The John MacArthur Charitable Trust

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bookslover

Puritan Board Doctor
In the mail recently, I got an announcement - as some of you may have - that John MacArthur has set up the "John MacArthur Charitable Trust." This is an umbrella organization which is designed to perpetuate a few of his ministries - for example: the seminary, the university, Grace to You (the online sermon ministry), and three or four others whose names I don't remember off the top of my head. The idea is that people can donate to the Trust and the Board of Trustees will disperse the money where (among the named ministries) it is most needed at any given time.

I wonder if the setting up of the Trust is the first public indication that MacArthur is planning to retire? He's 81.
 

Ed Walsh

Puritan Board Junior
I wonder if the setting up of the Trust is the first public indication that MacArthur is planning to retire? He's 81.

If it were me, I'd be getting ready to die. Eighty is pretty well the expiration date of even the strongest men.

Psalm 90:10 (ESV)​
The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty;​
yet their span is but toil and trouble; they are soon gone, and we fly away.​
PS - I have been getting ready to die since I was first saved at 20 years old. But I am still here. Next week (if I live till then), I will turn 69 and still doing fine with no serious health problems. God is so good to me.
 

Rutherglen1794

Puritan Board Junior
Let’s hope not. California, with it’s disgusting support of a demonic Democrat platform, needs the gospel light being shined by MacArthur.
 

nick

Puritan Board Freshman
Amazing how much energy he has at 81.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Jonathco

Puritan Board Freshman
I don't see MacArthur retiring, but I'd imagine he is giving consideration to the fact that he is 81 and needs to prepare for his eventual passing. While I certainly disagree with some of his theology, his preaching helped me a lot in my early years and I am glad to see he is setting up a Trust to ensure these ministries continue after he is taken home.
 

B.L.

Puritan Board Sophomore
I'm not sure of the ins/outs of how trust funds work, but could it be more about protecting one's assets from the highly litigious environment we're living in today? I mean he has been rocking the boat pretty hard out in California of all places...MacArthur doesn't strike me as the retirement type.

As an aside, I find it a little funny that the biggest MacArthur critic on the board also happens to be on his mailing list. ;)
 

ZackF

Puritan Board Graduate
I don't see MacArthur retiring, but I'd imagine he is giving consideration to the fact that he is 81 and needs to prepare for his eventual passing. While I certainly disagree with some of his theology, his preaching helped me a lot in my early years and I am glad to see he is setting up a Trust to ensure these ministries continue after he is taken home.
I don't see him retiring for it's own sake. He's said as much over the years. His father and grandfather preached almost until they dropped dead.
 

Mrs. B-N

Puritan Board Freshman
Let’s hope not. California, with it’s disgusting support of a demonic Democrat platform, needs the gospel light being shined by MacArthur.
I feel like the whole country needs the light being shined by MacArthur. Even more as an example to other pastors in the Church. Covid and the push from the left using Critical Theory has revealed much about the state of Church leadership.
 

bookslover

Puritan Board Doctor
I don't see him retiring for it's own sake. He's said as much over the years. His father and grandfather preached almost until they dropped dead.

True. His father, John MacArthur, Sr. (known as Jack), taught a Sunday School class after he retired until just a few weeks before his death. He was 91.
 

bookslover

Puritan Board Doctor
Related: I wonder if MacArthur will try to exert some influence or control over who his successor is at the church. What he should do, in my opinion, is to take himself completely out of the picture - the choosing of his successor will be the church's business, not his.

If the church's leadership is smart, they should pick a guy to be an interim pastor for, say, two years, in order to give the church some "breathing space" between MacArthur's more than half a century ministry and whoever comes next - a chance for the church to decompress, if you will. The congregation knows that the interim is not the guy, the interim knows he's not the guy, and the leadership knows he's not the guy.

It would give everyone a chance to "breathe" and get a little perspective before picking the real new guy.

Just a thought.
 

lynnie

Puritan Board Graduate
While I'll be the first one to agree about the demonic influence in CA politics, I do have a few questions.

First of all, JM's personal net worth is about 14 million. Did he seed the trust with some millions of his own, or is he just asking for donations while leaving his inheritance elsewhere? I honestly do not know, do you?

Secondly, here is the online filing from August 2020. The Chief executive officer of the trust is his son in law, Kory Welch. https://businesssearch.sos.ca.gov/Document/RetrievePDF?Id=04085460-28870865


This son in law:


This article is from the media, it could have false information, but if so, why did they not reply to requests for a response? Has there been a response later? Maybe there has. Help me out with my cynicism here. Do you trust this son in law to head up the trust with full integrity, especially as regards his own income and expense account? Some of you may know a lot more than what's been plastered on the web.

What about the son Mark, charged by the SEC of defrauding clients.


Now the son is not the father, and one cannot hold the sins of the son against the father. But JM is 81, and what happens to his wealth when he passes? Does it go to his children while he asks you to contribute to his charitable trust? Maybe his will leaves a little bit to the kids and a lot to the trust, I have no idea.

I've become aware of so much financial hanky panky and sleeze over the years in churches ( not my own thank God) that I would urge caution at this point. The son in law being the executive officer seems to be a giant red flag.
 

G

Puritan Board Senior
Discussing JM's possible retirement and future funding of his ministry is one thing, but speculating about financial wickedness is another thing entirely and I hope this thread does not turn into that.:whatswrong:
 

lynnie

Puritan Board Graduate
Discussing JM's possible retirement and future funding of his ministry is one thing, but speculating about financial wickedness is another thing entirely and I hope this thread does not turn into that.:whatswrong:
I agree Grant. I don't want speculation, I'm looking for clarifying facts.

In retrospect, let's leave the son out of it and the fraud charges. Not clearly relevant to the matter. And let's leave out JM's will and who he leaves his wealth to. That's his business.

The thread is about the charitable trust, so let's stick to that.

Again, I ask, if you want people to donate, then is there is public record of how much JM put into it? His net worth is reported as 14 million, is he putting some in? I figure there must be a list somewhere. The IRS and SEC don't let you give in secret these days. There should be a list of all the donors somewhere. Sometimes the donor lists are grouped by a range, like say up to 1,000, 5,000, 100,000, etc. So did JM donate to his charitable trust? Is he asking people to donate while he does not? Maybe he gives huge sums. I'm asking. I've seen some things over the years that have left me skeptical in general. So help me out here.

Do you think that with a church that size, and all the men he has influenced over the years, that the best possible person to be the executive director is his son in law? Given all the many many questionable allegations about finances going to the son and how much and in what manner, do you think this is wise? Would you trust the son to resist financial temptation?

"Feb 27, 2020 — The Welch Group Corporation is a video production company whose CEO and sole owner is Kory Welch, John Macarthur's son-in law."

It is totally fine to run a video production company. I'm Reformed- all callings are from God. The pastor and the professor, the farmer and the housewife and the car mechanic and the video producer. Nothing lesser or wrong with being a video producer.

However, is this the best choice to direct a trust fund that may have large sums of money to deal with? Would you not want somebody with some other background? Pastoral, or business adminstration maybe? Maybe somebody who has experience and a couple decades of running some other trust fund, like say at a Seminary? Could this be nepotism?

Buyer beware.
 

Jonathco

Puritan Board Freshman
As I've said, I disagree with MacArthur's dispensational theology, but also have great respect for the man, as he has spent 50 years preaching God's Word clearly, boldly, and despite my disagreement with his theological leanings, solidly. To discredit him and create unverified scandal, simply because he is wealthy or because a family member is overseeing this Trust, seems awfully close to false testimony against a brother.
 

Ben Zartman

Puritan Board Sophomore
I share Lynnie's skepticism of charitable trusts and being asked to give to them. All these "ministries"--Heartcry, Voice of the Martyrs, etc that send out glossy mailers asking for desperately needed money--surely there's a more locally accountable way of disbursing God-given funds. What about the local church? What about sending a check or E-payment directly to a missionary? Perhaps we need a separate thread to discuss this, but I'm always leery of well-heeled operations that want my donation...
 

ArminianOnceWas

Puritan Board Freshman
Related: I wonder if MacArthur will try to exert some influence or control over who his successor is at the church. What he should do, in my opinion, is to take himself completely out of the picture - the choosing of his successor will be the church's business, not his.

If the church's leadership is smart, they should pick a guy to be an interim pastor for, say, two years, in order to give the church some "breathing space" between MacArthur's more than half a century ministry and whoever comes next - a chance for the church to decompress, if you will. The congregation knows that the interim is not the guy, the interim knows he's not the guy, and the leadership knows he's not the guy.

It would give everyone a chance to "breathe" and get a little perspective before picking the real new guy.

Just a thought.

I agree with this sentiment. In fact, I would go a step further and bring in a longer term interim or what might be seen as a shorter-term permanent pastor. Bring in someone nearing retirement, at perhaps 65 years old, with a contract to retire at 70. I believe the church needs more than two years. An older man may have the wisdom and personal security to be able to step into what will be a heavy role, especially knowing its the last primary stop until retirement. Then after five years bring in the next long term man.
 

ArminianOnceWas

Puritan Board Freshman
I share Lynnie's skepticism of charitable trusts and being asked to give to them. All these "ministries"--Heartcry, Voice of the Martyrs, etc that send out glossy mailers asking for desperately needed money--surely there's a more locally accountable way of disbursing God-given funds. What about the local church? What about sending a check or E-payment directly to a missionary? Perhaps we need a separate thread to discuss this, but I'm always leery of well-heeled operations that want my donation...

I don't say this to be funny, but my brother has called them Voice of Muggers for years because of what feels like the constant donation solicitation.

I agree, sending money directly would be much more efficient, however, it takes out the middle man, therefore the admin offices and positions would close. So in part, these organizations exist to be self-sustaining. I will add this, in the case of Voice of Martyrs, if they are able to get money into nations in a way that you and I can't, then that does legitimatize the work, as least to a certain degree.
 

B.L.

Puritan Board Sophomore
All these "ministries"--Heartcry, Voice of the Martyrs, etc that send out glossy mailers asking for desperately needed money--surely there's a more locally accountable way of disbursing God-given funds. What about the local church?

I've supported Heartcry for years and have never, not once, received anything in the mail or in my inbox asking for money. As a matter of fact unless something has changed their policy has always been to explicitly not ask for money trusting instead that the Lord would meet their every need...though they are not shy about asking for desperately needed prayer!

With regards to your emphasis on accountability and the local church, the text below is from their website. Does Heartcry seem unconcerned to you about the centrality of the local church and the need for accountability?


Core Convictions​


  1. The autonomy and centrality of the local church are vital. While HeartCry Missionary Society works in partnership with indigenous churches, their leaders, and missionaries, it is our non-negotiable theological conviction that each local congregation is independent, autonomous, and directly accountable to and under the headship of Jesus Christ. Consequently, we are careful to respect, uphold, and affirm the autonomy of our partner churches. HeartCry is not a supra-ecclesiastical authority; rather, it is a society or fellowship of like-minded churches and individual believers moved by the demands of the Great Commission and led by the Spirit of God to strengthen indigenous local churches and their ministers and to partner with them in the fulfillment of the Great Commission.​


Accountability​


HeartCry has taken measures on multiple levels to ensure the oversight of its ministry and its endurance in faithfulness. Our structure of accountability is two-fold: (1) our local church and a fellowship of sister churches; and (2) a board of directors.​

Local Church Accountability​

The HeartCry Missionary Society is under the oversight of the elders and congregation of Christ Church in Virginia. The church is also represented on the HeartCry Board of Directors by one of its elders. In addition to being under the oversight of our local church, we maintain an open-door policy with three sister churches in any and every aspect of administration and ministry.​

Supporting Church Accountability​

In addition to being under the oversight of our local church, we have also requested a number of supporting churches to assist in both the counsel and oversight of HeartCry. The principles by which these churches hold HeartCry accountable are as follows:​
  1. HeartCry has entered into an agreement with these sister churches, recognizing that they have the right and responsibility to request any information or investigate any matter that would be relevant to the goal of accountability—doctrine, practice, ethics, finances, etc.​
  2. HeartCry will be proactive in providing an annual financial report to the sister churches.​
  3. HeartCry will be proactive in notifying the churches of any major changes in policy or doctrine or of any major decisions affecting the ministry—expansion into new fields of labor, major projects, etc.​
  4. HeartCry recognizes that the churches have the right and responsibility to publicize any concern with HeartCry’s doctrine or ethics and to withdraw fellowship if the matter should remain unresolved.​

Board of Directors​

As a 501(c)(3) (or non-profit) organization, the HeartCry Missionary Society has a Board of Directors to aid in directing and monitoring its activities.​
The board members are:
  • Dr. Nathan Berry – Fairmont, West Virginia​
  • John Paul Houston – Floyd, Virginia​
  • Anthony Mathenia – Radford, Virginia​
  • John Snyder – New Albany, Mississippi​
  • Paul Washer – Radford, Virginia​
 

Ben Zartman

Puritan Board Sophomore
I've supported Heartcry for years and have never, not once, received anything in the mail or in my inbox asking for money. As a matter of fact unless something has changed their policy has always been to explicitly not ask for money trusting instead that the Lord would meet their every need...though they are not shy about asking for desperately needed prayer!

With regards to your emphasis on accountability and the local church, the text below is from their website. Does Heartcry seem unconcerned to you about the centrality of the local church and the need for accountability?



Core Convictions​


  1. The autonomy and centrality of the local church are vital. While HeartCry Missionary Society works in partnership with indigenous churches, their leaders, and missionaries, it is our non-negotiable theological conviction that each local congregation is independent, autonomous, and directly accountable to and under the headship of Jesus Christ. Consequently, we are careful to respect, uphold, and affirm the autonomy of our partner churches. HeartCry is not a supra-ecclesiastical authority; rather, it is a society or fellowship of like-minded churches and individual believers moved by the demands of the Great Commission and led by the Spirit of God to strengthen indigenous local churches and their ministers and to partner with them in the fulfillment of the Great Commission.​



Accountability​


HeartCry has taken measures on multiple levels to ensure the oversight of its ministry and its endurance in faithfulness. Our structure of accountability is two-fold: (1) our local church and a fellowship of sister churches; and (2) a board of directors.​

Local Church Accountability​

The HeartCry Missionary Society is under the oversight of the elders and congregation of Christ Church in Virginia. The church is also represented on the HeartCry Board of Directors by one of its elders. In addition to being under the oversight of our local church, we maintain an open-door policy with three sister churches in any and every aspect of administration and ministry.​

Supporting Church Accountability​

In addition to being under the oversight of our local church, we have also requested a number of supporting churches to assist in both the counsel and oversight of HeartCry. The principles by which these churches hold HeartCry accountable are as follows:​
  1. HeartCry has entered into an agreement with these sister churches, recognizing that they have the right and responsibility to request any information or investigate any matter that would be relevant to the goal of accountability—doctrine, practice, ethics, finances, etc.​

  2. HeartCry will be proactive in providing an annual financial report to the sister churches.​

  3. HeartCry will be proactive in notifying the churches of any major changes in policy or doctrine or of any major decisions affecting the ministry—expansion into new fields of labor, major projects, etc.​

  4. HeartCry recognizes that the churches have the right and responsibility to publicize any concern with HeartCry’s doctrine or ethics and to withdraw fellowship if the matter should remain unresolved.​

Board of Directors​

As a 501(c)(3) (or non-profit) organization, the HeartCry Missionary Society has a Board of Directors to aid in directing and monitoring its activities.​
The board members are:
  • Dr. Nathan Berry – Fairmont, West Virginia​

  • John Paul Houston – Floyd, Virginia​

  • Anthony Mathenia – Radford, Virginia​

  • John Snyder – New Albany, Mississippi​

  • Paul Washer – Radford, Virginia​
Hi brother,
I will PM you, lest we derail this thread.
 

Jeri Tanner

Moderator
Staff member
I feel like this thread is turning into something it shouldn't be.
The moderators agree that it’s legitimate to discuss the problem of nepotism and succession of sons to ministries generally, but please beware of gossip, speculation, and possible 9th commandment violations pertaining to specific ministries.
 

Susan777

Puritan Board Sophomore
I don't say this to be funny, but my brother has called them Voice of Muggers for years because of what feels like the constant donation solicitation.

I agree, sending money directly would be much more efficient, however, it takes out the middle man, therefore the admin offices and positions would close. So in part, these organizations exist to be self-sustaining. I will add this, in the case of Voice of Martyrs, if they are able to get money into nations in a way that you and I can't, then that does legitimatize the work, as least to a certain degree.
VOM cares for widows and orphans, victims of persecution who had very little to nothing to begin with and who are left with even less. I don’t see western missionary organizations doing this in any organized way although that may be due to simple ignorance on my part. It’s always almost impossible to know what goes on behind the scenes, whether funds are carefully stewarded, whether there is undisclosed mission drift. Still, the needs are great and we are instructed to care for these christians. It is so difficult to gauge accountability with these large organizations but at least they have an established network that seems to be effective in identifying those in need of help.
 

Susan777

Puritan Board Sophomore
I must have missed the accusation. He expressed some skepticism (which is probably healthy given the times we inhabit). Maybe shouldn’t have put ministries in quotes though.
 

Ben Zartman

Puritan Board Sophomore
I second the response given to you, Ben.

You can’t now go private with this. You just made a public accusation.
As you wish. I contended that Heartcry is among the organizations that solicit money, which BL denied. If you search them on Google, the first hit that appears at the top of the page says "Donate" just under the header.
I do not accuse them of any malfeasance or illegality--I simply said that that they send out mailers (you can find them on our church's literature table), and that they solicit funds.
For what it's worth, as a confessional Baptist I personally don't believe that the work of the church should be carried out by para-church organizations. Missionaries should be called, equipped, sent, and supported by a local church, not by a mission board or committee or society. If our Lord gave the church the task of missions, surely He will give the wherewithal to churches who believe His word and do His will. Whether mission boards, societies, or denominations are effective has no bearing on the fact that we are not called or authorized to form those things--ours is not to find a better way than we were commanded to, but to obey our Shepherd's voice.
 

bookslover

Puritan Board Doctor
As I've said, I disagree with MacArthur's dispensational theology, but also have great respect for the man, as he has spent 50 years preaching God's Word clearly, boldly, and despite my disagreement with his theological leanings, solidly. To discredit him and create unverified scandal, simply because he is wealthy or because a family member is overseeing this Trust, seems awfully close to false testimony against a brother.

Hi, Jon - I, too, have benefitted greatly from MacArthur's ministry during the 40 years I've been listening to him. The problem, though, is that the "family member overseeing this Trust" is his son-in-law, who already has gotten himself in trouble financially in recent years. It seems to me that, at his level of fame in the Christian world and the connections he has made over the years, it would be easy for him to find someone with complete financial integrity and who knows the ins and outs of financial management regarding trusts to run the thing. Up-front public integrity counts for a lot - especially where large sums of money are involved.
 

RWD

Puritan Board Sophomore
As I've said, I disagree with MacArthur's dispensational theology, but also have great respect for the man, as he has spent 50 years preaching God's Word clearly, boldly, and despite my disagreement with his theological leanings, solidly. To discredit him and create unverified scandal, simply because he is wealthy or because a family member is overseeing this Trust, seems awfully close to false testimony against a brother.

MacArthur’s dispensationalism only touches the tip of the iceberg. He was wrong on eternal sonship. He was wrong on the doctrine of justification. He continues to be wrong on the doctrine of the visible church. He continues to be wrong on the nature of saving faith. He has gone beyond special revelation regarding elect infants dying infancy. Need we go on? Let’s not confuse MacArthur’s confidence with theological fidelity. Who gets the passes he gets? Certainly he doesn’t give a pass to those he thinks are wrong on justifying faith. https://philosophical-theology.com/2020/08/21/john-macarthurs-lordship-salvation/
 
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PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
MacArthur’s dispensationalism only touches the tip of the iceberg. He was wrong on eternal sonship. He was wrong on the doctrine of justification. He continues to be wrong on the doctrine of the visible church. He continues to be wrong on the nature of saving faith. He has gone beyond special revelation regarding elect infants dying infancy. Need we go on? Let’s not confuse MacArthur’s confidence with theological fidelity. Who gets the passes he gets? Certainly he doesn’t give a pass to those he thinks are wrong on justifying faith. https://philosophical-theology.com/2020/08/21/john-macarthurs-lordship-salvation/
I recommend a new thread on this topic. JM worked out a lot of theological doctrines and distinctions during his time. Not sure this is the thread to push this topic here.
 
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