Are women's gifts secondary?

Are women's gifts secondary?

Last post we referenced 1 Corinthians 12:7 teaching us that the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good of the body of Christ. But are women’s gifts somehow secondary? According to leading complementarians women’s gifts of teaching are not equal to men’s teaching gifts at all.

John MacArthur tells us that the woman gets her knowledge from the man. Listen to clip #1 here.

So according to John MacArthur the man gets his spiritual gifts directly from God.

Man’s spiritual gifts come from God

However the woman is different in that she gets her direction and her significance through the direction of the man. Listen to clip #2 here.

The woman learns from the man John MacArthur says that the woman is not the glory of God. Instead she is only the glory of the man and she then is under the man’s direction. In this way she manifests the man’s authority not God’s authority. Listen to clip #3.

This view makes it clear that men are needed in the church and they are the ones gifted by God to use their gifts for the common good of the body of Christ.

Men’s gifts in the church

However this same view shows that women’s gifts are not given for the church. They are not for the common good. They are to be used outside the church.

Women’s gifts for outside the church

Listen here to clip #4 as Pastor John MacArthur limits women’s prayers and women’s gifts to outside the church building.

So then are women allowed to use their spiritual gifts on the mission field? Well, no, they cannot use their gifts of teaching on the mission field either if there are unsaved men present according to leading complementarians. Listen to clip #5.

Last year CBMW was asked a question about women’s teaching of the bible. Can a woman give her insight on scriptures to a man? According to the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood she can teach a man privately but her teaching is subject to man’s original authorship. This means that if man has originated the teaching, then she can learn from the man and teach women and children and she can also teach a single man in private. However if her insight has not first originated from a man, then her insight is invalid. God apparently does not speak through a woman directly, but only through a man. John MacArthur concurs with this view and he shares that the greatest spiritual source for a woman will always be a man. Listen to clip #6 here.

So although one might think that complementarians give full freedom for women to minister to other women, it appears that even teaching other women, women teachers are second class citizens because a woman is only a secondary spiritual source for other women. A man is always the greatest spiritual source for a woman according to leading complementarians.

So what does this really mean?

Women not needed

It means that women really are not needed and their spiritual gifts are so secondary that they are not even the best spiritual mentors for women. This also explains why CBMW has completely ignored and has refused to refute the teaching in “Women in Ministry Silenced or Set Free?” The teaching in the DVD set has been considered by many to be a fresh understanding of the hard passages of scripture in their proper context. But since I have taken this understanding from scripture alone and not from another man’s writings, my exegesis is considered invalid by these men. My explanation of the phrase “because of the angels” in 1 Corinthians 11:10 as a reference back to 1 Corinthians 6:3 is considered by some as the most straightforward understanding of the passage, yet the fact that commentaries written by men take a more complex view of the phrase in their guessing what Paul could have meant and none before me have apparently seen such a simple explanation from the context already established by Paul, then my view is considered invalid. Huh?

Let’s think this through. If this is God’s view of women’s secondary gifts, then why did God place both men and women together in one place at Pentecost? Why were women not segregated away from the men when they were filled with the Holy Spirit? Why were both men and women speaking in tongues and both were inspired to speak forth the praises of God to all gathered around them? What do you think? I would love to hear your views and more of my thoughts in the next post.

Documentation:

Clip #1

The woman is the vice regent who rules in the stead or who carries out man’s wish, as man is the vice regent who carries out God’s wish. That’s why, you see, I Corinthians 14 says, “If a woman needs to know something, tell her to go–” Where? Ask whom? Her husband, because man is the sun, and woman is the moon. “She shines not so much with the direct light of God but that derived from man.”

From “The Role of the godly woman” by John MacArthur, transcript and audio found here http://www.gty.org/resources/Sermons/1845

Clip #2

She demonstrates her significance in the world in response to the direction of men who are given divine dominion. That’s a general truth. That’s a truth that goes beyond the walls of Christianity and the church. It’s just in general.

From “The Role of the godly woman” by John MacArthur, transcript and audio found here http://www.gty.org/resources/Sermons/1845

Clip #3

Man, then, according to verse 7, “is the image and glory of God,” but look at verse 7 again. Here comes the other part. “But the woman is–” not the glory of God but what? “The glory of man.” Not even a definite article there. “Woman is glory of man.” In other words–listen to this–in other words, the woman was made to manifest man’s authority and man’s will as man was made to manifest God’s authority.

From “The Role of the godly woman” by John MacArthur, transcript and audio found here http://www.gty.org/resources/Sermons/1845

Clip #4

If it says here a woman praying or prophesying, there’s one place where she won’t do it. Where’s that? In the church. There are other places where she will do it. She will pray in many different places, with other people, with other women, with her family, with close friends.

There are places where she will speak and proclaim the Gospel to unsaved friends and neighbors and to other women and whatever, but the one place where she will not preach, where she will not lead, is in the church.

From “The subordination and equality of women” by John MacArthur, transcript and audio found here http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/1844

Clip #5

And somebody else says, “Well, what about missions? What about missions? We need missionaries, what would we do without women missionaries?” God bless women missionaries, but I don’t think women being on the mission field necessarily have the right to violate the Word of God.

From “God’s high calling for women part 4″ by John MacArthur, transcript and audio found here http://www.gtycanada.org/resources/sermons/54-17/gods-high-calling-for-women-part-4

Clip #6

Listen, men, that is a grave responsibility. A woman’s deepest and greatest spiritual resource is a man. A man. Vital.

From “The role of the godly woman” by John MacArthur, transcript and audio found here http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/1845/the-role-of-the-godly-woman

50 thoughts on “Are women's gifts secondary?

  1. Macarthur’s quotes are simply incredible and really demonstrate how he does not handle the word of God correctly. I have seen him do this with Genesis 1 where he claimed create and form mean the same thing and marriage and divorce also where he uses NO 1st century context, so I am totally unimpressed.

  2. Well, I do want to go on the record to say that I mean no disrespect to brother MacArthur. However I strongly believe that one must be called to account for what they are teaching. All teaching whether it comes from a man, or a woman, whether it comes from the pulpit or from the pew needs to be checked out against God’s word. If we are truly a truth lover then we will hold to truth rather than a personality.

  3. I do not respect the TEACHINGs I have heard from him, admittedly a small number; this is different from not respecting him as a person made in the image of God and as a believer. Paul respected Peter but still did not agree with him when Peter was wrong.

    The strange thing about this type of teaching is that the people most affected are disqualified by the teaching from confronting him, it is a Catch 22. This is a dangerous aspect of this teaching, one should instead desire to hear from God from anyone. The very people who would be most likely to correct him are disqualified from doing so.

  4. Hi Martin,
    The reason that CBMW gave was that they had already refuted any reasoning an egalitarian could give and I should just read their books. I told them that their books did not refute my teaching and I had already read them. They said that they thought that the DVDs were poor quality. They also said that there were better arguments given by others (others of course that they felt they could refute) and they didn’t see any reason to try to refute my exegesis. They said they just wanted to agree to disagree. I asked if one can agree to disagree over sin. If this is a sin issue, then they should be able to find someone to correct me. They declined to give me over to anyone in their organization to correct me. They had previously said that a man’s group was not allowed to watch a DVD produced by a woman. They said that if it was truth, then a resource could be found that was taught by a man. If the teaching was not found taught by a man, then the woman’s teaching was suspect since God’s truth comes through men. I don’t know for sure why they have refused to correct me or refute me but I do know that CBMW believes it a sin to listen to a woman teach the bible, so that may also come into the mix. Yet they also told me that a single man could watch the DVDs. It just wasn’t allowed to have the DVDs teach a group of men because a woman isn’t allowed to teach men in person or through the media.

  5. Don,

    Yes, I agree with you. I think that we need to be open to be corrected by anyone who has the truth of scripture. I appreciate Pastor’s who are humble enough to learn from anyone. I wish the entire body of Christ was humble like some of the Pastors that I have met.

  6. I find it incredible that some believers believe that God’s truth comes only thru a male, the Bible itself shows this to be incorrect and this is without any “sophisticated” interpretation.

    In ANY group with an agenda, there is always the temptation to try to “purify” the agenda and exclude “compromisers”, with egalitarians this results in more equality, but with gender hierarchy people, it results in more hierarchy.

    I personally find that you have given some arguments that I have not seen before and that I have learned from you. I thank you for that, keep up the good work.

  7. Don,

    I am so glad that I was allowed to teach you and I wish that I had an opportunity to present my exegesis to those who are militantly against women in ministry. Unfortunately I have learned that most of them wouldn’t learn because one must submit to learn. It is impossible to teach someone who is unwilling to learn.

  8. “The strange thing about this type of teaching is that the people most affected are disqualified by the teaching from confronting him, it is a Catch 22. This is a dangerous aspect of this teaching, one should instead desire to hear from God from anyone. The very people who would be most likely to correct him are disqualified from doing so.”

    Don, this is so very true. This is even happening to men who try and correct a pastor. They are taking the ‘submit to authority’ scriptures way beyond their true meaning in order to prevent any disagreement. This false teaching is creating little popes in Christendom. They forget the Veil was torn in two on the Cross
    and we have no earhtly priests anymore.

  9. This teaching that women receive their knowledge from men only works in a husband/wife or a father/daughter relationship. That brings up another interesting aspect of all of this. What about women who do not marry? And fathers are dead or are widows?

    Paul wrote positivly about not marrying to devote yourself to Christ. Was he speaking to both men and women?

    And another thing…is McArthur saying that I cannot really understand what I am reading in scripture? Or that the Holy Spirit cannot teach me as I read? I am just trying to understand the long term ramifications of what he is really teaching.

  10. As Del Birkey says, “Patriarchy happens.” When men rule over women, then men rule over other men. This is the way of the world and allows giant organizations to be formed. But the body of Christ is not to be like that, the hierarchy is flat.

  11. Those were amazingly ignorant words from MacArthur. The blind leading the blind. The blind blinding the limited of sight.

    The extra Biblical stuff they are teaching them is leading further away from the presence of God and they have no clue, as well they do not seem to care as long as their place is secured in their hierarchy of control.

    I had not heard these extreme teachings before. Thank you for letting me hear them. And thank you for being the light shining in the darkness. Keep shining. 🙂

  12. Don wrote: “As Del Birkey says, “Patriarchy happens.” When men rule over women, then men rule over other men. This is the way of the world and allows giant organizations to be formed. But the body of Christ is not to be like that, the hierarchy is flat.”

    Exactly Don. The body of Christ works as a team of gifted leaders and supporters. We work together to do the work of God through the interdependent gifts of the H.S. The only hierarchy is an inverted one tier of Christ dying to lift us up. Christ came under us to enable us.

  13. Justa Berean,

    You are welcome! I have seen the importance of hearing the words of these leaders for myself. Their tone and the words that come from their own mouth are really important.

    Now again, I want to point out that everyone has their blind spots. There are several areas that I seriously disagree with John MacArthur but there are other areas (such as when he is fighting against the cults) that he is a strong defender of the gospel. In these areas I would welcome him as a brother in Christ fighting with me side by side in the trenches. It is so unfortunate that he probably would not consider me a fellow fighter because of my gender. I know that one day JM and all of these other brothers will know the truth. I pray that their eyes will be opened to the gifts of the Holy Spirit through their sisters in Christ before too many more people reject the church because of the prejudices against women. Until then I will continue to lovingly expose the error and call these men to account for their teaching. I believe that is the biblical way.

  14. One point is that is seems MacArthur and CBMW do not even agree on some of the details of their respective interpretations, MacArthur seems more hierarchical. And of course there are others that go even further that way than MacArthur. However, notice what these varying interpretations do to the idea that the Bible is very clear in all that it teaches, namely, it denies it.

    This is one of the points the gender hierarchicalists MUST make, that theirs is the ONLY possible correct interpretation and that this is so because it is clear. That it is NOT abundantly clear is very obvious to anyone who has studied both sides on these verses. Note that my claim does not mean there is not a preferred interpretation, my claim is that preferred interpretation would be the egalitarian one; just that faithful believers can differ on their understanding of some verses, based on their worldview coming into the verses and based on the translation(s) they use.

  15. Don,

    That is a good point – that hierarchists say the verses about women are clear, yet they disagree amongst each other about what the verses mean and the extent of the restriction. If it is so clear, then why do some say women are not allowed to pray and prophesy in church (MacArthur) while others allow women to pray and prophesy but limit them in the ability to judge prophecy? The fact is that the hard passages about women are indeed hard. They can be understood, but one must work hard to understand them in context and without contradiction with the rest of scripture. You have made such a good point that saying these passages are “clear” to the average reader and then coming up with a different meaning and a different extent of restriction for women, just proves that their “clear” proof text verses are indeed not so clear to them.

  16. Especially concerning that first quote from MacArthur, this essentially means that God’s Word is not all sufficient. If a woman speaks God’s Word, it loses it’s potency unless voiced by a man since it lacks luster directly from the “Son.” I wonder if a male parrot taught to speak a Bible verse would display more of God’s glory when compared to a woman speaking the same Word? This, as the other teachings of MacArthur you’ve presented previously, reduces me to just a little more than an animal.

    Does anyone know where MacArthur learned this doctrine, or is this his own “illumination” or something? I would be curious to know. As many of his concepts sound so similar to Bruce Ware and those from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, I wonder if MacArthur has ties there? He did transfer from Bob Jones U as an undergraduate and went to what is now Azuza Pacific.

    Have these concepts been taught by the Baptist Seminaries all along or one source, or have they emerged from the “hermeneutics of trust” and from grasping at straws to fight their wars against “feminism?” It sounds so cultic and heterodox that I wonder if this corresponds to some other Christian-based cult. If I did not know that this was MacArthur, I would have attributed this teaching to a Mormon or a Scientologist.

    God’s Word should be sufficient to set man in a position of confidence so that such arguments should not even be necessary. Why must such concepts be confabulated to not only elevate man but also strip down the nature of woman? These are the tactics of the cults, theo-totalism and dehumanization. We are called to speak edification and minister grace through our words. How can these teachings provide any degree of edifying grace to anyone but the patriarch at the top of the food chain? I cannot express how deeply grieved I am to hear these cruel concepts extended yet again to hang yet another millstone around the necks of so many.

    God have great mercy on us, deliver us from falsehood and bring us into all truth. Give us all wisdom to know the spirit of truth from the spirit of error, just as you’ve promised us in Your Word. Amen.

  17. Under Much Grace,

    I too would like to have the answers to your questions. It seems like John MacArthur has taken the concepts that hierarchists teach and he has gone even more to the extreme view than many others have run with the “rules”. For example most seminaries will teach women. A woman can learn at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. In fact their web site says that there are 23% women enrolled at the seminary. However at John MacArthur’s Seminary women are forbidden from attending. Although John MacArthur holds to 1 Timothy 2:11 where he says that Paul commands women to learn, he refuses to allow them to learn in HIS seminary. I guess he is enforcing the first clip you can hear in my blog article above. He is saying that women are to learn from their husbands. If their husbands aren’t interested in teaching them, then I guess they don’t learn. Is this really scriptural? No, not at all.

  18. “Man is the sun and woman is the moon. She shines not so much with the direct light of God but that derived from man.”???????????????

    And he gets this from 1 Cor. 14 where it says that if a woman has a question she is supposed to ask her husband at home?

    Because he is the sun and she is the moon and he shines with the direct light of God but she shines with the light of God derived only when she derives it from the man?

    I wonder what he would say about the importance of women reading the bible? I wonder what he would say about the many men who couldn’t even begin to answer her question. I wonder what he would say about the scripture that says that we are in need of no teacher because the Holy Spirit is the One who guides us into all truth? I wonder if that verse is talking about a disruption of the Corinthian service where women were asking questions out loud (up until that time they were not allowed to be taught because it was considered a waste of time)?

    I do not see that verse having anything to do with the sun and the moon.

    Also, if MacArthur wanted to be consistent both the man and the woman are both moons. The moon only reflects light. The sun gives light. Unless he thinks that the man is actually the light of God and the source of His light and women are merely reflectors of man’s glory, then his statement makes no sense. The man is a moon and the woman is a moon and they both get their light from God, the sun. He could have said (not that I would agree) that the man is the greater moon and the woman is the lesser moon and she shines God’s light more dimly than man.

    It sounds as if he is confused about what it means to be the glory of man and the glory of God in 1 Cor. 11?

    I was considering ordering another John MacArthur study Bible but I think this makes my decision for me.

    Isn’t it a great day to be a woman! LOL

  19. Hi Corrie,

    The first audio clip would reference 1 Cor. 11 of John MacArthur’s. All of the clips are his reasoning for not allowing women to teach or pray in the church. His belief shows that the glory of God and the revelation of God is never directly from God to the woman. Instead, anything that comes to woman from God must go through the man. So the reference to the moon definitely shows off his point. The moon has no light of its own. It merely reflects the light from the son. The son is a different light in that it originates the light. So man is a different spiritual being in that he originates and the woman is only a receiver in that she passes on what she receives. It is amazing to me how one can hold this point of view and then still tell people that you believe men and women are equal.

  20. In clip #2 it sounds as if he subscribes to the theory that all men are over all women. He says that a woman demonstrates her significance in the world in response to the direction of men who are given divine dominion over the earth. He says that this is a general truth in that it goes beyond the walls of Christianity and is seen in the world.

    In clip #3 he says that a woman is made to manifest man’s will and man’s authority. So, does that mean men manifest God’s will and God’s authority and women manifest man’s will and man’s authority? Basically, women are not directly accountable to God. Women have a mediator, man, between themselves and God.

    Well, that would stand to reason that a woman would ask her husband at home since he is the one who manifests God’s glory and authority in her little world. She is not to go directly to God or His word for truth. She is to manifest man’s truth and man’s will not God’s truth and God’s will.

  21. Wow!! In Clip #6 he tells us that a woman’s greatest and deepest spiritual resource is a man…a man.

    So, God’s living Word and the Holy Spirit takes a backseat to a man? In 1 Cor. 7 it would seem that it is better for a woman to remain single so that she can devote herself totally to the Lord without worrying about how to please a man. Now, if this is true, then how can a single woman actually devote herself fully to the Lord when she has no “greatest and deepest spiritual resource” in her life?

    I can’t really buy other statements about men and women being equal but just having different roles. Not with these teachings.

    Women are clearly lower created beings and they are but a dim reflection derived from man of God. Women derive their significance from men. He states that men are giving the duty of taking divine dominion but in my Bible it says that God told both the man and the woman that it was their duty to take divine dominion. And it never mentions anything about having dominion over other human beings.

    Cheryl, I recently ordered your DVDs and I will be viewing those. These quotes from MacArthur really spur me on to watching your DVDs in order to see how you flesh out these verses.

    Do you cover what it means when 1 Cor. 11 says that man is the image and glory of God but woman is the glory of man?

    Thanks!

  22. Corrie,

    Yes, MacArthur believes that all men are in authority over all women. The husband of course has more authority than the rest of the male population because the husband has an intimate relationship with her, but yes, he does believe that every man’s role is a role of authority over every woman. When one listens to all of the teaching on women coming from John MacArthur, it comes down to the man having the role of a mediator between woman and God. I don’t think I have ever heard him use this word to describe the role but in essence that is what it is.

    Yes, I do go into the 1 Corinthians 11 passage concerning God’s glory and man’s glory in my DVD series. I think you will find it enlightening.

  23. To be fair, recall Joseph’s second dream, where the sun and moon bow down to his sheaf, and the interpretation is that his father and mother will bow down to Joseph. So it is not totally made up, the mapping of husband/father to sun and wife/mother to moon. However, almost everyone would let this allegoricsl dream be just that, a dream with a given specific interpretation.

  24. Also, I do not think they realized back then that the moon was a reflected light, the just called them the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night.

  25. To those interested in the topic of where these ideas originated, there is some insight in Kevin Giles book “Jesus and the Father.” In the early 1800s, the concept of the “eternal subordination of the Son” was introduced at Princeton and in Charles Hodges Systematic Theology (who taught there and was affectionate to slavery and subordination of women).

    In the 1970’s, in a response to feminism, the concept of the subordinate Christ (eternally and in authority as well as “role”) to the Father was connected with the concept of wives submitting to their husbands. A 1977 book by George Knight, III was one of the first publications, followed by Wayne Grudem’s systematic theology. Most Evangelical seminaries and Bible Colleges use Grudem’s “Systematic Theology” (published in ’94) today, so these concepts could have originated at any Bible college that uses this text.

    Giles calls their distortion of the Trinity “subordinationism” (as it argues for the ETERNAL subordination of Christ beyond the knosis concept described in Philipians 2). He states that the concept is taught in such a way that anyone who learns it perceives any question about male headship as a rejection of the Authority of Scripture. Hence, especially the CBMW and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary boys claim that this is “open theism.” Giles states that they refuse or cannot subsequently separate their concepts of the Godhead from their understanding about men and women.

    This issue, if you accept Giles argument, is an issue of Trinity at its foundation. This distortion provides an onotlogical argument for the headship and superiority of man over woman. Ten years or so later, ministers take this concept to the logical conclusion and start preaching strange doctrinces as a result.

  26. Under Much Grace,

    Thank you so much for posting that information for all to see. Kevin Giles’ books on the subject or subordination are very important regarding the subject of the Trinity. We had a DVD planned on the Trinity that will include information on the distortion of the Trinity by those who hold to the subordination of women. We trust that the material will be helpful to many who are not apt to read up on this subject but will learn from a visual source.

  27. “Yes, MacArthur believes that all men are in authority over all women.”

    Does McArthur ever cover how this doctrine is played out on Judgement Day for women? Would he believe that women are only Judged for how well they submitted?

  28. Hi Lin,

    I don’t think that MacArthur teaches how the authority thing will play out on Judgement day. However I did hear him preach a sermon that said that in the next life men will still be the only ones in authority and women will still be in submission to all men.

    It made me wonder…will women be asked to serve coffee in heaven? Seems to me that Paul clearly shows that the body of Christ will be all be judging the world and the angels. No big bosses over women in roles of subjugation there!

  29. Don, I went to the CBE link and read the article. I had read some of Giles’ work before. I am stunned at what is being taught about the Trinity out there. How did I miss this? It is almost as if it crept in unaware.

    I knew Russell Moore was a staunch complimentarian but had no idea he was teaching Jesus as subordinate in the Trinity as was referenced in the article.

    I have not read Systematic Theology by Wayne Grumden. Does anyone know if this is what he is teaching in this book about the Trinity?

  30. Hi Lin,

    I haven’t read Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology myself, but my understanding is that in the book he does teach that Jesus is subordinate in the Trinity. He also teaches it in his seminars along with his fellow CBMW member Bruce Ware. I sat in a Bruce Ware lecture beside two ex-JW’s and there were gasps as he taught some of the same subordinate teaching as the Jehovah’s Witnesses teach. It is too bad that he didn’t leave time for questions and answers because I would have liked to see how he would have answered questions from two former Jehovah’s Witnesses who were appalled at hearing his teaching.

  31. I respect Pastor MacArthur very much and I truly think that you took what he said out of context. I am a woman, I am over the women’s ministry and I teach Bible Study, I also teach Precepts but I refuse to teach any man.  Do study 1 Corint 11, go back to the original text, he is not making it up, he is teaching God’s word. I believe God had a good reason for having Paul wrote those things. We have Christian women who don’t know their place in ministry, we have Christian women who rules the home. I love knowing that the man is responsible and accountable for his wife, I love knowing that the leaders of the church are responsible for the leading of the church. It doesn’t matter what century we are in, the Bible has not changed, the message is still the same.

    As we study the scriptures and look at it exactly the way it is to be taken, then we will not try to make it fit in our box. Paul was very clear about a woman’s place. I am a Pastor’s wife, my husband doesn’t treat me as a doormat, he treats me with respect and we both discuss many things in the ministry. 

    In clip 3, Pastor MacArthur  is teaching what the Bible says. The problem with many people today, they don’t want to hear the truth. As believers, we really need to take the Bible for what it says, and not fit it into what we want it to say so as not to offend anyone.
    I think that his study on “God High Calling for Women” is something that should be studied. Believe me, he is not confused, he is truly a great teacher of the Word of God. 
    Know that is in love and respect for those who truly understand God’s word or trying to understand. I am learning just as everyone is, but one thing that we all need to be careful about is taking the Word of God out of its context. 

  32. Amla,

    Welcome!  Thanks for your comments.

    I have not taken John MacArthur’s comments out of context at all.  In fact in my DVD where I refute his exegesis of the hard passages of scripture, I received permission to use his quotes and even gave his organization a copy of my DVD for their review.  I have been very careful to let Dr. MacArthur speak for himself.  In the introduction to my DVD (which can be viewed here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0e9TL5TWdac) I make it clear that Dr. MacArthur and other men like him are not our enemies but are our brothers in Christ, but the doctrine in this area is faulty.

    We must be very careful to take scripture in its context and not helicpoter verses out of context.  We also need to be very careful not to accept tradition that doesn’t match up with the scripture.  This is where we run into trouble, if we do not test everything by God’s word.  Even a well respected leader and bible teacher must be tested by God’s word.  Paul commended the Bereans for their willingness to check even this great Apostle against the Old Testament scriptures to make sure that what he said was God’s truth.

    You said:

    Do study 1 Corint 11, go back to the original text, he is not making it up, he is teaching God’s word. I believe God had a good reason for having Paul wrote those things.

    I also believe that God had a good reason for having Paul write the hard passages of scripture.  Unfortunately people like John MacArthur mix in tradition with the biblical text.  1 Cor. 11, for example, does not teach that it is shameful for men to have long hair.  Paul himself took a Nazirite vow and this vow says that one must let their hair grow out and then after the vow is completed both men and women who have taken the vow are to shave off their hair.  It is not a shame to have long hair at all and it was something that God required.

    You mentioned that you do Precepts bible study.  I love those bible studies.  They are very well done studies by Kay Arthur.  Kary Arthur does not refuse to teach men.  She teaches whoever comes to her studies and she does not discriminate against men.

    You also said:

    I love knowing that the man is responsible and accountable for his wife…

    Where is this found in scripture?  When Eve sinned, God did not call Adam to account for his wife.  Also when Ananias and Sapphira sinned, God did not hold Ananias accountable for his wife.  Both were accountable for their own sin.  It is a tradition in the church that men will be held accountable for their wives.  But scripture does not say this.

    My DVD set on women in ministry was given to Kay Arthur’s organization and one of Kay’s teaching instructors reviewed it and said that there was a lot of things in the DVDs that really helped her and would set women free to serve.  I would encourage you to check out the evidence and test it against God’s word to see if what I teach is biblical.  Do not test by another teacher, such as John MacArthur.  Test things by the only reliable measuring stick that we have – and that is God’s word.

    Keep up the good work in your bible studies!  The Precept courses are one of the best there is out there.  I have also been trained as an instructor.  I would never refuse to teach anyone who came to me to learn.  I would not refuse to share my gifts with someone because of their race, their social status or their gender.  What God has freely given to me is meant to be given freely to whoever wills to learn.  Priscillia did not shy away from teaching Apollos but shared from the wealth of knowledge that she had.  Priscillia was a woman of God who knew that God does not withhold his gifts from men.  I desire to be like her growing with wisdom and knowledge without prejudice.

  33. When I read the Word of God, I trust the Holy Spirit for clarification when questions arise. Regarding “women in ministry”, I’m convinced from the Word of God that God uses women as He uses men in the teaching and ministering of His Word. However, I do believe from the complementarian view on women in leadership roles where they can exercise “authority” over men that they are instructed to be under the directives of male leadership solely from the standpoint of this God given role. It’s not a matter of “equality” since God is no respecter of man (or women) but from the Biblical reference of roles as biblically directed for each of us, that that should only be in a controlled setting where men are involved. Nevertheless, men can greatly benefit from women’s ministries when they desire to listen in and learn. But, the intent of the woman’s ministry is not to exercise “authority” over men but under the Holy Spirit’s empowerment to bless those who hear the Word of God whether
    women or men. Kay Arthur, Elizabeth Elliott, Nancy DeMoss, Beth Moore and many others would share this view, I believe, as their ministries are primarily to women but men benefit greatly from their ministries.
    In essense, headship regarding roles for the Church from the Apostolic writings of Paul is significant but God-given ministries shared by all who are called for whatever purpose should be in the context of His order.
    “For God is a God of order; not confusion”

  34. Jim,
    Welcome to my blog! Thanks for your comments.

    But, the intent of the woman’s ministry is not to exercise “authority” over men but under the Holy Spirit’s empowerment to bless those who hear the Word of God whether
    women or men.

    I too believe this. But I also believe that men are not to “exercise authority” over other men. Paul never once gave men the freedom to “authentein” other men. Rather, Jesus said that they were not to “lord it” over others like the Gentile nations, but were rather to be servants of the body of Christ. I believe that if each one of us decided to accept our opportunity to be servants of all, all of us could greatly bless the church with each one of our God-given gifts.

  35. Good discussion, Cheryl. I hear ya. Recent situation: Hubby and I immediately picked up on something which we considered non-Scriptural during a church service, and we began elbowing each other! LOL Long story short, he went to the pastor who just didn’t “get it”, and told him that apparently he did not trust the elders. Well, no. After much frustration with not even getting someone’s ear on this, we left the church. We were both members of the church, and even though my husband clearly gave me credit with doing hours of research on the issue, not once did the pastor or elders talk to me. I simply did not exist. This is not the first time this has happened, and I’m finally getting the picture, unfortunately.

  36. Thanks TG for that comment. We are definitely all supposed to “test all things” and not just “trust” the elders. Without checking things by scripture, many people have fallen prey to false doctrine and many have followed a church as it developed into a cult. It makes me shudder when I hear pastor/elders say that we should just “trust” them.

  37. I’m livid. I’m sitting here shaking in anger. And the funny thing is, I really shouldn’t be surprised because I was raised on this absolute crap. I’m very accustomed to the basics of the doctrine — an obsessive devotion to the words of Paul’s letters. And it was beaten into my head over and over growing up in a fundamentalist church that women’s roles were severely limited.

    But somehow seeing it all laid out like this, and hearing the appalling words of John MacArthur, really hit home in a new way and I am just outraged that children continue to be fed this garbage. If someone wants to grow up and convert to a cult like fundamentalism, let them. But it’s abuse to indoctrinate kids from birth with this nonsense.

  38. Since you jumped on this old post Rachel, and since Cheryl’s last post before yours speaks of “testing all things”, I will share a very refreshing excerpt from our pastor’s sermon this last Sunday. This is a paraphrase but not in the least exaggerated.

    “I am not the most important person in this church and I’m certainly not the smartest. I have only been gifted and blessed with the opportunity to teach but you [the congregation] need to know, I can certainly be wrong. You need to be like the Boreans and test everything I, or any other “teacher” says, against scripture to determine if it indeed is true and correct. This is YOUR responsibility”

    My wife says that this is the way she was brought up. Even though it was a fundamentalist church, her parents made certain their children went back to the bible to confirm anything any human said was “true”. As such, and this should be no surprise, her parents had, at least from my “out-law” objective observation, a reasonably egalitarian marriage. It can be done, but only if we don’t get mesmerized by the words of fallen men.

  39. Cheryl where did you get those audio clips from? How do I readers even know that is MacArthurs’ voice on those clips? I, for one, can’t recognise MacArthur’s voice from other voices.

    I don’t wish to be antagonistic, but without giving proper citations, readers are less likely to take a post like this seriously. Please email me at barbara@notunderbondage.com with the answer, as I’d prefer not to tick the box below.

  40. Documentation:

    Clip #1

    The woman is the vice regent who rules in the stead or who carries out man’s wish, as man is the vice regent who carries out God’s wish. That’s why, you see, I Corinthians 14 says, “If a woman needs to know something, tell her to go–” Where? Ask whom? Her husband, because man is the sun, and woman is the moon. “She shines not so much with the direct light of God but that derived from man.”

    From “The Role of the godly woman” by John MacArthur, transcript and audio found here http://www.gty.org/resources/Sermons/1845

    Clip #2

    She demonstrates her significance in the world in response to the direction of men who are given divine dominion. That’s a general truth. That’s a truth that goes beyond the walls of Christianity and the church. It’s just in general.

    From “The Role of the godly woman” by John MacArthur, transcript and audio found here http://www.gty.org/resources/Sermons/1845

    Clip #3

    Man, then, according to verse 7, “is the image and glory of God,” but look at verse 7 again. Here comes the other part. “But the woman is–” not the glory of God but what? “The glory of man.” Not even a definite article there. “Woman is glory of man.” In other words–listen to this–in other words, the woman was made to manifest man’s authority and man’s will as man was made to manifest God’s authority.

    From “The Role of the godly woman” by John MacArthur, transcript and audio found here http://www.gty.org/resources/Sermons/1845

    Clip #4

    If it says here a woman praying or prophesying, there’s one place where she won’t do it. Where’s that? In the church. There are other places where she will do it. She will pray in many different places, with other people, with other women, with her family, with close friends.

    There are places where she will speak and proclaim the Gospel to unsaved friends and neighbors and to other women and whatever, but the one place where she will not preach, where she will not lead, is in the church.

    From “The subordination and equality of women” by John MacArthur, transcript and audio found here http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/1844

    Clip #5

    And somebody else says, “Well, what about missions? What about missions? We need missionaries, what would we do without women missionaries?” God bless women missionaries, but I don’t think women being on the mission field necessarily have the right to violate the Word of God.

    From “God’s high calling for women part 4” by John MacArthur, transcript and audio found here http://www.gtycanada.org/resources/sermons/54-17/gods-high-calling-for-women-part-4

    Clip #6

    Listen, men, that is a grave responsibility. A woman’s deepest and greatest spiritual resource is a man. A man. Vital.

    From “The role of the godly woman” by John MacArthur, transcript and audio found here http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/1845/the-role-of-the-godly-woman

  41. If women don’t reflect the image and glory of God, then how would a teacher like MacArthur explain the fact that ALL believers are being conformed to Christ’s image? – “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son” (Romans 8:29). Am I supposed to believe that this doesn’t apply to women? Are women somehow going to bear his image less in the new creation? Are women somehow “less” of a light in the world, despite the fact that women are filled with the Holy Spirit just as men are? Isn’t the whole point of the sanctification of the Spirit in believers to conform us to Christ’s image? Holy Spirit filled = reflecting God’s glory. And it would make absolutely no sense to suggest that women reflect this glory less, or somehow do so indirectly.

    I’m getting sick of degrading views like MacArthur’s. Nothing else damages my faith more than teachings like this.

  42. Also, “a woman’s spiritual resource is always a man”? Not God himself? Wow. So what are we to make of women receiving prophetic insight, inspiration, visions, or empowerment directly from God then? Seems to me like God is a woman’s spiritual resource just as he is a man’s, and why shouldn’t this be the case when women have the same direct, intimate relationship with God that men do?

  43. Patrice, Sorry that your comments were left in moderation for so long. The notification must have come through to me when I was ill and I missed seeing it. Thanks for your patience.

  44. Holly,
    Good comments. When we put women down to a lower level, we are actually lowering God as well. He becomes limited. It takes away His ability to have an intimate relationship with half the human race. Those who limit women seem to have no idea that they are also limiting God’s ability to empower, fill, gift and make choices.

  45. That’s a great comment Holly. I reminds me of another “wow” statement that is often made: “men are to be the spiritual leaders of the home”. Wow. I always thought the the Holy Spirit was supposed to be the spiritual leader of my home.

  46. Wow. MacArthur’s teachings would make one wonder if women are actually humans. Did he adopt his wife from an animal shelter???
    Who decides whether my name is written in the Book of Life, God or my husband???

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