Seth Udinski, FISM News
This past week, FISM News reported on the shocking revelation that California Governor Gavin Newsome (D) has been financing billboards in multiple states that explicitly twist the words of scripture to propagate a radically pro-abortion agenda.
On Thursday morning, renowned author and pastor John MacArthur penned an open letter to the California governor, calling him to account and pleading that he repents of his actions for the sake of his eternal soul.
The source of MacArthur’s righteous anger is Newsom’s perversion of God’s Word, particularly the words of the Lord Jesus Christ found in Mark 12:31.
You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.
Many Christians, including Dr. MacArthur, are incensed that Newsom would dare call the murder of an innocent baby “loving,” much less misquoting the Lord Jesus Himself, who perfectly despised evil and consistently exhibited a special love for the little ones.
MacArthur, who pastors Grace Community Church in Sun Valley California and has routinely and boldly stood up for religious freedom under Newsom’s rule in the past, begins his letter with passion grounded in the Word of God:
Almighty God says in His Word, ‘Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people’ (Proverbs 14:3). Scripture also teaches that it is the chief duty of any civic leader to reward those who do well and to punish evildoers (Romans 13:1–7). You have not only failed in that responsibility; you routinely turn it on its head, rewarding evildoers and punishing the righteous.
MacArthur boldly, yet lovingly, calls Newsome to account and reminds the governor that his rebuke is not driven by a political position but by faithfulness to God’s Word:
The diabolical effects of your worldview are evident in the statistics of California’s epidemics of crime, homelessness, sexual perversions (like homosexuality and transgenderism), and other malignant expressions of human misery that stem directly from corrupt public policy. I don’t need to itemize or elaborate on the many immoral decisions you have perpetrated against God and the people of our state … Nevertheless, my goal in writing is not to contend with your politics, but rather to plead with you to hear and heed what the Word of God says to men in your position.
Pastor MacArthur gets right to the heart of Newsom’s grave infraction. With each point he raises, he makes certain to defend it properly with Scripture, a tactic that the California governor failed miserably to accomplish with his billboards:
In mid-September, you revealed to the entire nation how thoroughly rebellious against God you are when you sponsored billboards across America promoting the slaughter of children, whom He creates in the womb (Psalm 139:13–16; Isaiah 45:9–12). You further compounded the wickedness of that murderous campaign with a reprehensible act of gross blasphemy, quoting the very words of Jesus from Mark 12:31 as if you could somehow twist His meaning and arrogate His name in favor of butchering unborn infants … It would be hard to imagine a greater sacrilege. Furthermore, you chose words from the lips of Jesus without admitting that in the same moment He gave the greatest commandment: ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength’ (Mark 12:30). You cannot love God as He commands while aiding in the murder of His image-bearers.
MacArthur brings the letter to a personal note for Newsom, highlighting how the governor’s actions and policies reveal a heart that hates God. MacArthur’s tone is not one of vengeance, but of passionate concern for Newsom’s eternal destiny, which is in clear peril of the full wrath of God in the lake of fire if he does not repent:
My concern, Governor Newsom, is that your own soul lies in grave, eternal peril. ‘Each one of us will give an account of himself to God’ (Romans 14:12). One day, not very long from now, you will face that reality. Nothing is more certain. ‘It is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment’ (Hebrews 9:27). You will stand in the presence of the Holy God who created you, who is your Judge, and He will demand that you give an account for how you have flouted His authority in your governing, and how you have twisted His own Holy Word to rationalize it. As you look over the precipice of eternity, what will your answer be? When you look ahead of you and see that nothing awaits you but eternal misery — the just punishment for your sins — what will all the clever rationalizations and political talking points avail for you then? And by then it will be too late for any remedy or redemption. ‘It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God’ (Hebrews 10:31). My plea to you, Sir, is that you would not let it come to that — that you would not go to that day of judgment apart from receiving forgiveness and righteousness through faith in Christ alone.
This letter is a powerful example to Christians of how to appropriately call to account the public sins of our political leaders and to always remember our end goal — to share the gospel in the hope that sinners will repent and turn to Christ.
Governor Newsom has yet to respond to Pastor MacArthur. FISM News will follow this public interaction as it unfolds.