Because we are dealing with personalities here, let me first disclaim that the official position on both John MacArthur and Beth Moore. John MacArthur has a cult of personality of his own, especially in Calvinist circles, and that obsession is comparable to the Papists. I see issues with his character and have secondary issues when it comes to the fact that MacArthur promotes pietism. We do not label him a false teacher despite these disagreement. He was behind the Statement of Social Justice and the Gospel which we support. We call balls and strike here, and no celebrity is immune from rebuke, correction, or disagreement. Beth Moore, in contrast, shows signs of being a false teacher propped up by the Southern Baptist Convention because Lifeway makes a lot of money off of her.
With our positions made clear, in an effort for transparency, let us address the “Go home” comments of John MacArthur. This was made during a word association exercise that required one-word or an otherwise pithy response. Beth Moore’s name came up and MacArthur said “go home.” Much of the outrage is from those who embrace the Social Justice Gospel. But others agreed with the biblical position on preachers and by extension MacArthur but claimed that the mocking tone was uncalled for. I do not care what the gay Anglican priest thinks. I want to focus on the latter who have potential to be reached with a biblical argument.
I believe there is a false premise that people upset over the word choice of MacArthur are basing their outrage on. They believe that Beth Moore is a legitimate teacher. MacArthur and his allies believe otherwise. And so they operate accordingly.
What did Jesus say to the false teachers of his day?
12And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves. 13And He *said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer’; but you are making it a robbers’ den.”
Matthew 21:12-13 NASB
This is just an appetizer for what would come during Holy Week. Jesus then renders eight woes.
13 “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. 14[Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense you make long prayers; therefore you will receive greater condemnation.]
15 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel around on sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.
Matthew 23:13-15 NASB
Do not let modern language undermine the significance of these woes. A “hypocrite” was a theatre actor. Actors in Greco-Roman theatre were viewed with contempt, like tax collectors. They were associated with all forms of debauchery and Roman theatre was more so burlesque, putting it mildly, than that of the Greeks. This is a grave insult to make, and Jesus delivers it in righteous anger. Are we not also supposed to have righteous anger towards false teachers of God’s Word in present times?
17 I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them.
Romans 16:17 ESV
Paul instructs us to avoid those who preach against the scriptures. Therefore, if we premise Beth Moore as a false teacher, then “go home” is a mild thing to say in regards to Beth Moore. That is the premise we should be debating, not whether his words are “Christ-like” which they are if this premise is true, but whether or not Beth Moore is a false teacher or not.
Those enraged, believing in Christ and under the impression that MacArthur’s words are overly harsh and dismissive of women, should first argue whether Beth Moore is someone who should be teaching anyone at all. There is also secondary issue some that some Christians, including Moore, believe and that is women’s role in the church can include preaching to men. MacArthur asserts that there is no biblical case to be made for this. I agree. This was MacArthur’s main argument whereas his allies pointed more towards a false teaching argument.
If you want to make the argument that MacArthur is acting sexist, then do so in an actual instance in which what he said contradicted the Bible. Do not use Beth Moore as a cause to fight MacArthur. It’s not a credible hill to fight on if you call yourself a believer in Christ.
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