Posted in theology

Discernment, “Evil Suspicions”, and Beth Moore

By Elizabeth Prata

Over the last two days I have posted something about Founders Baptist Church in Houston’s Love In Truth conference, where the theme was “Discernment, Faith, and Fidelity to the Truth.” I learned so much and enjoyed the quality of the lectures and sermons. The organization posted the videos for free on Youtube. Here is the channel with all the lectures and sermons.

I was especially interested in something Ken Ramey said in his sermon: The Discerning Listener (1 Timothy 1:3–11) | Truth In Love 2021 | Session 3. Paul is saying in 1 Tim 6:4 about a different doctrine and people who do not agree with sound doctrine,

he is conceited and understands nothing; but he has a sick craving for controversial questions and disputes about words, from which come envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions,

Hmmm, evil suspicions… what’s that about? It means someone ascribes evil motives to another person.

In the sermon on this verse by John MacArthur called The Pathology of False Teachers, we read that “Unity is the test of truth”. True teachers bring unity because we unite around our common understandings from the Bible. False teachers bring division. Paul warned about that. There’s nothing worse than a false teacher casting evil suspicions onto or about a believer. Why? Because suspicions are nebulous, hard to deny, and they cause division in the minds and hearts of the hearers by raising doubt about the integrity of the person the suspicion is aimed at. This slander, and God HATES slander.

Evil suspicions leads to disputings, which is-

a very interesting word. It’s a double compound word, diaparatribē. It means to be mutually rubbing together, constant friction, constant hassling, constant irritation. In fact, Chrysostom used to say it was like two diseased sheep rubbing their diseases into each other. ~John MacArthur

How’s THAT for a vivid picture? False teaching brought by false teachers is serious! We don’t coddle these people. We don’t give grace to these people. I will give you a recent example of an evil suspicion Paul talks about in the 1 Timothy 6:4 verse. Beth Moore. She is the best at casting evil suspicions. Doing so is yet another nail in the proof coffin that Beth Moore is a false teacher.

When Moore was in her 20s, she substitute-taught a Sunday School class for women. She had been leading an aerobics class, but the teacher who normally taught was going out on maternity leave, so the pastor asked Beth Moore to teach the class. Moore’s time as a sub ended up being almost a year, and during the course of it, Moore realized she was out of her depth. She decided to take ‘a doctrine class’ (never fully defined on what that entailed). The teacher, who she named in this article as Buddy Walters, kept on privately tutoring her (with her husband present, but more on that in a moment) for a few years afterward.

For decades, Moore has spoken of Buddy Walters in a positive light, gushing about him in Moore’s emotional way. Here in one of the many times she has spoken of her former teacher and mentor, she’s quoted as saying: “I’ve never lost my esteem for my teacher. I could get tears in my eyes just thinking about him. He taught under a powerful unction of the Holy Spirit and with a love for the Bible that I had never seen. I suppose some 90 percent of what he taught me I still believe with all my heart. No one made a deeper investment in my love for the Word of God.

Wow, that’s some teacher! She is blessed to have had his time and energy and wisdom to invest into her.

Sadly, by 2021, she has lost esteem for her teacher. She now casts evil suspicions on him. In a series of tweets from this week, Moore wrote,

“Studied day in, day out. Everything I could get my hands on. Drove my teacher crazy. He’d send me home with stacks of materials. Say he didn’t want to see me again till I’d gone through all of them. I’d show back up the next week for more. He was ultra conservative. I’m sure it frustrated the heck out of him that it was a woman in his class that caught the fever. I laugh as I think back on it because I always credited him & now I realize he probably would have preferred that I not. LOL. He is with the Lord now. Oh mercy, I loved him. And so did Keith.” (timestamp- 8:38 AM · Jan 25, 2021)

It wasn’t necessary to state the man was “ultra conservative”, unless, you want to cast suspicions on him for having to teach a woman instead of a man. Or that “ultra conservatives” are frustrated that the women in his class are excited for the word of God.

It is a shame that false teacher Beth Moore cast suspicions on a beloved mentor, who took his time over years to help her. Who is now dead and cannot defend these evil suspicions cast on his motivations.

As a side note, it’s also a shame that she had to include this little nugget in her reminiscence: “Not that Keith ever took a class but, when this man started mentoring me one on one, he wouldn’t meet with me without Keith present. So Keith would sit right there at the table & flip through a fishing magazine. They ended up such good friends. Oh man, I wouldn’t trade any of it.” 8:38 AM · Jan 25, 2021.

It’s like the time Moore made sure to mention that “my man isn’t inclined to study the scriptures”. We get it. Your husband won’t go to church and won’t study the word. He’ll hunt and he’ll fish but he isn’t religious at all. We get it. Ladies, it’s crass to disparage your husband in public. It’s also crass if you do it in a passive-aggressive way. I’m also unsure of how the deer corn adds to biblical study.

From Ken Ramey’s sermon, you can tell if someone is false if their words-

–are detracting from God’s work
–if they do not produce a sound faith
–distract you from Jesus rather than focusing on Jesus (in other words, if their words
–cause a controversy so often you get caught up in their controversy and not come away with a better understanding of Jesus)
–incite constant friction with their words
–bring constant chaos and breakdown of relationships

Ladies, the Bible is replete with warnings and commands regarding false teachers. Mr. Ramey noted that all New Testament books warned something about false doctrine or false teachers except for Philemon. If the Holy Spirit inspired the writers to deal with the subject that often, it behooves us to heed those warnings by making sure we understand all the passages about it and apply them to the people we follow in our lives. Beth Moore is a false teacher who should be avoided, as are any teachers who cast evil suspicions.


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

2 thoughts on “Discernment, “Evil Suspicions”, and Beth Moore

  1. Well, “conservative” is used in a derogatory way nowadays, so maybe that’s what she was aiming at. That’s how I would interpret it.

    And she can’t tell us that “I’m sure it frustrated the heck out of him that it was a woman in his class that caught the fever.” She’s not in his head. Not to sound like Judge Judy, but you can’t tell me what someone else is *thinking.*

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  2. Elizabeth, great article as usual. I really appreciate your posts. I noticed that the scripture quoted at the end of the 2nd paragraph seems to be attributed to 1 Timothy 1:4, but it is 1 Timothy 6:4. When I tried to look up the Greek word behind evil suspicions I discovered this.

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