A Lesson In Using Scripture To Practice Discernment

Beth Moore knows how to use Twitter to keep herself in the limelight, evidently. On Tuesday September 24, she came out with an interesting Twitter thread:

Beth Moore deification of Paul Tweet

If she hadn’t written that third tweet, she would have been pretty much fine.  Her last sentence in the second tweet was perhaps a little snide, but most people probably would have let it slide. To her detriment, however, Moore tacked on that third tweet, almost as a knife twist to those of us who quote 1 Timothy 2:12 in challenge to her practice of preaching to men and women.

It is tempting for me to show you various tweets and blog posts documenting Moore’s disdain for “fundamentalists,” but a simple Google search would provide more than enough evidence. Furthermore, focusing on her, while it might convince you to avoid her ministry, wouldn’t really develop your discernment skills. We need to know why her accusation that people deify Paul is so dangerous.

Although she claims to believe that all Scripture is authoritative, her quickness to point out that Paul wasn’t equal to Jesus (who said he was?) suggests that the portions of the New Testament that Paul wrote aren’t quite as authoritative as the recorded words of Jesus.  Others have taught this error a lot more blatantly than she does, which tells us that this line of thinking has made inroads into evangelical circles.

But let’s examine what God’s Word says about Paul’s apostolic authority, beginning with his assertion that he was Christ’s ambassador (2 Corinthians 5:20). Ambassadors, you may remember, never speak their own words — they speak for whatever entity they represent. In Paul’s case, then, he spoke for Jesus.

He stated his apostolic authority even more clearly in Galatians 1:11-12 as he warned the Galatians against false teachers. Jesus personally taught Paul doctrine, including the doctrine that showed up in 1 Timothy 2:12. For that reason, we dare not make a false dichotomy that relegates Paul’s teaching to some suppossed second tier.

Peter certainly affirmed that Paul’s writings stood equal to the  rest of Scripture (2 Peter 3:15-16). Did you notice Peter’s comment that ignorant and unstable people twist Paul’s writings just as they distort the other Scriptures? Is it not a distortion to insinuate that Scriptures Paul wrote don’t carry the same weight as the words Jesus spoke?

Jesus Himself declared that He had chosen Paul to bring His Word to the nations (Acts 9:15). To argue that Paul’s writings don’t have as much authority as Jesus’ words ignores the very words Jesus spoke in Acts 9:15. Plainly, by trying to diminish Paul’s apostolic authority, people wind up casting doubt on the authority of Jesus to speak through Paul.

The entire suggestion that those of us who take Paul’s letters as seriously as we take the words of Jesus somehow deify Paul is, at best, petulant. It betrays a sad ignorance of the Word of God that should help us discern that Beth Moore is an unreliable teacher who twists Scripture to her advantage.

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3 thoughts on “A Lesson In Using Scripture To Practice Discernment

  1. Moore and others like her demean Paul under the facade that they are lifting up Christ- but both, though surely not equals, spoke equally by the same Spirit, Christ being the second person of the Trinity and Paul being inspired. This is a tactic not only to elevate women but also to promote “gay Christianity,” as Paul spoke boldly and clearly in his denunciation of it. The popularity of these wolves and their ideas is one more reason they have to rebuked in the strongest of language. They are dangerous.

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