Saturday Sampler: August 12 — August 18

Blendies SamplerIt never hurts to return to the foundational practices of our faith.  So Greg Peterson’s Back To The Basics: Bible Study You Can Do in Parking Space 23 shows us a simple Bible study method that relieves the feelings of intimidation many of us have as we approach God’s Word.

On the Grace To You blog, John MacArthur writes Social Injustice and the Gospel to introduce a series of articles he’ll be writing on this current trend among evangelicals.

If you or anyone you know is involved in Bible Study Fellowship, I beg you to read (and share) Amy Spreeman’s forward, BSF Leader resigns; warns members about 2018 Study on the Naomi’s Table blog. Amy shares a Facebook post by Linda Davis, who resigned from BSF as a result of reviewing the e-book for this fall’s study.

Debi Martin, who blogs at Sojourner Between Worlds, gives a brief overview of Ezekiel’s Amazing Message, with an emphasis on Ezekiel 16. This blog post reminds us that the Old Testament offers wonderful instruction to Christians as it chronicles God’s dealings with Israel.

Christians do have liberty in what activities we can enjoy. At the same time, liberty carries certain responsibilities. In Twisted Tuesday — Liberty or Sin? Christians Drinking, the author of Biblical Beginnings looks at alcohol consumption from a point of view that frequently gets overlooked.

Walking us through the familiar story in Daniel 3, Mike Ratliff writes The King’s Golden Image in Possessing the Treasure. He holds the example of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego up as a contrast to many professing Christians in 21st Century churches. His post epitomizes what I’m trying to do with this blog.

In his sobering article for The Cripplegate, Eric Davis lists the many Consequences of Sexual Sin.

Yes! I’ve been saying the same thing about The Foundations of Christian Discernment for years that Lara d’Entremont says in her article! Oh ladies, I beg you to take what she says very seriously, knowing that negotiating 21st Century evangelicalism requires as much discernment as we can possibly get. Please make this blog post a high priority.

I appreciate the thoughtful post Michael Coughlin makes in Things Above Us. Who’s the Weaker Brother, Here? questions the demands of Social Justice Warriors  by using Scripture to examine their attitudes.

Leslie A lists Six Hated Truths from the Word in Growing 4 Life this week. Her post brings home the realization that, no matter how gentle and winsome we are in presenting the Gospel, people will despise its message until the Lord opens their hearts to believe it.

Justin Bullington, who also writes for Things Above Us definitely speaks for many discernment bloggers with his post, Why We (Still) Warn Against Beth Moore. I occasionally monitor Beth Moore’s Twitter feed, and it grieves me to see how many women (and sometimes men) hang on her distortions of Scripture. Absolutely, we must continue praying for her repentance, but we must also warn people that she repeatedly mishandles God’s Word.

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Moving Beyond Beth Moore To The Real Problem

Big Woman

Before you label me a hypocrite for having a blog that men obviously read, please look at the Mission Statement on my sidebar and/or If You’re A Man, Please Read This Page, which is prominently posted on my Menu. Throughout this blog you’ll find subtle, and also blatant, reminders that men should absolutely not be reading my blog. Unlike Beth Moore, I cannot comfortably violate Scripture.

I remember reading that Beth Moore began her teaching career by leading a women’s Sunday School class. Over time, men began sitting in on her class, eventually causing the class to develop into a teaching program open to men as well as women. Since then, while insisting that her passion is women’s ministry, she’s been quite comfortable teaching mixed audiences and even preaching at Passion City Church.

Perhaps, I told myself,  Moore really didn’t mean to teach men any more than I do. My willingness to give her the benefit of the doubt never was all that strong, but it completely flew out the window when her post, A Letter to my Brothers, appeared this past May.

This letter betrays her desire to minister exactly as men do. To her, gender roles signify misogyny. In essence, she’s stomping her high heels in a temper tantrum, demanding to play with the boys.

Egalitarianism is an element of the recent “woke” movement coursing throughout evangelicalism (including the Southern Baptist Convention and Reformed churches). Beth Moore has been “woke” lately, giving her liberty to roar against “injustices” women apparently endure.

For decades, Beth Moore has assured her followers that God speaks directly to her. She hasn’t yet claimed to hear from Him on this particular issue. Yet. But even if she never makes such a claim, her reputation for receiving extrabiblical revelation from God lends enormous credibility to her cries for social justice.

I began this series examining the problems with Beth Moore’s ministry firstly because I’d seldom offered a good demonstration that I understand why she poses a danger to Christian women. Now that I have established my working knowledge of her errors, I feel better equipped to critique her support of the “woke” movement. And, based on her history of disobedience to Scripture’s prohibition regarding women teaching and/or preaching to men, I strongly suspect that she will have a devastating influence that leads women to embrace this movement.

Beth Moore has inserted herself into something that distracts people from the Gospel. We must mourn that someone so popular would help lead people into a theology that divides the Body of Christ under the guise of unifying it.

So from here, I want to move on from discussing her in favor of addressing the egalitarian aspect of the “woke” movement that she espouses. Hopefully we’ll learn how proper gender roles adorn the Gospel.

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Flashback Friday: Understanding Beth Moore

Originally posted May 2, 2016.

NarcigesisEarlier today I reviewed a couple articles critiquing Beth Moore. Increasingly, her critics notice  what they call her narcigesis. Narcigesis is a recently coined term describing the practice of interpreting a passage of Scripture as an allegory about one’s personal spiritual experience. Matt Slick’s C.A.R.M. article on Moore cites several examples of her poor exegesis, including this one:

  • Quote: “As stated in the introduction to this book, we may not always be sure God wills to  heal us physically in this life of every disease or prosper us with tangible blessings, but He always wills to free us from strongholds. You will never have to worry about whether you are praying in God’s will concerning strongholds. “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free,” (Gal. 5:1)(Praying God’s Word: Breaking Free from Spiritual Strongholds by Beth Moore, B & H Publishing Group, Nashville, Tenn., 2009, p. 36, italics in original)

    1. Response: The context of Gal. 5:1 is dealing with being under the law (Gal. 4:21). Paul contrasts children under the law and “children of promise” (Gal. 4:28). Paul was warning the Galatians about being enslaved to the Mosaic law, which is why he says in the next verse ” . . . that if you receive circumcision, Christ will be of no benefit to you.” Beth Moore has improperly applied a verse, taking it out of its original context and meaning, and used it in a manner for which it was not intended–as the Biblical context demonstrates.

As I read through Slick’s article, my mind went back to all the sermons, Bible Studies,  books and women’s retreats where I saw this hermeneutic applied. I remembered two women’s Bible Study leaders in particular that consistently taught using that methodology. At the time I attended their Tuesday morning meetings, I believed that they rightly applied the Bible to modern spiritual struggles. Slick’s article tempted me to resent those two women (as well as other leaders in Charismatic churches) for teaching me this illegitimate way to study and apply God’s Word. Shame on them!

Then, to my horror, I remembered all the counseling letters I wrote for Love In Action in which  I did the same thing. Shame on me, both for misusing the Bible and for self-righteously throwing stones at those who taught me. Shame on me for looking down my sanctimonious nose at Beth Moore! Praise God for His correction and forgiveness!

Beth Moore definitely needs to be called out for her irresponsible handling of God’s Word, so please don’t misunderstand me as excusing her behavior. On the other hand, please do understand that Moore has most likely learned, as I did, that Scripture lends itself to allegorical interpretation. We must judge her narcigesis as being disrespectful to the  Scripture she professes to love and harmful to the people who sit under her teaching, but we must also pray that the Holy Spirit will gently lead her to repentance.

Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.~~Galatians 6:1 (ESV)

Matt Slick’s article didn’t change my conviction that Beth Moore is a false teacher who poses a great danger to the Body of Christ (for several reasons). But it did remind me that I once practiced one of her most glaring errors. That humbling knowledge helps me pray that the Lord will show her the same compassion He’s shown me.
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So Why Am I Suddenly Blogging About Beth Moore?

balloon-turtle-samplerI have a pattern of coming to parties a bit late. My poor mom carried me for ten months before giving birth to me — which was good because I weighed all of five pounds when I finally arrived. So I didn’t write clear articles explaining the various problems with Beth Moore’s teachings years ago, when everybody else was doing so.

In retrospect, I think my tardiness in writing about these problems outside of allusions to her as a false teacher gave me time to consider better ways to address the issues in a responsible manner. I’ve learned, for instance, that attacking her personally violates God’s standard of not judging her heart. I don’t really know if she’s saved, if she believes what she teaches, or if she’s a complete charlatan.

I can judge her teaching and her practice, however. Based on those things, I can conclude that, regardless of her motives (which only the Lord really knows), Beth Moore teaches falsehood on a consistent basis.

I’ve demonstrated in my last two posts about her that she claims to receive direct revelations from God. Although there are many other troubling aspects to her ministry, which Michelle Lesley, Elizabeth Prata and Erin Benzigerhave skillfully addressed back when the party was in full swing, I believe Moore’s insistence on her extrabiblical experiences lay the foundation for all her other deviations from Scripture.

Fast-forwarding to the summer of 2018, we see Beth Moore “repenting” from racism and decrying “systemic misogyny.” In neither instance did she even hint that God spoke to her concerning these issues, but I wonder if her followers accept her recent embrace of these social justice issues precisely because they’ve been conditioned to believe that God speaks to her personally. Perhaps this is speculation on my part, but it certainly seems plausible.

Beth Moore has tremendous influence,  much of which she’s gained through her convincing accounts of God speaking to her and giving her visions. The fact that she’s now using her influence to lead her followers away from the Gospel and toward unbiblical approaches to social issues shows me the necessity of once again warning women about her false teaching.

I don’t delight in writing about Beth Moore. I’d much prefer writing about Scripture and directing my readers to sound doctrine. That’s why I write the Monday Bible Studies, and that’s why it disappointments me that so few of you seem interested in them. But right now, sadly, Beth Moore is hopping on the social justice bandwagon and drawing so much attention to herself that I believe we need to talk about her aberrations from sound doctrine.

Next week, therefore, we’ll look at her pattern of teaching men, comparing it to her recent remarks about “systemic misogyny.” From there, we’ll examine Biblical roles for men and women, encouraging you to maintain a Biblical perspective. If Beth Moore wants to instigate a new party, I’ll  attend promptly.

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Beth Moore Heard God Speak — Dare We Question Her?

Out of Charismania

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.

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Beth Moore And The Subtle Overthrow Of Scripture’s Sufficiency

In writing about Beth Moore and the serious problems with her teaching, I realize my inability to present any new information. It’s not my intent to replicate research that other discernment bloggers have presented for the mere sake of joining the chorus. However, to reassert what I said in my last post, I’ve mentioned this woman many times on this blog, always identifying her as a false teacher. Lately I’ve been convicted that I should substantiate my remarks by demonstrating why I believe she teaches falsely.

Please understand that, although I firmly believe Beth Moore has caused tremendous harm to the Body of Christ, I don’t believe she realizes that she does so. After watching numerous videos of her sermons and reading her blog posts and Tweets for years, I’ve concluded that she honestly believes she’s serving the Lord. Therefore, I definitely pray that He will mercifully lead out of deception, just as He mercifully led me out of deception. I have no interest in writing articles simply to bash Beth. I dearly hope you’re not reading these articles looking for ammunition against her, but that God will motivate you to join me in praying for her repentance.

That said, we bear a responsibility to examine her teaching in light of God’s Word, and to call her out on deviations from it. Along with that, we must help women understand how Beth Moore misrepresents the Lord, and then offer correctives to her errors.  Obviously, I can’t adequately address all the problems with Moore in a single blog post. Actually, I don’t intend to address all the problems anyway. But let’s look at one today, just to begin establishing why Beth Moore poses such a danger to Christian women.

As I said Wednesday, perhaps the most disturbing problem with Beth Moore is her repeated dependency on personal revelations. Despite her protestations to Jessica Lam, she does tend to “hear” God “speak” in actual words. Whether she admits it or not, she is adding to the canon  of  Scripture because God cannot speak less authoritatively depending on the venue. If He truly speaks to her directly, His words are every bit as authentic as they are in Scripture.

Here is her most popular story. I post it to draw your attention to her claim that God “spoke” directly to her. In words. You’ll find this claim at the 3:08 mark of the video.

Certainly, the fact that Beth Moore ended up witnessing to the flight attendant lends credence to the notion that God told her, in clear words, to brush that old man’s hair. But ask yourselves, ladies, if the happy result of the story — which undeniably points to God’s wonderful providence — necessarily means that He would violate His own Word, which explicitly says that He finished His revelation in sending His Son (Hebrews 1:1-4) and sternly warns against adding to His Word (Revelation 22:18-19).

Twenty years before I’d ever heard of Beth Moore, I had a similar experience of believing God “spoke” to me, in words, telling me to do something that seemed ridiculous. Like Beth Moore, I argued. And like Beth Moore, I eventually obeyed, seeing a good result. But now I understand that I simply had an idea, debated against it, and eventually tried it. Providentially, my idea worked so well that I began telling the story, embellishing it as the years passed. I honestly believed the Lord had spoken to me personally until I learned that Scripture is His final word. I’ve since repented of telling that, and other, stories of God speaking to me.

Perhaps Beth Moore brushed that man’s hair because she subconsciously remembered Scriptures about doing good to those who can’t care for themselves. In that respect, we might say that God spoke to her as she remembered Scriptures. But that’s not what she’s claiming, is it? Rather, she couches the story in a way that enforces the teaching that God speaks directly to Christians (or, to be more precise, to Christians who are “filled up” with Him). We are to be like her, hearing directly from Him, in order that He can work through us.

Sisters, it’s perfectly fine to acknowledge that the Holy Spirit brings Scriptural principles to mind and prompts us to act on those principles. But claiming that He speaks directly and personally to us flies in the face of God’s Word. Rather than seeking to emulate Beth Moore, godly women should depend only on Scripture as the way to hear His voice. Please avoid the false teaching that God speaks apart from His Word.

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