MacArthur on SBC: “When you literally overturn the teaching of Scripture to empower people who want power, you have given up biblical authority”

“During the ‘Truth Matters Conference,’ held Oct. 16-18 at Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, where he is pastor, MacArthur and other panelists were asked to give their gut reactions to one- or two-word phrases. Asked to respond to the phrase ‘Beth Moore,’ the name of a well-known Southern Baptist Bible teacher, MacArthur replied, ‘Go home.’” - RNS


Even if you’re John MacArthur, vocalizing gut reactions is not a good idea.

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

Kevin Schaal put out an outstanding article (linked at comment, above). It echoed my own thoughts:

  • Todd Friel is a smart guy who’s schtick is sarcastic condescension. He’s not a good choice to moderate a serious conversation.
  • JMac made a mistake by speaking flippantly. We’re all liable to make this mistake when we’re “among friends.” But, JMac was speaking publicly and should have guarded himself. The laughter from the audience was synchophantic and out of line.
  • The rest of the comments I agreed with, from both JMac and Johnson.

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and works in State government.

I agree with the above commenters. I don’t even understand how Todd Friel is a major part of evangelical discourse. To me it’s indicative that the whole celebrity evangelicalism thing is off the rails. As the Schall article said, in times of serious error (not saying Beth Moore is in this camp. I haven’t been following it) we need serious responses. Can you imagine Machen or Warfield responding like that? MacArthur was set up for sure.

I think at a certain point, MacArthur didn’t just forget that the walls have ears and speak flippantly. When he accused those with whom he disagreed of monolithically “wanting power”, he impugned their motives. I write this, for reference, as someone who is very concerned that a portion of evangelical feminist thinkers have expressed the desire for power. The trick is that it’s not all of them, and hence I shouldn’t impugn their motives.

(and for reference, my thought is that if anyone of either sex wants the pastorate because it features power they wish to exercise, they’re automatically disqualified….no need for a DNA check….the goal is to be a servant, no?)

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Todd Friel is the Jerry Springer of conservative evangelicalism. Why anyone wastes their time with him is beyond me.

his response and the entire thing is being overblown. He is in a Q&A, given two words, and asked. He said what he has always thought and taught, which is that women should not be preachers. So what is new? Take offense if you want to, but you really shouldn’t.

Oh my word. Beth Moore (unbiblically) preaches when given the opportunity, wants to preach more, and is defiant about it, as are her female supporters. Her male supporters are theological wimps. (Her ridiculous theology on other subjects is a separate reason she should be opposed and critiqued; even if her preaching were always sound, she still shouldn’t be allowed to do it, and she knows it.) They all deserve firm opposition, not mealy-mouthed accommodation and kid-glove treatment. Mac said in two words what he’s been saying all along, and even people who agree with him are going weak in the knees, for crying out loud. Good for him, and may his tribe increase. Does anyone actually think that Mac doesn’t in fact love and respect Moore as a person? There’s absolutely nothing to see here, except the scandal of supposed complementarians frightened to death of offending Christian feminists.

Amen and Amen!

Dr. Paul Henebury

I am Founder of Telos Ministries, and Senior Pastor at Agape Bible Church in N. Ca.

BREAKING: John MacArthur To Dress Up As Puritan And Hunt Down Heretics In New ‘Solomon Kane’ Movie

  • MacArthur’s foes will include Steven Furtick, Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, and Joel Osteen. But after he hunts these all down and makes them pay for their crimes, he finds out they are simply minions of a darker lord: Beth Moore. In the climactic scene of the film, MacArthur will elbow-drop her from the rafters while she’s preaching to men and then growl, “Go home.”

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and works in State government.

A McGee and Me reboot. I love it!

I believe that before he answered the question, he said something like “I smell a trap.”

….I picked up one of Moore’s books last night, and quite frankly, I would heartily encourage Moore’s detractors to do so as well. The specific book I’m reading is “Get out of that pit”, and in it, she shows that she “gets” that people are hurting. This makes sense in a world where about 2/3 of young people eventually live in a home where Mom and Dad are not together, where 1/4 of young people are sexually abused, and where the 2/3 of young people who aren’t made to get a bachelor’s degree often face a horrible time in the job market—and where those who are fit for a BA or BS often end up with crippling student loans. She does so by taking notes on David’s plight described in the Psalms, among other places.

Now compare the way she writes with what I see above. Brothers, I guarantee you that if more of us stepped up to the plate and by doing what she’s doing greatly reduced the size of her ministry, the happiest person in the world would be none other than Beth Moore. Really, her ministry and many others are implicit rebukes to a church culture that seeks to maintain itself instead of effectively preaching the Word and bringing comfort to the hurting.

I guess if you want to treat her as a punching bag, as does Dmyers and as did MacArthur, you can do so, but the old proverb about catching more flies with honey comes to mind for me when you do.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

I’ll try to be brief. Moore’s empathy is laudable. I’m willing to assume there are any number of personal characteristics of or statements by Moore that are laudable. But, (a) that’s not the discussion we’re having here — the argument isn’t whether Moore is empathetic or has said/done laudable things, and (b) helpful sentiments in one book (or even many books) don’t trump other unbiblical statements and unbiblical preaching.

The same is true of whatever shortcomings there are in male preachers’ ministries — whatever those shortcomings are, their existence doesn’t constitute a pass for women preachers or unbiblical theology.

And it’s not just meanies like me and MacArthur who have serious questions about Moore’s teaching and writing. You can find any number of critical reviews via Google. Here’s just one, chosen above the others because the author/site are egalitarian — they’d be happy for women to preach in church every Sunday, but they distrust Moore on the bases of some aspects of her life and of some of her teaching:

Note that the Wartburg Watch criticism is premised on two skeptical articles in Christianity Today, not exactly a bastion of hard complementarians. Here are links to the two CT articles (paywall warning):…

Finally, I openly disagree with and am critical of Moore’s teaching and her unbiblical feminism. That does not make her my “punching bag” (let alone MacArthur’s) any more that Bert’s disagreement with me makes me his punching bag. Bert, it really seems that your experience encountering deplorable, sinful sexual abuse situations has led you to a place where anyone who has publicly expressed empathy with such victims is therefore above criticism, even on unrelated issues. That’s not right.