Updated: Feb 28, 2019
Recently, an article was released on NOQ Report which compared a story that John MacArthur has told about his involvement in the events surrounding the Martin Luther King Jr assassination. The author, Paige Rogers, compared the multiple times Pastor MacArthur has shared his version of the events with the testimony of Charles Evers, as well as FBI and Memphis Police Reports.
There's definitely some stark contrasts when looking at the facts compared to Pastor MacArthur's story. MacArthur claimed to be in the office of Charles Evers, going into great detail about who he was with and what was being said. However, Evers claims he was by himself in his car driving to Natchez when he received a phone call notifying him of the assassination. MacArthur claims that they went to Memphis that night, went to the scene of the crime, stood over the blood of MLK and was able to go into the bathroom where the shot was taken because "police weren’t nearly as protective, forensics hadn’t developed to what they had and they didn’t necessarily protect crime scenes." However, documentation regarding what occurred that night, as well as the extensive forensic investigation that the police and FBI conducted stand in stark contrast to his claims. Additionally, his claim that he stood on the toilet where the shot was taken from is simply wrong, as the shot was taken from a bathtub, not a toilet. Anyone who saw the bathroom where James Earl Ray took the shot would know that.
The blowback from the John MacArthur defenders has been strong and extensive. There's been so many accusations and hit pieces seeking to not only discredit the story, but to discredit Paige as a journalist, as well as pose conspiracy theories about "who is really behind the story."
As I've explained in previous articles, this is standard procedure with this crowd. Instead of discussing and debating the merits of the story, the focus becomes on the person and how to discredit him or her. Why is this done? If you can discredit the person, the story goes down with them. It doesn't matter what's true or false. This is a deflection tactic that I've seen used over and over.
I want the truth to come out, wherever that leads. So it's important that we look at the merits of what someone is saying. Hear both sides, take a look at the facts, and then see which seems to represent the truth the most.
So I wanted to give Paige a chance to respond to her critics. This is the first in a series of posts where I asked Paige to respond to some of the claims made by her critics. I'm thankful that she took the time to respond. She deserves to be heard, especially looking at how the staffers for Pastor MacArthur have set out to destroy her credibility. Below is the first couple of questions that I asked her to respond to.
Some of the claims made by those defending John MacArthur are that this is a “hit piece” and a “smear campaign” to destroy MacArthur by Brannon Howse. How do you respond to that claim?
First of all, I thought I knew the lengths to which the mind will go to reason away unwanted information. Boy! I was naive!
It never occurred to me, not once, that people who claim Christ would be so careless, libelous, or unedified enough to go so far as to give authorship credit for my article - my months of labor, my months of research, my months of time, my months of emotional and intellectual toil - to another person who in no way wrote my article.
I still remember how (rightfully) upset thousands of Americans were after former President Obama, in 2012, so flippantly dismissed their entrepreneurship, hard work, and ingenuity by claiming, "You didn't build that." I am aghast that fellow believers would do the same to me.
Not only has my labor and authorship been fallaciously accredited to someone else, but I have been sanctimoniously relegated to a nameless "sycophant" by members of Pastor John MacArthur's own team. This is a grievous error, brazenly paraded about just as Golding’s "Jack" marched about on that desert island, wielding power and clutching the skewered pig's head; boldly brandishing that rotting beast with “half shut eyes.” (Literary references: “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding)
I wonder… Can they hear the flies buzzing?
I wonder… Do these "men of God" wish me to suffer the same fate as the boy called "Piggy" or that of the little “boy with the birthmark”?
I wonder… Am I on the menu for Beelzebub’s feast?
Second, it is an impossibility for Brannon Howse to have manufactured a report that I WROTE, because Brannon Howse is not my tipster. Let me say that again: I did not receive the tip about this topic from Brannon Howse. Period.
How can anyone possibly manufacture a story which (1) he did NOT write (2) for an author he did NOT tip off?
Was it the Russians?
To propagate such ungrounded, fallacious calumny not only wreaks of desperation and delusion, it is also heavy with the fragrance of wickedness.
Finally, the "hit piece" charge is so transparent that it might be comical… were it not so mean-spirited and unambiguously impotent.
According to Wikipedia, the definition of a hit piece is as follows (emphasis mine):
A published article or post aiming to sway public opinion by presenting false or biased information in a way that appears objective and truthful.
Nothing stated in the article has been proven erroneous. The article lacked the opinion of the author, presented well-documented evidence for fact-checking, and continually posed questions of the reader, as opposed to opinionated assertions which would thus classify the article as commentary.
A freshman in high school has, by this time of the school year, learned that a basic informative paper for his/her 9th grade Literature/English class must be fully supported by evidence and, thus, cited.
Not for a second do I believe that grown men and women are incapable of discerning what a high school freshman is able discern: the difference between a "hit piece" and a thoroughly documented news report detailing a journalist’s diligent and thorough attempts to verify the statements made by a public figure.
To even indulge claims to the contrary is a waste of time and an insult to every human capable of average cognition.
Another argument being made is that it doesn't matter if Pastor MacArthur remembers EVERY single detail of the event. It was 50 years ago, so why does it matter if the details he provides are factually inaccurate? What do you make of the argument that MacArthur is getting old, and Charles Evers is even older, so we shouldn't expect them to remember the account accurately, thus it's unreasonable to pit their claims against each other?
This past week has been quite illuminating.
Clearly, I can no longer expect men like Phil Johnson or Fred Butler - men who have displayed an unabashed, gleeful, sinister eagerness to bear false witness against me and my work with claims of "yellow journalism" and "sleaze ball hit piece," as well as libelous, dehumanizing, demoralizing labels such as "sycophant" and "fake news friend" - to appreciate the importance of truth, honesty, or integrity. Basic human decorum, as well as the notions of kindness, decency, grace, and class appear to be wholly foreign to far too many.
Alas! The joke is on me for expecting adult-like behavior from those who defend pastors who cover up child sexual abuse and escape consequence due to statute of limitations law; or who defend convicted pedophiles; or who attack the teenage son of one’s enemy, publish articles about the teen’s behavior on a website widely read by Christians, spread rumors about the marital status of that youth’s parents, and then appear utterly perplexed when others object to such morally repugnant, obsessive acts of cyberstalking.
Still, quite curiously, some individuals appear to be making an awfully big effort to refute what they duplicitously insist matters not.
It has been a learning experience observing the efforts of some individuals to refute or to prove information that was never questioned.
As all those who read my article with a semblance of composure, objectivity, and conscientiousness can attest to the following:
At no point was Pastor John MacArthur’s friendship with John Perkins, nor was Pastor MacArthur’s time spent working with Perkins in Mississippi, ever questioned.
At no point was it ever asserted that Pastor MacArthur wasn’t in Mississippi, nor that he wasn’t somewhere with Dr. Perkins, when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was shot. To the contrary, it was stated that the personal testimonies of John Perkins and Charles Evers differ from the public statements made by John MacArthur; and it was stated that the testimonies of John Perkins and Charles Evers indicates that John MacArthur was not with both of these men, together at once, in Charles Evers’ NAACP office, and that all three men have presented starkly different versions of being informed of Dr. King’s death. Acknowledging that there are disparities between the firsthand accounts of the night of April 4, 1968, is not an assertion of anything other than the existence of incongruity in and of itself.
At no point was it ever asserted that Pastor MacArthur was driving to Natchez, Mississippi with Charles Evers, in Evers’ car.
At no point was it ever asserted that Pastor MacArthur never went to Memphis, Tennessee.
At no point was it ever asserted that Charles Evers did not return to Jackson after receiving word of King’s death. To the contrary, Mr. Evers, himself, stated that he returned to Jackson. He stated this in the interview published in my article.
They "doth protest too much, methinks." (Quote: “Hamlet” by William Shakespeare)
Interestingly, and perhaps tragically, little details that determine the difference between truth and fiction - details that are now being so nervously brushed aside - certainly seemed to matter tremendously when the subject was Ergun Caner.
Yes, there does appear to be a silver lining to the fanciful, fanatical machinations of the many conspiratorial and overzealous minds insisting that Howse is the secret mastermind behind my piece, and their refusal to reference me by name (or even to acknowledge or regard me with written words which reflect the fact that I am a child of God).
It's a shame that this plot wasn't around a few years ago to cushion the blows of such "theological thuggery" upon a suicidal teen. (Quote: Todd Starnes)
But, what do I know?
I'm just a woman. And, as some have suggested, my sex should disqualify me from writing articles about John MacArthur.
(E'hem... I am a woman who, evidently, is in possession of more gentility, Christian compassion, manners, dignity, restraint, scruples, and courage than mean-spirited pilgarlics who, dripping in pomposity and lacking maturity, have proven themselves woefully obstinate in their refusal to put forth a coherent, factual, appropriate response to the information presented in my article. These attacks upon myself and upon NOQ Report are inexcusable.)
So, does the truth matter?
We know it matters to God.
We know it matters to Mr. Evers.
Well, it matters to me too, and it should matter to you.
The very essence of my investigative piece was the pursuit of truth.
We know that we have an obligation to strive for holiness.
We know that our loyalty must be reserved for Christ alone.
Well, guess what? Sometimes that means we must confront our own idolatry of others, bite our upper lip, and follow the truth wherever it may lead.
How can anyone claim to seek God's Holy justice if he won't even seek the truth?
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