On August 18, 2014 I published an essay regarding the joining of Beth Moore and Joyce Meyer on Meyer’s television program, “Enjoying Everyday Life”. Moore and Meyer, along with friend Christine Caine, had tweeted excitedly about Moore’s interview on Meyer’s program and upcoming broadcast of that interview. The topic was “unity.”
Most discerning Christians know and understand that Meyer is a false teacher. She does not preach the same Jesus as revealed in the bible. Some discerning folks know and understand that Moore is also false, but many more were until lately reluctant to declare her so, instead of being just wayward, misguided, or temporarily mistaken.
|Wheat or tare? Emmer wheat, Persian, darnel?
A skilled eye can tell. Public domain
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit.” (Matthew 7:15-18)
It takes time for fruit to ripen. And so Moore’s has ripened to the point where we can now detect whether her fruit is bad or good. For the record, it’s bad.
When Moore joined Meyer on Enjoying Everyday Life, it was another nail in the coffin, so to speak.
The actual program aired yesterday, October 31. It is currently available here.
I watched it, and here is a review of the program.
Meyer opened the show by saying “Today we’re going to talk about unity and peace and getting along, what could be accomplished if we could all get along and work together? How can we avoid allowing our differences to hinder us in bringing the gospel to a lost and hurting world?”
Meyer included Moore’s bio in her opening introduction, saying in part, “She ministers to women of all faith backgrounds. She has a heart for unity in the body of Christ and a vision to reach women of all denominations.”
This sounds very good, and is actually fairly biblical – unless you know that Moore includes Catholics as a regular Christian denomination. This fact is not stated in the video.
Joyce Meyer gave a personal anecdote to start, beginning the discussion of unity as unity within the home. Meyer said she has learned to “Keep the strife out of your life. I’ve discovered Jesus works in an atmosphere of peace, not turmoil and anger. What have you discovered [Beth Moore] along these lines in your walk with God?”
For those who may be anticipating an essay full of biblical debunkings of plainly heretical or false statements either or both ladies made during the interview, you will be disappointed. They made no outward heretical or false statements, except the one above and perhaps one other.
Rather, they alluded to things, they skirted issues, they were cloaked and guarded, they were non-specific; so that if one was unaware of the previous contexts in which they taught, or previous situations in which they had been called to account, nothing untoward seemed to be said. This is even more dangerous than plainly speaking heresy, because satan is subtle. (Genesis 3:1)
This will be a discernment lesson on how to be discerning not with what a false teacher says, but on what a false teacher does NOT say. False teachers have to be right some of the time. Even a broken watch is right twice ever 24 hours.
As for the ridiculous opener from Meyer stating that Jesus worked in an atmosphere of peace, it can be plainly seen from scripture that Meyer is totally wrong.
Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. (Matthew 10:34-3).
Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. (Luke 12:51)
The “atmosphere” in which Jesus worked was filled with anguish, strife, perplexity, anger, and death. The Pharisees tried to kill Jesus a number of times. They even tried to kill Lazarus. (John 12:10). Even though Jesus healed the terrible demoniac the Gadarenes were all so afraid of, they asked Jesus to leave town! Meyer’s assertion is biblically unfounded and patently ridiculous.
The first part of the discussion the two women had was about their own coming to terms with how to biblically nurture peace and unity within the home, as wives. Moore said that she harangued her husband (who had come from “a different background spiritually” and “accepted Christ” when he and Beth were dating) to go to church, and it was when she prayed and left it to Jesus that her husband started coming around. She said that she stopped trying to control him and quit trying to change him and began respecting the man God had sent to her life. Meyer said the same, that when she concentrated on being a godly wife instead of trying to change her husband, peace reigned in the home. These are good thoughts and actions for women to take. I agreed with them.
The second part of the interview was when the two women began to discuss unity in the body of Christ. However, they never defined the body of Christ. We know from following Moore that Moore considers Catholics part of the body of Christ. A person who came in cold to the broadcast or was otherwise unaware of this belief of Moore’s would never know this.
After the break Meyer asked, “How can we have more unity in the Body of Christ? Or even unity within one church?”
A good question. There is nothing wrong with and everything right with unity among the brothers. 1 Corinthians 1:10 makes an appeal for unity among the brothers. Psalm 133:1 promises blessings for those who dwell in unity.
Moore replied: “Even the topic of unity causes division! Disunity is not the heart of Christ, it is the will of God to be unified.”
Sometimes the topic of unity does indeed cause division, lol. However neither woman biblically defined unity. Meyer said that though she married a Lutheran and was involved in the Lutheran church for years, and Moore is a Baptist, and they might not agree on “every little point of doctrine” they would still consider themselves loving sisters in the faith.
There was only vague talk of denominations, but no declaration of the biblical standard under which someone would be considered in the body of Christ.
Here is where they strayed from the center line of biblical truth, though. Meyer said even though she might disagree with Moore over doctrine,
“I agree with your heart and your spirit and with your teaching in the Body of Christ. People disagree over little things.”
Doctrine isn’t a little thing.
Moore replied, “The witness of our disunity is deplorable. Throw down those denominational lines. It is insulting to Christ to be separate. … We love the same Jesus. We love the same scriptures. … Even if we did not have that in common, if we could say our salvation is found in Christ if He died and rose again and how to be saved and Jesus sits at right hand of God, then that is my sister, my brother.” “I would serve anywhere and anybody even if they didn’t have close to the same belief system.”
And here is the danger. Mormons claim Jesus is the source of salvation and that He died and rose again and is sitting at the right hand of the Father. So do Jehovah’s Witnesses. So do Catholics. Their discussion alluded to the fact that we must be united at the expense of doctrine. They intimated that we must have harmony with anyone who simply claims Jesus. Even if they “don’t have close to the same belief system.”
So one wonders, how far afield does one go in order to unite, and where does one draw the line? Does one even draw a line? One could not tell from their discussion. The bible is clear, there MUST be divisions. There must not be an unequal yoking in service. Neither woman made that distinction which of course is totally unhelpful. The statement of Moore’s that she would serve alongside anyone even if they don’t have close to the same belief system is unbiblical. 2 Corinthians 6:14 says,
“Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?”
There are supposed to be divisions along doctrinal lines. It is what makes us Christians. The women taught during their discussion that the only doctrinal line is whether someone mumbles the magic password: ‘Jesus’ and that’s it. The Pope invokes Jesus. Muslims invoke Jesus. Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, even Presbyterian USA denomination invoke Jesus. But it is not the same Jesus.
There are many who “claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.” (Titus 1:16)
|Good fruit? Bad fruit? Worm in fruit? Inspect before ingesting!
Over the years, both Meyer and Moore have made unbiblical statements, and they have been soundly criticized for it. Neither woman likes that. For a while the pair discussed rebukes they’ve received and they condemned these rebukes as disunity within the body. Using cloaked and non-specific language, Meyer said,
“How can we possibly say we love one another if all we do is find fault and differences and be judgmental and critical and say things about people when we have no knowledge of what they’re talking about? I know of you, I know your reputation, but I don’t know YOU yet, in order for that to happen time has to be spent together. It’s unfair for people to have an opinion when they haven’t spent time. People have so many opinions they don’t know anything about me or even you and they know nothing about. They don’t know me at all. They’ve never asked me a question. They think something that is uninformed and they pass it along from person to person. God doesn’t agree with me about everything but we have a good relationship.”
The context for her comment was that people see her on TV or read her books or see something she said and are critical of it and she believes this unfair. Why is this unfair, according to Meyer? Meyer used the verse from 1 Thessalonians 5:12 Amplified Bible, which says,
Now also we beseech you, brethren, get to know those who labor among you [recognize them for what they are, acknowledge and appreciate and respect them all]—your leaders who are over you in the Lord and those who warn and kindly reprove and exhort you.
Her point was that unless one has “gotten to know” her, they cannot and should not reprove her. Of course, the standard translations do not translate it “get to know.” They all say, honor, or respect, or acknowledge or appreciate or know or recognize. The commentaries explain:
Matthew Henry: The people should honour and love their ministers, because their business is the welfare of mens’ souls. And the people should be at peace among themselves, doing all they can to guard against any differences. But love of peace must not make us wink at sin.
Meyer’s statement is even more ridiculous considering that she is NOT submitted to a pastor and does NOT attend a church where a pastor could get to know her and rebuke her if differences in doctrine arose. The only church she ever attended was a Lutheran church for a few short years, then shortly switched to a non-denominational church where she taught a bible class, and then became associate pastor. We know from the bible that women pastors are unbiblical. When her class grew large, she quit the church and founded her own ministry, first on radio then took it to TV. Her statement about getting to know someone and spending time before criticizing was hypocritical in the extreme. Why? She has insulated herself from being able to be gotten to personally, and therefore has added a barrier over which no one would ever be able to reach in order to even begin to criticize. A neat trick. (Source below)
“We command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you stay apart from every brother who leads an unruly life, not according to the tradition which you received from us.” (2 Thessalonians 3:6) If you have someone in your church who is teaching error, you cannot have unity with that individual. If you have someone who is leading an unruly or sinful life, you cannot have fellowship with that individual. So what we’re talking about here is the pursuit of the true unity of the Spirit, that belongs to those who surround the truth, and affirm it, and who live godly lives. ~John MacArthur
Moore agreed with Meyer. She said, “I get weary at things taken out of context, that people have quoted me about…even when WE choose to love one another and unite together people in those camps will be disunified. This is the time on the kingdom calendar to come together.”
Matthew 18 and 1 Thessalonians 5:12 have no application to a public leader and his or her public writings. Whatsoever.
Both women are public teachers, and their teaching must be examined. Both teach unbiblical things, and both have been reproved, rebuked, judged, and criticised. This is biblical. However, in their pursuit of unity, they include themselves under the overly-large doctrinal and denominational umbrella, and claim that to even criticize at all is ‘unfair’ and promotes ‘disunity.’
|Moore and Meyer discussing the ‘unfairness’ of being criticized
“If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, he is conceited and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions and constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain” (1 Tim. 6:3-5).
Their discussion was pointed about including any and all ‘denominations’ (and we know they mean Catholics) into the fold, disregard doctrinal differences, and claim that love will triumph over all.
Here is what John MacArthur said about the kind of false unity Meyer and Moore promoted:
There is a drive today in evangelicalism – and what a bland term that has become. But there is a drive in evangelicalism for an ecumenism that ignores sound doctrine, that overlooks error, and accepts even what we would deem as heresy. There is a kind of evangelical ecumenism that says we’re all one, and we need to enjoy one another without regard for any of our doctrinal differences. That is a false, and unbiblical, and displeasing unity, if indeed it is unity at all, in the sense that it dishonors and displeases the Lord. There is another kind of striving for unity that wants to disregard iniquity, and embrace everybody no matter whether they are walking in obedience to the Word of God or not, overlooking their sin and their iniquity.
But quite the contrary – the Scripture says if there is someone in your midst, according to Titus chapter 3, teaching error, if there is a heretic there, admonish him once, admonish him twice, and then put him out. He’s forfeited a right to lay any claim to acceptance within that unity.
The discernment lesson comes where we understand that in their televised discussion, Meyer and Moore taught unity through love, but not in doctrine. They failed to mention that there are many scriptures, and the above is just one, where the one preaching a different doctrine is to be put out…not tolerated…called to repent…confronted…handed over to satan. They failed to mark their discussion by presenting scripture on both sides of the scale. The failed to define unity, did not define the Body of Christ, and did not warn listeners about the dangers of overlooking sin and false doctrine. Discernment is about what false teachers say and what false teachers don’t say. That is the true both sides of the scale.
For example, both women talked about Luke 10, where Jesus sent 72 disciples out two by two. They said that if the disciples came to a town and were received, that was good. But it was so peaceful if they were not received because all they had to do is shake the dust off their feet. How peaceful and non-confrontational … but they did not read to the end of the passage, where Jesus said, “I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.”
Not so peaceful after all, when Jesus said that those who reject Him and His doctrine will be judged more severely than the town that was burned to the ground in fire and brimstone.
Matthew 11:20-23 expounds more:
Then Jesus began to denounce the cities in which most of his miracles had been performed, because they did not repent. 21 “Woe to you, Korazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! If the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I tell you, it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you. And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up to the skies? No, you will go down to the depths.
Jesus was warning those towns that failure to accept His doctrine and truths by repenting of sin and believing on Him would result in hell and permanent cursing of their town. Jesus was drawing the lines of division: who would be cursed and who would be blessed and which behavior results in both. The townspeople had accepted the miracles but rejected Jesus. Standing with one foot on both sides is not unity. Jesus was all about one or the other. Yet Moore and Meyer taught that love while overlooking doctrinal differences is all one needs to be unified. Nothing could be further from the truth.
In conclusion, Moore and Meyer taught that unity above doctrine was paramount, blindly accepting anyone who says “Jesus” is our duty, serving alongside anyone even if they have a wildly divergent belief system is OK, pursuing peace and love across all denominational lines without regard to the nuts and bolts of a person’s adherence to the bible is a given, and that to criticize one’s doctrine without spending time to get to know them is unfair.
All of the above was cloaked in loving language and even some tears at times. It seemed Christian-y, it was kind of bible-ish. But it wasn’t. It was what they did not say that was the problem.
How can a person know what someone is not saying? Know what the bible says. And listen for the whole story from your teachers.
At the end of the discussion, Moore laid the syrup on Meyer. Moore said,
“I’m astounded at the magnitude of what you’ve done, through God. I asked God how to bless you, Joyce, in my hotel room this morning. I offer you my respect. I offer you my esteem. I say to you, you are a mighty woman of God, you have run a race well.”
This should nail it for those who still may be unsure of Moore’s proclivities. Meyer is an obvious, rank heretic. For Moore to publicly lay on her esteem, respect, and proclaim Meyer a woman of God shows a massive lack of discernment or else a massively pragmatic conscience in unbelief. (2 Peter 2:3).
As an aside, we know that the last few years Moore has been reaching out to Catholics. I got curious as to what the Catholics think of Moore. There are many women Catholic forums and there is often a question from one Catholic woman to another as to the value of Moore’s studies or as a Catholic, whether one should partake of Moore’s studies. The verdict from most forums I scanned? Catholic women see Moore as biblically shallow, overly sentimental, given to emotionalism with not much bible. Their general consensus was that Moore is a motivational speaker but in no way a bible teacher. That is pretty discerning for women who aren’t even saved. Here is what one Catholic woman wrote:
Let me stress, her underlying message seems okay, but her delivery bothers me. She could write some great self-help books from a Christian perspective but her Bible study method is lacking. What bothers me: She comes up with a theory and then searches for scripture to back-up her theory. Seems backwards, but whatever. At the end of lesson 5 she asks everyone to stand up and repeat a pledge/prayer. If I’m going to make a pledge before the Lord I’d like to know what I’m pledging.
Interesting. Would that all women who are genuinely saved be so diligent about who they should follow into studies and so discerning about Beth Moore.
Another lady said Moore taught that,
“The Bible is Complete and Fully Sufficient.” Ironically, she can’t make this point without referencing 8 sources outside scripture.”
One Catholic woman on a forum inquisitive about Moore and whether her study would be profitable for her, a Catholic, said “I looked her up on Google, and found that she is a Southern Baptist speaker. The Statement of Faith of her organization was quite encouraging, as she does not include a “Bible is the Sole Source of Authority” point.”
And that says it all. If a teacher’s statement of faith page encourages people outside the faith, the teacher is doing something wrong. What is NOT there in a person’s teaching is just as important as what is.
To gain discernment, just ask!
Teach me good discernment and knowledge, For I believe in Your commandments. (Psalms 119:66)
From a news article about Joyce Meyer from 2003:
It was while at Life Christian that Meyer began one of the more unusual chapters of her early ministry.
In an audiotape series called “How to Fight the Devil and Win,” Meyer recalled how she read a book on freeing people from demons. She saw the book as a revelation from God and began what she called a “deliverance ministry,” much of it out of the family’s home on Codorniz Lane in Fenton.
“I had every person, I think, anywhere within 10 miles who had a demon come knocking at my door wanting deliverance,” she said. “And I was staying up half the night, almost every night, Dave and I were, casting out devils.”
She said she got on people’s backs and rode them “all over the house, with these demons of anger and fear and violence … you know our kids are back there sleeping and we’re in the living room screaming at demons half the night. …
In November 1998, Meyer made the big time with a cover story in Charisma & Christian Life magazine, one of the nation’s leading publications for followers of the charismatic movement. On its cover, the magazine called Meyer “America’s most popular woman minister.”
For Further Reading:
At what point does one declare a teacher like Beth Moore false? Here’s some help.
John Stackhouse: Why I Criticize in Public