Should We Really Look to John MacArthur and Voddie Baucham for a Statement on Social Justice & the Gospel?
I woke up this morning to see “The Statement on Social Justice & the Gospel” all over my Facebook feed. The title of the statement intrigued me as I view my work as an abuse survivor advocate and a justice-conscious Christian.
To my great dismay, this document was not a statement about Jesus’ heart for justice for the social outcasts, the abused, and marginalized by society. It was a statement against the Social Justice movement.
I could go on for a long time addressing the ignorant, discriminatory statement line by line, deconstructing their ill use of Scripture verse by verse but I’ll save that good work for others.
What I’d like to draw your attention to are some of the original signers and supporters of this statement. I believe when reviewing a statement we must not only consider the statement itself but also its creators and collaborators.
Two of the original signers that caught my eye are John MacArthur and Voddie Baucham. If these two men are supporting any statement, I call for great discernment and great caution.
John MacArthur used to be my favorite theologian. I was introduced to his writings by my former church; but, I now realize his teachings are very concerning. Voddie Baucham influenced me greatly as a young woman with his teachings on Stay-At-Home Daughters, courtship, and a daughter’s submission.
Being very familiar with these men’s teachings, I felt I should make you aware of some of the bizarre and extreme teachings these men espouse in order to give greater context to “The Statement on Social Justice & the Gospel” that they both support.
A few things you might not know about Voddie Baucham:
Voddie Bauchan teaches that all day spanking sessions for your toddler where you wear the child out is acceptable. He believes shy kids who are afraid to shake his hand are in sin and he will stand there waiting for the handshake until their parents force them or discipline them. https://vimeo.com/60811182
Voddie Baucham has creepily stated, “A lot of men are leaving their wives for younger women because they yearn for attention from younger women. And God gave them a daughter who can give them that. And instead they go find a substitute daughter….you’ve seen it, we’ve all seen it. These old guys going and finding these substitute daughters.” The original source video has since been deleted but multiple blogs documented the quote while the video was still online. http://thatmom.com/2009/11/19/voddie-baucham-explains-the-video-clip-on-older-men-yearning-for-younger-women/
Voddie Baucham is a supporter of the Stay-At-Home Daughter Movement where adult daughters submit to their fathers until given away in marriage (literally or metaphorically) and often focus on preparing to be a wife and mother instead of pursuing a career. With his blessing, his daughter wrote a book “Joyfully At Home” about becoming a stay-at-home daughter.
Voddie Baucham teaches that unmarried adult women are commanded to submit to their father. This is even if there are special “mitigating circumstances” because a daughter’s submission to her father is not based on his worthiness but God’s command. Is abuse a mitigating circumstance? Is an abusive father owed submission?
In addition to the recent scandals at his Master’s University here are few things you might not know about John MacArthur:
John MacArthur believes that “evangelicalism's "newfound obsession" with social justice is a threat to the Gospel.”
John MacArthur believes, “It is generally then true that a man, whether he be married or single, must think of himself as someone who has been given by God a responsibility for authority in one sense or another. A woman, whether she is married or single, must recognize the fact that in general, as a woman, she must have a spirit of submission to all men."
John MacArthur teaches that psychology (and science-based counseling) is a “secular, godless, unbiblical approach to analyzing humanity and designing solutions to their problems.”
John MacArthur teaches that the only possible biblical reasons for divorce are cases of “hard-hearted adultery” or “if an unbelieving spouse abandons a believer”. https://www.gty.org/library/Questions/QA118/Whats-your-view-of-divorce-and-remarriage
Instances of abuse do not appear as suitable exceptions for divorce in his teaching though he implies a temporary separation may be in order in violent situations. https://www.gty.org/library/articles/451018/answering-key-questions-about-the-family
John MacArthur teaches dangerous advice to women in abusive marriages putting responsibility on the victim not to “provoke” their husband to abuse them. “My advice to women who are in danger of physical injury from their husbands is first of all to try to defuse the situation. Be careful not to provoke any circumstances that will make your husband become violent. Proverbs 15:1 says, "A soft answer turns away wrath." https://www.gty.org/library/articles/451018/answering-key-questions-about-the-family
With this knowledge should we really be looking to these men for guidance on justice issues?