By Elizabeth Prata
I went to a Beth Moore convention, and below is the series I wrote of my reaction. Be sure also to look to the right-menu for the 7-part series of an explanation of why Beth Moore teachings are in error.
Beth Moore’s text for the 6-hour bible study was Deuteronomy 10:11-21. She also used quite a number of other verses, both from the OT and the NT. Here is the main passage:
“And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments of the LORD and His statutes which I command you today for your good? Indeed heaven and the highest heavens belong to the LORD your God, also the earth with all that is in it. The LORD delighted only in your fathers, to love them; and He chose their descendants after them, you above all peoples, as it is this day. Therefore circumcise the foreskin of your heart, and be stiff-necked no longer. For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality nor takes a bribe. He administers justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the stranger, giving him food and clothing. Therefore love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. You shall fear the LORD your God; you shall serve Him, and to Him you shall hold fast, and take oaths in His name. He is your praise, and He is your God, who has done for you these great and awesome things which your eyes have seen. Your fathers went down to Egypt with seventy persons, and now the LORD your God has made you as the stars of heaven in multitude.”
The NKJV titles that passage “The Essence of the Law”. The HCSB titles it “What God Requires”. NIV’s version is “Fear the LORD”. Even the NLT calls it “A Call to Love and Obedience.” It is a beautiful passage in which His majesty and His Holy character is center stage, prompting all true believers to understand our position below Him, and thus, worship Him for who He is.
Beth Moore’s title for the passage is “His affection is set upon us.”
She explained how she arrives at the lessons she teaches on her tour. She said that when she prays the Holy Spirit will deliver a word to her. In the case for the teaching in Charlotte, it had been “Hold Fast.” In the case of her next tour in Columbia, it will be “Prepare.” This is direct revelation and it is NOT how we study the Bible, much less teach it. She then creates an acrostic of teaching points that begin with each letter in the main word. Ours was –
His affection is set upon us
Only He is your praise
Loving Him awakens your true heart
Doing His will does us good
Fleeing to Him means fleeing with Him
Any tighter embrace will also replace
Satan wants what we have
The Lord is your life
Looks kind of OK, doesn’t it? I won’t explain each of the eight mantras point by point, but share with you some of what troubled me most. I think word studies are good, and I like when teachers look into the Greek or the Hebrew meaning. I am not sure if this manner of exegetical study, finding all the words that relate to a subject and building a lesson out of it is outrageous or wonderful, but I do know that such an approach can be fraught with danger. You lose the context of each passage you are extracting the word from. If you cross OT to NT that context gets more complicated because you have to research whether the word used in a context was meant only for the Jews in the Old Covenant or can be extrapolated into the New Covenant for the Gentiles.
This approach also means that you wind up using a LOT of verses in one study and that tends to feel cobbled together and superficial. You can’t really explain to full depth each verse so you simply refer to them, and there winds up being a lot of different points. It gets unfocused, really fast.
She read the passage and then began by saying that this was “the Law of Love.” I cannot tell you any more than that, because she did not explain it. It is one of my concerns with her teaching. She will make a sweeping claim, and not back it up with scripture. If I was to take a guess I’d say she was teaching that the deliverance of the law in this section of Deuteronomy was all about how much He loves us, when it is really about how much we should love Him.
The next point was that the Israelites were being taken out of Egypt as the release from bondage so that they could have victorious lives. She referred to ‘victory’ constantly but never defined it. And that Jesus brings us out of [metaphorical] Egypt. Then she said, “Anyone ever been stuck in Egypt too long? There is a land of promise for you and for me. Our promised land is characterized by a place where we live in victory. Where we don’t live in a lot of defeat. We’re walking between those ditches of defeat into victory. And secondly, our promised land is characterized by bearing fruit.” Bearing fruit was never defined. “We can be devalued deprived, depraved” and “we may miss our promised land.” The promised land was never defined. But she has now set up this vague sense of unease…I might miss something if I don’t do it right.
A Beth Moore teaching will be filled with legalism. There will be constant references to “if” you don’t do this, you “won’t” get that. Here is one: “If we don’t hold fast to Him we won’t live in earthly security.” That is a verbatim quote. I would venture to say that Apostle Paul held fast to Jesus as much as any Christian alive or dead, and he never had a day of earthly security in his life. What about Job’s earthly security? Satan tells us to value earthly security. Being alive in Jesus does not mean we get earthly security, as a matter of fact, Jesus said repeatedly that the opposite will be true. In Luke 14:25 we read that the cost of salvation and subsequent discipleship might mean losing all you have and your life as well.
We love Jesus for Who he is, not for what He can do for us. In Beth Moore’s teachings, it is the opposite. I never heard the words holy or glory. In point 4 where we learn “Doing His will does us good” (and it’s true, doing His will is good for us,) I never heard the rest of the principle: “Doing His will gives Him glory.”
Here is another sweeping claim never backed up by scripture, and actually teaches the opposite of scripture: “He holds tight to us, but are we holding tight to Him? We’re called to a life that’s supposed to work.” Mrs Moore never defined a life that works, nor by whose standard- ours, or God’s? By our standards, Jeremiah’s life failed. He never had a single convert. Jeremiah was friendless, reviled, he was gloomy, negative, and no one wanted him around. According to principles Mrs Moore teaches, Jeremiah must not have been holding fast closely enough. Isaiah never had a following. Noah failed to convert anyone outside his family. Did their lives ‘work’? Her vague concept of a life that ‘works’ is according to man’s standards, not God’s.
She continued, saying “When we latch back on [to Jesus] we have life more abundant here on earth. .. Our life has purpose and life is working with a measurable form of victory.” She did not define victory nor by which tool we measure it. All we know is, IF we don’t do what she said, we WON’T get something good. Those are her nebulous threats. She creates a feeling of amorphous uneasiness that pervades her talks.
Here is another, referring to Deuteronomy 10:12- “God wants everything from us but IF I don’t bring my everything, then my life WON’T work.”
In referring to Isaiah 38:17, “Behold, for peace I had great bitterness: but thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption: for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back” she said “He can love you out of the pit.” But I thought He did that at the cross. I thought all believers, once repenting and forgiven by a Resurrected Jesus who is Lord, are yanked out of the pit. Mrs Moore teaches to believers, yet according to her, we are still in the pit and we have to do certain things so that we can access that love of His which will retrieve us out from it. It is that old legalism again.
In my next essay exploring my reaction to Beth Moore’s teaching in Charlotte, I’ll look at Eastern Mysticism, Fear of the LORD, the reciprocal relationship, and finish with ‘It’s all about me.’