was living a monstrous life at home. He was abusing his daughter Wendy. This all took place in the 1970s. Now, Wendy comes out and reports, ‘My dad abused me and John MacArthur did nothing to protect me or other victims of my dad’.
First of all, the story is so sickening. A dad is abusing his own daughter. Where are we going? Our culture is going complete nuts. Can you define a woman? Recently, during her confirmation, one of our current Supreme Court justices said, ‘No, I can’t. I am not a biologist to define a woman’. It speaks to the disorientation of our society. Even a woman cannot define a woman!
Jesus said, ‘You are the light of the world’. Christians are called to uphold truth in a culture like ours which is completely gone berserk. But Christian leaders are busy abusing their children and church members. Now, we have been blessed with many godly pastors and ministers. But as Lord Jesus Christ warned, there are many wolves in the sheep’s clothes. We should always be on alert to recognize these wolves in sheep’s clothes.
A pastor while preaching the word of God is going home to abuse his own child. That shows the depravity of the human heart. Last night I was reading a book titled The Self-Portrait by art historian James Hall. He writes about the tradition of drawing self-portraits by great Western artists. Jan van Eyck, Leon Alberti, Peter Parler, Lorenzo Ghiberti, Albrecht Durer, Raphael, Michelangelo, Titian, Caravaggio, Rembrandt….all these great artists drew self-portraits. James Hall says that this tradition was born from Christian concept of self-reflection. These artists wanted to paint Christ and then drew their self-portraits, ‘the painter initially goes to Christ to paint his portrait, whereupon he makes his own self-portrait’. As we contemplate more on Christ, we see the depravity of our own heart. God wants to save us from this sinful nature, cleanse us by the blood of Lord Jesus Christ and transform us into his likeness. It is important to take time to examine our hearts almost on a daily basis. What self-portrait can you draw of yourself in the presence of God? Do you have a desire to please God or are you looking for opportunities to prey on women and children?
In many churches today, becoming a Christian means saying a prayer, signing a card and going back to your old lifestyle. That is not salvation according to the Bible. Salvation involves justification, sanctification and glorification. Sanctification is an essential component of salvation. Someone abusing children is not sanctified and therefore not saved.
On April 15, 2022 John MacArthur preached a sermon entitled Christ: Our Example in Life and Death. Excellent. Christ is our example in life and death. When Christ saw sin in the life of religious leaders of his day, he did not cover it up. He called them out with strong names, ‘You vipers, you white washed tombs, you children of the devil’. Lord Jesus Christ did not mince words when he saw sin in the lives of religious leaders around him. So, John MacArthur should take that lesson seriously. He owes an explanation about these charges and about his role if there is any coverup of this pastor’s sins. He should also realize the seriousness of coverup.
Let me give an example from our town. I live in a town called State College in Pennsylvania. We have the campus of Pennsylvania State University in this town. They have a great football team. Jerry Sandusky was their coach. He founded The Second Mile in 1977, around the time Pastor Guay also started to abuse his victims. He took that name Second Mile, I think from Matthew 5:38-42 where Jesus says, ‘If someone force you to go one mile, go with him two’. Do more than required. Go beyond the duty. Show kindness and charity. Behind The Second Mile, what was Sandusky doing? He was abusing young boys he was supposed to protect and train. Sandusky was convicted and now serving his prison sentence. NY Times columnist Maureen Dowd wrote, ‘Like the Roman Catholic Church hierarchy, the Penn State hierarchy appears to have covered up pedophile crimes to protect its brand’.
‘I want to protect my brand, so I will ignore all complaints of impropriety concerning my staff’ – this became the mantra of many organizations. To protect the good name of our church, you should not cover up abuse. That is sinful and illegal.
Jerry Sandusky served as an assistant coach under Joe Paterno. Paterno was the most celebrated coach in the history of American football – 409 victories. If you take a walk around State College, you would see his name all over the town. All his good name came to an end when the FBI found out that Joe Paterno concealed information relating to Sandusky’s abuses.
He was dismissed from the team bringing an ignominious end to his career. You may not be the abuser, but if you conceal the abuse, you are facilitating more abuse in the future. Pastor Paul Guay went on to abuse more women. He did not stop with his sister and daughter.
So, John MacArthur should take these allegations seriously and release a statement with an explanation of the events. If he is innocent, the case is closed. If he is not innocent, he should face some consequences. Sin always has victims.
After experiencing abuse from her dad, Wendy got mental health problems and addiction to pain medication. Her life was ruined by her own dad.
Also, we need more education and awareness on these matters. Physicians take a CME course on child abuse every two years. We have to renew our medical license every two years. In order to renew our license, we should take a course on child abuse awareness. This course helps us to understand the problem of abuse, to identify the red flags and to report the abuse when you see it. Pastors should also take such courses. MacArthur supposedly said, ‘past is past. Move on’. That is not right. A victim cannot move on without seeing justice meted out to her abuser. A victim cannot move on while carrying the mental and physical wounds of abuse. God forgives the vilest sinner, but that does not resolve the criminality of abuse. Like Jerry Sandusky, pastors should also serve prison sentences when they abuse people in their families and in their congregations. As the Bible says, ‘judgment must begin at the house of God’ (1 Peter 4:17).
That is my answer to your question. God bless.
Paul Kattupalli MD
That is my answer to your question. God bless.