Bias Watch

Rev. Martin Luther King was “not a Christian at all,” claims old white hate pastor

Pastor John MacArthur
Pastor John MacArthur Photo: YouTube screenshot

An influential, white, old, anti-LGBTQ+ megachurch pastor has said that Black trailblazing civil rights hero Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was “not a Christian at all” and was “a nonbeliever who misrepresented everything about Christ and the gospel.”

John MacArthur — pastor of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California — made the claim during a sermon that occurred during Black History Month. In his sermon, he criticized Together for the Gospel [T4G], a group of evangelical pastors. for honoring King several years ago, according to Right Wing Watch.

“[T4G] bought into the deceptiveness of the woke movement and the racial baiting that was going on a couple of years ago, and it literally put them out of existence,” MacArthur said. While the group previously praised church leaders that MacArthur approved of, he added, “The strange irony was a year later, they did the same thing for Martin Luther King, who was not a Christian at all, whose life was immoral.”

“I’m not saying [King] didn’t do some social good, and I’ve always been glad he was a pacifist or he could have started a real revolution,” MacArthur added. “But you don’t honor a non-believer who misrepresented Christ and everything about the gospel.”

King was a minister at the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama and had a Ph.D. in systematic theology. He preached to tens of thousands of people during his lifetime and is widely regarded as a distinctly Christian and moral civil rights icon.

MacArthur regularly issues international broadcasts on his “Grace to You” radio ministry, is a bestselling author and editor of over 150 books, and was named by Christianity Today as one of the 25 most influential pastors of the past 50 years. He has made numerous racist and anti-LGBTQ+ statements throughout his career.

In 2022, he said that the so-called “Curse of Ham” explains racial disparities in wealth, income, and opportunity. The curse, issued by the Biblical character Noah against his son Ham for seeing his Noah naked and drunk, has been cited by white supremacist theologists for centuries as a justification for the enslavement of and racism against Black people.

MacArthur has previously said, “The Bible is abundantly clear — slavery is the heart of what it means to be a true Christian,” and “Christianity does not free slaves. Christianity does not give equal social rights. … Jesus did not propound equal rights and he did not upset the social order…. Rather, they all affirmed that, with great fear of God and great respect, you are to be submissive to your masters. Whether they’re good and gentle or whether they are unreasonable — you are to submit.”

Scott Coley, a philosophy faculty member at Mount St. Mary’s University, once said on social media, “John MacArthur has been at the forefront of the anti-justice movement within white evangelicalism (which has spilled over into right wing politics at large). “

MacArthur has also previously said that gay-affirming Christian denominations are “Satan’s church,” that gay people don’t really exist, that Christians should be actively “offensive” against homosexuality, and that Jesus hates those who don’t hate LGBTQ+ people. He also supports conversion therapy.

MacArthur is 84 years old.

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