In the last few weeks we have seen a major uproar in the Christian culture regarding the comments that John MacArthur made concerning Beth Moore – a prominent female teacher in the Southern Baptist Convention. To be clear, MacArthur made a negative statement about a female teacher that he does not agree with theologically. He also does not agree with her role in leadership as a female. Regardless of whether or not he is right on either account, his words were harsh and did not reflect the love of Christ.
Moore on the other hand has dealt with a barrage of criticisms over the last several years. In recent months I read an article by a seminary professor who stated that she teaches publicly because she hates the Bible. His claim was that if she loved God’s word, she would not be teaching (specifically teaching men) in public.
In reality, the SBC has been dealing with a number of issues regarding sexual abuse by some male leaders over the last year. I believe some attacks on Beth Moore are a result of individuals with authority being uncomfortable with the direction the convention is moving in light of these allegations.
Irregardless, Moore has handled all of the attacks remarkably well. She has even called on her twitter followers to stop slandering MacArthur as that behavior does not bring honor to the Lord. And she is right. Beth Moore understands the concept of how to love as Christ calls us to love.
Moore clearly lives out her faith in a manner that draws people to the Gospel. Recently Kanye West claimed to have a genuine conversion experience to Christianity. This past Friday he dropped a new album called “Jesus is King.” It is pretty good. I enjoyed listening to it. Though it was not as long as I expected (27 minutes for 11 songs). The message is clear, Christ saves us from all the things we are attracted to that do not fill our need for a relationship with the Creator of the universe.
Already, I see Christians doubting whether or not his conversion is real or whether this is just a publicity stunt.
Both these situations make me think about how Christians are viewed by non-believers in our culture. They see us fighting over whether or not Christians should support Trump. They see us fighting about gender roles in ministry. They see us fighting when someone with a certain level of fame claims to have come to know the Lord. Much of the time they just see us fighting. They see what we don’t like. They see us say we love Christ, but they don’t always see us love one another or the world around us.
1 Corinthians 13 states:
13 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Paul recognizing that love is foundational to all of the spiritual gifts in the church. He recognizes that we are to be known by our love. Paul understands that the greatest commandment is to love God with our whole being and to love our neighbors as ourselves. If we truly love Christ, we must obediently show his love to other Christians, to our enemies, and to the world around us. Christians can have disagreements in ministry. They can disagree with things happening in the culture. But as followers of Christ those disagreements should be civil and they should not be carried out in sinful anger.
Instead of being known for how much we bicker and fight, we must strive to help the world see that we are Christians because we care for God’s world and all of the people in it. It is by showing love to the world that through us they will come to realize that Christ is King?