Question (composite of several on this subject): You claim to stand firmly against heresy, yet you spoke at John MacArthur’s church in November at the ExCatholics for Christ (ECFC) conference. Isn’t that hypocrisy? Specifically I refer to his heretical teaching on the blood of Christ. D. A. Waite (in his book John MacArthur’s Heresy on the Blood of Christ) documents that MacArthur says it was “not His (Christ’s) bleeding but His dying” that saves us and he “diminishes the Value of the ‘blood’ of the Passover Lamb, making its ‘death’ the issue in Exodus 12.” Waite shows that “MacArthur denies that Christ’s ‘blood’ is ‘efficacious’ in the forgiveness of sins and in so many ways “denies the literalness of Christ’s blood and spiritualizes ‘blood’ into meaning merely ‘the violence and sacrificial character of His death.’ ” Please respond.
Response: First of all, I would speak at the Vatican if invited to do so and allowed to state the gospel clearly in contrast to the false gospel of Roman Catholicism. John MacArthur did not even convene the conference; his church facilities were contracted by ECFC and he was one of the invited speakers, as I was. Neither John nor his church told me what to say or put any limitation upon me.
Secondly, in my opinion, the accusations that have been leveled against John MacArthur concerning the blood of Christ exemplify the epitome of false charges and misrepresentation. There almost seems (though I do not want to attribute that to Waite) an unwillingness to understand what he is attempting to say. May the Lord deliver us at The Berean Call from ever falling into such misunderstanding of the true intentions and beliefs of those whom we critique!
For example, in the book to which you refer, Waite writes (pp 11-12, caps and emphasis in original): “MacArthur’s Position That Christ’s SHED BLOOD Was NOT ‘EFFICACIOUS’ TO CLEANSE FROM SIN Is in Line With the CHRISTIAN SCIENCE PERVERSION. Mary Baker Eddy, in her SCIENCE AND HEALTH WITH KEY TO THE SCRIPTURES, 25:6- 9, stated:
The MATERIAL BLOOD of Jesus WAS NO MORE EFFICACIOUS TO CLEANSE FROM SIN when it was SHED UPON THE ACCURSED TREE than when flowing in his veins as he went about his Father’s business.
MacArthur is drinking at the same Satanic cesspool of doctrinal HERESY as was Mary Baker Eddy in his HERESY ON CHRIST’S BLOOD!”
In fact, MacArthur’s position is the opposite of Mary Baker Eddy’s: he distinguishes between Christ’s blood flowing in His veins (which was not efficacious), and shed on the Cross for our sins (which was efficacious)—the very distinction which Eddy rejects. Waite has MacArthur backwards!
What MacArthur is saying is quite simple and biblical: that there was nothing in the blood of Christ itself that would cleanse from sin; it had to be poured out in death on the Cross as the sacrifice for our sins. If Christ had given a transfusion of His blood to everyone in the world it would have saved no one. If part of Christ’s blood had been shed on the Cross, but He had not died, His blood would have saved no one. It would not have sufficed if some blood of the pass- over lamb had been extracted and sprinkled on the door of an Israelite’s home but the lamb had remained alive.
MacArthur is not denying the many scriptures which refer to the blood of Christ (“the church of God which he hath purchased with his own blood” (Acts:20:28); “in whom we have redemption through his blood” (Eph:1:7); “having made peace through the blood of his cross” (Eph:1:20); “that he might sanctify the people with his own blood” (Heb:13:12); etc., etc. He is simply saying that all of these verses imply the shedding of Christ’s blood in death, without which there could be no peace, redemption, sanctification, etc.
Yes, MacArthur says that the blood flowing through Christ’s veins was the blood of a man. It was not some special “God blood,” for God has no blood. Was His body a special “God body”? Obviously not. Then why His blood? His flesh and blood were those of a fully human being. At the same time, He was fully God, and that is how we understand Paul’s statement above.
On page 42 Waite writes, “Does John MacArthur fit into Hebrews:10:29? Has he, in your mind, (having read this entire booklet up to this point), “counted the BLOOD OF THE COVENANT WHEREWITH HE WAS SANCTIFIED AN UNHOLY THING”? I firmly believe that he HAS!” To support that accusation, Waite quotes Kenneth S. Wuest that the Greek text of Hebrews:10:29 means “a DELIBERATE, CONTEMPTUOUS REJECTION of the Messianic sacrifice of the Son of God.” It is unconscionable to make such a charge against John MacArthur.
On the contrary, MacArthur believes in the sacrificial death of Christ on the cross and in the efficacy of His blood shed there for our sins. He doesn’t believe in the efficacy of Christ’s blood if not poured out in death as the sacrifice for sin. Hebrews:9:22 is very clear: “...and without shedding of blood is no remission.” It would be heresy to believe otherwise.