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It was widely known that John MacArthur was a rich man. Pastoring Grace Community Church and being one of the most influential pastors in the United States undoubtedly comes with wealth from books, broadcasting, speaking gigs, and more. John MacArthur has a diverse portfolio of income streams tied to his brand as a pastor. All of this was known. So, is the extravagant wealth of MacArthur a real scandal?
Julie Roys would seem to think so. On February 3rd, she published her piece, “The Prosperous Lifestyle of America’s Anti-Prosperity Gospel Preacher.” This is a story with three basic elements and most people are only discussing the first one:
- John MacArthur’s Wealth
- The longstanding beef between Julie Roys and John MacArthur
- John MacArthur’s teachings on giving
This analysis will treat everything Julie Roys reported on MacArthur’s wealth as true, not the narrative she is trying to cast. It will also give John MacArthur the benefit of the doubt.
- Yet according to financial statements and tax forms obtained by The Roys Report, John MacArthur and his family preside over a religious media and educational empire that has over $130 million in assets and generates more than $70 million a year in tax-free revenue.
- MacArthur and his family and related companies have been paid more than $12.8 million from ministry and donor funds. And MacArthur owns three luxury homes worth millions.
- In one year alone, MacArthur made more than $402,000 for part-time work at his broadcast ministry, Grace to You (GTY), and another $103,000 from The Master’s University and Seminary (TMUS). This was in addition to MacArthur’s salary from the megachurch he pastors, Grace Community Church, as well as book royalties and speaking fees.
It’s clear the John MacArthur makes a lot of money from multiple income streams, which is a practice advocated at Evangelical Dark Web so that Christians are less reliant on the world. John MacArthur is doing this in practice, but the fact that he is in ministry makes his wealth distasteful to many. On principle, good pastors deserve to be well compensated. Obviously, this cannot always be the case. 1 Timothy 5:18 states:
For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing,” and “The laborer is worthy of his wages.”
John MacArthur is a pastor of a very large church, Grace Community Church, which commands a six figure income. MacArthur is president of Master’s Seminary which is a job that commands a six figure salary. He wrote numerous books, which people bought, entitling him to more earnings. He created a network, Grace To You, which operates a store as well as receives donations.
Is it wrong in and of itself for John MacArthur to make money from all of these sources? No. However, does all of this corroborate a narrative that MacArthur is not free of the love of money? Possibly.
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