Overturning the Apple Cart: Women in Ministry and Leadership; It’s Happening, get on the God Train!
I want to tackle the John MacArthur debacle we’ve all been hearing about lately. I am so thankful for pastors and leaders, men and women alike, who have already called this man to account for his words concerning women in ministry, teaching and preaching. I am thankful they called him to account for his less than Christian and less than honorable words (Sam Storm’s words, not mine) concerning Beth Moore. I am also grateful for Beth Moore’s seasoned, graceful response to those words. This type of disrespectful discourse toward a brother or sister in Christ has no place in the church, nor in this society for that matter.
I purposely chose not to write about this before today because I did not want to write in anger. I did not want to say anything in anger that would not season the conversation or exhort and encourage. I did not want to sound anything like John MacArthur. The fact that we must these conversations is mind boggling to me over 2000 years after Jesus died and rose again to to reverse the curse; but here we are, it is what it is. I’m not sure which Bible John MacArthur reads from, but my Bible speaks of all kinds of women ministers and leaders – from Deborah in the Old Testament to the woman at the well in the New Testament who was the first evangelist to tell others about Jesus (Judges 4 and John 4). Jesus consistently affirmed women (John 4, Luke 10:38-42, John 8:1-11). His male disciples consistently recorded this in the gospels. Even the early church affirmed women in a culture who viewed them as property (Priscilla and Equila, Acts 18-24-26; Lydia Acts 16:14-15; Junia and Phoebe, Romans 16; as well as many other women, Acts 21, 1 Corinthians 1, 2 John 1, Philippians 4, and 2 John 13).
I have a hard time understanding why John MacArthur and those on his panel are purposely misleading people. His audience was apparently mis-lead as are countless others. The suspected (not confirmed) reasons for this may be as many as they are complicated: misunderstanding of the scripture, refusing to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, unbelief, pride, a love of power, dislike of women or at the very least women leaders, old patterns of thinking, and/or satanic influence. However, it is clear to me, at least at this point, that John MacArthur is not interested in the original design God had in mind in Genesis 1-3 before the fall of mankind, when men and women were equal in authority and value before God – before sin and deception entered the world. It is clear to me that John MacArthur does not believe or at least does not understand, on some level, that Jesus came to right and reverse all curses spoken after the fall. He came, lived among us, died and rose again so that male and female equality, value, and authority is restored! It saddens me that the things he spoke came from his heart (out of the heart the mouth speaks) and the fruit of those words is the rottenness of division and the love of power. Is he not aware that the church as been moving toward this restoration for many years? This restoration has picked up steam in the last two years, thanks to men and women who are studying what the Bible says and asking the Holy Spirit to lead them; not to mention brave women leaders such as Beth Moore speaking out against abuses in the church and in society.
At this point, I believe it is safe to say that John MacArthur will need to search his heart and look at this motives. He must repent and seek the Holy Spirit on this issue. He must turn away from old patterns of thinking and corrupt mindsets. He must ensure he is listening to the voice of the Shepard and not the voice of another. God loves John MacArthur, his panel and everyone that was in that room laughing at Beth Moore’s expense. God can show them the way if they are open to it. God can show them His redemptive, restorative way for men and women. I hope after this debacle, they will consider the motives of their hearts – for themselves, not for me or anyone else. Their very ability to continue to influence people for Jesus depends on it!
I will say this here and now. God is doing a new thing! He is setting women free and affirming them. He is affirming them in ministry, leadership, the home, and the workplace. He is telling his church that women can’t and won’t be boxed in. He is asking men and women to submit one to another (Ephesians 5:21), period. Submission is not one-sided. He is asking men and women to let Him be the head of our families. He is asking for men and women to lead their families together under Him. His Spirit is moving! He is upsetting Satan’s apple cart (I am glad to be assisting with the upset)! He is upsetting religion and tradition! He is restoring women to their rightful leadership roles in the family, in society, and in the church. Get on this God train! No one can stop the Living God nor the Lion! Not even John MacArthur can stop God! Together, ladies and gentlemen, we can take back Enemy territory. We are stronger together and working in those strengths and gifts God has given us! Only together can we defeat the issues that plague this country’s soul. Let’s repent, choose to lead together, and change generations! Get on the train! God is on the move!