Tuesday, March 16, 2010

"Breaking Free" from Beth Moore and Her "Try Hard" Theology

by Lisa Nunley, guest writer

Scroll down and you will find just a few emails I have gotten in the past 4 years (and am still getting) since I came out of the closet and confessed why I am not a Beth Moore fan anymore. These emails are from her current fan club. I will share 3 scary ones and 3 somewhat tame ones. Though, mind you, I have received well-over 50 and the majority would end up in the more-scary-than-not category. Also consider that these are professing Christian women who think they have been greatly changed under Beth Moore's teaching. I will begin with her freakish fans, of which I have had to replace the expletives with representative symbols because I just can't bring myself to post those words. Apparently if I were "culturally relevant" I would leave them in as is.
Oh... and my responses to these emails are point-by-point in italicized blue because it is such a nice color.
nd the links turn pretty pink. The links will lead you to other articles that I recommend you read.

I would like to begin with what I like about Beth Moore. She has a very bubbly, engaging personality. She is a beautiful, gifted speaker and she is what I consider "almost right" in her theology... which is a very dangerous place to be.

As I have written on a friend's post on Beth Moore: ...I have been through several Beth Moore studies, but being that it is more important to be a Berean and love Jesus more than any teacher, preacher, friend, family member, etc., we must understand, as I often say, that no one is above being held accountable. Even sweet Beth Moore must be held accountable, as should you, me, ...and every Christian. She is spiraling ever downward in her teaching [that is] in grievous error. It is teaching that I personally can account to as some of the worst of the “almost right” which makes it more on the sheep in wolf's clothing type. It is the “almost-right” teaching that Christians are especially warned to be on Guard against in God’s holy Word of Truth.
(Read Galatians 1:6-10)

She has some truth thrown in there with her teaching which may appear to give it credibility. ...be on guard. I plead with you to sincerely pray about this before the throne of grace and search the Scriptures as a Berean with a sincere heart to know God’s Truth as He has revealed and not how Beth has revealed, in her sweet, engagingly dynamic almost-true teaching style.

Please note that though I consider her a gifted speaker, I am very concerned about her teaching on many levels. And I am not the only one...
as there are more and more women who have been through many of her studies that are coming out of the closet expressing deep concern about her teaching. Here's the sad thing. So many more are mortified at saying anything because Beth Moore's fans are actually kinda... scary...

The scary Beth Moore fan club emails: (Notice: I DON'T comment on these emails)
<1.> You $%#@!!! HOW DARE YOU JUDGE BETH MOORE!!! She changed my life and here you sit on your self-appointed @#$% throne and JUDGE HER!!! I pray your life is miserable you SICK @#@%!!! That your brain lesions from your MS take over your pea-sized brain and you die soon so you will SHUT THE #@%$# UP!!!

<2.> WHY, WHY, WHY would you hurt Beth Moore? Do you know what she’s been through? Do you have any clue about anything? Obviously you have no idea how to live what you {think} you are. A Christian? I don’t think so. Here’s what I think you are %$# %$#%$#& %$# ###$#&$#*^%$ %$#%$*^%&$ #^%^ and I have no doubt you are going straight to hell.
Here’s the thing. You think you know more than Beth Moore? HAHAHAHA!!! That makes me laugh. You know NOTHING!!! NOTHING!!!! You are filled with a demon. HOW DARE YOU say ANYTHING about Beth Moore. SHAME ON YOU!!!!

<3.> Okay, so I just can't post anymore of these... I can't. Though I will share that I have been told by some of her fans that my family would be better off without me as I have also been "hexed" several times for Beth Moore's sake. I think you get the picture. Why am I the target of all this "love" from so many of her fans? I think it is because of what happens when you google "Beth Moore Blog" or "More on Beth Moore")
So the next group is not so scary, but they definitely miss the mark on sound doctrine... probably because they are under Beth Moore's teaching.
Before I share more emails, I want to highlight
just a few concerns in Beth Moore's teaching:

a. She teaches generational bondage/ sin (both in "Breaking Free" and "Believing God") of which I address here: Generational Curses: Is This Belief Biblical?

b. She has a mystical/ psychological approach to sin issues instead of a Biblical one as she claims that God reveals himself and his purposes in many ways, including emotions, and mystical experiences. (sounds like a roller coaster ride of self-sustained religion)

c. She openly endorses contemplative prayer in the "Be Still" DVD where she encourages emptying your mind. This type of prayer is used by Eastern Religions and Catholic Mystics not based on Scripture and running acceptably rampant as the norm in way too many "Christian" churches. Scripture is clear that when we meditate on God's Word, we do not empty it, but fill it with His truth. (Joshua 1:8; Psalm 1:2; Psalm 77:12; Psalm 119:15, 23, 27, 48, 78, 97, 99, 148; Psalm 143:5; Psalm 145:5)

d. She is a pragmatist which essentially makes all truth relative as she advocates the sweeping in of self-help, me-centered, positive thinking, and avoidance of offending any biblical doctrine as God's Word is twisted to meet the individuals needs, rather than preached without compromise.

e. Beth Moore teaches that knowing God is experiential at the expense of sound doctrine. I think she may really want to be theological, but ends up explaining theological truths away with a shallow don't let theology and doctrine confuse you when you can figure it out with God for yourself in a way that works for you. (okay, so this point is similar to the last one)

f. Beth actually gives some great advice... but it gets severely clouded in special revelations and horrendous hermeneutics (aka eisegesis) which leads to more and more misuses of Scripture.

g. In her "encouragement" to break free, she actually puts you in further legalistic bondage with her approach. Hmmm. Didn't Christ come to set us free from legalistic, Pharisaical bondage? (Matthew 12:1-21)

Beth actually says that Jesus “thinks it will be heaven because you will be there.” and then speaks the line of a song, “When He was on the Cross, I was on his mind.” ...So, if you end up in hell, is heaven no longer heaven to Jesus? (That just seems utterly blasphemous to me)

Oh, and she teaches men. (But, as you can see above in "a" thru "h", this is actually not the one and only concern and might even somewhat pale in comparison to the other stuff.)
The somewhat tame Beth Moore fan club emails: (Notice: I DO comment and provide links on these emails)

<1.> I think you do millions of women a great disservice with your negative remarks about Beth Moore. You seem to think you can stand in judgment of not only her, but also her pastors and husband - amazing! You need to understand that the New Testament was written in Greek and the English language is not able to always, totally accurately, translate words and passages. I Timothy 2:12 is a perfect example of trying to tidy-up the Greek into a short English sentence - and it's just impossible to do. It doesn't actually say (in Greek) that women should NEVER teach men, it actually says something more like 'a married woman should not try to assert herself so that it appears that she is trying to be the teacher of her husband and have authority over him'. She is to do nothing to usurp her husband's position (as head of the marriage/couple) or embarrass him.
Consider reading this: A Call to Discernment and On Women's Ordination

Obviously, there are some slightly varying opinions of this, but I believe that is for God to sort out.
I do know that He is not a God of confusion or division and it really bothers me when one Christian - or one Christian church - stands in judgement of another AND advertises it on a website!

Consider reading why God's truth is knowable HERE
I agree with you regarding confusion and division. Read THIS by Spurgeon, as well as: Do We Really Need to Wage War Against False Doctrine?

Beth Moore has an amazing love for and belief in Jesus Christ, Holy Spirit and God the Father; she has reached so many for the eternal kingdom and her faith is counted as righteousness.
Please consider that only God can truly determine whose faith is "counted as righteousness" and how many she has truly reached for the eternal kingdom and how many she has actually led down the path of false assurance roller-coaster ride of self-sustained religion

(next day, same gal above sent another email)

...If women are being saved and growing in Christ, is that not evidence, in all likelihood, of His hand in Beth Moore's ministry?
Ummmmm. No. Wish it was

(I personally know 2 women who have been led to Christ beacuse of being in a Beth Moore study.)
You find something about Beth Moore that YOU believe is not in accordance with Scripture and you would disregard her entire ministry? That's the old ''baby with the bath water mentality'! You're saying that all the Biblical truths that I and millions of others have learned and have had come alive for us in greater, deeper, more meaningful ways are all garbage because a few men have dared to sit in on Mrs. Moore's Sunday School class???
And now I pray that the Lord will lead them to a loving and Biblically solid church with sound teaching... and I dare say that it is God that draws His children to Himself in His time through the preaching of the Gospel of His Son.
Go back and read my concerns "a" thru "i" above.

Somehow I'm pretty sure God doesn't see it that way!
"His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts"

Again, others who have studied scripture - and it's Greek parentage - far beyond what you and I have, believe that the scripture in question refers to a married woman not usurping her husband's authority, embarrassing him, etc. With the husband's permisson a woman IS allowed to speak and teach. Other men have the option to listen or not. Of course the woman is to be discreet and modest as she does this.
I have already provided you a link in the first email you sent. Ummmm... please read it. It is quite thorough and spot on.

Do you cover your head every time you go to church? Do you braid your or your daughter's hair? Do you wear pearls or other jewelry? I'm sure I already know the answer to these questions, yet they are scripturally off-limits to the women of Paul's day. (And again, knowing the Greek translation would probably be clarifying and beneficial.) My point is that some things/actions were off-limits because of local customs and because they would be distracting and divisive - but that may not be the case today.
Consider reading this entire site, which includes
Evangelical Feminism and Biblical Truth

Matthew 7:5 and John 8:7 seem to be excellent, God-breathed words to live by, as they were spoken by Jesus himself. I know I need to be reminded.
I agree. Those are excellent Scriptures that we all have to be reminded of often. 

<2.> i got your email due to your blog about beth moore.
now i know maybe i shouldnt be sending this email, but that beth moore blog got me thinking. beth moore loves to share the word of the Lord.
now shouldnt we be moore concerned about someone speaking untrue things about Him?

I would love it if she would learn things like exegesis and sound doctrine so that uncompromising, Biblical teaching will permeate her gift for speaking.
The answer to your question is "yes, we should be concerned about someone speaking untrue things about Him. . That is why I am writing this. I am very concerned about Beth Moore teaching untrue things.

what if someone is teaching false facts? even
talking people out of christianity?
Lets go even further.. what about starvation, sex traders, abortions?

True saving faith Christians cannot be talked out of Christianity. All those blatant sins you have listed are horrendous. But then, before God, sin is sin.

i feel like there are so much more
things that are to our concerns in this world.
yes you are right it does say in the bible about women not preaching to men. WHAT ABOUT JUDGING OTHERS?

Except that the God of the Bible warns us over and over and over in the Bible about false teachers and wolves in sheep's clothing, so it doesn't seem like we should gloss over it.
There is unrighteous judgment and discerning righteous judgment and here is something you need to read, though I have already linked it:
But here I go again

i think you might be getting this belief of yours out
of hate.
i dont know where you stand now. i know that blog was a long time ago.
but be careful on your website. people might be looking for
answers on the internet and find a blog from you,
an amazing God loving strong woman, and how does that look that you are judging speakers out there serving Him?

If you mean hatred of things evil, which includes false teaching... yes. If you mean hatred of Beth Moore, no.
Where do I stand? Besides the fact that I am sitting, my concerns are not only the same, they have grown!
If people are looking for answers on the internet and end up on my blog, perhaps
so they might actually read a post about the uncompromising Gospel.
If I said nothing and buried my head in the sand, not caring about people falling prey to this teaching, how would that look?
As I have already written here, no one is above being held accountable... Not me, you, Beth Moore, my best friend, favorite preacher... no one.

i dont really want an email back.
ill be praying for you.

Okay. So I will address this publicly. and please remember, God doesn't turn His ear to hear certain prayers

<3.> This is regarding your post about Beth Moore (and female teachers in general)
I don't comment so much on this one because I will be merely repeating myself over and over with the same comments and links... so... see above... though this one seems to slam me personally more and yet claim not to be angry. Another emotional roller coaster ride.

I do not understand this, for a rebuke or reproof the statements were too harsh...following your trail of reasoning..should she be stopped from sharing the word? Should her ministry be stopped as well due to the fact that her messages (and the fact that she teaches men) were supposedly flawed? I don't understand...So should I listen to you then cuz you seem to have all the correct theology and flawless interpretation of the word? My heart is really sore, no wonder Jesus prayed for unity we are Christians but we are just so different...What can you say about the female missionary who taught in our village? Is that heresy as well? Should we not believe in her words cuz she's a woman? I'll be honest, you really made me cry, I uphold Christ as our only source (don't get me wrong) but it was Beth Moore whom God has used to reach out to my suicidal atheistic sister, she is now serving the Lord in our church... how can a bad tree bear such good fruits? (I'm really crying as I type this)...there's only one thing that I know of, in our villages...for those people who live in the mountains being a Calvinist or Armenian doesn't matter...what matters is our relationship with Jesus (you all have no idea what it is like) I am just wondering, since the theological intricacies of biblical concepts were not so much preached to local men in the islands...does that make them less acceptable to God and make you all more? (not to mention we have female teachers here)
I am not really angry, I was just hurt to see that those who have not really experienced reaching out to other people can say such terrible things. That a person who have not as much lifted a finger to share the word of God outside their own safe place can speak such intense words.
Please listen to
What Does the Bible Say a Good Work Is? and also to What is the Biblical Definition of a Good Work?

I don't know but as we say here...ang Diyos ang maghuhusga sa iyo at sa lahat ng iyong mga gawa... God will be the ultimate judge...
"Every lofty thought lifted up against Christ has to be torn down and in its place there has to be obedience to the truth of God in Christ revealed in Scripture. So spiritual war is a battle for the mind. It is a battle between truth and error. It calls for discernment."-JMac

This is not about being holier than thou. This is about sincere grievous concern over false teaching from someone very popular, personable and persuasive. Let me plead with my Christian brothers and sisters to not fall back on easy phrases like "that shalt not judge" or "God will be the judge" and do the scriptural thing and hold everything up to scripture as a Berean.

"Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God." 2 Corinthians 4:2

 Additional Resources 

Theology......More or Less With Beth (Sarah Flashing, Midwest Christian Outreach)

An Overview of Beth Moore (CARM)

Beth Moore's Dangerous Bible Twisting (Fighting For The Faith radio)

Evangelical Feminism and Biblical Truth