By Elizabeth Prata
Beth Moore and her husband Keith have become members of a local Anglican Church.
False teachers exist. They damage the faithful and they blemish the spotless name of Jesus. They are a scourge.
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. (1 John 4:1).
Beth Moore: False Teacher
One of these false teachers is Beth Moore. The Lord for His own reasons, has allowed her to operate publicly as a teacher for a very long time, since at least 1985. Her charm, her good looks, her expressive dynamism, and her talent for telling a story propelled her over the years to the top of the heap in ‘Bible Study’ authors and itinerant teachers.
She has stayed there all this time. Before Moore parted with Lifeway, her publisher, earlier this year, I was told by a Lifeway worker in 2018 that “No one’s products provide as much revenue as Beth Moore’s”. She is popular, and the money proves it.
Further Resources: All Beth Moore Critiques here in One Place.
The verse in Matthew 7:21-23, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; leave Me, you who practice lawlessness.’
The future shock of that moment when someone discovers they were not really saved after all is disturbing to think of. The moment when a false convert who knew or suspected they were false but who discover that no argument, no reasoning, or no plea to Jesus will save them is also haunting. The Lord will say, ‘depart from me.’
The other disturbing element of false teachers is they cast reproach onto Jesus’ name by their evil words, deeds, or lifestyle. I hate that. I really hate that. And Moore is a prime example of females who do this. But on the Day, I will also exult in the Lord Jesus’ vindication of His name!
Apostasy: The departure from the faith
False converts are an interesting species of people. Sometimes their treachery rises to a level of theology or behavior that quickly identifies their lost state. I think of the story of Charles Templeton and Billy Graham. The two were close friends. They shared billing, they founded things together, but Templeton soon publicly began struggling with doubt. Within ten years he’d was an avowed agnostic and had left the faith.
I consider Billy Graham a false convert too, one who apostatized. (I believe this for many reasons, all scriptural, but that’s another essay. If you ask me to substantiate it, I will.) Graham persevered after pairing with Templeton as a seeming ‘true convert’ for 84 years – but with clues as to how shaky his foundation was if one cared to look. Templeton faded fast but Graham remained for decades, never actually renouncing the faith like Templeton did, but by his words and acts, falling away from the foundational doctrines. This is also apostasy.
Apostasy is either a renunciation of the faith, (Templeton), or it’s a falling away from the foundational doctrines of the faith while clinging to the non-foundational doctrines and going through the outward motions of a believer. (Graham). More on the definition of apostasy in the link below.
False Believers: Always down and away
The trajectory of a false teacher/false convert is always down. It’s always away from the faith. Either fast or slow, they’re always departing from the Word of God. The Lord Jesus said there are only two paths. You’re on one or the other. It’s either narrow or broad. Period. (Not that some can’t realize they are on the broad path, repent, and become a sojourner on the narrow path).
The trajectory of a true believer is always up. It can be bumpy, it can have setbacks, but over time and years, the walk should always be toward less sin, less hypocrisy, frequent repentance, more confident trust in the Lord, greater grace, and quicker obedience.
“A small, liturgical church”
There are true Christian denominations which heavily rely on liturgy. In the United States, the primary liturgical churches are Lutheran, Episcopal and Anglican churches.
Liturgy in the Christian church is a rite or system of rituals prescribed for public worship in any Christian denomination or church—a customary repertoire or repetition of ideas, phrases, or observances. Various elements of a Christian liturgy include baptism, communion, kneeling, singing, prayer, repetition of sayings, sermon or homily, the sign of the cross, altar call, and benediction.Liturgy Definition
For people who grew up Catholic, the Anglican church service will be very familiar, because the doctrine of the Anglican Church is a mix of Catholicism and Protestant Reformation theology. (The Catholic and Orthodox churches are a false church and a false religion). But for denominations whose services contain much liturgy, one must be careful it doesn’t become rote (Matthew 6:7; Isaiah 29:13), or that the liturgy doesn’t compete with or replace the preaching of the word. Many times, both things happen.
In all liturgical churches, there is a danger of allowing the form of religious ceremony (Isaiah 29:13) to replace the personal application of faith (Psalm 51:16-17). This was a key point of contention by the Puritans and others who ultimately left the Anglican Church. (GotQuestions.org)
Liturgical services are scripted. That’s what liturgy is, it’s a script for the form of worship and a kind of playbook for how the service is to progress.
New Church for Moore-Liturgy, Advent, and More!
Recently Beth Moore departed Lifeway, renounced being a Baptist, and loudly left the Southern Baptist Convention. In June she declared on her Twitter that she had found a “small liturgical church” in her area. Beth has been mightily enjoying this small, liturgical church. It is an Anglican church. Anglican, not Episcopalian.
She and husband Keith became members of it in September. She said she’s figuring out the “kneeling bench”. She bought the book Every Moment Holy Vol 1, containing over 100 liturgies for daily life (including liturgies for meals). She gushed and gushed about being ‘deeply wounded’ in previous churches, and is wowed by loving people who wrapped their arms around her and her husband and welcomed the pair. She was happy to find a different way to worship.
She loves saying the Creed. She said the liturgy has filled her with hope again (not Jesus?). She said she and Keith shot to the altar for communion ‘like starving people begging for bread.’ She also loves what this liturgical church is about, because it’s “not just primarily upon what is coming from the pulpit.”
Here is the Thread Reader unroll link to read what Beth Moore had to say about this new-found discovery of her “small, liturgical church.”
The Moores’ new church is part of the Anglican Church of North America. You can read about the Anglicans’ beliefs here, but suffice to say, it is as close to Roman Catholic as one can get without being Catholic. Some people in the congregation kneel as they enter the pew, as Catholics do. Some genuflect in the RCC sign of the cross. Vestments are highly ornate and present on all who serve at the pulpit, including women. Women serve as deacons.
Remember, her husband Keith was raised by staunch Catholics, and Moore has taught publicly that RCC is another denomination akin to Methodists and Baptists.
Because this is 2021 and people misunderstand and misinterpret things, I’ll be clear. I am NOT saying that Anglican (or other liturgical church denominations of Episcopal, Lutheran, some Presbyterian, and some Methodist) are filled with lost people. NO. Men I respect like JI Packer were Anglican. Chris Rosebrough is a Lutheran pastor. Many millions of people who attend liturgical churches are brethren, blessed by the liturgical service structure and glory in it.
I AM saying that if a person is lost, they will want the trappings of religiosity without the submission. THAT is much easier to find in a liturgical church than a confessional one. They want to appear righteous without the obedience. (Matthew 23:28). They want religious apparatus, ornamentation, and ritual, so they will love the emphasis on liturgical tradition and its script, not “just primarily upon what is coming from the pulpit.” While many saved people enjoy liturgical services, many false believers find it easier to fit in to them. The service affirms their intellectual assent but does nothing for their soul. These false converts feel satisfied in participating in religious scripts, rather than glorifying God in obedience to His word.
For example, apostatizing Francis Chan drifted away from his solid foundation gained from The Master’s University and The Master’s Seminary, bumped along on a rocky faith walk, (mostly down) wrote some questionable books (more down) then showed his quickening spiral by drifting over to many false teachers and the Catholics. (really down!)
They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be evident that they all are not of us. (1 John 2:19)
Further Resources: Why Francis Chan is Wrong
There are a great many women serving during the service at Beth Moore’s new church. They wear the priestly vestments, speak from the lectern, participate with the priest regarding the Eucharist portion of the service, lead processionals…this visible role of women would appeal to a rebel female preacher like Beth Moore. It’s natural for a false convert such as Moore to slide in to a church like this.
The second point of my essay is this, and it’s sad. False believers bring with them their false notions.
After just 2 months of being a church member, Beth Moore was asked to teach a study at her new Anglican church. The class is part of her church’s School of Ministry and “is for education for both ordained and lay people.” It’s titled “The Biblical Narrative and How to Teach a Bible Study.” You notice right underneath the class calendar listing screen shot below, is a course about women in ministry – taught by female deacon Rev. Deacon Lisa Schwandt. Schwandt was one of only 3 women invited in 2019 to the College of Bishops meeting (big Anglican meeting, like the SBC Annual Meeting) to discuss women in ministry.
Of all people, Moore should not be teaching a class on how to teach the Bible, but false doctrine is like gangrene. It infects. It poisons. It will poison the people in her new church. And so it goes. The Lord ordains this, it is part of His plan.
Now He said to His disciples, “It is inevitable that stumbling blocks come, but woe to one through whom they come! (Luke 17:1)
Sadly though, installing Moore so quickly as a teacher in her new church, one by her own admission she is totally unfamiliar with in terms of doctrine and practice, demonstrates that the person making these decisions in her new church lacks discernment. It is unknown whether she is teaching a co-ed class. One person on Twitter asked, but the query went unanswered. She was also asked to MC the church’s Women’s Advent luncheon. (Though she did take time out to carp that she was asked not to speak but only to emcee…). She’s become embedded, fast.
1 Peter 2:8
and, “A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense.” They stumble because they disobey the word–and to this they were appointed.
In Chapter V of The Natural History of Morals by Friedrich Nietzsche, we find his famous quote. He said the most important thing on heaven and earth is “that there should be long obedience in the same direction.” Nietzsche did NOT meant obedience to God but obedience to whatever you enjoy most, whether it be art, music, dancing, spirituality, etc. However, his phrasing is a great way to understand the sanctifying walk of the true Christian.
This Anglican church Moore is now a member of, believes that in the Eucharist, Jesus Christ becomes actually present in the bread and the wine and actually becomes the Body and the Blood. The church gives a baptized person an option to participate in the process at the rail by refusing the wafer but signaling they want a blessing instead, by crossing their arms instead of holding out their hands for the wafer. I’ve seen in the church videos that both Moores have been to the communion rail and have accepted the wafer, as well as Beth saying so in her own words.
Beth Moore’s gravitation away from the faith is evident in this new move. She has always been me-centered and man-centered. Religious trappings for her are not a vehicle to further glorify God but a way to appear deeply committed, while absent of the obedience Jesus requires to be one of His own.
lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 holding to a form of godliness although they have denied its power; avoid such people as these. (2 Timothy 3:4b-5).
If we are truly converted, our walk with Christ is primarily about submission and obedience to Christ. Obeying His word, submitting to His precepts. We strive in every way to demonstrate gratitude for our salvation and imputed righteousness by adhering as much as we can in our still-sinful flesh to slay that sin and honor His name. Ours is a long obedience in the same direction: toward Jesus.
A false believer’s walk will be one of a long disobedience in the same direction: away from Jesus. The inescapable trajectory Beth Moore has been on since the beginning is slowly culminating in this. Her trajectory is sadly down and away. Rather than slouching toward Bethlehem, as Yeats said, do we see Moore ‘inching toward Catholicism’?
Which way are you walking over time? Will you hear “Well done good and faithful servant”? Or “Depart from me you worker of iniquity, I never knew you!”
Are you in a right relationship with God? Or are you drifting away? Here are some further resources-
Assurance of Faith 7-min Paul Washer video
How can I be sure I’m saved? Sproul, 7-min video