Posted in encouragement, theology

Modesty: Not just about showing skin

By Elizabeth Prata

birdhouse2

In our area of the world the Spring Equinox begins this Thursday, March 19. It’s already warm outside. The trees and flowers are blooming. The sun is strong. With the warm weather, especially in the south, comes lighter clothing…and with that, the usual essays from Christian women about female modesty.

The Merriam Webster simple definition of modesty is-

1: freedom from conceit or vanity
2: propriety in dress, speech, or conduct

1 Timothy 2:9 says women are to adorn themselves with “respectable apparel” and with “good deeds.” Of course, the former is literal and the latter is figurative. Here’s the full verse-

likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire,

1 Peter 3:3 also speaks to modesty-

Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear—

The Greek word adorns in the 1 Timothy verse is kosméō, from which we get cosmetics, or, to adorn the face. It’s defined: means make compellingly attractive, very appealing (inviting, awesomely gorgeous).

In the context, Paul is speaking specifically about women’s comportment in public assemblies of worship, but the principles can and should be applied. Matthew Henry wrote:

They must be very modest in their apparel, not affecting gaudiness, gaiety, or costliness (you may read the vanity of a person’s mind in the gaiety and gaudiness of his habit), because they have better ornaments with which they should adorn themselves, with good works.

That’s an important thought, that one can read the vanity in a person’s mind in reading the ‘gaity’ of their dress. Let’s explain it a bit further. God intends modesty to be an attitude of humility. The two are linked.

When Jesus said ‘what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person’ (Matthew 15:18), it is the same with 1 Timothy 2:9. What manner of apparel we choose to put on the body reflects an attitude of mind and heart.

When we dress ourselves, what is it we want to put on display?

Normally when we think of ‘modesty’ we think of showing skin, like in two-piece skimpy bathing suits, too-short dresses or shorts, midriff shirts, and the like. Older Christian women like me urge the younger to cover the skin. Too much skin on display isn’t modest. Our bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit. (1 Corinthians 6:19). We are not our own, but belong first to Christ and then if we’re married, to our husbands. (as they belong to us, in a one-flesh union).

We’re not to put our bodies on display, but as in the second part of the 1 Timothy 2 exhortation in verse 10, adorn ourselves with good works.

Modesty isn’t only about whether we’re showing too much skin though. There are other aspects of being modest. I want to speak briefly about too-tight clothing, and of age-appropriate clothing.

I remember when I was about 50 years old. At my job another lady who was also about 50 gave away some of her clothes and asked me if I wanted any. Always looking for an excuse NOT to go shopping, I said “sure, thanks!”

When I got home and opened the bag I was briefly disappointed. It was filled with velour track suits and the like. “These are old lady fashions” I thought to myself.

But wait, I was now an ‘old lady’! It was time for me to re-orient my thinking about how my style should match my age. Just so, if you see a 60 year old woman wearing a baby doll dress, it looks strange, and that’s because it isn’t age-appropriate.

beth moore's outfit at IF 2020 2

beth moore's outfit at IF 2020

Above are two photos of Beth Moore preaching a Bible lesson to the audience at this year’s IF:Gathering. Though technically her skin is covered, the outfit is still immodest. We see the attitude of Moore’s heart isn’t modest, and it isn’t age-appropriate. Her inner attitude is reflected in her choice of clothing. The attitude here is one of shameless body display and total lack of respect for the purpose of her invitation, which was to talk about Jesus. Instead, we see high heel ankle boots, black jeans so tight one can see every hill or valley, and a see-thru sheer blouse. It is immodest. It isn’t age-appropriate.

Moore is a 62 year old grandmother, wearing goth-like apparel more akin to what an unsaved 13 year old would choose.

Her apparel is a choice to display her body to one and all and is of course competing with attention from the One whom she is supposed to value higher than one’s self.

Ladies, in Genesis 3:21 God provided clothing for Adam and Eve. Apparently the fig leaves weren’t enough to cover the body, over which they now felt shame since they had become aware of their nakedness. Clothing is important.

The outward adornment of clothing was used by the biblical writers to signal the inner spiritual nature of God’s people. Once elegantly adorned (Ezek. 16:10–14), Israel sinned and became dressed in filthy rags (Isa. 64:6; Zech. 3:3–4; cp. Rev. 3:4). Those who become righteous are clothed in fine white robes (Zech. 3:4–5; Rev. 3:4–5; 7:9, 13). Source: Wright, P. H. (2003). Fashion, IN Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary (p. 560). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

When you put on clothes during this warm-weather time, or any time, what statement are you making?

Ladies, don’t wear fig leaves. Minimal covering isn’t enough. Men’s brains work overtime to process and enhance what they see visually. Don’t help them along. Be demure, be modest, and keep your body for Christ and for your husband (to be).

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 encouragement, theology

You say potato, I say potato: Feminism and the Younger Teaching the Elder

By Elizabeth Prata

Rachel Janovic (@lizziejank), put out a 4-min video on encroaching feminism, obedience, submission, and loving our homes. She specifically named Aimee Byrd and @BethMooreLPM as bringers of feminism and disobedience to scripture.

 

Beth Moore snarkily replied with a tweet and a photo.

 

@canonpress and Rachel Jankovic then issued a 2-minute video reply to Moore’s photo. It was brilliant.

 

@BethMooreLPM and her feminist hordes will not win (unless they submit to the Bible’s precepts for obedience and women’s roles.)

As for Moore, you say potato I say potato. It’s too little, too late. She has spent a lifetime in her career of writing and traveling. The Atlantic’s lengthy story on her stated flatly that Moore is “obsessively focused on writing”, traveled so much when her children were little that her children “ate a lot of takeout”, and that her husband picked up home duties. They mention her “publishing career” and her “writing career”, but not her ‘mothering career’. Instead, the writers noted that Moore “balanced motherhood with demanding professional ambitions.”

For a biblical women submissive to her designated role, her ambition should be wifehood/motherhood only, and nothing should compete with that. That was Jankovic’s point.

Allowing personal ambitions to encroach into Godly roles and even compete with them means one has formed her own god and succumbed to the Genesis 3:16b curse and Genesis 4’s warning that sin is crouching at the door and desires to have you. A woman’s ambition is to serve God, in the ways HE has outlined, not the ways we personally desire if those desires are against scripture (and scripture tells us those desires will be).

As for Moore, one look at her face and demeanor will show you instantly what a lifetime of rebellion against God will do to you. It’s interesting that a woman like Moore with 938,700 followers, almost a million, knows and cares what a woman with 3500 followers says about her. As an older women, Moore is supposed to be-

reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. (Titus 2:3-5)

It’s pretty sad that here the younger is teaching the older, and the older woman is not responding well. It is a serious, serious thing to rebel against God. One of the outcomes is that His word is reviled, as the verse says. Beth Moore has brought reproach upon Jesus every day of her life since she began teaching men and never stopped, and has only added other sins to her growing pile.

Ladies, I know that home life is sometimes hard. Scrubbing, cooking for hubby, picking up endless toys, changing diapers, wiping noses, isn’t the most glamorous job in the world. We often feel marginalized, that we are missing out, and we’re lonely at times. But it is the most important job in the world. It is a high calling, one that doesn’t show instant rewards, but offers long-term benefits for us all.

Then our sons in their youth will be like well-nurtured plants, and our daughters will be like pillars carved to adorn a palace. (Psalm 144:12)

Fulfill your ministry, model the role with integrity, love the Lord, serve the home, and reap glorious rewards when Jesus looks you in the eye and says “Well done, good and faithful woman.”

Further Reading

What does the Bible say about Christian Mothers?

God’s High Calling for Women

 

Posted in discernment, theology

Being led by the Spirit: What does it mean exactly? Should I expect to hear directly from Him? part 1

By Elizabeth Prata

On Facebook recently I’d posted a mini-discernment lesson regarding a tweet a well-known self-described Bible teacher had written advocating a process for distilling whether a prompt from the Holy Spirit is legitimate or if it’s your own imagination. Continue reading “Being led by the Spirit: What does it mean exactly? Should I expect to hear directly from Him? part 1”

Posted in false teachers, theology

The Unspeakable Pride of False Teachers

By Elizabeth Prata

Regarding the strange video Beth Moore made of herself and posted on Instagram. She filmed herself working out in pajamas, slippers, and bed head. The point of her video was to reassure her followers just how normal she is.

She panned the camera to show her slippers working the step on her elliptical machine, took care to pan up to the lump of bed hair that wouldn’t lay down, and to note that she is still in pajamas, to which she gestured. Continue reading “The Unspeakable Pride of False Teachers”

Posted in discernment, theology

Listen carefully to what she is saying in this video…

By Elizabeth Prata*

Please excuse that this is a bit long. It’s important. So, please prepare to read. I broke it up into sections.

Introduction

It was a 23,000 pound sailboat. You practically had to take a reservation to come about. When you steered it, the rudder attached to the 7,300 pound iron keel moved the boat in the direction you wanted it to go, but sloooowly. The bigger the boat, the longer it takes to change a course. You can imagine how long it takes a Destroyer to change course.

Think of America as a boat. Changing the course of a nation is hard work. The nation lumbers along as a ship of state over the societal waters. It takes a long time for a new president’s policies to cause the effect he had wanted. It takes a long time for mass attitudes to change. It takes a long time to change course of a nation.

Unless it’s sin. Then the lumbering ship that is America becomes a fleet sailfish, darting over the water as a dragonfly, skipping along instantly toward whatever course sin had wanted. I’ll give three examples of how quickly sin grips a nation (or a denomination) and changes its course, then focus on the third.

Sin embeds fast and changes the course of a nation quickly

Exhibit A: Divorce

It didn’t take long for divorces to take over once no-fault divorce became legal nation wide.

No-fault divorce came about in the 1970s and afterward, divorce rapidly began losing its stigma. Divorce as a “completely off the table” concept to “divorce is everywhere” occurred at a bewildering rate.

In this article by Meghan Kruger from the Roger Williams Law Review, we learn just how fast,

Between 1970 and 1985, the United States experienced an overhaul in divorce legislation. During that time, nearly every state either replaced or supplemented its fault-based system with some form of no-fault divorce

Divorce laws that had been instituted in the US for hundreds of years were were overhauled from coast to coast within just 15. That’s whiplash speed.

Exhibit B: Abortion.

Criminalization of abortion accelerated as a push-back from the late 1860’s when first wave feminism rose up. It was mainly doctors opposing the barbaric practice of tearing apart a baby in the womb for the convenience of the mother. By 1900 most states had criminalized it.

Only a few years later the groundswell of pushback against the no abortion pushback accelerated to Roe v. Wade. The year after abortion was de-criminalized, 1973, over 744,000 abortions were performed in the US. At its peak, 1990, 1.6 million abortions were performed. Within 20 years, an entire nation’s change of mind allowed not only so many sinful abortions, but also that doctors, once the biggest opposers of the practice, were now some of the biggest supporters.

Exhibit C: Homosexuality.

The number of men who identify as homosexual in the US is 2.2%. That’s it. Yet when the homosexual revolution that came after the 1969 Stonewall riots, a significant moment in the gay agenda in which homosexual people of all stripes demanded acceptance, today the homosexual lobby makes it seem as if every other man is gay. FYI the first “pride parade” was held one year after Stonewall. That same year, 1970, the first application for a marriage license between two men was applied for (and denied). The lobby went from skulking in seedy bars out of the public eye to parading down the street in one year. Within 14 years US cities would begin passing or allowing “domestic partnership” policies opening the door to homosexual marriage.

A revolution with widespread consequences and import

What was the worst revolution in America?

What’s the most significant revolution we’ve ever experienced in the United States? I imagine most Americans would say it was the American Revolution, which marked the beginning of our existence as a country. Some might make the case that it was the Industrial Revolution, which transformed our nation into a world power. Yet both answers, I think, are wrong.

The most far-reaching, epochal revolution in American history began about fifty years ago and is now reaching its zenith. … I’m talking about the sexual revolution, which has wrought far more changes to the cultural behavior of America than the War of Independence fought against England in the eighteenth century. RC Sproul

The church is in the world. Some churches and even denominations who do not vigorously resist the homosexual influence become the world.

moore

Those inroads of homosexual acceptance (and all that comes with it; drag queens, trans-gender, bi-sexual, etc.) is widespread in secular America, but it’s seeping into even the most conservative quarters of the formerly most conservative denomination. The Southern Baptist Convention is tolerating this sin. Though homosexuality is a litmus test for determining which churches or pastors can participate in the denomination, it is creeping into the acceptance side of the equation. As of now in 2019, that litmus test means nothing. The scales are about to get tipped.

[T]he Southern Baptist Convention has, not unwisely, also made it a litmus test for whether or not churches can be in cooperation with the SBC and whether or not LifeWay will carry an author’s materials (we’ve seen this with Jen Hatmaker, Eugene Peterson, etc.). (Source)

How does this happen?

Satan uses a person or organization to push his agenda, which is sin. It’s exactly the same but opposite of Jesus using godly people to push forward His agenda, the gospel.

In each case of the change in America to accept a particular sin, it seems that there has always been a front person or a front organization. In the case of divorce, it was the National Association of Women Lawyers that paved the way. In the case of abortion, of course it was Jane Roe and the US Supreme court, 10 individuals. In the case of homosexuality making its way into the conservative realms of the SBC, what many consider the last bastion of denominational adherence to strong biblical precepts, it’s Beth Moore.

Beth Moore’s part in this

Moore is arguably the biggest influence for the SBC and we know she is their biggest moneymaker. Yet she is obviously softening toward the stance that homosexuality is a sin. With her platforms, associations, and behavior of late, her influence is massively tipping the scales- to the detriment of souls and minds.

Here’s the evidence:

  • Public associations in person, at conferences, and on social media lauding people in the SSA and gay arenas, without accompanying warnings about the sin itself. This was discussed more explicitly in the Open Letter to Beth Moore that I and 5 other ladies signed and published, and was actually one of the reasons the question was originally put to Moore;
  • Her refusal to answer a direct question as to whether homosexuality is a sin;
  • Her writhing under the microscope, exhibiting behavior that slandered, taunted, and deflected while still not answering the simple question;
  • The discovery that Moore had secretly deleted the entire discussion about overcoming homosexuality as a sin from her Kindle version of the book Praying God’s Word, re-published in 2009, and not explaining that deletion to her readers;
  • Moore’s weak and emotional answer as to why she omitted the biblical discussion on how to overcome homosexuality;
  • Moore’s video.

The Video: listen carefully to what Beth Moore is saying

In addition to the above, which definitely demonstrates a change of stance about homosexuality, consider these next items. In her latest lesson video on unity and fellowship, Moore used many phrases and code words that indicate her stance toward same sex attraction, homosexuality, and their attendant issues, is aligned with the aforementioned folks she was supposed to be ministering to in love by warning against these very things. Here is a transcript of the pertinent part from her video for evidence.

I’ve deliberately started following and reading works of far more Christians of color. And my world and my heart has just exploded. I’m so thankful.

This is the world we live in. Let’s not be scandalized by what I’m about to say. I’ve also started following and reading articles and books by our fellow believers who are singles that have much dignity and humility testified to having lifelong same sex attraction, but they have chosen in their fellowship with Christ to fellowship with Him in the tremendous sacrifice of celibacy. This how they believe [?] want to follow Him and this is what I believe the scriptures say how I want to follow Him. [I know it doesn’t make sense…it’s transcribed exactly].

I’ve been so blessed by reading, getting to know my culture. Getting to understand it through the lens of the Gospel. We were entrusted to this world, not our parents’ world. This world. Are we going to act like we don’t know what’s happening? Or are we going to deal? Are we going to try and find good conversation to have? Good dialogue that has some salt on it? If we don’t, what in the world are we in this world for? [Then turns to Philippians 1:27].

1. Choosing to read books on the criteria of the color of the author is a Critical Race Theory act, not a theological act.

2. Reading books and articles about SSA people … perhaps Moore is attempting to learn more about the homosexual folks that have overcome their sinful thoughts and intents so she can rejoice in Jesus with them. Oops, nope. Moore wrote all about that in her 2001 book Praying God’s Word, which was re-released in 2009. It was in that re-publication she deleted the information about homosexuals overcoming their sin. Given that Moore is a trend follower, she is more likely mentioning this newly discovered interest in the “tremendous sacrifice” of the homosexually inclined, because it is a popular trend in evangelicalism.

3. Moore makes it sound as if homosexuals are doing Jesus a favor by choosing celibacy. Homosexually attracted people are no different in their sin than adulterers who lust after opposite sex people, singles who look at pornography, or any other flavor of sexual sin. If you’re not married to an opposite sex person, you’re not to have sex or think about having sex (lustful thoughts of the heart). Period. SSA folks aren’t any different, but Moore’s as-usual overblown emotional speech touting their “tremendous sacrifice” makes it seem as if they are.

Up top I’d noted the statistic for how many men in the US identify as homosexual- 2.2%. How many of those, do you think would identify as Christian homosexual? We’re talking a negligible number.

Obeying Jesus in celibacy is extraordinary in that the Spirit enables it, but mundane in that it’s expected of everybody.

I believe this video and Moore’s recent handling of the homosexuality issue means Moore seems to be readying herself to ‘come out’ as it were, of affiriming homosexuals in some way as believers.

Rosaria Butterfield gives a good definition of the two sides of the issue.

Side B believes that homosexuality is not a morally culpable issue, although it is a consequence of the brokenness from the Fall; Side B teaches against homosexual sexual practice, but only for the sake of Christian tradition.

That seems to be where Beth Moore is now, against it, weakly, and only for the sake of tradition, not for the sake of obedience.

Traditional Christian perspectives of course, decry all sexual sin, and oppose it. Traditional practice urges slaying that sin in us with the aid of the Holy Spirit. Traditional Christian belief says homosexuality in any and all form (thought, deed, etc) is a sin. Butterfield continues,

While Side B seeks to uphold biblical sexual standards, because it sees sexual orientation as an accurate category of personhood (i.e., there is such a thing as a gay person—that gayness describes who someone essentially is), their theology in no way allows for an understanding of why homosexuality, even at the level of desire, is sinful and needing the grace of repentance. To the Side B Christian, homosexuality is a sexuality—one of many.

So you see the trend Moore is on. She is paving the way for conservative acceptance of homosexuality as an integral and distinct part of the faith. She is being used of satan as one of the fronts-persons to promote his agenda. If you doubt me, listen to that part of the video again.

 

Moore is arguably THE most influential Southen Baptist. Look what happened when she wrote her Open Letter to My Brothers calling out some unnamed men for sexual harassment and misogyny. The SBC had a convulsion. Look what happened when she put her toe into politics. The Atlantic came calling.

Since her church, nor Lifeway, nor any SBC colleagues that we know of have rebuked her for any of her other errant stances, it is likely that she will be projecting this errant theology into the faith, too. Remember at the beginning I’d shown you how fast sin travels? Fast.

Adjectives in terms of grammar are modifiers, their job is to tell me what kind of Christian you are. The problem with a term like ‘gay Christian’ is that it modifies Christian according to a category of the flesh.
~Rosaria Butterfield

The scales are about to get tipped on the homosexuality issue for this denomination, and Beth Moore has her hand on the balance.

NOTE:
*I know I’ve written about Beth Moore a lot lately. This summer has been extraordinary in the conservative realms, and Moore has been a crucial part of the observable decline. I have other, encouraging and theological topics I plan to write about, but I do feel a duty to chronicle, warn, and provide food for thought on these sad circumstances. Please bear with me. 🙂
———————————-

Further Resources

Living Out part 1: The Shift by Tom Buck

The Deafening Silence of the Church on Homosexual Marriage, by DB Harrison

We Will Not Bow by John MacArthur

 

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

Posted in discernment, theology

Problems with Beth Moore’s teaching in list form- did you know there were this many?

By Elizabeth Prata

If I hire someone to do a service for me, like install the flashing on my deck, or clean my chimney, or fix my car, I want to ensure a quality job done. It is unlikely that I would re-hire a plumber who has demonstrated serial-mistake-making.

“I installed the wrong size pipe and that’s why it burst in the middle of the night.”

Would you rehire that same plumber? If you did, and he made another mistake…

“I forgot to turn the water off before I uninstalled the pipe, that’s why the laundry room is flooded.”

Would you hire him again?

“I used the wrong size wrench and that’s why the pipe is crushed now.”

Of course not, at some point very early on, you would seek a different person for the job.

So why is it that people continually overlook a false teacher’s wrong acts? Dismiss obvious errant theological interpretations? Why do they put their soul at risk in ignoring the myriad issues others have raised?

I know the biblical answers to these questions, my mind is at rest with God’s ordination of these things. I ask them because though my mind is at rest, my heart mourns.

We don’t call someone false after one mistake or two. But after decades of credible problems in a ministry with no hint of its teacher repenting or showing willingness to be corrected, it becomes obvious what is happening: that teacher is falling, not rising. Yet some people disregard scripture violation after scripture violation, and they keep drawing water out of the same poisoned well, even asking for more.

This hurts me. I grieve for the women who follow false teachers, who willfully resist the attempts from discipleship mentors, elders, pastors, discernment people, to instruct them of the imminent danger to their soul.

Beth Moore has been on a downward trajectory since the beginning of her ministry. Her issues are not new. I thought if I put some of the issues in list form, it might make things plainer. This list doesn’t even contain problems about her legalism, pop psychology, or her atrocious behavior on Twitter toward those who raise objections to her teaching. It doesn’t mention unethical publication practices such as deleting half a chapter from her Kindle version and leaving it in the hard copy without letting readers know there was a substantial difference in content they were paying for. One can only fit so much into one table.

And that is the point. This list isn’t even complete. Would you hire a plumber to fix your bathroom if he has year upon year made significant foundational errors? No, and he would probably lose his license! Would you seek a doctor whose practice is riddled with malpractice – or deaths? And how much more important is your soul to keep healthy and alive?

Please accept this table as an earnest proffer. I listed the unbiblical teaching or behavior, the consequence of that belief or behavior, and the scripture we can refer to.

There are links I can provide and substantiations for each of Beth Moore’s errors. I can provide documentation, if you ask. Let us reason over scripture and let our hearts become joyful as we seek purity in our walk, good teaching, and collegial fellowship with one another.

Issues with Beth Moore in List Form2

* The lifestyle issue is not because Moore is rich (she is). The Bible has no problem with wealth. Job, Abraham, Solomon, Nicodemus, Joseph of Arimathea and others were rich. The issue is what Beth Moore does with her money, how she uses it, and how open she is about her wealthy status. Jesus didn’t mourn the Rich Young Ruler because the man was wealthy, but because he gave up eternal life to retain his earthly property and money.

Posted in theology

Beth Moore deleted half her Kindle chapter: Breaking the Social Compact

By Elizabeth Prata

You know that Beth Moore deleted a portion of the material in the Kindle version of the book Praying God’s Word, but that deletion is more extensive than most people know. She got rid of the entire discussion on homosexuality from her chapter Overcoming Sexual Strongholds. It was 6 pages of material. It was half the main discussion of the chapter. She excised from mid page 279 to mid-285.

As a result, the word ‘homosexuality’ does not appear in the Kindle version except twice, once in a quote from a man testifying about his homosexuality recovery and once in a verse. In the hard copy she retains all that material, with the word homosexuality being mentioned 12 times within the 6 pages. I believe her decision to redact the entire discussion about homosexuality is, in effect, a change in stance toward this sexual sin.

That said, I’ve also been thinking of the wider issues surrounding Beth Moore’s decision to delete the biblical discussion of homosexuality from her book. It’s bad enough to be ashamed of God’s doctrine to delete it completely from your book. But this next part compounds the wrong.

She violated the social compact that exists between an author and her readers.

Let me explain further.

There exists a social compact between writers and readers. Did you know? Yes.

We might not be aware there exists a social contract between author and reader, but we know instantly when it’s been broken. A broken contract means trust has been severed, which usually entails feelings of anger, betrayal, or even outrage. Think of the outrage that occurred when it was learned that Mark Driscoll reportedly bought his way onto New York Times bestseller list. The social contract of trust, that true popularity, reflected in sales, had propelled that book up the best-seller ladder was destroyed when it was revealed that filthy lucre had done the deed.

So we might unknowingly operate in the social contract but it certainly becomes known when it’s violated.

Another example of this tacit compact is plagiarism. A well known part of the contract between an author and his or her readers is that the material they publish under their name will be their own creative content. It is understood that the material is not plagiarized from someone else and sold under their name as their own. Doing so violates the implicit trust that the author has with her readers. They are buying the book under the terms of this implicit contract.

“Roots” was a phenomenon in the 1970s. The book was an extreme best-seller, won a Pulitzer Prize, and spawned a miniseries that impacted the nation for years. Yet it turned out that its author Alex Haley had plagiarized some parts from a less well known book called The African, which had been published 9 years earlier. Americans were outraged and heartbroken.

So, we see from the negative examples, that the social compact between writer and reader exists. What is this social compact like, what is it supposed to do?

As we read from this article from The National Council of Teachers of English, The Rights and Responsibilities of Readers and Writers: A Contractual Agreement, by Robert Tierney and Jill LaZansky, we learn

Writers must establish a reader-writer interaction which sets up “a coherent movement” toward a reasonable interpretation of a communication. An author, accountable in one sense to a selected audience of readers and in another sense to a message deemed worthy of their consideration, will do greater justice to that message if the needs of the readers are attended.

As writer EB White said, 

Writers do not merely reflect and interpret life, they inform and shape life….A writer must reflect and interpret his society, his world; he must also provide inspiration and guidance and challenge.

These examples and quotes of the ethical standards in publishing and the implicit social contract that comes with it are from the secular world. Would not a Christian author have even a deeper obligation to her readers, especially if her book sales are aimed at sisters in the faith?

How much more meaningful is the social compact between author and reader when the two are part of the same Body, operating in the spotless name of Christ?

How much MORE so when a Christian writer is given gifts to convey the timeless, majestic and eternal truths to a waiting generation? Wouldn’t one of these writer responsibilities be the safekeeping of truth?

How much MORE so when a writer who is Imago Dei, labors with the understanding that at the very least, she should do no harm to the reader.

But deleting the entire discussion of homosexuality from her Kindle book does harm the reader. How?

Let me state an inconsequential but more relatable example. If you’re familiar with competitive cooking shows, where a chef is tasked to cook a dish and then serves it to judges at the end of the time constraint, at the end of the time, things get hectic. Sometimes the chef-contestants are just throwing the food on the dish by the end.

I remember a few times where a chef presented a dish that had some components on one plate, but were absent those components on the other. One judge looks at his plate, looks at the other judge’s plate, and asks, ‘Why does his plate have potatoes on it and mine doesn’t?’ They yell at the contestant that this is unacceptable. Why? If a paying customer orders a dish described on the menu they expect to be served that exact dish. That’s the contract. It makes things worse if a chef gives one person their expected dish and denies the other person the same food. It isn’t fair and it isn’t right.

How much more so when Beth Moore knowingly decides to deny her Kindle readers their potatoes, while hard copy readers enjoy the full dish? And how much worse it is knowing that we are not really talking about potatoes, but the food of Christ laid from His table?

Beth Moore has spent years developing a relationship with readers. She trades on the comfy and sisterly relationship she has cultivated publicly. One wonders how a conversation with the Christian Publishing House B&H (arm of Lifeway) would go?

B&H, I want to get rid of that section about homosexuality. Delete it before the republished version comes out on Kindle.
Why, Beth?
Because I’m worried about a 13 year old girl
But Beth, what about all your other readers? Don’t you owe them anything, especially the readers who’ll buy the hard copy?
Nah, I owe them zero.

Wayne Grudem spends a great deal of time in his book Christian Ethics: An Introduction to Biblical Moral Reasoning on the definition of and biblical instances of lying. He says that lying is verbally affirming something you believe to be false, and maintains the verbal-only aspect of lying. But there is also something else discussed in that incredible book and that is called deceptive action.

I fail to see any morally relevant difference between intentionally misleading someone with the lips and misleading them with an action. John Frame

Whether one wants to call it a decision to stand by, a sin of omission, misleading, or deceptive action, we consider the fact we are supposed to operate as Image of Christ.

The fact is, no matter how you define it, Moore and her publisher B&H, chose to purposely excise a significant portion of one of the re-published versions and didn’t tell readers, while selling the fuller re-published version to other readers, and to my knowledge, never said a word.

At least, in my hours of searching online and on her blog,  I never saw any announcement of this deletion, nor did I see one in the hard copy or the Kindle version. If such a statement existed in 2009 when the books were re-published, please point me to it. Otherwise, Beth Moore engaged in a deliberate action that broke the social compact and betrayed trust with her readers.

Moore says that she performed the act of removing the half-a-chapter on homosexuality (from one version but not the other) and she stands by her action. 

Now that we understand the issue about the social compact that exists between a writer and her audience, and about truth and honorable Christian publishing decisions, and seeing that this very week Moore is teaching about the writing and publishing process, and seeing that organizers are touting it as holy, and knowing that B&H attests to the motto below clipped from their website, doesn’t it make a difference in how you view their moral character?

Every word matters? Really B&H Christian publishers? Except the 6 pages of words about overcoming homosexuality with God’s help through the Gospel. THOSE words don’t matter. The biblical content you and Moore excised cannot “positively impact the hearts and minds of people”, because you deleted them. And remained silent about it. For ten years.

Lying by omission and lying by commission. Lying by omission is far, far worse than lying by commission because the latter can at least admit refutation and public debate. Suppression of reportage is lying by omission (Gideon Polya)

Beth Moore’s action that she “stands by” is a terrible corruption of the implicit contract she has cultivated as Christian writer with her Christian audience in a situation of trust.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or empty pride, but in humility consider others more important than yourselves. (Philippians 2:3)

————————————

Further Resources

Open Letter to Beth Moore

Beth Moore charges SBC conservatives with ‘sin’, recants 2009 statement on ‘homosexual sin’

James White on the Open Letter to Beth Moore

James White on Beth Moore explaingng but not really why she deleted half her chapter on homosexuality

Posted in theology

The importance of a Bible teacher’s transparency: it relates to accountability

By Elizabeth Prata

On June 18, I and 5 other ladies signed an Open Letter to Beth Moore and it was published on several of our platforms. It asked Moore 5 plain questions regarding her stance on homosexuality, and noted that her associations and partnerships with several high-profile gay-affirming and openly homosexual Christians were causing confusion between her life and whatever doctrine she held. (1 Timothy 4:16). So we asked the questions about her doctrine.

The issues covered in this essay are a Bible teacher’s accessibility, accountability, and transparency.

After two weeks of controversy, stirred because Mrs Moore refused to directly acknowledge the letter or answer the questions, (timeline here), then finally publishing a ‘kind of-sort of’ explanation, Beth Moore announced she was taking time off from Twitter.

One of the charges Moore made against the publishers of the Open Letter was that we did not go through “the right channels.” Here is her tweet.

She opens with an insinuation that she knows our hearts, that we don’t really want answers. We do. She closes with another insinuation as to our motivations, that we want public attention and we like barbecuing fellow Christians. We don’t.

In the middle she said that we should contact our church to ask. This makes no sense. I should contact my pastor to ask him what Beth Moore’s stance on homosexuality is?

How would one get in touch with Beth Moore to ask a question or gain clarification on something she has taught? Remember, she does not restrict her teaching to women in her own church, she teaches all people globally. See Lifeway Christian Resources 2019 report for the year 2018 activities:

LifeWay Christian Resources and the Women’s Event and Publishing Team continues to equip and minister to women across the country and beyond with multiple live events and resources for a diversified audience, both to the SBC and other women of faith.

In 2018 the Women’s Event Team celebrated 20 years of Living Proof Live events with Beth Moore and worship led by Travis Cottrell. From October 2017 through September 2018, cities included Sacramento, Calif.; Seattle, Wash.; Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; Boone, N.C.; Green Bay, Wis.; San Diego, Calif.; Calgary, Ala., Canada; Columbia, Mo.; Hot Springs, Ark.; Huntsville, Ala.; as well as an Alaskan cruise during the summer.

These events ministered to more than 50,000 women.

The Beth Moore simulcast event was partnered with the live event in Huntsville and included 376 churches and 6,500 individuals representing more than 10 countries.

The year before, Lifeway reported,

In 2017, the team managed 36 events, including 21 enrichment events, two live simulcasts, and 17 leadership training events. The team hosted 11 Living Proof Live events Women across the United States and around the world were reached through annual Beth Moore and Priscilla Shirer simulcasts with approximately 150,000 women watching.

That’s a lot of women being influenced by what Beth Moore says and does. Because she has introduced confusion as to whether it is appropriate to ask a public Bible teacher a question, and has caused confusion about how to access a widely-known Bible teacher, I decided we should take a look as to what the Bible says on the issue.

In reading of the Apostles and teachers of the New Testament time, did they answer questions? IS it appropriate to ask the celebrity teachers a question about their teaching? What are the right channels, anyway?

Does your favorite Bible teacher or pastor only pay lip service to transparency? Or are they truly transparent?

In Acts 2:12, the sermon by Peter was a response to questions from the crowd.

Why, are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we each hear them in our own language to which we were born? … And they all continued in amazement and great perplexity, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” (Acts 2:7-8, 12)

Peter replied that they were not drunk as they had supposed, then answered their questions.

The disciples asked Jesus about the temple and the time of the end, asking “when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” (Matthew 24:3)

And Jesus answered…” (Matthew 24:4), sparking one of the longest discourses in the New Testament.

Nicodemus sought Jesus at night, presumably when the day was done and Jesus was eating or resting. Yet Jesus was available to him, and gave some of the most important answers in the entire New Testament about being born again-

Jesus answered, (John 3:5)
Jesus answered and said to him, (John 3:10)

Paul’s 1 Corinthians letter responds to issues and questions which the congregation at Corinth had sent him in writing. Paul answered in writing. (1 Corinthians 5:1; 6:1; 7:1).

Acts 17 begins with recounting how Paul’s entire life was given to traveling and teaching and answering questions. Here is from Acts 17:1-3, Paul at Thessalonica,

Now when they had traveled through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. And according to Paul’s custom, he went to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and giving evidence that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus whom I am proclaiming to you is the Christ.”

I underlined reasoned with them because in the Greek that word reasoned is, dia lego. If that sounds like our English word dialog, it’s because it is.

Strong’s #1256 /dialégomai (“getting a conclusion across”) occurs 13 times in the NT, usually of believers exercising “dialectical reasoning.” This is the process of giving and receiving information with someone to reach deeper understanding – a “going back-and-forth” of thoughts and ideas so people can better know the Lord (His word, will). Doing this is perhaps the most telling characteristic of the growing Christian!

In other words, asking and answering.

Is your favorite Bible teacher partially transparent, only allowing you to see what he or she wants you to see?

In John 8:2 we read-

And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them.

In other words, answering questions. Responding to pupil queries is part of teaching.

I understand that when a person gets to a certain level of fame, accessibility might become difficult. Or not. Paul Washer is famous too, and spans the globe teaching and preaching, just as Beth Moore does.

Yet when he preached at The Master’s University, he remained in the auditorium for a lengthy period afterward. He answered every single question asked of him to each and every student that approached. The line was long, he needed to return to the Shepherds Conference where he had been engaged to preach, yet he did not look at his watch or become impatient. He made himself available to students who wanted to engage with him, one-on-one. He is a true servant. This man pours himself out like a drink offering on behalf of the body and for Christ.

We know that the numbers show that Beth Moore has a huge impact on a huge number of women. The question is, how would one approach her to ask a question about something she has taught?

Moore’s Living Proof Ministry has an official Facebook page, but it is managed by someone other than Moore. Moore does not have a personal FB page. I have not found an Instagram page for Beth Moore. At her Ministry Contact Page it is shown where you can postal mail Moore or you can call. When you call, you don’t get Beth Moore on the phone, but a secretary. See below.

She closed comments to her essay ‘Why I deleted half the chapter on homosexuality from the Kindle version’. She withdrew from Twitter, the only remaining source of direct engagement any of the public actually had with her.

She is inaccessible by preference and by design.

In 2010 Christianity Today wanted to do a cover story on Moore. One would think that a widely circulated magazine aimed directly at Moore’s demographic would please her, and that she would do everything to get the message out. No.

CT reported that accessing her was extremely difficult. Newsmax reported,

Finding fun facts [About Moore] isn’t easy, at least not in person. Christianity Today (CT) wrote of the difficulty in getting through the Moore phalanx of image guardians to get an interview: “It was not easy to get there.”

CT had to ask several times just to receive a ”yes” to the interview. The reporter stated that she was-

“closely protected by assistants who allow very few media interviews. After several interview requests from CT, her assistants allocated one hour to discuss her latest book and ask a few questions about her personal life. Each question had to be submitted and approved beforehand, I was told, or Moore would not do the interview. Follow-up interview requests were declined. I was permitted to see the ground level of her ministry, where workers package and ship study materials. But Moore’s third-floor office, where she writes in the company of her dog, was off limits.” (Christianity Today)

As one man on Twitter wittily stated, “I can tweet the president of the United States of America, directly, but I have to go through “proper channels” to get to @BethMooreLPM?”

Accessibility is to one’s discretion. Availability might become limited. But transparency should never, ever be an issue with a person handling the word of God.

There is a difference in being wise and mindful of one’s time in order to shepherd it to the fullest, and being elusive and evasive.

Be wary of teachers that reject open scrutiny or are not transparent in their theology or their thinking in how they got there. It means they reject accountability. Apostle Paul welcomed scrutiny and was happy to be held accountable (Acts 17:11). Paul Washer and John MacArthur, as busy as they are, both make time for students and answer questions. Dr. MacArthur frequently holds a Q&A at the pulpit and welcomes people’s questions.

Bible teachers, accountable for accurately speaking truth to students, must also understand God’s desire for them to love students as well seen in how they speak about them to others. How easy it can be to talk negatively about certain students to fellow teachers, a spouse, friend, or to whomever you might unload frustrations. God says, “this should not be.” Source

True transparency. Can you see into the Bible teacher’s or the Pastor’s life?
Can you see how they arrived at their conclusions?

The more transparent a teacher is, the more we can assess their doctrine and their life. (1 Timothy 4:16). I’m not taking about opening up every single private thing you ever did, but general transparency for any public teaching figure, local or global, means seeking to serve from a humble position and earnestly answering or helping those whom you teach (locally or globally).