Wednesday I wrote an uncharitable article reacting to a blog post that exposed Beth Moore as false teacher. Most of what I wrote was accurate, but the tone I took was extremely unkind and hurtful.
And, frankly, hypocritical.
“Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. 3 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. ~~Matthew 7:1-5 (ESV)
One of the charges I made against this blog post was that it was poorly written. But my article was also poorly written. I may have spelled all the words correctly and used proper punctuation, but I failed to offer constructive criticism to help the writer understand why her writing mistakes undermined her message. A well-written article on my part would have shown the writer the importance of good writing in dealing with Beth Moore’s followers.
Having been active in calling out Beth Moore for several years, I’ve learned that her followers actually idolize her. Consequently, when anyone dares to speak against her, they eagerly seize on anything they think might discredit the person who tries to call her out. When spelling errors show up repeatedly in a post, Beth Moore’s supporters will gleefully dismiss the entire article, concluding that the writer lacks education.
Similarly, when I write an article mentioning someone’s spelling errors without explaining what Beth Moore’s followers will do with those errors, I will be dismissed as arrogant and petty. Thus my writing failures undermine my message. Rather than helping the writer see how she can effectively call out Beth Moore, I embarrassed a sister in Christ. My poor writing kept me from offering edification and guidance to someone who wants to join in the work of warning women against Beth Moore.
In my article, I also wrote that the blog post did nothing more than rehash the same information that Elizabeth Prata, Michelle Lesley, I and many others have given over the years. Someone interpreted this point as saying we should stop warning against false teachers.
In the second part of my article, I attempted to affirm that we must continue warning against Beth Moore (and other false teachers, for that matter). I guess my writing failed to make that point clear. My husband was quite shocked by the allegation that I insinuated a moratorium on calling out Beth Moore. “Where did she get that?” he asked.
I can only that assume that she got it from errors in my writing. Had I spent more time gently explaining how the writer could have highlighted Beth Moore’s false teaching in fresh ways, perhaps my critic might have understood that I actually do believe we must keep warning against this very dangerous false teacher.
Beth Moore has an influence among evangelicals that I haven’t seen in any other false teacher. This influence poses a serious threat to the Body of Christ, and Scripture demands that we expose her.
Exposing her, however, is most effective if we build on what people have already written about her. Simply compiling the same old information into an article that takes an hour to read most likely will alienate the very Beth Moore followers that need to be reached.
If I had written my article with more gentleness and had worked harder at explaining the reasons why adding to the conversation could strengthen our case against Beth Moore, I might have been less hurtful and more helpful. My poor writing created terrible misunderstanding and great pain.
Good, clear writing is essential in communicating the things of God. If we write on His behalf, we have a responsibility to write clearly and effectively in a manner that causes our readers to take us seriously. I regret my failure to do so.