Having to skip church this past Sunday was wise, given the oppressive humidity and the breathing issues that John and I both have. But we certainly hated being separated from our church family! Besides missing the Lord’s Supper and a sermon on a passage that I don’t understand as well as I’d like, it was one of those rare Sundays when we’d sing everything from the infamous Green Hymnal. Those who know me well know that I look forward to Green Hymnal Sundays. All that to say that I really struggled understanding God’s sovereignty in having us stay home.
But staying home gave me extra time, allowing me to listen to an Equipping Eve podcast. I found an old episode entitled What Happens When We See Beth Moore Teach the Bible? Since I’ve been blogging about Beth Moore lately, the topic intrigued me. While I never recommend skipping church unless it’s absolutely necessary, I recognized God’s providence in allotting time for me to listen to Erin Benziger’s podcast.
Erin touched on several troubling aspects of Beth Moore’s ministry, and I encourage women to listen to the podcast. One point, however, particularly caught my attention. Erin remarked that, in claiming to receive direct revelations from God, Beth Moore makes it impossible for anyone to question her teaching.
Although there are many things about Beth Moore’s teaching that in fact warrant a great deal of questioning, do you see how she circumvents any challenges with the simple statement that God spoke to her? Since she heard personally from Him, how can anyone cast doubt on what she teaches?
What a truly frightening implication!
Of course, Moore would probably deny that she claims these direct revelations as an attempt to guard against her critics. She may sincerely believe she hears directly from God, for all I know. Actually, she probably does. So I suspect it’s subconscious on her part that she uses her supposed revelations as a means of gaining control over her followers. The Lord has not given me permission to judge her motives.
Yet the fact remains that, whether deliberately or subconsciously, Beth Moore manipulates her followers by telling them that God spoke to her. The words, “God told me,” powerfully shut down any cross-examination. If God told her something, anyone daring to question her ultimately dares to question Him.
In considering whether or not the Lord has indeed given Beth Moore authority by virtue of her visions and personal revelations, we really should think about Scripture’s position on such matters.
18 Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, 19 and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God. ~~Colossians 2:18-19 (ESV)
We hold fast to the Head of the Church, Jesus Christ, by clinging to Scripture. Therefore we reject any possibility of extrabiblical revelation, challenging people like Beth Moore who base their ministries on direct revelations supposedly from God. The very claims that false teachers use to establish their desired authority should cause us to run as far away from them as we possibly can!
In evaluating the ministry of Beth Moore (or anyone who teaches), we must make sure that they consistently direct us back to Scripture, not to revelations that God supposedly gave them apart from Scripture.
John and I anticipate returning to church next Sunday. We’ll be singing contemporary hymns rather than hymns from the Green Hymnal. But that’s okay, because our pastor will preach from the Bible, not from any supposed revelation that God spoke directly to him. And that’s preaching I can trust.