My brother David just told me he’s despairing over the Evangelical church. I asked him why and he pointed to “CT’s hit job on John MacArthur.”
“What’s their ‘hit job?'”
“Oh, you know. They’re attacking him for how he handled domestic abuse cases in his church.”
Of course they are.
Christianity Today (“CT“) is Lord Protector of every vulnerable and disenfranchised people group. Especially women. How heroic. How selfless. What courageous investigative journalism. Julie Roys and Marvin Olasky, call home.
Reminds me of CT back in the day when Jim Dobson’s life was being threatened by the Mafia because of Jim’s national broadcasts taking on the pornography industry.
Sitting in a restaurant at a table with Jim and his wife, Shirley in Colorado Springs, I suggested to Jim that he do one broadcast per month aimed at the church and her pastors; one broadcast that would not focus on marriage, home, and children, but the Bride of Christ and Her failure to guard the good deposit and defend the sheep. In other words, one broadcast calling out the church’s unfaithful shepherds.1
At that table, my appeal landed with a thud. Silence.
Then Shirley stepped into the gap. She said her husband could handle it when the Mafia and Democrats hated and threatened him, but when Wheaton and CT attacked, he was devastated.
Back then, the guys running Christianity Today and CTi’s profitable stable of periodicals knew my dad and my wife’s dad. Many of them attended the same church.
People don’t get what a small and insular world Wheaton is. Back when CT decided to move from Washington D.C. to Wheaton, my dad criticized their move precisely because of this insularity. He thought CT should be an out-house—not an in-house—organ.
But no, they moved to Wheaton; to Wheaton’s north side called Carol Stream just a couple miles from the college and Crossway. Still today, a whole host of religious personages pass each other each week on Main Street, College Avenue, President Street, Schmale Road, and Gunderson Drive.
That evening in the Springs, knowing these Wheaton men, I was disheartened hearing how painful it was for Jim when they dissed him (which, being effeminate liberals, they loved doing).
Skip forward a quarter century. Now the year is 2023, and Christianity Today is doing an expose of John MacArthur’s pastoral failures in cases of domestic abuse from many years ago.
Look, I’m sixty-nine and grew up in Wheaton. I know many of these guys. So let me share my humble opinion that, although it’s well-known I’m not a part of his fan club, Pastor John MacArthur is not Evangelicals’ bad guy. Speaking from deep knowledge, the idea that CT has to go to California to find a bad guy to expose is laughable. There are rich and famous bad guys right there in Wheaton they have had every opportunity to expose. The movers and shakers have read the documents. They’ve known what’s gone down. But carefully guarded silence.
To do an expose of Wheaton’s bigwigs would risk money. It would threaten personal relationships.
Which, of course, they avoid at all costs. They do lunch and are fellow church members with Wheaton’s bad guys who have covered up sin worse than Pastor MacArthur has been accused of.
The real bad guys of the Church of Jesus Christ today are right there under the nose of CT, which is why CT goes out to California to find a good whipping boy. That and the fact that Wheaton is, as I’ve already said, effeminate and liberal—two things Pastor MacArthur is most decidedly not.
Did John MacArthur fail to protect his sheep two decades ago?
Sure, and this is a tragedy all of us grieve.
But now, ask if the scribblers and editors of CT would have done better?
Brothers and sisters, as our Lord put it, “Let him who is without sin among us, cast the first stone.”
Christianity Today would certainly claim to be above the sins they accuse others of, but they have no skin in the game. Christianity Today’s scribblers are not shepherds of God’s flock. They answer to their subscribers—not to God.
One day soon, Pastor John MacArthur will give an accounting to the Chief Shepherd for his care of His flock. On that day, Christianity Today will not be his accuser. Nor my accuser. Nor Jim Dobson’s accuser.
We all will stand alone before the Righteous Judge of all the earth. Wives and husbands will stand alone. Sons and daughters. Brothers and sisters. Editors and publishers. President and trustees. Colleagues in Wheaton’s terrible Bible department. Every last one of us will answer for whatever blood we have on our hands, and may God have mercy on us through the blood and righteousness of His Own precious Son.
Finally, let me say I abhor and condemn all the college administrators, trustees, and Bible professors who lead God’s lambs and sheep to stray from God’s Word and truth. Just as I abhor and condemn the constant failures of pastors, elders, and older (Titus 2) women of Christ’s church who refuse to defend those they know are being sexually and physically abused. Our congregation has spent decades bringing these crimes to light, and inevitably we end up hated by professors, sessions, elders, and trustees who were covering these crimes up until we went to them privately (and sometimes publicly) and forced them to do what they had been refusing to do.
But our goal was never making a name for ourselves. Our goal was the protection of God’s sheep and fulfilling the ministry of reconciliation delegated to us by God through Christ Jesus.
Don’t read these men and women. I’ve refused to for decades now. The only reason I know about CT’s trashing of Pastor MacArthur is that when my brother David and I talked on the phone, I could tell he was discouraged and asked why?
CTi is so very deceptive, and always has been. You can’t trust them. The only constant in their work the past couple of decades is their insidious attacks on God’s Word and truth precisely at the gaps in the wall where the Evil One has made some progress.
As I said, Pastor John MacArthur is not Evangelicalism’s bogeyman. He has his sins and faults like the rest of us. All of us. Me. You.
But for CT to focus on John is laughable. It’s just a morality play.
|↑1||Readers might need to know that Jim and Shirley knew me as the son-in-law of Ken Taylor, the man who had taken a risk and published Jim’s politically incorrect Dare to Discipline, then fronted him the money to start his radio program, Focus on the Family. So, as the mafioso might put it, I was “family.”|