John MacArthur’s Son-In-Law’s Alleged Compensation for Video Production and MacArthur’s Alleged Comments During a Meeting With Seminary Students.

“You’ve brought on your cousin and everyone else at the company knows it. The difficulty comes when your cousin does well and starts getting some recognition for it. There will be people, without question, that believe the sole reason for your cousin’s success is because he or she is your family member — unfortunately, they’ll just never get past it.” from 4 Reasons Never to Hire Family Members

This is not the regularly schedule post for today. That will be up later this evening.

As you know, John MacArthur’s The Masters University has been put on probation. Here are two interesting things that I have heard about.

Payments to MacArthur’s son-in-law for video services rendered.

From that post/report, we learned the following:

(Conflict of interest including that of MacArthur’s son in law)

In 2017, the auditor highlighted as a “significant deficiency” that there were several instances of management overriding or circumventing controls that were in place to process payments or contracts outside established policies. Further, the report noted that there was the appearance of conflicts of interest with the President’s son-in-law supervising a contract from which he benefits, as well as institutional aid being awarded to related parties exceeding typical award amounts, but there was no evidence at the time of the visit that these concerns had been addressed in more than a cursory manner

Since our original post, I have seen and received the following graphic. After receiving copies of 990s, I decided to post this in the hopes of getting to the bottom of what this graphic appears to represent. Has anyone else seen this graphic?  Why aren’t the years 2015, 2016, 2017 available? It sure looks like the son-in -law has a good gig but maybe someone could help me understand why my impressions are mistaken.

The *no recording allowed* meeting that John MacArthur allegedly held with the seminary students (Update 8/24/18 -We were informed by one person who was present who does not remember hearing that the meeting could not be recorded.)

One thing that all leaders should understand is the minute one attempts they hold a super secret meeting with no recording allowed, there will be recordings that meeting that’ll hit the internet with lightening speed. I received a copy of the recording but cannot post a direct link yet. Instead, here are the pull out quotes on the meeting provided to me until I can provide a direct link. If anyone has evidence that what I have posted is in error or misrepresented, please comment or contact me. I think our readers will have fun with some of the quotes.


Comments

John MacArthur’s Son-In-Law’s Alleged Compensation for Video Production and MacArthur’s Alleged Comments During a Meeting With Seminary Students. — 182 Comments

  1. The comment at 20:15 bothers me the most. It’s just so typical. Does it ever occur to these institutions that long term transparency would help to prove their innocence with false accusations?

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  2. Yeah, it’s mind boggling that MacArthur thought nobody else had a right to know about the university’s accreditation being in jeopardy. From reading the transcript so far, I get the impression of a culture of insularity that hasn’t fully caught up with the internet age.

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  3. At 39:48, is seems like he is parsing between the seminary and the university. Are they separate entities? Their websites and Wikipedia state otherwise, but Boss Mac seems to be implying it. Maybe it’s because Masters U is infested with icky girls cuz of stupid government regs, while TMS is just for real men (They are very clear about that on the main visual at tms.edu- “We train MEN”- so icky girls needn’t try applying. Ugh.

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  4. This is probably a minor point in comparison to everything else he said, but perhaps it does bear on his general problem…

    “I always believe the best about everybody.”

    I challenge anyone to pick up *any* of MacArthur’s polemical books, read it, and walk away with the impression that he “believe(s) the best about everybody”.

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  5. 36:26 (translation)

    “I’m not going to tell them what to say, I’m just going to make sure their hearts are right so they only edify and honor the univer–I mean, the Lord.”

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  6. Between Macarthur and Chuck Kelley, this has been the week of disturbing seminary welcome speeches. It’s like they got together and decided, “Let’s continue to defend churches and seminaries to continue discrimination, nepotism, breaking the law, and sexual abuse!”

    Who was “stirring up strife”, Macarthur? It wasn’t church members! It was the WASC accreditation committee! That’s not a case of gossip, that’s a real problem! And parents and students have a right to know that Masters was put on probation for good reason! He even tries to argue that it’s a false report! That proves to me that we can NEVER believe anything else he says.

    And the last quote sounds like an elementary school kid! “Well, HE gets to do it, so it can’t be wrong!”

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  7. Even bigger laugh is to look at the website of Dorma Productions. This media company that has been around since 2007 has a 3 page website and one page still says “coming soon”. Yeah, real media experts there.
    http://www.dormaproductions.com/home.html

    The website isn’t even secure. Run the address through any website grader and it comes up with a lousy grade. “We can’t even do a decent website for ourselves, but we can make high-quality films and multi-media productions.” Sure does stink of nepotism to me…

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  8. Wow! 20:15 was a real eye-opener for me too. Not a student’s responsibility to know that the school they are paying for an accredited education is on probationary status?!?
    It should be the “christian” school that provides each student, faculty member, admin with the most up-to-date information on this subject.
    What a real insight to JM’s thinking! Very, very revealing of his methods and who he ultimately follows. Who is the called the “Father of Lies” and isn’t lying by omission one of his tricks?

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  9. Somebody help me with this. I don’t know how far to trust accreditation evaluation. I have no experience with accreditation except in hospitals.

    Here is an example of my problem. One group demanded that wastebaskets have plastic liners and the other group demanded that wastebaskets not have plastic liners. And a number of other equally vital to humanity issues. So we rushed around making these vital changes depending on who was coming.

    Then there is always this doozie that if something is not documented then it did not happen, and if something is documented then it did happen. Yeah. Right. At one point the hospital tried to get my signature on something to document that it happened, but it would have been two years before I even worked there. I said no to the h, but I don’t know how they solved it.

    Is this how academic accreditation works or do they do better that this?

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  10. 42:05 “I have none of my children or grandchildren working in any organization I’m a part of. None of them are employees. I have one son-in-law for the last two years has done marketing and branding.”

    John MacArthur, “Fortieth Anniversary Interview”

    https://www.gty.org/library/sermons-library/gty118/fortieth-anniversary-interview-al-sanders–john-macarthur

    “Melinda, my daughter, came to work at Grace To You, the first job she had here…in the computer room to receive the e-mails that came in.”

    John Macarthur, “Bible Questions and Answers, Part 54”

    https://www.gty.org/library/sermons-library/70-26/bible-questions-and-answers-part-54

    “Where are you, Melinda? Yeah, my daughter, Melinda. Some years ago she went to work at Grace To You…nobody stands up here and criticizes me or protests, it’s pretty…pretty loyal group here, that’s why you’re here…Well she came to work at Grace To You…you were getting messages coming on the computer, all this anti-John MacArthur propaganda was coming like a flood…She just started firing back at these people. (Laughter) Stuff like this, ‘How dare you, you don’t know my father. I know my father and he does not do that.’ (Applause)…And finally she told me about it and I said, ‘Stop doing that’…Given enough time, the truth about a person will be told. And you just keep doing what you do, do it faithfully, do the best you can do. Don’t defend yourself. Just encourage people if they criticize you, thank them and say, ‘Pray for me.’ And just move on and let God be your defender. And let time and truth be your defender.”

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  11. “Is this how academic accreditation works or do they do better that this?”

    I haven’t worked through reaccreditation at the administrative level, but I can tell you that at the faculty level, no, it is not nitpicking over plastic liners. There is a lot of paperwork demonstrating the rigor of our academic programs and the university’s finances are gone over with a fine-toothed comb. Basically, the financial and administrative health of the institution matters as much as the quality of the academics. I won’t assess the Masters situation because I am not familiar with the details, but I have worked for more than one private institution and transparency protects everyone. When the guy at the top resists changing the power structure or board structure or resists disclosure, that is usually a red flag.

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  12. Lydia: The comment at 20:15 bothers me the most. It’s just so typical.

    Exactly! Everyone should know that TWW has better info than FB for stuff like this.

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  13. I wonder if they will be able to figure out if the payments for video production were anywhere reasonable? It seems like a lot of money. Any idea what they got for these large costs?

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  14. 20:15 remark translated: “Shut your mouths! Pay your tuition if you are a student. Hire our graduates if you are pew peons, and give til it hurts! I have a right to your money, but you have no right to know what’s going on here!”

    I say, Jesus needs to turn over some tables and crack some whips.

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  15. Sad…. I learned a lot as a new believer from John MacArthur. I still appreciate that phase of my growth. It does sting though to think that so many of these “leaders” had things so out of whack. All of the talk about accountability and the stories on this blog prove that many of these characters were avoiding accountability themselves. Life is so much easier when there is transparency and healthy feedback and correction. I guess their egos would not allow that.

    When I feel a sense of rebellion in my own heart about an issue I remind myself of how Samuel confronted Saul in I Sam 15. Saul had a chance to repent right away but did not. It is a good reminder.

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  16. George,

    “Life is so much easier when there is transparency and healthy feedback and correction. I guess their egos would not allow that.”
    +++++++++++++++++

    something about the mix of power and money in the name of God really distorts, and twists in curly Qs, good sense and a moral compass. things easily observed in people of outside of christianity.

    quite thought-provoking, to me at least.

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  17. I long for the days of the quiet, humble pastor who prays and studies the Word with the intent of personally “living it” before the congregation and community; one who is available for wise counsel. I’m probably naive to think that such a shepherd exists. I doubt, after the many church debacles of the last decade, that I will ever have anything but an inner negative response to empire-building pastors, leadership conferences, and elitists mentalities in Christian academia. Interesting days ahead, I am sure, for American evangelicalism.

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  18. “One thing that all leaders should understand is the minute one attempts they hold a super secret meeting with no recording allowed, there will be recordings that meeting that’ll hit the internet with lightening speed.”

    Like lighting from the east to the west, it will be visible to all. Who was the brave soul that recorded and uploaded this candid speech? Someone tired of the spiritual abuse? Someone who wants the truth about “Jane” to be told? We probably ought to pray for that person, because should their identity become known they could face some pretty heavy backlash from McArthur and those around him.

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  19. Lydia:
    The comment at 20:15 bothers me the most. It’s just so typical.Does it ever occur to these institutions that long term transparency would help to prove their innocence with false accusations?

    In other words, Just shut up and do what you’re told like good little sheeple. You only need to know what I let you know.

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  20. elastigirl:
    did anyone present at this super secret meeting actually believe and genuinely affirm this nincompoop’s claptrap?

    Super secret meetings in religious circles, which are spelled out in advance as Super Secret Meetings that cannot be taped (talk about paranoia) increase the Creep Factor. The leader in my former cult sent out the call to a *secret* meeting late at night. The revelation he revealed to us was ever creepier. These kind of guys have an over-inflated sense of self-importance. Narcissism and megalomania at its finest. (Or should I say worst?)

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  21. Sandra:
    Wow! 20:15 was a real eye-opener for me too. Not a student’s responsibility to know that the school they are paying for an accredited education is on probationary status?!?
    It should be the “christian” school that provides each student, faculty member, admin with the most up-to-date information on this subject.
    What a real insight to JM’s thinking! Very, very revealing of his methods and who he ultimately follows. Who is the called the “Father of Lies” and isn’t lying by omission one of his tricks?

    Why do you think JM didn’t want the meeting to be recorded? What is rather foolish is that he thought no one would actually spill the beans. In this day of the Internet and social media, he must be naive. Or he actually believes that everyone who attended this meeting is a die-hard loyalist to him and his ministry.

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  22. Bridget:
    At 52:20 is he inferring that HE is the watchman?!

    I think he is saying that it is his duty, as well as others involved in his ministry, to be watchmen. It’s hard to know for sure without all of the context.

    Dee has us waiting on pins and needles till the rest of the recording is revealed! 🙂

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  23. :32 “These are the best of times for us, and we know that because the enemy’s working so hard. That’s always a good indicator of the direction we’re going.”

    Denial is a sad thing. It’s the common m.o. for Christians to claim the enemy is working hard to destroy them, when they themselves are their worst enemy. A “good” indicator of their direction? They are on the path to losing their accreditation which will reduce their enrollment exponentially, and he calls this a “good” indicator? If they are going in such a “good” direction, why all the secrecy?

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  24. Bridget:
    Darlene,

    Bridget,

    Sorry, it’s 26:04.

    “I’ll give you a very useful hint. If you wonder who is behind the conspiracy, ask yourself one question, ‘who has the most to gain?'”

    Ah….so he believes this is a conspiracy against him. Why not just look at this situation as a means to make corrections to his educational institutions and thereby make improvements? Why construe this as an attack from the devil and a conspiracy? He asks, ‘Who has the most to gain?’ Well, if he makes the changes necessary to improve his university and seminary, it would be him and those who work at these institutions as well as the students attending them that would gain the most. They would be seen as a reputable educational system that wants to abide by the highest standards of excellence and performance.

    My opinion here, but I think at the root of all this lies a good deal of arrogance and self-righteousness.

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  25. The comment at 20:15 is quite telling. It is patronizing ,condescending and arrogant. Designed to put one in one’s place. Almost shaming and belittling .

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  26. Darlene,

    Every good dictator needs a bogey man. The conspirators, the bloggers, the disgruntled former employees, Stan himself, all form the justification for tightening the grip. JM should have retired long ago. But he can’t. It’s all about him. How dare they touch God’s anointed?

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  27. https://www.wscuc.org/institutions/masters-university-and-seminary
    and in particular the Commission action letter, reaffirmation visit, June 2018 action

    “The Commission has found that The Master’s University and Seminary is not in compliance with WSCUC Standards 1, 2, and 3.”

    “Leadership: The institution is not in compliance with the requirement in CFR 3.8 regarding the Chief Executive Officer. In addition, some individuals have been hired without job descriptions being provided and/or searches being conducted. Some institutional leaders lack higher education experience, preparation, and knowledge of key higher education regulatory expectations and professional standards for institutions of higher education. For example, when asked by the visiting team, the COO was unaware of the Clery Act, VAWA, and the Family Education Right to Privacy Act (FERPA).”

    That the COO doesn’t know about the Clery Act or FERPA is appalling; I’m a low level employee of a university and I can vouch that every regular employee here is familiar with the Clery Act (if for nothing else the email we get every time a reportable offense happens on the campus) and FERPA. The university does make a Clery report https://www.masters.edu/media/870363/2017-annual-security-and-fire-safety-report.pdf (right at the end). The number of sexual crimes is suspiciously low (probably not helped by the university promising at most a limited amnesty if the reporter is perceived at violating university regs).

    The COO seems to be Kory Welch who is the son-in-law of videoing fame.

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  28. okrapod,

    I have some experience with this at the community college level, actually read and understood 99% of the report. WASC is the gold standard for higher education accreditation here, and (should be) taken very seriously. Three things stood out:

    (1) Masters/McArther was warned about problems in 2012. This should not have come as a surprise.

    (2) For a COO to not be familiar with FERPA (education’s equivalent of HIPPA) and the Clery Act is simply shocking. Even student employees are aware of FERPA, it is so basic and fundamental.

    (3) For the people on the visiting team to put their professional and personal reputations on the line (see the second half of 42:05 above) by putting these statements in writing, the evidence had to have been overwhelming.

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  29. Darlene: Denial is a sad thing. It’s the common m.o. for Christians to claim the enemy is working hard to destroy them, when they themselves are their worst enemy.

    BINGO Bingo big time.

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  30. Leslie: Ah….so he believes this is a conspiracy against him. Why not just look at this situation as a means to make corrections to his educational institutions and thereby make improvements? Why construe this as an attack from the devil and a conspiracy?

    It seems to be the playbook now.

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  31. EricL: Even bigger laugh is to look at the website of Dorma Productions. This media company that has been around since 2007 has a 3 page website and one page still says “coming soon”. Yeah, real media experts there.
    http://www.dormaproductions.com/home.html

    That is not even a decent pretense of a website for a genuine company. It may be worse than it appears – does this supposed company even really exist and produce anything, or is it just a shell through which to funnel money to the son-in-law? Sure hope someone knows how to do their homework. Who works for this company? How many employees? Who are their other clients? Do they have a portfolio?

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  32. 20:03 “… keep your mouth shut, don’t stir up strife, you don’t know the full story …”

    THIS!!!

    This was repeated over and over to us when we confronted our church’s elders about their financial shenanigans. The facts proving their shenanigans were in their own financials! But that did not matter. These guys dismiss even objective, provable facts by accusing the fact finder of being “divisive”. And they know most of their followers care more about preserving their comfy church culture than they care about truth and accountability.

    The best thing that could possibly happen would be for both schools to lose accreditation so that students lose federal aid to attend. If they and their parents are loyal followers, let them pay for their continued brain washing out of their own pockets.

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  33. EricL:
    Even bigger laugh is to look at the website of Dorma Productions. This media company that has been around since 2007 has a 3 page website and one page still says “coming soon”. Yeah, real media experts there.
    http://www.dormaproductions.com/home.html

    The website isn’t even secure. Run the address through any website grader and it comes up with a lousy grade. “We can’t even do a decent website for ourselves, but we can make high-quality films and multi-media productions.” Sure does stink of nepotism to me…

    Nepotism failed to provide Dorma Productions with a decent copywriter.

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  34. “Their blook in on your hands.” or “their eternal deaths are on your already blackened soul” or my personal favorite “if you even make it into heaven the thought of your loved ones suffering in perdition because you did not preach the full Gospel will torment you, it in perdition it will be one more full torment not covered by Christ.” or something like that, it went on from there. First of all I blame me and no one else or me believing this utter nonsense. I have always maintained that religion is a free/buyer beware market, nothing more. If you fall for the line it’s on you alone. Of course, I do not hold that out to others I most certainly hold that out to me, until the day I die. Another gift from my old faith communities. It is a profound thing to think you are responsible for your loved ones burning in hell, it really is. Its a good mind job and if played right can really blank up a person, I know it did me. Again not said for sympathy, this is all on me.

    I was delivered from all this in many ways because of what I saw and experienced in the people I have had the pleasure of working with your all of my adult life.

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  35. Darlene: Why do you think JM didn’t want the meeting to be recorded? What is rather foolish is that he thought no one would actually spill the beans. In this day of the Internet and social media, he must be naive. Or he actually believes that everyone who attended this meeting is a die-hard loyalist to him and his ministry.

    The admonition for others to close their mouths is ironic given what he reportedly produced,here.

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  36. This is how I sort of see God, faith walks, synchronicity (sovereignty of God) and God’s grace working out in little glimpses of His full Divine love, what I call quiet grace. Next to showing grief I took more guff from this POV because it lacked apologetic value, trashed and belittled a God who is just, wrathful, vengeful etc. I mean it was seen as rank pathetic even vile emotionalism at best. I still hold to what this video seems to say, I would not worship any other kind of God.

    https://youtu.be/wlFiMoCbVMQ

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  37. Sandra:
    Wow! 20:15 was a real eye-opener for me too. Not a student’s responsibility to know that the school they are paying for an accredited education is on probationary status?!?

    And this after he acknowledges the spiritual challenges that accompany fruitful ministries. If the efforts of grievous wolves not sparing the flock to infiltrate are part and parcel with the challenges of ministry, isn’t one way to guard against that transparency and oversight? The walls are too often built around the true decision makers in stratified church/ministry structures, with consequences that gty, tms etc. apparently weren’t the exception to the rule.

    Funnily enough, the needed oversight apparently only wedged its way in because it was a needed part of operating a going concern of a university in the temporal realm.

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  38. Kory Welch lists on his LinkedIn that he’s CEO of The Welch Group, Inc., and Co-Founder of WeKreative Design Group, along with being CEO/Producer of Dorma Productions.

    The Welch Group, Inc., has been practically scrubbed from the internet. The earliest archived page I could find was … interesting. https://web.archive.org/web/20110110181747/http://www.welchgroupinc.com:80/Home.html

    The current page? Not much better.
    http://www.welchgroupinc.com/

    By the looks of the WeKreative website, GCC and the Master’s schools might just be its only customers. I could be wrong, but it looks like that.
    https://wekreative.com/#

    Also the only commercial production on Dorma’s YouTube channel is for RAM Technologies, a company for which Kory’s brother Kreston is the Director of Business Development. https://www.ramtechnologies.com/about/our-team/

    All the Welch brothers – Kyler, Kreston, Kirk, and Kory – were quite popular at TMC and were part of the college’s singing group Majesty in the 1990s. I heard them in concert back then.

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  39. 9:26 “I’m not in a hurry to throw people out who don’t tow the mark.”

    Creepy. This sounds like something a religious despot of an isolated fiefdom would say. It’s a veiled threat. It’s also a warning that people had better march in line to MacArthur’s orders. What is a “hurry” to JM anyway?

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  40. Darlene,

    “The leader in my former cult sent out the call to a *secret* meeting late at night. The revelation he revealed to us was ever creepier. These kind of guys have an over-inflated sense of self-importance.”
    ++++++++++++

    ok, i’m not going to be able to sleep — what was the revelation??

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  41. Lydia: The comment at 20:15 bothers me the most. It’s just so typical. Does it ever occur to these institutions that long term transparency would help to prove their innocence with false accusations?

    Not if they’re not innocent.

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  42. Too bad you don’t have a similar graphic for both Master’s University/Seminary and Grace Community Church. The Welch Group has an exclusive contract for all of JMac’s video recording, and those other institutions under JMac’s umbrella have also paid exorbitant fees to JMac’s son-in-law over the years.

    One of JMac’s favorite lines to repeat about other scandals:
    “Time and truth go hand in hand – given enough time the truth will come out.”

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  43. 20:03 Do we really want to talk about what God hates?

    BTW, did not Martin Luther stir up a little strife?

    There is a time for everything… a time to kill and a time to heal…a time to throw stones and a time to gather stones…a time for to be silent and A TIME TO SPEAK…a time for war and a time for peace. (Ecc. 3:1-8)

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  44. I was researching this….I initially misread: the form 990’s in question are not from Master’s University but from Grace to You, MacArthur’s media charity.
    The form 990 from Grace to You has some interesting reading. From Part III Supplemental Information: (in all caps on the form 990, 2014) “First class travel The organization only pays for the president to fly first-class for longer flights, due to medical necessity travel for companions The organization only pays for family members of employees to travel if there is a bona fide service to the organization that the family member will perform during the trip during the year, only 1 person traveled with his spouse. this person was compensated as an employee for the services provided. ……”
    Next paragraph: There was no formal written policy on any item check in 1a. First or business class travel for the President was determined by management to be necessary to reduce the risk of potentially deadly medical condition from recurring…..”
    I *KNEW* that traveling in coach was life threatening. Now, it has been confirmed.

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  45. okrapod,

    I have been involved with SACS. I am not as impressed as others and think the room for subjectivity is huge. Especially with assigned auditors who are usually former or current faculty from . Like anything else it grows and grows to prove to itself it’s own importance. I can see where an institution that labels itself Christian would have a tougher road these days. I am still trying to figure out how a public uni here isn’t on probation for long time corruption. It’s not a secret but was no problem with SACS?
    http://www.sacscoc.org/pdf/2012PrinciplesOfAcreditation.pdf

    The contents page will give you a quick overview of the standards and what is reviewed.

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  46. DD,

    The last line is of particular interest. Not a students responsibility to know accreditation is in jeporady? That is a mindset not just limited to authoritarian Christianity. Years ago, in a state wide reorganization of junior colleges a big debate among faculty ensued concerning the “status of students”. Are they more like paying customers who contract for service or paying patients the doctors prepare for life? I came from the business/workforce/economic development side of things and was blown away this had to be debated at all. Paradigms can be strange and painful to change.

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  47. There are two things missing in this mess of a “ministry”: Love & Jesus. I always wondered when MacArthur’s empire would unravel. Perhaps we are witnessing the beginning stages of that.

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  48. Article on Medium.com written by Daniel Christensen about TMU’s University Exchange bookstore:

    https://medium.com/@DanielChristensen96/welcome-to-the-future-23b71feaefdd

    A quote from the article:

    “TMU has a strong reputation of being a black hole (for lack of more positive terminology). Once you get involved, you will likely stay connected to the school for the rest of your life. Just use the UE as an example. Everyone involved with bringing it to life is an alumni of the school, down to the contractors for construction. This means that these current students or recent graduates will soon start taking full-time staff positions at the school. Today’s students are tomorrow’s professors, deans of student life, resident directors, and board members. At some point they will bring this Christian millennial culture to the entire Grace/Master’s ecosystem. The current generation is aging. Dr. MacArthur is 77. None of the board members are particularly young. That means it will soon be time for the young people they have been training to step into their positions. The same young people who have put so much effort into these projects like Steeplehouse and the UE will soon be in positions of impactful leadership at the school.”

    Nepotism at GCC/TMU is a feature, not a bug.

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  49. elastigirl:
    Darlene,

    “The leader in my former cult sent out the call to a *secret* meeting late at night. The revelation he revealed to us was ever creepier. These kind of guys have an over-inflated sense of self-importance.”
    ++++++++++++

    ok, i’m not going to be able to sleep — what was the revelation??

    You asked for it. 🙂 That God has a wife. And then he went into details of which I don’t want to expound upon.

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  50. Lydia: I have been involved with SACS.

    On that topic I asked RE about it this morning. She said that where she works they are getting ready for a SACS inspection and it involves lots and lots of trivia, like every teacher must have their own copy of…when in fact it may have nothing to do with any teacher much less every teacher and when simple central access would suffice without necessity for copies in hand. Stuff like that. Lots of stuff like that.

    Similarly I just read an article a few days ago about physicians bailing out of medicine and one of the issues causing much discontent has been electronic medical records. I get that. There are outright errors on my med e-record which I have not been able to get removed-important stuff like what meds I take. But once something gets written down, even if written down by the least trained person on the job, it becomes the word of the lord. My med records show that I have been on oral steroids now for many years (a hideous disaster if it were true) when the truth is that it was a one time dose-pak many years ago. I keep asking the right people to change it but nobody does. There are some similarities here in the comparisons. Everybody needs to monitor their own e-records! That tip is a freebie. And important.

    Another example. Once one is on medicare there is a required yearly collection of information (in practice it is almost in lieu of a physical often) and on which they ask some questions to which I object. So, a word to the wise. Lie. Don’t meditate on the ethics of it, just protect yourself and lie. Do not become a victim of any system if you can help it. Do you feel safe at home, are there narcotics or guns or dogs or children in the home, have you fallen in the past year, do you eat the right foods (no salt, no fat, no flavor, lots of kale–I exaggerate of course), do you have a designated care taker…Lie. Next they might be asking who knows what. You don’t want to end up on somebody’s list.

    RE got a call from one health care specialist’s office about missing information. For religion she had written ‘protestant’ but that was not on their computer checkoff and would she list a specific denomination please. Whose business is it anyhow? Do they have gnomes working in some back room making this stuff up?

    Paper work expands to fill the paper and ink available, to apply a somewhat different saying. And the accuracy of paper work depends not only on who wrote it down (very important) but on why they wrote it down (which can change with time) and also even how they phrased it. I will do whatever I can as long as I can to oppose the information/paper work tyranny which is engulfing our nation.

    Sorry, but I am so fed up, used up, burned up and generally done with it that I despair for the future of humanity. My attitude is probably pretty good theology though, and probably even pretty good politics.

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  51. I personally think it best to withhold judgment for now. I am not a calvinist but I have benefited from JM’s messages and ministry. He is nothing if not authoritarian, and I’ve always found myself wanting to overlook that: no telling how many strains of fruitcake, New Age syncretism “Christianity” he must inoculate against daily in California and Los Angeles. I can’t imagine anyone attending the college or seminary who wasn’t aware of his personality and hadn’t come to grips with it before ever setting foot on campus. He is, I would imagine, a very important consideration which factors into a student’s decision to attend the schools to begin with.

    I’m not shocked by the leaked comments, and anyone familiar with him shouldn’t be. Neither am I surprised that JM keeps a tight grip on things; again it is to be expected. Knowing JM’s strong stance and the political climate of California, I think the persecution accusation has merit. I do expect that many of the younger students will mutiny because of his recent and ongoing criticism of social justice.

    As far as his son-in-law’s production company is concerned, it is important to know where his wages paid from: were they paid from tithes, donations, and gifts to the church and ministry, or were they paid from personal revenue generated from JM’s sizable catalog of books, commentaries, speaking engagements, and other paid activities outside of the church and school? Big difference.

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  52. Steve240,

    Those payments are to film and edit every JMac sermon that is preached at the church, which is probably around 35 Sundays a year, and many of those are only Sunday morning. So, $20K a week for 1-2 hours of video filming and editing. I’m not in the industry, but what would be market rates be for something like that – for one tech to remotely run the cameras, and then edit the 3 camera shots into one video?

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  53. Tandt,

    “I personally think it best to withhold judgment for now. I am not a calvinist but I have benefited from JM’s messages and ministry.”
    +++++++++++++

    You benefited. what about those who were harmed? do they have to withhold judgement, too, simply because you benefited?

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  54. elastigirl:
    Tandt,

    “I personally think it best to withhold judgment for now. I am not a calvinist but I have benefited from JM’s messages and ministry.”
    +++++++++++++

    You benefited.what about those who were harmed?do they have to withhold judgement, too, simply because you benefited?

    personally Definition in the Cambridge English Dictionary
    Cambridge University Press › dictionary › …

    personally meaning: 1. used when you give your opinion: 2. affecting you and not anyone else: 3. done by you and not by someone else: . Learn more.

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  55. I’d be very unhappy to have the leader of a college or university that is costing me thousands of dollars a year to attend tell me that accreditation is none of my business. It IS my business. If Master’s loses its accreditation, that means I won’t be able to continue to get loans to continue my education if it’s not complete. It reflects badly on my education to have gone to a college that lost its accreditation, when the process is such that the accrediting agency wants Master’s to succeed and also follow its rules.

    I hope this news makes people take a second look and decide to go somewhere else besides Master’s. There are serious accredited Christian colleges and universities that aren’t a monument to John MacArthur and his crazy teachings.

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  56. Accreditation is a big deal. There is a local private law school (Arizona Summit) that had its accreditation revoked in June, basically because it was not admitting higher quality students. The average GPA of the AZ Summit students was 2.81, compared to 3.63 for Arizona State. It’s also worth noting that only 30 percent of their graduates sitting the bar were passing. When you’re plunking down $150K for a legal education, you should have better results. I would suspect AZ Summit’s days are numbered, as it was locked out of its building two days ago after deciding not to pay rent and not offer fall classes.

    Yeah, this is a law school, but the lesson here is this–if Master’s doesn’t take the WASC report seriously, it too could be in a position where students are looking for another college or university to complete a degree.

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  57. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes: if Master’s doesn’t take the WASC report seriously, it too could be in a position where students are looking for another college or university to complete a degree.

    JMac will spin this to make it sound like accreditation is worldy and limits their ability to provide true spiritual education. He will make the case that non-accreditation will improve the quality of TMUS by casting off restraints.

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  58. Tandt,

    “personally meaning: 1. used when you give your opinion: 2. affecting you and not anyone else: 3. done by you and not by someone else: . Learn more.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    absent further clarification, it appears that the reason for your personal opinion (that it is best to withhold judgement) is at least in part informed by the fact that you have benefited from john macarthur’s message/ministry.

    there are those who have not benefited but rather been harmed directly as a result of the aspects of his message/ministry that are under scrutiny.

    they observe it is wrong and incorrect through having experienced the blunt and sharp edge of it, with much consequence. (if not through objective reasoning.)

    are you telling them to put that assessment on hold? because perhaps destructive ideas and methods, and being on the receiving end of such, could actually be good, right, and godly?

    clarify more. consider more.

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  59. okrapod: Paper work expands to fill the paper and ink available, to apply a somewhat different saying. And the accuracy of paper work depends not only on who wrote it down (very important) but on why they wrote it down (which can change with time) and also even how they phrased it. I will do whatever I can as long as I can to oppose the information/paper work tyranny which is engulfing our nation.

    Sorry, but I am so fed up, used up, burned up and generally done with it that I despair for the future of humanity. My attitude is probably pretty good theology though, and probably even pretty good politics.

    Very interesting thoughts. I would add to the paperwork problem the tracking of every stroke of the keyboard. It has occurred to me that perhaps we could completely mess with their whole tracking paradigm by deliberately doing random searches on things we don’t really care about, ‘liking’ posts we hate or clicking on ads not of interest, etc. Just to mess up their logarithms.

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  60. elastigirl:
    Tandt

    absent further clarification, it appears that the reason for your personal opinion (that it is best to withhold judgement) is at least in part informed by the fact that you have benefited from john macarthur’s message/ministry.

    there are those who have not benefited but rather been harmed directly as a result of the aspects of his message/ministry that are under scrutiny.

    they observe it is wrong and incorrect through having experienced the blunt and sharp edge of it, with much consequence. (if not through objective reasoning.)

    are you telling them to put that assessment on hold?because perhaps destructive ideas and methods, and being on the receiving end of such, could actually be good, right, and godly?

    clarify more.consider more.

    I’ve yet to see any claims that were all that injurious. These days most everyone claims to be a victim of something or somebody. It’s the new sainthood, and everyone is desperately seeking canonization. If one is not within his sphere of direct influence, you don’t have to be influenced by him. Change the channel.

    Now I can certainly imagine that being within his sphere of direct influence and being at odds with him would be a rather unpleasant experience, but again that is a choice. Not being reformed I myself would not want to be within that sphere and challenge him, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I should condemn him wholesale and not allow myself to benefit from his teaching if I find that I can. That is my personal take on the situation.

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  61. TS00,

    Ok, my last comment until further developments.

    I believe the gospel, and I believe John MacArthur believes the gospel.

    John MacArthur is a highly respected and revered figure among reformed baptists. He excels at delivering well thought out and researched sermons. He may not be the most gifted scholar, but he is widely acknowledged for his rigor and thoroughness. He has published a 31 volume commentary on the New Testament. Calling him a “snake oil salesman” or calling his teachings “crazy” is quite biased and uninformed. His personality may be off putting to many, but if you can get over it he has much to offer, even for the non and never-will-be reformed such as myself. Accreditation or no accreditation, a degree from his schools is quite prestigious in certain circles, circles that are fairly large. If one were seeking a ministry position in a reformed baptist church, a degree from his school would be a leg up, or even golden among some churches. His name, and the school’s, aren’t mud just yet. Don’t think they ever will be.

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  62. okrapod,

    Tell me about it. Most people easily trust these systems but that is a huge mistake you can’t easily fix. I remember reading my OBY chart when the doctor left it in the room to run to an emergency. I had been a bit frustrated that every doctor in the practice (eight women) had pressured me to receive amnio month after month due to my age. I had no problems at all, either. I declined. Every single page had written in huge letters “ REFUSED AMNIO!”. I am sure they were covering for themselves and that’s fine but it was a bit shocking as if I had done something bad. But these days they are doing it all on computer so it’s not as easy to read your chart.

    A Sacs review IS drowning in paper. However, a college president worked for them for years and knew all of the ins and outs for the massive paperwork -most of which is subjective. His biggest worry was “who” the reviewer’s would be. Pretty much told me all I needed to know. A lot of people think big public unis never break the standards because it’s so rare they go on probation. It’s like they are more protected. (Wink)

    I am not a big believer in faithfully trusting any Byzantine institutions that lord over us. Who reviews the watchers? We are supposed to. I long for the days of a real insurance agent who knew the ins and outs and not talking to AI where your words have to fit their algorithms.

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  63. Tandt: I’ve yet to see any claims that were all that injurious. These days most everyone claims to be a victim of something or somebody. It’s the new sainthood, and everyone is desperately seeking canonization.

    I see this claim made a lot among conservative Christians and, frankly, it’s B.S. It’s used to avoid responsibility and accountability.

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  64. Lydia: Interesting. You have the same case with many public schools in order to be inclusive so they ignore merit. Maybe the private schools crime was being exclusive? standards aren’t always applied equally.

    Actually, it’s the opposite. AZ Summit was basically enrolling anyone who had a college degree, a pulse and the ability to get graduate student loans, as witnessed by their 2.81 overall undergraduate *average* GPA. AZ Summit and its two sister schools, Charlotte School of Law (now closed) and Florida Coastal (reprimanded recently for lax enrollment standards) are sister for-profit law schools, unlike pretty much every other law school in the USA.

    Basically, they were doing it for the money. And when the money train (i.e., the ability to make student loans) stopped running with the end of accreditation, they closed up shop and left their remaining students hung out to dry. The landlord basically evicted the school on Wednesday for not paying its rent.

    Personally, I think there are too many law schools in the USA, that they’re churning out too many lawyers who are saddled with enormous debts and who can’t find jobs paying enough money to even service that debt, much less jobs in the legal profession. Really, half of the law schools in the USA could disappear tomorrow and we’d still have an oversupply in the legal profession. But it’s really not my problem any more, since I left the profession a couple of decades back and went into information technology at the evil too big to fail bank.

    If I had it to do over again, I would have gutted it up, dealt with my math phobia and gotten a degree in Computer Science. Or tried to work in material archaeology, specifically textiles. There are few things that excite me more than looking at a scrap of pre-Columbian woven fabric and just imagining all the labor it took to grow, pick, spin and weave cotton cloth in an era before spinning wheels and power looms.

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  65. Tandt: Calling him a “snake oil salesman” or calling his teachings “crazy” is quite biased and uninformed.

    Interestingly, he is the only reformed celebrity I have found who claims “There’s only one way to understand the death of Christ and that is under the principle of penal substitution.” Every other reformed teacher says something along the lines of it being the main facet of a multi-faceted diamond, or the skeleton that holds all the other theories together. As and example, Mark Dever, one of JMac’s buds, wrote in the preface of his book (It is Well), “No one I know argues that ‘penal substitution’ is the only way to talk about the atonement of Christ.” This clearly contradicts JMac. In fact, no one before Calvin taught the version of it that is now popular among reformed types. It’s a theory that has only ever been believed by a very small minority of Christians, and a much smaller minority of that minority agrees with JMac’s extreme position. My assessment, based on this and other topics, is JMac is a dangerous teacher. But I understand others have different opinions.

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  66. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes,

    I agree about too many law schools but find the same problem in most public unis. It starts in high schools where there are quite a few different standards depending on ethnicity. It’s not a level field. It’s shocking what goes on and how dumbed down education is these days. Your mileage may vary.

    Just on small but interesting example in the Ivy League
    https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2018/06/18/harvard-admissions-policies-against-asian-americans-racial-bias-column/708444002/

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  67. Lydia: I long for the days of a real insurance agent who knew the ins and outs and not talking to AI where your words have to fit their algorithms.

    It ain’t just insurance companies.
    It’s harder than hell to get a real human and not a robot on the phone anywhere now.

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  68. I hesitate to respond to this post as it is improper to accept an accusation against a brother except in the presence if two or three witnesses. However since this is seemingly a public matter, I feel compelled to offer my personal observation and opinion. I read the leaked “transcript” and knowing Pastor MacArthur since 1985, his answers are consistant with what the Word of God says. Quite frankly, I think this is much ado about nothing from my perspective. John is a man of impeccable integrity and very approachable. Even when I have personally confronted him on an issue on occasion, he would accept criticism and make necessary corrections. He is an unusually gifted man who has attracted very gifted individuals from all walks of life. He has strong opinions based upon the Word and has elders who do check him. Even if one elder disagrees with a policy, they will table the issue until they agree upon it in full. I could only hope that I could maintain a work as impactful as his for fifty years. He is selfless and tiredless when it comes to faithfully seving his flock. He has raised a generation if Bereans who diligently search the Scriptures and I guarantee we all check one another. As for my own experience, I was a Buddhist leader for many of my fourteen years prior to coming to know Jesus Christ as my LORD and Savior and experienced horrendous and gross organizational issues in a religious sect of over 500,000 members, even threats against my life, so much for peaceful Buddhism. At Grace we were never subjected to heavy handed organizational control, but experienced a Christian community we have yet to find as dedicated to upholding the Gospel. When he addresses controversial issues he bases it on a careful exposition of the Word of God. None of us is without sin, and it is easy to criticize another, but rare to find those who consistantly strive to uphold their beliefs in God’s written Word.

    As for my past– One organization which I was a member of, as a collaborating organization, which was not affiliated with Grace, was the US Center for World Mission. Now if there is an organization which needs to be cleaned up from top to bottom there is one. I haven’t been a member of that community since 1997. Check out World Magazine’s “Dueling Visions, Gnawing Suspicions” on March 3, 2018, an investigative report by Sophia lee and Marvin Olasky, World’s Editor in Chief. It has been my experience that John and the elders do prayerfully respond to constructive criticism. I do hold to the pattern if Matthew 18,1 Corinthians 6, and if the matter can not be resolved within the church it should move to a civil court, Romans 13.John has fought far more severe attacks in life. I personally am grateful for men like John who have persevered and served one flock now for fifty years. Thank you for letting me contribute my response.

    In Christ’s refuge and strength,

    James C. Stephens

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  69. Tandt: He may not be the most gifted scholar, but he is widely acknowledged for his rigor and thoroughness.

    He has all the answers, until he doesn’t. I have watched him, listened to him, and read his material for years, and I cannot understand why people fawn over him. I find his demeanor haughty and condescending, and his theology ignorant of church history. He has all the answers up to point, and then eventually relies on “I don’t know.” In one video when asked how God chooses whom to save he smugly answers, “mystery.” Here is part of how he answered that question to a young child: “So there are some questions you just can’t answer–that’s one of them. Ok? Thank you, honey.” (https://www.gty.org/library/questions/QA182/why-didnt-god-choose-everyone-to-be-saved). No, it’s not ok to throw out the vast consensus of historical Christianity in order to push a very narrow viewpoint that has almost no historical support except from Augustine. He would do much better to claim mystery sooner in the process rather than twisting scripture to support his doctrines. But I guess that is just my personal opinion.

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  70. Lydia: His “rigor” is in his delivery- not his scholarship

    Apt description. I used to listen to him once a week while driving. Always found him a bit too overbearing – even years ago when I was too ‘certain’ of my own understanding. I now demand an acknowledgement of how little we know for sure – from myself and my teachers.

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  71. Ken F (aka Tweed),

    Why hast thou disquieted me, to bring me up?

    Did not Tandt say with practically every comment that Tandt was not reformed?

    Wherefore then dost thou implore of Tandt, as though Tandt should defend Johnny Mac’s calvinism?

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  72. Ken F (aka Tweed): He has all the answers, until he doesn’t. I have watched him, listened to him, and read his material for years, and I cannot understand why people fawn over him. I find his demeanor haughty and condescending, and his theology ignorant of church history.

    This I don’t understand as in why watch, listen and read ‘for years’ somebody you not only disagree with but about whom you feel so strongly?

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  73. okrapod: his I don’t understand as in why watch, listen and read ‘for years’ somebody you not only disagree with but about whom you feel so strongly?

    It’s a bit complicated. 30 years ago he was one of the go-to authorities among my Christian associates. He was featured on the radio station I listened to in California, and two of my old friends graduated from his seminary – one of them was featured on Wondering Eagle for his abuses (It’s been quite a few years since I’ve been in contact with either). I don’t think I ever actually read any of JMac’s books, but I heard a lot of his teachings. And until about five years ago I don’t remember being with Christians who opposed him. When I started de-progamming from this type of teaching about five years ago I found myself digging more deeply into his teachings, mostly in an effort to find ways to push back against those who were still trying to convince me that he is some kind of an icon to venerate. In the last few years I have found him to be a great example of the where this thinking leads. This has been very helpful for my de-programming. But perhaps I should now really walk away and quit bothering with him at all. The only problem is he keeps popping up in conversations with friends and family when they try to convince me why I am wrong.

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  74. Deborah: Why do reformed folk assume they personally are among the elect? I don’t understand what makes them confident that they happen to be one of the lucky ones.

    Can you imagine what it would do to a reformed person if they believed there were not among the elect? What hope could one have if they knew that there was nothing they could do to change God’s eternal choice?

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  75. Deborah,

    My conclusion on this excellent question was that a philosoher king (pastor/leader) convinced them of it because they believed the “correct doctrine”. Correct doctrine is the ticket.

    What else could it be since humans are not a part of the salvation equation? The ultimate philosopher king is Calvin and what he wrote.

    But they rarely teach what Calvin wrote about reprobation. Hmmm.

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  76. elastigirl: …but maybe that’s not all that injurious

    And let’s not forget this woman’s story, also publicized by Marci Preheim:

    http://www.marcipreheim.com/2017/11/26/do-you-hear-me/

    To Tandt:

    This woman’s search for justice and healing brought her into MacArthur’s “sphere of influence”. She had to “choice” about it, if she wanted her rapist to face consequences for his crimes against her. And MacArthur’s influence brought nothing good to her — all it offered was just one more opportunity to relive her pain and humiliation, with nothing to show for it afterwards. If that’s not an injury to her, it is most certainly an insult. Either way, the behaviour of JM and his cronies was not Christlike.

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  77. Dear James,

    James C. Stephens: John is a man of impeccable integrity and very approachable.

    Not according to the woman whose story I linked to in my comment above.

    The relevant section:

    “Having been a listener of John MacArthur’s radio show, my husband believed that Dr. MacArthur would never tolerate what those men did while representing The Master’s College. He tried to contact Dr. MacArthur but could only reach Michael Mahoney, who said he was the highest person after Dr. MacArthur.

    My husband met in Mr. Mahoney’s office and told him the whole story. He was apparently shocked, and said that he would speak to John MacArthur, who was out of town for another two days. He said he would make sure that there would be a resolution to the situation. They exchanged texts but after Dr. MacArthur’s return, my husband could get no response of any kind from Mr. Mahoney. That was Spring of 2017.”

    So much for “approachable”.

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  78. James C. Stephens:
    I hesitate to respond to this post as it is improper to accept an accusation against a brother except in the presence if two or three witnesses. However since this is seemingly a public matter, I feel compelled to offer my personal observation and opinion. I read theleaked “transcript” and knowing Pastor MacArthur since 1985, his answers are consistant with what the Word of God says. Quite frankly, I think this is much ado about nothing from my perspective. John is a man of impeccable integrity and very approachable. Even when I have personally confronted him on an issueon occasion, he would accept criticism and make necessary corrections. He is an unusually gifted man who has attracted very gifted individuals from all walks of life. He has strong opinions based upon the Word and has elders who do check him. Even if one elder disagrees with a policy, they will table the issue until they agree upon it in full. I could only hope that I could maintain a work as impactful as his for fifty years. He is selfless and tiredless when it comes to faithfully seving his flock. He has raised a generation if Bereans who diligently search the Scriptures and I guarantee we all check one another. As for my own experience, I was a Buddhist leader for many of my fourteen years prior to coming to know Jesus Christ as my LORD and Savior and experienced horrendous and gross organizational issues in a religious sect of over 500,000 members, even threats against my life, so much for peaceful Buddhism. At Grace we were never subjected to heavy handed organizational control, but experienced a Christian community we have yet to find as dedicated to upholding the Gospel. When he addresses controversial issues he bases it on a careful exposition of the Word of God. None of us is without sin, and it is easy to criticize another, but rare to find those who consistantly strive to uphold their beliefs in God’s written Word.

    As for my past– One organization which I was a member of, as a collaborating organization, which was not affiliated with Grace, was the US Center for World Mission. Now if there is an organization which needs to be cleaned up from top to bottom there is one. I haven’t been a member of that community since 1997. Check out World Magazine’s “Dueling Visions, Gnawing Suspicions” on March 3, 2018, an investigative report by Sophia lee and Marvin Olasky, World’s Editor in Chief. It has been my experience that John and the elders do prayerfully respond to constructive criticism. I do hold to the pattern if Matthew 18,1 Corinthians 6, and if the matter can not be resolved within the church it should move to a civil court, Romans 13.John has fought far more severe attacks in life. I personally am grateful for men like John who have persevered and served one flock now for fifty years. Thank you for letting me contribute my response.

    In Christ’s refuge and strength,

    James C. Stephens

    Much a do about nothing! Really?

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  79. James C. Stephens,

    Many here are also Bereans and disagree with McArthur. That’s ok in my book. It’s healthy to discuss. If you are allowed to listen to women as a follower of McArthur, Cheryl Schatz did a yeomans research on the 3 witnesses reference a while back. It’s a shame it’s used to protect what should be transparent especially when it comes to other people’s money. I am curious if you extend the 3 witnesses rule to accusations against sisters? Or, is “brothers” really referring to “elders” which are a huge part of McArthurs teaching that sets them up as basically “mediators” between believers and Jesus Christ.

    John is an extremely wealthy man from his ministries so he has resources. Perhaps he will use those resources to defend? Perhaps not.

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  80. Wow. There’s so much here it’s hard to know where to begin.
    Two takeaways for me were:
    1) He admitted firing people for disagreeing with him or his institutional line. Not for lack of competence. not for insubordination. Just for disagreement.
    2) He doesn’t think paying and hard-working students have a right to know when the institution they are attending is placed on probation by a major accreditation agency.

    There’s more. But those two things alone are just stunners that show clearly how insular and authoritarian. this whole gig is.

    I’ve never seen this extent of personal or institutional doubling down on their own blamelessness/perfection.
    This will not end well.

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  81. Lydia: Many here are also Bereans and disagree with McArthur.

    The problem with some “Bereans” is that they search the Scripture daily through theological lenses. I suppose it can be argued that we all have a pet theology which guides us in our Bible study. But in seasons of life when we take those blinders off – allowing the Holy Spirit to teach us – we become true Bereans … I haven’t met many of those in my long Christian journey.

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  82. Lydia: I agree about too many law schools but find the same problem in most public unis. It starts in high schools where there are quite a few different standards depending on ethnicity. It’s not a level field. It’s shocking what goes on and how dumbed down education is these days. Your mileage may vary.

    My mileage actually does vary because I should not have been admitted to law school with my poor GPA and my sketchy college career (I was on the six-year, drop in, drop out, drop back in plan). However, I put on my application that I was the first person in the extended family to get a college degree (true, but soon to be followed by my sister and several cousins) and it was obvious I was white. I also had a very high LSAT score (which surprised the heck out of me; I was convinced I’d failed). I got cut more slack because of my skin color, I believe.

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  83. James C. Stephens,

    “He is an unusually gifted man who has attracted very gifted individuals from all walks of life.”
    ++++++++++++

    “gifted”

    “unusually gifted”

    can you elaborate on what you mean by “gifted” and “unusually gifted”?

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  84. Tandt: I’m not shocked by the leaked comments, and anyone familiar with him shouldn’t be.

    You have a point there. Given the arrogant and toxic behaviour of two of MacArthur’s devotees — namely, Fred Butler and Phil Johnson — what else should we expect of the man who signs their paychecks? After all, like this one Rabbi said, every student will someday be like his master.

    Still, it would have been nice to believe that MacArthur felt at least some level of responsibility to students who are paying him lots of money.

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  85. My opinion about MacArthur is that he was wrong when he wantonly attacked Pentecostals and Charismatics in 2013. I may be outside the charmed circle of the ecclesia at this point, but I’ve been in Pentecostal and Charismatic churches and they love and worship Jesus as much as anyone in a MacArthur network church.

    Also, I have issues with his “Lordship Salvation” position and his denigration of human beings as mere slaves of God rather than God’s beloved children. (Do I have to mention his women issues?) I’d still have these issues if he didn’t have problems with his accreditation. But his accreditation woes (and the associated sexual assault that was never reported–and probably not the only one) are just icing on the cake.

    For the record, I don’t think anyone is perfectly right or has it all together outside of the presence of God.

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  86. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes: My opinion about MacArthur is that he was wrong when he wantonly attacked Pentecostals and Charismatics in 2013.

    He is pretty vicious with everyone who disagrees with him. Here is a clip of Hank Hanegraaff responding to JMac’s scathing remarks about Eastern Orthodoxy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=McKGWGaEl4A. Note the dripping contempt in JMac’s voice when he describes Hanegraaff’s conversion. I been looking very seriously into Eastern Orthodoxy – I know enough by know to know that John MacArthur is factually incorrect in what he says about it both in this clip and in other materials I have read from him. If he can be that wrong on this topic it makes me think he is that wrong on many others topics as well.

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  87. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes,

    How long ago? (Wink)

    I am very much involved in not only the differing standards involved in HS and college level awarding this or that but also workforce certifications whether it’s a police Sargent exams, EMS tech, etc. It is a taboo subject. You won’t read about it. Not a lot of free speech involved in the matter if one wants to keep their job. Ironically some students are even pushing back on it. Last year a friend of my daughter’s was a Latino Merit scholar. She was furious because she went for National Merit scholar as the standards are different and she made them. But because of her name, they assigned her to Latino Merit Scholar.

    I am all about the individual not identify groups. It’s not popular, I know. And I do run the risk of being called a lot of horrible names. 🙂

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  88. Lydia: I discovered how wrong he was with interpretation of scripture back in the 90’s when he was Hawking patriarchy big time.

    You are much smarter than I am – it took me a couple more decades to figure it out.

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  89. Wartburg Watch and Dee, can you release the full tape, please? Both for transparency and because I’m sure MacArthur’s people will claim that it’s been doctored.

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  90. Lydia:
    Deborah,

    My conclusion on this excellent question was that a philosoher king (pastor/leader) convinced them of it because they believed the “correct doctrine”. Correct doctrine is the ticket.

    What else could it be since humans are not a part of the salvation equation? The ultimate philosopher king is Calvin and what he wrote.

    But they rarely teach what Calvin wrote about reprobation. Hmmm.

    As I’ve said on various occasions, Calvinism boils down to this:

    Either God has chosen you, or damned you from before the foundations of the earth – long before you ever took breath – and there’s nothing you can do about it. Your fate has been sealed long before you were ever born.

    So, as far as Calvinism goes, it has been decided for you as to whether or not you will be saved. Free will in any respect is an illusion. If you are elect, it is impossible to reject or resist God. You are entirely a passive agent in the salvation process.

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  91. Darlene: Either God has chosen you, or damned you from before the foundations of the earth – long before you ever took breath – and there’s nothing you can do about it. Your fate has been sealed long before you were ever born.

    Doomed from the womb…

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  92. John:
    Wow. There’s so much here it’s hard to know where to begin.
    Two takeaways for me were:
    1) He admitted firing people for disagreeing with him or his institutional line. Not for lack of competence. not for insubordination. Just for disagreement.
    2) He doesn’t think paying and hard-working students have a right to know when the institution they are attending is placed on probation by a major accreditation agency.

    There’s more. But those two things alone are just stunners that show clearly how insular and authoritarian. this whole gig is.

    I’ve never seen this extent of personal or institutional doubling down on their own blamelessness/perfection.
    This will not end well.

    John, Bingo on all your observations. JM reminds me of a cult leader who requires that his followers must step in line with all his expectations and demands or else they are deemed as unbelievers.

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  93. Darlene: as far as Calvinism goes … You are entirely a passive agent in the salvation process.

    Which, of course, does not stack up with the Great Commission given to all believers … which requires Christians to go and make disciples of all nations and hearers of the Gospel to respond – believe or reject. You can’t be “passive” about your eternal destiny! Calvinists are not evangelists, no matter how they spin it.

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  94. advice anyone?

    my husband is in one of ‘quarterly’ (few times a year) funks — bored, depressed, all seems meaningless.

    it comes down to work, of course. no thrill. interest is in waning mode (sometimes it’s in wax mode, though) he’s frustrated. it colors everything else. now nothing in is life is good. it’ll pass, but….sigh.

    men, does this happen to you, too, from time to time? can you help me understand?

    what can their partner do to help?

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  95. Tandt: I’ve yet to see any claims that were all that injurious.

    The pastor of our ex-church was a protegee and friend of JM, trained in his seminary, and looked to him for advise in his decisions as pastor. And this man most certainly caused serious damage in our family. He excommunicated our daughter from the church for leaving her abusive husband… knowing full well she had “biblical grounds” for leaving… and then told her previous friends to “shun” her. She still hasn’t recovered emotionally or spiritually from that abusive, authoritarian, unmerciful, harsh, un-Christlike treatment of her when she was hurting and vulnerable.

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  96. Mary27: The pastor of our ex-church was a protegee and friend of JM, trained in his seminary, and looked to him for advice in his decisions as pastor … He excommunicated our daughter from the church for leaving her abusive husband… knowing full well she had “biblical grounds” for leaving … and then told her previous friends to “shun” her.

    Mary, this is a display of patriarchal authority at its worst. Hyper-Calvinists are some of the meanest people on the planet. What love is this?!

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  97. Lydia: My conclusion on this excellent question was that a philosoher king (pastor/leader) convinced them of it because they believed the “correct doctrine”. Correct doctrine is the ticket.

    There is also this weird dynamic of most becoming a believer as a non-Calvinist, then falling into La La land. They tend to subconsciously think like a non-Calvinist, and just tack on the new doctrines without realizing that they utterly contradict everything else in their ‘belief’ folder. We have been well-trained to submit to the authorities, and not ask questions.

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  98. elastigirl,

    Each man is different, like every woman. However, many of us can invest too much importance in our jobs. It becomes “who we are” so that when things get rough/ hard/ boring there it can over-influence the other parts of our life. I had to go through a lot (including getting laid off during the Great Recession and then failing at a business I tried to start) to learn to value family and faith more, to hold my job in an open hand as much as I can, instead of clasping onto it with a clenched fist.

    What will help your husband? I’m not sure. Pray for him (and with him if he is up for that), let him know he is is loved and respected for who he is (not just what he does), and maybe challenge him to aim for something new. Maybe a job change by next summer or taking on a new adventure outside of work (like volunteering in a way that is fulfilling to him). It might be more serious than merely seasonal doldrums. Could it have a medical cause? Might seeing a counselor help him to work his way through things? Lots to consider. Praying for you both.

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  99. elastigirl: men, does this happen to you, too, from time to time? can you help me understand?

    When I was younger yeah, I’d go into bored funks.
    Now I’m fast approaching 70. Time moves faster and faster and gravity pulls harder and harder. It seems like the Pleiades clears the tree-line earlier and earlier, with Orion on its heels close to sunrise, or as Pink Floyd put it:

    “Every year is getting shorter, never seem to find the time…”

    It only serves to remind me that there ain’t that much time left, and for me anyway, there’s certainly no time for bored funk.

    I’ve learned to savor and treasure every moment and to be thankful to my Maker for everything he’s blessed me with in this life.
    Why piss and moan over coulda-woulda-shoulda?

    Nobody can cure hubby’s funk but him. All you can do is be there for him. I sincerely believe that women are the stronger of our species and have root systems more resistant to life’s tsunamis than what men have.

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  100. Insider,

    I’m not in the industry either, but I’ve done that kind of work in the past. I can’t speak to going rates, but I can tell to that your estimates on man-hours are low. For every 10 minutes of production-grade video, count on at least 2hours or post production and editing time. So, an hour-long sermon each week likely represents 12-15 hours of work, at least, and possibly more. That’s fair, and standard for professional video production.
    Still, assuming $150/hr, that would mean $3000/week, assuming even 20 hrs of filming and post production editing. That’s $12,000 per month, $144,000 per year. Call it $150k, or even $250k for additional staffing and expenses.
    Still a far cry from what the Welsh Group took in.
    Were they doing work for the university and seminary also, in addition to the weekly sermons? It’s possible there are many more promotional and marketing videos being produced than simply weekly sermons.

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  101. James C. Stephens: John is a man of impeccable integrity

    Is he? Or is he just very good at controlling unfavorable information? Judging by the transcript above, it would appear that he is adept at that.

    Over his career, John MacArthur has guided believers away from the life of freedom in Christ to the bondage of legalism. He has promoted so-called “biblical counseling” which puts the emotionally vulnerable under another heavy layer of sin-sniffing legalism. Jesus said that his yoke is easy and his burden is light. Paul wrote of walking by faith opposed to the futility of trying to live by law. Jesus said that the servant of all is the greatest in his kingdom. Yet MacArthur has consistently pushed law as a rule of life. He has made himself wealthy and powerful. He has promoted gender hierarchy and injustice towards women. He practices nepotism. His university turns out bullies. “Men of low degree are only vanity and men of rank are a lie; In the balances they go up; They are together lighter than breath.”

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  102. elastigirl: men, does this happen to you, too, from time to time? can you help me understand?

    I think it happens to everyone but if it’s happening all the time, there may be medical component. Encourage him to talk to his doctor or if there’s an employee assistance program at work, they can plug him in to some good resources.

    We’re bombarded by news that we should be special, a billionaire like Jeff Bezos or saving people like a doctor or earning a million bucks on YouTube like that little kid who rates toys.

    We can’t all be astronauts when we grow up.

    There’s no easy answer but if work is a grind is there any way to
    upgrade? Take courses? This sounds trite but maybe there’s leadership opportunity outside work. I’m president of our child care centre.

    I also keep busy with model trains, tropical fish, strategy games, stuff I can do with the kids.

    We (the family) have taken up fishing. 4 trips 1 fish that we could eat. We suck but we have a great time.

    As a partner the best you can do is support any endeavors he may embark on.

    But if everything becomes meaningless, it may be a clinical issue. It is best to seek medical help. You may be able to discuss with a physician or counsellor on your own.

    Ultimately if the concern is great and you suspect a crisis call 911 or get the person to an emergency room.

    We can all go through bouts of transient depression. I had a terrible time when my Dad died and there was a huge family brouhaha but this shouldn’t be the norm.

    Take care.

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  103. SiteSeer: Over his career, John MacArthur has …

    … and then SiteSeer proceeds to write a resume for John MacArthur that those he has indoctrinated cannot accept. JM operates by law not life – his ministry has been one of attempting to bring believers back into bondage after Christ set them free. His “Grace to You” ministry is anything but that … you will not find Grace in hyper-grace. JM and others like him preach that the essence of Christianity can be found in doctrines ‘about’ grace rather than a direct experience ‘of’ Grace, an encounter with the Living Christ. If you want to spend your Christian experience on a journey through the jots and tittles of the law, then follow MacArthur … if you want to journey with Christ via a personal relationship with Him, then dig your own spiritual well and don’t drink from MacArthur’s.

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  104. I will release the tape when I receive permission to do so. It involves a link that might lead to discovering the name of the person who made the tape.

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  105. Max: JM and others like him preach that the essence of Christianity can be found in doctrines ‘about’ grace rather than a direct experience ‘of’ Grace, an encounter with the Living Christ

    Good way to put it, Max. A subtle bait and switch. Many aren’t even aware they’ve been diverted from the path.

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  106. James C. Stephens: He has raised a generation of Bereans who diligently search the Scriptures

    The Berean Christians searched the Scriptures to see if what Paul was saying was true … Paul! Today’s Bereans would do well to search the Scriptures to see if celebrity preachers, like MacArthur, are teaching Truth, the whole Truth, and nothing but the Truth. Your spiritual destiny depends on it!

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  107. Jack: I also keep busy with model trains, tropical fish, strategy games, stuff I can do with the kids.

    What type (and scale) of model trains and strategy games?
    I’ve been involved with both, and Eagle over at Wondering Eagle is a BIG model rail.

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  108. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes: If I had it to do over again, I would have gutted it up, dealt with my math phobia and gotten a degree in Computer Science. Or tried to work in material archaeology, specifically textiles. There are few things that excite me more than looking at a scrap of pre-Columbian woven fabric and just imagining all the labor it took to grow, pick, spin and weave cotton cloth in an era before spinning wheels and power looms.

    Computer science (CS) grad here. You should’ve done material archaeology, not CS. Software companies these days really only want H1-B visas. Even when they pay the visa workers really well (like in Google’s case), they like that the visa worker can’t leave the employer, i.e., that they basically have slave labor who has to stay no matter their treatment if they want to remain the US.

    That’s the real reason companies like Google use absurd interviewing techniques to filter out candidates, so they can disqualify people on purpose and complain that they need more H1-B visas. The only reason I’m safe from this is that I work in a place that has strict foreign export requirements.

    In retrospect, I wish I had had the luxury of studying history or archaeology. Then maybe I could live off grants doing some fun research stuff. Oh well.

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  109. Clockwork Angel: Computer science (CS) grad here. You should’ve done material archaeology, not CS. Software companies these days really only want H1-B visas. Even when they pay the visa workers really well (like in Google’s case), they like that the visa worker can’t leave the employer, i.e., that they basically have slave labor who has to stay no matter their treatment if they want to remain the US.

    Sounds like Wall Street has a good starter road to the dystopian futures of say Blade Runner and Cloud Atlas.

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  110. dee:
    I will release the tape when I receive permission to do so. It involves a link that might lead to discovering the name of the person who made the tape.

    You’ve got me waiting on pins and needles!

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  111. Lydia,

    Was the apostle Paul wealthy? I wonder why the disciples along with Christ were not wealthy men monetarily so please explain to me why it’s acceptable for pastors to gain the type of wealth MacArthur attains from the ministry? I’m not saying he should be poor however his home, things, and income far exceeds anyone in his church and certainly most who listen to him! What makes him so gifted and great? He’s just a man not god.

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  112. dee,

    I appreciate that. We need facts in this situation since there is a huge amount of mudslinging going on right now. If you need help figuring out a private way to host the recording please let me know and I can probably provide a solution.

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  113. brian: “Their blook in on your hands.” or “their eternal deaths are on your already blackened soul” or my personal favorite “if you even make it into heaven the thought of your loved ones suffering in perdition because you did not preach the full Gospel will torment you, it in perdition it will be one more full torment not covered by Christ.” or something like that, it went on from there.

    Two words: GUILT MANIPULATION.

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  114. Ken F (aka Tweed): Deborah: Why do reformed folk assume they personally are among the elect? I don’t understand what makes them confident that they happen to be one of the lucky ones.

    Can you imagine what it would do to a reformed person if they believed there were not among the elect? What hope could one have if they knew that there was nothing they could do to change God’s eternal choice?

    THAT is why they are always searching for a Proof — any Proof — that THEY are Elect.
    From getting filthy stinking rich to Perfectly-Parsing their Utterly Correct Theology.
    All to PROVE They are personally Elect.

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  115. Headless Unicorn Guy: What type (and scale) of model trains and strategy games?
    I’ve been involved with both, and Eagle over at Wondering Eagle is a BIG model rail.

    HO scale. Nothing fancy, we set it up in the living room, I use Bachmann EZ track. The trains are all stuff I pick up used at model rail shows.

    As for strategy, used to do a lot of Axis and Allies (in all its incarnations), Fortress America (a Reagan era game), Risk 2210. Lately due to time constraints we play games like Pandemic, 7 Wonders, Small World and Lords of Waterdeep. Getting the kids into it with the Catan games. Android has a great app for 7 Wonders & Twilight Struggle so if I want to play I just log on and find players on line.

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  116. Headless Unicorn Guy: Can you imagine what it would do to a reformed person if they believed there were not among the elect? What hope could one have if they knew that there was nothing they could do to change God’s eternal choice?

    That is why I find Reformed Theology so tragic and dangerous. The real gospel message is portrayed in the story of the Prodigal son. Every single human being can walk away from the disgusting pig sty of self worship and into the waiting, forgiving arms of our loving Father. Nowhere has there ever been such good news, ‘which shall be unto all people’. And yet, Reformed Theology stubbornly clings to the hideous Judaistic concept of a few chosen people; and no one buys into a chosen people theology unless they are convinced they are one of them.

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  117. Do they want legitimate academic accreditation or not? Apparently only when it suits their purposes. Achieving and maintaining academic accreditation is a rigorous process. The standards and requirements are laid out clearly. It isn’t a “loose” process in which evaluators can make random demands on the institution or pull requirements out of the air.

    When the accreditation team makes an on-site visit to campus, it interviews students, staff and faculty separately, independent of administrators. My guess is that the team heard some things in those meetings that raised concerns, and that the administration is now trying to spin it as disgruntlement.

    The “godless” university I work for welcomes the accreditation process, even though it is difficult and time consuming and sometimes reveals issues that the university might prefer not to address. Surely a “Christian” university should also welcome bringing problems out into the open and addressing them in a direct and honest way.

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  118. elastigirl:
    Tandt,

    “I’ve yet to see any claims that were all that injurious.”
    ++++++++++++++++++

    http://thewartburgwatch.com/2017/09/23/janes-traumatic-rape-and-subsequent-mistreatment-by-officials-at-the-masters-college-now-university/

    …but maybe that’s not all that injurious

    The details of “Jane Doe’s” story are very unconventional. They may be true; I certainly do not know for a fact whether they are or are not. But it is true, I believe, that they read very much like a desperately and poorly constructed alibi concocted from bad Lifetime TV movies. To be frank, when weighed in the balance, at this point I simply do not find the story convincing and evidenced enough to condemn John MacArthur. I have no trouble in being persuaded by a lifetime of Christian ministry of John MacArthur over and against one fantastical tale of “Jane Doe”.

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  119. MacArthur thinks the NFL kneeling protests are an attempt to hurt their employers? MacArthur thinks he’s qualified to speak about social justice and racism?

    “Why would people in an organization want to burn down an organization they’re in with all their friends in it? This is like kneeling at the national anthem in the NFL trying to do damage to your employer…” – MacArthur

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  120. I hope all of you who questioned me not having the audio up in the beginning are satisfied now that I have posted the audio in today’s post.

    Just so you know, sometimes I cannot come forward immediately with all the info that I have. However, you have 9 1/2 years of evidence that we try very hard to tell the truth. I wanted to post the audio immediately but there were some issues behind the scenes that needed to be worked out. It was not all about the length of the recording.

    It is hard for people to trust others. That is why we have tried very hard over the years to produce all of the info that we can.

    I may have another audio coming in as well that you will find interesting.

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  121. I don’t know anything about the atmosphere at TMS, but when JMac said around the 20:31 mark that the students had no right to know about the probation situation, that their desire to know was part of a worldly attitude that everyone deserves to know everything, my jaw hit the floor.
    The students are giving thousands of dollars and years of their lives to get a degree from his school, and they have no right to know if the school is on probation? IN WHAT WORLD? What if the school loses its accreditation and those students’ degrees are seen as second-rate, even useless? The students should be the FIRST to know about the probation, including the reasons for it, legitimate or not, so they can decide for themselves whether to continue at TMS, or switch to a school NOT under probation.
    JMac’s expressed attitude toward students’ “need to know” might be an example of the very atmosphere of bullying that the report cites — part of a self-fulfilling prophecy of how JMac and other officials respond to criticism from within and without.
    I’ve actually always heard that JMac is personally gracious to his critics, so I was stunned to hear this attitude toward his own students, who were presumably huge fans of his, to enroll at TMS. I wonder how they feel about him now.

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  122. dee,

    Dee, If you’ve got additional audio to post that would be very interesting and potentially quite helpful. Thanks for staying on this. I’d highly encourage you to keep this under a watchful eye.

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  123. Deebs,

    This issue of payment to Cory Welch has been under scrutiny awhile. I believe I saw another blog that questioned it back in 2011. It was pretty easy to find prior posts about it via Google.

    Anyway, here is blog post from a blog I’m not familiar with where someone within JMac’s inner circle defends JMac to the author (there was an email exchange and excepts posted). He states that the compensation to The Welch Group is not to Cory but to his company. I guess we could use some clarification on how many employees The Welch Group has. I’m sure it can be looked up. However, I am aware of companies that have one employee. You would think that if it went to a company of several people or so, JMac would have clarified that. What a great defense, so how odd not to make that point. Instead, he talks about what a great job Cory does and how other pastors employ many family members so, “Hey, I’ve done nothing wrong here.”

    He misses the point that as long as people are paid a fair market salary, it’s not misuse of funds and tithes (even if it’s nepotism). To pay one family member 6 times what they perhaps should be paid and what others might make for similar work is a major issue.

    I live in the area and know Santa Clarita well (where many MacArthur folks live due to TMU location) and it is a nice suburban area and much more expensive compared to other US regions. However, I can say that 700K a year will get you WAY beyond comfortable for that area. If this is Cory’s compensation, he can indeed live very large on that.

    I do believe the whole thing looks inappropriate and while I can see the practicality in having your son in law do marketing and videos for you and the ease of communication with that, if this money was mostly paid to Cory Welch and not spread out among employees in his company, well, this is certainly misuse of tithes.

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