Skip to main content

Why We Won't "Go Home" -- An Open Letter To John MacArthur

Dear John,

My social media newsfeed has been blowing up in light of your recent statement about Beth Moore. You mocked Beth Moore (and other women leaders) by telling her to "Go home." Well, sir, we will not.

You see, John, when a person is called--whether man or woman--to speak God's word, they become unable to stay silent. Jeremiah 20:9 states:

But if I say, “I will not mention his word
    or speak anymore in his name,”
his word is in my heart like a fire,
    a fire shut up in my bones.
I am weary of holding it in;
    indeed, I cannot.

John, Beth Moore cannot go home any more than you can. Why? Because God has called her. He has taken her by the hand and led her into the purpose he created her for. She must speak! And as a minister of the Freeing Gospel of Christ, you should be affirming her and not tearing her down. 

"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice." (Ephesians 4:29-31)

As ministers of the gospel we (yes, "we") must have the goal of making disciples--to equip the saints for the work of ministry. If we are only selecting half of the human race (if that) because of a misinterpretation of the Bible and taking one or two verses entirely out of context--both scriptural and cultural--then we are failing to do what God himself has commanded. Our goal must be to raise up all believers and allow God to point them in the direction he wishes them to serve. We must not even remotely attempt to hinder them in following God's call on their lives. Remember when Peter tried to do that with Jesus? Jesus responded with "Get behind me, Satan!" (Matthew 16:23) Now, is that the role we want to play in a person's life? The role of the tempter? The role of the Devil? I know that I would rather have my tongue cut out than play that part in anyone's life.

The thing is, John, if God is not calling someone to pastoral ministry, he will make it clear. Pastoral ministry, when done right, is hard work. It is down-right miserable at times. When a person (man or woman) enters into dedicated pastoral ministry, the trials themselves will drive out the one who is not called to be a pastor. They do not need you (or anyone else) interpreting their call (which, by the way, you cannot do). You cannot determine another person's call because you are neither God speaking to the heart of that person nor are you the person listening to the call of God upon their life. 

The call of God is between God and the person called--you, Mr. MacArthur, play no part in that interaction. 

John, you told Beth Moore to go home. Well, John, I want to say that you have inspired a lot of people--but perhaps not in the way you would like. You have inspired countless voices--male and female--to stand up and say "ENOUGH" to the voices telling women that God is unable to use them. Those voices have no place in the Church. It goes against the very nature of God and who he is. 

The great commission is to go and make disciples of all nations-- not to go and make disciples of all nations minus the women. If God is all-powerful--and he is--there is no way that he would allow himself to be limited in the use of half of his greatest creation--humanity.

So, no, we will not go home. Instead, we will stand up and shout louder about the greatness of God--we will shout it from the roof-tops that God is good. We will continue to go and make disciples. We will run into the crowds of the marginalized and love them like Jesus. We will teach men, women, and children about the unrelenting goodness of our creator and we will do it without apology. And when we go home, we will go home to (along with our spouses) make disciples of our families--and once again we will go out.

Not once in scripture are women told to go home to stay, and therefore, John, we will not! Your words were not God's words, and your command to go home will not be treated as such. We follow God--and we will Go.

Thank you, John, for the inspiration.


Nicole Barnett
(Woman Behind The Pulpit)


Popular posts from this blog

A Change in Tides

Well, I thought I would share a little of our personal journey with you all today. My husband, Jason, has recently accepted a position as Senior Pastor to Meadville Church of the Nazarene in Meadville, PA. We will be starting up there on the 27th of this month (August) and we have a lot of packing to do! This week, I have also started classes again. I started "History and Polity of the Nazarene Church"-- it also has "Foundations of Women's Ordination" intertwined in the curriculum. I am so excited about taking this class! I am learning a lot and there is a lot of confirmation of the results of my own studies. Super exciting. BUT-- the class is going to be taking place WHILE we move... so I am a bit on the stressed side. Somehow while taking care of the kids, cleaning our current home, and unpacking in the new parsonage, I will have to find time to do the assigned reading as well as the assignments-- this next month is going to be exciting.  But God has got


As many of you know, my husband has recently started the position of Senior Pastor. We uprooted and left the place where we brought my two youngest children home from the hospital. We left the people in our old church--the ones who may as well have been grandparents, aunts, and uncles to my children with how much they spoiled my kids. But we left filled with hope for this new season. However, I haven't settled down yet. I feel anxious. We have been here almost two months and I still find myself dreading each new day. I have continuously prayed for contentment, and I have adopted a practice of "fake it til you make it" but you can only fake a smile for so long--eventually the mask wears off. Now, don't get me wrong. I love our new church. A lot of people are incredible and I have already become friends with several of the women in our church--that is not the issue. I simply feel like I am in the wrong place. Have you ever felt like that? Like even though all the ci

Beautifully Broken

I was abused. I have been hurt. I was wounded. I am damaged goods. But God… Have you ever felt like your entire world has just crumbled around you? Where no matter where you turn, another event happens that was even more devastating than the last? I have been there. I have been in that place where the emotional pain is so bad you can hardly breathe. I have faced those times when it feels like there is no point in even continuing to live because the pain is just too great. I have been there. But God… I was wounded when I was removed from my birth family. I was traumatized when my little sister’s dad decided he wanted to try for custody. No, he did not win custody, but I was damaged by that. I was devastated when my brother dove into a river and broke his neck. I was psychologically abused. I had people I was close to die far too young. I have experienced the pain of miscarrying. I have had my relationships torn apart by grief, ange