John MacArthur has been criticized for generalizing the charismatic Christian world and for misinterpreting the works of other thinkers. MacArthur has also been accused of elitism, sectarianism and judgmentalism, according to Charisma magazine.
John MacArthur has spoken and written a considerable amount about charismatic Christianity and its problems. In MacArthur's recent works as of 2015, "Charismatic Chaos" and "Strange Fire," he often uses generalizing phrases, such as "Charismatics believe..." and "The charismatic movement is guilty of..." when in reality many charismatic Christians have a variety of beliefs and thoughts. Many of the people that MacArthur uses to criticize the charismatic Christian movement, such as Kenneth Copeland, Peter Popoff and Paula White, do not represent the majority of charismatic Christians' beliefs.
MacArthur has also been accused of misinterpreting the works of many charismatic Christians and also cherry-picking quotes from their work to support his own arguments. In his work, he often selects quotes from only a handful of church leaders and then passes their brief statements as the legitimate views of charismatic Christians. He also has made statements that some interpret as elitist, claiming that charismatic Christianity is a "false church" and that charismatic Christians do not have the "true gospel." He also seems to promote the differences between his beliefs and those of the charismatic Christians with phrases such as "This is the time for the true church to respond," as if he is setting his form of Christianity against that of the charismatic Christians.