Swapping One Lie for Another Part 2


Quotes from: “Strange Fire Conference”, “God’s Plan for Giving “part 2, “Abusing the Poor” and “Widows in the Church” part 1 by John MacArthur

The simplest way to put this is to compare what John MacArthur says and teaches and then compare that to the Word of God. This is not expository preaching, if one reads the scriptures that he is quoting and then listens to his meaning of it; it becomes clear that he is not following the Biblical standards he, himself proclaims to follow.

image“Abusing the Poor” sermon video 1 mark 8:31 “The third option is, that the true measure of any gift is the attitude with which you give it. Is it selfless, humble, surrender, expressing love for God, devotion to God and trust in God?….. The widow we are told, had the least left behind, gave the highest percentage and must of had the best attitude.”

imagevideo 19:14 mark “and all of these and combinations of all of these(referring to ALL the commentators and their interpretation of this scripture) have been defended, by virtually all those who write on this text. Teachers have waxed eloquent on all of them. Now at this point I will confess to you that in spite of the popularity of these views, in spite of the universality of these views, none of these explanations makes any sense to me, none. In fact all of those interpretations are imposed on the text. And you know how I feel about imposing things on the Bible text. Not good.

Quote from Strange Fire Conference “Testing the spirits” session:

image“And when Jesus saw the widow put in her last mite into the temple offering…..He said this temple is going to come down, not one stone will be left on another. I don’t know what you have been taught about that story about the widow giving her last two cents. That was NOT an example of Christian giving. God doesn’t expect you to give your last two cents and go home and die. That’s what happens to a widow who is suckered by a religion of works. She was trying to buy, with her last two cents, her way into the kingdom; because that’s what she’d been taught. And Jesus said any system that sucks people down to the place where they have nothing left, in a false hope is coming down and it did.”

Quote from “God’s Plan for Giving” part two:

image“so he calls his disciples and I say unto you the poor widow has cast more in than ALL they who have cast into the treasury. You say wait a minute, that’s no big deal; for all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want, did cast in all the she had, even all her living. You say how did he know that? He knew everything. She only had an eighth of a penny left and she gave it. Wow, you say it’s not very significant, it won’t do very much. It was significant because she gave everything friends and you can’t give anymore than everything. The point that Jesus’ is making is this, that, that is sacrifice and that is the essence of giving and the ultimate sacrifice would be to give everything. The least money was the greatest gift. What does this teach us about giving? Does this teach us to tithe? No. It teaches us that we are to give sacrificially and maybe that means everything we have. Certainly it means more than we are giving now and I say that for myself as well.”

Quotes from “Widows in the Church” Part 1

image“Truly I say to you, this poor widow has cast in more than all they who have cast into the treasury, for all they did cast in of their abundance but she ever want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.” And here we see the godliness and the devotion of this dear woman who having nothing gave it all. That’s the spirit of generosity in the heart of one devoted to the worship of God.”

Really trying to keep this short and to the point. Simply comparing what he says in these three sermons it is apparent that he is teaching error. Note also that all of these are still on his website as teaching tools and wrote a book on “God’s Plan for Giving“  Which means he is still teaching both accounts of from this scripture.

I don’t know if the quote he makes at the Strange Fire Conference, about the widow is in his Strange Fire book or not, I will not purchase it to find out.  He has written over 150 books, including his own “Study Bible” and one has to wonder, in his footnotes and commentaries, which version of the widow, saved or lost, deceived or devoted he presents? And which Jesus he presents, the one who commends the widow on her sacrificial giving, or the one who is immensely displeased and angered by her actions of giving all she had to a false religious system that she was deceived by?

43 thoughts on “Swapping One Lie for Another Part 2

  1. One thing about hypocrisy is you can easily see how they do the very thing they accuse others of, and here he claims he hates those who impose upon the text, and yet this is what he does. While I can’t be sure, usually the case with these hundreds of books written by, “names,” is that the publisher has a ghost writer create the content for most of the books, and uses a popular name to sell. Sometimes a ministry will do most of the work and the leader gets the credit.


  2. Well, you could contact his publicist and see if you get an answer, and I would assume no answer is an answer. On one of your posts a commenter admonished that you should contact JM personally and discuss your issues with his teaching. I doubt if that fan is aware that JM refuses to speak with anyone, even the other big shots he is trashing, so he certainly wouldn’t stoop to even having one of his underlings communicate with, as my son calls me, “low hanging fruit,” especially of the female variety.

    I think some men are, despite their bravado, afraid of women, and that is what drives their anger and need to control and repress. Inside all that bluster, is a little boy who was afraid of displeasing mommy, receiving criticism from mommy and having mommy dominate him and make him feel small and weak.


    • chaya, I am of the understanding a public work does not need to be addressed privately. I have done this in the past, to no avail whatsoever. I cannot understand why a person who claims no doctrinal error, who claims to be led by the Holy Spirit can be in such error. Sure we all make mistakes and none of us know it all, I certainly do not, but the Lord will not leave us to stand on our own error for long. I do not know how JM comes on his material, but it is hurting the masses. This is what I am seeking to expose. If a man can stand at a pulpit and tell an abused wife to stand under it, and yet not address the husband something is wrong right there. We cannot give instruction to one and not to the other. And if we do not know how abuse works, we need to remain silent. To tell an abused wife it is her mission to remain in the marriage is a lie. God never gives this kind of instruction. This is where I see the connection to Islamic beliefs about women and their treatment aligning with Christianity. I will not stand for it.

      Also, keep in mind I authored the article on Dangerous Ideas, but I did not author Swapping One Lie…which is where you left your comment. 🙂 I personally know the people who authored Swapping and believe them to be sound in their faith and doctrine.


  3. Mkayla, that is my understanding also, if a teaching is public (which it always is) then it is proper and scriptural to deal with it publicly. I have also tried to deal with this kind of error privately to absolutely no avail. I can see John Mac’s error catch phrase is “I think…”, I have not listened to enough of his teaching to catch that before. Another very popular women’s teacher I have warned about repeatedly says “just imagine” so many times in her teachings it makes me nauseous! I am in the process of going over your current article, and as much as I like to say I try not to put anyone on a pedestal so I’m not disappointed when they fall off, I am still grieved…still disappointed.


    • Contending, good points – that none of us should ever revert to our own thinking or imagination when teaching doctrine. This is exactly what Closing Stages pointed out in the beginning of part 1 – Hermeneutics. We only go by what is written!


  4. M’Kayla, I absolutely agree. If someone of any ilk puts something before the public, whether it is a book, film, product, restaurant – whatever, then anyone has the first amendment right to weigh in on it. And, if the subject believes they have been evaluated unfairly or misrepresented, then they are allowed the same first amendment right to counter whatever is said/written. There are so many who seek to censor that which is critical or which they have no answer to, and I would wager there is far more censorship among Christians than among the secular social media. Part of their power lies in what I call the SSS job (Silencing, Shunning and Shaming.) No, they don’t play fair and they play by different rules than they expect others to play.


  5. M’Kayla,
    I have always believed the widow’s giving was about the heart–Pastor MacArthur’s teaching confused me when I first read it.


  6. Mkayla, I have been in the church my whole life, 57 yrs,, and I had never even heard the terms hermeneutics or exegesis, I was not aware there was a correct way to interpret. As soon as I began studying for myself the first thing I did was study this, I now have a file full of just definitions, I couldn’t believe how absolutely ignorant I was of the simple basics. And now I have a computer full of research on everything imaginable. I also quickly realized my interpretation method of choice was eisegesis, that’s what I had been taught. I have certainly learned a lot in the last 4 years but the more I learn the more evident it becomes that there is still so much I don’t know. All I know is that I am determined not to make the same mistakes again, I am doing my own homework and double checking the results, and not trusting a pastor, teacher or anyone else to do it for me.


  7. @contendingearnestly, I agree with you completely. Most pastor’s (in my church experience) either don’t have the training, themselves and if they do, They fail to teach the sheep the correct way to study. Instead, it seems, the sheep are trained to follow blindly, I too am determined NOT to be trapped again in false teaching, a hard road at times; but so worth it.


  8. Pat, yes, unfortunately we are not taught how to properly study the Word of God so that we can effectively test all things, thus we do not have the proper tools and understanding and knowledge that would enable us to discern and avoid false teaching. And on top of that we are taught falsely not to question the false teachers, “do not touch God’s anointed”. This is a very dangerous position to be in as a Christian, that’s how I ended up in the mess I was in following the false teachings of the hyper charismatic, WOF, NAR, etc., not realizing I was headed straight to hell. This is the scripture that God used to open my eyes, I realized this was me: (Mat 7:21-23) Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.


  9. M’Kayla, Do you have any information on Charismatic teaching regarding soul ties and astral projection? Please share your reservations on these topics. I see some going down this path. It was obviously wrong to me but not to them. Thank you for this blog. Shalom!


    • Hi Mo. There isn’t any real Christian teaching to either, altho I have heard them used. Soul ties are supposedly created from relationships or close connections with another person. It is said when a break up is painful, or when there is prolonged grief the tie must be broken for the person to heal. It was widely used in the healing rooms I was involved in.

      I have heard John Paul Jackson, who is the false dream interpreter guru, speak of astral projection, the ability for the soul to leave the body. Often there is an idea that God supernaturally transports believers to other areas of the world to accomplish a task. Again, the idea and teaching behind it is not biblical yet we find many so called Christians practicing it.


  10. Hello again, M’Kayla—one other thought. Have you heard Charismatics use the phrase “in the natural”? I never heard this phrase until recently from a few extremely Charismatic people. Something about the phrase is unsettling to me—though I cannot pin point it. I do not hear mainstream Christians use it. Any thoughts?
    Thank you!


    • Mo, “in the natural” as opposed to the supernatural and the belief being that whatever happens in the supernatural has an effect in the natural, and the other way around.


  11. I have only heard of astral projection in the context of New Age thinking. Of course we see in scripture where God gave people dreams, visions, and Paul was transported to heaven, although he didn’t know if he went there bodily or not. I am not aware of how various groups teach this, but I believe there is validity to soul ties, in that we are told that when a man joins himself to a prostitute he becomes one flesh with her; when we join ourselves to the Holy One, we become one with him.

    Many find that they have difficulty being freed from emotional ties to past intimate relationships, and then have difficulty in new relationships. People find themselves tempted to return to relationships they know are wrong and harmful. I believe there is a need to renounce the relationship and any joining that might have occurred, and pray for healing and wholeness for the person involved.


  12. I have heard the term “Soul Ties” used in relation to 1 Cor 6:16, Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.”

    I suspect that the popular use of the term comes from Jack Hayford, from his book “The Anatomy of Seduction.” Ther term is likely used in the “Cleansing Stream” material.

    I’ve heard the term used to describe unhealthy relationships (male/female) which do not involve fornication- an inappropriate emotional attachment.

    Typically in this theology, one must not only repent of such things, but they must be renounced, in the same manner as casting demons out.

    I also believe that John Sanford used similar ideas in his “Elijah House” counseling; not sure it that has filtered down to Sozo yet or not.


  13. MKayla, I listened with interest to your interview on Youtube re: Escape from Bethel. Your testimony is compelling, and its apparent that God’s word is now your trust. As to JM, here is my experience: In 2008 I had a remarkable experience where Christ intervened in my life & brought repentance & deliverance from sin’s bondage. Afterward, I went through about 2 years of struggle. During this time, I visited a non-denominational church. There were many intelligent & doctrinally astute young people actively engaged in a high level of intellectual discourse. I was impressed. However, they kept casting up the name “John McArthur”, and quoting him as if he wrote a book in the NT. I knew enough (from my younger days in the early 1980’s) to know that JM was an extreme cessationist. This helped me not to “bite” on a form of religion that appealed to the intellect, but was devoid of true strength. God bless you in your walk, and may you grow continually in His grace and His truth.


  14. I don’t know — I haven’t read Strange Fire, but I did watch every video from the conference. It was incredibly illuminating to me. There are many of these practices that were brought to light, many of these practices/teachings are infiltrating my church. I am thankful for what I learned.
    I had never heard the teaching of the widow’s mite in this way before, but I certainly do not put jmac in the lights of Bill Johnson and the false teachings of the NAR and such. I took from Strange Fire as a call to those who are in these movements to wake up and to test the spirits. Also to warn those who have no clue what is going in Christendom, that this is a BIG worldwide movement. Many of my friends have no clue to what is going down with the teachings of Bill Johnson, Ihop, and the rest.
    The widow’s mite? Could it be a different interpretation than what we have been taught or maybe not?
    Jesus is teaching the disciples to beware of the scribes who like respectful greetings, places of honor, “who devour widows’ houses.” Mark 12:40. http://bibleapps.com/greek/2719.htm
    Then Jesus sits down and began observing how the multitude were putting in money, rich people and then the widow. 12:41. Maybe the point of the passage could be, a picture of what Jesus had just told them about the scribes and how they “devour widows’ houses.
    The widow had been “devoured” and was giving her all, doing as the scribes had told her to do. I can see the connection. I personally would not teach it this way until I tore the passage apart. I do know jmac is open for his teaching to be tested and I do know he has often changed his view on certain passages over time as have ALL OF US.
    Nevertheless, if you want to get a comment on his teaching you could
    possibly go to the Pyromaniacs blog or Cripplegate blog and post your
    questions/concerns there, you may get a helpful response.


  15. oh – few more thoughts:
    I also know that jmac as a habit of life, studies no less than 30 hours a week in Scripture to prepare his sermon and most of his books are from his sermon series.
    I appreciate him saying, “I think” rather than, “Jesus told me in a vision I had last night that this is the interpretation of the widow’s mite.”
    He cherishes his wife and respects women. He is not afraid of women.
    Most, if not of all us study Scripture from a certain point of view without realizing it. I, for one, studied/interpreted Scripture in the light of Keswick Theology for years. I had no clue until I heard for the first time what Keswick theology was, it was a light bulb moment. I am growing and changing a lot in how approach studying the Word.
    I just found this little commentary on “devouring widows’ houses.” Very interesting.
    Of course, it makes more sense than what I trying to get across in my first comment. 🙂

    One last comment – to discern and test teaching that we hear is a command. We are to do it. But, some comments, even here, go into malicious gossip and/or conjecture, this is not helpful when people like me come along and find this site trying to discern and get a grip on a certain teaching/teacher. Let us be careful.
    Thank you for hearing me out.


    • Allie, first off, I didn’t write this article. I do know the author personally, and know that he goes thru great lengths to research everything he puts in print, beforehand. I believe he has presented his case well. If you feel this is malicious, that is thru your own filter and not from the facts presented here. One great downfall of Christianity is the following of pet preachers in place of people God puts in our lives personally. We need to get past celebrity Christianity because we are all the same at the cross.


  16. Hi.
    I do not think it is necessary malicious, just the title “swapping one lie for another” is a bit strong. I do not think one can call this particular teaching as “error” or “a lie” since there is enough room in the passage to see it as jmac teaches it…or not. It is a different interpretation of the passage, that one may not agree. I’m looking at it from the filter of the Word and context.
    I’m not ready to stand on it either way, just yet.

    some times the comments can be malicious and and almost hateful sounding, this is mainly what I was referring.
    I fully agree with the celebrity Christian business, it is a pet peeve of mine.

    I came here researching false teaching from Bethel and Ihop since I know
    some people getting involved in it and it’s making its way in my church.
    This post here is troubling to me and not because I have put a person above myself at the cross. no one has a perfect interpretation of every passage, not even jmac or the author of the article.

    All the best to you.


  17. Does anyone else pick up a covert disdain in JM for anything connected to Judaism? Since his idol Calvin was an antisemite, it wouldn’t surprise me that this is bubbling below the surface and might explain his nasty treatment of the humble and godly Arnold Fructenbaum.

    If God led the widow to give all she had, then certainly he would care for her, wouldn’t he? It seems as if JM doesn’t believe God cares for his people, especially those he has pledged to take special protection over.

    Calvin claimed anyone who believed the earth orbited the sun was demon possessed. This is what he thought of Jews: Their [the Jews] rotten and unbending stiffneckedness deserves that they be oppressed unendingly and without measure or end and that they die in their misery without the pity of anyone.


  18. I would like to thank Allie for her balanced view regarding this subject. Many people who respect JM as a teacher come to this website in search of truth about Bethel, not to find articles that him. I am not saying that JM is perfect or above critique, I am simply saying that many people commenting on this post are very spiteful in their remarks towards JM, how about showing some Christian love and respect, even if you don’t agree with everything JM teaches you should at least restrain yourself in the name of bearing a good witness for the sake of Christ.


  19. “The meaning behind the widow’s mite was given in scripture and pointed out in this article. It is not a matter of interpretation.”

    I agree, but I also see the scripture laid out in the link I provided (discerning the discerner).
    Nevertheless, I am not desiring to debate you, so I will move along and research false teachers (such as Bethel and IHOP) elsewhere.
    I do think you can get a response to your thoughts from Jmac or those who follow him, if you put a comment or question on the blogs I mentioned above. I think that is fair and increases credibility for your post, a willingness to learn and get the full context.
    Thank you for sharing your story, it is helpful and I’m grateful that you were able to come out of such deception.

    “This is what he thought of Jews: Their [the Jews] rotten and unbending stiffneckedness deserves that they be oppressed unendingly and without measure or end and that they die in their misery without the pity of anyone.”

    I guess I believe this statement is true about Jew or Gentile. We all deserve judgement/death/misery. (I have not studied much about Calvin, nor the context of this statement.) I was not aware Calvin was an idol of Jmac’s.

    I’m grateful for the mercy and grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ that has reconciled us to Himself.

    May Christ’s joy be yours in increasing measure.


  20. I am amazed at the people who have come against this article in defense of John MacArthur. Someone comes and points out error, and my readers are OFFENDED. Really? You can accept the fact of great error and the wrong teaching of Bethel, IHOP, IAHR, NAR, and so on, yet when a brother in the Lord, and a dear friend of mine points out false teaching of one of your favorites you become offended! Why is that? You desire the acceptance and approval of man more than you do that of Christ. You accept and believe the teaching of man above the teaching of Christ. The truth is found in scripture, not in a man’s opinion of it. Pay attention. How do you think I felt in the first beginning days of my research in what I had been involved with? How offended, shocked and horrified was I to find those I trusted, learned from and believed in were deceived?

    It is you, the offended ones who do not know the truth, who do not care to hear it. Why? Because it will cause you to take a closer look at what you hold so dear to you. For the woman who stated she would look elsewhere for teaching against Bethel – fine. Please do so. But it does not change the facts of truth presented here. As for the other who chanted the “judge not” clause. Please do some study on your own to find out what that truly means. We are indeed called to judge teaching and prophecy.

    People, please. We live in a time of the apostasy. Many are falling away from Christ in leaps and bounds for other faiths. Many are coming in the name of Christ and yet teaching doctrine and methods of worship that have nothing to do with who Christ truly is. And yet we have readers and commentors who think we/I should be soft on them. I am told I lack grace and love. False teachers and prophets have been set up to deceive you. It has been a deliberate act to pull you away from Christ. Speaking the truth is an act of love and I will not back down from doing so. And if that offends you, maybe you should spend some time and find out why you are so offended by the truth.


  21. @Jule: JM doesn’t restrain himself in his criticism of others, so wouldn’t it be hypocritical to insist that he be protected in this matter? We are told in scripture that a wise man welcomes correction and will become wiser. I don’t see too many welcoming correction.

    @Allie, John Calvin was speaking only of Jews in his diatribe against them; he was not speaking about humanity in general, nor about his own sin. Luther expounded more on this in, “The Jews and Their Lies,” which was quoted from by Nazi propagandists. It couldn’t be more clear that when someone says, “Jews,” that is exactly what they mean.


  22. Hi M’Kayla.

    In a spirit of unity, I’m not offended by your post or by the author who wrote the post. In no way, have I desired to offend you. I’m not sure in what way I am trying to “please man” or how “I am not of the truth.” I came here because I am researching this stuff (bethel, etc.) going around in the place of worship I call family. I think I get how you felt in the beginning, this stuff causes a gut level grieving in the depth of your soul, not just for those friends involved, but for God’s truth being trampled on in the name of the Holy Spirit or Jesus.
    I sincerely was offering thoughts regarding some of the unhelpful comments and a possible understanding of Scripture context regarding the widow’s mite.
    My tone is not one of condemning you – I’m looking for the reality of God’s truth through his Word.

    I must have overlooked your urging me to connect with the author, I will look at that again.
    I guess I was just saying that a “dear friend” can be in error just as much as Jmac.
    As I mentioned, I have not studied both thoughts on the teachings, from briefly looking at the context of the passage, I can see where Jmac concludes his thoughts as he does. I will look at both thoughts (your friend and jmac) on the text for myself thoroughly, when I get the chance.
    Again – I am not saying I am standing with Jmac’s teaching or offended at what you posted on your blog — I have not studied the text for myself, but I am teachable either by your friend or Jmac and of course, Scripture.
    I can be in error just as Jmac or your friend. “trading one lie for another” just seems over the top. This was the point I was trying to make, I think. 😉
    I’m assuming you have studied the passage for yourself and agree with your friend or you would not have posted it on your blog which is known to call out false teachers and to bring to light that which is really darkness.
    I do not think Jmac is in darkness because he teaches the “widow’s mite” differently than your friend. I think that is what I was trying to say, as well.

    I so agree with you that we live in a time of apostasy, we have since the Lord Jesus went to be at the right hand of our Father. I do not look to any one person as my source of learning Scripture, I look to the Holy Spirit illuminating the Word as I study. I listen, discern and glean from human teachers.
    I do desire to call what is God’s truth, truth.
    If I were trying to please man (of course I could be deceived), then I do not think I would be researching, what I think is false. As far as I know, I’m the lone person looking at all this stuff in my local church, at least no one else has been placed in my path with like-mindedness, yet.
    I am not in a “charismatic” church, but it looks like the false teachings are becoming more and more tolerated. Many look to Bethel and others for such experiences.

    I hope you understand that I do not mean to offend you with my thoughts on the post about the widows mite. I hope I have clarified my intent, it was not to harm.

    Hi chaya –
    from what I have read of jmac, he IS critical of other’s teachings, but I have not read where he attacks them personally, not once have I read where he is attacking them personally, it is their teaching he addresses. There is a difference. I have not read every piece he has put out, so I cannot say it has never happened, but I have not seen that in his criticisms I have looked at. (to clarify — the attacks on jmac I saw were in the comments, they are not helpful to the subject of the post.)
    This too, is what I was trying to say in my previous comments.



  23. Chaya – I had an opportunity to research some about John Calvin being anti-semitic. What I have found, sadly, is that ALL the church fathers were in the same boat, some even more so.
    sad. I’m wondering if they took, “as far as the cross, they are enemies” way too far.
    I would like to study more in depth, but I have more urgent topics to cover with all that is going down with those around me in my church.
    I’m sure there is plenty out there for me to cover.
    Nevertheless, they are our church fathers, not sure what to think about that, except that God has his plans and I cannot make sense in my finite brain about all that he does.
    Romans 11:33-36


  24. That’s sad. I’m not “tech” enough to know why, it opened for me. It was about most of the church fathers having been anti-semitic in one fashion or another, it was some of their quotes.
    Interesting study.


  25. I was told that Anselm was the only church father who wasn’t known to hate and despise Jews and everything Jewish. The first Christian antisemite was Ignatious, born c. 35 AD. I was wrong, as I thought it was Justin Martyr, born C. 90, I think.

    It was a complicated situation, but Paul prophesied this.


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