John MacArthur and His Dangerous Ideas About Women

The following is an article I wrote about 2 years ago when the topic came up in a group I once moderated. Since the writing of this article I have become aware of quite a few inconsistencies in John MacArthur’s teachings. These articles, written by another blogger will be posted separately.

I am not a follower of JM’s teachings and I never have been. He simply wasn’t in my loop of liars. John has taken a recent strong stand against “charismania”, and rightly so, but he is quite off in other teachings which makes him just as dangerous as the lies he attempts to expose. I know the masses will hate me, but we are talking about biblical truth, not a popularity contest.

Again, be careful who you follow. And above all, allow the work of the Holy Spirit to guide you into all truth. Be safe.

This is a sermon from John MacArthur at

” The Feminist Agenda –

a confused mix of biblical teaching regarding the role of women and submission, feminism and Gnostic beliefs. I have no argument with the scriptures JM offers to establish the role of women. Unfortunately, he went off on his own when he states the following –


Now all of that is very, very clear. There’s really no way scripturally to evade those things. But it’s amazing to me how confused women are today, even in the church, about their role. And they are confused because there is a massive effort, the troops have been sent out from the fortress called the “Feminist Agenda,” to spread their philosophy throughout this society. Radical feminism has so brainwashed our culture that church leaders and church members have even capitulated to the lies. And as a result, marriage and the family, the primary building blocks of social and moral order, are in shambles. Much of this can be laid at the feet of the Feminist Movement because it has overturned the thinking of women so dramatically that they have abandoned their God-intended role and consequently the family has felt the consequences. Unthinking believers, untaught Christians have become prey to the ideology of the feminists.


And frankly, most of us probably have no real idea of what the feminist agenda is at its core. It is frightening and it is fatal. What the public sees is that women want equal pay. Well, you can’t really argue against that. What the public sees is that women want to be free from certain social strictures. Well that’s certainly reasonable. But it goes way beyond that, way beyond that.


A cry for equality, a cry for opportunity, a cry for equal privilege to use their abilities unhindered and unrestricted and the rhetoric sounds fairly sensible. But the real agenda is much more serious. Listen to it.


I am quite angry that JM believes Christian women are so influenced by the world that they no longer know their roles, as tho we do not hear the Holy Spirit and instead follow the world. Not all of us, but he has no place in his article for real women of God!


He continues –

You remember Eve liberated herself from Adam’s authority, plunged the whole human race into sin, wanted to operate independently without the headship of her husband. That’s precisely what Satan wanted. And that’s when it all got cranked up.


Nowhere in the word is Eve solely given responsibility for the fall of man as she is here, or are we given evidence that she wanted to operate outside of his authority! (I won’t go into this, but I do have a research article I will link at the end of this one.) Eve was deceived.”

The marital relationship is more intimate, personal, and inward than that of a master and slave. That is indicated in Ephesians 5:22 by the phrase “your own husbands.” The husband-wife relationship is built on an intimate possessiveness. The verse seems to imply that it is assumed the wife would willingly respond in submission to one whom she possesses.


What if the husband isn’t seeking to fulfill his role? What if he abdicates his position of leadership and leaves it to the wife to be the head of the home? It happens frequently, and especially in the realm of spiritual authority.


I once received a letter from a wife who wrote, “I’ve made a terrible mistake. I tried to be submissive to my husband, but he wouldn’t take the leadership. Little by little I took it over, and now I’m dominating and he will never take the leadership. How do I get myself out of this mess?”


The answer is, go back to being submissive. Force the issue. If he doesn’t give you leadership to submit to, submit to the things you think he would like. Put yourself in the proper biblical role, and stay out of his. Then encourage him, pray for him, and support him as head of your home in every way you can. Above all, refuse to take dominant leadership of the family. Be obedient to the biblical pattern. Make suggestions and steer him quietly when absolutely necessary, but leave gaps for him to step into.

In real life, we cannot force a person to take on responsibility and no action of ours will ever change that! JM is talking in circles, still putting responsibility and blame on wives that do not belong to 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.”


Here he is again putting the responsibility of the actions of a husband on the wife. Anyone who works with abused women know this is simply impossible. JM is acting out of his authority and realm of understanding, even going as far as to put women in danger, when he makes comments like this one. There is nothing one person can do to diffuse the actions of another, especially an abuser.



If a violence-prone husband becomes agitated and abusive, the wife should remove herself from danger, by leaving the home if necessary. God has promised that He will not test us beyond our ability to endure, but will always make a way of escape (1 Corinthians 10:13). Sometimes escape is the only way. If you have children and they are in danger, take them someplace where you will be secure until you feel you may safely come back.


Abusers never provide a safe environment, and it is impossible to know when the next incident of abuse will occur because they live in cycles. A woman is never safe in that environment – never.


If you are not truly in any physical danger, but are merely a weary wife who is fed up with a cantankerous or disagreeable husband–even if he is an unbeliever who is hostile to the things of God–God’s desire is that you stay and pray and sanctify that husband by your presence as a beloved child of God (1 Corinthians 7:10-16). The Lord will protect you and teach you in the midst of the difficult time.

Of course, pray for your husband, submit to him in every way you can, encourage him to seek advice and counsel from other biblically-knowledgeable men–and do everything you can to heal the problems that cause him to be angry or abusive.


Again, he is wrong in this advice and has no place and no right to advise women in such a way. We cannot “heal” another person, nor can we do anything to prevent them from becoming abusive or violent in their actions. We do not “sanctify” anyone and many women die in their own homes at the hands of violent husbands. Where is the Lord’s protection? We have not been called to stupidity. When women are abused, they leave, period, and most should never return. I will have words with anyone who preaches, teaches or speaks otherwise. God never called us to die at the hands of our husbands!


In these two articles, he says some very good things. But in the role of husbands and wives, he is playing up to the husbands, placing blame and responsibility on the wives that is not theirs to carry.


These are just some of the problems I have found. I won’t go into an exhaustive biblical exhortation, because we should all know better. Truly, JM sounds as though he is advocating for Islamic beliefs in the rule of marriage, yes, rule – and not those of Christianity. 


Here is my article I wrote regarding Eve and that apple –

 *If you are in an abusive relationship, please see the right sidebar toward the bottom for resources to help you get out and to heal.