By Elizabeth Prata
Beth Moore, biblically, is a teacher #fail
Did you know that for men who desire to teach, pastor, or lead, there are many more Biblical standards addressing their behavior than there are skill-level credentials? There’s just one mentioned skill: Men must be “able to teach”. But there are many more verses outlining how they are to behave. If they fail to adhere to any of the standards, including behavioral, they are disqualified from the position.
It’s the same for women. There are many more behavior and lifestyle standards than skills. If God were grading on a curve, behavior would weigh more than skills or talents. Here some of them are in Titus 2:3-5. The passage opens with admonishment for women to be reverent and ends with warnings that failure to be reverent will dishonor God’s word.
Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.
I think we all understand what it means to be reverent, not a malicious gossip, and not a drunk. What does sensible mean in this context? It is to be self-controlled and of sound mind. Mark that, I’ll come back to it. What does it mean to “dishonor” God’s word? The Greek here is blasphēmētai 987: “to slander, hence to speak lightly or profanely of sacred things.” It is to be irreverent.
Now that we know what God expects, let’s take a look at who fails the test, and why.
Beth Moore. She fails the teacher test in sooo many ways! I first started warning about Beth Moore ten years ago. In 2011 I wrote about Beth Moore’s approach to Bible teaching as undignified, in a series of posts called “Troubled by Beth Moore’s Teaching.”
In part 2 of that series, I’d said her Bible lessons lack gravitas, and are more like comedy routines where she uses props like hula hoops and trash cans while flailing about the stage. I’d written, “teaching the Bible with respect requires some gravitas. It requires some dignity. It isn’t a prop or a party trick. I shun antics as the main behavior of the teaching session. Funny sometimes, yes. Zany Bible teachers? No. Anyone who has seen a Beth Moore clip knows that self-control and being circumspect are absent too often. Her bio says she ‘teaches with energy and passion,’ which is a dressed up euphemism for ‘wild’. She even calls herself obnoxious. I call it undignified.”
I received a lot of opposition to the notion that behavior and lifestyle should be looked at when assessing whether a Bible teacher or leader is qualified for the job. But, it’s biblical to do so. Moore’s behavior has only gone downhill since I first started taking a hard look ten years ago.
As for today, let us examine Moore’s publicly admitted behaviors that disqualify her from teaching or leading women. These are behaviors I’ve noted over the past ten years, and she consistently displays them. This is simply the latest example, not the only example. She tweeted in a three-tweet thread:
Here, she admits to failing the required self-control test. She can’t trust herself to not say anything ugly, and she is on the verge of physical assault against somebody. She states she is not an edifying influence on people, admitting she’s such a drain that people will be relieved to be out of her presence. It’s the opposite of the gracious and hospitable demeanor women are called to cultivate. In Proverbs 31:26 an excellent women is admired because “the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.” Beth Moore fails to teach kindness. Kindness is not on her tongue.
Again, Moore admits to lack of self-control, going awry the more she talks, not knowing when to stop. Proverbs 10:19 says, “When there are many words, wrongdoing is unavoidable, But one who restrains his lips is wise.” She is apparently unable (or unwilling) to restrain her lips.
She also admits to dishonoring the word of God. She wants to walk with Jesus, but wants also to cast aside His word by refusing to take back what she said. She wants it both ways, to appear pious, without repenting.
An older woman is supposed to “teach what is good.” Telling her followers it’s OK to misbehave is not ‘good’. She sets aside the behavior Jesus requires, saying it’s overrated. Why? To pursue her own wants. See above.
Now think, if Beth Moore displays such lack of control in public, what do you think she’s like at home? Usually people are better behaved in public when acquaintances and strangers can see them, reserving their worst qualities to display in the privacy of her home. If she has this much lack of control and undignified behavior in public, Moore must be quite a piece of work at private!
It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house. (Proverbs 21:9, 10).
I said I’d come back to the part of the verse that calls older women to be “sensible”. The word in the Greek means to be self-controlled and of sound mind. I’ve shown that Moore isn’t self-controlled by her own admission and by any standard of anyone with a brain who has watched her for these last couple of decades. As for sound mind? Many have questioned the state of her mind. Her behavior and her rants often makes her seem unstable and very unsound.
Finally, the last part of the Titus 2 verse, what does it mean to “dishonor” God’s word? The Greek here is blasphēmētai 987: “to slander, hence to speak lightly or profanely of sacred things.” Beth Moore fails the qualifications for an older woman teaching the younger because of this as well. Her tweet thread is an example. True repentance displays humility and a brokenness for how her poor behavior has reflected on Jesus. Moore doesn’t display any of that. It’s always about her.
I do pray for her and I do hope she repents. I’m dismayed by how much influence she has. Her antics have persisted now for 35 years, almost a generation. Many younger women, far from having benefited from an older woman teaching them, have instead been introduced to Moore’s besetting sins, sins which not only pollute their own walk, but corrupt the faith more widely. I have been collecting quotes from women who laud Moore’s example of speaking militantly and of preaching to men, not knowing how bad of an example it is. I’ll write more about the ‘Beth Moore effect’ soon.
Meanwhile, I am also righteously angry at her behavior and its dishonor against Jesus. I’d like to see more people speak of righteous anger about Beth Moore and her vastly negative influence. Where is the indignation that she has led so many astray? Where is the white hot anger in the Lord for her daring to be a prophet? For her many outrageous indignations against Jesus? And before you say that righteous anger isn’t right, Paul was white hot against the Galatians for accepting a different Gospel, he was angry with Peter’s hypocrisy, and he was mad enough to say that anyone accepting false teaching was conceited and ignorant. And more!
Yes, I hope she repents, but if not, then I echo archangel Michael, “May the Lord rebuke you!” If Beth Moore does not repent, I will look forward to Christ’s justice in wrath when she faces Him- not because I hate Beth Moore. I don’t. But because I love Jesus.
When you accept a false teacher into your fold, you are abandoning your love for Him. Paul gave no quarter to that foolishness. Avoid Beth Moore. She is unqualified, a dishonor to Jesus, and an affliction in the faith.