Pastor John MacArthur has been winning the battle to keep his church open in California, penned a compelling op-ed articulating what we are seeing in America and the root of its cause: Losing our religion.
Pastor John MacArthur, who the chancellor emeritus for The Master’s University and Seminary and one of America’s foremost biblical scholars, has made headlines of late by relentlessly battling to keep services active at his Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California.
The County of Los Angeles has issued restraining orders against the church four times, and a judge has denied it four times. On Thursday, McArthur penned a compelling op-ed in The Daily Wire articulating what we are seeing in America and its cause in a piece titled: Losing our religion.
McArthur opens the opinion piece by stating what headlines and Pew Research Center studies have been telling us for a few years now, writing, “Faith is on the decline nowadays, and it is no wonder.”
“Most people in these postmodern times are convinced that it’s impossible to know anything with settled certainty — so they can’t really believe anything, either,” MacArthur says.
“When you aren’t even sure whether objective truth exists, the suggestion that there is something to believe in simply doesn’t make any sense. Begin with the assumption that nothing can be known for sure, and religious convictions are automatically out of the question.”
Psychologist Jordan Peterson has defined postmodernism, as it affects our culture presently, as: “essentially the claim that (1) since there are an innumerable number of ways in which the world can be interpreted and perceived (and those are tightly associated) then (2) no canonical manner of interpretation can be reliably derived.”
“In case you hadn’t realized it, that kind of thinking now dominates our society,” MacArthur points out.
“The concept of settled, knowable truth is widely considered intellectually inept and politically incorrect. There’s “my truth” and “your truth,” meaning everything is ultimately just a matter of perspective. In other words, truth claims are really nothing more than just personal opinions, and they deserve to be treated that way. Every point of view, no matter how bizarre, demands equal respect. Because, after all, no one can say for sure what is ultimately true.”
Pastor MacArthur reminds us that, not only was America founded on religious principles, which appear in the nation’s laws, but on a belief in biblical truth.
“Western society was built on beliefs that are rooted in Scripture, starting with the truth that God exists and has made Himself known,” MacArthur explains. “The whole weight of the United States’ Declaration of Independence hangs on truths about God and His creation that our nation’s founding fathers regarded as ‘self-evident.'”
“Since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”
MacArthur writes: “Because of our sin, we resist accountability to God, so we suppress that innate knowledge and ignore or try to explain away what is literally spread across the universe in all its resplendence before our eyes. Because fallen minds refuse to see what is obvious, they lose the ability to make sense of anything.”
“For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools.”
– Romans 1:21-22
The Bible is plentiful of examples of Israel turning away from God, losing his blessings, and suffering tragedy or ruin. History is full of examples, as well, most notably the decline of Rome through its own internal decadence.
“I’ve been quoting, of course, from the opening chapter of the apostle Paul’s epistle to the Romans,” MacArthur writes of the above passages in which he spoke of Western ideals, biblical truth and accountability to God.
“He [Paul] goes on to chronicle a pattern of decline that has been repeated in cycles throughout human history,” MacArthur continues.
“It is a descent into sin and depravity that has brought down every one of history’s most powerful empires and currently threatens our civilization. It is a path that goes from unbelief to complete intellectual futility, and it drags whole societies through idolatry, uncontrolled lusts, degrading passions, and every conceivable expression of unrighteousness.”
MacArthur is pointing out what we see in society now, and certainly not only in America.
“The end result is “a depraved mind” (v. 28),” MacArthur concludes, “a soul utterly given over to wickedness, irrationality, and contempt for everything that is truly righteous. In an act of divine judgment, God withdraws His grace and allows an individual (or an entire culture) to reach that point of moral and spiritual insanity.”
In closing, MacArthur points out that because we can’t agree on what truth is or standard of justice – how are we going to achieve it?
“Although public discourse today is full of cries for justice and structural change, there is simply no way to affirm any coherent standard of justice —much less is there any hope of change for the better — apart from a sweeping return to the God of Scripture, who is the source of all truth,” MacArthur writes.
“We desperately need a generation of men and women who will open their eyes to that reality, turn from the unbelief and cold skepticism that define our culture, and flee for mercy to the God they have spurned. The good news is that God does offer full and free forgiveness and abundant blessing for those who will heed the call of Jesus Christ and come to Him in repentant faith.”
“25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator–who is forever praised. Amen.
26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones.
27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.
28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done.
29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips,
30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents;
31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy.
32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.
– Romans 1:25-32
In the absence of God’s creation, mankind has abandoned the idea of “male and female he created them” (Genesis 5:2) and is imagining numerous ideas of gender. Facebook, for example, allows you to choose between 58 different genders. People no longer respect their parents or elders, and in fact are mocked with the “OK Boomer” meme.
The ‘cancel culture’ seeks to isolate, condemn, ruin and marginalize anyone that doesn’t share the postmodern thinking or utter politically correct words that are part of the group-speak lexicon.