On Oct. 7, John MacArthur and John Piper sat down at the Puritan Conference hosted by Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, for a question and answer session, answering questions about the Puritans, their respective ministries and books, politics, and persecution.
Piper, who was formerly Bethlehem Baptist Church’s senior pastor, and MacArthur, current Grace Community Church senior pastor, have a combined 86 years of preaching experience.
MacArthur and Piper were asked how American Christians can prepare for persecution that may come in a culture hostile to Christianity. Without hesitation, MacArthur stated that he believes American culture no longer has any vestiges of Christianity, saying, “They’re gone.”
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“I wouldn’t even call this postmodern culture. I would call it a pre-Christian culture,” MacArthur said. “This is like paganism 2.0. It’s as if Jesus never came. It’s as if there never was a cross and a resurrection in the New Testament and a church and a Bible. This is like Rome or like Molek worship or Baal worship. This is blatant paganism, and it is the kind of paganism that has levers to control everything.”
MacArthur argued that those levers are technology and social media.
MacArthur also cited his church’s legal battle with the state of California over repeated violations of COVID-19 pandemic safety restrictions involving masks, social distancing, and temporary shut down orders as evidence of a culture that “hates the truth.”
MacArthur shared that it was only when Grace Community Church’s lawyers wanted to depose Los Angeles health officials that their charges were dropped, including all fees and fines levied against the church. The state also paid the church’s legal bills, which amounted to an estimated $1 million.
“Here’s the one thing they couldn’t cope with was the truth—and that’s the truth about COVID,” the pastor said, adding that “they’re trying to control everything to sustain the narrative.”
“The faithful biblical church is going to very soon become the target because we don’t accept anything,” MacArthur said.
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Describing Vanderbilt Hospital’s gender reassignment surgeries as brutalizing to children, MacArthur said that he can’t envision faithful Christians in today’s culture becoming “anything but the arch enemy of everything.”