Sunday, October 27, 2019

"Outraged!" - The John MacArthur & Beth Moore Controversy

     Let me begin by posting this study I wrote: "Should a woman be a pastor/elder?" At this link is a study I wrote on why I believe from a Biblical standpoint that a woman should not be a pastor or elder. You may or may not agree with my position on this, but I am not going to argue this here. I simply post the link to show my position on this issue.

     The issue I DO want to address here is the recent comments John MacArthur made at a conference concerning Beth Moore. If you don't know who these two are, (in short) John MacArthur is a well-known pastor from Grace Community Church in California. Beth Moore is a well-known Bible teacher from Houston, Texas who founded Living Proof Ministries. 

     John MacArthur was asked by the moderator of the conference to give a one-word response to a word he said. That "word" (two words) was "Beth Moore." MacArthur's response was "Go home." He followed that with the sentence: "There is no case that can be made Biblically for a woman preaching: period, paragraph, end of discussion."

     As you can imagine, the "outrage" that followed has been enormous. Frankly, I believe that MacArthur's "two words" were foolish, condescending, and rude. I can certainly understand the criticism he has received from that, and he deserves it. Personally, I think it would have been way more appropriate for MacArthur to simply say: "I disagree" in response to Beth Moore.

     Since this has happened, it has been all over the internet and social media. Dozens of blogs have been written about it. I have spent a lot of time looking at how people have reacted to this. Interestingly, while there is a fair amount of "outrage" over MacArthur's comment for Moore to "go home," the far greater "outrage" has been over his view that a woman should not be preaching. 

     This has been a controversial subject for a while now. If you took the time to read my link above, you will see I "somewhat" agree with MacArthur on this view. I would not say that "no case can be made Biblically for a woman preaching," but I would say that I believe it isn't a real strong case. But again, that is not where I want to go here. What I want to discuss is the "outrage."

     Predictably, much of this "outrage" is coming from women. They have accused MacArthur (and those who think like him) of destroying the lives of women and little girls. Here is a list of "some" of the things that he has been called in the comments I have read for his view on this subject: a misogynist (hater of women), ignorant, prideful, self-righteous, egotistical, arrogant, a pseudo-Christian, a relic, evil, corrupt, a Pharisee, a false prophet, an abuser, and a troll.

***Note: Just because someone believes a woman should not be a minister does not mean they are a misogynist any more than someone who believes homosexuality is wrong is homophobic, or someone who believes Islam is wrong is Islamophobic. (Yes, there are some exceptions.) Because one disagrees with a person's views does not mean that person "hates" them.

     So, in short, because they believe John MacArthur has attacked women, they have decided to attack him back (by attacking his character). How is this attack on MacArthur any better than his (perceived) attack on women? Is this not the definition of a hypocrite?

     Because we disagree with someone does not mean that we need to personally "attack" them. Honestly, I have several disagreements with John MacArthur over his theology, especially some of his teachings on "reformed theology." I have BIG problems with aspects of reformed theology, which I think are cold and destructive. Because he teaches and practices them, am I "outraged?" No. Because he teaches and practices them, do I hate him? No. Because he teaches and practices them, do I personally attack him? No. Do I tell him to "go home?" because I believe he is wrong? No. My "two words" to him are "I disagree." And, I will show from the Bible why I disagree.

     I also do not agree with Beth Moore on some issues, and I have the same "two words" for her: "I disagree."

     Everyone seems to be "outraged" these days. Among non-Christians there is "outrage" against anyone who disagrees with the LGBTQ movement, or who is against abortion. This is to be expected. However, we also have "outrage" within the Christian community. There is "outrage" over a Christian who supports our President (or who doesn't). There is "outrage" in the church over what kind of music should be played, what spiritual gifts should be practiced (i.e. tongues), what version of the Bible should be used, what "end times" view is held, etc.... And, there is "outrage" over our subject of "women in ministry."

     Working in ministry, I have people who are "outraged" with me constantly. It is a part of the life. Usually, people are "outraged" with me over my teaching on a certain topic. Sometimes, they are "outraged" over my strong views on living a "conservative" life (believing I am a "legalist"). Sometimes they are "outraged" if I disagree with a choice they have made. Some people who have known me personally have been "outraged" because they believe I should have made more money to "provide for" my family. A few years ago, a guy saw me for the first time at Bible study and said he had to go outside and "throw up." Some people are going to be "outraged" over this blog post.

     May I offer my solution to all of this?

     I feel very confident that God has called me to ministry. I believe He has called me to do exactly what I am doing. Your "outrage" is not going stop me from fulfilling this call. You can refuse to financially support my ministry, and you can refuse to go to the JesusAlive website if you disagree with me. You can leave my Bible studies if you don't like what I teach. Will that stop me from continuing with my ministry? No! God called me, and with God's help and guidance, I am going to pursue that call with all that I have. Nothing you say will stop me!

     Turning to Beth Moore, she believes God has called her to ministry. She believes that she is doing exactly what God has called her to do. Is she right? I don't know for sure, and honestly, that really isn't for me to decide. But, I do know this: if a woman, feels SURE that God has called her to do something, then she needs to obey God! Whether John MacArthur disagrees with you, or anyone else disagrees with you, you are accountable to GOD, not to man! John MacArthur is also accountable to God.

     People need to stop being "outraged" and attacking those who disagree with them. Your "outrage" is not going to stop Beth Moore, and it is not going to stop women who work in ministry or who are pastors. They are going to pursue the call God they believe God has placed upon their lives. In addition, your "outrage" is not going to stop those who believe women should not be pastors or be in ministry either. In the end, your "outrage" is almost certainly going to hurt you the most. (Yes, it does hurt those you inflict it on some too.) 

     Instead, regarding this issue, if you don't believe that a woman should be a pastor or elder, then don't go to their church. This is one reason why we have different churches. If you don't believe a woman should be in ministry at all, then don't support their ministry.

     If you believe that a woman "should" be a pastor or elder, and should be in ministry then support them. Join their churches, give financially to their churches and ministries, pray for them, and encourage them.

     Let me close with this warning! For those who believe women should not be pastors or be in  ministry, you better REALIZE THIS: women in ministry are still your sisters in Christ. God holds you accountable for how you treat them. On the other hand, those who disagree with women being in ministry are your brothers, and sometimes sisters, in Christ. God holds you accountable for how you treat them as well.

***P.S. Much to her credit, Beth Moore just posted this comment on Twitter two days ago: "Hey, y'all. Let's cool it on the slander toward JMac et al. Doesn't honor God. Let's move on." 

     Hey "JMac," might you have something to say to Beth Moore too?


  1. You would have thought Christ rude for calling the Pharisees sons of hell, hypocrites, whited sepluchires. Beth Moore needs the rebuke Dr. Mac gave her. Did it ever occur to you how odious her disobedience is to God? I will

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. The bible is clear on this subject, therefore, no further discussion is really needed. Females that wrongly serve in authoritative positions do so at their peril. Conversely, men who allow are just as guilty. Christendom has suffered a cancer of compromise for decades to the point it is terminal.

    Beth Moore is makes a good teacher....for women and girls.


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