AS PASTOR JOHN MACARTHUR GARNERS NATIONAL ATTENTION DEFYING GOVERNMENT ORDERS TO KEEP CHURCHES CLOSED DUE TO COVID -19 ….REALITY SURFACES THAT HIS GCC CHURCH WAS SENT MILLIONS IN PPP TAX DOLLARS.
Rev Thomas Littleton 8/8/2020
John MacAthur has recently emerged as champion for churches rights to reopen after the Covid-19 fears had shut down churches across the nation. With appearances on Fox News programs Tucker Carlson and Shannon Bream, MacArthur has grabbed headlines and the praise of men for his “bravery” and “standing up” for America’s houses of worship. BUT the idea of counseling rebellion against the government orders not to reopen seems less than “authentic” and down right hypocritical coming from a pastor whose church apparently applied for millions of Covid -19 Cares Act PPP from the Small Business Administration.
In late July MacArthur denies that Grace Community Church “received ” the government funding but indicates the SBA funding had “been sent ” but “was returned” . There is an application process for the Covid Relief PPP funds. The SBA is not simply identifying entities to “send it” to. MacArthur seems confused on many levels about how the PPP process works,how GCC was “sent PPP funding”, and even about the deficit spending of future tax dollars in the Covid bail out funding. We now look deeper into the facts.
Other long term problems exist for the reported $7.3 billion in tax dollars (and counting) that have gone into churches and religious organizations. A second round of borrowed tax dollars may be on the way soon. Some of the issues and serious concerns related to compliance and non discrimination policies and laws of the SBA and all government agencies are discussed here :
In the past John MacArthur has raised concerns among Biblical conservatives for his preaching of total submission to government powers as “ordained by God” . Now his efforts to be the prophetic voice defending the rights of churches being considered “essential ” and allowed to reopen is clouded by his past ultra submissiveness teachings and now by his own obligations to the government as a Small Business Administration applicant.
In an April interview with GTY associate Phil Johnson,MacArthur called for submission to the government in the presentation of “Think Biblically About to Covid -19 Pandemic”
“JOHN: Well, first of all, the clear demand of Scripture is to be subject to the powers that be because they’re ordained of God.”
“PHIL: Romans 13.”
“JOHN: Romans 13. And 1 Peter talks about the same thing: “Honor the king and those who are in authority over you.” God has set them in that authority. The apostle Paul tells Timothy that we’re to be good citizens. We’re to live a quiet and peaceable life. We aren’t rebels; we don’t start protests; we don’t defy the government. We conform. We’re submissive to the government as basically ordained by God. So that was an easy call for us.”
“What would have made a difference would have been if this was persecution of the church, if all of a sudden the government decided to shut down churches as an act of persecution against churches we would defy that because now you’re into Acts 5 where Peter actually says, “Do we obey God or men?” You say we don’t meet, God says we must meet. You say don’t preach the gospel, we say we must preach the gospel. So when the government gets to the point where it basically persecutes the church, the church has to take that persecution and still do what God has commanded the church to do.”
“The other thing that we talked about with the elders was if we defy this and if we say we’re going to meet anyway, we run the risk of exposing people to this illness needlessly. And why would we want to do that? Because this is a health issue, this is a health crisis. And since like any church, many of the people in our church are older. We wouldn’t want to expose them to that. We’ve only had, as far as I know, and this was up to yesterday, we’ve only had one couple in our church in the Spanish ministry who actually got the coronavirus. But that couple, and not an older couple either, wound up in the hospital because it was such a virulent experience for them.”
WILL THE REAL JOHN MACARTHUR PLEASE STATE “YOUR FINAL ANSWER”?
Instead of explaining the gap between his previous position and his current defiance, MacArthur has taken to the airways in secular media. It is assumed from his previous position and interview that he now sees the government as “persecuting ” his church yet the church was approved for millions in SBA Covid PPP funds.
Even if MacArthur’s Grace Community Church returned the Cares Act PPP funds the application processing make the church, in effect, a government contractor being the approved for federal government agency funds .This status comes with all kinds of strings and compliance issues attached especially related to employment non discrimination like the LGBTQ civil rights protections already in federal agencies policies since the Obama era and reinforced by the recent SCOTUS employment non-discrimination ruling. GCC would be obligated for years to the SBA, not only to employment numbers,but also to hiring particular sexual minorities along these new mandated discrimination boundaries.
Alex Newman explains more in his article here:
MACARTHUR AND HIS CHURCHES APPROVED PPP MILLIONS
MacArthur revealed his church WAS “SENT” the PPP funds. How did this happen? He denied receiving it but who applied for it?
If MacArthur and GCC returned the PPP money for some concerns realized after the fact- why would he not then sound and alarm and warn other churches to refuse or return it?
Instead MacArthur chooses to grandstand by defying state closure orders and playing his GCC confused PPP facts close to the vest.
Fox News Interview :
“California Gov. Gavin Newsom is overstepping his executive privileges with “draconian” restrictions by shutting down churches and telling believers they cannot worship during the coronavirus pandemic, a prominent pastor told “Fox News @ Night” Monday.”
“Pastor John MacArther says he has been warned he could face fines or arrest for defying Newsom’s July orders by hosting indoor services at Grace Community Church in Los Angeles County, which he says is not warranted by the reality of COVID-19.”
MacArthur has draw criticism through the years for his peculiar form of Pietism and non political engagement. Recent flip flops represented in particular by his CURRENT defiance of California law have been discussed at length on Christian radio and television media of WVW.
“John MacArthur has spent over 20 years writing books, articles and delivering sermons that included hurling insults at conservative American patriots for what he denounced as their Christian activism. In fact, MacArthur has declared in his book, Why Government Can’t Save You, that America’s Founding Fathers sinned and violated New Testament principles when they founded America. MacArthur has written that no matter how cruel or unjust Christians must submit to governing authorities because they are ordained of God and thus to disobey them is to disobey God. MacArthur uses a twisted interpretation of Romans 13 and 2 Peter to come to this conclusion. In July of 2020, without any apology to Christian patriots to whom he hurled insults and names, and without any public retraction of his years of written and spoken propaganda and disinformation, MacArthur now practices the very thing he once condemned. Dr. Andy Woods is a seminary president, pastor and trained attorney. He joins Brannon to discuss the troubling contradictions in MacArthur’s public ministry is marked by years of bad theology and flip flops that should have any thinking Christian questioning the discernment of John MacArthur.”
GRACE COMMUNITY CHURCH OF THE VALLEY PPP
John MacArthur, Pastor-Teacher
Grace Community Church
13248 Roscoe Blvd.
Sun Valley, CA 91352
MacArthur video to GCC members on July 31st 2020 .
In the video at minute 3 MacArthur says that the government sent us (GCC) money but we sent it back”. Yet the funding must be APPLIED FOR and the SBA is not simply”sending it out”. According to MacArthur in the late July video neither GCC nor GTY have received the government funding yet the bank through which the funding came and the date the application was approved are included in the report of the PPP funding.
Here is the full transcript of the confusing account by MacArthur and the PPP funds sent to GCC.
““I’ve been hearing around that Grace received money from the federal government in this recent display of government generosity which sent money to a lot of businesses and a lot of places. The truth of the matter is that they did send us money. We did not receive that money, we sent it back. So we have received no money at all from the government, and you need to know that because people are talking about that and it’s not accurate.””
What happened is, I think the government put a lot of folks on their list that money was going to go to and never bothered to change the list, but we did not receive a dime from the federal government, and neither did Grace to You, for that matter.”
MACARTHUR MISCHARACTERIZED THE PURPOSE AND THE PROCESS.
THE COVID PPP FUNDING IS NOT “GOVERNMENT GENEROSITY” ON DISPLAY BUT IS PART OF AN SBA PROGRAM FOR LOANS ,WHICH, IF FOLLOWED TO DETAILED COMPLIANCE, CAN BE CONVERTED TO GRANTS.
THE PPP FUNDING IS TO AID BUSINESSES IMPACTED BY THE PANDEMIC TO RETAIN EMPLOYEES .
GCC VIDEO DETAILS BELOW:
SBA DETAILS ON PPP CAN BE FOUND HERE :
MANY REFORMED SEMINARIES HAVE TAKEN MILLIONS IN PPP
According one of the same websites which tracked the PPP funding that went to MacArthurs GCC , many reformed seminaries like Reformed Theological Seminary, (Jackson MS) Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary , Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and John Pipers Bethlehem Seminary have taken millions of dollars each in Cares Act PPP funds.
MASTERS UNIVERSITY AND SEMINARY AND COVID -19 AND PPP
It is not yet known if John MacArthur’s The Master’s University and Seminary (TMUS) have received PPP funds. Or if any other GCC led entities have taken the PPP dollars.
TMUS does have an extensive Covid -19 response plan in place as students are scheduled to return in late August at the same time GCC is defying state orders.
MACARTHUR PROMOTES SUBMISSION WHILE HE COUNSELS REBELLION
HE PREACHES FAITH IN CHRIST WHILE GCC WAS SENT GOVERNMENT MILLIONS FOR BAIL OUT?
HOW WAS THE PPP FUNDING SENT IF IT WAS NOT APPLIED FOR? IF IT WAS, THEN WHO APPLIED FOR IT ? HAS THE GCC COVID BAILOUT FUNDING ACTUALLY BEEN RETURNED OR IS THERE CONFUSION AS TO ITS CURRENT STATUS? THE FACTS, IN THE END, ARE STILL UNCLEAR.
IF MACARTHUR WISHES TO HELP THE BODY OF CHRIST PERHAPS HE CAN OFFER FURTHER CLARIFICATION ON HOW/ WHY THE PPP FUNDS WERE SENT AND PROOF THAT GCC HAS RETURNED THEM. THEN SOUND THE ALARM ON WHY OTHER CHURCHES SHOULD DO THE SAME.
23: 1 Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, 2 saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3 Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do. 4 For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. 5 But all their works they do to be seen by men. They make their phylacteries broad and enlarge the borders of their garments. 6 They love the best places at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues, 7 greetings in the marketplaces, and to be called by men, ‘Rabbi, Rabbi.’ 8 But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi’; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren. 9 Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. 10 And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ. 11 But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”