We already know that many complementarian, evangelical men aren’t fond of female preachers. Most of them at least try to be polite about it or couch their language to stress how God sees men and women as equals but with different roles.
Not John MacArthur.
The pastor made no secret about his true feelings about Bible study teacher and fellow evangelical Beth Moore during the recent “Truth Matters” conference in California.
He was asked during a panel discussion to give a 1-2 word reaction to various words. When the moderator mentioned Moore, MacArthur gave a blunt response: “Go home.” (The delighted male audience laughed and applauded.)
MacArthur quickly elaborated, calling Moore “narcissistic,” adding, “I think the church is caving in to women preachers.”
There’s some important context behind this. For most of her career, Moore toed the party line with all the right theology. But after the election of Donald Trump, she started using her online platform to call out the hypocrisy of his white evangelical supporters. More recently, she’s made waves by doing what these men despise most: preaching. And not just to other women.
Even other complementarians — people who believe that women shouldn’t be allowed at the pulpit — should find MacArthur’s comment deplorable. Despite their “traditional” beliefs, his pithy dismissal and condescension toward a prominent woman spreading Christianity comes off as misogynistic and jerky, not principled and respectful — not that there’s really a “respectful” way to demand the subservience of women.
Some of those other complementarians have at least spoken out on Twitter, criticizing MacArthur’s tone and lending support to Moore.
To be clear, the problem here is the derisive, divisive manner in which MacArthur & others carry themselves. This is devastatingly dismissive of the inherent dignity, value and self-worth of women, particularly of @BethMooreLPM. https://t.co/aXrLWOEoub
— Micah Fries (@micahfries) October 19, 2019
Dear @BethMooreLPM, you’re welcome in our home any time.#BFM2000
— J.D. Greear (@jdgreear) October 19, 2019
The only positive interpretation of MacArthur’s response is that it gives away the fact that he’s threatened by Moore’s success. He’s jealous. Better to dismiss a powerful Christian woman than to admit she’s more effective than him. Whatever his reasons, MacArthur showed his true colors. And Moore has refused to sink to his level by clapping back.
(Screenshot via YouTube)