This is a weird post for me to write. Maybe I should first tell you that I graduated from John MacArthur’s seminary. You should probably know that I chose that seminary above all others because I was drawn to John MacArthur’s fearless preaching of the truth as God revealed it in Scripture. I value the education I received at the Master’s Seminary.

But—oh my gosh—I just heard an audio recording in which John MacArthur demeans and dismisses Beth Moore. I’m shaking. If I conjure up every ounce of optimism and benefit-of-the-doubt-ness I possess, I still can’t find a way to describe it as anything other than disdainful and mean-spirited. If I try to give an honest assessment of how it sounds to me, I think I have to say his words sound hateful and anti-Christ.

Here’s the scenario. John MacArthur is part of a panel discussion, and the moderator asks this: “I will say a word, and then you need to give a pithy response to that one word.” The word that MacArthur is asked to comment on?

Beth Moore.

MacArthur’s response is swift: “Go home.”

This was met by cheers and applause the audience. A roomful of people (attending the Truth Matters Conference which is celebrating 50 years of MacArthur’s ministry) cheered when a PASTOR dismissed a woman made in God’s image with a demeaning phrase. That word “pastor” means “shepherd.” This crowd joined a shepherd in collectively dunking on a woman who loves Jesus and loves Scripture and carefully does her best to promote Jesus wherever she goes.

This is absolutely disgusting. I’m seriously doing the theological equivalent of dry heaving right now. Once more I find myself pleading: Stop treating Beth Moore like garbage!

MacArthur chose to elaborate a bit: “There is no case that can be made for a woman preacher. Period. Paragraph. End of discussion.”

Huge applause.

Except that there is a case that can be made for it, and this case is made by a huge number of scholars and followers of Jesus. MacArthur is allowed to disagree with Beth Moore. Holy smokes. Of course we can disagree about something like this! But he states with absolute confidence and condescension that no one can argue otherwise. And yet I’ll stand here as a graduate of his seminary, as someone who still employs the hermeneutical tools and methods I learned at his seminary, and make a strong argument to the contrary. So many do. It’s misleading, harmful, and disgusting to claim that one’s view on this—regarding which there are between one and a handful passages (depending on which passages one considers relevant) that say anything about this issue.

Phil Johnson, one of MacArthur’s right hand men, also on the panel, chose to answer the same prompt with the word, “Narcissistic.” He said, “When I first saw her I thought, ‘This is what it looks like to preach yourself rather than Christ.'”

I cannot tell you how disgusting it is to hear someone say this. It’s so unfair and cruel. It’s wild to publicly demean a preacher of the gospel who’s not even in the room. Again, this kind of dismissive attitude and contemptuous statement is anti-Christ. All of the many many many calls for love, grace, unity, patience, gracious speech, humility, etc. are thrown out the window. All of the biblical warnings against causing division and controversy are ignored.

MacArthur went on, “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 hocking skills. Natural abilities to sell. They have energy and personality and all that. That doesn’t qualify you to preach.”

You can tell the audience doesn’t know how to respond to that.

And that’s where I died. Those words are so condescending. They seem calculated to wound. To dishonor. To destroy. When I close my eyes and try to picture Jesus saying words like these, I gag. But these words would be right at home in the mouths of Pharisees. I feel qualified to make that last statement because I personally have Pharisaical tendencies. I’m constantly tempted to make myself the measure of orthodoxy and to define my preferred crowd as the “true people of God.” But I know I’m wrong in this. That’s why we started this blog. Jesus is too beautiful and his mission is too important for us to be jackasses in the name of Jesus.

“I believe John MacArthur and Phil Johnson need to repent for saying to the hand, ‘I have no need of you,’ and to Beth Moore, ‘You’re narcissistic and should either stay at home or sell jewelry on TV.'”

I can’t tell you for sure that my motives are entirely pure in writing this. I’d like to believe so, and I’m honestly praying and checking my heart here. If there’s something I’m missing about this discussion, I’d love to hear it. But I believe John MacArthur and Phil Johnson need to repent for saying to the hand, “I have no need of you,” and to the foot “You’re narcissistic and should either stay at home or sell jewelry on TV.” I doubt they’ll read this, and I don’t expect to be heard favorably if they do, but this breaks my heart, and I’m confident it breaks the heart of Jesus, who gave his very life to serve and unify his church.

Mark has been serving in pastoral roles for over 15 years. After a decade in various teaching and administrative roles at Eternity Bible College, Mark now works with Ryan as an associate pastor in Sacramento, California. His books include Resonate: Enjoying God’s Gift of Music and the New York Times bestseller Multiply: Disciples Making Disciples, which he co-authored with Francis Chan. This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. There are costs associated with running the blog. These links help to cover overhead.

65 COMMENTS

  1. I’m disgusted alongside you, Mark. It’s deeply disturbing. It makes me want to apologize to Beth personally, expecting that these two gentlemen will not. It reminds of a piece of advice a Jesus loving friend gave me years ago, “Allow the Jesus in you to forgive the Pharisee in them.” It’s helpful for me to remember I have been on both sides of this wounding.

    • Well said, Steph. I have been on both sides of the wounding. Though I’ve never been targeted for this kind of thing like many women in general or like Beth Moore in particular.

    • idk but what they did was kinda like “being proud of themselves” when in fact God was the one who speaks for them. God uses them. it feels like theyre the one being honored and not the Lord.

  2. Way to go Mark! This recording makes my skin crawl. Are women not allowed to teach other women?! What about Titus 2? It’s such an unloving and belittling tone they all had it makes me so sad. Are women now allowed to be apart of the body of Christ and use their gifts and talents? Was not a prostitute commended in the Hall of Faith in Hebrews?

  3. Does John M believe that he is faithfully and literally applying “…treat them like an unbeliever…?” He is surely grasping at the treatment of false prophets of old, and carrying out his non-literal (ironic) application of “stoning the false teacher.” So he arrogantly judges our sister as either unbeliever or false teacher, when even Jesus declared he didn’t come to judge, but save. And Paul, who won’t even judge himself, much less the servant of another. And yes, rejoiced when the gospel was preached by no-matter-who. Better yet, has he exempted himself from the literal command to “…honor all people…?” I too am frightened by the outcomes, the influence, as evidenced in audience response. It is the followers of strong teachers who take even godly teaching to extremes. I shiver to think to what Pharisaical levels his followers will now freely and vigorously sink. “Better,” Jesus said, “…a millstone be hung around his neck than that [John, who I am still holding out to be my brother, but barely,] cause any one of these little ones to stumble.” Yet thousands stumbled in our hearing. “But Lord, we preached in your name!” I can hear John crying out on that day. And my heart aches. And the Lord will say on that day, “I never knew you.” Who am I to do anything but tremble at the possibility that I may one day hear such words for my own unfaithfulness? But when the affront of pride slides so easily from his untamed tongue of fire, and then is shamelessly affirmed, and so heartily, by his stage-sharing-so-called-brothers, I am left to grieve, to weep, and to beg for this man’s soul.

  4. I have never been comfortable with John MacArthur, but many people close to me are. Many seem to take his word and his approach as the gospel truth, people I love who love Jesus. My discomfort with his ministry has been an uninformed kind of gut reaction type of discomfort. So, I’ve tried to have little to say about him, his church or his opinions. That’s over. I think that MacArthur and his followers believe in the sanctity of God’s word, and hold a high view of the standards set forth in scripture. I truly believe that. The problem is that they have their own interpretation, and seem to leave no room for those who, while seeking the Lord and listening to the prompting of the Holy Spirit, have landed elsewhere. In villanizing alternate points of view, MacArthur has lost sight of one of the two greatest calls Jesus puts on our lives…love your neighbor. Not love your neighbor when her theology lines up exactly with yours…..for goodness sake, Jesus metaphor in explaining this simple truth used a Samaritan.

    I have been wrestling with the teaching from 1 Timothy which seems to address women and their role in leadership. To say there is can be no case that can be made for a woman preacher is ridiculous. Setting up camps on alternate sides of incredibly nuanced issues wherein each side cannot hear (much less love) one another is foolish in any situation. In the church it is heartbreaking.

    I’m having a hard time loving those I see as intolerant Pharisees right now. The call on my life is to see them as deceived and not divide further. Pray for me, I’m in a bad place on this one seeing villains and agents of evil. Perhaps those I see as intolerant are the neighbors I must love well.

  5. Mark, can you link or site your references for the scripture that refutes his claim that “There is no case that can be made for a woman preacher. Period. Paragraph. End of discussion.”?

    Emotionally, I’m with you, that this is disgusting. I’d like to see a counter to his argument from scripture though. You said twice that you (along with a “huge number of scholars and followers of Jesus”) can make that argument.

    Again, I’m with you on this.

    • Hey Dan! Yeah, thanks for asking. I’d cite verses like Gal. 3:28: “there is neither male nor female, all are one in Christ.” Or Rom. 16:2, where Paul honors Junia, a woman who seems to have been an apostle (though her name was changed in many Greek composite texts and English translations to a made up male form of the name around the time of the reformation). I’d also cite the same verses used to forbid women preaching, like 1 Tim 2:12, because it’s all about reading them in context. That same passage forbids braided hair or jewelry, but we all instinctively know Paul is not forbidding this for all women everywhere. He was dealing with a specific situation. It shouldn’t be considered invalid to see the same dynamics in play when Paul forbids women’s preaching a few verses later. Same with 1 Cor 11 and 14. Paul expresses says that women should prophecy (something MacArthur forbids), but Paul also appeals to the creation account to say that women must wear head coverings. Again, we all agree he’s addressing a specific situation (no one agrees on exactly what).

      As for articles, here are a couple of short ones, though it’s hard to dig into the culture in such a short space.

      Here’s one by NT Wright: http://www2.cbeinternational.org/CBE_InfoPack/pdf_files/wright_biblical_basis.pdf
      And one by Scot McKnight: https://www.patheos.com/blogs/jesuscreed/2013/09/25/women-in-the-early-church/

      If you want a killer podcast that will challenge some of our prevalent assumptions about women in ministry, this one does a great job in giving an overview. Start with this episode and keep listening to the subsequent episodes in the series: https://overcast.fm/+NGLPe0VE8

      If you want a good book on it, I’d recommend Alice Matthew’s “Gender Roles and the People of God,” Andrew Bartlett’s “Men and Women in Christ,” Lucy Peppiatt’s “Reduscovering Scripture’s Vision for Women,” or the “Two Views on Women in Ministry” book edited by Beck. If you want a short, sweet ebook on the Junia apostle thing, Scott McKnight’s “Junia Is Not Alone” is powerful. Another good short one is Michael Bird’s “Bourgeois Babes, Bossy Wives, and Bobby Haircuts.”

      This is just the tip of the iceberg. Plus, I’d love to sit down and chat about this if you want. As I said, I’m not trying to say complementarians are idiots, I think it’s a valid interpretation of some of those passages, I’m just saying that’s it’s dishonest of MacArthur to say you can’t make a case otherwise.

    • Alongside Mark’s very helpful recommendations, let me add “Discovering Biblical Equality: Complimentarity Without Hierarchy,” which includes contributions from a couple dozen evangelical scholars. Also along with the apostle Junia, take a closer look at the ministries of the prophet Huldah (2 Kings 23) and the deacon Phoebe (Romans 16). For a deep dive into evangelical egalitarianism, I recommend the website for Christians for Biblical Equality and their scholarly journal The Priscilla Papers.

      In my opinion, both complementarians and egalitarians are able to make a strong Scriptural case for their views. I think this issue is a difficult one and not something we should divide over. But regardless of one’s views on women in ministry, I think the way Johnny Mac spoke about Beth Moore was demeaning and appalling. It was especially perplexing to me in light of the fact that Beth Moore’s ministry has been almost exclusively to women and focused on helping them learn, memorize and apply the Word.

  6. I too have had a gut feeling hesitancy about macarthur. There is a cultish control and ever so stuffed-shirt smugness in the opinions I hear him express. This however is an unprecedented low which is dripping with envy. I think it may come down to this…Beth Moore is actually better than them at it…and they know it… and as Corporal Jones would have said to Capt Manwaring, ‘they don’t like it up them sir’!

  7. After having recently come out of a decades long abusive, patriarchal marriage to a man who has the same opinions of women and their ‘place’ in the church, I am certain this is grievous to Jesus. The mocking and laughing and dismissing of Beth, and all women, by Dr. MacArthur is disgusting and reprehensible, but not new. It is what I lived with for many years. This wrong theology was the bedrock of the toxic church I went to, taught from the pulpit and adhered to by so many (men) in the congregation. It’s been propagated for a very long time. There are countless wounded women who have left the church (more importantly their faith) because of this belief system. Shame on you, Dr. MacArthur. Thank you for writing about this. It’s about time. #endabusetowomeninthechurch

    • Julie, I too ended an abusive marriage just as you described, heavily influenced by the kind of thinking JM and company espouse. There is something so dehumanizing to be treated with contempt and derision, every single day, and have it dressed up like it’s God’s will. I am with you that this is grievous to Jesus.

      The church has got to wake up to this. It’s starting. But there’s so much ground to cover. There’s a community of us women of faith dealing with devastation from abuse called Flying Free. If you haven’t heard of it, it may be a useful resource to you. Flyingfreenow.com .

      Grace and peace to you Julie!

      • Rachel,

        Thank you for your kind words. I have been a member of Natalie’s group for over a year, which led me to other very helpful resources and support groups.

        I have much to say on the subject of how women are treated in the church, but this is not the forum. I do see the church starting to heed the wake up call, but like you said, there is so much ground to cover. The John MacArthur video just reaffirms that change must start ‘at the top’. The hardest thing for me to wrap my brain around is how many women are leaving, not simply the church, but their faith. Countless women have walked away from God because they have been blamed, shamed, and abandoned by the church.

        Grace and peace to you My Sister.

  8. My heart hurts. I will pray for all involved- hurt and even mislead by his words. One must teach love and forgiveness as well as hell and brimstone. I simply love Beth Moore and its because of her teaching I became more faithful in my own walk.

  9. Thank you for writing this. I’m absolutely heart-broken to learn of this behavior from a pastor, from all the men in the room that participated in the “joke”. The fact that the panelist selected her name as the first word for a response to isn’t lost in this either. Perhaps he knew it would get a reaction. So I’m asking myself…was this cruelty to Beth Moore simply for their own gain in laughs and applause? It’s despicable. I learned so many solid, biblical truths from the very meaty bible studies written by Beth Moore. Studies that didn’t come without a price to her while writing them. Her studies challenged the truths I held, that should have been challenged – and greatly deepened my relationship with Jesus.

  10. I have lost a lot of respect for these men. John MacArthur was right— he was set up. I am not supportive of women preachers at all, but to slander her and accuse her on many levels is narcissistic and phariseical. To hear people praising a preacher for a sermon public ally and saying “way to go” also seems very out of place. Isn’t it God who deserves that glory. The spirit and arrogance here is very uncomely for a child of God let alone a preacher of God’s Word. It’s offensive!

  11. Thank you, Mark, for writing this. If it breaks my heart, how much more pain must God feel, watching his children be cruel to their siblings?

  12. Wait, you went to Master’s and MacArthur’s position on women in the pulpit shocks you? Also, context is key here. People are using an out of context quote from a Q&A session to falsely claim that MacArthur and Johnson are somehow misogynistic. It’s ridiculous and baseless. Those men are simply upholding the biblical reality that qualified men are to be elders in the church. Go ahead, try to make the biblical case that women are to be elders in the church. You won’t be able to from the scriptural text. Why doesn’t the Bible provide a list of qualification for women elders like it does for men?

    • Finally, Zach, someone speaks the truth. Thank you! MacArthur is being undeservingly crucified for an out of context soundbite. Shame on us! Satan won today by enticing God’s people to malign a faithful preacher of the word.

    • Hi Zach.

      I did indeed go to Master’s, and no, Dr. MacArthur’s position on women in the pulpit does not shock me. I shared his view for many years. But we both know that wasn’t what my article was about. I said clearly that MacArthur is allowed to disagree with Beth Moore on this. That wasn’t may issue. I have two issues with what he said. The first is the mean way in which he said what he said. If you think I’m misreading this and MacArthur’s comment was meant to address something he disagreed with in such a way that his speech was full of grace and seasoned with salt and trying to uplift a woman that Jesus died to save and has been using powerfully for his kingdom, then please help me see what I’m missing. I’ve actually heard Dr. MacArthur lovingly and gently correct people many times. This was not that. I’m not positive, but I feel like Phil Johnson’s accusations might be more offensive to me—Dr. MacArthur could have corrected that but opted to give the jewelry hocking insult instead. I’m honestly confused that you say this is “ridiculous and baseless.” Zach, please feel free to defend complementarianism. I can make a strong case for this view as well. But are you actually wanting to defend the tone of these comments? In theory, we should be able to agree that neither of these men is perfect and that sometimes they’ll say and do things that dishonor God. This is frequently the case with me. Is this a time to double down on the supposed God-honoring nature of the kind of tone they used and the specific things they said? I also don’t agree that this is out of context. The clip shows their response to the question. MacArthur joked he was being set up. He knew it was a tricky situation. The moderator warned him to consider before he responded. And this is what he chose to say. For someone as comfortable speaking in front of large audiences (both in attendance and via audio—the event was celebrating 50 years of him preaching prolifically and speaking that preaching via radio), I believe he knows how to say things tactfully if he wants to.

      And regarding your doubling down on MacArthur’s statement that you can’t make a case from the scriptural text, I’m struggling not to see your statement as disingenuous. Zach, have you read any of the many books and articles from Bible-believing egalitarians? Do you know any egalitarians and have you listened to any of their arguments? Because the thing is they DO make a biblical case and they DO make that case from the scriptural text. I’m pretty sure what you’re meaning to say is, “You won’t be able to make a Scriptural case that I will see as valid.” And that’s fair. But it’s wrong to say that it can’t be made. That’s my second issue with MacArthur’s answer.

      As for your last comment, I don’t believe 1 Timothy 3 is meant to be a list of qualifications for male elders. It’s just talking about the qualifications for an elder. Period. It uses the phrase “husband of one wife,” and there are disagreements here, but I don’t believe Paul is trying to speak exclusively of men any more than he is trying to refer to only men when he frequently uses the term “brothers.” It’s poor exegesis to stop at how a phrase sounds to us in English. There are great books you an read on this that dig into the biblical context, language, culture, and flow of argument. But even on a very surface level, Paul also says in following verses that deacons must be “the husband of one wife,” and yet we have examples of female deacons (Rom. 16:2). I’m not saying you have to agree with me, I’m simply saying that it’s wrong and unhelpful of Dr. MacArthur to pretend that no one can read the Scripture and come to a different conclusion than he does.

      • Yes, in context the tone and the content were just fine. Beth Moore is a very public figure. She’s not just some woman who happens to have questionable theology in this area. She is a very popular leader with a strong following and a large platform. Given her position and her recent willingness to embrace the social justice/critical theory movement, criticism is not only appropriate, but biblically demanded. Critical theory is unbiblical and divisive at its core. It offers no hope of reconciliation or redemption. It has nothing to do with the Gospel of Christ but finds it origins in secular humanism. It has also been shown that Moore has selectively edited some her previous work to remove references to a biblical stance on the issue of homosexuality. She is clearly heading in a dangerous direction. And she isn’t alone. Other significant contingents within the Southern Baptist Convention have embraced critical theory and “wokeness”, including Moore’s good friend and current SBC president, J.D. Greear. It has also become increasingly popular in these same circles to question biblical complementarity and the very clear biblical teaching of the exclusivity of men in pastoral leadership (It would not be surprising at this point to see Moore become the next president of the SBC). However, the popular arguments in favor of placing women in pastoral roles are not coming from a careful and consistent examination of the scriptural texts. Instead, there are appeals to all kinds of extra biblical sources, popular social sentiment, feminism, and a myriad of teachers who eisegetically read their own man-centered notions of gender roles into the biblical texts. Understanding that this Q&A session took place at a conference addressing the subject of Biblical Sufficiency, the strong denunciation of someone who has a pattern of undermining that sufficiency, is completely appropriate, whether it is a man or woman.

        On a related note, I want to ask you, is Scripture really sufficient for faith and practice? You stated that you’ve changed your understanding regarding what the Bible says about men and women in pastoral leadership? But what was the catalyst? Did that change of mind come primarily from a careful study of the scriptures themselves, or was it perhaps influenced more strongly by current cultural and social sentiments/conventions? Again, there isn’t any place in the scripture from which the positive case for women as pastors/elders can be made. We shouldn’t build doctrine on arguments from silence. And you assert that when Paul talk about the qualification for elders he’s being ambiguous about gender, is contextually absurd. It’s obvious that he should be the “husband of one wife” clearly assumes Paul is talking about men in that context.

        To the issue of who is or who isn’t being disingenuous – taking an objective view of the video clip in question, especially considering the subject matter of the conference, the format, the men involved, and your own personal insight – I still find it hard to believe that your “disgust” wasn’t driven more by how you feel the out-of-context quote hit the ears of the uninformed masses, than what was actually expressed by those men.

        • Hi Zach,

          Yes, I believe in the sufficiency of Scripture. I read constantly, so after reading more and more research on the passages in question, I eventually reached a tipping point. If you’d like to be introduced to some egalitarian scholars who believe in inerrancy and sufficiency and are doing exegetical work on this issues (sounds like you haven’t been pointed to any resources like this yet), I’d encourage you to read: Alice Matthew’s “Gender Roles and the People of God,” Andrew Bartlett’s “Men and Women in Christ,” Lucy Peppiatt’s “Reduscovering Scripture’s Vision for Women,” or the “Two Views on Women in Ministry” book edited by Beck. If you want a short, sweet ebook on the Junia apostle thing, Scott McKnight’s “Junia Is Not Alone” is powerful. Another good short one is Michael Bird’s “Bourgeois Babes, Bossy Wives, and Bobby Haircuts.”

          • Marc, your patient and thought provoking responses to Zach are further evidence of your desire to shine the light on Jesus in everything you write and say. I cannot grasp the determination of men like Zach to proclaim there is only one way to interpret scripture regarding women in leadership positions in the church. I read fear in his position; fear and a desperate sense that Jesus will not prevail unless men take the hard and immovable stance regarding his own view of scripture. I have a strong orthodoxy myself, formed over 60 years of studying the Bible commentary by Matthew Henry, the devotions of Oswald Chambers, the apologetics of C.S. Lewis, and the life of Corrie ten Boom, a family friend. I have close friends and family influenced by the same who come to different conclusions than I do. How we respond to those who have differing views is absolutely vital. Like you, I am constantly seeking to gut-check myself…are my motives pure? Am I speaking with grace and mercy? Do I desire to promote myself or am I building up the Body? When I listen, am I really seeking to hear and understand, or simply preparing my own rebuttal? These are things to consider in conversation with God before speaking or writing and I hope this will co to use throughout the rest of my life. As I re-read your article and responses to comments, I continue to believe that God is using you to speak truth in love. Again, I thank you.

          • I’m not asking for a list of books. Since you brought it up let’s try an example. Please demonstrate to me how this passage –
            “Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task. Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full[a] respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.” – is addressing anything other than the qualifications for men as elders in the church.
            You’re the one who’s had the change of mind. You claim the Bible allows for it. How can someone who has studied the Greek (presumably, based on your attending Mater’s) and knows how the language works, honestly argue that this passage is in any way ambiguous regarding gender?
            It’s very popular today to assert all kinds of things regarding what the Bible has to say on a whole host of issues, especially when historical and orthodox beliefs come into direct conflict with popular conventions and ever changing social mores. It’s much less popular (and far less common) for people to even make an attempt to backup their assertions using the source text, let alone to do without violating the principles of hermenuetical consistency or the basic rules which govern honest textual criticism.

      • Not to mention the fact that women did not have more than one husband….so it did not have to be addressed. Men often had more than one wife.

  13. This situation has to be looked at in context. John MacArthur was on a stage in his own church at his own conference. The room was filled with like minded people who know very well where he stands on the issue of women in the pulpit. When the moderator said “Beth Moore” the laughs from the crowd were not mocking or rude. It was more like “oh no, we know how Pastor John feels about this topic”. And when he said “period. End of paragraph.” that was to be expected. Again, everyone in that room knows that Dr. MacArthur has his doctrinal view locked in on this issue. He is a Biblical scholar and has been a pastor for five decades. I think he has preached a few sermons on this and didn’t need to preach another in this forum. His comment about selling jewelry on TV…..I did not interpret that at all as a personal attack on Beth. He was making the bigger point that all of your gifts must be filtered through God’s framework/His word. So just because Beth is gifted with many of the talents necessary to preach, that does not mean it is permissible in God’s perfect design. If my daughter has a beautiful body, she may be able to make a lot of money modeling skimpy swimsuits, but that doesn’t line up with scripture, therefor I wouldn’t encourage it. I saw that as his overriding point. MacArthur went on to say that he is bothered by the culture creeping into the Bible, and he sees feminism creeping in here. Everyone should listen to the whole clip, and remember that he was among “family” during this discussion. Theologically, I believe he is right on. And his willingness to stand firm in the truth is refreshing. This country is on a dangerous, slippery slope falling farther and farther away from God. Nobody knows God anymore because His word is being compromised, watered down, and reshaped to our liking. Praise God for men like John MacArthur who unapologetically preach the Truth!

    • Hi Courtney!

      Thanks for commenting. What I have always loved about Dr. MacArthur is that he is willing to speak the truth even when it’s not popular. But that wasn’t my concern with his statements. I appreciate your attention to the context of the event. For me personally, I’m having a hard time coming up with any context in which this would be God-honoring speech. Again, it’s not his position, it’s the way he chose to—I think—attack someone else. I can understand what you’re saying about him being in his own church at his own conference and therefore feeling comfortable. But of course, that doesn’t make it okay. I can be in my own literal home all by myself and feeling very comfortable and still sin. It’s also interesting that the conference was celebrating 50 years of his prolific preaching ministry and of his sermons, conferences, and Q&As being distributed worldwide over the airwaves. I just don’t buy that he didn’t understand that other people would be hearing what he said.

      We can disagree of course, and I’m glad you’re looking for the best in this. One thing that would actually help me a lot is if Dr. MacArthur issued a statement clarifying what he meant or stating that he was being misunderstood. I’m sure people around him have heard of the controversy his statements have caused, and if it were me, I’d be eager to explain that I didn’t mean to hurt a beloved image bearer of God and faithful co-laborer for the gospel. I’d issue an immediate apology and explain unequivocally that I respect Beth Moore as someone who loves Jesus and has devoted her life to serving him, but that I still disagree with her convictions in this area. That’s what I’d do. I’d love to see him clarify along those lines.

  14. I’m glad to see a few people coming forward in support of the Complementarian point of view, and even in support of John MacArthur. One of the great things about this forum is that it has generally been a safe place for people to disagree. I will continue to strive to do my best to understand and empathize with folks here who disagree with me. I do empathize with MacArthur’s high view of scripture. I take incredible exception with what/‘how he expressed his point of view. I listened to the entire audio, and I can say with certainty that my disgust with the approach to Beth more does not come from a place of taking a few comments out of context.

    Courtney, I think you are right. Our country is on a dangerous course of falling further and further away from God. I’m becoming increasingly convinced that is happening because Christians don’t lead with love. The men on that stage are so convinced that they are right, that they leave no room for another interpretation. They seem more concerned with being right than they are with loving others well in the name of God. Jesus said Love God and love your neighbor. He didn’t say love God, understand the desire and will of our incomprehensible God fully and allow for no quarter for those who disagree with you, and then love others.

    The lack of charity shown to Beth Moore here makes my skin crawl. When MacArthur’s colleague Phil said Beth Moore is preaching herself rather than Christ when she says she tries to put herself in the narrative is twisting Beth Moore’s words. Talk about taking something out of context! Aren’t we all called to find the truth God is teaching us personally as we study God’s Word? No one came to her defense. If I was in the crowd when MacArthur told Beth Moore to go home, I would have booed. When she was compared to a huckster jewelery salesperson I would have booed.

    I got particularly discouraged when MacArthur took a stand against feminism. I don’t see anything wrong with a woman as a Senator, Congressman or President. No one maligns men for being power hungry when they aspire to such a role, rather we look at their character and form opinions accordingly.

    What this forum is trying to point out is that as Christians we are to be known for our love, but instead we are known for what we stand against. We love you as long as you aren’t Democrat, Feminist, LGBTQ, Socialist, Pro-Abortion, any denomination but mine….shall I go on? Seriously, if all we love are people like us who agree with us than who will love the lost?!?

    Courtney, I agree with you. Our country is moving away from God. I’m afraid it is because we have lost our calling and not because of our lack of regard for the truth of scripture. Our calling is to seek the lost, not reject others who don’t agree with us.

    John MacArthur said there is no room for an alternate view of women’s role in the church….period, end of sentence. I disagree. I’ll leave you with these two questions which gave me the room I needed to begin investigating the complementarian point of view:
    Our God is unchanging and only good. I’m sure we all agree. Why would our unchanging God use women in leadership (Miriam, Deborah etc.) and then decide it’s a bad idea? If Paul was forbidding women as leaders for all places and all times, why would he work so closely alongside women leaders (Priscilla, Junia)?

  15. One more thing about the reaction to all this – the term repentance is being tossed around quite a bit here – but what sin are MacArthur and Johnson guilty of? As I recall, Jesus, Paul, and the other writers of the NT all used strong language when addressing unbiblical or heretical teaching. Should they have repented? Additionally, Beth Moore is a public teacher with a large following, she is not a member of MacArthur’s flock. Given her notoriety, position and responsibilities, his response in addressing her error should look different than if he were addressing a member of his flock who was in error. Again, there is biblical precedent for this.

    • Uncharitable speech. If you want a specific passage, 1 Timothy 6:4 is a decent summary: “Slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction.”

      • In 1 Timothy 6, Paul is warning Timothy about false teachers…..”false teachers with an unhealthy craving for controversy.” Wow, very interesting that you are putting John MacArthur in that category.

        • Hi Courtney. I didn’t call John MacArthur a false teacher, I said he was exhibiting slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction. As you said, since Paul says those things are characteristic of false teachers is good reasons to avoid such things.

          • By referencing a verse that is 100% referring to false teachers, it can be implied that you were calling him one. Please choose another verse to call out his sin. Being a pastor, surely you know that reading/quoting the Bible out of context leads to much heresy. And remember Ecclesiastes 7:20…”Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins.” John MacArthur sinned. Period. End of paragraph. Instead of giving him a call or an edifying email, all of the Monday morning quarterback “christian” bloggers decided to put up flashy graphics and use words like “disgusting” to encourage us all to be better. John MacArthur was crucified in the public square for “uncharitable speech”. Elders are worthy of double honor, however, he was given a good spanking and zero grace. You all splattered his misstep worldwide over the internet….causing division among believers and doubt among unbelievers. If there is any repentance to be happening here, you may want to look in the mirror.

          • Courtney, I see this differently. However, I do agree with you on your greater points….we need to lead with grace, we need to promote unity in the church, and we need to find ways to love people well even when we disagree with what they have done. This is as true for John MacArthur as it is for Beth Moore.

            That said, MacArthur is a leader in his church, speaking in a public forum, and the interview was posted as a proclamation for all to hear. Also, MacArthur is presenting his position as irrefutable, and as obviously God’s perspective on the matter. If the comments were made to me in private, I would object in private. I believe he sullied the Gospel for all to see, and so I must also speak for all to see. I have not spent my life building the kind of platform that MacArthur has, and my voice will be heard by few. His has been heard by millions.

            I do appreciate that you recognized his behavior as sin, and that’s the issue I see. I don’t agree with his “I’m right and you all must agree or be labeled heretic” stance, but I know he didn’t come to his position lightly. That is not the issue. I believe that if we allow poor treatment of women by the church and church leaders to be seen as acceptable, we will lose our chance to preach the Gospel to many who need it.

            I know you don’t appreciate the verses Mark cited in his critique of the interview. I hold that the Bible is replete with admonitions against the behavior that has sparked the controversy. Mark already cited Colossians 4:6 “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”

          • Sean & Dave, hopefully this will be my last response and then y’all can be rid of me. I’m not going to further address John MacArthur’s sin. We can all agree that his verbiage of “go home” could have been a little more grace-filled. And I am also not going to address Phil Johnson’s comments, which I actually find to be much more hurtful than JM’s. But nobody really knows who Phil is, so his name wasn’t sensational enough to make the headlines. I have three general areas of concern/disagreement with what you’ve said.

            1. John MacArthur is absolutely allowed to have a FIRM opinion on this doctrinal topic. In firm, I mean, he can believe that he is right and that there is no other way. That is why we have so many denominations and churches within the Christian faith……because Bible reading, Bible teaching leaders have interpreted the Bible differently. Sean, you don’t seem to like that MacArthur sees his “position as irrefutable” and that he has the “I’m right and you all must agree or be labeled as a heretic”. Well, newsflash, every Pastor holds their positions with great conviction, and if they don’t, they are weak Pastors and I grieve for their confused flock. How are they to teach if they don’t hold a solid position? The issue of female leadership/teaching in the church is what I consider an “open-handed” doctrine. It is not essential for salvation. I believe that there will be people from both sides of the fence in heaven. However, there is ONE interpretation that is correct, and that is God’s. God DOES have an opinion on this topic. We will know the correct interpretation in heaven. I tend to think John MacArthur is correct, however, who knows, maybe I’ll be surprised. Maybe Beth Moore is correct. I can’t wait to find out! But we won’t know this side of heaven. In the meantime, John MacArthur has every right to teach his view, and only his view, to his congregation, or to any who make the choice to listen to him. We are called to be watchmen on the wall, sounding the trumpet when we see danger approaching. In that panel discussion, MacArthur was sounding a trumpet regarding a doctrine he sees as dangerous. That does not make him unloving or harsh. Maybe his choice of words could have been better, but the fact that he regards his position as correct, is absolutely acceptable, and in fact expected in his position of leadership.

            2. The public nature of the rebuke that John MacArthur received on this website, and hundreds of others, by brothers in Christ, was completely unbiblical, sad, and honestly shocking in my opinion. Now unbelievers ranting about it, I don’t care….they don’t know better. But you guys…..mature believers? The Bible speaks of discipline in Matt. 18 and in summary, in order for it to happen a person must be a believer, affiliated with the church that is disciplining them, and must be knowingly and defiantly persisting in sin. There is absolutely NO biblical case for Pastors or laypeople outside of one’s local, covenant membership to discipline another believer. And that is exactly what has been done to JM. He has been “disciplined”…which means, by definition, rebuked for an offense. You may say, “oh we were just encouraging other believers to do better, using this already public situation as an example”. Nope, no biblical case for that. Proverbs 17:19 – “Whoever covers an offense seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates friends”. You defamed the name of an anointed man of God and spread his sin further and wider than it would have ever gone. I know the internet “feels” like our church sometimes with all of the dialogue that happens here, but it is not! Neither Dave, Max Lucado, J.D. Greear, or anyone else has the authority to publicly rebuke John MacArthur. There are a million other ways to encourage your flocks to love better. Holding up a brother’s sin and calling it “disgusting” and “appalling” is actually the MOST appalling thing I can think of. What took place on these blogs was gossip, slander, and unwholesome talk, all in the name of “love”. We need to be VERY careful about broadcasting a fellow believer’s sin publicly. It is not a loving or biblical response to sin, and therefore does harm on so many levels. There is no example of this behavior anywhere in the Bible. And please don’t use Paul and Peter…..they were within each other’s direct church community, therefore, it was entirely permissible what Paul did. It seems almost commonplace to blog about a topic like this because JM is a public figure and christian bloggers and commentators these days can’t miss an opportunity to strike while the iron is hot. But be careful….never at the expense of a brother in Christ. On the other hand, it is 100% appropriate for the elders of Grace Community to pull John aside and draw to his attention anything that is deemed as sinful. That may have happened, but honestly, it is not our business. Sean, you justified the public nature of this incident by saying that these comments were “posted as a proclamation for all to hear”. That is unequivocally false. The comments did become public, but they were not posted by Dr. MacArthur or his staff. If you can find otherwise, then I apologize for my error. The session has never been posted on the app, the website, or anything published by the church. The video is nowhere to be found. It looks like an “audio leak”. Many other sermons from the conference were posted, but this never was. And it wasn’t posted and removed in response to the controversy. It was NEVER posted. I am under the impression that it was always meant to be a session to remain within those walls. Kind of a “family” discussion on doctrine. Again, not making the case at all that sin is okay if it is in secret. I’m simply refuting your comment that John MacArthur made himself public, therefore that justifies public scrutiny. You said that he “sullied the gospel for all to see, and so I must speak for all to see”. Um, no, John MacArthur’s sin is not your responsibility. If you are an elder at GCC, then yes, but you are not, so not in your job description.

            3. Sean, lastly, in one of your earliest comments you said that people are leaving the church because Christians don’t lead with love. You say we are “more concerned with being right than loving others”. Don’t really know where to start here. What city do you live in? I live in Dallas. We just got hit with a tornado a few days ago. Schools, homes, and business were destroyed in the heart of our city. While everyone is pitching in to help, who are the most visible in the recovery effort? Christians. Where are all of the drop off locations for supplies and food? Churches. When I went to clean up, who was I with? Mainly believers in Jesus. Who runs the abortion clinics trying to save the lives of innocent children? Christians. Where were your children born? Very likely it was a Baptist, Presbyterian, or Methodist hospital. When you serve in a soup kitchen on Thanksgiving day, who are you most likely serving with? Christians. When you go in a prison on a Saturday, who is usually there crying with and loving on the people? Christians. Since when have we gotten the bad wrap o not leading with love? I’ll tell you where….from our “progressive” and tolerant culture that is speaking lies to us and telling us that proclaiming the truth and holding an opinion on something is “unloving”. Suddenly, sharing with people that homosexuality is not God’s design for relationships is harsh and unloving. Actually, it is the most loving thing you can tell someone struggling in that sin. Let me tell you, my hairdresser for TEN years was a gay man. I sat in his chair 6 times a year for 10 years. My hair takes a long time to color, so doing the math, I spent upwards of 180 solid hours with this man. I laughed with him, cried with him, knew his mom and his aunts’ names, tipped him well, bought him gifts (including a Bible and his favorite brand of shirt at Nordstrom…lol), and cried when we hugged goodbye before he moved to a different city to be closer to family. He KNEW that I loved him. But, I never ONCE endorsed his lifestyle. That would have been the most cruel thing I could have ever done. I always spoke truth to him. He was a lost, unhappy soul, hidden behind a bright smile and outgoing personality. He was walking outside of God’s will and I was NOT going to tell him that it was okay. I LOVED him by telling him that God loves him and has a BETTER way for him. God’s truth is NEVER unloving. The problem with Christianity is that we don’t have truth anymore. Everything is permissible now. That’s why we don’t look different from the world. Why would people be attracted to Jesus? We’ve made him look like some worldly dude who just thinks all is okay if we love people. Well love doesn’t exist without truth. Love rejoices with the TRUTH. Jesus is the way, the TRUTH, and the life. You will know the TRUTH, and the TRUTH will set you free. Need I go on? Biblical truth is imperative. Hence the name of John MacArthur’s conference….”Truth Matters”. But it has been lost. Because pastors are so fearful of being scrutinized and judged, just as JM has been judged this week. Thankfully, we still have pastors like Dr. MacArthur who care more about God’s glory than public opinion. Absolute truth is a very unpopular concept these days. One of the most absolute truths in the history of the world, one’s gender, is now not so absolute. So, we are not missing LOVE, we are missing TRUTH. The prevailing cultural virtue of tolerance has infiltrated the evangelical church. And one last thing…..in response to your quote “if the poor treatment of women is seen as acceptable, we lose our chance to preach the gospel”. By this statement you are making a HUGE and accusatory statement about John MacArthur. You are insinuating that he treats women poorly. Really? Because of his “go home” statement? Why don’t you speak to his wife, daughters, sisters, friends, and women in his congregation before you toss an awful statement like that out there in the open? Shameful. I can assure you that John MacArthur does not treat women poorly.

            If we are to love, shouldn’t we LOVE our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ the BEST? If I can’t love, forgive, and encourage my own family, how can I possibly love strangers? Wouldn’t a more appropriate headline to this situation have been….”All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, BUT Jesus’ blood covers all, and we love and forgive our faithful brother in Christ even in his missteps…..just as we will love you even in your missteps. Come to our imperfect church and meet Jesus, the Forgiver of all sins”. That wold have reflected this LOVE that you speak of. But, unfortunately, Pastors went a different and sinful direction. And it didn’t help anyone.

          • Courtney, thank you for all of your thoughtful responses. It’s obvious that you hold a deep, abiding love of Jesus, and I’m confident that if we knew each other personally we would find much more unites us than divides us. I admire your stand for righteousness, and your defense of your brother in Christ. This will be my last comment on the matter too.

            Like you, I have served shoulder to shoulder with Christians who serve the lost, the lowly, the forgotten, and the hurting in the name of Jesus. It’s during these times that I see the Church (the big “C” church meaning the family of God) working together as it should. Like you I hold there are some absolute truths. Like you I see issues we grapple with as open handed and closed handed. My thinking was changed very radically when talking to a colleague from work about my faith. She, like you, has a dear friend who is gay. Her friend’s experience wasn’t like that of your hairdresser. Rather, he was shouted down they day before by Christians while he was at a rally in support of same sex marriage. My colleague’s first question to me upon opening what might have been an illuminating conversation about faith was targeted at how Christian’s stand opposed to same sex marriage. I’m not trying to open a discussion about that issue, but I did realize in that moment that all she knew about Christians was what they stand against. Since then, much like you I suspect, I make sure I have earned the respect of someone before I discuss what the Bible has to say about their sin. I see the disintegration of the church into denomination after denomination as another symptom of the church continuing to take stands on what it is against. Certainly there are justified splits, but so many are over what I think we would both see as open handed issues. I think it breaks God’s heart to see His children squabbling so. I belong to an Evangelical Free church, and I think MacArthur’s church does as well….maybe not. I do, however, see us all as part of the same family, and it hurts me when my brothers and sisters go to war over these open handed issues. Yes, we owe a great debt of grace to our brothers and sisters in Christ. Perhaps you are right and I should give MacArthur more quarter here. He has certainly preached the Gospel faithfully, and has had a terrific impact over the years. My greater concern is with the lost, those Jesus came to save. He was the master of reaching across cultures and breaking down religious division in order to share the simple Gospel of truth. I’m thinking of the woman at the well, and I see people on the other side of these open handed issues as our opportunity to be like Jesus. Yes, He spoke truth…..remember though…He first sat down, dined with, healed, defended, suffered aspersions……I know you get it.

            Thanks Courtney, I know these posts/opinions are hard for you to take. I value your engagement.

      • Nice. So the faithful pastor, upholding the plain, historical and orthodox teaching of Scripture, is now guilty of slander and evil thoughts when he uses that objective standard to call another professed Christian minister to account? Where did MacArthur slander anyone? He expressed his very real and actual concerns regarding Beth Moore’s ministry and her functioning as a pastor of both men and women. That isn’t slander. Nor is he guilty of evil suspicions when he’s simply pointing to what is already publicly known problematic and unapologetic behavior. It’s actually slanderous to impugn the conduct and character of another minister of Christ by misrepresenting what they’ve said and done, without actual (biblical) evidence of wrongdoing. Given most of what I’ve read here, maybe the sin we should be discussing is the bearing of false witness.

  16. Mark, thank you for this article. Well said! I am deeply disturbed not only by the horrible remarks and responses made by John MacArthur and friends and folks at the conference, but by the many articles popping up, attempting to defend his indefensible attitude toward a fellow believer. The attempt to justify his outrageous treatment of Beth Moore by shifting into high gear regarding women in ministry is heartbreaking to me. Those who defend him by disregarding his very unChristian behavior make matters worse for the church and undermine their position on scripture at the same time. You hit the nail squarely on the head. I am grateful for you and will hold you in my prayers.

  17. Hey, if you guys don’t believe the Bible, that’s between you and God. I do believe the Bible, and it says that women should not be preaching and usurping authority and they ought to be busy taking care of their families.

    I see no evidence in the world that the new way of doing things with women teaching and running things is working out well. I see moral decadence and social pathology and the decay of civilization.

    I also think you feminists are making a mistake by arguing with the Christian Bible, because in the long run the alternative will be that the world will be forced to decide that Islam must have been right about women all along. I think Christianity is right about women, not Islam, but when you destroy Christianity, what makes you think that your Marxist feminism will be viable?

  18. This kind of thing is so so problematic to see in the church, what should be the body of Christ!

    Instead of tearing women down like this misogynistic pig is doing, trying to keep them barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen, we should be building women. Up!

    Mcarthur must apologize for this insensitivity. My family was sitting there listening to this clip together, and when it was through, my wife’s son said “Dad, why does he hate women so much?” Just about brought me to tears.

  19. Mark, you are, of course, completely wrong, and John MacArthur is right that no Biblical case can be made for a woman preacher. Beth Moore has rejected the Biblically distinct roles for men and women, husbands and wives. Listen here to Lori Alexander describing what the Bible actually does say: https://thetransformedwife.com/male-preachers-calling-out-female-preachers/. MacArthur is even right in his harshness. Gross error needs to be rebuked. You and Beth Moore are pushing secular Progressivism, not Christianity.

  20. And yet I’ll stand here as a graduate of his seminary, as someone who still employs the hermeneutical tools and methods I learned at his seminary, and make a strong argument to the contrary.

    …and proceeds to make no case at all, weak or strong, to the contrary.

  21. The gentlemen in question spoke callously as if they were given over regularly to talk about people in an abusive manner. Without care for others feelings or under the Authority of their calling as Church leadership or God

  22. Hello to all who have commented,
    I really have enjoyed seeing everyone’s differing comments. All have made really good points. Courtney you have helped me greatly in thinking better of JM’s side. I still don’t agree with his word usage and tone. I love John Macarthur. If I had seen this in him as a pattern of his behavior that would be one thing, but overall this is not his pattern. As many of you may also like that applied to your daily Christian behavior and attitudes hey? Does he have a bit of a tude? Yep. John Macarthur always has had that and I’ve heard him say how pride is something he has to be cautious of as anyone in his position would. That’s not to make any excuse for sinning either. Spurgeon struggled with pride too. Look at how God used him? Luther as well…had terrible moods along with so many flaws…yet still God used this man greatly. I have listened to JM for over 20 years. I have so many of his books. He has done so much for the KINGDOM of God and likely more than most of us here on this page have done and likely he will withstand this outburst and continue to do great things for God’s Kingdom. But I do believe this reaction is way over the top already. Holy CoW! I have heard him talk about woman over many sermons. He does not have a low view of woman. The fact that he’s flawed and a sinner? Just like you and me? Well…I’ve done this very same thing to people. Who of us has not? I’ve screwed up my words, my tone with so many people over the many years of serving Christ it’s truly sad. But I run to the LORD and he quickly forgives me, just like we should run quickly to forgive each other. And please believe me when I say this…it is agonizing to me the depth of my sinful state in NOT walking in forgiveness whenever a brother or sister sins against me. I’m still called to love them EVEN IF they don’t REPENT! 1 Jn 1:8-9. And something that you all have missed here is this…Ya know what? God is Sovereign and guess what??? HE ALWAYS USES A BUNCH OF SCREWED UP PEOPLE AND STILL HE GET’S THE GLORY! The Bible is filled with screwed up people telling of an AWESOME ALL POWERFUL GOD. Is John Macarthur gonna slow God down? Is John Macarthur gonna screw up God’s plan to save the lost…..???? Is John Macarthur really that all powerful?? Hahha…I think it’s kind of funny how dramatic we can be. HOw does GOD let any of us breath in and out? We can get all smug ourselves in pointing out each other’s sins and man…it will be all day long if I look at myself…and that’s only just what I know. I’m a lot worse than I think I am cowering under the MASSIVE HOLINESS OF AN AWESOME GOD!! It’s truly a bit comical, to me, of how quickly we all forget that?? I don’t say this in any cavalier manner either. I mean it with fear and trembling before a HOLY, HOLY, HOLY God!! Why may I ask are we so shocked that John Macarthur is not perfect? Haha. I think it’s a bit funny. What do you think Paul meant in…”I am the chief of all sinners.” I mean really ?? Man he knew what he was. He not only was saved, he was being saved. And guess what? John Macarthur, sorry to burst your bubble, is STILL being SAVED!! He’s not there yet and neither are any of us. Man we are just like a bunch coffee clutching old ladies…ready to ripe the a*s end out of poor mule donkey…heh heh. God must be shaking His head. All this drama. When we can really just look at someone like John and say, Yep…heh heh…I’m just like you John and apply 1 John 1:8-9. Crud! Then guess what? I don’t flip out when my brother or sister in Christ….what??? Sins? Or sin’s against me…even if they are not repentant. Not my job to fix everyone. Can’t do it. I kind of think this is a good thing that happened actually. Because, maybe, there are people listening to John and have him on some kind of pedestal and the next thing you know we are worshipping him instead of God. Perhaps the LORD sovereignly allowed us all to see John is a sinner too…and he needs Jesus just like everyone else. I’m glad we saw a bit of this in Dr. John Macarthur to tell you the truth. Cuz when people come at me with, Well did you see what he said? I’m gonna say yep and ya know what Jesus is not like that. He’s not like any of us now is he? It’s all about HIM anyway isn’t it? If they ask me I can say yep…John needs a Savior too. Jesus will forever get the GLORY! Not me, not JM, not you. JESUS will even when we screw up. One of the things I love, love, love about our precious Lord Jesus is after he rises from the dead and he’s back with all the cowardly disciples (like I would be) and instead of chastising them…what does he say? “Peace be with you.” John 20:19. He doesn’t say…”Why you stinking pack of cowards you…. and thanks so much, by the way, for deserting me at my most terrible hour.” I mean I totally would have done that. I know me. I mean is that so beautiful or what? Did he know they would screw up? Did He know what they would do? Let me think about that for just a second or two…um YEAH!! Let us be quick to forgive our brother. Quick to pray for him and his ministry. I think Courtney makes a lot of really good points, but I also think Sean and Mark make some good points as well. The thing I didn’t see said is….We are just like JM. We say wrong things…but our words are not open to everyone. I bet if they were…ummmmm….yeah. Him without sin should definitely cast the first stone…as we all sadly walk away understanding what is needed for all is HIS AMAZING grace. Man I need it every day. I’m such a mess. I’m not in any way excusing sin of anyone, but you are right Courtney we should not be slandering an amazing man of God all over social media and think that’s ok. Now we are becoming the very thing we are angry about, which is usually the case I’ve noticed for myself when ever I start finger pointing. God humbles me and I’m back at square one. I haven’t got a plank to stand on and I’m just as guilty as the next guy. Let us all continue on and wallow in the amazing grace of the gospel of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Let us be gracious to each other…as we all need to do this. I know I do. I really do need him every hour and every second of every day. Let us wallow in the grace of our good King. With much love because of HIS love. Patty

  23. With too many comments, this one may get lost, but..
    MacArthur et al are wrong from the start. She is not a preacher/pastor and has no church to shepard. Her message is NOT for men. It is a relationship message of empathy and connecting with scripture for WOMEN. These guys lack the ability to see outside their comfortable (and profitable) box and are clearly denigrating a threat to their reach and their pride. Beth reaches an audience that they can’t and so they bluster and boast like the vipers they truly are.

  24. The question is folks are we interpreting the Scriptures thru Christ crucified. Even if MacArthur disagree’s with Beth Moore, does he has to use saracasm and contempt to get his point across. In fact why did he have to mention her name? MacArthur loves the Bible more then he loves Jesus. In fact these comments prove this idolatry. He is an excellent Pharisee. The Pharisee’s knew their Bible too………………..and totally missed Jesus. As the British minister to the Vatican Lord Acton sagely observed in 1887……….power tends to corrupt and total power absolutely. MacArthur has a lot of power and he has abused his power here. He has no humility. He believes in bullying , coercing and manipulating people with the Bible. JESUS NEVER DID THIS. I hope that Beth Moore and other women preachers listen and obey the Holy Spirit and not men.

  25. Joni Erickson Tada was a speaker at John MacArthur’s Strange . Why was her speaking to men ok, but Beth Moore’s speaking is not? I bet the response will be she was not speaking on Sunday, but that argument seems to be just semantics. The passage regarding elders need to be the husband of one woman was brought up in these comments, yet that same passage uses the same language for deacons. However, many complementary churches allow woman deacons. Not to mention we see women deacons even in scripture, I.e. Junia. And rather than address the issue this article brought up, which was the total lack of love that John MacArthur and those with him on stage used when addressing Beth Moore, many of these comments have attacked the author. John MacArthur’s comments were public therefore it is right to address him back publicly. In fact, to not do so, would give the impression to the watching world that Chrisitians think it is right to treat women mean spiritedly and dismissively. The jewelry comment cannot in any context have a positive meaning. It is a real job, but whether deserved or not, there is a very negative connotation associated with it. It would be that same as calling someone a tax collector in Jesus day. It feels like John MacArthur’s way of dealing with any issue is to destroy all allies. Who knows if that is how he is or it just fits with the image of him being a 4th cousin to the great General Douglas MacArthur. But is it God’s way? I think every comment here that mentioned they will know us by our love is spot on. God does not want us to be unloving toward other Christians. However, I think this is where we do not really get the other sides argument. They do not think it is bad to speak about Beth Moore as John MacArthur did because they do not view her as a Christian. They see her as satanic so it does not matter how John MacArthur spoke to her.

  26. Mark… what was your intent with your original remarks? Was your intent to further God’s Kingdom? We all ought to be very careful… remove the log. Do these comments posted on the internet foster unity? Do people who stumble across this blog like me see people who love one another? If you truly love might there have been a different approach to your concern about what John MacArthur said? Let’s be encouragers and spur each other on to good works!! His love and mine!

    • Hi Wendy!

      Thanks for taking the time to post such a helpful comment. I tried to be honest about my wrestling on this one. I really believe my motives are to defend a sister and call us away from a toxic and hateful way of interacting online. I tried to note that I don’t always trust my motives, and I continue to pray whether this is helpful or not. My conviction at this moment is that I’ve heard from a ton of people who are thankful that I defended Beth Moore and stood against slanderous speech in the name of God, whereas I’ve only heard from a few people that are offended at what I wrote, and most of those are just accusing me of not believing the Bible. So I still feel like the things I said needed to be said. I’m still praying and still open to being convinced that these words I’ve written should be taken down. I keep re-reading it and I still feel like it is furthering God’s kingdom (because the post is clarifying that God’s kingdom is not about bullying and dividing and demeaning). I also feel like it fosters unity because it’s calling us away from the kind of encampment attitude that parades disunity as doctrinal fidelity.

      BUT I’m not perfect, and the log is always in my eye, and that is literally the reason we created a page called Jackass Theology, so we could confess our jackassery (I’m the foremost) and try to together walk away from it.

  27. Hello Everyone!
    My name is Gabe, I am a 17 year old high school student trying to finish up my senior year as well as planning for the future. I am in the transitory stage where a HUGE number of people decide that they do not want to be associated with the Christian faith. There are no doubt many varying reasons why they, “leave the faith” but many leave because they see little difference between the way Non-Christians act to each other and the way we, who are supposed to be filled with God’s love, act towards each other. So I just wanted to say that, while this is a great site to see different opinions, If any of my non-Christian friends, or even many new converts, were to come upon one of the many articles like this one, I can pretty much state for a fact that their first thought would be, “I thought Christians were supposed to be loving?” To conclude, I just want to clarify that I am not perfect, (duh) and I can lose my temper as well but for those of you who see this, I hope you remember one thing. Are you showing God’s love with your comment?

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