By Elizabeth Prata
An essay in three sections.
- The Reformation and what it stood for
- Beth Moore and her failure to teach the truth about Catholicism
- What the Bible teaches about leaders failing to preach the true word, and encouragement for those who do
1. What was the Reformation about?
October 31, Reformation Day, is a day when Christians bring to remembrance the old Catholic priest, Martin Luther. His inquiry into the scriptures, his spiritual angst over indulgences (a gross monetization of the faith), dismissal of the theology around purgatory, and his disappointment and despair after his trip to Rome, caused him on October 31, 1517 (traditionally accepted date) to nail 95 Theses to the All Saints’ Church in anticipation of a theological discussion. These theses became the foundation for the ensuing Protestant Reformation. We have been discussing ever since.
In his theses, Martin Luther had said that “It is vain to trust in salvation by indulgence letters, even though the indulgence commissary, or even the pope, were to offer his soul as security.” (Thesis #52).
He also said, “They are the enemies of Christ and the pope who forbid altogether the preaching of the Word of God in some churches in order that indulgences may be preached in others.” (#53).
And, in speaking against the gross accumulation of personal wealth by the Pope, that “The true treasure of the church is the most holy gospel of the glory and grace of God.” (#62).
The Roman Catholic Church teaches and preaches heresy. Anyone believing the doctrines of Rome is likely not saved. If they do come to true repentance in the true faith, they soon leave the Roman Catholic Church (RCC), because it is not spiritually profitable to remain. The Holy Spirit who indwells the new believer, would not let them stay.
Ex-Catholic and now fervent Protestant Evangelist Mike Gendron, writes,
“Catholic salvation is based on Jesus plus Mary, faith plus works, grace plus merit, Scripture plus tradition and the blood of Jesus plus purgatory. Catholics do not know that any addition to the Gospel is a denial of the sufficiency of Christ (Heb. 7:25). Any addition to the Gospel also nullifies the saving grace of God, which is the only means by which God saves sinners (Romans 11:6). Catholics, who are victims of this deception, need to be evangelized with the true Gospel of grace.”ABCs of Evangelizing Catholics
2. Beth Moore’s failure to teach the truth about Catholicism
Beth Moore’s 87 year old mother-in-law died a few weeks ago. Any death is sad, but when the person is likely a non-believer, it’s heart rending. The obituary says, “Mary and her husband John were lifelong, devoted Catholics.” If Mary believed RCC dogma, then she did not believe in the necessary elements of the faith.
“Many of the 70 million Catholics in America were born into their religion and have never examined their faith through the lens of Scripture“. ~Mike Gendron
Beth’s mother-in-law Mary Moore was devoted to errant RC dogma. It’s a tragedy that she’s likely not dwelling in peace now or forever. But another tragedy is her daughter-in-law Beth, who proclaimed with certainty that Mary Moore,
“having entered the holy presence” said, “We are greatly consoled she lived to be 87 and is now not only with Jesus but with the two children she’d buried long ago and grieved deeply and daily.”
No. It’s a tragedy that Beth has compromised on this issue, declaring that a “devoted Catholic” has entered the holy presence of God. I hope Mary Moore has, but only due to last minute repentance in true faith. That post about her mother-in-law’s death on Instagram by Beth Moore got over 21,000 likes, and Moore’s Instagram account has over half a million followers. Beth’s influence and reach could have seen Catholics as a mission field.
But she didn’t. She doesn’t. She never has.
Beth’s own errant doctrine, compromising man-pleasing, or just cowardice, for many years has instead ignored the souls of millions she otherwise could have shared the truth with. There is blood on her hands, sadly. No one who believes Rome will see glory, except on Judgment Day, when the Lord will say “Depart from me, I never knew you!” and the same to false teachers like Moore who poison the faith and confuse the naïve.
Catholics are a mission field. They do not need an influential celebrity evangelical to assure them in their error! However, I and others have warned for over a decade now, that Moore teaches that Catholics are part of the true faith. She taught from her 2002 ‘study’, “Believing God” that Jesus lifted her to another dimension and gave her a view of the global church “as he sees it” which included the Catholic Church. She used an example of various denominations with signs to illustrate this ‘vision’, naming the Catholic ‘denomination’ of St. Anne’s Catholic Church. Her mother-in-law was a member of a church named St. Anne Catholic Church, by the way.
In her 2006 Catholic-influenced Mystical DVD “Be Still,” Moore spoke of lines between denominations being erased, insinuating the lines were between Catholic and Protestant. In effect, she was denying the need for the Reformation and rejecting that severe doctrinal differences separate Protestants and Catholics. She said,
“You know, one of the things that time gives us is that it erases the lines in between people so many different sections of the people of God. Because many years later it doesn’t matter any longer that this person was of this practice in the Christian faith and this person of another. Time somehow blurs those lines and we are profoundly moved by the historical narratives of all their lives, of so great a cloud of witnesses; that we can look back on and see what kept them running the race, what kept them running toward the face of Christ at the end of that finish line.”
In 2012 Moore participated in and led an arena full of impressionable youth in a RCC mystical practice called Lectio Divina at the Passion Conference. Clearly, Beth Moore believes that Catholicism is part of the faith, or if she doesn’t believe it, she acts like it is.
In 2020 Moore didn’t insinuate, she outright called Roman Catholicism a denomination of the faith.
I can understand that living with in-laws who are staunch Catholics is hard when you’re an alleged evangelical. I know they scowlingly objected to her quick and ignominious wedding in an off-white dress (Beth’s words). I understand the tensions when the in-laws remained Catholics all their lives, even when moving from Houston to Tomball, changing Churches from one Catholic church to another in a declaration of their continued loyalty to Rome.
I can understand that Beth’s husband, having been raised Catholic and remained attached to it throughout the marriage, was a hard to reach mission field; Moore has often publicly complained about her husband’s lack of interest in her Baptist church or the things of God, like not being inclined to study the word, or leafing through fishing magazines if forced to come where truth is being taught.
And in 2022, confidently writing on her Instagram to half a million followers that her Catholic M-I-L is in the presence of Jesus in heaven.
Opposing satan’s doctrines often brings tension, rejection, and difficulty. Instead of using her reach if not for her family (who knows if she did, God knows) then for at least the women she draws in to her public events and studies. Yet Moore consistently affirms Rome by her affirmations of Catholics being true believers and simply another denomination of the true faith. But it isn’t.
3. What the Bible teaches about leaders failing to preach the true word, and encouragement for those who do
“And now behold, I know that all of you, among whom I went about preaching the kingdom, will no longer see my face. Therefore, I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all people. For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God.” (Acts 20:25-27).
That’s the Apostle Paul speaking. Other translations say ‘I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God’. As Paul prepared to leave the believers in Ephesus, his conscience was clear. Why? Barnes’ Notes says,
“‘I have not kept back’; I have not been deterred by fear, by the desire of popularity, by the fact that the doctrines of the gospel are unpalatable to people, from declaring them fully. The proper meaning of the word translated here, “I have not shunned” ὑπεστειλάμην hupesteilamēn, is “to disguise any important truth; to withdraw it from public view; to decline publishing it from fear, or an apprehension of the consequences.” –End Barnes’ Notes Commentary
Paul said the same in Acts 18:6, But when they opposed and insulted him, he shook out his garments and told them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am innocent of it. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.
Hebrews 13:17 reminds us all of the weighty task that leaders have. They will give an account regarding the souls they’d had under their charge. “Obey your leaders and submit to them—for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account—so that they may do this with joy, not groaning; for this would be unhelpful for you.”
While we learners have an obligation to submit, the leaders/pastors/teachers have an obligation to preach boldly. Paul and Barnabas did, even facing down a hissing mob of Jews who were blasphemously contradicting their teaching. (Acts 13:46). They must offer the entire teaching. An incomplete gospel is no gospel at all. But the whole counsel of God (with nothing added!) is sufficient to save! What glorious Good News!
Finally, we forget, or ignore, the evilness of false teaching. Spurgeon never wavered on proclaiming the truth and never shrank from denouncing the false. He said of the Catholic mass-
“The mass is a mass of abominations, a mass of hell’s own concocting, a crying insult against the Lord of glory. It is not to be spoken of in any terms but those of horror and destestation. Whenever I think of another sacrifice for sin being offered, by whomever it may be presented, I can only regard it as an infamous insult to the perfection of the Savior’s work.” ~ Charles H. Spurgeon
For the leaders who are faithful, you have aspired to a noble task (1 Timothy 3:1), and no doubt if done with persistence, humility, and in truth, will hear our Lord say “Well done good and faithful servant… Enter into the joy of the Lord!” (Matthew 25:21). What a day that will be!
Is Roman Catholicism biblical? (article, Grace to You)
The Reformation and the Men Behind it (article, Ligonier)