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Business as Usual at The Master’s College
April 26, 2013

Ezekiel 9:4: “And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.”

Almost nineteen months ago, we sent out the article you will find below. The subject of the article is several ministries under the leadership of Dr. John MacArthur; one of those ministries is The Master’s College. In the text of the article, you will find links to videos posted on YouTube and Facebook by TMC and TMC students. Several more such links are included at the end of the article. Just several of those links are no longer accessible; but, as they say, there’s plenty more where that came from!

Lately, I was shown some samples of more recent videos posted by TMC and also TMC students. From those, it is pretty clear it is “business as usual” at The Master’s College. For the concerned, or skeptical, here are links to the videos brought to my attention. These videos feature TMC students and, in some cases, staff. They are apparently recorded on campus and using campus facilities.

  • This lewd video features the TMC men’s soccer team doing the “Harlem Shake” in the locker room. It begins with one young man acting like an immature idiot, but at twenty-three seconds, the whole team joins in for the disgusting finale. This is one of several “Harlem Shake” videos posted by TMC students, including one shot in the TMC library.
  • TMC Volleyball Tootsie Roll Video”: This repulsive video was obviously shot on the TMC campus. Let’s just say, gracious Christian womanhood does not seem to be held in very high esteem by TMC staff and many students.
  • Attack Linesis an official TMC video featuring action scenes of the TMC women’s volleyball team interspersed by their coach pathetically insisting his goal and the goal of the team is to play the game “all for the glory of God.” Watch the video. Is it to the glory of God for young women to dress and act like this? But if you thought the volleyball outfits were well beyond immodest, it gets worse. Here are a few pictures of the TMC women’s volleyball team and their coach enjoying themselves on the beach. These are a few, of many pictures, on the official TMC Volleyball team Facebook page: http://tinyurl.com/tmcvb1, http://tinyurl.com/tmcvb7, http://tinyurl.com/tmcvb6, http://tinyurl.com/tmcvb4, http://tinyurl.com/tmcvb2 
  • Stuff TMC People Saywas shot on campus and, complete with a blasphemous comment about the Holy Spirit, won first prize in the 2012 official TMC Spring Sing event (see article below). Apparently, horsey women, effeminate-acting men, not to mention one apparently pretending to be a homosexual, are rated great entertainment by TMC staff and students. A 2013 Spring Sing sequel to “Stuff TMC People Say” can be seen at this link.
  • Piano Manstars Dr. Paul T. Plew and the tenors of The Master’s College Chorale. Plew performs a remake of the popular Billy Joel song about a piano man in a bar, but the remake is about young men who can’t “get girls on their own.” Dr. Plew is director of The Master’s College Chorale, also the chairperson of the music department and director of choral activities at The Master’s College since 1979.
  • Where is the Love” is another funky, punky TMC Spring Sing video.
  • John MacArthur has a part in Life Together.” This video, a “lip-dub [using Scripture] was produced by The Master’s College Chapel Media department to celebrate the 2011-2012 school year.” I suppose irreverent, childish worldliness sums this one up pretty well.
  • Narnia Announcementsis also an official TMC video in which “Lucy Pevensie tells of her magical meeting with the Faun, Tumnus. Mr. Tumnus tells of all the magical announcements for The Master’s College.”

The article below, together with all the links, provides a good overview of the goings-on at The Master’s College as well as Camp Regeneration, both under the leadership of Dr. John MacArthur, or as he calls himself in the rap video linked to in the article, “Johnny Mac.” Nothing has changed for the good with regard to TMC and the various TMC events, including the rock music used for “worship” at The Master’s College. Don’t you wish they would at least change the name of that college?

Official Internet postings of videos and pictures make it clear that it was also business as usual at the 2012 Regeneration Camp—women mud crawlers, rock and roll, severed pig’s head, etc. This year, that “High School Summer Camp hosted by John MacArthur and Grace Community Church for high school ministries nationwide” will be held in July.

Brethren, the Lord’s flock is being devoured by ravening wolves.

Ralph Ovadal, pastor of Pilgrims Covenant Church


The Doctrine of Sanctification:
The Old Guy Definition?
Ezra 9:3: "And when I heard this thing, I . . . sat down astonied."

I cannot say I enjoyed writing this article, but there are times when a minister feels the conviction that he has a certain duty to discharge. It is that conviction, I trust given by the Spirit of the Lord, which leads me to publish this article when I would rather not do so.

Now, I do not believe in biting and devouring or gnat straining, and I do believe in always thinking the best of Christian brethren. But I think a fair reading of what follows will make it abundantly clear the issue has to do with camels, not gnats. And there is a devouring going on, but it is not the writer of this simple report doing it. What is being devoured, as represented here, is objective truth, the spiritual well-being of a generation of evangelical young people, and the sanctification of our Lord's blood-bought flock. That is my conclusion, and I believe it is well-grounded in the Scriptures. I am sure some readers of this article will come to the same conclusion; others, perhaps many others, to a different one. For all I know, the leaders of the ministry which is the focus of this simple report and others involved in it will be happy for a little extra publicity on their labors.


Camp Regeneration, July, 2011. Photo from the camp's official Flickr page.

The things put forth here have nothing to do with trying to "get" anyone or "digging for dirt." Everything documented, including each picture, was found proudly posted on the various web sites noted. All of the information documented is very current. And none of it is of a personal nature. Finally, we are all painfully aware and are all often reminded that none of us is perfect, far from it. But the content of this article ought to make it clear that a lack of "perfection" is not the issue.

About a year ago, Rev. Stephen Hamilton and I produced a "Heart of the Matter" special titled "They're No Puritans! Profiles in New Calvinism" (http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=33013113903). In that program, we explained the New Calvinist movement. We also profiled some of the New Calvinist celebrity ministers, starting with the radical Mark Driscoll and closing at the other end of the spectrum with the very accomplished, congenial John MacArthur, pastor of Grace Community Church, Sun Valley, California. Dr. MacArthur is also president of both The Master's College and The Master's Seminary.

Recently, I was given a video of an interview with Dr. MacArthur (http://youtu.be/xYhmo5gabQU) which was done by Christianity.com and posted on their YouTube page August 18, 2011. Without going into all of the issues raised in that interview, I thought it included some good comments as well as, in my judgment, some inconsistent counsel and wrong conclusions. However, I was encouraged to hear Dr. MacArthur rip into unnamed New Calvinist ministers--"young guys"--for their worldly ways and also share the well-grounded fear he has concerning the fruit of their examples and ministries.

Here are some encouraging excerpted comments from Pastor MacArthur:

"The fear is that the power of the world's attraction is going to suck these guys, and every generation after them, more and more into the culture, and we're going to see a reversal of the Reformed revival. . . . It is wonderful [the Reformed revival], but it is being co-opted and commandeered by a bunch of these young guys who, because they affirm the doctrine of substitution, get a free pass on everything else. I don't even think they have a biblical view of sanctification. . . . My fear is that the further this thing goes in trying to accommodate the culture, the less it's going to be able to hang on to that core doctrine. . . . I don't know that the heart of this Reformed theology . . . can really survive the pull of the culture which is attracting these young guys and which these young guys are using to attract people."

After watching that interview with Pastor MacArthur, I thought perhaps there was a chance he was abandoning some of his own New Calvinist ways and hopefully NC associates. I was soon disabused of that notion. Let me tell you how. Currently, a faithful Christian worker from our church has been doing research for a "Heart of the Matter" sequel on New Calvinism. In the course of her research, she was led back to some of the web sites of ministries under the leadership of Pastor John MacArthur and affiliated with his Grace Community Church (GCC).

In our first New Calvinist program, we briefly reported on the 2010 Camp Regeneration, described this way on the event's web site: "Regeneration is a summer camp hosted by Grace Community Church for churches throughout the nation each July for a week of passionate expository preaching, worship and exciting activities."


"Worship" at Camp Regeneration, July, 2011.

Photo from the camp's official Flickr page.

Last year, this event, at which GCC Pastor MacArthur preaches, featured a performance by the ear-ringed "holy hip-hop" artist Lecrae as well as plenty of far-from-modest dress. These things were mentioned on our first HOM New Calvinist program. We had heard from a then-member of Dr. MacArthur's church of some other disturbing activities which take place at Camp Regeneration or, as it is also called, Regeneration Camp. But not having any hard evidence of those things, such as pictures, I did not think it would be right or honorable to mention that information on the HOM program or anywhere else.

Well, it turns out that Christian sister most certainly was accurate in her description of the official goings-on at the GCC Regeneration Camp for high-school-aged young people. This year's Camp Regeneration was held July 25-29, 2011. That would be during the month prior to the posting of the MacArthur interview I mentioned--the interview in which he took to task those "young guys" who he does not "even think . . . have a biblical view of sanctification"--yes, those Reformed ministers who are "young guys" who are using "the culture . . . to attract people" and so putting the next generation at such risk of being sucked "into the culture."


Camp Regeneration, July, 2011. Photo from the camp's official Flickr page.

With an apology for subjecting all of you to such crudities, I am including with this article a few pictures taken at this year's Regeneration Camp and posted at the official Regeneration Camp Flickr page. I should mention before going any further: from other pictures at that page, it appears that there is a balance of young men and women at the Regeneration Camp, even though these particular pictures are mostly of young women. What I mean is, yes, these young women were dressed this way and acting this way in the presence of men.

Of course, there is no way of knowing how much longer any of the pictures or video links we are including in this article will be available. You will notice we have blurred out the faces of the young women who are the most immodestly dressed and at the same time very identifiable in a particular picture. They are young and obviously being very poorly served by John MacArthur and those working under him in leadership. We should pray the Lord will bring those same young ladies to the knowledge and conviction that their dress and behavior is entirely unbecoming a Christian woman professing godliness. Various Scriptures come to mind in that regard, such as 1 Timothy 2:9: "In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety."


Camp Regeneration, July, 2011. Photo from the camp's official Flickr page.

In fact, many Scriptures come to mind, as one views all of the photos and videos included in this report. I do pray many of you will take the time to view them all as the topic of this article has very far-reaching implications and consequences for the whole ransomed church of Christ. We cannot help also thinking then of Philippians 1:27: "Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ," or certainly Colossians 1:10: "that ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God." Romans 12:2 comes to mind: "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." And what of Matthew 5:14: "Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid"? Then there is also 1 Peter 2:9: "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light." No doubt many readers will also think of 1 John 2:15: "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him."


Camp Regeneration, July, 2011. Photo from the camp's official Flickr page.

An article such as this one inevitably evokes "good words and fair speeches" in defense of the dress, music, and activities portrayed. But the reader would do very well to reverently consider such passages from the Word of God as those just mentioned--and many others could be noted as well--if he or she would make a right judgment. 

During that research I mentioned, it was noticed that The Master's College (TMC), with John MacArthur at the helm as president, this past December sponsored a big hip-hop/rap concert featuring such performers as Lecrae, Trip Lee, Tedashii, and Sho Baraka. Those wanting a sample of the "Christian music" sponsored by TMC can find it by clicking on one or more of the links provided at the conclusion of this article. Each of those promo videos, with one exception, is well under two minutes in length. The other videos linked to in this article are mostly under three minutes with just several going a minute or two longer. I again encourage those who are concerned about the issue at hand and wanting to make a right judgment to make the effort to take advantage of the links provided.


One way to "worship" at The Master's College.
Photo from official TMC Flickr page.

Now, that TMC-sponsored concert just mentioned was no aberration. With the apparent blessings of Pastor MacArthur and the school's administration, it would seem that a rap/rock culture--in truth, a most worldly culture in many ways--is very much alive and well among the students of The Master's College.

And that culture is predictably producing bad fruit and developing worldly character, as seems obvious even from the videos provided with this report. Recently, I was shown some comments about me and that program on New Calvinism which aired in October of last year. The sneering remarks were on the public Facebook page of a Master's College student who was one of the performers in a rap video produced by TMC students. The young lad along with a couple of friends make up a rap-rock-pop group named Triple Fist Kiss (3FK). This group produces music videos in conjunction with The Master's College. That is to say, such videos are joint productions of 3FK and TMC. For instance, this Master's College posting (http://youtu.be/EEeVS_pTM60) is a 3FK-TMC music video (in this case, effeminate pop rather than rock or rap) promoting a TMC event called Fall Thing during which TMC girls are urged to ask young men to one of TMC's extravaganzas. The Master's College web page informs us that the Fall Thing has "featured themes like 'The Roaring 20's' or 'Celebrity Look Alikes'. Entertainment has included hot-air balloon rides, magicians, murder-mystery theater, and much more."

For those interested in seeing the ghetto-type rap skills of the versatile 3FK on full display, here are a couple of other links. The first is the infamous "Johnny Mac" video (http://tinyurl.com/johnnyrap) complete with an appearance of John MacArthur, as spoken of in that first HOM program on New Calvinism. This second 3FK "Christian" rap video was not done in conjunction with The Master's College but was produced by students from The Master's College, and the singers/rappers are TMC students. Uploaded June 6, 2011, this production, with its shocking scenes, is titled "Empire State of Chorale" (http://youtu.be/SYXow3c36WA): "Triple Fist Kiss . . . introduce The Master's College Chorale to The Big Apple." The Master's College Chorale is one of TMC's choirs.

The Master's College Chorale members, and in some cases even TMC staff, are featured in a number of such music videos which are, plainly put, worldly and even ungodly. Such is also the case with "Tik Tok Chorale," uploaded March 10, 2011 (http://youtu.be/JTnoVbtUS2o). This rock/rap video was filmed on locations across the western United States during a tour by The Master's College Chorale.

Another video starring Master's College students--this one more of the country music genre--is titled "Man, I Feel Like an Alto," uploaded June 8, 2011 (http://youtu.be/J3lsGngNXqc). This production includes ungodly dancing scenes in a graveyard. I have been told that the "songs" in the two videos just mentioned are actually reworded versions of very ungodly popular songs. The Master's College student performers in those and other videos seem quite familiar with the music and proficient in the moves of the secular music world. Other TMC students and staff appearing in various videos seem comfortable with their parts.

This next link, "Baby - Majesty" (http://youtu.be/HJgv7uoRgGs), will take you to a music video created for The Master's College Spring Sing 2011 Show. This official entry was created by The Master's College singing ensemble Majesty. According to The Master's College web site, Majesty is "designed to minister in churches by leading congregations in biblical worship," and "They travel approximately three weekends per month and tour for four weeks during the summer representing The Master's College at churches, schools, and other venues across the United States and the world." Judging from the video Majesty created for the students and staff of TMC, the singing ensemble is quite skilled at aping the music and mannerisms of pop music artists as well.


A Spring Sing 2011 student act.
Photo from official TMC Flickr page.

But for just a moment, relative to the fruit being produced by the worldly culture of The Master's College, let's go back to those insightful comments about yours truly and that first HOM program on New Calvinism. Luke 6:45: "A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh." It would seem that some young people in the 3FK/TMC circle are upset with this minister and that HOM program on New Calvinism. Here are a few excerpted comments from the page open to the public:

This is crazy
ahahah....sorry you're going to hell boys.
That made me sick.
dude so crazy... totally made me laugh and mad at the same time!!!
dumbbbb
ROFL. this guy is an idiot.
Hilarious. He's not a fan of Piper either.
OMGOSH. THIS IS UNBELIEVABLE.

Those comments from young people feeding on rap and rock music are typical and are a manifestation of the "Christian" rap/rock culture. We heard the same arrogant sarcasm and ungodly disrespect from young New Evangelical CCM fans while we were conducting open-air ministry in front of Franklin Graham's Rock the River concert in Davenport, Iowa and the Cornerstone rock festival put on by the "Jesus People USA" at Bushnell, Illinois. Proverbs 30:13-14: "There is a generation, O how lofty are their eyes! and their eyelids are lifted up. There is a generation, whose teeth are as swords, and their jaw teeth as knives . . ."

I have made the observation and already provided ample evidence to substantiate the claim that a worldly, rap/rock culture is very much alive and well at The Master's College. At the end of this article, you will find more such documentation in the form of additional links to video productions with brief explanations.

Now, before we bring this article down the home stretch to the finish, perhaps the reader might be interested in this excerpt from The Master's College doctrinal statement:

"We teach that separation from sin is clearly called for throughout the Old and New Testaments, and that the Scriptures clearly indicate that in the last days apostasy and worldliness shall increase (2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1; 2 Timothy 3:1-5). We teach that out of deep gratitude for the undeserved grace of God granted to us and because our glorious God is so worthy of our total consecration, all the saved should live in such a manner as to demonstrate our adoring love to God and so as not to bring reproach upon our Lord and Savior. We also teach that separation from any association with religious apostasy, and worldly and sinful practices is commanded of us by God (Romans 12:1-2; 1 Corinthians 5:9-13; 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1; 1 John 2:15-17; 2 John 9-11)."

 

WOW 2011 at The Master's College. Photo from official TMC Flickr page.

With that backdrop, allow me to briefly introduce you to the Week of Welcome (WOW) which The Master's College throws for new students--a worldly bash including, among other activities, time at the beach and also pool parties, some on the Lord's Day, no less.

WOW 2011 ran from Thursday, August 18--Friday, August 26. The Master's College WOW Guide description of the week states, ". . . over 130 upperclassmen have volunteered to hang out with you this week, to build relationships and guide you through every event. They are praying for you already and have one goal in mind: to make your transition to The Master's College family successful. Rest now--we are in for a dynamic week."


WOW 2011 at The Master's College. Photo from official TMC Flickr page.

A "WOW 2011 Sunday Recap" video (http://tinyurl.com/sundayrecap) posted on a TMC Facebook page is introduced with this: "On the Sunday of WOW we all travel to Grace Community Church of Sun Valley where our President Dr. MacArthur is Pastor-Teacher and we enjoy the hospitality of families from the church at pool parties in the afternoon."

Included with this article, you will find a few pictures taken during The Master's College 2011 WOW week. As they say, sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words. And so, the reader can look at those pictures--in fact, all the pictures and videos included with this article--and judge whether the behavior and dress is appropriate for young Christian men and women supposedly committed to "separation from . . . worldly . . . practices" and aspiring to maturity and godliness.


WOW 2011 at The Master's College. Photo from official TMC Flickr page.

The conclusion should be obvious to any Christian with discernment and a knowledge of the Word of God. What then should we think of a shepherd and elders who would lead the Lord's flock--in fact, the younger members of that flock--into such Christ-dishonoring, dangerous, worldly corruption? And what will be the fruit of it all when those being discipled in such a way fill the pulpits and pews of Reformed, evangelical churches around the nation? The Word of God provides the clear answers to both of those questions.

 


WOW 2011 at The Master's College. Photo from official TMC Flickr page.

Now, if all of this has left you, the reader, feeling not only heartsick and weary but also "astonied," I can relate. Of course, we all agree that when "young guys" who are ministers preside over, take part in, and are responsible for the sort of things spoken of and pictured in this article, those things are worldly and opposed to sanctification. But I guess what some of us (including yours truly, the "dumbbbb" "idiot") are not getting is that those same activities and music are apparently sanctified by the touch of certain "old guy" ministers such as John MacArthur.

-by Ralph Ovadal, pastor
Pilgrims Covenant Church
October, 2011

To the reader: the next page contains more photos.

The videos linked to below are in addition to those linked to in the above article. The first two videos were produced by and feature students from The Master's College Chorale but are not official productions of The Master's College and do not appear on official web sites of TMC. The third video is posted on the official Facebook page of Camp Regeneration. The fourth is a Master's College production featuring TMC students and staff. It is posted on an official TMC site. Below these links you will find the links to the TMC concert promo also spoken of in the previous article.

I CAN LiLY SEE, Chorale Tour, uploaded July 21, 2011. http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10150238341956542 

The Wild Ta-Te vs. The Deborgasaur, uploaded June 7, 2011: "Sometimes the stress of college and chorale is just too much..." http://youtu.be/v3Xm66_f8WI 

Uploaded by Regeneration on Aug. 11, 2011 on Regeneration's official Facebook page. http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=262711147073800 

The Master's College Snapshot - Mustang Madness 2011, uploaded by themasterscollege on Sept. 26, 2011 on TMC's official YouTube page. http://youtu.be/6ITmCfqdWk8 


WOW 2011 at The Master's College. Photo from official TMC Flickr page.

 

 

 

The Encore Concert - Dec. 10 at The Proud Bird, uploaded Dec. 6, 2010 by Life at TMC!, an official TMC Facebook page: "Don't miss the last Reach Records concert of 2010! After touring all over the United States, LeCrae, Trip Lee, Tedashii, Sho Baraka, and DJ Official will be back for one last show in SoCal....and they're bringing special guest THI'SL with them!! Check out http://www.masters.edu/encore for more details and to purchase tickets." http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=10150332057560444 


WOW 2011 at The Master's College. Photo from official TMC Flickr page.

Uploaded by themasterscollege on Nov. 20, 2010 on TMC's official YouTube page: "Don't miss the last Reach Records concert of 2010! 'The Encore,' Friday December 10, 2010 7pm @ The Proud Bird near LAX. . . . Sponsored by: The Master's College, P4CM, Pastor's Bible Fellowship."
Trip Lee - Coming to The Encore

http://youtu.be/Qohg84B8YWE 
Lecrae - Coming to The Encore
http://youtu.be/dbsatPokRVw
 
Sho Baraka - Coming to The Encore
http://youtu.be/SbHGSLZbW6w
 
Tedashii - Coming to The Encore
http://youtu.be/gOwdtnK8dKE 

 

Picture sources:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/campregen/5986383706/ 
http://www.flickr.com/photos/campregen/5986392590/ 
http://www.flickr.com/photos/campregen/5989435852/ 
http://www.flickr.com/photos/campregen/5989436070/ 
http://www.flickr.com/photos/campregen/5986386764/ 
http://www.flickr.com/photos/masterscollege/6077396568/ 
http://www.flickr.com/photos/masterscollege/5560691162/ 
http://www.flickr.com/photos/masterscollege/6080993143/ 
http://www.flickr.com/photos/masterscollege/6083969925/ 
http://www.flickr.com/photos/masterscollege/6084508780/ 
http://www.flickr.com/photos/masterscollege/6083961173/ 
http://www.flickr.com/photos/masterscollege/6083962361/ 
http://www.flickr.com/photos/masterscollege/6083950717/ 

 

This web site contains references to Wisconsin Christians United (WCU). That ministry, which was founded by Ralph Ovadal in 1993, has been included as a ministry of Pilgrims Covenant Church since April 1, 2005. 

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