Yesterday, a friend of mine sent me a clip from a Q&A session that took place at the Truth Matters Conference.
In this clip, Todd Friel asks John MacArthur, and other panel members, to give a one-word answer in response to the name Beth Moore.
His answer was not one word, but two – “Go home.”
Many of you who have spent time in Christian communities are aware of Beth Moore and her work. Personally, her work has brought me to places of healing, has lifted my eyes to Jesus, and has helped to deepen my relationship with Him. God uses this woman. He has used her in my life and in the lives of many of my girlfriends.
Hearing someone respond to her name with the words “Go home” brought out a fire in me.
I had to stop listening to this 7-minute clip multiple times. It was hard to digest what I was hearing. Is this for real? Is this man really saying these things? Are the audience members really clapping and agreeing with him?
I contemplated if I should write about this or not. I reached out to another writer friend of mine who was also struggling, and we both agreed – it was time to speak up.
Friends, this is not okay.
He says that women go for positions such as “senators, preachers, congressmen, President and the power structure in the university” because they want power not equality.
He says “there is no case that can be made Biblically for a woman preacher. Period. Paragraph. End of discussion.”
I don’t think you have ended the discussion Mr. MacArthur – I think you have started a discussion. One that needs to take place.
He also goes on to say, “the #metoo movement is the culture reclaiming ground in the church. When the leaders of evangelicals roll over for women preachers, the feminists have really won the battle”; and then argues against the fact that the Southern Baptist Leaders said there should never be another translation committee without a latino, African American and woman on it.
Honestly, I don’t even know where to begin in response to all of this. I have so many thoughts, but the main one is this – I do not believe if Jesus were here today, on this earth, that He would agree with this man and his words.
These words do not speak love. They speak inequality. They speak dissension. The speak fear.
They remind me of the Pharisees and the Saducees in the time of Jesus.
Jesus was radical. He did a lot in his short time on earth for women. He was for the tax collector. And the leper. And the adulteress. He was for the broken-hearted. The orphan. The widow.
The prominent religious leaders of the time hung him on a cross to die because they were so stuck on their rules. Their laws. Their interpretations of who Jesus was supposed to be.
And He was not who they thought He would be at all. He wasn’t a great King. He was born in a stable. He was of simple means. He gathered the lowly. He spent his time with sinners.
I cannot imagine that if Jesus were here today that He would agree with this man’s words.
Yes, our culture is changing. Yes, we are evolving. Yes, we are having discussions about racial inequality and sexual harassment and immigrants and refugees and homosexuals.
And female preachers.
Women speak at my church. And I love what they say.
It’s time. It’s time we have these talks. It’s time we take a stand against the ugliness that divides. The ugliness that that says standing up against sexual harassment is “the culture reclaiming the church”. The ugliness that does not recognize the need for women, and people of different cultures, being involved in the translation of the Bible (and of course they will speak Greek and Hebrew). The ugliness that attacks a woman who has obviously spent her life following Jesus and striving to help others grow closer to Him.
Beth Moore is not a narcissist. If there is something wrong with looking for yourself in the scripture, then call me and everyone I’ve ever attended Bible study with a narcissist, too. That’s how we learn. We take the scripture and we make it applicable to our lives.
Friends, this is not my usual post – but I could not stay silent.
I know anger is not the answer. I believe that is what the enemy wants.
Prayer is the answer.
So I will pray.
I will pray for our nation. I will pray for church leaders. I will pray for women, like Beth Moore, who have stepped out in faith and are leading others toward Christ. I will pray for those who have been hurt, and marginalized, by the church. I will pray for John MacArthur.
I will pray that our eyes are lifted toward Jesus. I will pray that others come to know Him and love Him. I will pray we can love as Jesus loved.
And that the world will become a better place because our eyes are fixed, not on our own agendas and how we think the world should be, but on Him.
On how He lived.
On how He led.
And on how He loved.
*This post originally appeared on my Truly Yours, Jen – Jennifer Thompson, Writer Facebook page