When Dr. MacArthur told Beth Moore to “Go home” and stop preaching over the weekend, the audience laughed. Some people were infuriated not by the comment itself, but by the laughter of the audience.
Here is one example of a well-meaning fellow who took exception with the laughter and found it confusing.
The person writes, “The one thing that truly bothered me though was all the laughter. Beth is not a spectacle to be laughed at. She needs prayer as well as her followers. Anyone headed to hell is NEVER a laughing matter.”
Fair enough. Let me explain the sentiment of laughter.
First, contrary to what some have suggested, this was not laughter done by a group of “men” who were laughing out of an abundance of poorly misplaced testosterone.
In fact, there was a significant number of women in the room. This was not a pastors’ conference like ShepCon. The women also laughed. This wasn’t a man versus woman thing, as much as Critical Theorists who bathe in victim ideology would like to characterize it. This was not a group of oppressors laughing at the oppressed. This was a group of Christians laughing at a statement in regard to a false teacher.
I put a poll in the Pulpit Bunker Facebook group yesterday for women only. Not a single woman in the group disagreed with MacArthur’s sentiment. Are these women all sexist?
At the Stand Against Marxism Conference in Des Moines, where I spoke over the weekend, I mentioned the remarks by MacArthur and the women in that room (which was about half) were noticeably in more excitable agreement than the men. So let’s bust that narrative right away; it is a false one.
Secondly, people laughed because they rejoiced at hearing truth. They also applauded and ‘amened.’ Joy is the natural reaction to truth-telling among truth-loving people.
Rejoicing at truth is godly and honorable.
[Love] does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth (1 Corinthians 13:6)
People are legitimately afraid to speak the truth about Beth Moore. She is a wild-eyed, unhinged, Biblically-ignorant, dangerous Cow of Bashan who lords over men. Moore promotes false teachers like Joyce Meyer. She claims to receive direct, divine revelation. She regularly opines on topics she knows absolutely nothing about like politics, economics, and most importantly, the Bible. She is a make-up caked spiritual Strange Woman (Proverbs 5:3) who leads away captive weak women (2 Timothy 3:6).
The people in that audience know that polemicists like myself have been warning people about Beth Moore for 15 years. They know that men like Danny Akin secretly call her stupid. Others, like Alistair Begg, acknowledge in private emails that she’s a bad teacher, but will still endorse her at conferences publicly.
So then, when a prominent pastor says publicly what everyone already knows privately, it makes them rejoice at the truth of it.
In fact, controlled laughter (not the kind exhibited uncontrollably by charismatics) is worshipful. Job realized this.
He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy (Job 8:21).
As the people laughed, clapped, and cheered for truth, it made the devil angry. The devil’s men, like leading Social Justice Warriors, were infuriated at the worship of God in response to the truth uttered by Dr. John MacArthur.
The state of evangelicalism, in which Beth Moore is lauded as a possible next president of the SBC, makes God’s elect mourn in sadness. But Jesus promised that our weeping would be turned into laughing.
21 Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh. (Luke 6:21)
The expression goes, “If you can’t weep, you might as well laugh.” Such is true at the state of religion in America. Liberals were disappointed that “fundamentalists” didn’t live up to their caricature. They were happy at truth, and their enemies picture them as always sour and dour. This is unsettling to them.
Third, people laughed because that is the natural reaction to awkwardness. In one fell swoop, Dr. MacArthur vindicated and substantiated the concerns of polemicists and discernment ministers and conscientious pastors around the country who believe the exact same thing. The audience knew that the heathen would rage and plot in vain (Psalm 2:1-4).
They were aware that Dr. MacArthur’s statement would be heard around the world and responded to viciously. In trepidation, much of what you heard was nervous laughter.
No one made light of Moore’s serious theological errors by laughing. In fact, it’s fair to say, that Dr. MacArthur took Moore’s theological errors more seriously than each and every person defending her over the weekend.
These mockers, from JD Greear to Sam Allberry to Jackie Hill Perry to Ligon Duncan and every liberal in between and beyond, do not care for Beth Moore’s soul because they will not tell her to go home. They are unloving. And while they are concerned about the crowd at MacArthur’s conference mocking Beth Moore, they have no concern at all for Beth Moore mocking God.