John MacArthur’s non-endorsement of women “pastors”
Paula White, a spiritual advisor for President Trump, has written a book titled Something Greater. Beth Moore is a popular Bible teacher in evangelical circles. John MacArthur was recently asked for his thoughts about these two women “pastors” and their work in light of their popularity in evangelical circles. His response accurately identifies the threat of feminism for the church and unflinchingly condemns the women who act like pastors along with those who receive them as if they are legitimate pastors.
Leonardo Blair reports for The Christian Post:
Lamenting what he sees as a heretical “plunge” away from biblical order, Pastor John MacArthur, who leads Grace Community Church in California, skewered popular Bible teacher Beth Moore, President Donald Trump’s spiritual adviser Paula White and evangelicals who support the idea of women preachers in general.
“I think the church is caving in to women preachers. Just the other day the same thing happened with Paula White. A whole bunch of leading evangelicals endorsed her new book. She’s a heretic and a prosperity preacher, three times married. What are they thinking?” MacArthur said of the televangelist who chairs the evangelical advisory board of the Trump administration during the “Truth Matters Conference,” held Oct. 1618 at Grace Community Church. MacArthur’s 50th year in pulpit ministry was also celebrated during the event.
MacArthur’s reference to White comes in the wake of recent criticism of several prominent evangelical leaders, including Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan’s Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, who encouraged his two million followers to support White’s latest book, Something Greater, noting that she has lived an “interesting life.”
White’s book also attracted support from other prominent evangelicals such as Jack Graham, pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas, Robert Jeffress, pastor of First Baptist Dallas, and Jerry Falwell Jr., president of Liberty University, who said on Twitter: “Paula’s life is an encouragement to so many and I’m sure this book will encourage you.”
MacArthur’s comments on White and women in ministry, however, were sparked during a panel discussion in which he was asked to give a pithy response to Beth Moore, who is a prominent evangelical Bible teacher, author and founder of Living Proof Ministries.
The veteran Bible teacher bluntly replied: “Go home.”
He then followed that up with: “There is no case that can be made biblically for a woman preacher. Period. Paragraph. End of discussion.”
He later added, “Just because you have the skill to sell jewelry on the TV sales channel doesn’t mean you should be preaching. There are people who have certain hawking skills, natural abilities to sell, they have energy and personality and all of that. That doesn’t qualify you to preach.”
He then further explained why the concept of women preachers was so “profoundly troubling” to him: “The #MeToo movement again is the culture reclaiming ground in the church. When the leaders of evangelicalism roll over for women preachers, the feminists have really won the battle,” he said to applause.
“The primary effort in feminism is not equality. They don’t want equality. That’s why 99 percent of plumbers are men. They don’t want equal power to be a plumber. They want to be senators, preachers, congressmen, president. The power structure in a university, they want power, not equality and this is the highest location they can ascend to that power in the evangelical church and overturn what is clearly scriptural,” MacArthur explained unapologetically. “So I think this is feminism gone to church. This is why we can’t let the culture exegete the Bible.”1
World magazine’s science book of the year
World magazine has named Michael J. Behe’s Darwin Devolves: The New Science About DNA That Challenges Evolution its science book of the year. A promotional announcement of the award claims that Behe’s earlier book, Darwin’s Black Box, “flipped the conventional understanding that the evolutionary battle is one of science vs. faith.” Many consider rejection of Darwinian evolutionism to be a faith-based position that is anti-science, while those who adhere to Darwinian evolutionism take a position objectively rooted in science. But in Darwin’s Black Box Behe “showed scientifically that macroevolution is a satisfactory explanation only for those who are true believers in the words of a nineteenth century prophet.” In other words, the basis for adhering to “macroevolution,” the teaching that one “kind” of creature evolves into a different “kind,” is not science but the unfounded claims of Charles Darwin, the nineteenth- century prophet of the religion of evolutionism. One might be tempted to say that belief in Darwinian evolutionism is faith-based in a way that is comparable to the rejection of Darwinian evolutionism. But while it is true that neither side ultimately appeals to science for the basis of its beliefs, there is no comparison between faith in the words of Charles Darwin and faith in the Word of God. The Christian holds to the solid, truthful explanation of the origin and development of the world and of all creatures great and small as recorded in the only book inspired by the Holy Spirit. Those who believe in evolutionism rest their faith on the ephemeral words of a mere man.
This is not to say that science is not worth studying. In fact, the Christian faith is more open to the honest pursuit of scientific knowledge than the evolutionist. This comes out in the interview of Dr. Behe conducted by World magazine in order to promote his new book. During the interview it is noted that studies show that the changes in gene structure that cause variation within a species are changes due to the breakdown or devolution of the gene, not the evolution of a gene that creates a new species. The follow-up question was then asked, “Was there ever evidence that random mutations could create?” Dr. Behe responded, “The best ‘evidence’ for natural selection: My professor in graduate school said it happened. He can’t be wrong. And everybody nods in agreement. But there was zero real evidence that Darwin’s mechanism could build anything complex.” The evolutionary scientist is often unwilling to accept the findings of scientific studies that contradict their strongly held beliefs. Instead, he uncritically accepts the claims of his graduate school professor, the twenty-first century “high priest” of the religion of Darwinism.
Christians have no reason to fear the findings of scientific investigations. Even if the findings seem to contradict what is taught in Scripture, the true Christian remains confident that the Word of God is true. But often the Christian is pleasantly unsurprised that what scientists discover is in harmony with what is recorded in Scripture. The harmony between the teaching of Scripture and what scientists have found appears to be what one can expect to read about in Behe’s new book about devolution.
This does not mean, of course, that one can study Scripture to learn all about what scientists study, such as the genetic changes that occur in animals. God invented science, and Christians gladly engage in scientific study in order to examine the development of animals. In the interview Behe gives a fascinating summary of what has been found in the study of bears and dogs. He says about bears,
Polar bears are very similar to brown bears, so for a long time people thought the polar bear was a great example of Darwinian evolution. It’s likely true the polar bear is descended from brown bears, but we didn’t know how or what changed within the biology of the polar bear to allow it to adapt to its frigid region. Now we do, because the entire genomes of the grizzly and polar bears have been sequenced. It turns out, of the 17 most important changes, about three-quarters of them are degraded genes in the ancestor, the brown bear. One gene involved in making pigment in the brown bear’s coat was broken, so the polar bear has a white coat. Another one involved fat metabolism. By breaking one gene, the polar bear can tolerate much higher levels of fat. So the polar bear was derived from the brown bear not so much by evolution, but by devolution.
And about dogs he says,
Popularizers of evolution said if we can breed dogs that are so different from each other and only do it in the past few hundred years, how much better could nature do? But again, we didn’t know what was going on in the biology of these dogs. In the past 10 years, the entire genomes of many different dog breeds have been sequenced. And again, it turns out if you want a Chihuahua, you can break one of the genes involved in growth. If you want French poodles with curly hair, you break a gene involved in hair growth. If you want a dog with a short muzzle, you break a gene involved in facial shape development.
Scripture does not provide us with any of this information about bears and dogs, so how can these findings be in harmony with what Scripture teaches? Scripture might not give specifics about genetics, but it does teach that each “kind” of creature was specially made by God. Therefore, Scripture rejects the idea that there are changes from one kind to another kind over a period of time, which is in harmony with what scientists observe happening in the changes of genes in animals, particularly bears and dogs. A brown bear may give rise to the polar bear, but it will never become a dog. Such a scientific finding does not have anything to do with the basis of our Christian faith, which is firmly founded on Scripture. But it is satisfying for the Christian to see some of the ways that the findings of scientists confirm the record of Scripture.
It is also instructive to take note of the exposure of Darwinian evolutionism as a faith based upon the vaporous ideas of a fallible man, not a system founded upon empirical data. This is confirmation for Christians that shifting scientific theories never make a firm foundation for our beliefs.