I want you to brace for this story, especially if you have followed Protestia for any period of time. We often cover devilish derelicts, profane prophets, and satanic swindlers. We broke the stories about Clayton Jennings using his revival gigs as a hook-up circuit, Greg Locke sending away his wife on a bus so he could bed his secretary, and we released the infamous video of Jerry Falwell Jr. with his zipper down. But never – and I mean – never have we had to deal with such a terrible, earth-shattering, ministry-ending, gosh-awful scandal as this one.
John MacArthur owns a nice watch.
There, I typed it. I mustered the courage to type such a damning exposé with my own tears lubricating the keyboard. The smell of sulfur is wafting throughout my office and the flames of hell are curling my toe hairs, just contemplating the traumatic and dramatic fall of ministry from this once-great Bible expositor.
But, it’s my job. As a polemicist – and a fair one – it’s time to criticize more deeply Dr. John MacArthur. And I know it’s time, because I can read it from his Omega Speedwatch Moonmaster edition wrist candy device.
A LITTLE BACKGROUND
Over here at Protestia, formerly Pulpit & Pen, we have covered the affinity of Prosperity Hustlers for their fancy sneakers. An entire Twitter account exists to link up images of famous preachers with their high-brow sneakers, called PreachersnSneakers.
For example, we wrote about Steven Furtick’s wardrobe that includes:
- 4-Bar Solid RWB Stripe Shirt $450
- Farfetch Offwhite Diagonal Arrows Sweatshirt $500
- Kingsnake Print GG Supreme Baseball hat $390
- Offwhite distressed bleach denim Jacket $750
- Jordan 1 Shattered Backboard Shoes $965$
- Saint Laurent men’s brown Boots $1,145
- Jordan 6 Retro Shoes $300
- Air Presto Off White White Shoes $637
- Nike Air Fear of God 1 Triple Black Shoes $610
- Nike Dunk Low Off-White Pine Green Shoes $510
- Nike Air Fear Of God 1 Oatmeal Shoes $390$
- Saint Laurent mens SL10H lace up leather high Top Sneakers $575
We have covered Ed Young Jr. wearing a $955 Gucci belt, T.D. Jakes wearing $4,000 Nike shoes, and Judah Smith wearing a $3,600 jacket.
So then, out of self-respect for our own stated ambition of fairness, surely we have time to criticize Dr. MacArthur for owning what is allegedly a $4,495 dollar watch.
Julie Roys, the official Matriarch of the She-Woman Man-Haters Club of Woke Evangelicalism™ took to Twitter and saw fit to spike the football on MacArthur’s lust for filthy lucre.
Indeed, it is an expensive watch. The Amazon listing reveals that it’s roughly the price of a ’93 Honda Civic in fair condition (which, as everyone knows, is a sign of gratuitous luxury).
Roys has been trying desperately to place MacArthur in the money-hungry, prosperity-pimping gazillionaire camp for quite a while, mostly because she has no biblical discernment and can’t distinguish right from almost right. How else does one explain the pathological obsession with getting it wrong all the time when it comes to the Governor of Grace Community Church? We really suggest that she starts paying a bit closer attention to us, for the edification of her soul and to see how it’s really done.
We’ve written about Roys’ obsession with muckraking the elderly pastor, such as her other daring investigative piece revealing that the 90-year-old preacher has multiple homes. According to her gumshoe crackhattery, MacArthur’s longtime Los Angeles home (he’s lived there for nearly half a century) has appreciated in value to the tune of [insert dramatic music] hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Meanwhile, Roys also revealed that MacArthur owns a home that is “only” blocks and blocks and blocks away from the ocean (this impresses people in Nebraska) and that he also owns an acreage in Colorado whose size would be regarded by Coloradans as fitting for a cute hobby farm; just large enough to ranch an annual batch of meat rabbits.
In reality, from a discernment perspective, what makes PreachersnSneakers and ProphetsnWatches scandalous is that those highlighted there are typically prosperity hustlers, promising God’s financial blessings in exchange for sowing a “seed of faith” (giving money to the dude at the top of the ecclesiastical Ponzi scheme).
Protestia has literally covered Stephen Furtick bringing a wheelbarrow full of cash as a seed-faith offering to TD Jakes (I kid you not, click here). The other charlatans are quite literally promising that God will give you crap in exchange for your crap, like some kind of divine black market bartering system.
That’s the controversy. Blessedness is not.
If Julie Roys decided to hen-peck me to death the same way she’s annoying Dr. MacArthur (actually, I bet he isn’t aware of her existence and doesn’t care), she could find some similar ‘gotchas.’
At just shy of 40, a pastor of 22 years, I own a 400k dollar home. I slid into the 4 bedroom estate for about 200 grand, and inflation shot its worth through the stratosphere thanks to the glory of petroleum production in the region (thank you to God, who made dinosaurs only to kill them, so we could drive pickups fueled by their corpse juices).
I own three – count them – three vehicles, which have a combined value of 50k dollars. How I live with myself, I don’t know. I can barely look in the mirror anymore.
I own a vacation property and a cabin snuggled away on tens of thousands of acres of prime wilderness real estate. Meanwhile, I own an ATV, a jetboat, a brand new travel trailer that sleeps 7 (which we often use as a residence for months at a time while on the road), and more firearms than the local National Guard Armory. My gun safe is worth about the same as MacArthur’s watch.
Although, let me rephrase all that. I own a portable garden shed I turned into a cabin that boasts 240 square feet that’s hauled onto my friend’s ranch down in a holler. My ATV was the least expensive on the market, a 2×2 Honda Recon. My jet-boat was purchased five-ways (with my other redneck friends) for $3,500. My travel trailer is modest, and although new, saves me from having to rent AirBNBs when my family is on our extensive travels (try finding a hotel that sleeps 7). I’m a firearms dealer, and if we graded Montana on a curve, 100 firearms isn’t that much. Guns are my kids’ inheritance and the Bible says a wise man does such a thing (Proverbs 13:22).
Meanwhile, I have this interesting command as it relates to the pasotrate…
[The pastor must not be] a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money… (1 Timothy 3:3)
I can also honestly say that virtually none of that wealth was acquired from money placed into the offering plate. Like Paul, I “make tents” to get by, which include some informal lobbying, consulting, speech-writing, journalism, cryptocurrency, and agricultural investments. Oh, and when my wife isn’t barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen making me sandwiches, she’s a speech pathologist so I can afford a 65-inch television (I have to keep up with the trailer park folks down the street). Meanwhile, I enjoy giving my tithes and offerings to the local church so we can have doughnuts during Sunday School and buy tracts to pass out at gay pride parades.
So I got some nice stuff. Sue me.
Meanwhile, Dr. MacArthur is so old he’s got a class photo with Moses and knows so much about the Bible because he was there when it was written. How many nonagenarians with 75 years of gainful employment do you know who are broke? How many can’t afford a fancy watch?
And finally, might I add, like his property in Colorado – which was gifted to him – how does Roys know that some generous soul didn’t give MacArthur a nice watch? And what if they did (I’m betting it’s a gift because I suspect Jmac doesn’t visit jewelry stores)? Is that wrong or something?
THE REAL SIN HERE
The besetting sin of Woke Religionism, of which Roys is a full-fledged convert, is covetousness. Their goal is the redistribution of privilege and wealth. Begrudging what other people rightfully own is actually a clear violation of God’s Law.
“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s” (Exodus 20:17).
The proper response when you see another human being with nicer things than you – especially when not received as ill-gotten gain – is to rejoice. After all, when the righteous prosper, the city should rejoice (Proverbs 11:10). In this case, some nosey, mouthy, gossipy woman whose husband is probably perched atop his roof, is cackling and crying foul.
Shame on Julie Roys for griping and moaning that MacArthur, who has little time left remaining, is telling time in style. After 50 years a pastor, I hope the watch was provided as a gift from the congregation (with no seed-faith promises included), but again, that’s likely not the case.
Romans 12:15 tells us that the Christian response when we see someone is blessed is to rejoice with them. After all, it is God who makes rich and makes poor (1 Samuel 2:7).
No man in American evangelicalism has so loudly, consistently, and passionately spoken out against prosperity hustling in the name of Jesus as Dr. John MacArthur. No man has so boldly stood against milking the church like a cow in order to live in luxury with false promises of divine kickbacks.
Whoever the man is who is keeping Julie Roys employed (surely it’s a WASP overlord somewhere) should reconsider patronizing her sorry attempts at journalism and hate-blogging. At least when we do it over here at Protestia, we keep our sights aimed at wolves and derelicts, and not faithful preachers who happen to have a funded pension plan.
A CALL TO ACTION
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