Popular pastor and author Max Lucado has said he is "grieved" by John MacArthur's recent comments on Beth Moore.
In an extraordinary outburst at the 'Truth Matters Conference', held at his Grace Community Church in California last week, MacArthur was asked to comment on evangelist Moore, to which he replied, "Go home! There is no case that can be made biblically for a woman preacher. Period. Paragraph. End of discussion."
He added, "Just because you have the skill to sell jewelry on the TV sales channel doesn't mean you should be preaching.
"There are people who have certain hawking skills, natural abilities to sell, they have energy and personality and all of that. That doesn't qualify you to preach."
He said that women preachers were a "profoundly troubling" concept to him and suggested that women in the Church were really after power.
"The #MeToo movement again is the culture reclaiming ground in the Church. When the leaders of evangelicalism roll over for women preachers, the feminists have really won the battle," he said.
Elsewhere, he slammed Paula White, who was in the headlines last week after her new book was endorsed by several high profile evangelical men, including Franklin Graham and Greg Laurie.
"I think the Church is caving in to women preachers," said MacArthur.
"Just the other day the same thing happened with Paula White. A whole bunch of leading evangelicals endorsed her new book.
"She's a heretic and a prosperity preacher, three times married. What are they thinking?"
But MacArthur has now himself come under fire over his comments, with Lucado writing that "the bride of Christ is sighing".
He said that when it comes to how Christians speak, "tone matters" and it is important to disagree "in love" because "words can wound".
"Really? Dare we be dismissive? The message of #metoo is a sobering one," Lucado said on his website.
"Theirs is not an appeal for power or position, it is a request to be taken seriously; for all of us to recognize their unique calling. Respect and common courtesy should be the dialect of the church. Yet, our soprano chorus continues to decry its absence."
Christian pastor and writer Shane Idleman said in a YouTube video response that the comments reflected "a real lack of humility, a lack of brokenness, a lack of just love and compassion".
"We don't have to compromise the truth to exhibit love and compassion, and to season our words with grace," he said.