Why We Don’t Coddle False Teachers
A while back, church elder and prominent biblical scholar, Dr. John MacArthur, Jr. indirectly told Southern Baptist woman preacher Beth Moore to “go home.” Her doctrine and practice have long been out of alignment with the Bible. To receive a public rebuke by one of evangelical’s most seasoned pastor/preacher/theologians is a disgrace.
Ironically, a backlash from liberal feminists in the church shifted the criticism back on to MacArthur. Was he wrong about Beth Moore? No, she has been pushing the envelope of egalitarian liberties for years. Without question, she is the queen of disobedient female pastor/preachers in the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). With the wayward course and liberal leadership of the SBC, it is possible Beth Moore will become the leader of the denomination in the near future.
History does not bode well for church denominations that opt for doctrines and practice that deviate from the Scriptures. They may remain in existence, but in name only. When the church harbors false teachers, it is no longer the church in reality. It has become a group of people, who do what is right in their own eyes.
With 22 of the 27 books of the New Testament warning against false teachers, we must give heed to these warnings. It would be prudent, for the very reason that the American church is seemingly inundated with them.
Of course, the more prominent the false teacher is, the more impervious he or she is to scrutiny by others. Even when confronted, there is no church discipline because those who are critical of the false teacher, rarely reside inside the church affiliation of the particular offender. Instead, someone outside the church or para-church ministry identifies the rogue doctrine or practice. They invite criticism upon themselves for being critical (spiritually discerning).
Interestingly, in this particular case, the tone in which MacArthur called out Moore became the point of the counterattack. Instead of addressing “why” MacArthur told Moore to go home, the liberal feminists retorted with “how” she was addressed (the audience laughed when MacArthur spoke his rebuke). This was a red herring from the counter-accusers, of course, because nobody wants to contend with someone like MacArthur and have one of their champions exposed. It might turn the tide against the woman preacher movement (a new phenomenon in church history).
In the world of false teachers, there is a scale of perversion. There are also schools of heresy. If the school of thought becomes a movement (e. g. Word of Faith; Hillsong; Bethel Redding, Jesus Culture), and the movement grows to a point of prominence, then, it is likely the movement will become a full-scale Christian cult (e. g. Seventh Day Adventists; Mormons; Jehovah’s Witnesses). Cult members revere their founder, who becomes the figure head of inspiration (e. g. Ellen White; Joseph Smith; Charles Taze Russell). The cult adopts the mainstream way of doing things (build a university), and the next generation sees the cult as legitimate representatives of Christ’s church.
My engagement with one Facebook post, regarding the MacArthur/Moore controversy, happened to be with the wife of a Denver Seminary professor. It made me think ahead. Her liberal feminist celebration of women preachers could someday lead to an entire church, if not denomination, of women. Here is the danger of women’s conferences, as a possible foreshadowing. I am not a fear-monger type, so I am only musing. What if?
My support of Dr. John MacArthur was unwelcome, on the string of comments. I was told to leave women alone. Almost every post insinuated that I was a male oppressor, only posting comments to “belittle” women in general. Despite my objections to these accusations, they did not cease. At the end of the day, no one was interested in Beth Moore’s doctrine and practice or the very short history of women preachers.
In the mix of comments, I learned some things I have never heard or read in my entire Christian life. Did you know that Junia was an Apostle, and that all the women of the New Testament were preachers? This was from a Denver Seminary professor’s wife and her cohort of friends. It was disturbing — a rewriting of New Testament history. Another woman gave me a list of books I should read. I am sure that was to get me “woke” to the liberal feminist preacher movement.
Like the woman at the Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez meeting, who suggested with all sincerity that we should “eat the babies,” I was exposed to an unexpected depth of intention, by the women who engaged my comments. One might call it “ferocity,” for it was beyond passion. The spirit was, “We would rather die than have a man take away our God-given right to be preachers and elders in the church.”
In the American church, culture has become queen to King Jesus. Like Jezebel of the Old Testament, culture will not “go home,” nor quietly submit to its Lord. There is so little wisdom and power, let alone authority, in the church that it is a veritable free-for-all. The American church is not just a house divided; it is an utterly splintered dwelling. In their lust for power, the very parties destroying the church are oblivious to their actions.
There are few voices like Dr. John MacArthur left in the American church, but our prayer must be for God to have mercy on us before we go the way of those countries with little remaining light/truth. There is no question that our Lord Jesus Christ will build His church (Mt 16:18), regardless of the intrusion of Romish overlords, national church states, Pelagian/Arminian doctrinal advocates, or a monstrous regiment of women preachers. The words, “Do not fear, little flock” ring true.
In the midst of the antinomian malaise, we must not coddle false teachers. If “go home” is brutally harsh and unchristian, remember the Apostle Paul’s rebuke of Hymenaeus and Alexander, “whom I handed over to Satan, so they would be taught not to blaspheme (1 Tim 1:20).” I think it would be better to go home, than to be handed over to Satan. Coddle not the false teacher.
Spokane Valley, Washington
September 23, 2022