This post is my response to John Piper’s shenanigans, adapted for John MacArthur’s more recent shenanigans.
Some dude who’s famous for… something, I guess? I think mostly it’s just for acting like a jerk. Anyway, John MacArthur apparently thinks Beth Moore should “Go Home” and stop preaching, or something to that effect.
I could 100% believe what I was reading. Mostly because John MacArthur getting traffic for saying something ridiculous is a pretty typical day.
I’m tired. I’ve spent the past few days hauling stuff from one house to another and unboxing and putting up blinds. But I thought, “Surely I have time to respond to this nonsense in the derisive manner it deserves. Not with ridiculous proof-texting, but with recycled ridiculous proof-texting.
Recycled misogyny deserves nothing less than recycled satirical proof-texting.So, without further ado, recycled satire.
Should Men Preach?
For an answer, I turn to scripture. And not just scripture – complementarian scripture. The (Male-oriented) English Standard Version, to be exact.
And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (Genesis 2:16-17)
Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” (Genesis 3:1-3)
See how the man is already lying to the woman about what God said? By the time it gets to the woman, God’s command has been twisted and stretched.
If you can’t trust the first man, in the GARDEN OF EDEN, BEFORE THE FALL EVEN HAPPENED, to accurately relay God’s word spoken directly to him, to only ONE woman, how the heck can you trust future, fallen men, to accurately relay God’s word transferred via the Bible, to other men and then have them relay it? It’s like telephone. Gosh.
Pop quiz: Who committed the Bible’s first murder?
Answer: Cain. A man.
Then you get to Lamech (Genesis 4:23-24), who threatens sevenfold revenge to anyone who hurts him. Violent people, men.
Genesis 6:5, ESV: The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
Not woman. Man. The flood happens because of man.
Now consider the man of faith, Abraham. He goes to Egypt and he’s such a coward that he tells his wife to lie to the Egyptians because he’s afraid. Does this sound like qualifications of a spiritual leader? No, no it does not. But she’s submissive to her husband, and next thing ya know, she’s about to be Pharaoh’s wife.
Also, the thing he’s afraid of is that the Egyptians will kill him if they find out she’s his wife. He’s wrong. So basically the man of faith has (a) told his wife to lie because (b) he has bad judgment.
Then take Sodom and Gamorrah. The Bible says (Genesis 13:13) that “the men of Sodom were wicked, great sinners against the Lord.” Nothing about the women; just the men. God destroys the whole city because of the men of Sodom.
Moses, a man disobeys God, and his wife has to circumcise their boys.
We’re gonna have to move a little faster now. All but one of Israel’s apostate idol-worshiping heads of state? Men. (Jezebel was under Ahab, you’ll recall, so Ahab was still the head of state in that case, leaving only Athaliah).
Who’s responsible for nearly all the sexual assaults and rapes in the Bible? Men.
Who’s responsible for nearly all the violence recorded in the Bible? Men.
Denier of Christ? Peter. A man.
Betrayer of Christ? Judas. A man.
Don’t forget Apollos, a man, who had to be set straight by a woman, Priscilla, whose name appears in 2/3 of mentions of the couple ahead of her husband’s name, emphasizing her significance over him.
Who discovered Christ was risen first? Women.
Who didn’t believe them? Men.
Who was right? The women. Naturally.
So when the divinely-inspired author of I Timothy says Paul doesn’t allow women to teach or exercise authority over men on the basis of the woman eating of the forbidden fruit first, he’s standing on some pretty shaky exegetical ground.
Men are inconsistent, they often fail to convey God’s word rightly, they strike rocks when God tells them to speak to rocks, they are occasionally incapable of doing anything useful unless women go with them (Judges 4:8), and regularly give other men terrible advice (see Job’s friends, for example).
So it turns out, John MacArthur shouldn’t be telling pastors and preachers who are women to go home.
He should be telling himself and other men. Maybe if we kept ourselves in the kitchen holding babies, cooking, and doing laundry, we wouldn’t have time to hold 50-year anniversary celebrations where we mocked women doing hard theological and pastoral work for having different genitalia (which is seriously such a childish thing to do).
Your kitchen is calling you, J-Mac.
NOTE: I’m a pastor and I love being a pastor. I don’t actually think female sex organs are God’s necessary qualification for ministry.