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John MacArthur says women should 'maintain submission to men in all churches, in all times'

by Cara Bentley

John MacArthur, a popular international preacher and the senior pastor at Grace Community Church in California, said last month that Beth Moore, an American preacher, should "go home" and criticised women trying to join Congress, be President and reach other prominent positions.

MacArthur was criticised, not just by supporters of women preachers, but also by conservative leaders, who said his tone was unkind.

He took the opportunity on Sunday to explain his view on women preachers in more detail to his church, saying: "Today I want to address a very important issue that has been stirred up on the internet with me kind of in the middle of it".

During the panel discussion in which he made the original comments, he was asked to play a word association game in front of a conference crowd and the phrase he had to comment on was Beth Moore.

MacArthur said on Sunday: "I do not like to give short answers. I don't like to get put in a position to do that, because I feel like that just escalates confusion, so I want to take the opportunity to address the issue of women preachers this morning and to give you a more thorough answer from the Word of God on this very, very important subject."

He said Paul's teaching said that women were to "maintain submission to men in all churches, in all times" and that it was a sign of the Church's rejection of God's word that so many denominations had female pastors.

"The women's movement has basically just erupted in the church and the last frontier for the movement is the evangelical church."

"Women who pastor, women who preach in a church are a disgrace and they openly reflect opposition to the clear command of the Word of God".

MacArthur said preachers such as Beth Moore were trying to justify their ministry by suggesting they had personal revelation from Jesus that qualified them and said that they were not obeying God's Word.

One hour thirteen minutes into his sermon, he specifically addressed the women in the congregation, saying the strength of the men in Grace Community Church was because of their honour of their husbands "but what defines this church is the women, your sweetness, your grace, your kindness, your tenderness, your tender-heartedness, your goodness, your mercy, your love - it literally permeates this entire church.

"Men, we have our worlds to conquer, but the heart and soul of this church is the precious women who walk in the spirit and who live their lives in faith and love".

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