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Amended Open Letter

**If you are a subscriber to this blog, you will see that this is an amended version of something that was sent hours ago. My amazing husband and I were able to process some of what I wrote in the first blog, and he helped me to see that I needed to cover this thing in glorious, intercessory prayer first and then publish out of the fullness of a heart completely connected to the heartbeat of the Father (and not leave room for any fleshly ideas). Thus, my second go at publishing this open letter.

Dear Mr. MacArthur,

I feel like the issue in this blog has been a long time coming for me. So THANK YOU, Mr. MacArthur, for giving me the courage to sit down and type this out. We have heard this week how you and your followers passionately disagree with women teaching, preaching or leading men in the Church. I have read numerous articles – some speculation and some only half-truths about your words – and I firstly want to say how sorry I am for the number of people who have dishonored you with their own words and opinions. I know you would agree that this is not a proper representation of the Body of Christ. I am SO SORRY that this has happened. I have prayed that the Lord would bless you and keep you, cause His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you, that He would turn His face toward you and give you peace (Numbers 6). Now, to the issue of your beliefs. For many years, I too believed exactly what you believe. As a woman, I have done study on this issue and I have sought the Lord with my whole heart so that I would never be deceived or living in heresy. And over the years through my own study and my own conversations with Holy Spirit, I have come to quite a different theological place from you. I do not write this to argue, defend myself or even to “vent.” I do not write this to prove a point or even prove that you are wrong. In fact, I am happy to concede and withdraw this belief if I am in error, yet Holy Spirit has NOT shown me otherwise. And I cannot agree with you when you state that the Bible is “clear” on this issue. I respectfully disagree, Mr. MacArthur, as what I am reading in the Bible appears to be very different to what readers may see at first glance. I say this as I have studied through cultural and historical context, through the original Koine Greek meaning, even through a Jeremiah 33:3 revelation that Holy Spirit has given me personally as well as many others in the Body. I sincerely hope that you read the entirety of these passages in each context mentioned, and ask Holy Spirit to show you the full truth of what is being said from the New Covenant context. Praise Jesus. And yes Mr. MacArthur, I will humbly do the same. Yet again. For the bazillionth time in my 20 years of ministry. However, Mr. MacArthur….should you be wrong, you have just discounted half the population of the Church. Not only have you utterly disrespected every soul that has come into the Kingdom through Beth Moore’s ministry, but you have discredited what Jesus has done in the jungles of Mozambique through Heidi Baker. You have made the hundreds of thousands of beautiful people who have found freedom in Christ through Joyce Meyer’s ministry look like fools. You have even discredited the powerful testimonies that come from Historical and heroic women such as Mother Theresa, Maria Woodworth-Etter and even the beautiful Lottie Moon who I grew up wanting to be like. There are humble, feminine and supernaturally powerful women in my own sphere (myself included) who have preached and seen large numbers surrender their lives to Jesus and live transformed lives that cause others to come into the Kingdom as well. There are women who have shared the love of Jesus with the lost and lonely, and seen massive ministries birthed (which means thousands more souls born-again). There are those of us who God has used to bring healing to the nations, and to see the throne of Jesus Christ established in hard places while the hearts men are drawn to Jesus as King. Likewise, there are mothers and grandmothers and housewives who live to share Jesus with that homeless man around the corner, or the young checkout clerk at the grocery store. So many passionate, laid down lovers of Jesus who only want to make Him known as King. JESUS AS KING. Jesus as Lord. THAT is what TRULY matters, in my opinion.

This leads to an important thought I’ve had since your comments went viral: Are we to discount the one? There are millions of the one, Mr. MacArthur, who Jesus pursued and melted with His pure love through the willing vessel of a woman.

Mr. MacArthur, you are certainly more than welcomed to keep your opinion and either gain or lose much of your following. You have every right to wrestle with God on these truths, and to seek wise counsel and greater wisdom on this theology. As your sister in Christ, I love that you stand for what you believe to be absolute, Biblical truth. I respect that about you – although I disagree.

My only request is that we both submit our hearts on this matter fully to Holy Spirit, as we are not unaware of the devil’s schemes (2 Corinthians 2:11). I’m sure you would agree, may we never give the devil a foothold. We can agree to disagree on these matters without the enemy causing division, fleshly anger or outrage.

Finally, I will not be “going home” or backing down from what I know the Father has burned into my heart. I will continue to be Spirit-led in every situation – sometimes, yes, that even means not teaching men – but I will never back down out of fear or bullying. I have a voice. My voice does not usurp men or godly authority in my life, but works along-side them. 1 John 4:17 says that as Jesus is, so am I in this world. And I plan on continuing to be Jesus in this world to both men and women alike until, if and when, Holy Spirit tells me otherwise.

I, like you, love Jesus with my whole being and burn for His Kingdom and its expansion. I know that IS something we can agree on. Praying for you and yours today.

Spirit-led and full of Jesus,

Mandy Woodhouse

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