John MacArthur and Robert Millet: "fellow-warriors" in a common battle against easy-believism?

For a September 7, 2011 Viewpoint on Mormonism podcast, click  John McArthur 

Much has been made about a meeting that took place in August of 1997 between Pastor John MacArthur of Grace Community Church and BYU professor Robert Millet. A number of Mormons (including Millet himself), as well as some evangelicals, have given the impression that the two men have much in common when it comes to theological issues.

Philip Johnson, executive director of the radio program Grace to You (of which MacArthur is the featured teacher), is a close friend of MacArthur who is very familiar with what took place in the 1997 meeting. In a web log posted in September of 2005, he attempted to correct the false notion that Millet and MacArthur are somehow “fellow-warriors in a common battle against easy-believism.” Johnson wrote:

“That meeting was nothing more than a discussion of Mormon-evangelical differences in a cordial environment. It was not, as some have suggested a “dialogue” about Mormon-evangelical rapprochement. MacArthur was congenial but clear. In the meeting itself he repeatedly stressed his conviction that there is a great gulf between Mormonism and true Christianity. He told Millet in plain, unvarnished words that Mormonism worships a different god, follows a different christ, and proclaims a different gospel from authentic New Testament Christianity.”

He went on to write,

“MacArthur’s position on this has never wavered. He believes and teaches that Mormonism is not true Christianity in any historic or biblical sense, but is a classic cult. Indeed, Mormonism is similar in many ways to the Gnostic heresies that plagued the church for centuries. Mormonism and genuine biblical, evangelical Christianity are in effect antithetical, sharing no common spiritual ground whatsoever.”

In another blog Johnson posted “John MacArthur’s own description of the Millet meeting, taken from a letter MacArthur wrote to clarify the facts for someone who had been told that MacArthur was part of the campaign to establish ‘common ground’ with Mormonism.” We include it for your perusal:

When I met with Robert Millet I expressed my conviction as clearly as possible that the God of the Bible is a completely different God from the god of Mormonism, that the Christ of Scripture is a wholly different Christ from the christ of Mormonism, and the true gospel is a radically different gospel from the gospel of Mormonism.

I have maintained a cordial relationship with Dr. Millet for the sake of the truth, and am happy to provide him with as much of my material as he wishes to read. But my concern is for the truth; I’m not interested in artificial harmony between two contradictory faiths. For that reason I have consistently made clear in all my dialogue with Dr. Millet that there is no spiritual common ground between biblical Christianity and Mormonism.

I would never deliberately equivocate on the truth or do anything that might lend credence to Mormonism. I’m convinced (as are all who understand Scripture accurately) that Mormonism is a false religion, generated by Satan. It is a damnable heresy, and in the words of Paul, ‘a different gospel,’ under God’s anathema.John MacArthur