Are We Listening

Are we listening?  Are we, white, male, aged leaders of the church, listening?  Are we heeding the message of our sisters in Christ?  Over the weekend, derisive comments were made about women in ministry (such as Beth Moore) that grieved my heart.

Really?  Dare we be dismissive?  The message of #metoo is a sobering one.  Theirs is not an appeal for power or position, it is a request to be taken seriously; for all of us to recognize their unique calling.  Respect and common courtesy should be the dialect of the church. Yet, our soprano chorus continues to decry its absence.

Are we listening?

Listening to our astute and capable female Bible teachers?  Listening to their longing to minister from a feminine perspective? Listening to their willingness to lend their intellect, energy and passion to the cause of Christ?  What wealth of wisdom they bring!

Tone matters.  It matters in a nation.  It matters in a home.  And, it matters in the church.  When we don’t agree, we must do so in love. Words can wound.  Comments have consequences.

The bride of Christ is sighing.

Pew Research documented an unprecedented decline in the number of Christians in America.  While the cause of the decline is complex, shouldn’t one solution be an all-hands-on-deck appeal?

My one-word invitation to Beth, as well as all capable messengers both male and female, young and old, rich and poor?  Welcome.

©Max Lucado

52 comments on “Are We Listening

  1. I agree. Thank you, Max. Beth Moore’s loving ministry has blessed and helped me. I couldn’t believe how people could have such nasty attitudes with their mean criticisms. Max, you’re a true Christian.

  2. I applaud you, Max, for taking such a bold step. We need everyone, male and female in the body to share the Good News. Thanks.

  3. Thank you, Max, for being the voice of reason in this volatile situation: I appreciate your comments! I’m looking forward to seeing the good that God will bring out of this as only He can!

  4. I have a hard time accepting that as a woman I could never preach on a Sunday or assume the role of Pastor in a church. It hurts even though the Bible says I can’t do those things.

  5. Thank you for standing up to the status quo with God’s truth and grieving heart. I have “rebelled” against the idea that women aren’t as important in the church for over fifty years. Amen, Max!

  6. Well put Max!! I thought Jesus reflected a life of love and I noticed in scripture how loving and gentle he was with people, all people. I believe we are to reflect that and think before we speak. Isn’t there enough negativity without Christians quick to speak words that are harsh and are questionable- perhaps just an opinion? We are to do good especially to the household of faith. I believe we should encourage, build up and pray for teachers and leaders of the faith-ALL of them!

  7. “I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet” (1 Timothy 2:12)

    Is this in the bible or not?

  8. Taken from “Where Can Women Teach?
    Eight Principles for Christian Churches”
    by Mary A. Kassian, for Desiring God

    “Church Fathers
    As a complementarian, I believe that God wants us to honor his design for men and women by following the principle of male headship in our homes and church families. The church is God’s family and household (1 Timothy 3:15; Hebrews 3:6; Galatians 6:10). The family part is key. The Bible teaches that in the nuclear family unit, as well as in our corporate church families, the father — or multiple fathers in the case of the church — has the responsibility to lovingly lead and humbly govern the family unit.

    The biblical term for a church leader is elder or overseer. Churches today often call their leaders pastors. Some churches call every person on paid staff a pastor — even if that person is a female and not an elder. To avoid confusion over all the conflicting terminology, and to be clear about what I mean, I will call the men who occupy the biblical office of elder/overseer, and who govern and lead the church family, the church fathers.

    “If I am a woman who is gifted at teaching, at what point do I cross the line?”
    God gives us a clear boundary for how we honor the principle of male headship in the church. We honor it by letting the church fathers govern and teach the church family. Scripture indicates that women are to remain quiet when the church fathers are providing this type of authoritative family instruction: “I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet” (1 Timothy 2:12). That’s the boundary we must observe if we want to honor the principle of male headship.

    Family on Sunday Morning
    Therefore, I believe the question of how to honor Christ through the exercise of my teaching gift revolves around the issue of whether I’m acting like a church father. Am I doing something that is, or will likely be construed as, setting the doctrinal and spiritual direction for my entire church family?

    Most churches gather to hear the church fathers teach and instruct the family at weekend church services, particularly Saturday evening and Sunday morning. That’s not to say that every weekend service is focused on doctrinal instruction and leading the family, or that the weekend is the only time such instruction takes place. But as a rule, in most churches, the weekend service is the context in which the official teaching and leading of the church family happens.

    Because I want to honor 1 Timothy 2:12, for my good and the good of the church, and because I believe it presents a fairly clear boundary about women teaching authoritatively in the local church, I generally turn down invitations to speak on Sunday mornings. The passage indicates that the doctrinal teaching delivered in the context of the regular church meeting is the responsibility of the church dads. The way I honor and treasure God’s model of headship is to remain quiet and let the church fathers instruct the family.

    I do this joyfully. I am not a church father. I am a woman and therefore a spiritual mom. I delight in the fact that God has created us male and female and wired us to be spiritual dads and moms. Arguably, because I am a gifted teacher, I could do a better job of interpreting the text and delivering the sermon than many church fathers do. But that would miss the point. It’s not about competence. God created the family and, in the family, men are supposed to be the dads and women are supposed to be the moms. It’s not a question of who is better at it or more gifted. Male-female roles are neither identical nor interchangeable.”

  9. Thank you Max Lucado. Your words are very appreciated by every woman who has ministered in the church and believes in the complementary role we were given by the Creator Himself. I am praying he will ask Beth Moore for forgiveness and offer her a public apology.

  10. Our common ground should be – NEEDS to be our love for Christ and all that entails. The Lord cannot be happy when the ones who really ought to know better, are the ones doing the most damage. Thank you so much, Max, for your comments.

  11. Thank you so much! There are some wise women in leadership roles leading a whole lot of us in renewed sense of understanding, grace and faith…thank you for welcoming, and accepting their God-given wisdom. God does not only talk to men.

  12. Thank you so much. We need more respected men of God who have the courage to speak up. Rude, dismissive comments should never be a part of the discourse among Christians. I thought we were all on the same side??’ And therein lies the crux of the problem. Thank you for the courage of your convictions.

  13. On target Max. And Beth Moore – I hear you and am listening! Amazing how far down a slippery slope we have gone. Let’s all be listening from our hearts.

  14. Shouting AMEN Max!!! Thanks for sharing your God-inspired wisdom and support. Our Lord’s precious daughters and their unique, powerful gifts are worthy of respect for sure.

  15. I agree wholeheartedly with you!! Women bring a unique calling to the world, and Jesus knew that very well. Thank you for being a white male who understands the unique design and purpose that women can bring a world who is dyeing.

  16. I’m thankful for this message from you, Max. As an Oak Hills member for many years I have facilitated many of Beth Moore’s and other godly women of the Word bible studies. I learn a great deal each lesson. I appreciate that you stuck up for her and, by default for others like Kay Arthur etc. You are a great example of grace and compassion in a world which usually displays extreme judgement or extreme liberalism. Blessings to you and your family

  17. I agree but why do you start with “Are we, white, male, aged leaders of the church, listening? ”
    It’s not just white males, it happens in different cultures too! The are not only white male church leaders, there is black, Asian, Chinese etc! Everyone should listen and support women in ministry.

  18. If John feels this way about Beth, what’s his feeling on Joni, Anne, and other wonderful faithful speakers of Christ. So many people think the Bible is from a mans view point and won’t even heard the Words.
    We need to hear from women who are going through and understand our feelings. I now have a very different view of John…so sad.

  19. Well said Max!! Women have always been “allowed” to serve on the kitchen committee, cover the nursery, teach Sunday School, organize and run Bible School… do folks think we weren’t sharing the gospel then? Do they really think women weren’t teaching or influencing minds to follow Christ in any of those circumstances?? Come on folks… I support women in ministry, in the pulpit or wherever!!

  20. I’m grateful that you, my brother in Christ, understands the true heart of Jesus and is willing, in kindness, to speak to those who have ears to hear. I love Beth Moore and her funny and welcoming messages have ministered to millions. Thank God for women like her and may there be more in our midst that will speak the truth in these challenging days. Blessings to you, Max and all of those who labor in the fields as we await the harvest.

  21. How arrogant to believe God only uses a select gender to preach the message of salvation. Max, I believe in your position and comments concerning Beth Moore. She is a powerful influence for God.

  22. Thank you so much Max for voicing your opinion and sharing your thoughts. My heart hurt to hear that Beth Moore was criticized for being anything but an amazing teacher of the Word of God.

  23. I love Beth Moore’s Bible Studies & have learned so much about God & myself from each study! My husband gets so excited when I come home & share what I’ve learned. In fact, we purchased & decided to do her study on The Patriarch’s together as a couple. My husband can overlook her specific “talk” to women & we are both growing spiritually individually & as a couple from this. I am thankful for all that Beth has to offer – she is authentic & genuine, desires for each of us to grow in our relationship with Christ & through that, to live the abundant life here on earth! What could be more pleasing to God than that? I thank you Max, for publicly sharing your support of women in ministry, knowing that God can use us all for His glory. Praying a hedge of protection around all those that serve Him.

  24. Thank you for your words of truth! God uses each of us in a different way and we have to work in unity to serve Him.

  25. I have been in ministry for about 34 years, and while the choice of words may not have been the best; in that his point would have been better served if the truth was salted with grace and spoken in love, the truth is that there is no place in the Holy Scriptures were women are ordained into the 5-fold ministry of G-D. There is only one place in the Scripture where a woman had any authority similar to what is being discussed and that was in the case of Deborah when authority was relinquished to her. Sometimes Scripture in 1Jn. 1:1-3 is taken to mean that the elect lady is the elder of a church, but it is the elder, the apostle John addressing the church. This is in turn used to prove that women where anointed and by the laying on of hands set into the five fold ministry. Women do serve extremely important roles in G-D’s House, such as deaconesses in teaching roles over women and children, music, administrative, but always under male authority of G-Ds anointed 5-fold ministry, Eph.4:11-13. Every one in the House of G-D has been given a gift for the building up of His House in love so that we all might come to the fullness of Messiah Yeshua. Please remember that the Father (G-D) is the Head of the Son ( Messiah), who is the Head of man, who is the head of woman, this is the authority of L-RD G-D and not of man’s contrivance and this is the way that the Father administrates His government in His House. We would, I hope never to presume to tell our fathers how to run there houses, which would have caused our earthly fathers sorrow, why then do we dictate to our Heavenly Father how His House should be run and what His government should be and grieve His Holy Spirit? I am, myself sorrowful over the state of G-D’s House, for not only this reason, but also because we are light years from looking and functioning like the church in the Book of Acts. In John 13: 1-15:1-17 we are given an image and superscription of who we are to be. Perhaps it is time to examine ourselves, repent if necessary so we may do as we have been called to do; be light and salt. The most expedient, most excellent thing we can do is to abide in Him, obey Him and His word , and love one another unconditionally. Your servant in Messiah Yeshuah Greg Kornichuk

  26. God is not limited to only using men in the Ministry regardless of their race. Are they saying that God has respect to persons? I think not, when your life is pleasing to God He will use you forHisglory

  27. Well said, Max! I daresay she’s a far more capable teacher than the one who told her to “go home”.

  28. Thank you for your public support of women, and Beth Moore specifically. It grieves me that some leaders in the church don’t regard women as fellow human beings; it’s clear in their speech. The #metoo message is definitely not about power, it’s about women refusing to stay silent and ashamed any longer about men’s treatment. We are not less than in God’s eyes.

  29. Thank you- I am grateful for your words- the pain caused by the tone and what can only be described as attack has been deep- the intent appears to be directed to all women in ministry with Beth taking the brunt- her teaching has drawn me so much closer to the Lord and I am so thankful- and I am thankful for you And your ability to speak the truth in love

  30. Thank you so very much for these gracious and carefully measured words. My heart has been hurting this week and this is exactly what I’ve been longing to hear from a male leader. Your words have impacted me for what feels like my entire life, and I’m thankful for your ministry, which consistently points me to Christ.

  31. Well if they aren’t supposed to be preaching and teaching, how exactly are you listening? I am all for hearing what they have to say, but you are dead wrong in trying to turn this into an opportunity for women to take unbiblical positions of leadership. Which is why your leadership is so suspect. Beth claims she had a call from God at 18, which is about as valid as all the little girls claiming to have seen the Virgin Mary that catholic church so extols. The real test is was your call from God and consistent with His Word? When it comes to public positions of teaching authority the answer is nicely or not so nicely as Pastor MacArthur phrased it to which I add, Sit down and then go home. The #metoo thing is a completely different issue. Stop being such a whimp Max…

  32. Thank you, Max. I have always appreciated your work. In reading this, my respect for you has grown exponentially. A lifelong Christian, I come from a denomination that allows women to be ministers. I am sad for my sisters in Christ who are kept from a full pursuit of their calling. The Bible verse, Galatians 3:28 comes to mind. “ There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

  33. So agree with the rest Thank You for standing up… appreciate all with the gift of teaching. Love and prayers

  34. I was there, along with many women…many black women such as myself. We were all like-minded, therefore in full agreement and joyfully in submission to the word of God. It was a beautiful testimony to the body of Christ. No sighing…simply rejoicing and proclaiming Christ, alone and the inerrant and sufficiency of His word, alone.

    I lived a life of feminism, worshipping the god of power through sex, child sacrifice and supporting anything that was right in my own eyes. I know the stench of feminism all too well. I know the seductive attraction to Jezebel. It has no place in the church. The church should be the safe place Christ has established. To bring our burdens when He calls. To lay them at His throne, to reason and agree with Him, to submit to His Lordship by taking His yoke and learn from Him. The men are called to guard His church and we as women are called to help them, not hinder them.

    Only a Jezebel would sabotage the church. Pastor John as well as Justin, Voddie, Mike and Phil are simply obediently and faithfully proclaiming and guarding Christ’s church. Shall we not, as redeemed women, contend for that same transformative place Christ calls those His blood has intended to save?

  35. Thank you, Max. “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.”
    ‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭13:1-2‬ ‭ESV‬‬
    “But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.”
    ‭‭2 Timothy‬ ‭3:1-5‬ ‭ESV‬‬

  36. I’ve been to a Beth Moore and found it wonderfully informative .She definitely has the gift of teaching .She really makes the Bible come alive for me and the worship was wonderful. She is very genuine and shares her ups and downs . Thank you Beth for answering God’s call on your life

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