Influential pastor and speaker John MacArthur is causing waves after decrying woman preachers, and saying that popular speaker Beth Moore should “go home.”
MacArthur, who last week was speaking at the “Truth Matters Conference,” a celebration to honor his 50th year in ministry, weighed in on an ongoing debate in the Southern Baptist Convention over women preachers by stating that the nation’s largest so-called Protestant denomination does not hold to the authority of the Bible.
During a question and answer forum, moderator Todd Friel, a former stand-up comic turned talk-show host, asked John MacArthur for his thoughts on popular woman preacher Beth Moore, who has publicly spoken out against what she considers “misogyny” in the Church, after a lot of back-and-forth joking.
“Dr. MacArthur, Beth Moore?”
“How many words do I get?” MacArthur asked.
“You know, actually, before you answer this please think carefully this time ’cause last time you did a one-word association the guy wrote a book about it, and we don’t want that,” Friel stated, referring to when MacArthur called Steven Furtick of Elevation Church “unqualified” during a similar exercise, resulting in Furtick later writing a book titled “(Un)Qualified.”
MacArthur responded by saying, “Go home.”
The audience responded with an eruption of roaring laughter and applause.
“There is no case that can be made biblically for a woman preacher – period, paragraph, end of discussion,” the 80-year-old preacher added to more applause.
“So let me see if I can get a clarification on that,” Friel jokingly stated. “Got one. Phil anything to add?” directing his question to Phil Johnson, executive director of Grace to You, who was also taking part on the panel.
“No, the word that comes to my mind is narcissistic. I think that the first time I saw her I thought … This is what it looks like to preach yourself rather than Christ. …. In fact, she has said that, I read the Bible and try to find myself in the narrative. I put myself in the narrative. And that is exactly what she does,” Johnson stated.
Friel went on to joke more.
“I would just add one thing. Just because you have the skill to sell jewelry on the TV sales channel doesn’t mean you should be preaching. There are people who have certain hawking skills, natural abilities to sell. They have energy, personality and all of that. That doesn’t qualify you to preach.”
Friel, after a short commentary, stated in a more serious tone, “I’m perceiving this is actually troubling you.”
“Profoundly troubles me because I think the Church is caving in to woman preachers. Just the other day the same thing happened with Paula White. A whole bunch of leading evangelicals endorsed her new book. She’s a heretic and a prosperity preacher, three times married. What are they thinking? The MeToo Movement, again, is the culture reclaiming ground in the Church. When the leaders of evangelicals are rolling over for women preachers, feminists have really won the battle,” MacArthur said.
“The primary effort in feminism is not equality. They don’t want equality. That’s why 99 percent of plumbers are men. They don’t want equal power to be a plumber. They want to be senators, preachers, congressman, president, the power structure in a university. They want power, not equality,” MacArthur asserted. “This is the highest location they can ascend to that power in the evangelical church and overturn what is clearly Scriptural. I think this is feminism gone to church. This is why we can’t let the culture exegete the Bible,” he continued.
He then criticized the Southern Baptist Convention’s resolution supporting intersectionality and critical race theory, as well as calls for more diversity in teams translating the Bible.
In response to the comments, Southern Baptist Convention President J.D. Greear took to Twitter on Saturday and tweeted: “Dear Beth Moore, you’re welcome in our home any time.”
Others, including, author Lauren Chandler, who is the wife of the church-planting Acts 29 Network president and pastor Matt Chandler, also tweeted on Saturday, “When I hear the words ‘Beth Moore,’ I think ‘good and faithful servant.’”
Brandon Cox, who leads a church plant from Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church in California, also commented on the situation on Twitter: “The host says, ‘Beth Moore.’ And a man who is supposed to be a model of biblical manhood and spiritual leadership responds, ‘Go home!’ And a room full of men laugh. This is sad. It’s unbiblical. But it’s the fruit of arrogance.”
Kyle Mann, editor-in-chief of the popular satire website Babylon Bee, which has been criticized for its mockery and insensitivity, also raised concerns in an online opinion piece, stating that “…Moore, MacArthur and the GTY gang are not going to win [Beth Moore] over with a zingy one-liner and some chuckles.” Mann, also added, “She’s not going to single-handedly topple Christianity because she’s a little looser in her interpretation of 1 Timothy 2. You are more faithful to try to win her over if you try to refute her from the Scriptures than tear her down with some buddies at a conference.”
Though Beth Moore has not directly responded to MacArthur’s comments, she did post on Twitter on Monday: “I did not surrender to a calling of man when I was 18 years old. I surrendered to a calling of God. It never occurs to me for a second to not fulfill it. I will follow Jesus – and Jesus alone – all the way home. And I will see His beautiful face and proclaim, Worthy is the Lamb!”
The Scripture teaches in 1 Timothy 2:11-15, “Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.”