Posted in theology

Is Beth Moore Possessed?

By Elizabeth Prata**

I’ve been wondering this for a while. I have reasons for thinking it, and I mean the question with absolutely no snark, no sarcasm, and no mal-intent. Is Beth Moore possessed?

The question is sincere, but after I explore it briefly, my question also provides an opportunity to have a larger discussion about demons & possession.

So… if-

The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! (Matthew 6:22),

Then- what do you see when you see this?

Continue reading “Is Beth Moore Possessed?”
Posted in theology

My first reaction to Beth Moore, 2011

By Elizabeth Prata

An official Beth Moore profile photo

In 2011 I was invited to attend a Beth Moore Living Proof Weekend in Charlotte NC. The dear ladies wanted to share with me a female teacher whom they loved and whom they thought would edify me. Curious as to why they were so excited, I went to the weekend experience. I was new to the South and unfamiliar with Beth Moore, even though she was at a height of popularity.

When I returned I wrote up a series reviewing the weekend with my reactions. I requested an appointment with the appropriate church people to share them in private. I certainly did not want to embarrass or antagonize my former church family, but Beth Moore’s teaching was so biblically out of context-twisted, self-absorbed, and legalistic, I couldn’t remain silent. My reactions were my own.

The church’s reaction to my reaction was instantly negative. They were not happy with me. From that point I was labeled a troublemaker, a critical spirit, divisive, and my salvation was questioned. My concerns were not addressed. I was marginalized, and finally at pastoral directive, shunned. It’s a familiar story to many of you. It’s Beth Moore who is divisive, because the result of her teaching is a pile of heaped up followers on one side and marginalized or shunned discerning church women on the other.

At the time in 2011, negative reactions to Beth Moore’s teaching were relatively unheard-of. As mentioned, she was in her height of popularity. Publicly anyway, she seemed universally beloved. I had been in an arena with 12,000 joyous fans shouting praises to Moore, stomping their feet, and singing. I felt like I was the only one shouting to God for help and relief from an oppressively evil atmosphere. (Acts 19:34). I hadn’t found any significant confirmation in my real life spheres, so I went online, which wasn’t a lot more fruitful.

Thank goodness for Pirate Christian Chris Rosebrough, who had reviewed Moore’s Hebrews teaching a few years earlier. The King’s Dale had a few articles, and with those two confirmations plus the Spirit’s gift of discernment to me, I went ahead on my “Avoid Beth Moore” campaign here on my blog, (originally on blogger).

Some years ago, Justin Peters suggested to me that I compile a list of all the reviews of Moore’s teaching, book reviews, and lifestyle critiques, and make a compendium. I did. I call it “All Beth Moore Critiques in One Place.” I include my own writing in the list, and also other women’s essays and reviews, and men/pastors/theologians’. That way, the bulk of the critiques would be in one place for ease of finding, and people would not be able to easily dismiss since there are so many with not all of them written by men. (Dismissing negative reviews of Moore because it was ‘written by a man’ is a common rebuttal, though indefensible).

This week, I went through and checked every link. Some of the links had gone dead, so I found them in the web archive and that’s why some of the links go to a cache. I have centuries-old books on my shelf but 9 year old links are already dead. The internet truly is a temporary repository.

I thought Peters’ was a capital idea, and I add to the list to this day, which has grown to over 70 critiques of Moore’s ‘ministry’ works.

My exhortations since my 2011 introduction to Beth Moore remain the same, “Avoid Beth Moore.” Why? Because she has a healthy amount of followers on her social media platforms, and still gathers a crowd at arenas (when there’s no pandemic). It’s been ten years since my earliest introduction to Beth Moore and during that decade we have seen the ugly and evil fruits of her false ministry. Her influence has been in teaching a terrible hermeneutic, living and promoting a feminist lifestyle, and being an example of usurping that the metaphorical Jezebel in Revelation 2 would probably blush to see. Moore’s form of religion includes false prophesies, new revelation, legalism, Jesus as boyfriend and God as butler, and sadly, how to be a conflict-addicted shrieking harridan (the opposite of what women are called to be, which is to live a quiet life, teaching what is good, and not a busybody).

For people to say Moore just makes a few mistakes, isn’t perfect, or is temporarily off, the answer to that is NO. If a teacher is true, the Spirit will not allow them to continue twisting the precious word of God. He will not allow blasphemy to continue from that teacher’s mouth. He will reprove or correct her. He will do it through the word as she studies, through her pastor or church elders, her friends, or life circumstances that force her take note. The Spirit in a truly converted Christian points to Jesus, not satan. Her errors won’t continue for as long as thirty-plus years, which is how long Moore has been teaching erroneously.

I know that many people have pleaded with Moore to repent, to stop her blasphemies etc, but these pleas have fallen on deaf ears. The Lord has used these failed reproofs to seemingly harden her. She will eventually have to endure the consequences of her life of trading on the good name of Jesus for personal gain. (2 Corinthians 11:15).

Here is a re-posting of my series reacting to my first Beth Moore teaching. It is almost ten years since I wrote the series and a new audience has emerged who may not have come across it. I’ll also post my “All Beth Moore Critiques in One Place” link several times, too. I hope that anyone pausing at this blog long enough to read this will give these exhortations a read and pursue any of the links. Beth Moore is still dangerous, she is still leading many women astray, and it can be said, leading an entire denomination astray, too.

Beth Moore: reactions to Living Proof teaching in Charlotte. Part 1, The Women

Beth Moore: reactions to Living Proof teaching in Charlotte. Part 2, The Music

Beth Moore: reactions to Living Proof teaching in Charlotte. Part 3a, The Teaching

Beth Moore: reactions to Living Proof teaching in Charlotte. Part 3b: The Teaching

Beth Moore: reactions to Living Proof teaching in Charlotte. Part 4: A final word

All Beth Moore critiques here in one place

Posted in discernment, theology

Beth Moore’s Waterfront Mansion for sale

By Elizabeth Prata

Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God. (Matthew 19:24).

On the Fourth of July holiday in 2016, Beth Moore tweeted about how wonderful it was to have all their friends and family with them on the holiday at “a bay house”.

moore tweet bay house

When Beth Moore tweets fun tweets like that, about being unglammed in “a bay house”, she isn’t telling you the whole story. It’s not “a” bay house, it’s Beth Moore’s bay house. A fact she cunningly chose to hide in her carefully crafted tweet. At the date of that tweet, they had bought the waterfront mansion just three weeks prior.

It is a gorgeous waterfront double lot home, 4 bedrooms, a private beach, and more. Continue reading “Beth Moore’s Waterfront Mansion for sale”

Posted in discernment, theology

Beth Moore’s spiritual biography

By Elizabeth Prata

Yesterday I wrote an essay posing the question, ‘Has Beth Moore drifted, or was she always false?‘ In researching for that essay I came across some interesting items that helped me formulate the origins of her theology. I promised to write a follow-up essay noting these items, a spiritual biography, as it were. This is that essay. It’s long, as a biography should be. It is made long also because I used much scripture.

Beth Moore has had a long career writing and teaching Bible studies, speaking, traveling, and preaching. At age 63 as of this writing, she is slowing down with the traveling a bit but her popularity remains and her influence still reaches out globally. She is one of LifeWay’s most favored and money-making writers. As Annette Ard who works for Lifeway stated in 2018, “No one’s products provide as much revenue as Beth Moore’s.” Continue reading “Beth Moore’s spiritual biography”

Posted in discernment, theology

Has Beth Moore only recently drifted, or has she always been false?

By Elizabeth Prata

Follow up essay: Beth Moore’s Spiritual Biography

Answer: Beth Moore is a false teacher. She has always been false.

Who is Beth Moore?

Beth Moore is a Bible teacher based out of Houston. She is married with two grown children, and is a grandmother. Her company is called Living Proof Ministries, a tax-exempt corporation founded in November of 1995. She has written numerous Bible studies and one novel. Moore has a television program on the TBN channel, and also travels around the country teaching at Living Proof Live (LPL) weekends, two-day sessions that fill arenas with enthusiastic women. These LPL attendees are a unique crowd in that some are groupies who follow her from city to city. Others who don’t physically follow Moore from venue to venue but follow her online and her teachings, are fervent in their embracing not only of what Moore teaches but her entire persona. If Moore is critiqued negatively in any way, her followers defend her madly. Continue reading “Has Beth Moore only recently drifted, or has she always been false?”

Posted in discernment, theology

Anniversary of An Open Letter To Beth Moore

On June 18, 2019, the following Open Letter to Beth Moore was posted on mine and several other ladies’ blog sites. To date, Mrs Moore has chosen not to directly and clearly answer these very simple questions, questions that any Christian would have a ready answer to, but also ones the Bible says we should. (1 Peter 3:15, Colossians 4:6).

Continue reading “Anniversary of An Open Letter To Beth Moore”

Posted in theology

Review of Jennie Allen/Beth Moore webinar, and the ‘big announcement’ revealed

By Elizabeth Prata

The introduction will be a bit long. This is for two reasons. In case the reader is not familiar with the movement of IF:Gathering, and also for the reason I’ll state in the conclusion.

Introduction

Jennie Allen, founder of IF:Gathering, and Beth Moore, founder of Living Proof Ministries, recently sat together in Jennie’s living room and recorded their conversation about Jesus, trials, and living out their passion for God. Jennie assured viewers at the opening of the video the in-person sit-down occurred prior to the mandated stay-at-home quarantine. The one-hour discussion was posted at the IF:Gathering’s niche inside the RightNow media host of streaming Bible studies.

Annotation 2020-03-27 113810
Jennie Allen introducing IF:TV

IF:Gathering is a digital para-church ‘discipling’ movement founded by Jennie Allen in 2014 after she heard, in her words, “a voice from the sky” that instructed her to “gather and equip this generation.” The first conference was held in 2014.

That initial conference was touted mainly on digital media with a vague motto, “If God is real, then what?” with no speakers announced. Interest was sparked on Christian blogs, other social media, and word of mouth. This digital approach worked- the initial conference sold out in 42 minutes, surprising organizers, so digital-savvy founders quickly set up local watch parties across the U.S. and 22 other countries to allow for participation via simulcast.

Reportedly, over 40,000 people watched and 1200 attended in person, and the hashtag #IFGathering trended to the top on Twitter. Initial speakers of this below-the-radar movement busy gathering and equipping your women were Allen, of course, Ann Voskamp, Christine Caine, Shelley Giglio and Jen Hatmaker. Original advisers to Allen and other leaders in the of the corporation were Christine Caine, Shelley Giglio, and Debbie Eaton- all women.

Six years later, the corporation is a 501(c)3 non-profit with recent revenues standing at 3.6 million dollars (but net assets of half a million). Their stated goal for the annual conference held in Austin at that time, was, “If Austin: a two-day gathering that brought thousands of women together in Austin and at local gatherings across the globe. The gathering is a fresh, deep, honest space for a new generation of women to wrestle with the essential question: if God is real… Then what?” and for the rest of the year, “If Equip: a holistic, strategic, deep way to connect online with a like-hearted community and relevant resources. We hope to prepare women around the world to know God more deeply and to live out their purposes by sharing comments and feelings about daily passages posted online”.

Thus, If Equip is centered around local gatherings studying IF-written devotionals and discussing their feelings about the verses outside of the church and apart from pastoral oversight.

The movement is ecumenical, not mentioning any particular denominations specifically but stressing that women “from different traditions” or “different camps” are welcome “for the sake of unity.”

Webinar

Jennie opened the Webinar conversation by relating a story of her earliest memory of meeting Beth Moore. It was early days, Jennie said, she was in college and Beth had just started. She said she wept hard during Moore’s talk to about 300 women, because she connected with the passion and love for Jesus that Moore displayed. Allen said it was a relief to meet someone who felt the same way about Jesus that she did. As that long-ago event concluded, Allen approached Moore and stated that she felt about ministry like Moore does. Moore put her hands on both Jennie’s shoulders and proclaimed, “I affirm that calling of God in your life. Now go and learn your Bible.”

The webinar conversation published this week began with Moore talking of the importance of fulfilling one’s gifting to communicate, if that is the gifting, but on a larger scale for women to find traction in their walk of faith. “Fulfilling that place that God has for them. I believe with all my heart Jennie that we really get into the momentary that seasonal place God wants us to be,” Moore said.

Jennie shared that she worries that the generation coming up has made an idol out of their phones and digital life. (?! A startling admission from the founder of a movement whose promotion and existence is almost entirely digital.)

Jennie asked Moore how do we do ministry well. Moore answered that “it’s much more compelling that it’s harder than ever. That we have taken out everything so seeker friendly, fun, and comfortable, that we have taken out everything that is compelling. Are we ready to come forward and die? What is worth it to them to give everything?”

Jennie affirmed that the enemy is ‘getting us’ through distraction, numbness, and comfort. That said, how does Moore choose to follow Jesus in a better way and not get distracted? (and not too comfortable was tacitly hanging in the air). Moore said that it’s Jesus Himself that is the reason she is ‘still in it.’ She is still extremely interested in Him and is still extremely compelled by him, and mesmerized by him, and that is the reason she is still ‘willing to take the risk.’ In this numb, drunken sloppy culture that’s lulling us into self fulfillment Moore said, she is still willing to lose herself to find herself, to do the opposite of what the culture and even the Christian culture is asking us to do.

Moore stated the obvious, that women in other cultures might not have what we have, noting that they were sitting on a couch and many other women don’t even have that. “We’re not suggesting we don’t have those things, but…” and continued.

I’d like to insert here, in the discussion about ministry v. comfort, that Moore owns 4 homes, one is a ranch in Menard TX, and another more than a three-quarters of a million dollar home on a rare double waterfront lot on Galveston Bay, complete with private dock and a boat. She flies private jet to venues, a perk for which Lifeway pays half and her own ministry pays the other half. Moore’s salary is a quarter of a million dollars. She is more than comfortable. Allen herself is a successful multi-book author and is at this moment on a book tour for her latest book. Also, please don’t forget that last year Moore was asked a very simple question, whether she believes homosexuality is a sin, and Moore refused to answer. This in my opinion contradicts her statement that Moore is willing to be counter-cultural and take a risk in ministry.

Jennie asked Moore about finishing well after “so many years” in the ministry. Moore said, and I’m quoting,

“I’ve told Him, I said if you give me presence of mind in my last moments, I want to see my, in this order, my grandkids, then I want to be with my daughters, then I’d like to be with my husband, then let me have 30 seconds where I’m aware before I go home, and let me be able to say to Him, ‘I’ve had the biggest blast with you. In the midst of so much crap, yeah, I’ve had this insane adventure with him.”

Jennie asked about retiring. Moore’s reply was that she wanted to do what Jesus asks her to do, whether public or private, and if it’s private she is ready for that. But she also said she does not want to succumb to a failure due to spiritual warfare.

Their conversation ranged from there to the dark night of the soul, in which Jennie shared that she is deathly afraid of the dark and shared that she had an 18-months season of doubt so severe she thought she would lose her faith completely. They spoke of persevering, fame, impact in ministry, promoted each of their new books, fruitfulness, and generally continued in this manner with Allen asking and Moore answering, for the rest of the hour.

Review/Impressions

The conversation was genteel and wide-ranging. Allen asked Moore questions of ministry and Christian life, and remained quiet, allowing Moore to answer expansively. For this reason, I noticed that Moore’s answers were more disorganized than usual. She answered in circular fashion, interrupting herself, inserting parenthetical comments, and occasionally even losing her train of thought. I also noticed that Moore’s answers were vague than ever. It seemed like she was being extraordinary careful with her answers. As casual as the conversation was, Moore was picking and choosing the most high-emotion but most drained of meaning words she could. Here is one example. It does not make sense,

“I believe with all my heart Jennie that we really get into the momentary that seasonal place God wants us to be.”

By contrast, Jennie Allen seemed sincere and eager. She was like a puppy looking up to her idol, and bounding from one topic to another with joy and a delight that was endearing. I was affected when she shared the depth to which she dislikes the dark and really felt empathy when she described her season of doubt.

Nevertheless, it saddens me to see the pairing of the two women, who talk of handing the reins to new generations, because both do not teach rightly. Yet both combined have a digital footprint and a resulting following of millions. I am talking millions. As an aside, Joyce Meyer is 76, Beth Moore is 61, Christine Caine, who claims Meyer as her ‘spiritual mother’ is 53, and Allen, who idolizes Moore, is 41. They have sparked generations of women all the way down the line, as influencers but went more and more unorthodox, as this insightful article unintentionally makes the point of, the rise of the female influencers. Who will be the next influencer coming up the ranks? Who is Allen influencing?

I am against Allen’s IF movement specifically because it draws women away from their home churches and creates a ‘community’ based on feelings about the Bible and not the theology of the Bible. I am against its main premise, “IF God is real”. I am against it because it seems not to have  any male oversight. (Though Allen’s husband Zac is on the corporate board now). I am also against it because IF’s self-stated emphasis on social justice and spiritual formation.

I am against their secretiveness. They aren’t secretive as in dastardly, but secretive as savvy protectors of their digital content. Being mainly digital, they’re fiercely protective of their content behind their paywalls. They also don’t post a list of scheduled speakers before the annual gathering. You must buy the ticket based on the concept, not the speakers. To me this is backward, you want to know whose content you will be absorbing, and not blindly ingest. This is likely the reason many pastors are unaware of the influence from this movement on their women.

The Big Announcement

Jennie Allen’s organization sent out a follow up to the webinar announcing that since the quarantine time has hit, they wanted to help. So they developed IF:TV. Allen said in her announcement video,

We have a new dream. It’s called IF:TV. Because, what we’re good at is coming to you with content, with experiences around God, bringing together your people, while you’re in your pajamas! It’s our expertise.

The first IF:TV program is called MADE FOR THIS- Live with Jennie Allen. Beginning Wednesday, April 1st at 7pm CT I’m going to share the stories we need right now and have some fun! We’ll have a free resource each week to work through with your people from afar!

The second IF:TV show will be THE BEST OF IF:GATHERING -Your Favorite Messages, Beginning Friday, April 3rd at 12pm CT, Features some of your favorite moments from IF:Gathering over the years. We’ll give you conversation cards to start convos with your people.

Allen’s sincerity is evident and her joy seems boundless and undiminished after several years of nurturing her movement and corporation along. I give her that. It is true that given their shrewdness in managing content through digital media they are more prepared than most to share what they have to offer on their various platforms via a screen during this coronavirus time. But that, as we know, is not the church. Yet IF:Gathering now has another digital platform on which to send out their poorly constructed Bible studies and false conclusions.

Because their main thrust is digital, they capitalize on a well-known phenomenon called Fear of Missing Out (FOMO). Wikipedia describes it as

a pervasive apprehension that others might be having rewarding experiences from which one is absent”. This social anxiety is characterized by “a desire to stay continually connected with what others are doing”.

Their promotions usually include tantalizing phrases such as ‘don’t miss out’ or ‘be the first to sign up’ or ‘get early access’, ‘be the first to know’, or ‘want to learn more? sign up below!’ In my opinion they trade, probably unwittingly, on the FOMO many younger people deal with these days.

I agree with Carol Coppens’ assessment of Jennie Allen here expressed in her review of Allen’s 2018 book Anything: The Prayer that Unlocked My God and My Soul at Michelle Lesley’s website-

This is not a book that will help you to dive deep into the character of God and to know Him better but instead, Jennie’s book is a tedious, self absorbed, experience driven, hermeneutically unsound, over-stepper of scriptural boundaries, mish-mash of emotionalism and repetitive “wrecked-ness”.

Conclusion

In the research I’ve done in listening to Jennie Allen’s speeches and interviews, such as the above webinar, my opinion is the same as Ms Coppens’. Bad hermeneutics, drawing away from the local church, emotionalism, and not to mention Allen’s “voice from the sky” that directed her to found the corporation and audibly delivered the motto. The entire movement is founded on doubt, which they elevate to an exalted position, as many post-modernists do. As Phil Johnson said, emergents often “doubt seeking justification”. Please avoid IF:Gathering, IF:Equip, IF:TV and all the other IF’s, which have grown tremendously since 2014, as you see below from their website.

Annotation 2020-03-27 120504

———————————————————————–

Further Reading

Info on IF:Gathering

IF:Gathering…is it a movement of God?

Almost: Encouragement and Concerns with IF:Gathering

Do You Recommend these teachers/authors?

Info on FOMO:

How FOMO Impacts Teens and Young Adults

Social Media, FOMO and the Perfect Storm for the Quarter-Life Crisis

Posted in discernment, theology

In most recent teaching, Beth Moore declares Catholicism “a denomination”

By Elizabeth Prata

A dear sister sent me information related to a new ‘teaching’ series Beth Moore has begun, called, “Developing Compassion for the Sexually Abused – Part 1“. Apparently there are three parts to the series. The sister wondered if this is an indication that Beth Moore (ever eager to capitalize on any and all trendy or faddish waves, says me) is preparing to capitalize more overtly on the sexual abuse issues that have arisen in the wake of the Houston Chronicle’s exposé one year ago this month, the #MeToo movement, and Moore’s own “Letter to My Brothers” published in 2018.

I replied that I appreciated the information, was inspired by her insight, and promised to review the series (painfully, I’m sure) and get back to her. Continue reading “In most recent teaching, Beth Moore declares Catholicism “a denomination””

Posted in discernment, theology

Testimony from an ex-Beth Moore follower: Lessons about Jesus, but not Jesus Himself

This precious sister whose Twitter handle is CaDaisygirl (@CaDaisygirl), wrote a heartfelt thread about her time when she had followed false teacher Beth Moore. We know and understand that Moore and other false teachers affect a denomination. Their damage impacts wide swathes of professing and true believers. The damage is real.

But what of the lone woman, wandering in a maze of doubt, loneliness, perplexity? What of the negative influence on a woman’s life when she seeks the true Jesus, but isn’t taught? What of her private and individual pain? What happens when the Gospel isn’t even part of the conversation?

Here is CaDaisygirl’s testimony. She asks “that we together remain in prayer that these words would be used to glorify Jesus and bring others out of darkness and into His truth and glorious light. I by no means desire to wound anyone, rather I desire that we learn to put our faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”

—————Testimony—————

I was praying about and for Beth Moore last night and checking my heart in this debate. I followed Beth for many years, a staunch supporter. I read her books, did her studies, and followed her blog.

I realize now that what captured me was, well, quite frankly, Beth.

She was witty, interesting, beautiful, and had that Southern charm. Being her fan was being part of a beautiful club of engaging women who were being drawn towards Jesus. I was a much less mature Christian in those days, and hadn’t yet encountered the depravity of my sin.

From her studies, I learned I was “broken” and a “mess” and that Jesus could fix my messiness, but what I realized in my prayer time last night was that, in all the books I read, and all the studies I did, I was never lead to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Nowhere did I read that my brokenness and messiness was actually rebellion against God and His Word. Nowhere did I read that the flesh must be crucified with Christ, and it was no longer I who lives, but Christ who lives in me. Galatians 2:20.

Beth’s teachings dance around this concept, but never fully engage it. That is why they are so dangerous. They make you feel good to know about Jesus, without ever directing you how to know Him as Lord and Savior through repentance and surrender and obedience to His Word.

Her teachings are emotional and easy on the soul, but if a non-believer were to study them all, would they know, in the end, what is required to have a saving faith in Christ? Are her followers being drawn into a superficial knowledge of Jesus rather than a saving knowledge of Him?

That is my question and my fear, and that is why I feel compelled to speak about a ministry I so dearly loved at one time. We must use discernment in this day and age. No matter how charming a teacher may be, are they pointing us to salvation?

Are they pointing us to surrender, obedience to God’s Word, and crucifying of the flesh? Are they teaching us to die to self and live for Christ?

If not, why not?

—————End of Testimony—————

I praise the Lord that He draws women out of darkness. Those who follow false teachers are either given over to the lusts that allowed their desires to cloud the truth and they keep heaping up the teachers that speak to those desires, (2 Timothy 4:3) or they are brought out of darkness into the light, seeing satan for the masquerading minister of light that he actually is. (2 Corinthians 2:11)

We warn because of women who wander and remain broken but unaware of their true state and waxing worse due to the false teachers. We warn because of women who are being taught that Jesus is an add-on to their life, a fixer, but who remain unknowing of Him as savior and Lord.

I’m grateful for testimonies as grace-filled as CaDaisygirl’s is. Of her extolling Jesus who saves, who purifies His Bride. I pray her words will help another woman out there who wonders… ‘I’m broken and messy, but why aren’t I ‘fixed’?’ and that she finds true solace in repentance and glorifying Jesus for who He really is.

flowers verse 5a

Posted in theology

What do Josh Harris and Beth Moore have in common?

By Elizabeth Prata

Wanted: SBC Church desires a substitute Sunday School Teacher for women. Term: 1-year. Prefer untrained young candidate, motivational speaking a plus. Responsibilities: Teach the word of God eisegetically to women older than yourself. It’s OK if you just think up things to speak about on Saturday night and then match some scriptures to your thoughts. Note: We will let you flounder for 9 months of the 1-year term before stepping in to help. And even then, we will only expect you to take 1 doctrine class. Bonus: Afterward, consider yourself equipped for a 35-year Bible teaching career!!

Don’t you love genesis stories? How things began? I watched the original episode that got Paladin started on his “Have Gun – Will Travel” career. That popular TV show from the 1950s and 1960s where the main character goes around fixing wrongs, featured Richard Boone, the good man in a black hat. Or the pilot episode of Gilligan’s Island (that went missing until 1992?) Did you know John MacArthur started as a youth pastor? Or that Phil Johnson started as a proofreader? Or how the universe began? Fortunately, we can read that genesis story in Genesis, starting with “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth …”

How did Beth Moore get started? The Southern Baptist Convention’s darling and biggest moneymaker Beth Moore started as a motivational speaker completely untrained for handling the word of God and in fact floundered in eisegesis for 9 months and even afterward only took 1 class in doctrine. The job description above is accurate, not a spoof or made up. It’s taken directly from Beth Moore’s own mouth as she related her genesis story to Transformation Church in a sermon to that congregation in May 2019.

Beth Moore began in her early 20s as a Christian motivational speaker. Beth herself stated in May 2019 at Transformation Church during her famous Mother’s Day sermon to the congregation that “I was already what you’d call a Christian motivational speaker.” When she was 27 years old, her church asked her to substitute teach a women’s Sunday School class of 28-31 year olds. The regular teacher was pregnant, and they needed a teacher to teach the class for one year. The youngest person in the Sunday School class was older than she was, Beth noted.

She said “It was a treacherous year”. Why? This inexperienced young motivational speaker, charged with teaching people older than herself, was thrown into the deep end with no support and no training. Further, she was a young woman teaching older ones, instead of as Paul advises in Titus, the other way around. The mistakes are multiple and overwhelming. Mistakes like this have conseqences for the entire Church, not just a local church, as we will see.

‘The church’ as Moore identified, had asked her to do something for which she was biblically unqualified on several levels. We don’t know who asked her to teach, she only says ‘the church’ asked her. ‘The church’ should know better. In the first place, a wise elder board or pastoral staff should be raising up men and women for these positions. It’s their literal job to keep an eye out for teachable anointed ones and train them up for the edification of the body so that when opportunities come, they are ready to install a trained, if hopefully experienced, man or women. Throwing a young, inexperienced woman into a class where the total job is to handle the Word rightly, is against so many scriptures. (Titus 2:3-4; Hebrews 5:12; Proverbs 1:5, Acts 8:30-31; 1 Peter 5:5-7…).

If Moore was humble, she would have declined. If she was wise, she would have asked for help early on, instead of allowing her “treacherous year” to continue so long to the NON-edification of herself and the other women.

Sadly, the floundering method Moore employed for herself, “thinking up stuff to say and then matching verses to it the night before” as she stated, never stopped. When I attended a Living Proof Live event in 2011, she related to us this exact scenario as to how she arrived at her two-day lessons she’d be delivering at the conference. She was still doing it, years later. Her early mistake became cemented-in.

Even more sadly, this widespread penchant for installing untrained and unready people into leadership positions continues, despite what the Bible says about qualifications of leaders. Rachel Held Evans, Jen Hatmaker, Beth Moore, Joshua Harris, Mark Driscoll, Jennie Allen, all examples taking advantage of the millennium’s global platforms to launch themselves untrained in positions of authority and teaching. With book deals. As conference speakers. With web pages or Instagram accounts intent on ‘building a brand’ and gaining followers rather than training up in the word.

It is a recipe for apostasy. Indeed, those I just mentioned are either gone or in the process of it. In fact, Moore just this week singled out Same-Sex Attraction (SSA) celibacy as a “tremendous sacrifice“. “Let’s not be scandalized by what I’m about to say” she began, saying that SSA people who have dignity have “chosen to fellowship with Him [Christ]” by “choosing celibacy”. And that she has recently read about “my culture” and “gotten to know my culture” and that “it’s not our parents’ world”, and “we need to have good conversations and dialog.” Anyone with a finger on the evangelical pulse knows those are code words for soon claiming homosexual acceptance.

 

It’s the very reason we don’t put untrained, unguided, uneducated, youths into positions of care or teaching. Would you seek a doctor answering to the job description I’d posted above? A lawyer with pedigree of Beth Moore? A motivational speaker with one law class? Of course not. So why do so many churches install the young and untrained? Souls are at stake. The spotless name of Jesus is at stake.

Put into position of leadership early, we were all both horrified and grieved at Josh Harris’s departure-from-the-faith announcement, an utter rejection of Christ and all His holiness and righteousness. At age 23 he ran a Christian magazine. Three years later he was tapped to be a pastoral intern. A couple of years after that, he authored a book that sold a million copies. Phil Johnson recently said that he had been worried about Harris from the beginning, because his first book, on dating, no less, (“I Kissed Dating Goodbye”) was first published when Harris was in his early twenties and not yet a pastoral leader. It wasn’t written from a pastor’s view, but from a layman’s.

Anyway, Harris was off and running. Sadly, at age 44, he repudiated the faith and ran away from it. His goodbye to the faith was both nightmarish and crushing.

See the Josh Harris story here.

I’m not saying that someone young can’t ever be a pastor or a leader. Some can, in certain circumstances. Paul was mentoring young pastor Timothy. (1 Timothy 4:12), after all. The Bible does suggest, though, that it’s often best when candidate elders or teachers have had a time of seasoning before they lead. What I am saying is that unmindful appointment of untrained or unready youngsters can and does do damage to the worldwide faith. Joshua Harris and Beth Moore are prime examples. My plea is for sober-mindedness, adherence to scripture, and a carefulness when installing men and women to various positions. May God always be glorified.

pews