An 'Unnecessary Distraction': John MacArthur's Shepherds Conference Drops Alistair Begg

Milton Quintanilla | Contributor for | Updated: Feb 02, 2024
An 'Unnecessary Distraction': John MacArthur's Shepherds Conference Drops Alistair Begg

An 'Unnecessary Distraction': John MacArthur's Shepherds Conference Drops Alistair Begg

Pastor Alistair Begg will no longer be a speaker at the 2024 Shepherds Conference after his recent comments on encouraging a grandmother to attend an LGBTQ wedding.

Begg, the senior pastor of Parkside Church in Cleveland Ohio, encouraged a grandmother to attend her grandson’s wedding to a transgender individual and to also bring a gift. Although Begg gave the advice to the grandmother during a podcast episode for Truth For Life in September, he received backlash in the past week after the comments surfaced online.

Despite the controversy, Begg has maintained his stance on his advice to the grandmother, including in a sermon on Sunday where he addressed the matter to his congregation. Not only has Begg been criticized for his remarks, but it has also led to American Family Radio dropping him after more than decade of airing Truth For Life.

A spokesperson for Grace To You, the ministry led by Pastor John MacArthur of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, told Religion News Service that Begg has been dropped from this year’s Shepherds Conference, which is slated to take place in March.

“After Begg’s comments became public, he and MacArthur talked and decided the controversy would be “an unnecessary distraction,” the spokesman said.

Alistair Begg Addresses His 'Transgender Wedding' Critics during Sunday Evening Sermon
American Family Radio Drops Alistair Begg over LGBTQ Wedding Comments

“Pastor MacArthur’s counsel on that issue would be completely different from the counsel Alistair Begg said he gave an inquiring grandmother,” Phil Johnson, executive director of Grace to You, told Religion News Service in an email. “So both agreed that it was necessary for Pastor Begg to withdraw.”

As reported by Protestia, Begg previously spoke at Shepherds Conference in 2015 and 2023 and has spoken regularly at Grace Community Church events. He is also a regular guest lecturer for the Doctor of Ministry program at The Master’s Seminary.

Begg has also been dropped from the RefNet (Reformation Network), the 24-hour radio platform of Ligonier Ministries. The broadcast includes messages from a number of pastors including, MacArthur, Harry Reeder, Martyn Lloyd Jones, Ligon Duncan, Steve Lawson, and Charles Spurgeon.

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Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.

An 'Unnecessary Distraction': John MacArthur's Shepherds Conference Drops Alistair Begg