Posted in theology

“You’ve destroyed my beautiful wickedness!”

By Elizabeth Prata


A few days ago I summarized the issues that are occurring in California between the Los Angeles Supervisors and Gov. Gavin Newsom, and Grace Community Church led by John MacArthur. I’d noted that MacArthur is a strong pastor, standing on the word of God. Through his consistent teaching verse-by-verse over the 51 years of his pastorate, his moral example, and the commitment to living biblical precepts, he has raised up a congregation of people and a seminary full of future pastors and leaders who are likewise strong. They are withstanding the onslaught against them with patience, joy, and strength.

The verses I’d rested the point of the essay upon were Luke 6:40,

A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher.

and Matthew 10:24-25a,

A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master.

The reverse is also true. We know that false teachers have existed almost since Day 1. They polluted the faith in various ways throughout the Old Testament and into the New Testament. The true Prophets of God railed against them, and the true Apostles of Jesus also wrote much about them. In fact, every book of the New Testament except Philemon speaks about false teachers.

We are taught in the Bible how to spot them. We compare what they say to the word of God so see if these things are so (Acts 17:11). We also look at how they live, for we’re told that life and doctrine matters, both. (1 Timothy 4:16). What false teachers teach, their deeds, their lifestyle, their moral example, it all constitutes signals to the observer or student as to whether this person is worthy to be followed and their teachings worthy to be absorbed.

In addition to the above, we look at the reverse of the example of solid congregations led by solid pastors. Who is following this teacher? Who approves of what they teach? If a student when fully grown will be like his teacher, what will the (false)teacher’s students be like? They will be false, too!

There is a famous scene in the classic 1939 film “The Wizard of Oz” starring Judy Garland as Dorothy and Margaret Hamilton as the Wicked Witch of the West. The wicked witch has captured Dorothy and her friends the Tin Man, the Lion, and the hay-filled Scarecrow. Se sets the Scarecrow on fire. Dorothy frantically casts about for water and finds a bucket nearby. She drenches the Scarecrow, putting out the fire that was consuming his arm but a lot of the water also gets onto the Witch.

Apparently water is anathema to the witch, and she screams in agony. She yells,

You cursed brat! Look what you’ve done!  I’m melting! Melting! Oh, what a world! What a world! Who would have thought a good little girl like you could destroy my beautiful wickedness?

‘My beautiful wickedness’ … the sinner loves his sin and wants to keep it. John 3:19 speaks to this. And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.

A true teacher of God will teach God’s word, a word that is anathema to sinners. As we pursue holiness, we melt away the wickedness in our flesh. We kill it. We subdue it. We anathematize it. We pursue that which is good. And we do so joyfully, because of Jesus.

The Gospel offends. The life of holiness offends. Calling out sin offends. At some point in following a teacher or pastor, whether it’s your own or someone online, you will be convicted by what they are teaching. You will be offended, for your flesh will rear up and try to shy away from that water trying to melt your wickedness.

Unconverted sinners are never convicted by what a false teacher says. That is why they heap up these teachers, (2 Timothy 4:3) so their ears can be tickled, rather than mortifying their sin. It’s more pleasant to be tickled than to gouge out your own eye or tear off your own arm if it’s sinning, isn’t it?! (Matthew 18:8-9).

Followers of false teachers do not do those things. They glory in their wickedness. Here is an example. This person follows Beth Moore. She affirms what Beth Moore teaches. She applauds it. She enjoys it.

beth moore follower

This person is a female priest, a lesbian, joined in an unholy marriage, anarchist-communist (that’s what ‘ancom’ is), and gender fluid/tolerant. So many errors. But she loves Beth Moore and consistently applauds Moore’s teachings, even pronouncing blessings on Moore. Moore consistently responds kindly and approvingly to this sinner, accepting her plaudits. By this we can deduce that Beth Moore is a false teacher heaped up by a rebellious sinner, content to have her discipling ears tickled. If I was contentedly followed by people who glory in their sin, I would know that I was teaching error and I’d want to correct it immediately! I’d be horrified! And for the sake of the person’s soul, I’d want to try and reach this person with the Gospel!

But Romans 1:32 says,

Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

So in deciding whether to begin following an author, pastor, teacher or leader, look to see whether what they say aligns with the Bible, first. Look to their life. And look to who approves of this teacher, observing his or her followers. Are the followers growing in godliness? Humble? Obedient? Wise? Or are they loud-mouthed, rebellious, error-ridden, and glorying in their sins? By these methods we can sort the good and true from the false and rotten.


Christian writer and Georgia teacher's aide who loves Jesus, a quiet life, art, beauty, and children.

6 thoughts on ““You’ve destroyed my beautiful wickedness!”

  1. This is SO good, Elizabeth! I can’t remember where I heard this (maybe it was you?) but years ago I came across an article that suggested a helpful way to discern if a pastor/teacher is “safe”. Draw a circle around their name and on the outside of the circle write the names of the people that influence them. It’s been a helpful tool. John MacArthur is influenced by the Bible and godly men only. He is safe and solid and I take great comfort in that.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thanks you for this excellent article. I’ve been working with a group of women who have followed Beth and Phyllis Shire and all the others. When I moved to the area and started teaching them trutth,they balked. They thought I was so mean. Now, after using only the Bible to study, they are trusting the Word and me. I’m so grateful to have this to share with them. Please know how much you are appreciated. To God be the glory!!!!

    Love from your sister in Christ, Conni Hudson

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My church ladies here love Beth Moore. I am not a fan. I did like Priscilla Shire, but now I am not sure about her. I feel a little lost because I feel we women are being hoodwinked by these teachers. I know that what they say/teach sometimes brings tears, but am I truly being convicted by the Spirit or is it all just emotionalism?



    1. Hi Nicole,

      All good questions. Important questions. Beth Moore is a false teacher. So is Priscilla Shirer. I’ll include some links at the bottom for you so you can investigate further.

      Emotionalism is bad, while emotions are good. I feel emotions like being overcome with love for the savior, or anger over sins, or joy when gathering with the saints… those are appropriate responses to a holy God and the Spirit He put inside of us. But the ladies you mentioned manufacture emotions in order to hide behind them as a fog to disguise the emptiness of their teaching. In 2 Corinthian we read “for such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. 14And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness.”

      In other words, they sound legitimate because they purposely disguise themselves as true disciples, but they are not. The mask they wear as false workers only goes so deep. Delving into the Word reveals their lie.

      RE Beth Moore: I’ve compiled 70+ essays critiquing her teaching, some by me, other women, and men/pastors. Here

      Priscilla Shirer has been written about by Michelle Lesley, here


Comments are closed.