Monday, June 16, 2008

John MacArthur on Biblical Authority

OK, for the past couple days my posts have concerned false teachers, false doctrines and ungodly practices. It's time to present an example of some preachers who are solidly teaching the Word of God, without compromise. Mark Kielar and John MacArthur are two such preachers. Mark Kielar introduces John MacArthur in the following video:

43 comments:

satire and theology said...

OK, for the past couple days my posts have concerned false teachers, false doctrines and ungodly practices. It's time to present an example of some preachers who are solidly teaching the Word of God, without compromise.

True, but I have presented the good on one site and the bad on the other...no I am not the ugly.

thekingpin68 said...

Well, perhaps the satire article is both bad and ugly.:)

Abbey said...

Though I don't always agree with everything that John MacArthur believes, especially as pertaining to how he views the law, he has done a lot of good.

Jeff said...

'satire and theology' and 'thekingpin68'....

You guys remind me of the 1969 Star Trek episode entitled "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield," where Frank Gorshin (best known for his role as The Riddler in the Batman live-action television series) plays Bele (see image here), who hates his opposite, Lokai (BTW, Gorshin received an Emmy nomination for his portrayal of Bele).

Lokai's most striking feature is that his skin is half black and half white. Bele is of the same race as Lokai, but the sides of Bele's black and white skin are reversed. The difference is pointed out by Bele to a perplexed Captain Kirk who asks what is the difference between them, to which he replies, "Isn't it obvious? Lokai is white on the right side. All his people are white on the right side."

Bele explains he is a police commissioner from Cheron and on a mission to retrieve political traitors. His current quarry is Lokai who he has been chasing for what Bele claims to be 50,000 Earth years. Bele then instructs Captain Kirk to take him to see his "prisoner". Bele is taken to Lokai, but Lokai reacts fearfully to Bele's presence and strongly demands he be taken away. The two aliens begin arguing about slavery and racial segregation which almost come to blows.

Bele believes his black and white coloration to be superior to Lokai's, even though Kirk sees no difference in the two and refuses to agree in Bele's convictions of racial superiority.

Once the Ariannus mission is completed, Bele takes control of the Enterprise again, but this time he deactivates the auto-destruct in the process and sends the ship to Cheron. Once there, the two aliens find the planet's population completely wiped out by a global war fueled by insane racial hatred. Both Lokai and Bele stare silently at the destruction on the monitor and realize they are the only ones left of their race (or, as they see it, their races).

Instead of calling a truce, the two beings begin to blame each other for the destruction of the planet and a physical brawl ensues. As the two aliens fight, their innate powers radiate, cloaking them with an energy aura that threatens to damage the ship. With no other choice, Kirk sadly allows the two aliens to chase each other down to their obliterated world to decide their own fates, consumed by their now self-perpetuating mutual hate.

(information from Wikipedia)

Jeff said...

Abbey,

Admittedly, I haven't listened to John MacArthur for years (I used to listen to him on the radio 5 days a week, but now I'm not able to), so I'm not sure what his view on "the law" is, that you are referring to.

satire and theology said...

Yes, well I am the funnier of the two of us, as thekingpin is a bit more stuffy.

thekingpin68 said...

Too bad, so sad, I have recently passed Mr. Satire in average daily hits and have had the lead in links for months.

satire and theology said...

In the end clever, cute, and short theological writing will prevail or stuffiness, Kingpuss.

thekingpin68 said...

Hmm, appealing to ad hominem now eh, but you may not know what that is as you just have a satirical theological site and not a philosophical one! Having a twin brother sucks.;)

kingpinned said...

You guys have nothing to complain about, I just have a comic book site with no comments option!

There now you have a lot of comments for this article.;)

satire and theology said...

And it will prevail over stuffiness too! Or just stuffiness shall exist too.:)

Jeff said...

'satire and theology' and 'thekingpin68'....

FOFLOL!!! You guys are hilarious! Funny stuff!

Jeff said...

kingpinned,

You guys have nothing to complain about, I just have a comic book site with no comments option!

I just now took a look at your site. Oh, man, I wish you had comments options! Those are some great covers! I just watched "The Incredible Hulk," and I thought it was a hundred times better than the first movie! (The first movie was absolutely horrible, IMO). I don't think it topped "Iron Man," though it came close. To me, "Iron Man" was the best...well, except for the "X-Men" movies. Those are still my favorite. The "Fantastic Four" was also excellent. Man, superhero movies are getting better and better. I hope the "Avengers" movie will be excellent, as well, when it comes out.

There now you have a lot of comments for this article.;)

Thank you! Very much appreciated! Please come and visit again...and again!

satire and theology said...

Say, please leave the kingpinned comments on my blog.

Cheers

Mr. Satire

thekingpin68 said...

No, forget him...okay give him a few, but leave the kingpinned comments on my blog. Thanks.

thekingpin68;)

Jeff said...

LOL!

No, give them one comment each, and leave the rest of the comments on my blog.

Abbey said...

LOL - Very funny conversation.

When I talk about how MacArthur views the law, I'm talking about what his views are on how Christ fulfilled the law... Of course I'm just picking on him for fun, but it is something that I don't totally agree with him on.

Jeff said...

Abbey,

Well, I could probably find something that I disagree with, with just about anyone...including probably any Pastor or preacher. If we all believed exactly the same thing in every area and sphere of knowledge, we would be clones in our thinking. God is a God of variation. Of course, most of our differences in beliefs are probably not due to God's desire for variation, but rather, due to our fallen sin nature, as well as our limitations in knowledge and our limitations in experiences, I think. (And, because I'm limited in my knowledge, I don't know this to be a fact. It is merely my biased opinion, to which someone is bound to disagree with, because we are such disagreeable creatures. Don't you agree?)

Abbey said...

Yes, I agree, and that is why I didn't say too much about why I don't agree with him in certain areas. A church that you completely agreed with everything would be a church of one. And I'm convinced that there are variations in what people believe to help others grow.

Jeff said...

And I'm convinced that there are variations in what people believe to help others grow.

Wow, that's putting a positive twist on the matter! Good attitude.

Jonathan Rowe said...

I originally thought by "the law" she meant Romans 13. Personally, I think MacArthur is much better than David Barton and Wallbuilders on this issue. And that's precisely because MacArthur solidly teaches fundamental biblical Christianity with no compromise even when it achieves unpalatable results, such as that America's Founders sinned by revolting against Great Britain.

America's key Founders were not "Christians" in a biblical, fundamental sense. And that's an area where you get nothing but deception from Barton.

Jeff said...

Jonathan Rowe,

Thank you for your interesting comment. I appreciate your dropping by and stating your opinion.

Although I have great respect for John MacArthur as a preacher (he is in my top favorites), he is not a historian, and I would tend to side with David Barton on issues of American history, which David is an expert on.

I just found the following, on the Christian Worldview Network website, written by Brannon Howse, which is interesting:

"David Barton has written a paper entitled "Was the American Revolution a Biblically Justified Act?" in which he notes:

The Presbyterians, Lutherans, Baptists, Congregationalists, and most other Christian denominations during the American Revolution believed that Romans 13 meant they were not to overthrow government as an institution and live in anarchy. This passage does not mean they had to submit to every civil law. Note that in Hebrews 11, a number of those who made the cut in the 'Faith Hall of Fame' as heroes of the faith were guilty of civil disobedience, including Daniel, the three Hebrew Children, the Hebrew Midwives, Moses, etc.

If the Founding Fathers had removed themselves from underneath the authority of Great Britain because they were choosing anarchy over an established government, then that would be a violation of Romans 13. Although Romans 13 is not an endorsement of every government, it is a description of what God says is the proper role of civil government.


In Scripture, God initiates several realms of authority in human governance: family, church, and state. These reflect the normal pattern of social interaction, and civilizations throughout history have reproduced these in some form. Simply because the presence of these institutions is normative, however, we should not expect every instance of them to be acceptable.

Fathers are the God-ordained head of the family, but those who abuse their children and wives deserve to be removed from their positions of authority. Few people disagree that a pastor or elder should be removed from leadership in the church, his God-ordained position of authority, if the leader is guilty of grave moral and ethical failures. And, as with church and family rule, God does not necessarily endorse every leader or every civil government that comes along.

For 11 years, our Founders petitioned the King of Great Britain to cease his unlawful, unbiblical actions against the colonials. Although the monarch ignored their grievances, they remained under his authority until he sent 25,000 troops into the colonies for the purpose of seizing property, invading homes, and imprisoning people without trials. The king's actions violated his own British common law, the English Bill of Rights, and the centuries-old Magna Carta.

Once King George III started down the path of violent suppression, the Founders announced their intent to separate from Great Britain. They wrote at length that they were involved in self-defense, which they rightly believed was Biblically acceptable. British troops fired the first shot in every confrontation leading up to the Revolutionary War, the Massacre of 1770, the bombing of Boston in 1774, and the Lexington and Concord engagements of 1775.

Unless you are a thoroughgoing pacifist, there is no basis for saying the Founders sinned in defending themselves against King George's troops and their terrorist tactics against the colonists. The Founders' fight was not a "military insurrection." Our early leaders took seriously their standing before God and believed He could bless a war of defense but not a war of offense. They fought to protect their own lives and those of their family and friends.

Many Christians get queasy over the subject of "civil disobedience" and invoke Romans 13 to avoid the responsibility of standing up to a deviant government. While I agree it is crucial that Christians pursue civil disobedience only when obeying government requires us to disobey God, Scripture offers clear direction on when such action is acceptable.

The Founding Fathers did not violate New Testament principles when they instituted American independence, and it is critical that we close ranks on this fundamental issue. Our nation was founded under God's guiding hand, not in spite of it."

Jonathan Rowe said...

David Barton isn't much of an historian either; his terminal degree is a BA in Math Education. MacArthur's college has a PhD in political science who heads their political studies who would rip Barton apart if the two debated [I have a copy of his meticulously footnoted PhD thesis from Claremont Graduate University].

And MacArthur IS a theologian and his notion that Romans 13 properly teaches that the buck stops with the leaders, not "the people" has a long traditional in biblical orthodox from Luther and Calvin onward. [In other words, a tyrant may do what is wrong in God's eyes, but it's up to God to deal with it; not the people. Indeed, Calvin held that God may give men a tyrannical King simply to punish men!]

Further, what King George did may have violated the English law [a debatable proposition] it's quite a stretch to say that he violated the Bible.

Finally, what the Founders did was a military insurrection. I've got all sorts of quotations of them talking about their "revolution" [their words]. And the text of the DOI itself says men can revolt when governments don't meet its proper "ends" -- secure unalienable rights to life, liberty & pursuit of happiness -- which concept by the way is not biblical at all. The difference between Romans 13 and America's DOI are like night and day.

Barton & House confuse Americanism with biblical Christianity. MacArthur doesn't. That's the difference between them.

Jeff said...

Jonathan Rowe,

Thank you for leaving another comment.

Your comments are interesting and thought-provoking.

I suspect that most right-wing Christians in this country (most of whom are strongly for gun rights, many of them using the argument that, if our government ever becomes tyrannical or a dictatorship, they want to be able to defend themselves and their personal freedoms) would probably disagree with you, however.

Jonathan Rowe said...

I think you are right about that; most right wing American Christians would disagree with my interpretation. This arguably is not a good thing for the purity of Christendom. Christianity is supposed to come first. The Kingdom of Christ knows no national boundaries (I say this as a scholar of religion, not as a conventional believer myself).

Check out my group blog American Creation where all we do is study and debate this issue from a variety of political and theological perspectives.

Jeff said...

Jonathan Rowe,

Check out my group blog American Creation where all we do is study and debate this issue from a variety of political and theological perspectives.

I'll have to stop by.

In the history of Christian martyrdom, many martyrs have tried to defend their lives, and their family's lives, with weapons. And, to tell a Christian living in a Communist or Muslim country where they are being persecuted, tortured, imprisoned, massacred, etc., that they must submit to everything the government says, and not rebel, would sound quite foolish to them, I would think. In fact, this would include telling them that they are not allowed to tell others about Jesus, because it is often against the law in such countries. You would also have to tell them that they are not allowed to worship God unless it was in an official 'state' church, which is strictly regulated and watched and reported on by the government. Nor would they be allowed to meet and pray in any sort of numbers. No, I think that Christians throughout the world would likely disagree with the idea that we are to obey everything the government says, no matter what.

And, in the First Century as well as pretty much all the years since, Christians have been fleeing their respective country because of persecution. As a matter of fact, in the First Century, this is how the gospel was spread so widely. So again, to tell them that they must stay in that country and obey the government would sound quite foolish to them, I'm sure.

Jeff said...

Jonathan Rowe,

I say this as a scholar of religion, not as a conventional believer myself

Are you saying that you study religion, but you are not a Christian? Just curious.

Jonathan Rowe said...

"Are you saying that you study religion, but you are not a Christian? Just curious."

Yes, that is exactly what I am saying.

Jonathan Rowe said...

"And, to tell a Christian living in a Communist or Muslim country where they are being persecuted, tortured, imprisoned, massacred, etc., that they must submit to everything the government says, and not rebel, would sound quite foolish to them, I would think."

MacArthur says do exactly this. EXCEPT never stop preaching the Bible. In other words, submit to and obey every government but draw the line when they tell you not to preach the Bible or if they explicitly command you to sin.

This might not be the only proper way to understand Romans 13; but it's certainly a viable one in biblical orthodoxy (it just doesn't sound right to "Americans"; but Christianity long predates America).

Jeff said...

Yes, that is exactly what I am saying.

Ah, well, that explains it then. Now I understand why you are making the claims that you are making. In a similar manner, someone who does not believe in God is certainly not going to believe in Creation over Darwinistic Evolution.

Jeff said...

"Father, we are so grieved as we look around us at this time in our history. We can think back, it must have been so different in the early days of the founding fathers who wanted so much to make sure that everyone knew there was a God and that God had given a Law, and His Law alone could govern man. And here we are something over 200 years later and the whole nation is plunging into an abyss of blackness with minds that are absolutely useless, trying to solve massive far reaching problems of iniquity without a standard, and really being given the curse of their own sin: more sin, and more sin, and more sin, unrestrained."
("What's Wrong with America"
(Romans 1:18-32) Copyright 1993,
by John F. MacArthur, Jr.)


Hmmm....sounds to me like John MacArthur believes that our country was founded by Christians, on Christian principles.

Jeff said...

OK, Jonathan, I'm researching what you were talking about in regards to John MacArthur. I'm starting to see that John MacArthur, though an excellent Bible teacher, is a poor historian.

I just now found this:
"I have a great deal of respect for John MacArthur, but I don’t agree with him on everything. Today I got an email alert about a podcast that deals with some of the subjects in which I disagree with Dr. MacArthur."
http://rhettsrants.wordpress.com/2008/07/16/john-macarthur-good-on-theology-wrong-on-politics-and-history/


"Topic: John MacArthur says he does not spend 5 seconds thinking about the fall 2008 election. John is not concerned at all about Obama winning. MacArthur has a view of the world that only involves the church. I think John has forgotten that God created family government, civil government and church government and Christians are to care about all three and all three are to be in harmony. Brannon's name is brought up in an interview with MacArthur and John restates his view that America's Founding Fathers sinned and violated New Testament principles when they founded America. John is a great theologian but a poor student of history. While we don't disagree with MacArthur on much in this area we believe John is really embarrassing himself and damaging his credibility."
http://www.christianworldviewnetwork.com/radio-show-episode.php?EpisodeID=7107

Someone commented on that site:
"I was saddened to hear of John MacArthur's statements and beliefs about America's founding. This is a reminder to trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and not men. I was reading Acts 3, where Peter and John were arrested and threatened not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus (v.18). They responded in v. 19 with "Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God judge ye." Then "they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests, and elders had said unto them" (v.23) They then prayed and in their prayer quoted Psalm 2:1 (v.25). Interestingly, Psalm 2:10-12 states, "Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him." Acts 4 goes on to say that when they were finished praying they were filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness. Clearly this is an example of God sanctioning his people to oppose authority that was in contradiction to Him (the Supreme Authority)!"
http://www.christianworldviewnetwork.com/radio-show-episode.php?EpisodeID=7107

Someone else on that site commented:
"In Luke 19:13 Jesus says to "Do business" or "Occupy" till I in the parable of the nobleman & his servants. God established marriage AND government & established laws & principles for us, His salt & light, to impact them for His glory. By the way, the faithful servants were rewarded with civil authority over cities! Had the pastors of the Great Awakening of 1738 not influenced our founding fathers, they would not have used Christian principles as they did to declare our independence & secure these liberties in the founding documents. That's in their words, not my opinion. If Christians don't hold our leaders to God's standard - as did many in Heb 11- then whose standard will be used for civil law. Could it be that "everyone will do what is right in his own eyes?" Its not about a moral majority voting block, its about the church building the people & the people building the nation. Our founders were "We the People" that built our nation with God's guidance & today we are the "If My People" that are to lead the nation in repentance & be faithful "Watchmen on the walls" to guard the city. Ps 127:1 Unless God builds the city...the labor in vain (founders). Unless the Lord guards the city....they stay awake in vain(today's Church). Too many are trying to make the ungodly act godly, I take God's message to God's people to tell them if they merely vote--AND Vote with a Christian Worldview-- we would not fight half the battles we do. How many times did God provide yearn to spare Isreal much of its ills if they would just honor Him & be "His" people?"

Jeff said...

"MacArthur is a Dispensationalist. He inherits a worldview tradition that sees this world as Satan’s realm, and doomed to a quick destruction, probably within his lifetime (certainly the old Brethren did not expect to die. I speak from family experience). The Kingdom of God, according to the Dispensationalist, is something wholly future, and the only thing that can save mankind from final self-destruction, according to this view, is the personal Second Coming (distinguished by some from the Second Advent[?!?]) of Christ, who will then reign for a thousand years over a kingdom made up increasingly of hypocrites who will finally rebel against Him.

From this perspective, MacArthur is quite right to have no interest in the political realm, as it belongs to Satan. This is not, however, New Testament teaching. It traces its roots back to the Anabaptists, via John Nelson Darby.

The Founding Fathers of America proceeded on the Biblical political principles elucidated by Samuel Rutherford in his ‘Lex Rex’, and acted on be the Scottish Covenanters, a government of laws, not of men, founded on the transcendent Law of God. Personally I contend that they were right to act as they did, but really they should have been given seats in the British Parliament instead."
from:
http://rhettsrants.wordpress.com/2008/07/16/john-macarthur-good-on-theology-wrong-on-politics-and-history/

Jeff said...

Another comment on that site (and I'm not necessarily in full agreement with every single point in these comments I am pasting here, but I find them interesting, and I at least mostly agree with them):

"#
Jim Riley, on July 19th, 2008 at 12:32 pm Said:

His understanding of Romans 13 completely fails to address the very direct definitions of good rulership written in the text.

Anybody who teaches believers to obey Hitler, without qualification, isn’t really a man of God. He’s a hireling."
http://rhettsrants.wordpress.com/2008/07/16/john-macarthur-good-on-theology-wrong-on-politics-and-history/

Jeff said...

Go To This website to listen online to Brannon Howse and John MacArthur regarding this matter
After listening to this, it seems to me that John MacArthur thinks a Christian should not become involved in government or politics at all.

Jeff said...

John MacArthur apparently thinks that America was founded based on not having to pay taxes, which is what our secular society is teaching today. So John MacArthur has apparently bought into the secular worldview regarding this, sad to say. When it comes to theological issues or teaching the Bible, he is excellent. But when it comes to secular, social or cultural issues, I think the late Dr. D. James Kennedy, or James Dobson, or David Barton are far, far better. John MacArthur seems to display ignorance on these issues. John MacArthur has also stated that he could care less who the next President will be. He apparently seeks to separate himself from world events.

Jeff said...

I also found this:
"As one of the hosts noted, John MacArthur criticizes Christian political involvement, yet his ministry reaps the benefits of Christians struggling in that realm. Because Christians participated in the system, the FCC didn't get to limit religious programming on Christian radio stations, which allowed John MacArthur to stay on the air. And the hosts mentioned quite a few bad things that are going on in modern-day America: California cracking down on home-schooling, even as its Senate voted to mandate pro-gay curricula in public schools (fortunately, the Governator vetoed the latter!). A homosexual is suing a Christian publishing company because one of its Bibles opposes the gay lifestyle (hopefully, all of them do). As far as these hosts are concerned, religious freedom in America is under attack! And I don't think they're wrong on that."
from: James's Thoughts and Musings

Jonathan Rowe said...

I've already heard Howse's broadcast and I think he's wrong. Howse won't even let me comment on Worldview Weekend's website. But if he wants to debate me live, I'd be glad to be his guest on his radio program.

The Founding Fathers, by the way, rarely if ever cited Samuel Rutherford or Lex Rex. They cited Locke, who likewise, did not cite Rutherford.

Think about how distorted Howse's views are: He says he thinks MacArthur's position is "nuts." Yet, MacArthur's position is exactly that of Calvins!

Jeff said...

Jonathan Rowe,

As far as I can tell, John MacArthur is a pacifist. And this is basically why he believes the Founding Fathers sinned in the War of Independence (though he apparently fails to understand that it was a defensive war).

As far as him being a pacifist, I can relate. In the past, I have thought that, if I was drafted, I would tell them I was a pacifist, because I abhor killing. I have thought (and I think John MacArthur probably thinks the same way) that I would rather be killed than kill someone else, because, if I am killed, I know for a certain fact that I am going to Heaven; but, if I kill someone else, and they are not a Christian, I will be sending them to Hell. Since I don't have a wife or kids, its easier for me to think that way. As far as I know, John MacArthur does have a wife and kids, so I'm wondering, if it ever came down to it, whether he would really stand idly by while his wife was being raped by someone, or whether he would shoot that person. Or, if someone was cutting his daughter's throat, whether he would just let them, or whether he would shoot the person.

In "Foxe's Book of Martyrs," for example, one woman did stand by while her little son was being horribly tortured, and she encouraged him to look forward to Heaven, while they killed her son right before her eyes.

However, if American soldiers had not fought against other countries, we would not have the freedoms that we have in this country. If we had refused to fight as a nation in WWII, Hitler likely would have won, and we might be under Nazi rule right now.

And if, after 9/11, we had sat idly by as a nation and done nothing, there might have been many more terrorist attacks, and thousands more American civilians might have been slaughtered.

So, although I think I can somewhat understand John MacArthur's position about not fighting, there are realities and consequences that must be faced as well. If you're going to truly be a pacifist, then you had also be ready to be a slave with no freedom, or be dead.

Jonathan Rowe said...

I don't think MacArthur is a pacifist. He is a "submissionist," but from what I can tell, he does subscribe to "just biblical war" theory.

Though your explanation on why fundamental biblical Christians I find utterly compelling. Personally, I don't believe in eternal damnation but if I did, I would be an utter pacifist and oppose war at almost any cost. It's horrific to think that all of those Muslims and many Americans who aren't born again Christians who are dying as the result of the War go to Hell for eternity and lose any chance at salvation because of their early deaths.

On the other hand if we hold as the Ancient Greeks and Romans did -- that heroes in War have a special place in Heaven (this was probably GW's belief) -- then one could understand more of a willingness to go to war.

Jeff said...

Jonathan Rowe,

he does subscribe to "just biblical war" theory.

Yes, I think you are correct.

It's horrific to think that all of those Muslims and many Americans who aren't born again Christians who are dying as the result of the War go to Hell for eternity and lose any chance at salvation because of their early deaths.

I do believe (and I suspect that John MacArthur might agree) that the most important 'work' a Christian can do is to tell others about Jesus. Fighting against terrorism, or fighting for freedom, or fighting against a country because they have nuclear weapons, are all temporary things, and those PALE in comparison to the idea of someone dying and going to Hell for all eternity. Hell is a place I would not want my worst enemy to go to, and therefore, I, as a Christian, should do everything I can to tell and warn people about Hell, and about the gospel that can save them from going there.

On the other hand if we hold as the Ancient Greeks and Romans did -- that heroes in War have a special place in Heaven (this was probably GW's belief) -- then one could understand more of a willingness to go to war.

As far as heroes in war having a place in Heaven: It is my understanding that Muslims have absolutely no guarantee of Heaven (in their belief) UNLESS they die in a jihad (holy war). This seems to explain why some Muslims are so willing to strap on a bomb and die in order to kill others.

However, Jesus taught to love our enemies and our neighbor. He said that a person is to die to self, and live for the Kingdom of God.

Some Jews believe that there will be two Messiahs, because there are basically two types of prophecies about the Messiah. One is a suffering Messiah. The other is a conquering Messiah. When Jesus was on Earth, some thought He would lead them to overthrow the Romans. However, the first time Jesus came, it was as a sacrificial lamb. Jesus' second coming, however, in my understanding, will be as a conqueror King Who will reign. I don't get too much into the study of Revelation, because there are so many who have made false interpretations of it, and so many who have made false prophecies. I believe it will happen when it happens, and I don't see a whole lot of advantage to try to figure out the specifics, especially when I think that we are not going to completely figure it out until it happens.

On the other hand, Jesus did say, when He was going to Gethsemane, to the disciples to bring a sword; and this is one passage that many Christian right-wing Republicans use to support their belief in the right to bear arms.

Rolbell said...

John MacArthur may or may not be a "good historian," but he is an excellent expositor of biblical truth. It seems that many want to EQUATE Christianity with rebellion against the authorities, but NT Scripture most completely DOES NOT equate Christianity with rebellion. Letter after letter in the NT admonishes us to submit to every earthly authority. If we live out our Christianity as if we have to take the bad guys out of power so we don't HAVE to suffer persecution for Christ's sake (something He said we would HAVE to do), then we are not submitting to every earthly authority.
It's not the governed's job to hold the authorities accountable for their misuse of the authority granted them by God. We are supposed to submit to God's revealed will, even unto death. This means submit to every civil law that does not require of us what God forbids and which does not forbid of us what God requires.
Remember the words of our Lord:
"Jesus answered, 'My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.'" John 18:36

Jeff said...

Rolbell,

Thanks for leaving a comment!

John MacArthur may or may not be a "good historian," but he is an excellent expositor of biblical truth.

I agree.

Letter after letter in the NT admonishes us to submit to every earthly authority.

Yes, the Bible does tell us to submit to authority, and that it is God Who has set up those authorities. Of course, when the authority commands us to do something which is completely contrary to God's law, then that would be the exception.

If we live out our Christianity as if we have to take the bad guys out of power so we don't HAVE to suffer persecution for Christ's sake (something He said we would HAVE to do), then we are not submitting to every earthly authority.

I think you're right. Christians in China who are under horrible torture, imprisonment, and other persecution say they are generally thankful for such persecution, because they know it makes them stronger, and that it glorifies God.

"Jesus answered, 'My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.'" John 18:36

Yes. And:
"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." (Ephesians 6:12)

The Christian should be focused on eternity and on Heaven, not on trying to live a comfortable, happy life here on Earth.

"I have told you these things, so that in me your may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
(John 16:33)