An Open Letter to Erick Erickson re: Beth Moore

Hi Erick,

You have a great website, The Resurgent (I link it to show you courtesy, as I usually don’t link lesser-known blog sites). Truthfully though, I’ve never listened to your radio show. I’m more of a Steve Deace kind of guy (no offense). I admire a man who knows his theology well enough to spot a heretic when he sees one. Which, brings me to my point.

Your recent article entitled On John MacArthur and Beth Moore has a few points that need to be corrected, both in general perspective and in theology. Let me try to help.

In your first paragraph, you refer to Beth Moore as having been treated like “a punching bag.” Punching bags get punched, Erick. While hyperbole is a useful rhetorical tool, you’re making an accusation against an elder. No one “punched” Beth Moore. What Dr. MacArthur did – at his own conference in his own church – was offer his opinion that someone whom he feels is grossly unqualified for spiritual leadership should go home.

Telling a pitiful Bible teacher to go home is not a “punching bag.” My wife and I have five children, one with developmental issues, and the rest with debilitating cases of kids-act-like-kids syndrome. My wife works as a part-time consultant. She’s also a pastor’s wife. We’re busy most nights of the week. My oldest daughter (16) helps manage the household in my wife’s absence, should responsibilities require her to be gone. If you told my wife to “go home” her response would be Thank God.

Home, you see, is exactly where a godly woman would want to be. Whereas there are indeed some women who feel the need to hike their leg on the church-house to assert their role of dominance in the Body of Christ, godly women are content with serving and loving their families and husbands. My wife wouldn’t consider being told to go home to be a “punching bag;” she would consider it a blessing.

I guess that’s the difference between a godly woman and Beth Moore.

Erick, I’m glad that you claim to agree with Dr. MacArthur on complementarianism and cessationism. However, what I don’t understand is this comment:

Yet, with my disagreements mentioned, it does not mean that she deserves to be spoken about harshly, spoken to rudely, or condescended to by men whose on-stage bravado reeks of anything but humility.

It’s here that I’m afraid you’ve gone off the rails, Erick. It’s also here that I doubt your sincerity (no offense) that you agree with Dr. MacArthur on complementarianism and cessationism. I have to doubt that you really disagree with how MacArthur said it and assume your real problem is that he said it at all.

I would ask, specifically, what Dr. MacArthur said that was “harsh.” Was it the “go home” part? Should he have said please first? Should Dr. MacArthur have bloviated and nuanced himself into a corner of nebulousness that left people wondering what he was saying, just because that’s how someone like Russell Moore (who endorsed your book, I noticed) would do it? Is it the blunt honesty you find revolting?

What was “rude” about what Dr. MacArthur said, and who gets to determine rudeness? Is it any less rude than you regularly treat Nancy Pelosi or Elizabeth Warren on your website or radio show (P.S. their politics are pretty close to Beth Moore’s these days).

How should Dr. MacArthur demonstrate humility while calling out a false teacher or usurper of misplaced authority? Should he have said it on his knees? What is the “humble” way of saying, “You are an ignorant twit who should not be teaching the Bible to children, let alone preaching to men?” I think Dr. MacArthur did pretty well, all things considered.

Erick, I’m very concerned about you writing…

“In fact, Beth Moore has been gently ministering to my wife through her writings, and now my daughter. Beth Moore has been an unbelievable presence in my wife’s life and, frankly, where pastoral men could not connect with my wife, Beth Moore has. My daughter is at an age where she could use strong Christian women in her life and Beth Moore has been there for her too. I don’t know that enough men appreciate Beth Moore’s ministry to women and while I disagree on complementarianism and some other issues, I know all too well she fills a role in the spiritual life of the women in my house that is needed and appreciated.

Erick, it seems to me that you’re a pretty bad father and husband. No decent man would expose his daughter and wife to someone who claims direct, divine revelation (which you had already said you disagreed with above). Do you recognize that the Bible says that if someone claims a word from God they didn’t actually receive that you are no longer supposed to listen to them (Deuteronomy 18:22)? That’s at – the very least – paternal malfeasance. You’re leading your wife and child poorly.

Actually, you seem to not be leading your wife and daughter at all. You’re letting Beth Moore do it. That’s shameful of you.

I don’t know why your wife can’t “connect” with “pastoral men” if they’re preaching the Gospel. I suppose it’s possible that she’s either unregenerate or it’s possible your pastor doesn’t preach the Bible. But if she’s saved, she’ll connect just fine with whatever man is giving the Word of God.

However, in the event for whatever fluke of a reason your wife cannot connect to Bible teaching, she should be coming home and asking you to explain it (1 Corinthians 14:35). Franky, it should make you feel like less of a man that your wife has to turn to Beth Moore to explain the Bible to her. Because that does, in fact, make you less of a man.

You continue…

If the anti-Beth Moore crowd wants Beth Moore’s influence to continue to spread, all these hardcore Reformed types (who I’m typically in agreement with) just need to keep talking like their talking. They are speaking only to themselves and convincing hardly anyone. They are proving their critics true and setting back their own movement. Furthermore, they are making Beth Moore into a very sympathetic victim by their insensitivity, cruelty, and unmasked chauvinism.

First, I don’t believe you’re usually in agreement with “hardcore Reformed types” because I don’t know any “hardcore Reformed types” who would let their wife and daughter read Beth Moore. Furthermore, it seems to me that you are impugning the Bible with “unmasked chauvinism” more than you are Dr. MacArthur.

Remember how earlier you said that you agreed with Dr. MacArthur on complementarianism? And now you call it “unmasked chauvinism.” Surely you see that you’re being double-minded, which makes you unstable (James 1:8).

And finally, let me address this hateful line…

Because the evangelical super very best friends are a big cabal of power-drunk Trump-humpers.

Go home, Erick.

What, is that more impolite than calling someone a “drunk Trump-humper?” You suffer from an ailment called Anti-Polemics Cognitive Dissonance Syndrome. It’s a very serious condition and you should be checked-out.

Let me set you straight about the men you criticize and Paula White. You conflate Jeffress, Graham, the other Graham, and Laurie with Dr. MacArthur, Voddie Baucham, Phil Johnson, and Justin Peters (who spoke at the Truth Matters Conference that got your underwear in a knot). These men have been rebuking and warning about Paula White for more than a decade, while your friends at The Gospel Coalition and ERLC have been busy getting woke. In other words, these men were warning about Paula White long before she was a Trump spiritual advisor.

Your discernment seems to be selective. These men have criticized White for what seems like forever. Why is your discernment only activated when it’s a Trump supporter who’s a heretic? Russell Moore – whose endorsement you asked for – has Sammy Rodriguez speak at his events, whose theology is identical to that of Paula White. Did you write an article about that at The Resurgent or did I miss it? Recently, a Gospel Coalition author with an especially high Intersectionality score gave a full-fold endorsement to Bethel Church, which is easily as radical (if not more so) than Paula White. Where was your outrage? Did I miss it?

You write a few good things at your blog, Erick. But your last article was full of a lot of dumb things. They were also things that were harsh, rude, condescending and with bravado that reeks of anything but humility.



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