So we got a request by a listener to give our thoughts on Moore in light of MacArthur’s comments.
He made a couple of points in his request about how many women have been positively influenced by her, and he is unsure how to interpret it all since the SBC leadership is supportive of her.
Recent conference of MacArthur’s regarding “Truth” and basically it is a declaration of the centrality of the Word and the need to not shy from what it says.
Panel discussion with Todd Friel.
Given a so-called one word statement and must give a short reply to it. It was “Beth Moore” and his response was “Go home” and with that statement you would think he has committed some horrendous act of evil.
Internet blew up and a ton of time and energy and huffing and puffing is happening.
Free thoughts. Meh. [MH]
I saw little value in the question and little value in the comment.
But so what? I see little value in most panel discussions because you can’t develop anything. It is for the people who are there and it is usually for the consumption of the people who are there.
But now so many are parsing his comments and battle lines are being drawn up and defined.
So if you want to save a lot of time and just get one person’s thoughts real fast, I would simply say that nothing has changed in any ways due to MacArthur’s comments.
Having said that, if you want a bit more, then keep on listening as we will layout a few points regarding Beth Moore, but more importantly thoughts on the role of women in the teaching ministry of the Church.
Background regarding Beth Moore
She is a growing center of influence in the SBC and as a result she has become a bit of a lightning rod on the whole women’s role issue that is behind the controversy.
We don’t know her, and probably never will know her personally. We don’t promote her in any way in our church and will never do so.
In other words, for us as pastors she’s never on our minds, nor do we think that she will matter in the long term.
She has a massive following in the SBC and beyond. She is called an evangelist and a bible teacher. She has many conferences, TV appearances and a radio show. In short, she is a person of great influence in certain circles of the Evangelical Church.
For the most part we have ignored her because she had no influence in our church. I [MH] long ago dealt with her, Kay Arthur, Gwen Shamblin, Joyce Meyer, and such at our church.
We reluctantly talk, here, because through her there is a bigger issue being pushed in the SBC and in the Evangelical Church that needs to be addressed. And frankly it is the deeper issue that John MacArthur was dealing with behind his little statement of “go home.”
The real issue with Moore or MacArthur
What do we do with women teachers and preachers in the Church? How do we deal with it? View it? Discuss it?
Back in May, Moore had a thread of tweets in which she decided to poke the so-called “calvinists” in a comment.
The point of her post was: “What are 5 things you’d do if you could still do what you do, but had the margin to pursue other stuff just for fun?”
She gave her five, but then tweeted… “PS. My original #5 was Teaching a men’s Sunday School class at a church full of Calvinists just to get everybody going. But I deleted it. Reluctantly. I’m in a tad of a mischievous mood.” So if anyone is going to get all upset by John’s comment then realize this is common.
This led to several comments from others. Primarily, ladies who were going to be preaching at conservative churches for Mother’s Day.
And here we find that so did Moore. And that is what got things actually going pretty hot.
Many people took a stand on this situation in the SBC and that is what is far more important than John’s throw-a-way comment.
This whole thing then led the conversation to charges of misogyny, sexism and such. Beth Moore led that charge claiming that she was compelled to do so by the Holy Spirit.
And in doing so she redefined the argument from preaching on Mother’s Day in a church, to sexism and hatred of women.
It’s similar to what’s going on within the Social Justice movement in the church. And also the so-called Christian same-sex attraction movement and others.
So we’re not having conversations anymore about what Scripture says regarding the true nature of justice or racism. We’re not asking what the bible says regarding homosexuality.
Rather, it now seems to be at the point of, if you won’t give folks a voice to push an agenda that is contrary to the Scripture, then you’re just a hateful, small-minded person who doesn’t know Jesus.
So then you get JD Greer tweeting this after all of that twitter storm happened in May: “Thank you, Beth! Hoping that we are entering a new era where we in the complementarian world take all the Word of God seriously–not just the parts about distinction of roles but also re: the tearing down of all hierarchy & his gracious distribution of gifts to all his children!”
Ahhh, so helpful. See? We complementarian folk just don’t take the Word seriously enough.
Somehow we’re seeing a hierarchy that doesn’t exist in the bible but it is undefined. And somehow God’s distribution of gifts are at odds with a complementarian view.
And once again we have a shift in the argument. Again, it’s not about the women preaching or teaching. It’s really about the fact that if a woman is gifted to teach or preach, then we should let her. Who are we to stand in God’s way?
The tired old statements come out over and over again about Deborah, Miriam in the OT and Priscilla in the NT. Somehow narrative trumps overt didactic passages. It’s no more impressive than someone getting out of a boat to walk on water ‘cause it is in the bible.
We see this all over the world. In the African church it is very common to have women preachers.
In fact, we find ourselves under strong disapproval when we’re in Ethiopia teaching on this. But all of the arguments are always the same.
Beth Moore asked in May in her tweets why we just consider 1 Timothy 2 rather than all of the NT when deciding what a woman can or cannot do?
The implication is simple. If we look at the whole NT then somehow 1 Timothy 2 won’t mean what it means.
We need to be more broad-minded. She even says that we must search the mind and attitude of Christ toward women because He had a different view. Again, the only way she could say that is if she thinks that somehow an Apostle is not speaking and declaring Christ’s words. Which is why our episodes on the bibliology are more important than this episode.
The hard reality is that there is very little taught regarding the role of women in the Church. And what’s been written is very counter-cultural today. It’s not going to be accepted by many claiming Christ.
It is nice to look at the fact that women remained with Christ at the cross. Praiseworthy is a proper observation.
It is good to see how Christ elevates the woman in a culture, rather than denigrate them. But it is not shocking since He made women in the image of God.
It is good to note that Priscilla helped evangelize Apollos with her husband. But so what?
Jesus also called his mother, “Woman” rather than mother while on the cross. Should we take that to mean something deeper?
Jesus did the same thing to his dear friend Mary while she wept due to Lazarus.
But it is also noteworthy that the bible’s explicit teaching for women in the church is to be helpers in ministry and be busy in works of hospitality and mercy. Notice what constitutes a widow who is to be cared for by the church: “Let a widow be put on the list only if she is not less than sixty years old, having been the wife of one man, having a reputation for good works; and if she has brought up children, if she has shown hospitality to strangers, if she has washed the saints' feet, if she has assisted those in distress, and if she has devoted herself to every good work.” (1 Tim. 5:9-10 NAS)
The explicit instruction in Titus 2 is for older women to instruct the younger women to be faithful wives and mothers who focus on their home. The idea of a wife looking outside the household for her place, identity and purpose is not a biblical one.
Should women listen to Beth Moore?
She is not well-trained.
She has a habit of missing the point of the text, making it all application rather than drawing out the meaning.
She is given to a pop-psychology approach to human issues rather than a robust understanding of mankind, sin, and sanctification.
She has a poor grasp of true spiritual warfare, and teaches on the popular (but wrong) idea of spiritual strongholds and such.
But we would add that this list would apply to a massive number of men who are claiming to be preachers and teachers of the Word.
Who should women be listening to? Their pastors. It is really that simple. And if they can’t because their pastor is unfaithful then find a better church. And if they can’t because their husband is committed to that church then find a faithful pastor whose sermons are available and learn from those.
Beth Moore is posturing herself as a reluctant warrior in this whole thing. But it is simply not true. She, like so many others, are using this situation to propel themselves further into positions of influence. She is now a protected commodity and if you criticize her, the denouncing machine descends on you in all its unholy fury.
But truly, she does just need to take her teachings and go home.
Having said all of this, we will do another episode on the issue of women teachers in the church. But be fore-warned it is going to annoy many. Until then . . . . like and share.