Government Now “Greatest Threat” to U.S., Warns Pastor MacArthur
Despite claims by Joe Biden that alleged man-made global-warming and supposed “systemic racism” are the greatest threats to America, one of America’s best-known evangelical pastors says neither of those even exist. Instead, Pastor John MacArthur of Grace Community Church, who influences millions of Christians around the world, argued that “the government” itself is actually now the greatest threat to the nation.
The comments are especially noteworthy because MacArthur for decades has been known for vigorously urging Christians to submit to the government. In fact, his views on the subject were so strict that he has even accused America’s Founding Fathers of being in sin for declaring independence from their colonial rulers in London. He has also chastised Christians for being too attached to their constitutionally protected rights.
In a recent sermon delivered at his Southern California mega-church headlined “When Government Rewards Evil and Punishes Good,” Pastor MacArthur mocked Biden’s claims about the imagined threats facing America. “Our president said in the last month that the greatest threat to America, he said, on one occasion, is systemic racism, which doesn’t exist,” the pastor argued. “He said white supremacy, which doesn’t exist with any power. And then he said global warming, which doesn’t exist either, and if it does, God’s in charge of it.”
The congregation giggled as the pastor summarized Biden’s increasingly unhinged views about the alleged threats facing America. But then MacArthur dropped a bomb shell.
“In reality,” he said, “the greatest threat to this nation is the government.”
Citing Romans 13, a key chapter in the Bible explaining the purpose of government from a letter the Apostle Paul wrote to the fledgling church in Rome, MacArthur shed light on why he believes out-of-control government authorities in the United States now represent the most significant danger to the nation. In short, they are now doing the opposite of what they are supposed to be doing: Instead of punishing evil and protecting good, government in America is increasingly punishing good and rewarding evil.
“The role of the government is to restrain evil, and when it functions to restrain evil, it is fulfilling its God-ordained purpose,” MacArthur explained, citing verses 1 and 2 in Romans 13. “That government is from God, by God, of God. It is designed as a necessary restraint in a world of sinners.”
Because Romans 13 calls on Christians to submit to the government, it has been frequently abused and perverted by totalitarians — including Adolf Hitler’s National Socialists (Nazis) — to promote slavish obedience to any and all evil decrees. The U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was even caught creating a “Clergy Response Team” that would deploy the chapter in crises to convince Americans to blindly obey.
And yet, as MacArthur explained in his sermon, when government fails to do what God created it to do, “it yields up its authority,” just like a father would forfeit his authority if he began leading his family into evil.
“The man who wrote that, the Apostle Paul, was in violation of the government more often than any other person in the entire new testament,” continued MacArthur. “And when he went to preach the Gospel, he was very often thrown in jail. Ultimately he was executed by the government that he refused to obey when it no longer functioned to protect good behavior and punish evil behavior.”
While MacArthur has always recognized the admonition in Acts 5:29 that it is “better to obey God than men,” he has historically been among the most zealous American preachers of the Christian duty of submission to government — even when it involves brutal dictatorships. In fact, MacArthur has even condemned America’s Founders for resisting the tyranny of King George and the British Parliament, as well as American patriots working to protect their God-given rights enshrined in America’s founding documents.
However, since the start of the liberty-shredding government response to the COVID19 pandemic, the California pastor appears to have taken a somewhat different approach to the issue. After complying initially with Democrat California Governor Gavin Newsom’s edicts purporting to shut down churches for “health” reasons, MacArthur eventually became openly defiant, noting that Jesus Christ — not the governor — is and always will be the head of the Christian Church.
In a letter explaining his decision to defy Newsom and his decrees, MacArthur laid out his biblical reasoning. “Christ is Lord of all. He is the one true head of the church (Ephesians 1:22; 5:23; Colossians 1:18). He is also King of kings — sovereign over every earthly authority (1 Timothy 6:15; Revelation 17:14; 19:16),” the letter said, providing plenty of scriptural footnotes. “Grace Community Church has always stood immovably on those biblical principles.”
That means God must be obeyed first and foremost. “As His people, we are subject to His will and commands as revealed in Scripture,” continued MacArthur. “Therefore we cannot and will not acquiesce to a government-imposed moratorium on our weekly congregational worship or other regular corporate gatherings. Compliance would be disobedience to our Lord’s clear commands.”
The popular and extremely influential California pastor noted that it is beyond the civil government’s prerogative to ban, modify, or mandate worship. In fact, Caesar gets no say in that question, because God has issued His own decrees in that area, putting it outside the realm of government jurisdiction, MacArthur argued. While everyone is required by God to render to Caesar what is Caesar’s, the things that are God’s are outside of that scope, he said.
“The biblical order is clear: Christ is Lord over Caesar, not vice versa. Christ, not Caesar, is head of the church,” added MacArthur in his letter. “Conversely, the church does not in any sense rule the state. Again, these are distinct kingdoms, and Christ is sovereign over both. Neither church nor state has any higher authority than that of Christ Himself, who declared, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth’.”
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