“Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company ruins good morals.'” -1 Corinthians 15:33
Our culture is rife with false teachers, charlatans peddling compromised and even unbiblical doctrine, who are more concerned with entertainment and story telling than they are with preaching and teaching the unadulterated Word of God. I am especially concerned with the teachers popular among ladies in our churches today. A quick look at the women’s Bible study curriculum section on LifeWay’s website is evidence enough of why there is a need to reevaluate who is being given the ability to teach our women. The description at the top of LifeWay’s women’s curriculum page says this: “LifeWay Women provides biblical solutions for churches, small groups and individuals, engaging women to know Jesus, to seek His kingdom and be spiritually transformed and equipped for service.” But with names like Beth Moore, Priscilla Shirer, Lisa TerKeurst, and Margaret Feinberg on their list of Bible study programs, it is evident that the statement which LifeWay has on their website is not entirely accurate and we should not be relying on a book store to properly evaluate and discern the things which we are bringing into Christ’s Church.
Beth Moore is a popular American evangelist, author, teacher, and founder of Living Proof Ministries which she began in 1994. Some of the issues with Beth Moore include the fact that she is willing to preach to men, she affiliates with blatant heretics (Joel Olsteen, Joyce Meyer, Christine Cain to name a few), she encourages her audiences to look to the Holy Spirit for emotional fulfillment, and constantly claims to receive direct, extra-biblical revelation from God.
In this video (there are several others out there showing the same) she is clearly preaching to a mixed group of men and women, supporting an egalitarian view point and acting in direct defiance of Scripture’s commands on this subject. She is also claiming to have received extra-biblical revelation from God through an internal conversation with Him.
“I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve;” -1 Timothy 2:12-13
We have a biblically mandated command as to the structure and roles of men and women in the Church and Beth Moore not only violates that but encourages other women to rebel in this area through her encouragement and praise of other women like Christine Cain who usurp a God given model of complementarianism. I have gone into more detail on this subject in a previous post: https://handlingthewordoftruth.org/2017/06/14/the-dilemma-of-the-relationship-between-a-biblically-structured-church-and-churches-who-choose-to-ordain-women/
For those that don’t know, Lakewood is heretic Joel Olsteen’s church in Houston, Texas.
Moore has also made multiple false prophecies over the years, all being unsubstantiated. One of the most blatant being that she received a “vision from God” of the Church, telling her to encourage ecumenism which is to embrace other churches and denominations including the Catholic church as legitimate and able to preach a true gospel regardless of doctrinal inconsistencies. She has also claimed to have received messages from God that He instructed her to write down. That claim alone, divine revelation from God to be written down and remembered, in essence, places her on an equal level with the apostles and the writing of Scripture.
“What God began to say to me five years ago, and I’m telling you it sent me on such a trek with Him, that my head is still whirling over it. He began to say to me, “I’m gonna tell you something right now, Beth, and boy you write this one down, and you say it as often as I give you utterance to say it: ‘My Bride is paralyzed by unbelief. My Bride is paralyzed by unbelief.’” And He said, “Starting with you.””
Most assuredly the issue of utmost seriousness and likely the root cause of all of Moore’s other issues is the way in which she interprets Scripture. Josh Buice, pastor of Pray’s Mill Baptist Church located in Douglasville, Georgia, and author of the Delivered By Grace Blog writes this concerning Beth Moore’s approach to hermeneutics:
“The fancy word hermeneutics, is a reference to the science of biblical interpretation. Anyone who teaches the Bible understands that you don’t merely approach the Bible with a flippant and disorganized manner and expect organized presentation and application. Beth Moore does not approach the Bible with a disorganized methodology, but she does approach the Bible with a deficient hermeneutic – one that should be rejected.
The most appropriate method of biblical interpretation is known as the literal, grammatical, historical method of interpretation. This method seeks to uncover the original author’s intent from a literal and historical lens. This method upholds the single meaning of the text of Scripture and does so with a careful analysis upon the terms and grammar used in the text.
Beth Moore, often very animated and passionate in her delivery of her Bible teaching employs a method of biblical interpretation known as allegorical interpretation. This is a method of spiritualizing the text and making it say something other than what the original author intended. If you’ve ever heard a sermon preached from the text of David and Goliath where the preacher pointed out that David is Jesus and Goliath is Satan – you’ve heard allegorical interpretation in action. This is perhaps the main interpretative method used by Beth Moore.
Beth Moore goes beyond allegorical interpretation at times as she approaches the Bible through a mystical method of Bible reading known as Lectio Divina. This is an old heretical form of biblical interpretation taken from Roman Catholic mystics and often closely connected to contemplative prayer. This practice is often viewed as a spiritual method of approaching the Bible that involves emptying your brain and preparing to hear God speak. David Helm, in his book, Expositional Preaching, writes:
Lectio Divina advocates a method that is spiritual as opposed to systematically studious. It substitutes intuition for investigation. It prefers mood and emotion to methodical and reasoned inquiry. It equates your spirit to the Holy Spirit.” [David Helm, Expositional Preaching, (Wheaton: Crossway, 2014), Kindle Edition, 355 of 1576.]
Although once a Roman Catholic method of reading and interpreting the Bible, Lectio Divina is now becoming popular in the mainstream evangelical community. This method sidesteps the careful and historical method of biblical interpretation as it encourages people to open their minds and listen for the voice of God. We should not be teaching people to empty their minds or open their minds while they listen for the voice of God. God has spoken clearly and we can see what God has said as we read the Bible.”
I believe that the ability for women like Beth Moore to be able to have access to our churches is directly related to a lack of oversight by the men in church leadership. As men in the Church, we need to be faithful to the women not to cast them aside with little regard as to what they are being taught. Men are to be the head of the Church, and a man is to be the head over his wife, leading her and guiding her spiritually. “Wives submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. However let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.” -Ephesians 5:22-27, 33 If we wouldn’t use the material in a men’s Bible study due to doctrinal inconsistencies, errant views of scripture, or superficiality and lack of biblical substance in the teachings, then we should not be treating our ladies in such a way that implies it’s not good enough for the men but it is okay for the ladies to use. That is an extreme lack of care and concern for the spiritual well-being of the women within the body of Christ.
Jeff Maples writer for Pulpit and Pen gives the following statement in response to this lack of oversight in the Church. While this may seem harsh to some, I believe that this is an accurate call for men to stand up and take on the responsibility that we have been given both in the Church and in our homes:
I would suggest that Christian men turn off the televisions, open a Bible, and learn how to step up and be a man. Pay attention to your wives. Your wife needs your affection, your love and your acceptance, but she also needs your guidance. You must be able to provide her with guidance. Your problem is you care more about who your NFL team is drafting than you do about your wife sitting in her bed reading Jesus Calling while looking for some kind of affection. Educate yourself. Educate your pastors. Do not be afraid to speak up in your church if your church is doing something you perceive to be unbiblical. They may or may not listen, but it’s your biblical duty to do so.
May we be valiant in our calling as men to fulfill our roll as leaders, to uphold the inerrant Word of God, and to be faithful Ambassadors of Christ Jesus our Lord.