“But what is worse are all the cowardly men around her who have flattered her and refused to actually love her in the truth. Pastor MacArthur said out loud in public what her husband and Christian brothers closest to her should have been saying for years, “Go home.” And yes, this is Christian love because love is treating others lawfully from the heart, and God’s law is clear at this point.”
(Toby Sumpter – Having Two Legs) So amid all the other circus events, this last weekend, Christian Twitter erupted with shrieks of horror when Pastor John MacArthur told a conference audience that his thoughts on Beth Moore could be best summarized as “Go home.”
In response, the current SBC President JD Greear assured Mrs. Moore that she was most welcome at his home any time. And various feminists and egalitarians clutched their pearls, while a number of conservatives who don’t think Mrs. Moore should actually be preaching made various throat clearing noises about Christian love and kindness, and how sad they were about how mean some “leaders” can be, and while they had their differences, they were still thankful for her ministry. And others warned breathlessly that this is how evangelicalism will continue to lose the next generation.
Meanwhile, NPR tweeted out some idiocy about “people” menstruating.
A Preliminary, But Related Rabbit Trail Now in order to address this business, I’d like to draw upon a matter of considerable concern and discussion in my community, a matter that faces most communities in these dark days of ours, and that is the matter of girls showing up to play contact sports with our sons. From wrestling to lacrosse to football to hockey, it’s a real issue since we are committed to teaching our sons to honor all women as sisters and mothers, and the culture we live in is committed to the opposite. In some instances, the honorable choice is clear and obvious: our sons will not wrestle a girl. It’s immodest, dishonorable, and shameful. Period. Full stop. So our boys who wrestle forfeit any match with a girl. But when it comes to lacrosse and football there are a number of complicating factors, and there are real wisdom calls to be made. The first principle remains in place: our boys are instructed not to tackle or body check girls. Of course in these confused days, it is not always possible to know if there is a girl on the field. But to the best of our ability, we will avoid any and all roughness with girls.
Depending on the circumstances, what position a girl is playing against our boys, this is sometimes fairly easy to accomplish (like if the girl is a goalie or kicker), and sometimes it is nearly impossible (like when she’s playing running back). Our general commitment is to play hard and play as much as we can without compromising our Lord’s requirement to honor all women. At times, this has proved impossible, and we have cheerfully forfeited games or pulled off teams where we could not function within our principles. On occasion, our boys are having to learn how to push a girl out of bounds as gently as possible. And some parents have given their boys slightly varying instructions depending on the situation, and we’re committed to supporting one another as we navigate this minefield with our sons. At the same time, we have determined in general not to merely roll over and quit the field. Our coaches and athletic directors are fairly vocal about our principles with other coaches and league officials, and our longterm hope is to win others to our convictions. But these problems are certainly not going away any time soon, and we (and our sons) need to learn how to fight, sometimes how to fight with one arm tied behind our back, and how to fight as honorable Christian men.
All of this is a rather lengthy preliminary rabbit trail to my cheerful and robust support of Pastor MacArthur’s comments regarding Beth Moore. But I hope they prove a helpful rabbit trail. My support of MacArthur’s comments do not come from any sort of animus to women, any delight in dishonoring women (and certainly not Mrs. Moore), but from my commitment (which I assume Pastor MacArthur shares) to honor all women and to fight honorably for the cause of Christ. I take Pastor MacArthur’s comment as the unfortunate but necessary push out of bounds that a Christian gentleman is sometimes duty bound to give when a woman has gotten out of her lane. [Let the shrieks begin!] But your complaint is not with me or with Pastor MacArthur. Your complaint is with God and His clear word.
I’m not even addressing the content of Mrs. Moore’s preaching. I am merely speaking of the fact that she openly and defiantly claims to preach. This is shameful. She ought to be ashamed of herself. Her husband ought to be ashamed of himself. Her pastor and elders ought to be ashamed of themselves. But apparently none of them are. They openly flout the word of God. When the Bible says that a woman must not have authority over men or instruct them in the Word but to be silent in church – Beth Moore sneers at the God of Heaven and says she knows better. But what is worse are all the cowardly men around her who have flattered her and refused to actually love her in the truth. Pastor MacArthur said out loud in public what her husband and Christian brothers closest to her should have been saying for years, “Go home.” And yes, this is Christian love because love is treating others lawfully from the heart, and God’s law is clear at this point.
Our Problem Much of our problem in this area is related to the fact that modern Christians have become accustomed to soft men and soft preaching and viscerally trained to hate and despise all masculine preaching. For example, if John the Baptist showed up one day in modern America he would no doubt be burned at the stake by noon with several PCA and SBC pastors leading the proceedings. But it is a shameful fact that many women, no doubt Mrs. Moore included, would give more hearty sermons than your average seminary graduate these days, as seminaries, with very rare exceptions, are places where men go to get neutered. And if you’re going to have a biological man stand up in the pulpit and mince his words and lisp and share his feelings for an hour and try to relate to everyone in the room with stories and illustrations and clever jokes, you might as well get a real woman to do it. She’s a lot better at all of that, and plus she’s a whole lot easier on the eyes.
The reason NPR has the audacity to talk about “people” menstruating without fear of getting laughed out of existence (as it should) is because the evangelical Church has been led by menstruating people for a long while. What I mean is that we flouted God’s word a long time ago when we insisted on having therapists instead of preachers, life coaches instead of preachers, politicians instead of preachers, relatable stand-up comedians instead of preachers, anything but men declaring God’s word authoritatively. We insisted we knew better, sneering at God’s requirement that preachers and pastors be men who ruled their own households well with believing children. We wanted CEOs and TED talks and pep rallies and rock concerts, various and sundry, generic people, but absolutely no authority, no masculinity, no plain speaking about the holiness of God, the reality of Hell, the substitutionary atonement, and the necessity of repentance unto life and church discipline to that end. Of course none of that is popular work among the masses, and it doesn’t make a pastor particularly relatable or approachable, especially to a certain class of ambitious woman – as it most certainly shouldn’t. But God insists on male preachers and pastors because the Church, and the Pulpit in particular, is a battlefield.
The reason God calls men to preach is the same reason he requires that only men engage in military combat. And the reason is at least twofold. First, he requires men to go to war because he made them physically strong. Women have many glorious strengths, but God made men to be naturally physically strong. This is our glory, and it takes considerable physical strength to preach faithfully, to pastor consistently, and to rule your household all while ruling the people of God. If that seems strange and unlikely, welcome to the impotent modern church and witness the many pastors who struggle with depression and suicide — most of them should have been weeded out in basic training. Second, God requires men to go to war because He requires men to lay their lives down first. This is the oldest code of honor, as it began in the garden of Eden when God pictured that code of honor in the creation of the first woman from Adam’s bloody side. The same standard of honor was codified in Israel’s law, and it was ultimately accomplished in the gospel when Jesus died for His bride. But it is for all of these reasons and more that God has commanded His Church to be led by men. Men are to be heralds of the gospel. Men are to lose their lives by dying for their flocks, their families, their nations. Jesus calls that love. And yes, the Lord is free to raise up the occasional Deborah in the face of masculine cowardice, but that will always be to our shame and never to our glory, just as Deborah herself said.
This news story is posted for informational and research purposes and is not in any way intended as an endorsement of Having Two Legs.
H/T Amy Spreeman