|Which one? Ala Bashir “Apple And Shadow”|
This blog is about encouragement, discernment, and prophecy. Each essay focuses on one of these with the prayer that through them, God is exalted. No matter how dark the days or how weary the heart, He is the Light and our hope. (1 John 1:5). This hope can be found in each, because,
–it is through scripture we’re encouraged,
–it is through His warnings and tactics we avoid being drawn into a snare and become discerning,
–when His future history given through prophecy is fulfilled, He is glorified and we stand in amazement.
As regards the Discernment Department, regular readers know that I have written many essays about false teachers or false doctrines. I name the false teacher. This is biblical.
Matthew 7:1 says “judge not lest ye be judged, “and this is explained here, here, here. It does not mean never to call out a warning about a false teacher of his teaching. After all, we will know them by their fruit. (Matthew 7:16).
To paraphrase John MacArthur’s devotional on Matthew 7:1, emphasis mine:
We are never to judge a person’s ministry, teaching, or life—and certainly not his motives—by some self-styled standard… Except as they may be continually teaching false doctrine or following standards that are clearly unscriptural
The word ‘continually’ is important here. One is not a false teacher and certainly is not a heretic by teaching something erroneously once. The key is patience. If the person seems to be in a habit of teaching wrongly, or is obviously sinking into a pattern of incorrectly dividing the word, or living carnally and without repentance, then it may be said they are false. It takes time for fruit to grow, bad or good.
In each essay focusing on a false teacher or doctrine, I don’t just point it out, warn and/or exhort, but I also try to include a lesson on HOW to spot something that is false. It is false if it varies with the truth. This sounds simple, but satan is the most subtle creature in the garden, (Genesis 3:1) and he tricks us six ways to Sunday. He melds truth with lies, and often it takes a sensitive mind trained in discernment (by the Holy Spirit) to untangle where satan’s lie begins after God’s truth leaves off. Far from God’s truth remaining a solitary island in a world full of lies, in describing how the preachers of Reformed theology are succumbing to the pull of the worldly influences, John MacArthur said in an interview by way of example,
“You have some of the most well known preachers of Reformed theology partner up in conferences with some of the people who are the most extreme pragmatists. I mean, this is happening. Who would have thought that John Piper would have Rick Warren at a Desiring God conference? Those two seem like extremely polar opposites.”
It is only a matter of time before the tractor-beam of falsity will inexorably pull a teacher into darkness and hearers with him or her. We have to stay strong in doctrine and so save our hearers (1 Timothy 4:16).
|This is not fruit. It’s marzipan. Fooled ya! CC, © Nevit Dilmen|
One of the false teachers I’ve written about the most on this blog is Beth Moore. It is my opinion based on scriptures, research, and prayer that the three most devastating false teachers of the 20th century have been Billy Graham, Rick Warren, and Beth Moore. Certainly there have been other false teachers who have done much damage to the faith (Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyer…). There are certainly others who are true men of faith but have taught a devastating doctrine. For example, Henry Blackaby’s mysticism opened the door to beliefs in the insufficiency of scripture, and Wayne Grudem’s acceptance of modern prophecy did the same.
But for my own faith walk and in my own heart, it’s Moore, Warren and Graham whose teachings seem to torment my soul the most.
As mentioned above, I’ve watched these three over a period of a decade. One must see a continual patterns before any level of discernment warns us they may not be as solid as one hopes. Discernment divas and discernment popes do damage to the body of believers when they pounce on one thing said once, or harshly shrill the alarm when no wolves are actually near.
|One must see a long-term continual pattern before we can be sure
any fruit is good or bad. Photo by Edmont, Creative Commons
I’ve looked into Mr Graham’s life arc based on biographies, writings, interviews, historically recorded video, and newspaper quotes. I’ve watched almost all of his crusades from the first recorded in 1949 through the late 1980s. Though the seeds of Mr Graham’s apostasy were evident to those close to him as far back as the 1930s, it took quite a while for Mr Graham’s apostasy to show to the wider Body. It took less time for Moore’s to show, but it was still between ten and fifteen years before a pattern emerged in her. The seeds of apostasy always grow, they never die.
In Acts 20:30 we read Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them.
1 Timothy 4:1 it states Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons,
The above verses can apply to anyone, no matter how popular or no matter how seemingly solid. They can apply to the obviously false and the not-so-obvious. They can apply to the popular person with a large following or to the little known person allowing false doctrines to creep into a rural church. They can apply in Paul’s day or they can apply today. No teacher is above being scrutinized and no one who is teaching in His name should expect to escape scrutiny, they should welcome it. Paul’s teaching was scrutinized and he called that activity noble. (Acts 17:11). If an Apostle who had met and been taught by the risen Christ was not above being tested in his teaching, no one else is, either. Conversely, how much more important is it that we test teachers today, in these latter times when ungodliness abounds.
As a woman, I’ve especially offended by Moore. It grieves me deeply that women all around fall under her sway. I attend a Southern Baptist Church in the bible belt and Moore’s presence in the form of studies, books, DVDs, retreats, and mentions is nearly inescapable. It’s very painful because I know that these women are ingesting poison. I hurt for these women who don’t know they are being stalked by a wolf and are being drawn away into unhealthy doctrines. Most importantly, false teaching maligns the spotless Lamb, our Savior, because it presents a false view of Him. It is evil.
Of course, when I mention that Moore teaches things detrimental to our Christian growth, I am looked at as either an alien from another planet of just plain crazy. To many, it is unthinkable that Moore would be preaching aberrant doctrines. She is much too popular, much to embedded, mentions Jesus much too often, to possibly be false. Right?
Popularity is touted by many as the benchmark of truth. The notion is, “All those people who follow her/him can’t be wrong.” We saw that concept arise so often during John MacArthur’s Strange Fire conference, among people seeking to defend the aberrations Strange Fire sought to expose, they said so many million Charismatics can’t be wrong. O but they can.
It is the same when some seek to defend Moore. So many woman can’t be wrong, can they? Even Christianity Today dubbed her the most popular bible teacher in America. But oh yes, so many followers can be wrong. As a matter of fact, widespread popularity can be an indicator of falseness. The bible says,
“Woe to you, when all people speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets.” (Luke 6:26)
|Popularity is no indicator of effectiveness.
Women cheering Obama in Dublin Ireland. CC, Pete Souza
When I first began investigating Moore (2009) it was because I’d been through a few of her studies and I was unsettled. I compared what she said to scripture and it seemed to come up short. It was hard to pinpoint, though, because she taught some good things and some things that seemed to be more speculative. But the plank hanging off the ship wasn’t that long and I could see when she taught where she had been and where she was going in the lesson, and it seemed that one foot was still in the bible. Kind of.
Her home life didn’t quite add up either. She is incessantly open about her sexual abuse, her mother’s cancer, or her daughter’s eating disorder, but zealously closed on other subjects, such as the son she adopted, raised for 7 years, and gave back; or giving tours of her office, or even answering questions from a reporter without first vetting them- in writing. Selective transparency isn’t transparency at all.
When she was younger, she claimed to be a stay at home mom, but this statement is disingenuous. In just one example of her contradictory statements about her stay-at-home mommy-hood, Moore founded and is President of Living Proof Ministries (LPM). She grew the corporation from its inception in 1994 when Moore’s daughters were 7 and 4 to a thirteen million dollar organization today. She has said in interviews that the company ministry grew as her daughters did. That much is obvious, and it didn’t happen with Moore being a stay-at-home mom and only traveling on Friday nights as she stated. In another example, in 2003 when her children were 16 and 13 years of age, Moore wrote “When Godly People do Ungodly Things”. Moore said in her preface on p xiii that she wrote the book “many miles from home” and “entirely alone” “for several weeks”.
As reported here in Charisma Magazine quoting Moore, “When she did have to go out of town, the girls’ lives went on “completely normally,” yet in looking at her Living Proof schedule and her book tours, in fact her time away from the kids was frequent and lengthy. And if you read the rest of the quote, “because Keith stepped in and took over in her absence“, I refer to Ephesians 5:22.
And speaking of that, Moore’s husband is the Vice-President, (as seen here, more here) so her claims of being a stay-at-home mom just teachin’ a little and writin’ bible studies a little is contradictory to Ephesians 5:22. If you’re going to choose career like a feminist, then be out there like a feminist. If you’re going to choose stay-at-home-mom, then be that. But don’t live like a feminist and pretend to be Proverbs 31 woman.
I bring this up because a false teacher’s home life, personal behavior, and quoted statements count just as much as the doctrine she teaches. What teachers say and what they do must match biblical standards.
It wasn’t long after, perhaps 2010-11 that a few more voices joined the chorus as the plank hanging off the doctrinal ship grew longer and longer as Moore strayed further from solid doctrine.
In 2012 and 2013 she became more bold in her assertions that God spoke directly to her, and more involved with false teachers and events. (Joel Osteen, Louie Giglio). In 2003-04 Moore’s LPM donated about $40,000 to Osteen’s church for “ministry support”. She participated in the Contemplative Spirituality DVD and promoted contemplative Spirituality from the Passion Conference pulpit, even leading ordained men.
In 2 Timothy 3:9 it states that some of the false teachers will be, “having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.”
|Beth Moore often says God directly gives her new things to say,
that she has visions, and that a force unparalleled took over
and wrote her book for her while she “sat bug eyed”.
These things are not from God.
Worse was to come. Moore now says she has visions and direct encounters with Jesus. She has said that she was lifted into the realm of Jesus in another dimension. She said that she was shown the world through His eyes, and heard God’s voice personally. She’s claimed to have received personal revelations not in the bible that “Jesus” then told her to teach from. This is Gnosticism, claiming to have obtained secret knowledge directly from deity apart from the open revelation given to all Christians in the bible. In one of the links below Moore even states plainly that what she was receiving from God was a secret, but ‘He knows I’m going to tell it.’ In effect, she is claiming to be a prophetess and claiming apostolic privileges. But in fact she is a Jezebel-type whom God will deal with. (Rev 2:20)
Moore recently aligned with Catholic mystic Roma Downey of ‘The Bible’ miniseries to present one of the ‘biggest’ bible events in America, using scenes from ‘The Bible’, despite the obvious doctrinal errors in the movie presentation and despite the fact that Downey is yoked to darkness.
Moore’s apostasy showed as early as 2003 and perhaps even earlier as she pursued career over biblical motherhood, but in any case by 2014 she has jumped the shark infested waters, fully submerging in falsity. She has swiftly drifted away. In my opinion, in the last year, Moore has definitively and with finality shown that she has gone out from us.
|Drifting. EPrata photo|
The lesson for us is that we must pay attention lest we drift away. In this essay on the Hebrews 2:1-4 verses, the author writes,
“In this passage is found a warning of the danger of “drifting.” The figure suggested is that of a boat drifting along at an almost imperceptible speed, but none the less being carried along in the wrong direction by a subtle current.”
The reason for exhortations to stay away from Moore, and to be discerning about all false teaching, is as the author above states in explaining the Hebrews passage, “The second reason for this exhortation is the dignity of the One through whom God has spoken”. He is our Savior, our Teacher, our Protector. Therefore, we-
Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you. (2 Timothy 1:14 NAS)
Everything I said above about Beth Moore is supported with scripture and/or with documents and facts. These are contained in the links I gathered for you.
Here is a list of everything I have written about Moore, and below that, a list of links leading to critiques from women about Moore, and below that, a list of men who have critiqued Moore. Moore is bad for your heart, bad for your mind, and bad for your faith.The bible advises us to “avoid such people”.
|Licensed for reuse|
Critiques by Elizabeth Prata, writer of this blog:
Joyce Meyer’s “I am not a sinner” aside, the more subtle a false teacher, the less likely it will be that one can find just one ‘smoking gun’ to point to in proving falsity. Therefore, this link is as close as it gets to just one smoking gun.
I wrote this series in 2011 after having attended a two day Living Proof Conference.
Beth Moore: Reactions to Living Proof teaching
Reactions Part 1
Reactions Part 2
Reactions Part 4
Investigating Moore’s teachings led me to research further. This series was the result:
Troubled by Beth Moore’s teaching:
Beth Moore Part 1: Introduction, and Casualness
Beth Moore Part 2: Undignified Teaching
Beth Moore Part 3: Contemplative Prayer
Beth Moore Part 4: Legalism
Beth Moore Part 5: Personal Revelation
Beth Moore Part 6: Eisegesis, Pop Psychology, and Bad Bible Interpretations
Beth Moore Part 7: Conclusion
When I read that Beth Moore said she had received the book directly from God as if a force had taken control of her, it reminded me of previous research I’d done years ago into automatic writing. This series was the result.
Examples of Channeling Christians, like Beth Moore
Part 1: Introduction
Part 2: How Walsch, Young, and Moore channeled their books
Part 3: How Walsch, Young, & Moore channeled their books
Conclusion: Why Walsch, Young and Moore channeled their books
Beth Moore’s role as a feminist and redefining biblical womanhood for the next generations (Rev 2:20 again)
Secret Christian feminists
How the Christian secret feminists are reforming the definition of biblical womanhood. Part 1
How the Christian secret feminists are reforming the definition of biblical womanhood. Part 2
How the Christian secret feminists are reforming the definition of biblical womanhood. Part 3
This next one was picked up by Do Not Be Surprised and then World View Weekend with Brannon Howse.
Beth Moore led a “commissioning” for 11,000 women (and men) at Unwrap the Bible conference
Beth Moore defenders said I was being too picky in making charges against the way Moore teaches, casual speaking of God being one of them. But here is an essay showing that such casual speech is actually a breaking of the Third Commandment not to take His name in vain.
The Third Commandment: ways to take God’s name in vain you might not have thought of
Taking Beth Moore to task for claiming to have been with Jesus in another dimension and taught new things
Beth Moore says God lifted her into another dimension & showed her the church through Jesus’ eyes
A discernment lesson on how Mrs Moore twists scripture and comparing her exposition to credible teachers’ work
Discernment lesson: The Shack and Beth Moore’s treatment of Paul. Part 2
Really, if Revelation 2:20 doesn’t speak of Beth Moore’s type of prophesying, then I dunno what does.
Beth Moore: a type of false prophetess of the church at Thyatira?
Examining how Luke 6 and the curse of popularity is one huge indicator of a false teacher
Discernment lesson: the curse of popularity, Beth Moore, and Billy Graham
Further Reading, Critiques by Various Women:
Erin Benziger (Do Not Be Surprised) March 2014, Beth Moore Prophesies a Coming ‘Outpouring,’ Warns of ‘Scoffers’
Erin Benziger (Do Not Be Surprised) Jan. 2014 “Why Beth Moore and Not Me? The Danger of Claiming to Receive Direct Revelation”
1. Sharon Lareau of Chapter 3 Ministries, Beth Moore Simulcast Review Part One: General Observations, 2014
2. Sharon Lareau of Chapter 3 Ministries, Beth Moore Simulcast Review Part Two: Bible Interpretation Issues, 2014
3. Sharon Lareau of Chapter 3 Ministries, Beth Moore Simulcast Review Part Three: Personal Revelation 2014
1. Sharon Lareau of Chapter 3 Ministries, Evaluating Beth Moore’s Upcoming Live Simulcast, 2015 (How to pay attention to the red flags the Spirit raises in us, a good discernment lesson in prep for evaluating Moore’s simulcast)
2. Sharon Lareau of Chapter 3 Ministries, Class on Discernment: Living Proof Live Simulcast, 2015
3. Sharon Lareau of Chapter 3 Ministries, 2015 Living Proof Live Simulcast Review Part One
Pam Terrell: Breaking Up With Beth Moore
Book Review by Discerning Reader: Get out of That Pit (the reviewer does not recommend the book)
Adriane Heins, she is a Lutheran I believe. In this essay she also mentions Joyce Meyer. I appreciated this a lot: “Beth and Joyce want you to feel your theology; Christ assures you of it.” (Cached version)
“Friends Don’t let Friends Read Beth Moore“
Further reading, Critiques By Men:
Can you talk about the dangers of popular teachers who are not heretical but say that God talks to them? I am thinking specifically of Beth Moore. What are we to do with people who refuse to see the danger and insist such teachers are OK?
Believers must always listen carefully when any teacher or preacher speaks about the Bible and theology. They must share the nobility of the Berean saints whom Luke commended for double checking Paul’s teaching according to Scripture (cf. Acts 17:1–11). While Beth Moore teaches with accuracy on some points, she also holds positions and teaches doctrines that are both incorrect and dangerous.
Beth Moore promotes contemplative prayer, a mystical practice not found in Scripture which includes elements of eastern mysticism. She chooses not to draw firm doctrinal lines on her website while implying the Roman Catholic Church is a Christian denomination alongside the Methodist, Baptist, and other denominations. Beth also claims that she has received visions from God and sometimes receives revelation from Him in her heart. From these examples we must conclude that the lack of biblical and theological depth in Beth Moore’s teaching renders her a dubious and dangerous source of Bible teaching.
From Rev. Matt Slick, Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry: A critique of Beth Moore’s teaching here.
Beth Moore’s followers don’t understand the Gospel, by Jeff Maples
From a man named Dale Wilson at the blog The King’s Dale: Beth Moore – False Teacher
Pastor Mike Abendroth, 90-second video: Where is Beth Moore’s Husband?
Pastor Mike Abendroth, sermon clip: Beth Moore-a or Sola Scriptura?
Pastor Mike Abendroth 22 minute radio show, answering emails about Beth Moore
Justin Peters: Spiritual Shipwreck of the Word Faith Movement (not solely devoted to critiquing Moore but she is part of the overall sermon lesson)
Chris Rosebrough: 90-min., Line-by-line audio critique of Moore’s handling of a lesson on Hebrews 10:35-36, Beth Moore’s Dangerous Bible Twisting
I do not agree with a lot of what Mr Wade Burleson has to say. But I include this link because by his own admission he is a fan of Moore and considers her an asset to the Body of Christ, and even he is scratching his head at how Moore treated James 4:10-11 in the study Mercy Triumphs. I especially appreciated his critique of Moore’s penchant for making promises about God’s intentions, as if she knows at any given moment what God will do in this or that situation, something I mentioned in the Commissioning essay above.
“God Will Kick Your Tail” – A Critique of Beth Moore’s Teaching on James 4:10-11 from Mercy Triumphs
Strange Fire Q&A: Beth Moore
This short Q&A addresses Moore’s claim of extra-biblical revelation
Grace To You sermon series:
How to Talk to a Heretic
Biblical stance on why Beth Moore has always been false (or any false teacher) and it didn’t just come on suddenly