The Missing Piece: Law versus Love💔

I’ve always loved pictures of churches.⛪️ Little quaint churches in the woods or snow or some picturesque scene. Call me weird, but if it’s an abandoned church, I like to picture what it may have looked like when it was flourishing. I do the same thing with abandoned houses…I let my mind travel back and picture a family there and envision it when it was more “alive”.

The stark contrast of these two churches caught my attention. One looks warm and inviting, full of life and promise. The other one looks dark and desolate...bleak and dismal emptiness. I wonder what the story of the church is on the left? Was it “alive” once? Of course, we know that the buildings aren’t the “Church”, but rather WE are the Church. But I think we can make a few connections here.

What’s your church like? More importantly, what’s your heart like? Is it too caught up in religion? In LAW? Or does it exemplify LOVE? I know that my soul looked like that bleak church not too long ago, until the Holy Spirit opened my eyes.

When the focus of your church is rules, regulations, obedience, sin, consequences, etc…you’ve got LAW. When the focus is relationships, grace, mercy, favor, Truth…you’ve got LOVE. 💘

LAW=DEATH💀 LOVE=LIFE💝

LAW can suck the LIFE right out of a church. LOVE can, well..change everything. When you have LOVE, EVERYTHING else falls into place.💞

The same can be said about your heart, your soul. If LAW becomes your focus, your heart will look exactly like that abandoned church…dark, desolate, and EMPTY. If LOVE becomes your focus, LIFE will literally be spilling out of you. Then, you wouldn’t even need either of those buildings to do the work of spreading the Gospel…you’d already be doing that with zero effort…you’d be LIVING the Gospel out, by thinking, feeling, and choosing Love. Walking in relationship and fellowship with the Trinity makes Love so much easier. 💗

In light of a recent event in which a prominent ‘Christian’ leader made a grave mistake in front of hundreds of people by making a less than intelligent comment, I feel the need to explain why I feel so strongly about this.

Some of you won’t be interested in this at all, some will disagree, etc.  And that’s totally ok. Scroll on. 😄

I just want to present a different perspective on what occurred, and it may sound different than other posts you may have seen about the topic.

This comes from my perspective…a non-preacher/pastor, without a seminary or theology degree. I know that willdisqualify’ me completely in the minds of some, but hopefully most can agree that a non-preaching female is just as capable of studying the Bible and forming thoughts and opinions, as well as sharing TRUTH with the help of the greatest teacher-the Holy Spirit. ❤️

Some of you have no clue what I’m talking about-😂 so let me explain what happened. Here’s the video clip of the event I’m referring to.👇🏽Also below is an article that explains what happened and gives an awesome perspective that will probably be easier to understand than me trying to word it the right way in order to not purposely offend anyone. 

This past week I’ve been consumed and baffled by the absurdity of it, as well as the pious comments some made about the event in general, and also directly to me, when I shared my thoughts about it on a social media post. I couldn’t decide if I needed to laugh about it, be offended, sad, shocked, or angry….but I think all of the above are appropriate reactions. 😧

 I couldn’t quite laugh at it though because it was too disturbing, too alarming, and too.. disgusting. A travesty of Christianity, even.

What I ‘almost’ laughed at was a comment made to me by a man, whom I do not know, that—in a less than subtle way, told me to ‘shut up’, called me a ‘silly woman’ and also said I needed to ‘stay at home‘ to ‘learn something from your husband’ type of comment. This has been paraphrased because this string of comments has since been deleted, thankfully. Of course I looked up the dude on Facebook (hasn’t anyone else done that??😵) to try and get an idea of what kind of sleeze would tell a female whom he doesn’t know, to shut up on social media, risk his reputation, etc. 

I wonder if he lets LAW or LOVE dictate his life?

I wish I could say that I was surprised to see a picture of him behind a pulpit, and to find out that he was a ‘former’ (thank God) Baptist preacher. But unfortunately, I’m not. He illustrated my point quite well as his comments to me sounded strangely similar to the comments John MacArthur made concerning Beth Moore.

Since this has occurred I have had this urgency to share the TRUTH. A couple of times I thought maybe I was making too big a deal out of it, so I re-listened to the video clip a couple of times, and it was even more repulsive than it was the first time I heard it. Here’s what happened in case someone isn’t aware. 

Basically, a well-known preacher/pastor, author, and radio host-John MacArthur, was at a pastor’s conference entitled ‘Truth Matters’ (🤔) and was supposedly there to ‘celebrate’ his 50 years of ministry…

This guy has written countless books that are on the shelves at your local Christian bookstore, as well as commentaries, which as we know require you to dissect scripture to be able to explain it, interpret it, etc. 

I don’t know what you envision when thinking of a conference with the name ‘Truth Matters’, where people are gathering to celebrate the legacy of a man who has basically dedicated his entire life to the intense study of the Bible and ‘preaching God’s Word.’

I would expect that at some point, in an effort to honor John, they would talk about and celebrate some of the high points of his ministry, maybe touch on what God has taught him, what it’s been like to ‘know’ the scriptures so well, the things he must’ve learned about the person of Jesus throughout his intense study of his life, story etc. 

Or maybe he might share his love of spreading the message of Jesus or talk about how good God is, or the Grace he’s experienced or people he’s met along the way, the privilege he’s had to travel the world and promote the success of his books, etc.

Or maybe just simply sit back and reflect on the goodness of God in his life. 

But that’s not what happened in the segment I witnessed…I suppose it’s possible that at some point throughout the rest of the conference, maybe they did discuss some of these things…but I have a feeling they got sidetracked with other topics. Just speculation though.😕

So he and a panel of men sit on a stage at the ‘Truth Matters’ conference, and for some reason can find nothing better to do than to play a ‘word association’ game. 😐 They ask John to give a response to two ‘words’ that they give him. The ‘words’ given to him were actually a name, ‘Beth Moore.’ 

As soon as her name was said, the audience erupts into laughter, along with some moans and groans, oohs and ahhs…waiting in anticipation of his response.

John’s response? ‘GO HOME.’

MISOGYNY AT IT’S FINEST.

In case you’re not familiar with Beth Moore, she is a popular evangelist, author, and Bible teacher. I don’t know what your thoughts are about her, but you’ll see that’s definitely not the point here. Because if it wasn’t her, it would’ve been another person that they pre-selected, knowing beforehand that she was a person he didn’t care for, and that would be red meat to the hungry audience, looking for someone to rip apart in an attempt to ease their gaping emptiness inside. Think of the picture of that first church.

LAW or LOVE?

I personally like Beth Moore, because I’ve participated in and facilitated Bible studies written by her and I’ve gained a wealth of knowledge, which makes me personally grateful for her teachings. But that’s really here nor there. 

So the panel of men, complete with suit and tie, as well as the desperate audience get a good laugh after criticizing, slandering, and dragging her name through the mud, their fellow sister in Christ.

I think it’s clear here that these Christian men have let LAW dictate their lives far too long. 😔

Where was Jesus during this exchange? Can you picture him on stage with them, guffawing and back slapping along with them, getting a twisted satisfaction out of expressing disapproval of someone’s perceived faults?

That’s not the Jesus I know.

The Jesus I know would probably be hanging His head in his hands-broken over how He is being misrepresented. He definitely wouldn’t be snickering and giving fist-bumps to his buddies. 😢

After that, they threw around some other belittling comments, calling her a narcissist, comparing her to a tv jewelry salesperson, among other things. They offhandedly mentioned that ‘even though a person has certain “hawking” skills doesn’t give them the right to preach.’ 💔

LAW.

How dare Beth Moore for having the audacity to preach the good news of Jesus. How dare her have a dynamic, warm, and inviting personality, and more energy than perhaps all the preachers on that stage combined. Shameful that she’d be so effective at pointing people toward Jesus. Jealous much?😯

Let her do her thing and you do your thing, John, you and your boys. You don’t approve of her doing her thing? That’s fine-get over it and move on. Turn the channel. Don’t click. Put the book, magazine, and article down and dare I say…get a life?😵 Get back to your ‘calling’, and let her do hers.

They couldn’t stop there however, as John had to bring up the fact that the SBC (Southern Baptist Convention) is hoping that in any future Bible translating teams, there should be a Latino, an African-American, and a woman. His response to that was basically dismissive of the idea of any varying people groups needing to be involved in the translating process, but how about (his words) ‘people who know Greek and Hebrew!’ 😵Maybe it’s not how he meant it, but to me that indicates he must think that women, Latinos, and African-Americans are incapable of learning a foreign language. 

LAW.

I’m not going to say what I think it sounds like, but what kind of meeting was this exactly? I’m so confused. 

I learned a lot from my time viewing the video and reading the banter on social media about it. And yes, I participated in it, but I don’t think all of that time was wasted. If I’m honest, I was unaware that in the minds of some men, in this case white men, women are still considered their servants, and they have no relevancy, talent, gifts, or purpose in Kingdom work.

I really thought we’d come farther than that.

Back to the preacher guy who publicly insulted me…was his former congregation watching? My heart goes out to them, as well as his family. I hope he’s not raising daughters who believe they’re inferior, sons who belittle women, and a wife who thinks her only purpose in life is to serve her husband.

Perhaps next time they should move their evangelical boy’s club to a donut shop somewhere where they can go to town with their back slapping and chortling. Instead of publicly displaying their Pharisaism. 😕

But unfortunately I think it was somehow more entertaining to do it in a public way, which further highlights their immaturity, insecurity, ARROGANCE, and blindness. The fact that they were so eager and hungry for his response is nothing short of mind blowing.

One guy even stated that this would be an ‘easy one’ for John after he (John) mentioned with a smirk that he felt like he was being ‘set up.’ To which the guy replied, ‘always the case, John’, indicating that yes, this was all planned beforehand, because they knew what his reaction would be, so there were evil intentions at work and they were literally drooling in anticipation of his answer. 

Judging by her CLASSY response to the ridicule, I would almost bet that if Beth Moore were playing the same word game with a panel of women (which I can’t ever picture happening), and she was given the words ‘John MacArthur’, I undoubtedly believe that her answer would be just as classy as John’s wasn’t. Even if she didn’t agree with his style, his doctrine, his whatever…knowing the type of person she is, I believe she would have given a gracious answer and spoken highly of him, no matter her personal opinion of him, simply because that’s how you treat a human being and in her case her fellow brother in Christ. In fact, to conclude one of her twitter posts in response to the event, in her post she ESTEEMS him as her brother in Christ.

Finally….LOVE.

Too bad the guy who’s been in the ministry the longest couldn’t lead by example…🤔

Sometimes God lets us tell on ourselves.😕

My question is, what drives a ‘man of God’, a student of the ‘Word’, a believer in Christ, an 80 year old man who has spent fifty years of his life studying scripture…what drives him to respond this way? A weak moment? We all make mistakes and wish we could take our words back at times.

Or, was it..deep rooted jealousy…? Jealousy that a woman may be able to be JUST AS or even more effective at times in reaching a broader realm of people for Christ?

Something’s not adding up. Somewhere in that 50 years….

Could he have missed the entire point of the Gospel? 💔

That God is LOVE? Did he skip over the Golden Rule? And at what point did it become ‘ok’ according to the Bible of course, to belittle and publicly slander people?

Friends….please hear this: it IS possible to ‘study’ the scriptures and ‘know’ them like the back of your hand– better than anyone else, even be a pastor…but never truly MEET Jesus?

Look at what Jesus says here👇🏽

“You search and keep on searching and examining the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and yet it is those (very Scriptures) that testify about Me, and still you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life.” John 5:39-40

It’s entirely possible, friends. And it happens more than we know.

Did he know ABOUT Jesus? But not KNOW him? Did he just have religion and not relationship?

My message is this:👇🏽👇🏽👇🏽

To those who have heard about the event and it’s reiterated and confirmed your dislike of Christians, churches, etc….not all Believers in Christ, Followers of Jesus act this way. I’m infuriated not at only how they misrepresented Jesus, but other Believers as well.  I’m so embarrassed and so sorry. 😔

Friend…You may have given up on Christians, but don’t give up on Jesus. ❤️

We need to ❤️LOVE ❤️people well. People will know we are his disciples by our love. Heck with the theology and doctrinal arguments, because LOVE should ultimately override everything. 

“I give you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, so you must also love each other. This is how everyone will know that you are my disciples, when you LOVE each other.”💕 John 13:34-35

We’re missing the point.

Like so many fundamentalists before him, He bases his entire argument and doctrine on one single verse in 1 Timothy. But ignores the rest of the scriptures that mention prominent, effective women such as Miriam, Deborah, Hannah, Abigail, Esther, Huldah, Sarah, and the list goes on. Jesus’s mom was pretty important too. 😮❤️🎄

And those of us who want to ‘stand on the side of the Bible,’ let’s not forget or ignore the hundreds of other verses that talk about LOVE. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather build a doctrine based on those verses than one single verse inTimothy. Im not saying that go-to verse isn’t important, but we have to be careful not to “proof text,” which means extracting a verse or part of a verse from it’s context and using it to prove our point, instead of taking into account the time period in which it was written, the culture, author, intended audience, various translations of the same scripture, original Greek/Hebrew meanings of key words, and the simple fact that the Bible as we know it today has been through numerous shifts and transitions over the course of centuries. That’s a slippery slope. Love is pretty straightforward and doesn’t require much breakdown. So before we toss out a verse to someone with an agenda in mind, we gotta know our facts.👌🏽

Why have I gone to such great lengths to write about this? 

This is not about whether or not women should be preachers. It’s not about feminism, power, or equality. Its not about theology or doctrine. It’s not an appeal for power or position.

Jesus was not represented well that day. He wouldn’t have given his seal of approval on it, and there are scores more believers who also believe this was an atrocity.

Christians…be careful not to let your head knowledge of “God’s Word” overshadow your relationship with the “Living Word”, who is Jesus. Mere head knowledge and doctrine don’t  produce LOVE, relationship does.

I hope John finds/rediscovers that LOVE before it’s too late. 

I want to conclude with two beautiful statements from one of my favorite authors/bloggers, Ann Voskamp, in reference to the same event.👇🏽

“Gatekeepers may try to send women away, but God makes women a gateway for many on the way to finding the Way.”

‘There are some women of faith, who may be glossed over, but power-dulled minds can’t dim the brilliance of a woman’s Christ-infused life.’ 💖

All we want is just to be taken seriously; for others to recognize our unique calling. To acknowledge the fact that we can be very effective in fulfilling our role to help bring people to Jesus. Most do, I think. And for that, we thank you. 💜

“This is My commandment, that you LOVE and unselfishly seek the best for one another, just as I…have Loved You. ~Jesus💕

4 thoughts on “The Missing Piece: Law versus Love💔”

  1. Good job, Laura! As a woman who has seen Beth Moore in person at conferences and retreats, studied and facilitated her Bible studies and read her writings for decades, I concur with every word of your enlightened article. Please keep speaking truth. Jesus lived and encouraged women and God has used us over and over to proclaim His message. That is Truth!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Ms Marilyn, your encouragement means so much! ❤️I think so many women are living in fear that they’re not worthy of any calling. And Beth Moore handled it with such Grace. Trying to break the cycle of legalism, racism, and misogyny is so hard, but God has given everyone a purpose if we can push past the fear of wondering if we’re good enough! Thank you again for your encouragement❣️😘

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  2. I also think of the Woman at the Well. Jesus sought her out. He chose her. He loved her. She was important to him…..yet there were so many cultural/religious reasons he could have avoided or shunned her. She was a Samaritan. She was a woman. She was deep in her sin. But, Jesus went out of his way to show love to her, and she became one of the greatest missionaries the Bible tells us about. I choose Jesus over religion any day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree Josie! One of the most powerful examples in scripture. Jesus was so inclusive. I love how ‘safe’ she feels with Him, even in their conversation. Although He doesn’t pretend to ‘approve’ of her lifestyle, there’s not a hint of condemnation or anger, only Love. And in that Love she felt safe. And yes, think of how many were impacted by her story and encounter with Him. 💖

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