"In the long war on the truth, the most formidable, relentless
and deceptive enemy has been Roman Catholicism It is an apostate,
corrupt, heretical, false Christianity." "It is a front for the
kingdom of Satan The true Church of the Lord Jesus Christ has
always understood this."
BJ: This is from a Sermon entitled "The Pope and the Papacy":
Let us look closer at what Mr. MacArthur said in that "sermon,"
shall we? First off, let me comply with his copyright standard
from: http://www.gty.org/MeetGTY/Copyright and say the
"sermon" is the work of John MacArthur, http://www.gty.org/Resources/Sermons/90-291
COPYRIGHT (C) 2008 Grace to You. Used by permission.
OK, legal stuff is out of the way. Now, I do not intend to
go through the entire "sermon" (I quote that because he
himself says it is NOT a sermon). I will quote portions of
the "sermon" (which, for purposes of refutation exempts
me from any copyright infringement based on "fair use").
So, without further ado...
The third paragraph reads as follows:
> What was at stake? I'll tell you what was at stake.
> What was at stake is whether or not we evangelize
> Roman Catholics, that's what's at stake. One billion
> of them in the world. Are they a mission field? Or
> are they our co-laborers for Christ? That changes
> everything..everything. On the other side, one of the
> leading evangelicals said, "I think it's so wonderful
> that we can now see Catholics as Christians because
> that means millions and millions of people are
> Christians." As if somehow by them deciding they
> were Christians they became Christians. I was
> absolutely incredulous, almost fell off my chair. It
> was like what a monumental meeting this is, we just
> redeemed millions of people without leaving the room.
> But that is what is at stake in this.
MacArthur presents a straw man here. It was not the
decision of the E.C.T. which redeemed millions - rather
it was the RECOGNITION that these millions are
ALREADY Christians. The use of the word "redeemed"
here is also improper - for the entire world was redeemed
by the blood of the cross. MacArthur demonstrates an
ignorance of what the Scripture teaches in regard to who
is redeemed - and unfortunately many listen to him more
than they pay attention to Scripture.
Let's look at paragraph five next:
> Reclassifying the Pope, reclassifying the Roman Catholics
> as believers isn't that simple. It has massive implications.
> It has implications that literally overturn centuries of
> missionary effort.
As if MacArthur & Co. is not trying to overturn nearly two
millennia of missionary effort! If that is a basis, then the
Catholic position has the higher ground!
> It has massive implications that overturn centuries, if not
> millennia of martyrdom. In the long war on the truth, the
> most formidable, relentless and deceptive enemy has been
> Roman Catholicism. It is an apostate, corrupt, heretical,
> false Christianity, it is affront for the kingdom of Satan.
> The true church of the Lord Jesus Christ has always
> understood this. And even through the Dark Ages from
> 400 to 1500, prior to the Reformation, genuine Christian
> believers set themselves apart from that system, and
> were brutally punished and executed for their rejection
> of that system.
We must note, MacArthur does not NAME any of these
allegedly "genuine Christian believers" - and I doubt he
will ever do so. To actually name one of those cults would
allow us to show him (and you the reader) how UNLIKE
modern Protestants they were and how much LIKE
Catholics they were - with few exceptions - and it is the
few exceptions which got them in trouble. I sincerely
doubt Mr. MacArthur would align himself with these people
if he realized how they REALLY worshipped and believed!
Most Protestants who try to align themselves with Medieval
heretics do so solely with the knowledge that they opposed
the Catholic Church. It the "the enemy of my enemy is my
friend" mentality - and that has dangerous ramifications.
Back to MacArthur's fifth paragraph:
> It's not my purpose tonight to go into all that is Roman
> Catholicism and we will do that in the fall, we will do that.
> We'll take a look at it from many angles. But those
> believers throughout those centuries along with genuine
> and discerning believers today understand this is a false
> system. It has a false priesthood. It has a false source of
> revelation, tradition and the magisterium. It has illegitimate
> power granted to it by this magisterium, this papal curia. It
> engages in idolatry by the worship of saints and the
> veneration of angels. It conducts a horrific exaltation of
> Mary above Christ and even God. It conducts a twisted
> sacrament of the Mass by which Jesus is sacrificed again
> and again. It offers false forgiveness through the
> confessional. It calls for the uselessness of infant baptism
> and other sacraments.
Well, MacArthur has shown his true colors here and has
exposed his ignorance and bigotry. NONE of these
charges are substantiated - they are merely undocumented
allegations. That being said, let me flatly deny some of
those claims here and now and if anyone cares to support
MacArthur - or if he himself would like to defend himself
I invite him to do so. This article of mine is being posted
to the Catholic Debate Forum (CDF) and to my blog
1) The charge of idol worship due to the "worship" of
Saints and the veneration of angels.
The worship due to God, and God alone is referred to
as "latria" (the more precise term than the English word
of "worship"). The honor given to Saints and angels is
called "dulia." Saints and angels are not worshiped as
gods - so the charge of idolatry is baseless and void.
MacArthur's charge here just shows how little he knows
of Catholic teaching. My guess is that he'd rather remain
entrenched in this bigotted belief than to retract his
statements as the lies they are.
2) The "horrific" charge that the Catholic Church exalts
Mary "above Christ and even God."
Again, MacArthur demonstrates his ignorance here. First
off, Mary is NOT elevated above Jesus Christ - and Jesus
Christ IS God - so there's a double faux pax in that
3) MacArthur asserts that the Mass is a "twisted
sacrament" and that Jesus is sacrificed again and again.
Again, it seems MacArthur's ignorance knows no bounds.
The Mass is based on the very words of Jesus Christ
Himself - especially at the consecration of the Eucharist.
There is nothing "twisted" about that! Secondly, it is NOT
Catholic teaching that Jesus is sacrificed "again and again,"
for we believe and confess that He was sacrificed ONCE
and for ALL TIME. The Sacrifice of the Mass is like a
time portal - it is not a re-sacrificing of Christ, but a tapping
into THE moment of Christ's Sacrifice. It is not a new
sacrifice each time - it is the SAME Sacrifice made present
for us at each Mass. It takes FAITH to accept this, and
for those who have FAITH, no further explanation is
necessary; likewise, for those who do NOT have FAITH,
no explanation will do.
I suspect there will be more from me on this later, but for
now I will close.
Respectfully yours in JMJ,