Saturday, February 6, 2010
John Macarthur, Beth Moore and Women Preachers
There are a lot of things to consider when looking for a church. Does the preacher teach from the Bible or from the Inspirational section at Barnes and Noble? Does the church have any weird ceremonies involving black cats? Does the church permit children to attend worship service? Is the church 100 miles from my house? Do I feel like I am hearing a paid political advertisement when I listen to a sermon? Does the pastor do things in his personal life that he wouldn't want you to know about in his pastor life?
One thing to be considered is how strongly does the church feel about a women being a leader in the church or not being a leader.
And once you discover the answer to these things. How important are they to you?
Can you live with some things but not others? You are OK with driving 75 miles, but the black cats just won't work out for you.
I believe that God gave us his Word and intended it to be shared with everyone. I honestly don't remember Jesus telling the disciples just before he ascended into heaven, "Oh by the way, I want you to make disciples, but a woman cannot preach to a man."
I recently sent this email to John Macarthur:
Let me preface my comments and questions by saying that I thoroughly enjoy listening to your radio program, reading your books and perusing your website. I am a person that likes to get to the root of things and when I am trying to learn more about the Bible there is no better way. I say this not to flatter you, but to indicate that I respect you and I am seriously trying to understand this topic.
I raise a question regarding your teachings concerning a woman's role in the church. Tonight I read through your series entitled "God's High Calling for Women." It seems as though most of the supporting statements for the reason's that a woman should not be a leader in worship services or teach men are rooted in the culture of the time. I am talking specifically about the statements in which you say there is no record in the old testament or new testament of a woman being an apostle, or a "real" prophet or a church leader. I consider this statement about as valid as saying that a black man could not be President of the United States because there is no record of this occuring in American History books (until recently of course). As a record of history, a woman had not taken on these roles because I am assuming it was forbidden in their culture. Similarly I don't recall seeing anything in the Bible about a disabled person being a church leader (I could be wrong and I am certain you would know for sure). Was there a reference in the Bible of a slave being a church leader or a Roman soldier being a church leader? I feel confident that there are not these references. So the argument that there are no references in the Bible of a woman being a church leader or teaching the Gospel to men, is pretty weak.
So as I was reading I was really not buying in to your article. But then you went back to Adam. If you are going to get to the root of something it nevers hurts to go back to the beginning. Right to the source of all humanity. Adam was first then came Eve. Eve was subordinate to Adam therefore she should submit to him. But just prior to that in your article (God's High Calling for Women, Section IV under usurping authority), you give the example of Elisabeth Elliot. She taught the Auca man the sermons and then he preached it to the church. It seems that if God intended for a woman to not teach a man about the Gospel then this would not have happened. Really what is the bottom line. Which is it, a woman should not teach the Word to a man or a woman should not teach the Word to a church. All of your evidence that is not cultural has been dismissed by your example of Elisabeth Elliot. God used Elisabeth to teach a man. From her teachings, a man went and taught an entire church. If Elisabeth had not taught the man, which based on your argument is what she should have done, the church might not have heard the Word. If God wanted those people to hear his word, but did not want Elisabeth to teach His Word to a man, I believe God would have intervened in some other way. I also wonder if the Auca culture would have accepted a woman teaching men.
Here is where I am going with this. My wife really enjoys Beth Moore. Beth Moore holds fast to the belief that a woman should not be the preacher in her church. I will admit that I have sneaked into a room where a Beth Moore bible study DVD was playing and I learned a lot and I was inspired to dig deeper into my Bible. The woman has a wonderful ability to relate God's message. Isn't it a shame that men are missing out on opportunities to hear God's word because Beth believes it is not right for her to share the Gospel with men in church.
So I ask you what is truly important and God's will: Going out making disicples of all nations and baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit OR keeping a woman in her "place" and potentially hindering her from fulfilling Jesus' commandment?
I am curious about your thoughts; however, I will continue to pray to the Father for discernment in this area.
I hope John responds to my email, but honestly I don't think it is going to change my mind much. I don't think I will be changing his mind either. So what does that mean? I mean honestly. Do I stop listening to Johnny Mac because I simply can't get past his thinking about women being preachers OR do I have to let that one slide and plug my ears when he is talking about it on the radio. Truly this is a perplexing issue.
"We are perplexed but not driven to despair....what we proclaim is not ourselves."
Tell me how you feel.