The "Macarthurism" Cult's Rapid Reproduction Via Church Takeovers
"John MacArthur’s influence throughout the Christian community is extensive and continues to expand due to the global network of churches, colleges, and seminaries which propagate his teachings. The vast network of MacArthur-dominated churches is to a great extent formerly independent, fundamental churches that have been taken over and reimaged as non-denominational. Graduates of The Master’s Academy International, the Master’s Seminary and its branches fill the pulpits of these churches which have been renamed using a combination of generic terms such as 'Harvest,' 'Bible,' 'Grace,' 'Community,' 'Church,' 'Chapel,' 'Fellowship'—anything but 'Christian.' Not until one attends these churches for a period of time does it become apparent that they are under the influence and idolatry of John MacArthur. One critic of the 'Macarthurism' cult wrote of its rapid reproduction via church takeovers:
"'The Masters Seminary, where John MacArthur is the master, is the principal training center for the cult. In the early 1980’s TMS sent out trainers throughout the world to host large conferences that introduced the doctrines of MacArthurism. Australasia, in particular, was seen as an important mission ground. The greater organization uses a technique nothing short of hi-jacking to further their doctrinal empire. It has been observed that the cult’s primary mode of operating is to target the young men from churches with aging congregations and little or no corporate leadership. Over the last twenty years many young men from Australia and New Zealand were persuaded to attend MacArthur’s Seminary. Graduates steadily flowed back from the training center and returned to their sending church. Within only a short period MacArthur’s graduates took control of the church. They would arrange to be appointed as head pastor and begin paying themselves a salary, even when the church had never needed to do so before. Before long the TMS graduate would have his friends as elders and the power base was completed. Most of the church buildings are too small for idealistic ‘big church’ MacArthurism. Within time the building will be sold and a large development will be bought or built as a mirror image of the U.S. model. Anyone in the original congregation who refuses to follow the new ways is likely termed ‘divisive’ and is usually ‘dismissed’ quickly. MacArthurism has advanced by re-infiltration of an existing bone fide church, altering its structure from within, thus reducing it to a cult group with isolationist ideas. MacArthurism continues to prosper by this divisive technique.'"