Beth Moore has a lot to answer for in normalizing women preaching/teaching to men

By Elizabeth Prata

Sometimes the pot warms its water so slowly even the most discerning frog swimming in it doesn’t realize the change in temperature in his environment until it’s too late. Even though this isn’t scientifically true, “the story is often used as a metaphor for the inability or unwillingness of people to react to or be aware of sinister threats that arise gradually rather than suddenly,” as Wikipedia explains.

It was a given that for more than 2000 years women are not to be teachers or preachers of men. We women can and do teach, we minister, and we evangelize. We discuss, we help, we clarify perhaps in a private setting, but we are not to have biblical authority over men in church expository situations.

I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.” (1 Timothy 2:12)

How is a women preaching to men a sinister situation? It’s sin. As RC Sproul said, sin is cosmic treason!

Ask the metaphorical Jezebel of Revelation 2:20 who was teaching things God did not say. Jesus promised to kill her and her followers. Inserting words into God’s mouth is sin.

Look at the Garden. One certain fruit was eaten against God’s command, and the entire race of humankind was polluted with sin. Ignoring what God said is sin.

What God says to do or not do matters. We don’t need 50,000 verses. One is enough. Women are not allowed to teach the Bible to men.

But Beth Moore does.

She has been doing it for 30 years.

Woe to Beth Moore.

A female generation is about 25 years. Therefore, it’s woe to the generation of women coming up in Christian circles who have for the entire time been seeing Moore’s preaching to men as normal, even with her pastor’s overt blessing, or the tacit blessing of her denomination the Southern Baptist Convention and its arm, Lifeway.

For years Moore taught Bible to a co-ed Sunday School class of 600-700 people as you read in that link above and later up to 900 people as stated in this link:

At that time, God began to do a new thing, stirring the heart of Beth to move to a new meeting place, meeting time, change the name of the class, and allow men to attend.

Is it God stirring the heart of a woman to disobey scripture and to teach men? I think not. In Revelation 2:23 it’s noted that Jesus will strike Jezebel’s children dead. These are not Jezebel’s biological children, but the spiritual daughters she is raising up in her polluted, sinful likeness.

The 1 Timothy scripture seems not to bother Moore. She has not repented of this cosmic treason. She describes her origins as a Bible teacher. Her Sunday School class began in 1985 and she was still teaching it in 2005. Her class almost from the beginning had a mixed audience.

Being a woman called to leadership within and simultaneously beyond those walls [of an SBC church] was complicated to say the least but I worked within the system. After all, I had no personal aspirations to preach nor was it my aim to teach men. If men showed up in my class, I did not throw them out. I taught. ~Beth Moore

It does not matter if you “had personal aspirations to preach” to men or not. If you do, you’re sinning. If you fail to stop it, you’re sinning.

How did this begin? Moore began teaching an aerobics class in Texas in the 80s at her church. It gravitated somehow (don’t ask me how, that’s a leap I can’t figure) to a Bible class in 1985. That soon turned to a co-ed class, then a 600-700 member coed class.

Moore eventually founded Living Proof Ministry in 1994. By 2003 her Living Proof Live conferences had gone beyond the confines of her church and beyond the Texas border. A national magazine took notice. Their opening sentence called her a minister.

“Once a victim of abuse, Beth Moore is one of America’s most popular ministers today.”

The article went on to note that men attended her Sunday School class. It was popular, so crowded with both sexes that attendees were asked to car pool because the parking lot was so jammed.

But the crowded conditions don’t seem to deter them. Not even the men, who came for a while in large numbers, were put off–until the ministry limited them by asking them to sit in the back, and if necessary, give up their seats to women. It is a women’s Bible study, after all. And though men are not restricted from attending, they aren’t encouraged, either. The selectivity has nothing to do with the location. With her pastor’s sanction, Beth teaches a co-ed Sunday school class of 600 to 700 in the same Southern Baptist church each week. But her ministry “really is to women,” she says. “My love is women in the body of Christ.” [emphasis mine]

An obedient teacher says “My love is for Christ and His word, and I asked the pastor to restrict the class to women only.” But as Beth Moore said above, “I didn’t throw them out. I taught.” She sought bigger rooms to accommodate them all.

The ‘aw, shucks, I’m really just a women’s teacher’ won’t cut it when pleading for mercy in front of the throne. Failure to obey the Word is failure to obey. She has been a usurper from the beginning.

And she keeps on teaching.

In 2010 when her fame was rising, Christianity Today did a 6-page cover story on her. The article cites the following:

Before she begins, she addresses the few men in the crowd. A Southern Baptist, Moore emphasizes that her ministry is intended for women. “The gentlemen who had such courage to come into this place tonight, into this estrogen fest if you will ever find one in your entire life: we are so blessed to have you,” Moore says. “I do not desire to have any kind of authority over you.”

It’s laughable to pronounce a blessing on the men in attendance, welcome them, preach the Bible to them, and then meekly deny any authority over them. Is her teaching from the Word authoritative over the women but not the men sitting next to them? Or do the women reject her authority to teach and they’re just coming, say, for the music? You see the illogic. If she teaches authoritatively, she teaches authoritatively to all in the hearing of it.

As far as Moore’s coyness that she does not desire to be authoritative over them, this is false. Genesis 3:16 tells us it is IN us to want to usurp male authority. It doesn’t matter if you desire to break God’s command or not, if you DO, you’re sinning. Try telling the traffic policeman that “I did not desire to speed on the highway” and see if he lets you go.

The Christianity Today story is behind a paywall now. However, the link is here if you want to see the source.

Moore’s occasional weak protest, that men attend her classes and conferences on their own volition so it isn’t really her fault, doesn’t hold water. She taught men in her SS class for 20 years. By 2012, she was personally asked to substitute for pastor Louie Giglio preaching the Sunday Service at Louie Giglio’s Passion City Church, and she accepted. It was Holy Week, and she preached John 19 to a very, VERY large crowd of congregants. Some of these people, men included, lined up two hours early just to hear her.

Brian Dodd was one of those men. He attended Passion City Church that weekend and wrote a recap of her sermon. Gushing about how Moore is “a church leader” and how excited he was that he showed up hours early, he wrote,

Sunday, July 1st [2012] was the hottest day in Atlanta history! 106 degrees! And Beth Moore (yes, that Beth Moore) was preaching at Passion City Church. Passion City Church pastor Louie Giglio is going through the book of John but was going to be in Australia at the Hillsong Conference. He needed a GREAT bible teacher to teach John 19, the crucifixion of Jesus. He called Beth and (pardon the pun) man did she deliver! Expecting an overflow crowd, my family arrived at 2:00 PM to get in line for the 4:00 PM service. … The Passion leadership team did an excellent job using social media to build anticipation and promote Beth’s appearance.

Moore affirmed on her blog that she was asked to preach at Giglio’s church and that she accepted.

we thought about this message that I had the privilege to give at Passion City Church in Atlanta, Georgia. My good friend, Louie Giglio, had asked me to speak on John 19 which records the crucifixion of Christ.

 

Above, the Wednesdays With Beth broadcast on LIFE Today TV appears to have more men in the audience than women. Source

Screen grabs from videos like this in 2012 harm women when they see a female on stage preaching from the Bible shoulder to shoulder with men. It’s visual egalitarianism. Photos like this are damaging. L-R, Lecrae, Moore, Chan, Giglio, Piper preaching at Passion Conference in 2012:

She has preached at Hillsong Conference to mixed audiences. Hillsong promoted the event to women AND men. See their blurb below.

Beth Moore is one of the leading Bible-teachers today [2017] and we couldn’t be more excited that she will be bringing a powerful message to the Hillsong Conference Sydney experience. … Her message is for both men and women alike and has inspired countless people around the world, and we are believing it will be an incredible blessing to your life. [emphasis mine]

The 2017 Hillsong Conference had a lineup of male speakers plus Moore, including Lakewood’s associate pastor, John Gray. The only other woman on the lineup was Lauren Daigle, a singer. Hillsong promoted it thus:

The church is ready and waiting for what some of the world’s most renowned preachers are going to say about God, the church at large and God at work in communities right across the globe. … Speakers include Beth Moore, Craig Groeschel, John Gray, Jentezen Franklin and Brian Houston. [emphasis mine. Source]

Is the world waiting for a female preacher to educate us on God, the church at large, and God at work in your community? I think not.

Also in 2017, we read of yet another example of Moore preaching to men. Ministry Magazine published this first person recap of Moore’s sermon at the 28th General Conference of the International Pentecostal Holiness Church. The author is J. Lee Grady, a man.

I was attending a gathering of Pentecostals held at a convention center in Orlando, Florida. When the speaker concluded the sermon, people began to stream to the altar. Many of them—including pastors—lay prostrate on the floor. Many were sobbing uncontrollably. Some people wept and prayed for an hour after the meeting was dismissed.

You may ask, “What’s so remarkable about that?” This meeting, held on July 26, was unique because the speaker was a Southern Baptist—and a woman. Yet her message was so convicting and so saturated in the Holy Spirit that people ran to the stage even though she didn’t even invite people to the altar.

The woman was author and popular women’s speaker Beth Moore, and the occasion was the 28th General Conference of the International Pentecostal Holiness Church. Leaders from the Assemblies of God, the Church of God and Nigeria’s Redeemed Christian Church of God were in attendance, along with thousands of Pentecostals from all over the world.

In addition to Moore’s actual preaching to men, a sin, she sins by failing to separate from other women who preach and call themselves pastors. She encourages women in their preaching to men.

In 2014 she spent time with Preacher Joyce Meyer on Meyer’s set of Enjoying Everyday Life, gushing about how thrilled she was to be with Meyer. Meyer’s early career included her role as associate pastor. Meyer has over 6M followers on Twitter and 11.5M on Facebook.

Moore also partners with and encourages other women who identify as co-pastor. Victoria Osteen calls herself co-pastor of Lakewood Church, preaching along with her husband Joel Osteen. Victoria made a splash in 2014 by preaching that when we worship it’s not for God, it’s for ourselves.

Yet that same year, Moore preached with Osteen at the Unwrap the Bible conference:

She is also friends with and encourages/promotes “co-senior-pastor” Bobbie Houston. Here is Moore at the 2014 Hillsong Colour Conference with Bobbie.

We must separate from false teachers and heretics. Moore does not do that, and by her continued support of these people, and they of her, more confusion is added to the body of believers, particularly younger women. Women are the weaker vessel, (1 Peter 3:7), gullible to false teaching if we are unrepentant (2 Timothy 3:6), and our flesh wants to usurp the husband (Genesis 3:16). It is unwise to partner with heretics and to encourage them. By partnering with them, Moore proves her allegiance.

After decades of teaching men and preaching to men, any declarations otherwise are only lip service.

If a woman publicly preaches to men for decades, is seemingly accepted in this role, and even promoted in it, the cumulative damage to the greater body of women is great. In June 2018, the Washington Post published an incredible article about Moore. The title was,

How Beth Moore is helping to change the face of evangelical leadership

In the article she is called a ‘great preacher’,

She has her audience laughing, tearing up and clapping, much like they would listening to any great preacher.

The article’s author notes that the Southern Baptist Convention doesn’t allow female preachers, and then went on for a paragraph describing how Moore gets around it by using tweets, books, and speaking engagements as her pulpit. The article also describes how Moore is the face of global evangelism and is personally the transition linchpin for this new future:

Moore is one of the evangelical leaders today who represent the future of the global church, in which people outside Europe and the United States will be dominant. … Moore represents this transition, which is shaping even the most conservative corners of evangelicalism.

There is the danger. After so many decades of preaching and teaching, Moore has warmed the pot and the girl froglets see women preaching to men from pulpits, in churches, at conferences, or other settings, as normal. Desirable. Meanwhile, despite the Bible’s instruction to women to be gentle, meek, quiet, and industrious, tending to their homes and children, Moore has become culturally confrontational. Political. As the lengthy article about Moore last month in The Atlantic reveals,

“Privately, however, Moore has never cared much for the delicate norms of Christian femininity.”

We know. If she did, she would not preach to men. The pot is boiling now. Is this what we want for our young women? Women who are confrontational, rebellious, vocal, political, taking on the culture, preaching to men, partnering with other rebellious preacher women and ignoring her home duties?

Though she often performs domestic femininity for her audience, in her own life she has balanced motherhood with demanding professional ambitions. She traveled every other weekend while her two daughters were growing up—they told me they ate a lot of takeout. Source The Atlantic

Performs’ domestic femininity? Pretends. AKA, lip service. (Isaiah 29:13).

Writers like J. Lee Grady would love to see more women preach like Moore does. He writes in Ministry Today Magazine that it’s finally about time that women take the reins in the pulpit.

What is baffling about this whole experience is that there are large numbers of Christians today who don’t believe Beth Moore should be preaching to [mixed gender] audiences like the one in Orlando. In fact, some fundamentalists have launched attacks on her because she preaches authoritatively from pulpits.

We need an army of women like Beth Moore, and my prayer is that more women will seek the Lord and dig into His Word with the same passion that Moore has. I believe she is a forerunner for a new generation of both men and women who will carry a holy Pentecostal fire that cannot be restricted by gender.

The Washington Post predicts that, as well. Grady’s desire may yet come true. There was talk this summer of Moore being nominated for president of the Southern Baptist Convention. Her virtue signalling tweets, politically charged ‘Open Letters‘ on social media and timely hopping onto cultural topics such as social justice are akin to a Senator’s moves before a presidential run.

Imagine, within one generation a woman whose former claim to fame was the latest aerobics moves climbed steadily up to being seriously considered for president of the world’s largest denomination, a conservative one, at that. One generation, after 2000 years of holding fast to scripture on this issue. Sin is amazing in its power.

I began this essay chronicling Moore’s journey to normalizing women’s usurpation of men from the pulpit by saying ‘It was a given that for more than 2000 years women are not given to be teachers or preachers of men.’ It was. It WAS. Past tense.

Yet the LORD our God is still on His throne and He still maintains a hard line on the roles women and men are to operate within in His church. That is a given.

For God is not a God of confusion but of peace. As in all churches of the saints, the women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the law also says. If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church. (1Corinthians 14: 33-35).

8 Comments

  1. Thanks for publishing this with all of the links to support your statements about Beth Moore. I have texted it to several people.

    Like

    1. You are most welcome. I am a believer in offering links to primary sources so people can check them out and read them in context. Please DO let me knwo if a link goes dead or doesn’t work for you. I’ll do my best to find an alternate.

      Like

  2. When I read things like this, my response is one of fear…….it compels me to pray to the Lord for mercy that He would open my eyes to see any sin that I need to repent of, and to grant me that repentance.

    I also feel sad for all of the men who are willingly going to hear her teach. You are right. Sin is awesome (in a bad way) in its power to change things so radically in a generation. Woe.

    Like

  3. Thank you for writing such a well-documented expose of Beth Moore’s rise to “fame”. It is so discouraging to see any woman who holds a Bible in her hands so easily reject it’s clear teaching on the role of women in the church. It is also very disheartening to see men in the church so willingly give up their God ordained roles so easily. Thank you again Elizabeth, I can only imagine how much time and effort it took you to put this very comprehensive article together.

    Liked by 2 people

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