“And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. Even on the male and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit.” Joel 2:28-29
I have no idea who John MacArthur is, but I know who Beth Moore is. She’s a well-respected daughter of the King. She has faithfully studied and taught the Word of God to millions. I have two confessions regarding Beth Moore. The first is that I’ve only done one of her Bible studies. I found it to be well-studied and insightful. Although I haven’t done a second study yet, I would certainly be inclined to do so based on the thoroughness of the previous study. My second confession is that I wasn’t pleased with her alignment with the #MeToo movement. Like every public figure, she has every right to speak and support the causes she so chooses. I appreciated her lending her experienced voice to the conversation. I’m glad she spoke up. I honor her for strength, courage, and boldness to use her voice. My issue is with foundational flaws with this particular movement. But, I’ll come back around to that in a little while….
“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”
Whatever issue I may have with the #MeToo movement, it does not negate the reality of Beth Moore’s gift from God to preach the gospel and the commission upon us all to proclaim the good news of the gospel. Yet some guy named John MacArthur, of whom I’ve never heard, attempted to disqualify her with the statement, “There is no case that can be made biblically for a woman preacher. Period. End of discussion.” No sir, it is not the end of the story. Because the Alpha and the Omega said it isn’t the end of the story. It’s only the beginning of a long-overdue dialogue regarding the subject of women preachers and their rightful place in the body of Christ. The suggestion that no case can be made biblically for a woman preacher is complete ignorance. The definition of ignorance is a lack of knowledge or information. It would seem that Mr. MacArthur is ignorant and uninformed on the biblical case of women preachers because he has never offered himself up for revelation and dialogue on the subject. Perhaps he wrongfully assumed he had adequate information to form an opinion and never set out on a quest to hear from the Holy Spirit on the matter. Or perhaps he suffers from misogyny — dislike, contempt, or ingrained prejudice against women.
I don’t use the word misogyny lightly. Had Mr. MacArthur had a personal dislike for Mrs. Moore, I wouldn’t use the word at all. People have all kinds of reasons to dislike another person, and that would be his prerogative. Perhaps like me, he didn’t like her alignment with the #MeToo movement. But Mr. MacArthur claimed no biblical argument for ANY female to preach. I know this is false because in the past three weeks, I’ve read three books on this very specific subject matter and have ordered several more. There are no blank pages in those books. There are actual words on those pages. So, yes, Mr. MacArthur, the case has been made. You have simply chosen to ignore this fact due to your own apparent ingrained prejudice against women. If this wasn’t so, you would know the case has been made; you, in effect, have just chosen to stay on the traditional side of the case after prayerful consideration and dialogue — although it appears that you haven’t chosen to avail yourself of either of those.
A month ago, I was sitting in a session listening to a message at a Christian conference. As I listened, the question I wrote down was, “are young women not coming to church because they feel church is an oppressive institution for women?” For 23 years, I have asked questions regarding women as preachers, teachers, and leaders in the body of Christ. I’ve been taught by amazing women anointed with gifts only the Holy Spirit can give. I’ve sat under the teaching of these women in sanctuaries in which men and women were present. The anointing didn’t depart from them. I knew they had answered a Godly call on their lives. I had a desire to reconcile the truth about God’s honor and love for women that I felt in my spirit with the Scriptures often associated with the oppression of women in the body of Christ. I needed revelation.
The need for answers has ignited a passion in my heart to see women restored to their rightful place in the body which God never intended them to vacate. “The case” that Mr. MacArthur is oblivious about is mind-blowing! It’s been a long time since I’ve been this excited about discovering more about a biblical topic! However, my excitement has come with a word of warning from a wise female preacher to not become resentful and bitter. She is absolutely correct! It would be easy to get angry at how the traditional church has oppressed women for centuries. But God’s grace is what separates us from being like the world. Receiving and giving grace differentiates us from those in the #MeToo movement. In that movement, it seemed men were targeted as enemies of women. This should not be the case! God’s intention for the church has always been for men and women to serve and further the Kingdom of God together; to vilify either gender would be an atrocity. That’s another issue with the #MeToo movement. It immediately disqualified the credibility of any man’s word in opposition to the word of a woman. That is preposterous! We live in a fallen world in which all are susceptible to fall into sinful behavior when we are not submitted to Jesus Christ. Every situation and accusation at the center of the movement should have been weighed and measured on its own merit. So begs the question, why is the enemy working so hard to pit woman against man and man against woman? It’s the oldest game in the playbook. In part, it was the first play by Satan in the game of souls. Could bridging the gender gap in the body of Christ be the secret to spiritual breakthrough in the expansion of the Kingdom of God? If gender equality could bring unity to the body of Christ to usher in revival, would you be willing to subject your old ways of thinking to a new revelation?
:the divine or supernatural disclosure to humans of something relating to human existence or the world.
The world would demand a revolution. The church is not called to be like the world. Also, God is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). His divine truth has always been. We just need a divine revelation of His truth. We need to pray for supernatural disclosure of the truth that always has been for every human, not just men and not just women. However, the key to the battle will be for males in leadership to receive a divine revelation. Not only can the church not change without them, I want it to change WITH them wholeheartedly on board. Otherwise, we are no better than the rebellious of the world. I want to be in battle against the enemy of the world with my brothers in Christ, not against my brothers in Christ!
When Mr. MacArthur snarkily said that Beth Moore should go home and stated a biblical case cannot be made for women to preach, a room full of men laughed heartily. THEY. LAUGHED. My heart grieves for God’s daughters, the joint heirs of Jesus Christ. This isn’t a laughing matter. We are all God’s children, created in the image of God, male and female. Perhaps you’re reading this blog and you agree with John MacArthur. Then, for no other reason than that women are God’s creation, too, I humbly request that you prayerfully submit yourself to the divine revelation of God’s true calling for women in His Kingdom. I have purposely not made the biblical case for women to preach and lead in the body of Christ in this particular writing. In spite of Mr. MacArthur’s claim that the case doesn’t exist, the biblical case presented to me by well-respected male leaders couldn’t be done justice in this blog. I encourage you to read Fashioned to Reign by (male author) Kris Vallotton. Mr. Vallotton’s bold biblical case is clearly and concisely presented. I wouldn’t want to do his writing a disservice by only summarizing his points. After that book, I encourage you to read 10 Lies the Church Tells Women by (male author) J. Lee Grady. Danielle Strickland has also written an insightful book, The Liberating Truth. Finally, I’m writing this blog as an invitation, a request, or better yet, a plea that we would ask God to renew our minds on ideas and practices that have shaped a church culture of oppression for women, and reveal to us His Truth when He inspired the writing of His Word. #startarevelation
Note: After posting this blog, I’ve continued to read several books that further solidify my position regarding women’s roles in the church. I highly recommend Why Not Women? by Loren Cunningham and David Joel Hamilton. These gentlemen have presented one of the most informative, clear and concise arguments for women in leadership that I’ve read so far.