At an event called 'The Truth Matters Conference', a discussion took place chaired by Todd Friel, another preacher, in which Friel set up a segment where panelists would play a word-association game and have to respond with the first word that came to them when Friel mentioned a topic or person.
"The three or you need to give a one-word or pithy response." Friel explained to speakers John MacArthur, Voddie Baucham, Phil Johnson,.
The first topic was "Beth Moore", which caused laughter in the room.
Beth Moore is a Southern Baptist evangelical preacher from Texas who runs a popular teaching ministry for women called Living Proof Ministries.
She is also an author and speaks at events across the world, aiming to help women in their relationship with Jesus.
"How many words do I get?" replied Dr MacArthur.
Friel added: "Before you answer this, think carefully this time because last time you did word-association, a guy wrote a book about it and we don't want that!"
"Go home" MacArthur replied, with laughter erupting in the hall.
"Oh! Well I see we're warmed up!" Friel responded, laughing.
MacArthur continued: "There is no case that can be made biblically for a woman preacher. Period. Paragraph. End of discussion." he added.
When Todd Friel invited Phil Johnson to join in, Johnson said: "The word that comes to my mind is narcissistic", criticising how Moore has admitted trying to find herself in the narrative of Bible passages.
Continuing the discussion, Dr MacArthur said: "It is troubling me because I think the Church is caving in to women preachers" and he explained that women didn't want equality, they "want power", citing how women wanted to be President, senators, preachers and at the top of universities.
"This is feminism gone to church, this is why we can't let the culture exegete the Bible."
He continued to criticise the Southern Baptist Movement for passing a resolution that said intersectionality (also known as intersectional feminism - a branch that acknowledges the different experiences women from varying classes and races may have) and critical theory were useful tools in interpreting the Bible, "that was a watershed moment for that movement" he said, "they are allowing the culture to interpret the scripture."
"A couple of weeks after that there was a panel discussion of Southern Baptist leaders who said there should never be translation committee without a Latino, an African American and a woman on it. Translation of the Bible? How about someone who can speak Greek and Hebrew?"
I finally watched that clip. My fav part is the off-hand remark that sounds like JM's insinuating Black, Latinxs & women cant translate the Bible. So I'd like to say:— Kat Armas (@kat_armas) October 20, 2019
Hi, @johnmacarthur I'm a Latina, a woman, & I can read & translate Greek & Hebrew.
My existence is resistance.
Many people have retweeted the audio, alongside comments such as "No kindness from John MacArthur toward Beth Moore. Why the hostility?", "Tell me how this is becoming of a Godly man", and "You can believe that and not attack", with another saying "it's beautiful!!!! Praise God for His Word intelligence and bravery"
One criticising the tone was Micah Fries, a senior pastor at a baptist church.
To be clear, the problem here is the derisive, divisive manner in which MacArthur & others carry themselves. This is devastatingly dismissive of the inherent dignity, value and self-worth of women, particularly of @BethMooreLPM. https://t.co/aXrLWOEoub— Micah Fries (@micahfries) October 19, 2019
UK conservative evangelical pastor Sam Allberry tweeted to say the tone of mockery was demeaning, with others saying both of them could be wrong.
If it's lacking in charity, it's not orthodoxy.— Sam Allberry (@SamAllberry) October 21, 2019
If it demeans and mocks women, it's not complementarianism.
Beth Moore and JMac can both be wrong at the same time send tweet— Angela Whitehorn (@ImAngelaPangela) October 21, 2019
Whatever you think of the names involved or invoked here, this is wrong.— Katie J. McCoy (@blondeorthodoxy) October 19, 2019
When theological discourse sounds more like a Fox News zinger than the prudence and kindness by which Christ-followers are to be known, our witness has lost more than we can afford.https://t.co/US8cBowyfd
I 100% agree with John MacArthur. Where are Southern Baptist leaders on this? Has pragmatism and sentimentality won the day in the SBC? Many deeply troubling events. My connection to SBC hangs by a thread. https://t.co/TuNHBg8cAI— Jeff Noblit (@Jeff_Noblit) October 20, 2019