A Biblical Response to the Feminist Agenda
Written by: MacArthur Jr., John Posted on: 04/01/2003
The following message was delivered at Grace Community Church in Panorama
City, California, by John MacArthur Jr. It was transcribed from the
tape, GTY-44, titled "A Biblical Response to the Feminist Agenda." A
copy of the tape can be obtained by writing, Word of Grace, P.O. Box
4000, Panorama City, CA 91412 or by dialing toll free 1-800-55-GRACE.
I have made every effort to ensure that an accurate transcription of the
original tape was made. Please note that at times sentence structure may
appear to vary from accepted English conventions. This is due primarily
to the techniques involved in preaching and the obvious choices I had to
make in placing the correct punctuation in the article.
It is my intent and prayer that the Holy Spirit will use this
transcription to strengthen and encourage the true Church of Jesus
A Biblical Response to the Feminist Agenda
John F. MacArthur, Jr.
All rights reserved.
Let us open our Bibles to Titus, chapter 2. In our study of the second
chapter of Titus we are considering it under the title, "The Character of
a Healthy Church." In this chapter the Apostle Paul gives instruction to
the church as to how it is to conduct itself. He directs his instruction
to older men, older women, younger women, younger men--selecting every
category within the church and giving basically some direct and specific
instruction to them. This is very crucial to the life of the church, not
only for its own internal well-being, but for the sake of its witness.
He says, in verse 5, that "This instruction is so that the Word of God
may not be dishonored." Verse 8, "So that the opponent may be put to
shame, having nothing bad to say about us." And verse 10, "So that we
may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in every respect." Those are
evangelistic matters. We want the Word of God honored; we want the
opponents of Christianity silenced; and we want God our Savior adorned.
Let's look at verses 3, 4, and 5,
Older women likewise, are to reverent in their behavior, not
malicious gossips, not enslaved to too much wine, teaching
what is good, that they may encourage the young women to
love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible,
pure, workers at home, kind. Being subject to their own
husbands, that the Word of God may not be dishonored.
One of the responsibilities of the older women, which we noted when we
discussed that, is that they are to teach the younger women, and here it
is very specific what they are to teach, as indicated in verses 4 and 5.
God has designed, very clearly, His own order for the conduct of young
women, just as He has for young men and older folks as well. If there is
anything in our culture that is being attacked more viciously than any
other, it is this matter of the role of young women. In fact, if I were
to title this message alone, I might title it "The Feminist Attack on the
Divine Order for Women." We are going through that right now. No matter
what I would say about verses 4 and 5 it would be controversial. If I
just read it--it would be controversial.
One of the most devastating, and debilitating, and destructive movements
in our day is the "Feminist Movement." It is changing not only the world
but sadly it is changing the church, and as a result the Word of God is
being dishonored; opponents are having plenty bad to say about us and God
our Savior is being dishonored and shamed. Radical feminism has
brainwashed our culture. It has brainwashed our culture to the degree
that even the church has fallen victim to this. Church leaders,
theologians, professors of theology who are supposed to be profound in
the Scripture, as well as lay people in the church have bought the
feminist lies. There was even an organization in America called "CBE"
having to do with Christians for Equality, and this is an evangelical
group advocating a feminist agenda.
Marriage and the family, the primary building blocks of social and moral
order, are in shambles in our country and the future is even worse than
the present. Unthinking Christians, unthinking believers, not just in
liberal churches but in evangelical churches, unthinking, untaught
Christians are falling prey to this agenda. The sad thing is that most
of us have no idea where it is coming from. Most of us think that this
is just a lot of women who really just want some liberation and some
freedom and they're tired of cleaning floors and washing dishes, and they
want equal pay, and they want equal jobs, and they want to get out from
under the mundane duties and express themselves in more grandiose ways
than they think they can in the home--that may be a contemporary
component--that isn't even remotely related to the reason for this.
The real feminist agenda is frightening. The real feminist agenda is
Satanic and you need to understand that, so I am going to do something
this morning that is a bit unusual. Rather than diving right into the
text this morning, I want to give you some understanding of where this
movement today has come from, so that you will see that text in its
What the public sees is women who want to be free. In fact, there is
even a book published by a Christian publisher written by a Christian
woman, called, "Woman Be Free;" and we think that this is a movement
about freedom for women, freedom from strictures that bind them to their
husbands and their children and their duties in the home. We see it as a
cry for equality in a society that is preoccupied with life and liberty
and the pursuit of happiness; a cry for opportunity and privilege to use
their abilities and their skills unhindered and unrestricted; and
sometimes the rhetoric does sound reasonable. But the real agenda is not
reasonable--it is frightening.
Let me help you to understand some of the philosophy that is behind this
movement, by giving you some quotes from the recognized leaders of the
Gloria Stimenn (sp.) says, "By the year 2000 we will, I hope, raise our
children to believe in human potential, not God."
Radical feminist leader Sheila Cronam (sp.), who is oft quoted by the
way, says this, "Since marriage constitutes slavery for women, it is
clear that the women's movement must concentrate on attacking this
institution. Freedom for women cannot be won without the abolition of
The "Declaration of Feminism" goes back to November of 1971 when they
laid out their agenda and this is what it says, "The end of the
institution of marriage is necessary for the liberation of women;
therefore, it is important for us to encourage women to leave their
husbands and not live individually with men. All of history must be
rewritten in terms of oppression of women. We must go back to ancient
female religions like witchcraft!" Mark that, "We must go back to
ancient female religions like witchcraft!"
Anne Lori Gaylor (sp.) writing an article called "Feminist Salvation" in
the "Humanist" in 1988 says, "Let's forget about the mythical Jesus and
look for encouragement, solace, and inspiration from real women. 2,000
years of patriarchal rule under the shadow of the cross ought to be
enough to turn women towards the feminist salvation of the world."
Dr. Mary Jo Bane, feminist, Assistant Professor of Education at Welsley
College, and the Associate Director of the school's Center for Research
on Women, writes, "In order to raise children with equality we must take
them away from families and communally raise them."
And that well known name, Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned
Parenthood, writing an article called "Women in the New Race," says this,
"The most merciful thing a large family can do to one of its infant
members is to kill it."
We cannot think lightly about this agenda--we have to think deeply about
it. The fact that you may feel in your heart some need to be free
because you become victimized by the current agenda, doesn't really mean
that you really understand the agenda. You don't know that behind this
entire feminist movement is some very Satanic religious philosophy, and
it runs very deep in the people who are influencing our culture, the
people who have influenced deeply and provided the whole agenda, to say,
Hillary Clinton and many others. And we have to take these ideas very
seriously because they are in the White House, and now they will be
creating laws that we have to live by. They are obliterating our
culture. They are being taught through every avenue to our youth, and
even Christians are falling under the spell of the feminists.
Sheila Croonan (sp.) again, writing in the National Organization of Women
Times, in January of 1988, said, "The simple fact is, every woman must be
willing to be recognized as a lesbian to be fully feminine!" Now, some
people might think that this is some kind of a 20th century phenomena,
that this is some kind of a new thing connected to American democracy and
egalitarianism--it is not--it is old; it is very, very old. Though in
our time, in our century it is an expression of the anti-male, homosexual
women who generated it, it is not a human creation at all; it is
Satanic--absolutely and utterly Satanic. I want to take you back to some
of its origins so that you can understand it.
Feminism with all of its assorted features and its unique companionship
with homosexuality is an old, old heresy that is meant to destroy God's
design. It really started in the Garden when Eve, the original feminist,
stepped out from under Adam's authority and thought that she would act
independently and led the whole race into sin; and thus the first act in
Satan's feminist agenda was successful.
Let's go back, say, to the time of the New Testament. We won't go all
the way back into ancient, ancient time; we can learn enough by going
back into New Testament times. When we get back into the time of the New
Testament, before the New Testament, running through the New Testament
and after, we have a religion that is generally known as Gnosticism. It
comes from a Greek word "gnosis" which means "to know." Gnosticism was
the religion, the mystical religion of superior knowledge. You could
experience mystical, intuitive, spiritual knowledge, which was higher
than the Bible--that was the whole point of it. It was an anti-God,
antichrist, anti-Biblical religion designed by Satan to lure people away
from Scripture. What you see today in the feminist agenda is a
repackaging, a reincarnation of ancient Gnosticism. In fact, the
parallels are very striking.
Peter Jones, writing in his book, very interesting book, "The Occult
Empire Strikes Back," says, "Gnosticism is a broad term to describe
false, anti-God religion developed before the birth of Christ as the
meeting of the mysticism of the Eastern religions and the rationalism of
the Greek West." That's just a broad definition. Gnosticism took Greek
Rationalism (i.e., the musings and the mind of man) and Eastern Mysticism
(those intuitive, esoteric, fanciful, imaginatory experiences that
mystics supposedly have), and wed them together and said, "This is the
higher knowledge, this is the lofty knowledge, this is the superior
knowledge." It is very hard to pin down specifics in the Gnostic
religion because it is a kaleidoscopic mixture of all kinds of mystical
things, and anytime that you have a mystical religion it is somewhat
amorphous or shapeless because it tends to ebb and flow in the minds and
the imaginations of its adherents.
Today, Gnostic religion is called the "New Age Philosophy," but it's
Gnosticism--it's the same thing. It's a new kind of mystical, higher
level of knowledge that is supposedly shows the weakness, the mundane
character of Biblical Christianity.
Now, let's look at Gnosticism and get some idea of what it is. The best
way to define it is by what it attacked, rather than what it is, because
as I said, it is so amorphous, it is so subject to imagination and
intuition that it can spin off in all kinds of ways. But the one thing
you do see in Gnosticism is that it continually blasts everything the
Scripture affirms. So you can know it by what it attacks.
At the heart of ancient Gnosticism was a central myth, and that central
myth drove the whole heresy. Here is that myth: the myth was that the
physical universe was never intended to exist--it's part of that old
Greek dualism "That matter is evil and spirit is good." But the idea was
we were all supposed to be free spirits, and free spirits with full self-
knowledge would be divine, and we were just supposed to float around in
the mystical free world of spirit life, unencumbered and uninhibited by
physical definition and confinement. But, the physical universe came
into being, and it came into being, they said, because a foolish sub-god
created the universe.
If you read ancient Gnostic literature you will see that they attack the
Creator God, they mock Him, they disdain Him with a disdain that even has
components of hatred in it. They hate the Creator God who made matter
because to them matter was evil, and it becomes the prison of the free
According to one recently discovered Gnostic text, God the Creator is
presented as, "Blind, ignorant, arrogant, the source of envy, and they
call him the 'Father of Death.'" Gnostics believe that this fake god
somehow (and they have to believe this or their whole thing would fall
apart)--this fake god somehow, when he created the universe, accidentally
infused into humanity some spark of divine life. They would have to say
that or they would have no way to fan the spark of divine life that they
want to believe that is in them. So that man is divine: there is a
little component of divinity in him which he needs to fan until it just
consumes him and he becomes fully divine. But here is this man with the
divine spark, or this woman with a divine spark imprisoned in evil
matter, and he has to find, or she has to find, a way to escape.
Gnostics taught that there is no such thing as sin, because there is no
such thing as right and wrong in the human realm; therefore, there is no
need for a Savior, there is no need for a death on the cross, there is no
need for an atonement. What they needed to do to be saved was (listen to
this) "Throw off the God of the Old Testament--this evil God." Throw
off the God of the New Testament with all of His laws and all of His
threats, and all of His so-called punishment. Throw off the whole Old
and the whole New Testament and free yourself from the encumbering of
this subgod, this bungling creator who did what he never should have done
and created a prison for us in doing it.
So you can see that the first tenet of their system was a blasphemy
against God--calling God evil, bungling, ignorant. The system also
included (listen to this) lies that elevated women. Ancient Gnosticism
focused on women, this is what it said, for example, "Eve was a spirit
endowed woman who saved Adam." They said, "Final salvation for the whole
world from the imprisonment of matter will come through female power, and
the key is female self-actualization, self-realization, self-knowledge,
in which a woman becomes so fully in tune with herself and so well knows
herself, and actualizes, and realizes and fulfills herself that she
becomes fully divine, and as she becomes divine she will rescue the rest
of these lame men just like Eve, fully divine, rescued poor Adam."
In fact, convoluting the creation account, Gnostic texts tell us that
Dame Wisdom was the heavenly Eve. There was a mystical heavenly woman
named "The Heavenly Eve" who is the same as Dame Wisdom (she is the
source of all wisdom). She entered the snake in the garden, and she
taught both Adam and Eve the true way of salvation. The snake then is
not called the "Tempter," the snake in Gnostic literature is the
"Instructor." The snake is ultimate wisdom, the snake was wiser than
anybody else. The snake, it says in Gnostic literature, is the redeemer
because the snake is the incarnated woman who comes to heavenly Eve and
teaches the truth about self-realization, which is self-fulfillment,
which is making yourself divine, which delivers you from being encumbered
They also say this, "The serpent in the garden is the true Christ, the
true reflection of God." So, they take redemptive history and stand it
on its head like a Satanist cross in a Black Mass. God is evil, the
serpent in the garden is the true Christ, Christ in the New
Testament--the reflection of God--is equally evil. Now, again I say, it
is hard to pin all this stuff down, it's mystical stuff, but you can see
not so much by what it is, the clarity of it, but by what it attacks.
Right? It attacks God, Christ, the Bible, Creation.
"Though caught in matter," they say, the Gnostics, "humanity once again
can become part of the universal whole by a process of self-realization."
They say in the Book of Genesis, "The lack of self-realization is really
the problem that man has." The Bible says that man's problem is
sin--sin! And the root of his sin is his self-preoccupation, so they
flip that completely around.
So the heart and core of Gnostic religion then is the "consubstantiality
of self with God;" you make yourself into God. You are the only God that
exists: you get in tune with yourself, you elevate yourself--self-esteem,
self-knowledge, self-actualization, self-realization, self-fulfilment;
whatever your self wants that's how you become God--you just give
complete sway to your own self-desire.
[The Gnostics say] "So the human plight is not because we have moral
offenses against God, but we are ignorant of human potential." Listen to
this, according to Gnostic writing, "The real Christ's spirit actually
sat on the branch of a tree watching the Christ on the cross and laughed
at Him." Let me read to you from the Apocalypse of Peter (one of their
ancient documents), this is from that Apocalypse,
He whom you saw on the tree, glad and laughing, this is the
living Jesus, but the one in who's hands and feet they drive
the nails is the fleshly part, which is the substitute part
being put to shame, the one who came into being in His
likeness. Be strong, for you are the one to whom these
mysteries have been given to know them through revelation,
that he whom they crucified is the firstborn and the home of
demons, and He who stands near him is the living Savior.
The earthly Christ is a demon; the spiritual mystical Christ in the tree
laughing is the true Christ. Further, they said, "Since the true Christ
never died, there is no resurrection." Redemption, then, is not a
gracious, miraculous transformation of a person through the sacrifice of
Christ. Redemption is self-understanding, self-actualization, that is,
giving sway to anything your self wants: getting out of the strictures,
getting out of the limits, getting out of the prison, being free. Peter
Jones writes that, "The Gnostic believers are saved when they realize who
they are: a part of the divine, processing within themselves the kingdom;
capable of anything; untrammeled by human traditions, creational
structures, or divine laws. It follows that part of self-redemption is
the rejection of Biblical ethical norms and the promotion of the
distortion of Biblical sexuality." In fact, they say, "That when a
person comes to full self-knowledge he becomes another living Christ, and
since the serpent had that knowledge; the serpent who was the woman is
also the true living Christ." Everything twisted and perverted.
Gnosticism is the blasphemy of Satanic distortion of God's truth:
The Bible says, God is a good God and He is the sovereign God--the
Gnostics denied it and blasphemed His name.
The Bible says, Christ is the Living God incarnate in flesh--the Gnostics
blasted it, blasphemed His name.
The Bible says the snake was the tempter--they say the snake is wisdom
personified who is the instructor.
The Bible says Jesus died on a cross for your sins--the Gnostics says
that the Jesus that died on the cross was a joke.
Obviously, this is Satan's lying heresy to confound God's truth. This
blasphemous stuff the Apostle Paul wrote against, even in his epistles in
the New Testament. It is the doctrine of demons from seducing spirits.
This wasn't invented by Gloria Steinem (sp.) and Bella Apsburg (sp.),
this was invented in the pits of hell millennia ago.
Now, to the very central element in this; and that is the issue of
"Feminism." What role did feminism play in Gnosticism? Well, it played
a very, very important role, as I told you already. Eve was the savior
of Adam; and furthermore, the spiritual or heavenly Eve was the
personification of wisdom in the serpent who became the instructor, and
by thus, his instruction sets out to save men. But let's take a look at
some other things.
In the Gnostic system, Eve dominates Adam and sexual roles are totally
altered. And you can understand this, because Satan wants to totally
tear up God's created order. They wrote (the early Gnostics did) that
The divine revealer was feminine. The divine revealer said,
"I am Androgynous. I am both mother and father, it is
through me alone that the all stands firm. I am the womb
that gives shape to the all by giving birth to the light
that shines in splendor. I am the aeon to come. I am the
fulfillment of the all, that is, the glory of the mother."
Now, all of that doubletalk is the talk of the Androgyny of Gnosticism:
that means the wiping out of all sexual distinction. There are Gnostic
texts where God the Creator is castigated by a higher feminine power.
That's that heavenly Eve called "Sophia"--Dame Wisdom. And, "God the
Creator," the Gnostics said, "finally learned that the fear of the Lord
is the beginning of wisdom." In other words, He learned to fear the
feminine "Sophia," so that the God of the Bible is now in fear of the
feminine god "Sophia." The feminization, then, of this higher God
"Wisdom" led directly to the ordination of women. The ordination of
women flows out of the feminization of deity.
The early Gnostic, well known to church history students, named
"Marcion," was excommunicated from the church in A.D. 150. He then
established his own church, in which he appointed women as bishops and
priests. In the Valentinian Gnosticism, women functioned as teachers,
evangelists, healers, priests, perhaps as bishops. This movement in the
church to put women in the roles of spiritual leadership is simply
reflective of this same kind of religious attitude. In sum, Gnosticism,
then, rejects the Creator God of Scripture as blind, and envious,
malicious, not hesitating to commit the most heinous blasphemy of all.
The Gnostics even called the God of the Bible "The True Devil." For the
true Gnostic, the real God, whoever this force was, was unknowable,
impersonal, untouchable--some kind of unified sum of separated parts--a
sort of pantheistic force. But they said this, "The divine being,
because he is all and all, impersonal, untouchable--just this big
force--is best expressed by 'androgyny,' that is, the erasure of male and
The ideal for the Gnostic was to become sexless--a radical refusal of
sexual differentiation, and a complete confusion of sexual identity and
God's intended role.
See, this is how Satan has always tried to tear up God's moral order in
the world, and attacking the family, of course, does the greatest damage.
Diabolical reversal of everything--is Satan's approach. Destroy God's
created order; destroy the integrity of Scripture; destroy the character
of God; destroy the name of Christ.
Beloved, I am telling you this is what is behind today's feminist
movement. This is not some whimsical deal that popped up in the 20th
century by a few women who wanted to take off the apron and buy a
briefcase--this is not that. This is not something that was invented by
women who wanted to abort their babies and get into the corporate halls
and the executive washrooms. This "New Age" thinking (that's what it is
called today) is nothing but "Gnosticism." "New Age" is a new way of
talking about age-old Gnosticism. The heart of it is that female power
is the key to salvation. The "Goddess Cult" is back!
Shirley McClain wrote a book called "Going Within," and in her book she
writes this dedication, "Dedicated to Sachi (sp.), Mother Kathleen Anbila
(sp.), and all the other women and men who seek the spiritual feminine in
themselves. Male is matter, matter is male, matter is evil, male is
evil, feminine is spirit, spirit is feminine, and that's good."
Radical feminism today is being moved along by the idea that women must
be liberated and they can redeem humanity--they can save humanity. These
are the philosophers that are driving the movement--the religionists:
"Creator God of Genesis has to go, He is male, tyrannical, he denies
basic human liberties, He demands total obedience, He threatens
punishment for evil deeds." Consequently, "Original sin is not to be
found in man," they said, "but in God. Feminist liberation releases us
from God, and from all His evil male values--like marriage, fidelity,
family, authority, and morality. The serpent Eve wants to set us free!
The God of the Bible is a jealous tyrant who wants to stand in her way."
So when you hear about the Methodists, or the Presbyterians, or whatever,
or the Episcopalians, deciding to change the Bible and put in "She"--you
know that this is not some human contrivance to make ladies feel better
about themselves--this is a Satanic religion, as Satanic as a "Black
Mass!" And, as with ancient Gnosticism, the New Age movement today, the
goal of liberation, is total reversal of all God-ordained values! That's
why it is so unthinkable that Christians would get sucked into this!
"I found God in myself and I loved her fiercely," said Roman Catholic
theologian Carol Krist (sp.). "I found God in myself and I loved her
fiercely,"--there you have in one simple statement the whole deal. Where
is God? In myself. What is God? Feminine! And, I am one with God.
And she found God in herself with liberation from all Biblical
The path to the New Age involves destroying the Biblical male and female
differentiation--that's New Age feminism. Take for example New Age
author Charlene Sprentnack's (sp.) book, "The Politics of Women's
Spirituality," published by Doubleday, (by the way the same publisher
that published the Anchor Bible Commentary series; they are publishing
God's Word and Satan's at the same time). This book, "The Politics of
Women's Spirituality" is a book that calls for an end to Judeao-Christian
religion, and the call is that we will end Judeao-Christian religion by a
feminist movement nourished on goddess-worship paganism and witchcraft
that succeeds in overthrowing the global rule of men. Feminism wants
Their real ideological goal, because it's Satan's goal, is to absolutely
erase any recollection of creational structure and Biblical
morality--wipe it out! And they are after it! You wonder, don't you,
two generations from now whether anyone will know what Biblical morality
is. Well, they might be able to read the ancient Bible and see what it
looked like, but they certainly are going to have a hard time looking
around town to find it. And here, witless Christians jump on this
feminist bandwagon as if it were some harmless thing: "Well, we have a
right to work, and we shouldn't be confined at home, and I have a right
to express fully myself." Silly women who fall prey and silly men who do
George Guilder (sp.) is a prominent writer. He makes no claim to be a
Christian, but he does understand the agenda. He was once a feminist
thinker, but since 1973 he has realized what their agenda is and he's
written about it; this is what he says,
The revolutionary members of the "Women's Movement" say that
sexual relationships are fundamental to all our other
institutions and activities. If one can profoundly change
the relations between the sexes (they contend) one could
radically and unrecognizably transform the society.
[He is] dead right! The Satanic agenda is to destroy human society, to
just rip the family to shreds and to destroy marriage, so that God has no
means to pass righteousness from one generation to the next. Right?
Which was always the role of the family. There is no more order
maintained in society. There are no more ethical values left, and the
way you do that is sexually--you just shred all standard norms sexually,
so nobody knows how any one is related to anybody, but everybody is free
to do whatever they want to do and that is how they become divine.
Guilder rightly affirms that "Sexuality is not simply a matter of games
people play, it is one of the few matters, truly, of life and death to
society." He warns that if the feminist agenda, even in it's most
moderate version, is carried through, "Our society is doomed to years of
demoralization and anarchy, possibly ending in a police state"
Our society is doing exactly what I told you in Romans one happens to a
society when "God gives them over." What does it say? "God gave them
over," and what did they do? "Women with women doing things which aren't
even imaginable, and men with men doing things which aren't imaginable."
that's what happens to a society under God's wrath--God lets them go--and
they're going the way of the Satanic lies.
Playing right into the hands of the Satanic lies is our own
government--working hard aren't they? What are they working so hard?
Our government, the government of the United States, State of California,
the City of Los Angeles, are doing everything they can do to eliminate
all gender differences. That is not an issue of constitutional liberty;
that is an issue of Satanic religion.
Homosexuality is the companion of feminism because of androgyny.
Homosexuality running rampant--no society can survive that. The Roman
Empire didn't survive it. This entire system is going right into the
"pit"--tearing up God's order--sexually; tearing up families; tearing up
marriage; blaspheming God; blaspheming Christ; exalting the Serpent. I
read one book this weekend where one man suggested that the Antichrist
might be a woman if we keep going the w
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