I’ve been seeing a lot in my newsfeed about this John MacArthur video in which he denigrates Beth Moore. I’m not familiar with John MacArthur, but apparently the guy has been a pastor for 50 yrs. Beth Moore is another current spiritual leader who has written tons of books and devotionals over decades. I’m not that familiar with her either, honestly, but I know she’s had a lot of influence within Christianity in our times.
I watched the video and was so appalled. These men are acting like such pathetic children. They were putting her down, saying she’s narcissistic, to “go home” and that neither she nor any woman has Biblical permission to preach and teach. What utter bullshit. I cannot measure the patheticness I see on that stage in that moment. From the angle of the camera, the room is solely full of white men, and they are openly baiting, laughing at and mocking a fellow Christian leader? What the heck?
It’s so sad to watch people awkwardly, clumsily, and painfully fall from power. White men have long assumed full control of all spheres of life – the Church, politics, business, etc. And guess what? That was never ok. It was never ok to completely white-wash society. To put down, stomp on, climb over, take advantage of, rip off and generally use everyone else – women, minorities – in order to maintain a false sense of control. White men were never in control of the universe, but they certainly fought for it. White men were never in control of Christianity or any religion. They certainly believed they were, and certainly used their control to smoother any outside voices trying to speak up. Tragedy.
But the outside voices are finally getting in. We are finally getting closer to a picture of Heaven within the church when we have women lead and preach, when we have people of color and LGBTQ people adding their voices and their leadership to our midst. The Bible, as those men in the video are falsely pointing to for their supposed choke-hold on teaching and preaching, is abundantly clear that ALL NATIONS and ALL PEOPLES are in. There are countless references to the Kingdom of God extending to all people groups in both Old Testament and New. Jesus himself radically included women in his ministry, which in his time was even more counter-cultural than it would be today. Jesus’ financial backers were women, the first person chosen to spread the message of his return after death was a woman, the longest dialogue Jesus has within anyone in the whole Bible is the woman at the well, there are female disciples and apostles listed in the Scriptures. Entire books are written on this, Jesus Feminist by Sarah Bessey being one great example.
Part of me wants to pity sad, little men like John MacArthur, like our toddler Commander in Chief, who are so insecure and weak that they have to put down others to feel better about themselves. But they don’t deserve pity. They deserve a swift slap in the face and to grow up and mature a little. White men used to get away with a lot – stealing ideas without giving credit; more open doors and opportunities because of their white, male status and upbringing; grabbing and groping women in the workplace without repercussion. (Not to mention colonialism and the genocide of entire people groups.) The status quo was the norm, but it was never ok, and they are not getting away with it all so easily anymore.
Thank God for still being at work in this world. Thank God for giving folks the courage to speak up and defend themselves, to say “this is not ok.” Thank God for being on the side of the oppressed, the stomped on, the taken advantage of and the unseen. Thank God for seeing everyone as God’s beloved child and creation. When we can see ourselves as divinely created and loved, we lose the need to search for power and influence in order to feel important. We lose the impulse to put others down in order to lift ourselves up, because we know that the God of the Universe has already lifted us up as high as the Heavens, as high as the Kingdom of God. When we rest in the total and complete knowledge of our worth and value from the Creator of the Universe, petty human values like status, wealth and power lose their grip and we’re able to live our lives to the fullest without striving and hustling and clamoring to measure up to any human standards. When we rest in the absolute knowledge of our Beloved status, we are free to be 100% ourselves and to move forward with confidence in our lives. These old, white guys don’t get it, and they are missing out.
p.s. I am in no way saying that all white men are pathetic, evil or unhealthy. I personally know a lot of enlightened, mature, healthy and properly self-assured white men, including my own husband, my own father, and my own pastor. I am not putting down “white men” in general, just these sad, sorry types that we’re seeing in the news. The Trumps, the John MacArthurs, the Brett Kavanagh’s (of the past, maybe he has already grown since his college years). A lot of you white men out there are doing a great job at this joyful, messy thing called Life.