Celebrities and breaking news is not what I usually like to think or talk about. However, recently Andrew was away and one of the nights I spent by myself I was awakened at three in the morning by my dog, Mountain Pie, who was unhappy that she was getting rained on in her room.
Yes. But waking me up in the middle of the night tends to make me very jumpy for a while, thanks to my adrenal insufficiency, so long after I had cleaned up, my head was still spinning and started putting things together in the way our brains do at that time of day.
I had seen articles about John MacArthur and Beth Moore, and had also seen people bashing Kanye West for “claiming to be a Christian” and basically talking down on him. I couldn’t help but notice a few similarities between the situations and our everyday lives.
First, all of us are human.
Because we are human, all of us have sinned. (Romans 3:23)
We can’t expect celebrities and influencers to be perfect just because they live a more public life than we do.
We also have to realize they all have a unique platform, and if we believe God is in control, we have to understand that God has allowed them each to have this platform. In a way, them having a platform, being famous in their different ways, is a sort of an “authority”, and the Bible explicitly explains that no one is place in authority that is not appointed by Him. (Romans 13:1)
Perhaps Kanye West isn’t the preacher you’d want to listen to on a Sunday morning, but think of all the people who wouldn’t want to listen to a preacher on Sunday morning that follow Kayne West. Think of all the people who have possibly heard about Jesus for the first time because Kanye is using his influence to speak about Jesus. It doesn’t matter if he has truly changed or not. If he is speaking God’s truth, or if he isn’t. God will use him if God so chooses because that is what God does. That is who He is.
Likewise, perhaps you don’t believe women can be pastors. I grew up believing that, too. Nowadays, I’m not sure what I think except that the Bible never mentions pastors, just elders and church leaders. While it does say that women are not to teach men, who is to say women cannot reach other women? Did Beth Moore ever go out of her way to explicitly preach to men? If her teaching reached men, I would say that is because God allowed it.
Who are we to determine that if someone’s life is changed because a female spoke words that God used to change hearts, that it’s bad. God uses what God wants to use and who God wants to use to do His work. Most often, I see life change happen not by words spoken by someone at a pulpit who went through years of going through the motions, learning all the right things to say and how to say them, but instead by someone simply being their true self and God working through them.
Apart from God, we can do nothing.
Someone commented on Facebook and quoted the Bible where it says false prophets will rise up and we need to be wary of them, and said this in regards to Kayne West’s new album and lifestyle (Matthew 7:15). When I read that, I remember instead the verse in the Bible where Jesus was told by his disciples that they had tried to stop someone else from casting out demons in Jesus’ name because the person was not one of them, one of Jesus’ twelve close disciples. Instead of encouraging the disciples’ actions, he actually told them, “Do not stop him. For no one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, for whoever is not against us is for us.” (Mark 9:38-41)
According to the wisdom of Wikipedia, Beth Moore doesn’t claim to be a preacher. She doesn’t even claim her works are for men; women are her main focus. She doesn’t regularly preach at a church on a Sunday morning. She may guest speak, but that isn’t exercising authority over men. That’s not trying to be an elder. That is her saying words God has given her to say. The men don’t have to show up that day if they don’t want to, or if they show up, they don’t have to listen. But, I believe it’s their own loss if they don’t.
I believe as Christian’s we get so caught up in what we should or shouldn’t do that at times it seems we are still under the old covenant, instead of the new covenant where there is grace (Romans 6:14) In the old testament, people didn’t have the Holy Spirit to tell them individually what to do, they had the law and the same law covered everyone. We now have the Holy Spirit, and who are we to say God isn’t moving in us in a way that seems contrary to what we believe the Bible says.
Let me be clear, I am not saying the Bible is wrong or taking any authority away from the Word of God. I am simply saying perhaps our human understanding is at times wrong and we need to ask the Holy Spirit to show us the truth. Apart from the Holy Spirit we cannot understand the Bible, that is part of the gift we have. (1 Corinthians 2:13)
I feel like a lot of us have possibly “John MacArthured” ourselves by telling ourselves things like what we have to say doesn’t matter, we should just go home, or I am not good enough to do the work I feel God has called me to do. I know I have.
I don’t believe God would have given us gifts if He didn’t want us to use them for Him, so perhaps instead of constantly judging ourselves and others, we should “go home”, and by home I mean back into our Father’s loving arms so we can relearn how to see the world and ourselves through His eyes instead of our own. And then, we go out and do the work God has called us to do.