I regularly read the Shepherd's Fellowship blog and have found many of the articles edifying. In addition, I have read almost every book ever written by John MacArthur and often refer to his commentaries when studying the scriptures. Over the past 10 years, I can safely say that I have listened to well over 1,000 of his sermons on CD or MP3. However, over the past few years, I have observed a change that concerns me. That concern was re-ignited this morning, while reading the April 1st post on the Shepherd's Fellowship Blog entitled, "What Does It Mean "to Me"?
Let me preface the following by saying that I am pretty confident that this was a case of being careless with words and that he did not mean what he said, when he said what he said. I would very much like to know, however, exactly what he did mean.
Here is the paragraph that appeared towards the end of the article. Perhaps on face value, you will not see the problem.
"Those who don’t know what the Bible teaches about salvation cannot be saved. Those who don’t know what the Bible teaches about holiness are incapable of dealing with sin. Thus they are unable to live fully to their own blessedness and God’s glory."
Wow, that first sentence is unbelievable to me! It can be so easily misunderstood. Here was my initial gut reaction: The" Gospel according to John MacArthur"? How much knowledge of what the bible teaches about salvation is required in order to be saved, John? Must I be able to articulate the doctrines of the atonement, penal substitution, etc. before I can be saved? Must I then be able to clearly articulate them back to someone (making sure that they completely understand them) in order for them to saved? Does "knowledge" save anyone? Does reading the bible and understanding what it says about salvation save anyone?
There are so many wholes in that first statement that need to be filled. I think what he is meaning by what he said is, unless someone hears the true Gospel of Christ (as revealed in the bible) one cannot be saved. But that is not what he said.
Why am I so concerned? I am concerned because so many sit under this man's ministry and (basically follow whatever he teaches) . This is a very dogmatic statement that can and will be misunderstood by many and "parroted" by his followers--potentially causing a great deal of misunderstanding of the Gospel of Grace. Am I over-reacting? I think not.
Click Here is the link to the entire post.
See this previous post.