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Enjoying God Blog


It seems that everyone is weighing in on the comments made by John MacArthur at his recent conference in California. For those of you not yet aware of what happened, MacArthur was asked to give his brief response to what was supposed to be a one-word utterance. It turned out to be two words: “Beth Moore.”

MacArthur’s immediate response also came in the form of two words: “Go home,” which provoked uproarious laughter from those in attendance. He proceeded to make a few additional comments about there being no basis in Scripture for women preachers. His assistant, Phil Johnson, was heard to say that what comes to his mind when he hears her name is “Narcissist.” He cites Beth Moore as an example of what it means “to preach yourself rather than Christ.”

I am a complementarian, but I fear in making known my convictions I may be linked with those who claim the same label and yet speak unkindly and in snarky, snide sound-bites of our Christian sisters. I couldn’t help but ask myself as I listened to the panel discussion, “What has become of common courtesy?”

Just over a week ago Beth Moore was in Oklahoma City at an event hosted by her Living Proof Ministries. About 75 of our women from Bridgeway attended, my wife included. Not one returned with concerns that Beth preached herself “rather than Christ.” Her messages, I am told, were profoundly biblical, Christ-centered, and life-changing. I thank God for Beth Moore.

Although I have never attended one of her conferences, I have heard her speak on a number of occasions and have found her to be anything but a Narcissist. She is a self-less servant of the Lord who aims only to magnify our Savior and to build up others in their faith.

But my aim in this short article isn’t to defend Beth Moore. My concern is with the ever-increasing loss of common decency and kindness on the part of some of our male leaders. Many will wonder, “Who are you to criticize John MacArthur, who at (or near) the age of 80 has served the body of Christ so faithfully?” Well, let me say first of all that to the degree that MacArthur has been faithful to God’s Word, I do honor him. In case you’re wondering, I turn 69 next February so I do have a few years on earth and 45 of them spent in ministry. But age and longevity in ministry do not give anyone, male or female, a free pass when it comes to how we treat or speak of other believers.

As I look at the ministry of Jesus, I never once find him speaking in such a snide and condescending way to any woman. Dorothy Sayers put it best in her comments on how Jesus treated women:

“They [women] had never known a man like this Man – there never has been such another. A prophet and teacher who never nagged at them, never flattered or coaxed or patronized; who never made jokes about them, never treated them either as 'The women, God help us!' or 'The ladies, God bless them!'; who rebuked without querulousness and praised without condescension; who took their questions and arguments seriously; who never mapped out their sphere for them, never urged them to be feminine or jeered at them for being female; who had no axe to grind and no uneasy male dignity to defend; who took them as he found them and was completely unself-conscious. There is no act, no sermon, no parable in the whole Gospel that borrows its pungency from female perversity; nobody could possibly guess from the words and deeds of Jesus that there was anything 'funny' about women's nature” (Dorothy Sayers).

Let me pose a question to the married men reading this article. Would you want other men to “honor” your wife even as the Apostle Peter calls on you to “honor” yours (1 Peter 3:7)? I certainly do. Yes, I know that 1 Peter 3:7 is addressing how men should “honor” their own wives, but do you think Peter would permit any professing Christian man to “dishonor” any Christian woman? I don’t.

Beth Moore has devoted her life to ministering to the body of Christ. She loves Jesus, she affirms every foundational doctrine of the Christian faith, and has done remarkably well in restraining herself from issuing any dishonoring comments about men who speak to her and of her in the way we have recently witnessed.

O.K., so you disagree with Beth Moore on the question of women preaching or teaching. Does that justify making her the object of disdain, ridicule, and raucous laughter? Why can’t we learn to honor one another and encourage one another and speak the truth in love to one another, even when the “another” does not agree with our personal doctrinal distinctives?

If it is a discussion on the role/relationship between men and women that you want, or a debate about leadership and authority in the body of Christ, fine. Let’s do it. But let’s not forget that there are numerous Bible-affirming, Christ-exalting men and women on both sides of the egalitarian-complementarian divide. My appeal is simply that we engage in such robust dialogue in a way that reflects our love for one another and our affirmation of the dignity and respect that each person, regardless of their view, is deserving from every other person.

I’m quite sure that my comments here will elicit equally snide and snarky denunciations from those who believe it is their calling to police the lives of other Christians. I’m also quite sure that it will do little good for me to remind us all that the distinguishing mark of the followers of Jesus is their “love for one another” (John 13:35). Perhaps the rejoinder will be that it was an act of “love” to call out Beth Moore in this manner, but I cannot discern an ounce of sincere affection for our sister in either the tone or the substance of the comments made by John MacArthur and Phil Johnson.

So, do I have a two-word response to MacArthur and Johnson? Yes. “Please apologize.” Do I have any reasonable hope that such an apology is forthcoming? No.


In the past I subscribed to John MacArthur’s study guides and have bought several books of his. I appreciated many of his teachings. Lasagna week I heard the audio from the conference where he talked about Beth Moore. To say I am disappointed in his discussion would be an understatement.

I have never read anything by Beth Moore, but people I respect have been blessed by her ministry. This event will force me to spend some time reading he works.

I believe that everyone in the kingdom has a ministry and I firmly believe that Beth has very important ministry in the Kingdom of our Lord.

I will refrain from commenting on John, I am not qualified.
I tire so of folks looking for a 'demon under every rock'. thank you sam for your compassionate response. I have listened to hours of beth's teaching. she is faithful to God's word, and if her 'style' is not to your liking, don't listen to her! I love your spirit, sam, on so many levels, and listen to you regularly. Thank God for pastors like you!
macarthur was flippant and rude, as was the rest of the panel and audience. how blessed they are to be so perfect they can cast stones!
Excellent comments delivered in a Christ like way!
My spirit is so grieved and filled with sorrow by so many of the comments I had to stop reading .. when you suggested that might happen, I thought, “surely not,” but here it is for God and everyone to read. I’m so sorry on so many levels .. sigh.
For those that address Paul rebuking, he did it either in person (such as retelling of rebuking Peter, whom by the way he also worked closely with as both suffered deeply together as the first church of Christ, giving a justifiable warrant to be aggressive, as he knew Peter would understand) or through letters to a direct and specific people.

Historically, they happened in the 2nd person narrative. MacArthur discussed her in the 3rd person. Beth Moore, while imperfect like everyone else, is a daughter of Theos (Θεός), and should be treated as someone whom Christ has died for. Calling her a charlatan because of opinionated doctrinal issues that do not contradict salvation (and if you believe so you disregard the entire doctrine of Grace), is not the same as rebuking one like Olsteen or Bill Johnson, who are in fact pedalling a gospel that does not include Christ, which is worth publicly rebuking.

Keep in my internet has only been present in history for a short time. It is foolish to film and publish things such as what happened because of the nature of poor interpretation that occurs online. It is willingly adding to confusion, and not seeking the one heart and soul as described in Acts.
Sam, It seems to me like you are still probably chafing at John for his Strange Fire efforts which denounced your unbiblical support of fake sign gifts among Charismatics and Pentecostals. As a complementarian you should share his concern for the general trend of rejecting Biblical principles like male headship and leadership. I notice that you did not mention their concern for receiving extra-biblical revelation. Is that because you share her idea that God is still giving out revelation through "words of knowledge"? In that article you referenced the writer says that Jesus "never mapped out their sphere for them" meaning women. That is a clear falsehood, which even you reject being a complementarian. I love your delight in our Lord and Savior, and may God bless you and your ministry. Their are many instances in the Bible where rebukes are given by Jesus, Paul and others that would seem "harsh" to our modern sensibilities, yet were necessary because of a concern and love for the truth. I actually agree that he could have, and should have, been more gentle and considerate in his rebuke. However, that would be a minor correction of a generally good effort to maintain Biblical standards. You seem to be taking the opportunity to correct him, and running with it to excess, without clearly staying on his side in the overall battle for Biblical principles that is raging.
Thank you Sam for this article!
Sam, I wholeheartedly agree with your article. For someone, like yourself, who is a complementarian, your response carries a lot of weight. I would like to point out to those who are supporting McArthur's comments about Beth Moore that McArthur is inconsistent with himself ANYWAY......Ironically, he had Joni Earekson Tada speak/preach at the Strange Fire Conference, which I personally have a problem with. Yet, McArthur's comments about Beth Moore could be equally applied to Joni Earekson Tada.
Thanks, Sam. Mercy triumphs over judgment. Your words are beautiful and true.

I am an egalitarian who believes in co-leadership. Since I'll probably live next door to a staunch male-headship proponent in heaven someday, I'll choose my words carefully here.

So much healing will happen when we understand the word, "ezer". As Adam's "ezer", Eve was meant to be our "warrior-rescuer"... liberating us from isolation and joining us in the mission to reproduce and rule the garden. The word means so much more than, "helper". Eve is our fellow-hero, immersed in the battle with us, firing at the enemy from the same foxhole. What an honor it is to fight alongside her. And what a tragedy it is when we silence her voice.

Though I am not a complimentarian, I am eager to join you in the cause of gracious dialogue. Love covers a multitude of sins. God bless you, pal.

After telling Beth Moore "Go home", Pastor MacArthur said: "There is no case that can be made biblically for a woman preaching; period, paragraph, end of discussion." Absolute, unrealistic statements like this make it difficult for faithful Christians to advance in mutual understanding on this topic. I am in a complementarian church. When I looked into it for my recent book (Men and Women in Christ: Fresh Light from the Biblical Texts), I found there was a considerable case to be made, requiring careful assessment, and that the complementarian position had weaker biblical support than I had expected. I now think the central question is whether one reads 1 Tim 2:8-15 fully in context or without full regard to the context.
Since Beth Moore is seeking an office the bible clearly teaches she is not to hold, she is in sin, therefore what MacArthur said was a biblical backed rebuke, 2Ti 4:2; 1Ti 5:20; Luke 17:3;. Some Pastors need to grow a backbone, be more concerned for her sin..
Thank you for this article. I was deeply offended at the way in which MacArthur and others at the conference derisively laughed at Beth Moore.

It is ok to disagree on doctrine or other theological issues, but it’s not ok to mock a sister or brother in Christ.

I highly doubt MacArthur would openly mock or deride other Christian leaders with whom he disagrees. I can’t imagine him or the others on the stage laughing at Joel Osteen, TD Jakes.

Lastly, if his intention is to call out sin, then why has he been silent on the sexual abuse of minors in the SBC?
Picture this scenario:

A dying man who happens to be an atheist arrives at the ER. He notices the attending female nurse who is assigned to him is wearing a cross. He asks her to tell him about Jesus.

CORRECT RESPONSE: Jesus is sinless Son of God who died in our place. We must receive him in order to be forgiven of our sins and have eternal life. May I pray with you?

CORRECT RESPONSE ACCORDING TO MACARTHUR: Sorry dude but it is not scriptural for a woman to preach to a man. Besides I have to “go home”
Thank you, Pastor Sam, for writing this much-needed post!
Thank you once again Pastor Sam. Character> gift. It’s a recurring pattern that has been evident over the years and it grieves many of us. Every blessing in Christ.
Come, Lord Jesus.
Thank you Sam.
I believe that the most universal gift, the most universal blessing that comes from God's common grace to humanity is time; time to repent, time to believe, time granted by God's patience, God's patience. He is patient because He is merciful.
John MacArthur
Was the “narcissist” comment directed towards Beth Moore, which doesn’t make sense. Or to MacArthur?
My question to you Sam, is would you have written this article if the identical situation happened if the name mentioned was Joel Osteen, Kenneth Copeland or Paula White, Joyce Meyer (who Beth Moore endorses)? And how would you characterize these words to the church at Thyatira, in Rev. 2: 20-23:
19 'I know your deeds, and your love and faith and service and perseverance, and that your deeds of late are greater than at first.
20 But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.
21 I gave her time to repent, and she does not want to repent of her immorality.
22 Behold, I will throw her on a bed of sickness, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of her deeds.
23 And I will kill her children with pestilence, and all the churches will know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts; and I will give to each one of you according to your deeds.
Are these words unloving, ungracious? I’d love to know your thoughts.
I can’t even begin to comprehend the accountability of those who are spreading such hate and division. God forgive us all because we are all in need of a savior. Beth Moore has never claimed to be a pastor/preacher. She is a woman of God who has studied the Bible and understands her role and position as a teacher of women. She has never claimed to be over men and talks often of the protection that comes from being under her husbands umbrella of protection. Anyone posting about her poor theology has never read or done one of her Biblical studies. God has MIGHTILY used this servant of God to bless my life and thousands of others. I love her heart and her willingness to sacrifice her own family time to serve others. God is pleased with Beth Moore. She is the apple of Gods eye.
To arrive at such groundless criticism over Godly John MacArthur's Biblical and timely rebuke of Beth Moore's stubborn and prideful decision to violate God's law, is a kin to taking the Apostle Paul to task for sharply rebuking the Apostle Peter for his hypocrisy. It seems even among the faithful flock the order of the day is to piously shoot the Lord's messenger when the message isn't to one's liking. Not everything can be said in love nor should be, Christ showed us that when he drove the merchants with a whip out of the Temple, twice (see R.C. Sproul's sermons on the Gospel of John). It is a preoccupation with defending the indefensible for the sake of liberal congeniality, in this case the heretic Moore, that has given place to impulsively and routinely straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel. Those who are truly His need to get back to the fundamentals of defending the Faith and prayerfully supporting his true servants in the ministry, and leave the persecution to wolves in sheep's clothing, J.D. Greear et al., who's candle God will extinguish in due time.
The SBC has a brand. Moore is a big part of the SBC brand, perhaps the face of it for female SBCers. SBC leaders are going to protect the brand even if it means accommodating to a false teacher. 11th commandment in the SBC world is never do or say anything that will hurt the brand. Jonny Mac called out a false teacher which inevitably attacked the brand so the brand holders bucked up. It’s not quite on the same level as Rome defending the Pope by charging Martin Luther of being snarky but you get the point.
Sam, I am very encouraged by you gracious and thoughtful response. Thank you for addressing this issue. As a complementarian and a pastor, I was deeply grieved by MacArthur’s snarky tone. Whatever happened to "the Lord’s servant must not quarrel, but must be gentle to everyone, able to teach, and patient, instructing his opponents with gentleness"?

In John MacArthur’s own commentary on this passage he writes: “As much as we are to speak boldly for the Lord without compromise, we are to do so with the attitude of meekness, gentleness, and humility. We are never to be harsh, abusive, overbearing, unkind, thoughtless, or pugnacious. There is to be a softness in the authority of a Christian leader, just as there was in Paul’s and in the Lord’s when He was on earth.”
As one who was present at the conference for this Q&A session, I did feel like MacArthur and Johnson were overly blunt and unkind to Beth Moore, and could have shown a little grace or courtesy towards her. I too felt a twinge that they were a bit snarky in their tones. But I did not disagree with anything they said. It was biblical and needed to be said publicly. BUT, I do disagree with Storms here. In rebuking John and Phil, Storms writes: "As I look at the ministry of Jesus, I never once find him speaking in such a snide and condescending way to any woman."
This is an illogical argument. John and Phil were not addressing Beth Moore as a woman, but as a Spiritual Leader and Teacher of God's Word. Jesus blasts the spiritual leaders and false teachers of the day over and over and over again in the Word for their misuses of God's Word and unbiblical philosophies towards ministry. John and Phil were RIGHT to passionately call our Beth Moore's error and to speak condescendingly of her beliefs and teachings in regards to that. In effect, by making this "woman" argument, Storms is really capitulating to the social justice movement when he turns the conversation to focus on the woman-ness of Moore apart from her teaching and leadership aspects. That's "intersectionality" speaking, not biblical reasoning. 
Thank you for this clear minded response. It is so helpful for me to hear this from you. Blessings, brother.
There once was a boy who went up to a large farm house and decided to throw a stone threw a window. He did so and then ran away. After a few days he decided to go back and the went up and he threw a brick through another window and then promptly ran away again. A few days after that, feeling awfully bold, he took a large stick, soaked it in gasoline and lit it on fire. He went to the farm and was immediately apprehended by the farmer of the farm.

Should the farmer;
1) Tell him he's fine to keep going?
2) Tell him the torch is awfully interesting and maybe actually light one himself and burn the place down?
3) Tell him he's wrong, take his torch and tell him if he does it again he won't be so merciful?

Beth Moore is the little boy.
Sir, you need to do more research into Beth Moore. You are making a fool of yourself.
Sam, your post is based on false assumptions. Firstly Beth Moore is a false teacher, not a sister in Christ. Her teachings are corrupt and her life thorny and fruitless. While this apostasy and destruction of the true faith is going on, you are calling for "politeness" and "common decency". This is hypocrisy. Why dont you rather expose evil than whine about how wicked women are spoken off. On what evidence should anyone accept that you, yourself are not an apostate? It is unlikely you abet evil in ignorance.
The thing that bugs me is this, as we are battling each other in the egalitarian-complimentarian battle, we are turning the sword on each other instead of taking the battle to the streets. We are becoming like the scribes and the pharisees, like the essenes, like the sadducees, and like the Zealots. We have split off into spiritually warring factions and turned into an autoimmune disease instead of embracing brothers and sisters in Christ who are advancing the fight for God's Kingdom. On this day, Satan's army laughs at our confusion.
Quick note on Matthew 18:15–17. This passage presumes a set of circumstances that are not present here.

The statements being spoke against in the article above were public to begin with- made in front of a crowd of onlookers and the audio has been broadcast across the internet- and as such they warrant a public response. Also, these statements were not made against Dr. Storms, they were made against a sister in Christ who was not present at the time they were issued, this circumstance also warrants a public response. Finally, these statements were made in such a way as to lead others to follow in their footsteps (i.e. laughing, clapping, etc.), which again lends itself to public response.

All this to say, I do not think Matthew 18:15-17 applies here, but a relevant passage for consideration in light of the above circumstance might be Galatians 2:11-14, where Paul confronts Peter publicly, not privately, because those who were watching Peter were being led astray by his example. Now, the Apostle Paul was not disobeying Jesus commands from Matthew 18:15-17 in confronting Peter, he was addressing a public situation on in an appropriately public manner and likewise Dr. Storms, as well as many others who have risen to address this public situation, are also responding appropriately given the current set of circumstances.

Even if you agree with John MacArthur and even if you feel what believes has to be said, there are proper ways of publicly confronting a brother or sister in Christ. Let us give great care to how we speak to, and about, one another. Criticism and rebuke are sometimes healthy and necessary, but scoring cheap points off straw man arguments, ad hominem attacks, and demeaning rhetoric is never appropriate and only serves to damage and divide the church! Let us remember, that when we address each other we are called to do so in truth and in love, with the honor and respect due our fellow heirs in Christ.

John Newton's 200+ year old letter to a fellow minister about to engage in a public confrontation is still one of the greatest pieces written on this subject. I commend it to anyone who is wrestling with when and how to engage in public debate with another believer:
I'm just curious what website posted Sam's blog so that it could be brigaded. I've never seen anything like this!
To the author: I do like your response. However I hope it wasn't your first response. I hope your first response was to call these gentlemen directly spoke these thoughts and comments to them first. Otherwise, I'm not sure the public calling out of these guys is any different in the eyes of the Lord.
The really sad thing I hear when I read these comments is the devil and his demons laughing at Christians for attacking each other. So sad.
Just curious! On the roar of the laughter of the audience, how many were women? Maybe more than half! Don’t know. But why would they laugh? Because they know the truth of scripture and more importantly they want to uphold and obey it. I know that if my wife was there, she would have laughed too!
Mr. Storms,
First, thank you for your response. I do appreciate it.

I would like to press you again on the matter. here you state:

"O.K., so you disagree with Beth Moore on the question of women preaching or teaching. Does that justify making her the object of disdain, ridicule, and raucous laughter? Why can’t we learn to honor one another and encourage one another and speak the truth in love to one another, even when the “another” does not agree with our personal doctrinal distinctives?"

This isn't simply a personal doctrinal distinctive. This is a subversion of clear teaching from Paul and clearly understood teaching and thought passed down from the Patristic age. Paul clearly states his thoughts on women preaching and teaching, then grounds his argument, not in the surrounding culture (so we cannot say it can be left with Paul in the first century A.D.) but in how God created man and woman. We know it is more than personal differences such as how often to take the Lord's Supper or what type of music to play; it goes much deeper. We know the exegetical underpinning of egalatarians is amiss when those who try to make homosexual unions use the same argument against Paul's clear teaching about homosexuality as egalatarians use for Paul's teaching about women in the church.

I would also like to add how often she has taken to Twitter to provoke those in the complementarian camp, showing nearly the same amount of grace MacArthur did when he said "go home." So, there is a history to this.

Given their history, given her multiple docrinal errors, and given both their public ministries, would not MacArthur be in line with Titus 1:9, which states "He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it."?

If she is in error, as has been shown by multiple websites that link to her errors, then isn't MacArthur's response in line with Titus 1:9? We may disagree with the manner in which he rebuked her, but I do not think we should disagree that he rebuked her.

Thank you,
God bless.
This article is an appeal to Ecumenism
Sam, In response to your comment to Joseph. "God still speaks through revelatory gifts of the Spirit." No, God speaks through His written Word applied in our hearts by the Spirit, very different. "Not all "revelation" is canonical. See 1 Cor. 14.30 and Philippians 3.15 .." This underlines a fundamental error. The first epistle to Corinth was written before the completion of our cannon at a foundational time in the church. Ignoring the relevance of this reality is bad hermenuetics. Phil 3:15 simply underscores the necessity of the Spirits application of the Word. Your canonical views are not derived from sound exegesis and are extremely dangerous to the church as they undermine the sufficiency of scripture. Applying the Word in our experience is Christian. Receiving revelation to guide our experience is pagan.
Macarthur's comments--and the way he and his followers approached this--exhibit the characteristics of someone who preaches themselves, not Christ, and very the narcicism Moore is accused of.
Thank you for a voice of respect. You are right about courtesy Sam. This has helped restore my faith, that some, but not all Christian men see women in a God honouring way. I do not have unswerving trust in all male Christians to treat women as equals and I cannot change that. There seems to be generational, entrenched sexism implied in their remarks. I worry that the jokey and snarkey comments made are truly at the heart of the culture of some of these men. Lord knows.
Maybe one should not comment on things you do not know. You were not there. You are judging something you have no idea about.
John MacArthur is a devoted teacher of the Word. The conference was about the Sufficiency of Scripture. And the importance of God's Word. Those of us who deeply care how the Word is used found this conference to be a blessing. The Truth Matters Conference is a deep study of what God's Word says. If you have trouble handling the truth then maybe you should examine your own faith and walk.
Thank you Sam! Those who have justified his tone and remarks are also guilty of agreement with this spiritual abuse of women! Beth is my friend it is personal to me......if John does not publicly apologize to Beth and all women it will confirm what we already know about him! God opposes the proud!! Not a good place to be! Too preachy??
I listened to that panel audio and read then read this article...My response is MacArthur didnt say anything wrong. This article comes across to me as just an over sensitive gas lighting attempt. If I'm wrong the comments above prove its had that effect because there is more harsh words for MacArthur than he even had for Beth Moore. That's hypocrisy for you. The only real controversy should be that Beth Moore is in flagrant, on going, public sin in clear violation of scripture by unashamedly preaching in churches and if you take a strong stand against it in this age of apostasy your vilified for being a jerk by those who consider themselves conservatives. It's a lost cause to try to coddle evangelicals worldly sensitivities all the time. We will miss MacArthur when he is gone because he is one of the only influential preachers left who isn't afraid to tell it like it is even when he will be hated for it.
Here is a link with an excellent critique of Beth Moore. I hope Southern Baptists can start being honest about her sloppy hermeneutics. We must be willing to point out when a brother or sister is teaching things that are inaccurate. That is not being mean, but being wise discerners of God's truth. Maybe the manner in which this was addressed could have been done a little better, but I am thankful that they are willing to point out her careless teaching.
I went to this church as a young, broken woman looking for a new hope and beginning in life. I was met with the church culture as a whole in the same manner, and the damage this did was simply beyond description because it shredded me into a nobody and nothing. If I didn't dissolve into their theological beliefs and become an exact duplicate of what they believed doctrinally, I was worthless. It sickened my heart, and it makes me so very thankful I was able to rise above this but for the grace of God. It is a spiritual toxic environment that wreaks of religious pride and pharisaical hypocrisy. I could write a book on my time there and what I learned from it. I ask myself, why? How could this mindset and this belief of such a harsh and hard legalistic God be considered "Biblical." And I have no other answer than they don't know my Jesus. They know A Jesus, and they worship their Bibles and their truth to get the perfect theological stance. But they don't know the Jesus that Bible points to, the One that stooped down into the broken condition of a woman's live, empowered her and healed her for life. Ironically, that is the type of Jesus that Beth Moore teaches about! Beth Moore can defend herself. She can see it for what it is. But young Christians this can hurt at such a core level it can keep them from God and church forever. I believe in 2019 this attitude is the most threatening to our culture because they are supposed to represent hope and life, and instead they represent arrogance, ego and pride. The represent everything that Jesus wasn't. And instead of drawing people to Jesus - they cause them run as far away as they can. May God help them, and may He help us each to discern the real Jesus and His heart.
A few things....
1. These panels of pastors are common at these conferences--whether they be at T4G, or other Christian conferences. They usually are vehicles for discussing current issues that help the true Sheep of Christ Jesus identify false teaching and false teachers. Such was the case on this panel at the Truth Matters conference.
2 The audience is laughing--NOT AT BETH MOORE--but at their expectation of Pastor MacArthur's response to the word-association tool used by Todd Friel...which he has done several times before at previous conferences.
3. MacArthur's exposition and exegesis of the Biblical texts that eliminate women from Pastoral and Teaching ministries is well-understood by the audience. Therefore, their laughter is one of expectation.
4. You, Mr. Storms, should be ashamed of yourself for changing the conversation from an honest discussion and exposure of Beth Moore's completely unbiblical ministry to a question of "...that mean 'ol John MacArthur and Phil Johnson." There was NOTHING mean or insulting about Pastor MacArthur's comments--nor of those offered by Phil Johnson.
5. Both Macarthur and Johnson are grieved by Beth Moore's unbiblical ministry. Neither of these men are being flippant or condescending. Their responsibility as faithful shepherds of God's sheep is absolutely and unequivocally clear according to Titus 1:9 "...give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it" in order to protect their own sheep from false teachers.
6. This issue is not a new one--but it goes all the way back to the Garden where the first woman left her assigned place by believing the serpent liar. Moses also had to contend with a challenge of his leadership by no less than his own sister. Maybe you and those you lead should go back and see from Scripture how the LORD GOD responded to her challenge before passing judgment on these two men by demanding an apology.

Finally---the Church of the living Lord Jesus is under more pressure than ever to conform to the world's criteria for interpreting Scripture according to 21st Century cultural norms. I personally thank the LORD JESUS CHRIST for men with spines of Spiritual Steel who refuse to shrink back from the whole counsel of God's Eternal Word. And I list men like Pastor John MacArthur, Phil Johnson, Voddie Bauchum, Todd Friel, and Steve Lawson in that number.
Thank you for your article, Sam. It echoes many of my thoughts.

I truly hope John MacArthur apologizes. It would be wonderful for the church, a hopeful tonic in divisive times, if he does.
Thank you, Sir. Well said.

I have two thoughts:

(1) Why are they laughing? If they are correct about Beth Moore then they should be saying it soberly and perhaps even with tears in their eyes. I cannot see their hearts as the Lord can, but the whole spirit of it comes across as arrogant/prideful.

(2) Have John MacArthur or Phil Johnson ever apologized for anything they have ever said about someone? Or have they always been 100% accurate in all their accusations and judgments about the numerous people they’ve negatively criticized through the years, both in public and in print? I know of no such occasions.
Thank you for your time and thought on this issue.... there are a lot of weeds to get lost in here but what I am troubled by MOST is the sentiment of the line of questioning and rule of the limited number of words for response posed by the moderator. It seems apparent that the aim of this section was divisive and dismissive.... was not born out of love, and unity and but exposes the true heart of the moderator to instigate the bias of MacArthur and the attendees. What MacArthur said was troubling, but so is the forum.
I apprecaite you writing this. If I am being dead honest, and I don't even really know how to process this as a believer, I really don't like John macarthur. Given some of the things he says sometimes I even wonder if hes actually a christian. Listen, thats not my place to determine and I do honor the things he has done for the body, which are great. But his comments over the years about other brothers and sisters of christ are truly confounding.

The church at large is very guilty missing the, "By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." verse, by a mile. . I just cant get over how violently John speaks of brothers and sisters sometimes. I don't get it. And i'm with you. I truly hope God gets a hold of this part of this mans life. John puts a huge frown on my face.
church history has its strains - beit John, Paul, Augustine, Calvin, Flavel, Piper; or Peter, Nicholas, Luther, Alleine, MacArthur, et al.
you make excellent points, nevertheless, love hopes all things - supernaturally. thanks for your contribution to the conversation.
Thank you for your thoughtful ... and love-centered...article.
Excellent! Thank you!!
I have seen several people in this comment section respond critically to Sam's closing rhetorical question and answer: "Do I have any reasonable hope that such an apology is forthcoming? No." I do not believe he meant it to be snarky or dismissive, but rather as more a sigh of resignation....

Having followed the public dust-ups surrounding both John MacArthur and Phil Johnson for several years now, I too have seen no pattern or willingness to apologize for hurtful- or even misleading- comments and arguments they have made. In fact, they have a tendency to double down on their more controversial and divisive statements when confronted about them. Whether they are tilting at Charismatics, or those they perceive to be social justice warriors, or Beth Moore they do not appear to show any respect to their opponents, rather they just attack and demean them in public. So, "Do I have any reasonable hope that such an apology is forthcoming?" I would have to sigh... and agree with Sam, "No," I do not have a reasonable hope that one is forthcoming based on their past track record.

That being said, I would gladly welcome being proven wrong and would be deeply moved to hear a heartfelt apology from these two gentleman (along with the other leaders who laughed along with them). Not that they have to change their position (convictions are convictions, I understand that), but even an admission that they handled it poorly, addressed it coarsely, and were disrespectful of a sister in Christ would be something....
I appreciate your comments about John MacArthur and Phil Johnson in relation to Beth Moore but people must realized this is an extremely MILD example of how they treat other believers and doesn't address their deceitful self-exaltation.. The truth about them is far worse.

I've written about this at some length. In truth, neither should be in ministry. That may sound outlandish but it is true. Please read these articles. The are factual in nature and made public only after repeated attempts to address in person.

John MacArthur’s Renowned Story He Stood on the Blood of Martin Luther King Jr. with Iconic Civil Rights Leaders Within Hours of Assassination in 1968 a Complete Hoax! Phil Johnson, MacArthur’s Executive Director, Verbally Assails Reporter Who Broke Story in Attempted Cover-Up!

The Account of John MacArthur & Rick Holland’s Horrific Handling of “Jane’s” Rape in Conjunction with Officials from The Master’s University


I always try to ask 2 questions in situations like this:

1- Did it bring people to Jesus?

2- Did it bring unity to the Body of Christ?

If the answer is yes to one or both then I stand by whatever was said... but if the answer is no... then I dismiss whatever was said as garbage. What Mr. MacArther said was pure and utter garbage... and the discussion really doesn't need to go any further in my opinion.
Your missing MacArthur's point seems to out weigh your response to his comments regarding Beth Moore. His point he is making is that God's Word is the same yesterday, today and forever. It is not meant to be interrupted to fit social waves. Jesus is the fixed standard, His fulfillment of the OT Law and Prophets did not change God's Word. If God desired women to be elders, and preach a message to men, He would have addressed it so one could not divide over the issue; but in fact, He specifically laid out the qualifications in the NEW Testament. If you think you are qualified to add to or change the Word, do so at your own cost. Leading others to accept a Social Gospel that fits into societies narratives in lieu of bringing society back to the standard of God's Word is the very thing mentioned at the end of Revelation. Can women lead other women... Yes, absolutely.

To address your comment about honor and disdain and ridicule... Proverbs is full of answers for your thoughts on this... it speaks numerously to the contentious woman as well as the fools. It is the absolute responsibility of any Pastor to lead people to the Truth and absolutely expose the Word when it is being distorted and/or for any kind of personal gain. Did MacArthur do it the way EVERYONE would like, no, certainly not... But he did it in such a way to expose heretics and prosperity preachers or those who will water down the Word to fit into today's society.
When so-called Christian teachers present distorted or heterodoxical teaching, they have to be called out for the sake of the hearers. But the teacher should be approached one-on-one first. Matthew 18

Thank you Sam. I am an egalitarian and in ministry for 45 years. Your kind and courageous words inspire me, and I am grateful for your courage in posting them.
Thank You Sam!...
Was he wrong for what he said? If so, rebuke him with scripture. But the problem is you won't be able to. She should not be preaching. End of the argument.
Thank you, Pastor.
Beth Moore does not aspire to even teach men and is not a pastor. Why MacArthur would tell her to "go home" is beyond me, even on complementarian grounds. But MacArthur is an extreme case in his views and was extremely arrogant and rude. He should apologize indeed.
Douglas Groothuis
I can imagine what this post means to the women under your care and leadership. For 7 years, I’ve been at an evangelical Acts 29 SBC megachurch in DFW and because of its prominence and the visibility of one of the pastors, responses like these to blatant misogyny or racism or xenophobia we’re never written and issued — not by the lead pastor or the church staff. It was discouraging, disheartening, and very difficult. I have since left and am not a member there anymore. (Not for that reason but it was a factor.) On behalf of the women in your care, thank you for saying *something* and especially for saying *this.* I am not a complementarian anymore either but it’s a much more tenable position to hold when one does so like this. Bless you, Pastor.
I was going along agreeing with you until you did exactly what you claim MacArthur did. By snidely commenting you didn't expect him to apologize. I guess we really should get the log out of our eye before we try to get the speck out of someone else's.
I am somewhat between a rock and a hard place here pastor Sam. I do think that one of the greatest distinctives of the Christian is to have love toward one another. And I agree that it'd be hard to claim that MacArthur's comments were in love. However, it's easy to see that she clearly is teaching far more to the doctrinally loose than the doctrinally sound. Her comments over the past several months have lead me to no longer suggest her as a leader for women's studies as she has increasingly become hostile to orthodoxy. I do hope though that we can learn to be not more tolerant, but more gracious in our effort to expose what we consider misleading or even false teaching.
I really wonder if they would dare to say something like that to Beth Moore if she or her husband were in the room. Maybe, maybe not. My personal opinion is that they should aplogize.
However we must see the error in Beth Moore's teachings and in her affirmation of false teachers (but hey the same way Beth affirms Joyce Meyer Dr Storms affirms Mike Bickle). So while I would never take my wife or daughter to a Beth Moore event I can certainly admit that as an image bearer she must be treated with honor and respect and MacArthur sinned by no doing that.
This is how a true complementarian leader speaks to this situation.

(*How* is what's in question. It should be a given that anyone who considers themselves a complementarian leader would speak out against this.)
I appreciate this article. Thank you for the reminders of common respect and biblical standards for regarding one another.
An excellent and grace filled commentary on this controversy, right up until the very last comment. I agree whole heartedly that we need to treat each other with respect and courtesy, even, or especially within the most divisive conflicts. Your prediction of MacArthur’s presumed response to your comments is not in this spirit, sir, and I believe it undermines the point you are trying to make.
Thank you for this.
Amen! Let's hear it for love and grace.
Thank you, Sam.
You ought to examine what she has said over the course of her life. She does not hold to every fundamental doctrine.

And the fact that you neglect to mention her CONSTANT snarkiness and lack of charity is telling.
I always appreciate your writings Pastor Sam. This one was no different. Thanks for demonstrating clarity of thought and kindness of heart.
I'm a complementarian woman who, over the years has accumulated 4 Bible book studies and one topical study by Beth Moore (have also heard her speak). Its patently clear to me she loves the Lord, His Word, and is gifted to teach other women. Yes, I disagree with her on some issues. The way Beth was treated by MacArthur and Phil Johnson in that youtube, is despicable. Thank you for your blog post. I pray many will read it and consider what you say.
Good word!
Thanks Sam - I find this to be both edifying and challenging.
Joseph, Beth doesn't claim to be the recipient of "special revelation" on a par with Scripture. But she is not a cessationist. Neither am I. God still speaks through revelatory gifts of the Spirit and directly to the hearts of his people. All such "revelation" is subject to Scripture and in no way competes with it. Not all "revelation" is canonical. See 1 Cor. 14.30 and Philippians 3.15 for two examples.
What about her theology though, Brother?

Special revelation from God?

It's not only on her unbiblical position of women being pastors that MacArthur has spoken these words, it's her doctrinal errors that he wants to protect people from.

"What God began to say to me about five years ago and I'm telling you it is in me on such a treck with him that my head is still whirling over it. He began to say to me, 'I'm gonna say something right now, Beth. And boy you write this one down. And you say it as often as I give you utterance to say it. My bride is paralyzed by unbelief. My bride is paralyzed by unbelief.' And he said, 'Starting with you.' Amen. Because we can do a lot of finger-pointing around here about why we're revival is not happening here and there. Let me tell you something revival will always happen with faith."
Bravo, Sam. Very well said.
Thank you Sam! I was so blessed to learn from you at Bridgeway, your unending search for truth in the Word, and how you strived to reach outside the walls of our building to any and all who would answer the call of Christ. You’ve reminded me that there is ONE judge, and we are not Him. If a house is divided against itself, it cannot stand. We have enough turmoil in this political climate never before we need the church body to be a sanctuary, not a bully pulpit. Sally and I miss you dearly!
Thank you, sir. I am encouraged by your words.
Thank you for this response, Sam
Wonderful article, as someone who has interacted with you off and on since you were at the church in Ardmore. I am sure you care for those who read your blog, wherever you are. I know that you examine the theology of those who you recommend, and (from personal familial experience) when you disagree with theology but respect the heart of the person with whom you disagree, you give praise for what is praiseworthy. Beth is fervently pursuing Jesus and has forgotten more about the Bible than I know. Her ability to exegete and her hermeneutics are solid, even if she leans more egalitarian than those churches I have attended. I am sure charismatics are moved by her, as they are sensitive to the Spirit of the Living God and recognize it as it as she edifies God's Body and John MacArthur should, as you say, apologize. God speed, Sam. See you Sunday.
Well said Sam. I completely agree.
She won.....
Everyone else lost.....
Hey Sam,

Thanks for this response!

I think there is such a need in our day and age for Christians to re-learn what it means to honor one another. Too many of us have given ourselves over to vitriolic trolling and ad hominem argumentation. We desperately need to be reminded of what it means to encourage each other and to build one another up (1 Ths 5:11) and to speak the truth in love (Eph 4:15).

I also think that we need to beware of the reality of misogyny within the Evangelical church. Just because someone says they are complementarian (and even crosses their doctrinal 't's and dots their theological 'i's), it doesn't mean that they truly are, rather they may be claiming complementarianism as a cover for patriarchy (i.e. male domination). I am not sure if this is the case with the recent fracas surrounding MacArthur and Johnson (although the way the stepped into along with the response from crowd would certainly seem to lean that way), but either way, as Evangelicals we must do better in this area. Our children are watching, the world is watching, and our Gospel witness is at stake.

Imagine if the term "Evangelical" became synonymous with honor, respect, and love of one another, of neighbor, and even of opponent and enemy, imagine what kind of witness that would be (1 Peter 2:13-3:9; John 13:35; 1 John 3:11; Luke 10:25-37; Matthew 5:44).

Thanks again for speaking out about this!
THANK YOU, Pastor/Rev. Storms!!
Thank you Sam for this post!
Well written response Pr Sam. I do respect Pr. John Macarthur a lot and do agree with him in many areas esp doctrines of grace and love his expository preaching but having a good theology doesn't mean you can talk against all who disagree with your convictions in a disrespectful manner. It should be out of love and truth shall be said in graceful manner. I think part of the blame should go to Justin Peters and Todd Friel since they were indirectly kinda pushing Mac for a response after their presentations at Truth Matters Conference. I hope Mac really practices "Grace to You" when he talks about people who are against his theological convictions in future.
I am disappointed in this article and have interacted with you off and on since you were at the church in Ardmore. I am sure you don't care but I will no longer read your blog since it is obvious you haven't examined Beth Moore's theology or you would not be praising her. She is a heretic and it is unbiblical for a female to occupy the pulpit. Her lack of ability to exegete and her hermeneutics are way off base. I'm sure charismatics more readily accept her personal messages from God than other evangelicals but she is dangerous to God's body and John MacArthur said nothing wrong or unbiblical. God speed, Sam. See you in glory.

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