Man’s basic problem is preoccupation with self. He is innately beset with narcissism, a condition named after the Greek mythological character Narcissus, who spent his life admiring his reflection in a pool of water. In the final analysis, every sin results from preoccupation with self. We sin because we are totally selfish, totally devoted to ourselves, rather than to God and to others.
”The weakness of a woman is that she needs a head. The weakness of a man is that he needs a woman.”
– John Macarthur
“How can they understand forgiveness if they don’t understand the penalty of sin?. Men cannot understand. They cannot seek grace and salvation unless they are affected with the dread of the wrath of God that is upon them. Unless men sense they are in grave danger there’s no pressure applied to them to change.”
[A] new kind of modernism is pushing Christians onto the down-grade. Why is it that biblical Christianity in modern times has been so vulnerable to doctrinal compromise and worldly influence? A fascinating historical account of the fundamentalist/evangelical movement in microcosm is found in Reforming Fundamentalism: Fuller Seminary and the New Evangelicalism, by George Marsden. Tracing the history of one influential institution, Marsden recounts in detail how Fuller Seminary compromised and ultimately abandoned its commitment to biblical inerrancy.
The school was originally founded to provide a conservative, biblical training ground after denominational seminaries had embraced liberalism or otherwise abandoned the faith. But within a few decades, Fuller Seminary itself capitulated on the issue of biblical inerrancy. Why? Marsden’s account reveals that many of Fuller’s founders and early faculty were obsessed with the notion of intellectual and academic respectability. They wanted Fuller Seminary to be viewed in the elite academic community with the same esteem as the liberal denominational schools. Unfortunately, the intellectual climate of the age was almost unanimously sympathetic to skepticism, liberalism, humanism, and sub-Christian rationalism.
The very community from which the Fuller men sought to win acceptance was at war with the theology Fuller Seminary was founded to uphold. In order to gain the stature they sought, the Fuller men were willing to compromise. The history of the school therefore often reads like a sad chronicle of controversy and doctrinal decline. Is intellectual and academic respectability a worthy goal? Not if the world sets the standards that determine what is acceptable and what is not. “Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become foolish that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness before God” (1 Cor.3:18-19, emphasis added).
It is folly to seek the approval of human wisdom; the goal itself is incompatible with biblical integrrity.
~Dr. John MacArthur
“Proof that ungodliness is rampant in evangelical circles is evident in megachurches that purposely cater to the preferences of the ungodly—furnishing entertainment and amusements in place of authentic worship and Bible teaching. More proof is found in a popular doctrinal system that deliberately removes the lordship of Christ from the Gospel proclamation to give a theological justification for ‘carnal Christians’— people who profess to believe in Christ but live ungodly lives.”
–John MacArthur, The Truth War
“As churches have tailored their Sunday services to suit the tastes of ‘seekers,’ for example, there is less and less emphasis on edifying the saints and more and more stress on entertaining unbelievers. Drama, music, comedy, and even forms of vaudeville have often replaced preaching in the order of service. That strips Christ of His headship over the church by removing His Word from its rightful place and thereby silencing His rule in the life of His people. In effect, it surrenders the headship of the church to unchurched seekers.
Furthermore, any time a preacher squelches or softens a hard truth of Scripture to make the message more palatable, that preacher has suppressed Christ’s true message and thereby usurped His rightful authority as Lord over the church.”
–John MacArthur, The Truth War