MacArthur Defeatism

John MacArthur is a highly respected American pastor who holds to what he calls a "leaky dispensationalism." By this he means he rejects much of dispensational theology but retains some aspects of it, especially when it comes to Israel and end times eschatology. He realizes he is not being consistent to the traditional view of dispensational theology which is why he calls himself a "leaky dispensationalist." Having a hybrid theology like this can lead to many inconsistencies within his theology. One which we will focus on here is his pessimistic view of the future for the church within this present time period. He says he is an advocate of the rapture and the end times eschatology  given by John Darby, the originator of this theology in the mid 1800s. 

A major problem with this theological perspective is its fatalism in relation to the future role of the church within the world and its cultural implications. John has bought into the end times scenario taught by many evangelical leaders, such as Tim LaHaye, Hal Lindsay, Robert Jeffress, and many others. In fact, this theology is the predominant theology among evangelical leaders today. From my perspective, and many others, it helps to explain why the evangelical churches in America are so impotent. As one famous evangelical leader once stated regarding the role of the churches in redeeming the cultures of the world, "Why polish the brass on a sinking ship?" These church leaders believe they have broken the code found in the book of Revelation and that they know how the future will play out in history. According to theological interpretation of Revelation the church of Jesus Christ loses to Satan and Christ returns just in time to save rapture his people from the earth and save Israel. 

The problem many Christian leaders have with this view is that it undermines the Great Commission in which Jesus has commanded us to disciple the nations of the world. We are clearly instructed to disciple the nations and make them Christian nations. Instead, this theological perspective teaches we cannot accomplish the Great Commission and that any efforts toward the discipling of nations is a waste of time. According to this theology we don't waste time discipling nations because the time is short and we need to get in as many people as possible before the end time events described in Revelation begin to happen.

The result is that the command by Jesus to disciple the nations is rejected. Rather than comply with the clear instructions given by Jesus to disciple the nations, church leaders only focus on evangelism. Mass evangelism becomes the focus and goal for many church leaders. As a result, the newly born-again believers that come in as a result of their evangelism are left to themselves to learn the basics of the faith and to disciple themselves. This leads to superficial evangelistic techniques that don't even try to provide new believers with the basics of the Christian faith. As a result, many fall away or are left to fend for themselves in their quest to know more about their faith.

The results of this approach to church leadership leads to an impotent church which we currently see in America. Churches are found everywhere in our towns and cities yet the impact on the American people is missing. Christian leaders have been short-sighted due to the acceptance of this theology and have turned the leadership of the culture over to the pagans. Rather than obey the last command given by Jesus to disciple the nations teaching them everything Jesus has taught us, our leaders have let the pagans take leadership of our culture, which they are quickly destroying.

Following below are some video clips that reveal this perspective and how it has led to our current situation in America.