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)

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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).

 

Posted in theology

Does the SBC and Lifeway apply a double standard to Beth Moore? Open Letter follow-up

By Elizabeth Prata

There has been quite a hue and cry over the Open Letter to Beth Moore that I and 5 other ladies published on June 18. That is a direct testament to the influence and fame of Beth Moore. In the Letter we posed 5 simple questions, asking her to make clear her stance on homosexuality.

Huge Following, Huge Influence means Souls are at Stake

Living Proof Ministries (LPM) participated in multiple conferences and simulcasts last year. Moore taught at LPLive events plus other various events with a total of 284k total attendees. Her weekly TV program reached 2.7m households. 24,000 units of her video and written material were shipped. LPM’s online ministry outreach utilizes Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, Moore’s social media which currently have a combined following of 1.6 million people. Once we add in the people who access Moore’s teachings via LPM’s app, various non-official Youtube videos, and the Living Proof Blog, her following reaches well over 2 million people.

We asked, because Moore’s partnerships and affirmation of gay-affirming Jen Hatmaker and Jonathan Merritt are seem to indicate a tacit approval of homosexuality. Hatmaker’s own following is considerable- 1.3 million followers on FB, IG, and Twitter.

That is a lot of souls being reached with the message that the homosexual lifestyle is OK, that homosexual marriage can be holy, and that homosexual marriage can be part of Christianity. Souls, who are actively being taught by Hatmaker and Merritt that their chosen lifestyle is one that needs no repenting, and that Moore, by her plaudits and approvals and partnerships with Hatmaker and Merritt, yet her conspicuous silence on clearly repudiating the behavior as sin, also makes the statement that homosexuality needs no repenting of.

Souls, who, unless that are taught clearly and unequivocally the truth, will find themselves cast into hell forever.

SBC’s Double Standard when applied to Moore

In addition, there is another grave concern. Many people have noticed a wobble in the Southern Baptist Convention, a softening, like butter left on the counter for too long. We know that in the past the SBC has been staunch on its commitment to biblical truth. We know that they claim to stand on biblical truth now, but there is also some confusion about how and when they apply their own biblical litmus tests.

SBC’s Litmus Test

As Michelle Lesley explained in her interview with Andrew Rappaport, the SBC has made homosexuality a litmus test for whether churches can be in friendly cooperation with the SBC. If you are a church that supports homosexuality or are a pastor who says that it’s not a sin, or that it’s OK, your church is in danger of being disfellowshipped from the Convention. That has happened a handful of times over the last several years. Churches have been removed for standing on the unbiblical side of homosexuality. So, the SBC has made homosexuality a litmus test for churches.

Here’s an example of such a disfellowshipping reported by the Baptist Press.

Lifeway’s Litmus Test

Lifeway, the bookselling arm of the SBC, has also made homosexuality a litmus test for its authors. Two years ago Lifeway pulled Jen Hatmaker’s books from its shelves when Hatmaker affirmed her LGBT beliefs, and stated that homosexual marriage can be holy. Lifeway’s response was,

“In a recent interview, [Hatmaker] voiced significant changes in her theology of human sexuality and the meaning and definition of marriage—changes which contradict LifeWay’s doctrinal guidelines,” LifeWay spokesman Marty King said Thursday. “As a result, LifeWay has discontinued selling her resources.” Source

Hatmaker was clear in her statement regarding homosexuality. Lifeway was equally clear in their response. If there is one thing to admire about Jen Hatmaker, as unbiblical as her beliefs are, she is crystal clear about what they are and is unashamed to promote them, even in the face of lost revenue from Lifeway.

Beth Moore has not been clear. Sadly, Moore’s continued support of and partnerships with those who promote the ungodly lifestyle make her position very unclear. Six days after the Letter was published, Moore finally issued a series of tweets that seemed to be a response to the Letter, while avoiding mention of the Letter, omitted mention of homosexuality, and indignantly muddied the waters with a victim attitude. This actually made things worse.

So here are the questions:

Beth Moore is the best selling author that Lifeway has. (Source). Moore brings in to Lifeway more money than any other author, than any other conference speaker. Her net worth as of last tax year was 14 million dollars. She brings in so much money that Lifeway can afford to usher Mrs Moore around to her conferences in a private jet.

So, does the SBC and its arm, Lifeway, only apply its litmus test on the sin of homosexuality to others but not their favored ones?

Why should Beth Moore not have to answer the same questions that Hatmaker did? Or as Eugene Peterson did?

Paul wrote to Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:16 to watch your doctrine and your life. Living clearly on the right side of biblical, moral lines is important for any leader, then as now, because the world watches. They have to know where the lines are.

Lifeway has a doctrinal standard they place on their authors, and though Moore has not written about homosexuality in her books or studies (except a few sentences in her 1997 book “To Live is Christ”), her approvals and partnerships with people who are on the wrong side of the issue makes for lines that are smeared and blurred. Millions who follow Moore are living in that blurry part of the line. Moore can easily clear that up, and make the lines sharp, so that her followers know on which side she stands.

One thing Mrs Moore can learn from Jen Hatmaker, that even though she is in error, Jen is clear and fearless regarding homosexuality.

Souls.

Since the SBC and Lifeway have made homosexuality a litmus test, why should SBC pastors, churches, Lifeway authors, Hatmaker, and Peterson have to make it clear where they stand on homosexuality, but not Beth Moore?

Most interesting of all, why has someone at Lifeway not asked these questions and had Moore answer them? If they have asked, and Moore has answered them, would the SBC/Lifeway please let the millions of souls who follow Beth Moore know? Eternities are at stake.

————————————-

PS: Some ladies have asked why Beth Moore’s stance on homosexuality is my business. I am a member of a Southern Baptist Convention church. Since I am a SBC member and Beth Moore is a SBC member, this issue is my business.

Resources on this issue:

Some Moore defenders have stated that Moore hasn’t answered because she isn’t sure, or is too busy, or it would take too much time. I issued a series of tweets where the answer from pastors and evangelical leaders are so pithy they could be contained in one tweet. Here they are, and the sources from which these statements came. I invite you to listen or read, for further exploration.

John MacArthur:
Homosexuality and the Campaign for Immorality

Unimaginable that American leadership and people would join together in giving hearty approval to the destructive, deadly, damning sin of homosexuality.

RC Sproul:
Homosexuality (series)

In the Old Testament homosexual practices were considered not only sinful, but of a gross and heinous sinfulness.

Ray Comfort, Living Waters:
Coming out of the Closet on Homosexuality

In the same way we can’t say that gays may enter Heaven, because according to the Bible, that’s not true. We have it from the greatest Authority on earth that nothing unclean in God’s sight will enter Heaven—no fornicator, idolater, liar, thief, blasphemer, adulterer, sexually immoral person, or homosexual will enter (see 1 Corinthians 6:9,10). Yet some who profess to be Christians betray homosexuals by lying to them and saying, “All is well. Step through the doors. You will be okay.” We cannot do that, because we love you and want you to make it to Heaven.

John Piper:
Why is Homosexuality Wrong?

I think it’s implied clearly and spoken clearly in Romans 1:24-29 that homosexuality is wrong and to be avoided.

Further links on this subject:

Michelle Lesley: Mailbag: Questions about the Open Letter to Beth Moore

Michelle Lesley: Michelle on Rapp Report Podcast, interview regarding the Open Letter, Complementarianism, and more

DebbieLynne Kespert: Did I Publish The Open Letter To Beth Moore In Order To Get People To Read The Outspoken TULIP? 

yarn and bible

Posted in discernment, theology

An Open Letter To Beth Moore

Dear Mrs. Moore,

Hello – we hope this finds you doing well.

We as female Bible teachers ourselves write this letter to you in hopes of receiving clarification of your views on an important issue: homosexuality.

In the last few years, particularly since 2016, you have been very vocal in your opposition to misogyny and racism. Anytime a story with so much of a whiff of these issues comes to the forefront you are very quick to speak out. The actions of the Covington kids, for example, you said “is so utterly antichrist it reeks of the vomit of hell” in a January 19, 2019 tweet; a tweet you deleted, without apology to the kids, once the full video was shown that portrayed a very different reality than what initial reporting suggested.

It is this Johnny-on-the-spot readiness to engage issues related to misogyny and racism that makes your virtual silence on the issue of homosexuality so puzzling.

To your credit, in your book To Live is Christ: The Life and Ministry of Paul, you wrote, “I met a young man who had experienced freedom from the bondage of homosexuality” (pg. 119). This book was first published in 1997 and then republished in 2008 but it seems since then you have said very little if anything publicly about this issue.

Another factor prompting our open letter to you is the very public mutual affection and admiration between you, Jen Hatmaker and Jonathan Merritt.

Jen Hatmaker and you regularly exchange affirming posts of one another on social media. In just one recent example, Hatmaker on September 17, 2018 wrote “Beth Moore will enjoy my respect and devotion forever. She is worthy of being a mentor to an entire generation. And friends, I wish you knew how deeply and profoundly she has loved me these last two years” (Source). In an interview two years before this post, October of 2016, Jen Hatmaker said she was a “left-leaning moderate,” came out as fully supportive of homosexual marriage (saying it can be “holy”) and said practicing homosexuals can be part of the regenerate body of Christ (Source). It was then that LifeWay decided to pull all of her books from its shelves.

More recently, on April 9, 2019, Jonathan Merritt tweeted, “I no longer believe @BethMooreLPM is a human. I think she is an angelic being having a human experience.” (Source). Jonathan Merritt has admitted to having at least one homosexual encounter about a decade ago (Source). Today, by his own admission he rejects biblical inerrancy, says a “liberal Protestant” would be an accurate description of him, and says his sexual orientation he no longer views as “broken” (Source).

In a crass response to Dr. Owen Strachan tweeting, rightly so, that there should never be an occasion in which men “cuddle” with one another, Merritt on May 1, 2019 tweeted in response, “C’mon, Owen. You can be my little spoon” (Source). Merritt also openly affirms that “queer” and LGBTQ people are included in God’s Kingdom and it is a “carrot of false promises” that the Gospel can make such people straight (Source, Source). He supports “Drag Queen Story Time” in which drag queens read stories to young children in public libraries (Source 27:40 mark– NOTE, the video has already been deleted. Try this one.). He even appears to doubt the exclusivity of Christ (Source).

Both Jen Hatmaker and Jonathan Merritt are known for their belief that practicing homosexuals can be Christians. Given that this is such a deeply held conviction that both share and this conviction (wrong though it is) has cost them both in their standing amongst theologically conservative evangelicals, and that they both praise you so highly, it raises the natural question as to where you stand on this issue.

Given his beliefs, Merritt publicly saying that he believes you to be “an angelic being having a human experience” strongly suggests that his high praise of you is, at least partially, rooted in your views on this issue that you have shared with him privately. It seems most unlikely that he would be praising you so highly if you had told him that as a homosexual man he will perish for all of eternity unless he repents. It likewise seems unlikely that Hatmaker (a married, straight woman) would praise you so highly if you told her that her affirmation of homosexuality and homosexual marriage is sinful and that she must repent.

When all of this is coupled with your total silence on homosexuality (in stark contrast to your very vocal stance on gender/racial/abuse issues) it naturally raises the question as to what your beliefs on it truly are.

With these factors in mind, and knowing that millions of people follow your teachings, we would like to ask you:

  • Do you believe homosexuality is inherently sinful?
  • Do you believe that the practice of the homosexual lifestyle is compatible with holy Christian living?
  • Do you believe a person who dies as a practicing homosexual but professes to be a Christian will inherit eternal life?
  • Do you believe same sex attraction is, in and of itself, an inherently sinful, unnatural, and disordered desire that must be mortified?
  • Why have you been so silent on this subject in light of your desire to “teach the word of God?”

We ask these questions to you out of genuine concern. As Bible teachers, all of us are held to a very high standard and will give an account for how we handle God’s word.

As you know, homosexuality is widely discussed and debated amongst evangelicals and society at large.

Many families are affected by this issue. The most loving thing obedient Christians can do for them is to clearly communicate God’s truth. We look forward to your clarification on these pressing issues.

Thank you.

Kind regards,

Susan Heck
http://www.withthemaster.com/

Debbie Lynne Kespert
http://www.headstickdeb.com/

Michelle Lesley
http://www.michellelesley.com/

Martha Peace
http://marthapeacetew.blogspot.com/

Elizabeth Prata
http://www.the-end-time.org/

Amy Spreeman
https://bereanresearch.org/
https://naomistable.com/

Added:

Kristy Kapp
https://www.narrowmindedwoman.com

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Posted in beth moore, biblical womanhood, feminist, ministry, priscilla shirer

The moth-eaten SBC and the women who did it

By Elizabeth Prata

But I am like a moth to Ephraim, and like dry rot to the house of Judah. (Hosea 5:12)

Privately, however, Moore has never cared much for the delicate norms of Christian femininity. ~The Atlantic

I published an essay, part 1 of 3, in 2011, eight years ago as of this date. It was about how the secret feminists laid the groundwork for a later open rebellion. That rebellion has now occurred. They are openly touting egalitarian principles. The takeaway-

  • These rebellious women live for their work, which is usually a corporation, but called a ministry,
  • These women are the main and sustained breadwinners, and the husband supports the wife by adopting the wifely role,
  • These women actively reject rebuke and correction from elder men, thus fulfilling the feminist’s more famous line, ‘A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.’

They are feminists.

In my 2011 essay I had focused on how Beth Moore, grandma of the Christian feminists, was Exhibit A in laying a devilish groundwork of feminism in the evangelical church. Worse, she was producing spiritual children to follow in her example, like Priscilla Shirer, Christine Caine, and Rachel Held Evans, and others.

Back then I called them secret feminists because these women hid their private ambitions from the public, and they used complementarian language even though they privately disbelieved in it. But discerning women and men were not fooled, these women’s lives were forward. The recent Atlantic Monthly interview of Beth Moore (Oct 2018) with the above quote proves their private ambitions were there all along.

At the time, I warned that the groundwork being laid in their feminist ministry and the examples they set would have dire consequences. As God promised the Israelites that He would be a moth to them, it seems that God has used Beth Moore and her spiritual daughters to eat away the garment. Its sturdiness and functonality has rotted. For church leaders and especially the SBC not to have plugged those holes ensured that the complementarian garment would rot. It has.

But I am like a moth to Ephraim, and like dry rot to the house of Judah. (Hosea 5:12)

We can look back and see…where we were and where we’ve ended up, and why.

“A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle” was the feminist motto of the 1970s. The implication was that women didn’t ‘need’ a man at all.

In 2012 when I wrote about this last, there were a number of popular Bible teachers/preachers who traveled widely, filling arenas, marketing their books, selling their products, and leaving the husband at home to take care of the kids. These women had assumed the lead role in the marriage and are the main breadwinner, and the husband is the helpmeet, usually having set aside his career to work in his wife’s corporation ministry. While these women call what they are doing “ministry,” I call it “feminism”.

This is the new crop of what I called Christian secret feminists- but they aren’t as secret as they were in 2012. They live a feminist life inside of Christianity but call it ministry. They are openly rebelling now.

One woman who has much to answer for about this new role is Beth Moore. She was the one who broke new ground in the Southern Baptist Convention, a most conservative denomination, in how far a woman could go in attaining celebrity status, living for her career and not for her home, and promoting gender role reversals.

She showed us how to be the main and sustained breadwinner of the family. She showed us that she could preach in a church and teach anyone in the world, uncensured. Mrs Moore, while speaking conservative values cloaked in all the right Christianese, has lived a very feminist life. You will see more details on this below.

A spiritual daughter of Mrs Moore in this generation of Christian feminists is Christine Caine. Mrs Caine’s language is less cloaked (more open) in her declarations of what women can or should see as their roles in Christian home and work life. Mrs Caine is an ordained minister and part of Hillsong Church in Australia.

For example, in an interview (now deleted from Youtube) from 2010, Caine reassured Pastor’s wives that despite Caine’s visible usurpation of the traditional husband-wife roles, that their stay-at-home role is still viable:

“Predominantly I might teach a little bit and I step out into what would be the more classic leadership gift, so a lot of people say ‘I’m not that, so therefore I must not have a role to play…'”

It’s no wonder that woman are confused when they see peers taking on the ‘classic leadership gift’. And that is one way they cloak their rebellion in Christianese: it is not a role or a job, it is a ‘gift‘. Ultimately, women would not need reassurance from other women that their biblical role is still viable if they themselves were not setting it aside.

Christine continues in the interview by acknowledging that there are “women who are gentle and loving and nurturing”, and there are other “women who come along side and do a bit more “non-gentle prodding help people go to the next level.” But that in “no way diminishes your role.”

Really? Sure it does. It sets up women to be discontent. By justifying herself in the leadership role as a gift from God (and who can argue with that?) and acknowledging that there are ‘levels’ and women need to get to, but at the same time saying it is important to stay at home and be nurturing…she had completely confused any listener as to the clear guidelines of the notion of what Biblical womanhood is. She says one thing (and not too clearly, either) but does another.

Discernment tip: one way to detect if a person is in the Word is to see if what they say and what they do match up over time. If what they say and what they do are different, run away. Beth Moore is a good example of that, see below.

Mrs Caine’s reassurances use a neat scriptural twist. If objecting to a woman’s taking on home or ministry leadership roles, simply acknowledge that the women feel weak or unsure in them, but get around it by assuring them that all they need to do is have courage to step out and let Jesus work through their weakness, citing 2 Corinthians 12:9 out of context (“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”). That’s how Caine works it.

Discernment tip: Once a women steps out of the biblical role assigned to her by God, reasoning becomes confused, because God is the author of clarity and it’s satan who sows confusion. A discerning person will really listen to what she is saying, listen to how she is saying it, and look at the life she is leading to make a decision on whether this teacher is someone to learn from. Is what she is saying clear and easily confirmed by the Bible, or is it confusing?

In that same interview, Mrs Caine said, “The only way I was able to continue in my role is that my senior pastor’s wife stepped into her role and chose not to be threatened or intimidated because the giftings were different.”

Oh, I get it. Women are now complementarians to each other. It’s the height of irony that unwittingly, Mrs Caine acknowledges that these new ‘roles’ set up discontent. It’s so nice that in her situation at least, the pastor’s wife wasn’t jealous of her fabulous gift. A good portion of the middle of the interview is Caine’s description of how women are to be complementarian of each other in church settings. One takes the wifely nurturing role so that the younger ones coming up can step out, so to speak. That’s not complementarianism, that’s rebellion.

Now, female support between and among ministries is a good thing, and it is biblically commanded. (Titus 2:4) but the description in Titus is for elder women to teach the younger is in their biblically defined helpmeet role, not to be a helpmeet to other women who step out into classic male roles.

Priscilla Shirer is another of these new Christian feminists whose life is more forward than their spiritual mothers.

The NY Times article notes that Mr Shirer spends much of the day negotiating Priscilla’s speaking invitations and her book contracts. In the afternoon it’s often Mr Shirer who collects the boys from school. Back home, Priscilla and Jerry divide chores and child care equally.

“Jerry quit his job to run his wife’s ministry. Priscilla now accepts about 20 out of some 300 speaking invitations each year, and she publishes a stream of Bible studies, workbooks and corresponding DVDs intended for women to read and watch with their girlfriends from church. Jerry does his share of housework and child care so that Priscilla can study and write. He travels with his wife everywhere. Whenever possible, they take their sons along on her speaking trips, but they often deposit the boys with Jerry’s mother.”‘

If you delete the name Shirer and substitute Gloria Steinem, and change ministry to job you have a description of a life that any feminist would be proud of.

By 2019 Beth Moore is one of the elders in this realm. Moore has been “on the ministry circuit” for almost 30 years. Thus, her rebellious example has been long in view for many women who have watched her since they were an impressionable teen. Later comers arriving on the scene such as Priscilla Shirer or Christine Caine have learned from the best of the Christian feminists in Moore.

Meanwhile, despite the Bible’s instruction to women to be gentle, meek, quiet, and industrious, tending to their homes and children, Moore has become culturally confrontationalPolitical. And since my essay was first published in 2011, we have a helpful confirmation of exactly what I had written about back then regarding the man left at home to tend to the kids while the wife wins the bread, but was vigorously denied and refuted by Moore’s followers. As the lengthy article about Moore in an October 2018 article in The Atlantic reveals,

Privately, however, Moore has never cared much for the delicate norms of Christian femininity. Her days are tightly scheduled and obsessively focused on writing. She spends hours alone in an office decorated with a Bible verse written in a swirling font (“I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven,” Luke 7:47). Though she often performs domestic femininity for her audience, in her own life she has balanced motherhood with demanding professional ambitions. She traveled every other weekend while her two daughters were growing up—they told me they ate a lot of takeout. Like other Southern Baptists, Moore considers herself a complementarian

We know she never cared for the Bible’s command to live a quiet life at home. If she did, she would not preach to men. Or leave her children behind. Or obsessively focus on her career. She SAYS she is a complementarian, but she IS a feminist. She always has been.

For example, deliberate misrepresentation:

Beth Moore said to Christianity Today in 2010 that her man demanded a regular home life so she only travels every other Friday and comes right back home the next day.

“We walk the dogs together and eat out together all the time and lie on the floor with pillows and watch TV,” Moore says. “My man demanded attention and he got it, and my man demanded a normal home life and he got it.”

Aww, isn’t that nice. But it’s disingenuous in the extreme. The reality was that Mrs Moore was gone from home at least 20 times per year on her Living Proof tours, which is a lot if you have kids and a husband. Mrs Moore appeared weekly on the Life Today television show, traveled for weeks on book tours, where she expounded on the burning question all women in America are apparently asking, “How can women find validation without a man’s affirmation?” and which her book So Long, Insecurity apparently attempts to answer.

She also spent extended private time for weeks in a cabin by herself in Wyoming to write her book (as stated in the preface to “When Godly People Do Ungodly Things”). She is the President of her own company that in 2011 brought in 4.1 million dollars, with an excess after expenses of 1.3M, stated working hours of 40/week. If you think all she does is lay around on pillows gazing adoringly at her man then all I can say is look at what she does, not what she says.  Beth Moore is a Christian feminist because for years she has lived that way, no matter what she disingenuously told Christianity Today.

It’s no wonder women are confused when they see Beth Moore telling us that you can have a corporate career and still be a Christian woman, if you call it ministry. Or like Christine Caine- just call your career ambitions a gift. (c.f. Joanna Gaines).

Feminists like Moore simply misrepresented her life to interviewers and used acceptable language to fool undiscerning readers. Caine twisted scripture to do it, claiming her rebellion is a gift from God that must be used. RHE used the tactic of saying it was all an accident.

Ms Evans also claimed to be an accidental feminist, writing on her blog, “Most of all, if these critics knew me, they would know that it isn’t feminism that inspires me to advocate gender equality in the Church and in the world; it is the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

“God surprised me with this ministry” Priscilla Shirer said, as if the big oops was all out of her hands nor will she be morally and spiritually culpable on the Lord’s day of Judgment. And I can assure you ladies reading this, that despite what Mrs Evans said those years ago, Jesus did not deliver the Gospel by His blood so she could use it to promote a different role for women than He has already ordained.

Do not be fooled by what they say. Look at their life. Paul advised Timothy to guard his doctrine and his life. he meant to live the precepts, not just know them or utter them. The old saying from the 70s, “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle” was the feminist motto. Now the only difference for today’s Christian secret open feminist is the logo on her purse.

 

Posted in discernment, theology

The past week(s) have been tough but the future looks bright

By Elizabeth Prata

These past couple of weeks have been rough in our corner of the church. Rachel Held Evans’ passing caused so much grief for her followers and her detractors alike. The display of hatred and bitterness of her followers came after, toward anyone daring to speak a word against their prophetess (their words). It was hard to watch.

Then there was Beth Moore’s craven yet politically manipulative comment that she is preaching on Sunday at a church for Mother’s day and followers of THAT false prophetess came out of the woodwork to proclaim their glee in doing the same, even at Southern Baptist Convention churches, whose statement of faith had traditionally rejected this kind of activity.

Then there was Owen Strachan’s piece biblically outlining why a woman preaching the sermon in church is forbidden by God, and Moore’s self-serving rebuttal to it, her rising anger displayed wantonly for all to see, along of course, with her many followers yapping at Stachan’s heels for his daring to speak against their prophetess.

I’ve only mentioned two women but their combined following just on Twitter alone topped one million people. And their blogs, events, book sales have much greater reach than that, sadly. A huge segment of the western Christian world have been impacted in some way by just those two teachers.

So, it’s been turbulent on social media this week. It reminded me of the Riot at Ephesus where the idol Artemis was enshrined in one of the ancient world’s largest temples, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World in fact. Paul’s Gospel preaching started to have an impact, and the merchandise sales began to decline. A silversmith named Demetrius made silver shrines of Artemis and brought in a lot of business for the craftsmen there. He claimed that Paul was “leading the people astray”.

The Riot in Ephesus Acts 19:23-27
23 About that time there arose a great disturbance about the Way. 24 A silversmith named Demetrius, who made silver shrines of Artemis, brought in a lot of business for the craftsmen there. 25 He called them together, along with the workers in related trades, and said: “You know, my friends, that we receive a good income from this business. 26 And you see and hear how this fellow Paul has convinced and led astray large numbers of people here in Ephesus and in practically the whole province of Asia. He says that gods made by human hands are no gods at all. 27 There is danger not only that our trade will lose its good name, but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis will be discredited; and the goddess herself, who is worshiped throughout the province of Asia and the world, will be robbed of her divine majesty.”

Notice that Demetrius twice mentioned his business and twice mentioned the goddess Artemis. But notice the order. He first was concerned about his business, both times. Then he mentioned the goddess and worship.

In any case, the people were gullible and became, as the verse says, “furious.” The Greek word for this fury is ‘thumos’. Strong’s concordance explains:

2372 thymós (from thyō, “rush along, getting heated up, breathing violently,” – properly, passion-driven behavior, i.e. actions emerging out of strong impulses (intense emotion). When thymós (“expressed passion”) is used of people it indicates rage, personal venting of anger.

That rage, that passionate personal wrath, is what we saw from RHE followers, from Beth Moore followers, and Beth Moore herself.

At Ephesus, the people filled the arena and shouted in unison for about two hours: “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!”

That is stunning. The theater there could hold up to 25,000 spectators. You know how loud it gets when just the school gymnasium at school is filled for a pep rally with a few hundred students, and everyone is stomping on the bleachers. Imagine thousands upon thousands of people creating a ruckus and shouting in unholy fury. It’s also stunning that they did it for two hours. That kind of shouting and rage is difficult to maintain at those intense levels. It seems that satanically inspired fury can be maintained for that length of time with no problem.

I liken the ruckus of social media over Rachel Held Evans’ death and Beth Moore’s tweet as similar to the riot at Ephesus; intense, rage filled, sustained, with the followers of those false teachers claiming that those trying to bring the truth were leading them astray. But at the root of it is money. It always is.

The lesson here in looking to that passage of scripture in Acts is that we should never doubt the intense love people have for their idols and the lengths to which they will go to protect and defend them. Never underestimate the power that greed has over those who teach falsely, for their motivation is money. (2 Peter 2:3). Don’t miscalculate the wrath that those in the cottage industries surrounding the idol and financially benefiting from the idol will go to preserve their income. Always remember that those who follow false teachers, false gods, and idols will say that anyone bringing the truth is actually lying and leading the people astray.

It’s been an upsetting week, many people doing and saying unpalatable things. I don’t know the Lord’s reason for ordaining RHE’s number of days to end at 13,505 or why He is allowing Beth Moore to continue polluting the church and blaspheming His name into her 60th year. His will be done. The good news is that we have glory to look forward to. We will sing and worship in truth and unity, with not one blot, not one jot, not one tittle of falsity anywhere. No false teachers will skulk in any corner, no false prophetess will lead anyone astray, and no merchandising of the people will ever happen. Glory will be sparkling pure, clean, and wholesome.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. 4He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

5And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” 6And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. 7The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son.” (Revelation 21:1-7)

glory