So, what did Eggebroten find in her visit to MacArthur's little empire? “God is male, all the pastors, deacons, and elders are male, and women are taught to live in submission to men.” She should have expected as much because she had already visited the church's website. There, I had listened to Anna Sanders lecture women on how to live in submission to their husbands. “We need to beat down our desire to be right and have our own way,” she had said, citing John Piper, Nancy Leigh DeMoss, and Martha Peace—all authors published in the last decade. “It’s his way, his rights, his expectations, and his plans. … Be a helper.” Eggebroten ran into a woman with a degree from the school where she teaches. She asked the lady: “Is women’s submission to their husbands stressed in this church?” The answer, of course, was yes.
Molher calls Eggebroten on the carpet for being surprised at what she found. He says:
Anne Eggebroten’s article represents what I call a “National Geographic moment” — an example of someone discovering the obvious and thinking it exotic and strange. It is like a reporter returning from travel to far country to explain the strange tribe of people she found there — evangelical Christians believing what the Christian church has for 2,000 years believed the Bible to teach and require. So . . . what is so exotic?
I actually agree with Mohler. Why should anyone be surprised that a church that takes the Bible as literally the Word of God would put women down? The Bible clearly does that and so anyone who wishes to follow the Bible will also do that. Eggebroten says:
Here’s the question: Is God permanently committed to the kinds of social hierarchy that existed in the first and second millennium B.C.E. and continued until recently, when education and voting were opened to women? Or does the vision of Paul in Galatians 3:28—“There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus”—take precedence?
Mohler rightly calls her on "sloppy exegesis" here. He says:
In Galatians 3:28 Paul is clearly speaking of salvation — not of service in the church. Paul is declaring to believers the great good news that “in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith” [verse 26]. He concludes by affirming, “And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise” [verse 29]. To read Galatians 3:28 the way Eggebroten reads the verse, you would have to believe that the Apostle Paul was in direct contradiction with himself, when he restricts the teaching office to men in letters such as 1 Timothy and Titus.
The reality is, as Mohler says, Paul is not contradicting the overall teaching of the Bible on women. It does actually reflect the "the kinds of social hierarchy that existed in the first and second millennium B.C.E. and continued until recently." Eggebroten would like to find a change in perspective on this subject from Paul but she is misguided. In addition to the passages that Mohler cites, Paul also told women to be silent in the church and learn from their husbands (I Cor. 14:34-35) as well as implying that women are more easily deceived than men and need to allow their husbands to make important decisions while they concentrate on motherhood (I Tim. 2:12-15). This was the role of women in ancient cultures (and today in fundamentalist churches) and so, one should not be surprised to find the Bible supporting it.
Mohler is correct when he says: Paul is not liberating the Church from the Bible. In the end, that is the real issue. There are Christians who would demand to be liberated from the Bible? Now that is what really should be shocking. That is why I think liberal Christianity also fails. It wants to try to reinterpret the Bible to agree with modern culture and it is simply not possible without tearing out huge sections of the Scripture. The Bible, reflecting the culture in which it was written, reduces women to an inferior position to men. If one believes the Bible is the Word of God, then one must follow this teaching.