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John MacArthur “Paganism by any other name”

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‘Regeneration Summer Camp’ at Camp Regen

A reader recently contacted me expressing horror at an event organised by John MacArthur’s organisation. To quote: “The obvious false prophets like Copeland and Hinn, etc., most Christians can discern, but it is the subtle way these big names are leading many astray that is very disturbing.” The same lady went on to speak of the ‘John Macarthur Summer Camp’, saying that what goes on there is “horrific”, and so I was asked to investigate.

A second issue was then referred to – MacArthur teaches the ‘second chance theory’. Apparently he says that those who receive the ‘mark of the beast’ will be saved when Christ comes again to reign on earth for 1000 years. I will not deal with this second issue because I have already written an article on the supposed 1000 year earthly reign... friends, it simply will not happen! There will be no 1000 year reign on earth, by Christ or anyone else. And, more importantly, those who are aligned with Satan/Beast will NOT have a ‘second chance’. Let me repeat something I have said many times before: God elected who will be saved, in eternity; ONLY those who are elect will be saved at some time in their earthly life. No-one else will be saved. (Please read my articles on the supposed millennium, the rapture, etc).

Now, we must turn our attention to the Summer Camp. This article will not spend time on any other issue.


It seems that 800 high school students attended a MacArthur ‘Regeneration Summer Camp’ at Camp Regen, and experienced a “week of pagan activities”. Is this true? (Source: Sadly, the accusation is correct.

The activities centred on the Druid Festival of Lughnasadh, or ‘the festival of regeneration’, in which pagan druid gods are invoked. The source claims that these activities are preparing youngsters for an occult initiation and “reception of the Mark of the Beast”. Previous camp activities have involved ‘games’ using pig heads and mud. The Camp plays “funeral games” as purposed by the Celtic pagan god, Lugh.

“Freedom of conscience has been declared everywhere, so that now only years divide us from them moment of the complete wrecking of that Christian religion... But, in the meantime, while we are re-educating youth in new traditional religions and afterwards in ours, we shall not overtly lay a finger on existing churches, but we shall fight against them by criticism calculated to produce schism...” (reproduced in

The above quote is from Protocol 17 (see ‘Mein Kampf’ at which purports to endeavour to “(wreck) the Christian religion” (Point 2), which is identified as the “papal court”. Unfortunately, most of the world thinks Roman Catholicism is the head of the Christian church, so both are often confused for each other. Hitler made his views the ‘new’ Christian orthodoxy while mixing it with witchcraft, which was rife in Germany for the 100 years-or-so before WW2. Is this what is happening in the Summer Camp? Even if not, what occurs there is discomforting.

Description of the Camp Activities

The Camp draws on up to 1000 youth who attend MacArthur’s main church and subsidiaries, and takes place at the end of July, ending with a ‘Church Carnival’ that immediately follows the Sunday evening service. A carnival?? There are also winter camps for juniors, held at Forest Home Camp and Retreat Centre. This is why the next paragraph is interesting!

“Forest Home Conference Center in San Bernardino, CA was established in 1938 by Henrietta Mears to train promising young men such as Billy Graham and Bill Bright, the founder of Campus Crusade, to be agents of change who would draw Christians into the global ecumenical and interfaith movement. Teachers at Forest Home included Billy Graham, J. Edwin Orr, Harold Ockenga and Charles Fuller, who with Orr and Ockenga co-founded the National Association of Evangelicals. Charles Fuller was also the founder of Fuller Seminary and worked closely with John MacArthur’s father, Jack MacArthur, who directed the Charles E. Fuller Evangelistic Foundation which funded Fuller Seminary in 1947. Today Fuller Theological Seminary is an ecumenical think tank which has fostered, nurtured, and promoted the apostasy of the Christian church globally. For more information, please read John MacArthur's father's Involvement at the Highest Level of the World Ecumenical Movement.” (from watch-unto-prayer)

The Summer Camp was moved to Point Loma Nazarene University in San Bernadino, San Diego, California in 2013. This is another ‘alarm bell’ moment, for this university was once the home of the Theosophical Society. More importantly, if you go on a campus tour, the guide gives a glowing report of the Society. But, WHY? For those ignorant of what this Society promoted, its founder preached a ‘secret doctrine’ about a ‘spiritual hierarchy of ascended masters of the ancient wisdom’. These are supposedly ‘advanced spiritual beings’ who guide ‘the evolution of humanity toward perfection and immortality’. This should worry readers, for the campus tour makes much of the previous owners of the premises. Theosophy is a cult with what seems to be a link to a few Eastern occultisms; perhaps Hinduism is a central influence. And if the Tour feels it suitable to talk highly of Theosophy we should not be surprised if it finds its way into the curriculum, affecting its ethos.

A former member of MacArthur’s Grace Church expressed concerns about the 2010 Camp. There were many ‘games’ and a well-known ‘Christian’ rapper went on stage, followed by more games starting about 10 PM. One game centred on not touching a pig’s head (copy of a pagan activity)! The Carnival section was no better, and included face painting (remember – these were teenagers; the complainant calls this ‘pagan activities’).

You might think this was just ordinary everyday fun. After all, don’t small children get their faces painted at festivals and fairs and even at school? Perhaps you will change your mind...

There are four major pagan festivals: Samhain, Imbolc, Beltane and Lughnasadh. In these festivals “pagans honour their false gods by painting their faces and bodies, and participating in warrior games, fertility (sex) rituals and even animal and human sacrifices.” So, some of this is performed in the Summer Camps, which coincide with the Celtic Druid festival dates. Is this just coincidence... or is it deliberate?

When a Church Slides Downwards Into Paganism

“Since early times carnivals have been accompanied by parades, masquerades, pageants, and other forms of revelry that had their origins in pre-Christian pagan rites, particularly fertility rites that were connected with the coming of spring and the rebirth of vegetation.” (Pagan Revelry: The Days Are Evil,

“Regeneration. The festivals of late summer open the great Mysteries of Life cycle which spans a quarter of the year. They celebrate the Goddess as the Source of all life, the Creatrix and Sustainer of the cycles of existence through which the soul moves. The ultimate revolution in the life of every soul... turning back to the Goddess is particularly a subject for meditation during the late summer and autumn. The symbol of the Festival of Regeneration is the ear of corn... This festival is concerned with the movement between lives and the resurgence of new life, celebrating the Mother of our rebirth and the Daughter as Our Lady of the Dark Gates, She who guards and guides all souls in the transition from one life to the next. For each soul must pass through many existences, on this world or elsewhere... Throughout this journey [back to the Goddess] our Lady is watching over us, giving us life and strength. Ears of corn and bread made from the new wheat may be offered at the Rite on this day.” (Fellowship of Isis).

At the feast of Lughnasadh “the veil between the material world and the spirit realm is lifted. The period preceding the actual feast is set apart for rituals invoking the pagan gods”. Named after a giant of the Nephilim, Lugus.

We must be careful not to make something that might just be a genuine mistake into a glaring pagan activity used deliberately to introduce people to paganism. Is this what is truly happening? What about the photos? Do they represent a Christian ethos? (From watch-unto-prayer). I know they do not!

Regeneration Summer Camp

Other photos show ‘counsellors’ with ‘war’ paint and making faces like warriors, baring their teeth, glaring and grimacing. A National Geographic photo looks just like the ‘counsellors’. The only difference is the Geographic photo shows nude participants.

“Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD.” (Leviticus 19:28). Commenting on this, Adam Clarke, a British theologian, advises that there is a “striking parallel between the marks on the body which were customs in ancient pagan idolatry and the mark of the Beast that will be mandatory during the Tribulation.”


“It was a very ancient and a very general custom to carry marks on the body in honor of the object of their worship... Most of the barbarous nations lately discovered have their faces, arms, breasts, etc., curiously carved or tattooed, probably for superstitious purposes. Ancient writers abound with accounts of marks made on the face, arms, etc., in honor of different idols; and to this the inspired penman alludes, Revelation 13:16,17; 14:9,11; 15:2; 16:2; 19:20; 20:4, where false worshippers are represented as receiving in their hands and in their forehead the marks of the beast.”

I remember attending a Saturday in an old Welsh town in the valleys of South Wales, back in the mid-sixties, with the girl who became my wife. The town was crammed full with youth going from one church to another, eager to hear preachers on a variety of topics. There were so many that the roads were filled with people moving about. We heard teaching, sang hymns and enjoyed each other’s company. We dressed in ordinary clothing and acted normally! Nothing like the garbage given to youth today, who, it seems, want ever increasing excitement and striking images! I could not reproduce the photos from the Summer Camp, but one of them shows a young man looking like depictions of Count Dracula... is that holy or good? (For photos go to )

It seems to me that young people are being given spectacle and ‘fun’, but the fun goes far beyond what should be expected of believers by God. In this way young people are being groomed to act in a way that is not becoming of Christians and could easily lead to occult and cult practices, through New Age activities.

“Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen...

For the customs of the people are vain.

...they are altogether brutish and foolish:

...a doctrine of vanities.” (Jeremiah 10:2-3,8)

We must be frank here. All charismatic churches and many others use pagan and Arminianistic means to keep young people interested. They are but a short step away from full paganism. So this Summer Camp paganism is to be expected when genuine scriptural teaching is not found, and genuine teachers are hidden away.

At one time I wrote an article for an English folk magazine about Morris Dancers (peculiar to England), accompanied by photos of the dancers in pagan costumes. They looked no different from the youth at the Summer Camp! MacArthur is confirming youth in the ways of Satan by paganising their activities. In one of his articles, he teaches that “Those who take the mark of the Beast can still be redeemed.” Yet, how many youngsters regularly use the closed hand symbol – showing only the small finger and thumb (like horns)? They copy it from rock bands and pagans.

I have witnessed these same gestures in churches where youngsters jump up and down when listening to ‘Christian’ rock bands. In a photo from the Camp, a ‘counsellor’ uses both hands to make a Satan-gesture (thumb and little finger) she obviously does not realise pagans invoke the Horned god and the Crescent Crowned goddess with it! Separate photos show others doing exactly the same thing, and having a demented or violent look on their faces, bearing teeth and grimacing.

Then there are other Satan symbols often expressed by rock bands and fans, and in charismatic circles (see images on the watch-unto-prayer site). Worse than that, is a photo of ‘pastor’ Rick Holland using the same Satanic hand symbols as he speaks from his lectern! Interestingly Hillary Clinton also uses the Satan gesture, as does Barack Obama and other world leaders, including the pope. Satan is now rife! Add to this the weird ‘game’ using a real pig’s head on a simplified altar and we wonder why MacArthur is doing all this. Throughout all the photos of the event the Satan hand gestures are startlingly on view. Be assured that this shows a demonic activity.

Rick Holland is one of those older men who pretends to be totally in sync with youth. He was once working at Grace Church. His academic achievements are several. Yet, he is mentioned adversely in an article titled ‘Rick Holland Joins the Hall of Shame’ (, written April 2015. The site bears a quote from Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones (who favourably proofed my book, still unpublished, on mental illness). The quote says: " 'Speaking the truth in love' has come to mean that you more or less praise everything, but above all, that you never criticise any view strongly, because, after all, there is a certain amount of right and truth in everything." This appears to be the credo for MacArthur. It is also the basis for most heresies and cults.

Why say Holland is shamed? The article refers to his having preached in C J Mahaney’s church (Sovereign Grace Ministries) when his group of churches were under investigation over child abuse in their ranks. The website article strongly believes he lied about his involvement. Another youth pastor who preached there, Nathaniel Morales, was sentenced to 40 years prison for child abuse. For me, this is far too close for comfort concerning Holland. Another pastor, related to Mahaney, admitted he left Morales to abuse children. This was confirmed by the new pastor who took over from Mahaney. He, too, resigned after a short period in office.

The article asks how any ‘man of God’, such as Holland, could possibly accept an invitation to speak at a church so riddled with child abuse. As a speaker I would not touch such a church with a barge-pole, because we are defined at times by the people we associate with. Holland is one who wants the limelight: is this why he spoke at the church; a desire to be a big-name preacher? “Being a friend of Mahaney’s used to propel one to celebrity status on the conference circuit. Not anymore. Mahaney is damaged goods.” I find this seeking after fame disturbing and an affront to true preaching. Mahaney is also accused of blackmailing his co-founder.

Holland wanted to join others in the ‘big league’ by trying to link up with Mahaney – people like Mark Dever, Al Mohler, John Piper and John MacArthur. They have all previously supported Mahaney, but have never spoken against him. Typically of all closet charismatics, they instead just stay quiet about their relationship with him and do not denounce what happened.

In 2014 Holland organised a conference and invited Mahaney to speak, despite warnings from others. After the major publicity about sex abuse of children, more came to light: Mahaney and his several fellow leaders “paid hush money to a pastor whose son was sexually abused by the son of another (Grace) pastor.” Holland is part of this cover-up of grave sin and supporting a pastor who should never be in the pastorate. And this same Mr Holland speaks at the Summer Camp. Elders/pastors MUST be above reproach. This is a command of God, not an option!

Mahaney, by the way, often played a clown in full circus regalia when speaking. Need I comment on this? I hope not. Interestingly MacArthur rebuked Joel Osteen, but he fails to rebuke people like Holland and Mahaney. In his rebuke of Osteen, he called him... a pagan! The pot calling the kettle black?

Yet, MacArthur has rightly condemned the excesses of charismatic teachings and behaviour. Even so, if the Summer Camp is so akin to paganism, his supposedly ‘correct’ teachings are badly let down and may even negate anything else he might teach that is right. This is probably why one website says

“Pastor John F. MacArthur is a dangerous man doctrinally, and a false prophet. Some people will argue that Christians ought to be working together instead of against each other; however, that mentality is exactly how the Devil succeeds at removing the old landmarks. Things are not always as they seem. Much sinful compromise is justified under the falsehood of unity. Romans 16:17 states, "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them." MacArthur's teachings are certainly offensive to the gift of eternal life and the simplicity of God's salvation.” (

The same critic speaks of the “Deadly doctrines of John MacArthur”. I would remind readers that the plural ‘doctrines’ is used in scripture ONLY of the “doctrines of devils”. However, I said at the start of this article that my intention was simply to look at the Summer Camp antics. This I have done. It seems to me that MacArthur is allowing paganism into this work, and must close such associations down immediately or be branded a friend of Satan.

There appears to be reason to look again at MacArthur’s teachings, but that is for another day. Suffice to say there appears to be much room for concern; I will examine what he teaches at a later date. See John MacArthur:- “His beliefs & Teachings”

© September 2016

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