Mac O.S., Here We Go Again: Sun Valley edition

Modern Day Zorro
9 min readFeb 7, 2023
Screenshot taken from the April 19, 2020 interview aptly titled “Thinking Biblically about the Covid-19 pandemic”. Unfortunately, there were so many statements in this interview which did not age well, were proven incorrect and which did not address the criticism from so many on the theological Fringe angry that GCC closed at all. Such is the nature of a MacArthur stance. Said once, no clarification later, onto the next.

Mac O.S. update

In the Year of Our Lord 2023, the Third Year of Covid, and after we have finally done away with our resolutions to 1) stop doom scrolling at night, 2) drink a gallon of water a day (please don’t do that), and 3) to read more and unplug, we find that not a whole lot has changed. I am still met with the overarching feeling of doom as I look over the church landscape. That’s really as blunt as I can put it. Now, I’m not saying that you, too, should have such an outlook, but if you’ve been paying attention for at least the last 5 years and seeing the abuse, cover-ups, the normalization of mega church corruption, the poor excuse of what passes for music and worship and yes, the “ministries” and conventions. Yes, I’m looking at you G3. What is worse is that these Calvinist ministries, the most Scripture-adherent of the denominations, have abandoned the Biblical mandate of work and made an idol out of “ministry”. Make it make sense.

$$$ (oh, right. Carry on.)

An image from the D. Min. Orientation-January 11, 2021. Nice of the esteemed Michael Heiser to engage with us non-PhDs for a short time.

John MacArthur started the year off with an apparent health emergency. For those of you not aware, he was looking poorly during the first service in January and could not complete the second service. As the weeks went by, members asked what had happened to John, but no news was forthcoming. There was a general “pray for our Pastor” in the Grace Today. Twitter speculations aside, the elderly preacher’s declining health was not something that the leadership could continue hiding. But they did it anyway.

After a few weeks, the Grace website was updated to say that John had had a minor heart procedure and was resting at home. He was needing to rest and prepare for the Shepherds’ Conference. Very reminiscent of what the congregation was told January 2021 after repeated absences without any explanation. This time is different.

Grace Church members are seeing, perhaps for the first time, how little they are regarded. Some are not happy with a general, “be praying for our pastor”. Some are just haplessly accepting that they are never given an explanation and carrying on as usual. And some are getting angry as heck that they are being blocked from knowing anything when they spent the last 15 years or so being a core member, legacy family member. (Sorry about that, mate. Time’s have changed.)

So, here we go again…every time the GCC leadership updates, they share news which cannot be verified, obscuring the truth to various ends chief among them is to keep the interest and attendance of the Shepherds’ Conference. Last year, John only preached at the beginning and the end. I do not know if he was at least in attendance for the other days. The Shepherds’ Conference is inching closer and closer to the hyper-Calvinistic cesspool and Theobro utopia they have been wanting for years…cue Doug Wilson. Believe that.

They cannot know if John MacArthur can attend this year’s ShepCon, or if he’ll once more show up at the beginning and end as he did last year. My prediction is that he will not be able to attend, but that they will not announce that until days before the event begins. The general idea is that loads of attendees would back out if they were to say anything now, so they are ameliorating the pastor and mainstay of the conference’s health to keep the numbers high. Men are coming from all over the world. I’m not not saying that they’re coming just to see John MacArthur. It’s quite a moot point.

MacArthur Park

So, what was told to me by many sources was that John had been on dialysis for months. A gentleman his age might also have a heart condition as well. I was also told that John was rushed to the hospital after the first sermon and stayed at the hospital almost 2 weeks. For anyone who has had a medical emergency like this, you know that the doctors and staff do everything they can to limit your stay except for very serious reasons.

If this is true, this portrays Grace’s update in a rather deficient light. This isn’t anything new. If your objective is to keep the GCC machine running, you have to ignore inquiries, and put on that pained smile and tell people that “everything is fine”.

I’m sorry, I just don’t get it. If you’re a public figure, you share what is going on in your life. That is the social contract. I know more about Joe Rogan’s health than my (former) pastor of over 27 years. I don’t even listen to Joe Rogan, but the point stands. If you’re a pastor, then your church bares each other’s burdens and you serve one another. The leadership more so. You go to your pastor’s house, grow up with their kids, share birthdays, go hiking in the hills, to the beach, to witness…(the horror). That’s the problem. Grace is not a church. It’s a corporation. John, Inc.

Patricia MacArthur, beloved as she is, how many people know she has been very ill for years.

M2: Succession, that old Chestnut

In a recent podcast, “Dr.” Austin Duncan spoke about Grace’s plans for succession. I never understood the usage of that term in relation to pastoral matters. It’s frankly, stupid. Succession is largely associated with monarchical and high government positions, a throne, a title, not a pastorate. I’m starting to think that there are no dictionaries in that MacArthur Center. Then, Dean Lentini’s Youtube video regarding the podcast was very enlightening. I enjoy when other people read books, listen to podcasts and distill it for me. Not doing things is my non-runner’s high. It’s understandable that listeners would be perturbed that they were misled by the podcast’s conclusion. John’s successor? All of the elders. (sad trombone)

Thanks for playing, you’ve been a great audience. With winning content like that, I cannot imagine why the “Expositor” only receives a very small amount of views.

Josh Buice=M2

then, M2 Mac mini=Owen Strachan?

This new math is truly remarkable.

Mac. Book. Think Different.

I have shelves of MacArthur books and Bibles. You may as well. The last 20 years my library has become more of a cluttered time capsule of where I’ve been more than where I am going. I cannot bring myself to part with anything. Not even the John Piper books. Not even the little books I would get every Sunday in the Grace Bookshack. The excess I got from Shepherds’ Conferences past. I may be a fool, but I’m a sentimental one. Maybe knowing that John MacArthur did not write any of it will allow me to discard the lot, but for now, it is a fitting omer of manna. An altar to my ignorance, reminding me to never go back. Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand.

Let’s also get to the biography. Not only was large parts of it completely fabricated, but the lies made no sense. Let’s take for instance, the “football career that wasn’t”.

The Lie: John MacArthur was recruited by several NFL teams, the Cleveland Browns in particular. After Paul Warfield injures himself, the Cleaveland Browns immediately call John MacArthur. John MacArthur once more turns down a football career, which was a life-long dream.

-Who hadn’t played even college-level football since Los Angeles Pacific College in 1961.

The Truth: August 6, 1965, Paul Warfield, playing for the Cleveland Browns in the College All-Stars pre-season game fractures his collar bone.

Title: “Minister’s Son Passes Football to follow dad”. June 20, 1964.

Photograph caption dated June 20, 1964 reads, “Fills father’s shoes — The Rev. John MacArthur Jr. will deliver Father’s Day sermon tomorrow in the absence of his father, the Rev. Jack MacArthur, pastor, of MacArthur Memorial Bible Church, Burbank. Young MacArthur is the new assistant pastor.”

The Takeaway:

The car accident after his Freshman year would be the turning point of his life. He would recount the ordeal and state that that was when he knew he was headed for ministry. Great, wonderful. But, that’s not what happened.

— After completing Sophomore year, and leaving (forced out of) Bob Jones University, John went to play basketball, baseball, track and football at Los Angeles Pacific College, a very small Methodist school of no import. Sports was all he cared about. He would go on to talk about how his father took him to Talbot Seminary to the esteemed Dr. Charles Feinberg, introducing him as “just a jock”.

— Did John MacArthur lie to this journalist in 1964 about his decision not to play for the NFL? I could not find the associated article for the photo, but it’s a damning lie, no doubt. Let’s do the math, he said that he was recruited by USC and other major colleges for football, but that he gave it up for ministry. But that’s not what happened.

— Warfield was injured in 1965. John would have been Associate Pastor one year at his father’s, Calvary Bible Church. Does the NFL make it a practice of calling up preachers 2,000 miles away that they have never met? “What say you, Jim (Brown), do you think we should get this All-American or the chubby, 26-year old preacher’s son who has not played much even at the college level?”

Then, in 1964, in his Graduation testimonial, he mentions the car accident and subsequent refusal of scholarship offers. Even mentioning that it was in high school, he felt the draw to ministry.

— John had one year, his senior year, of great ball playing that he would use for the next 60 years in metaphors and illustrations. Always focused on himself. Let me remind you, this was a very small Methodist college. Often playing in the dark, no funding and no recruitment. The NFL would not have given it the time of day, but John MacArthur has used that short stint as a means to talk about his athletic prowess, even manufacturing claims that he was called on by teams which included Jim “the Man” Brown.

He would give football metaphors at youth functions, the Resolved Conference and at TMS chapels, even during Covid he saw himself as a quarterback just waiting for the ball. Not to be disrespectful, but that kind of perpetual lying is absolutely not in keeping with a Christian, let alone the Finest Expositor in History.

Reboot. Repent. Buy a PC.

So, yes, come join us…in finding a church that will serve you, elders who will instruct and shepherd, pastors (multiple) who will be humble, kind and meek, and a service that doesn’t keep playing the same 4 hymns and allows clapping. Sorry, Clayton…that was always a weird thing to me. Mega churches, even large churches are not sustainable. There is nothing organic about the growth that we’re seeing now.

It’s just too easy for people with a lot to hide to attend these churches. It’s too easy for a church like that to enable abusers and prop up, appoint and promote essentially the least qualified for ministry, but when they find that that person was a perfect monster, they silence the victim and show them the door.

*Thanks to Mr. Dufrane’s help on this article.



Modern Day Zorro

Ungodly Blogger by Night, Corporate Stooge By Day. Former GCC Member. Articles, usually light-hearted with a musical component. Stories of abuse and corruption.