Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Troubled by Beth Moore's teaching, Part 2

In part one of "Troubled by Beth Moore's Teaching," I outlined some of my biases, and listed one of my first concerns with her approach to bible teaching. I'll go on to the next concern now, a concern about her method of delivery. I'll get into her theology in part three.

In this essay I'll explore her tendency for seeking affirmation tag-end questioning, the lack of dignity in delivery of the teaching, and her rapid-fire talk. In the next piece I'll look at her attempts to extract biblical truth from personal experience (eisegesis) and finally, her theology.

In one pet peeve that drives me crazy about females in general, as part of their gender rhetoric they ask for affirmation at the end of their sentences. The less secure a woman is, the more she will use questioning affirmations to relate to the audience, whether it is one (husband) or thousands (Beth Moore audience.)

An example of Beth's seeking affirmation at the end of sentences: "Are you with me?" "Do you understand?" She does this a lot. These are called tag-end questions and the woman's tendency to use them as a method of establishing rapport and relationship building was observed by gender sociologist and linguist Deborah Tannen and Robin Lakoff in the mid to late 70s. People say their research has debunked the female tendency to use hedge language and tag-end questions, but anyone who has listened to a mother on the playground, restaurant, or checkout line knows this kind of speech is alive and well:

You hear it in moms who don't declare things, as in "put your toys away now," but instead they ask the child's permission: "Put your toys away now, OK?"

It is an unfortunate tendency in women, but it is absolutely credibility-diminishing for women bible teachers. The bible is authoritative. Teachers delivering a teaching message from it should be authoritative! Just make declarations about its truths! You don't have to check for understanding every five minutes. The Holy Spirit does that. He delivers its teaching. (John 14:26). The Spirit delivers the wisdom (Eph 1:17).

On to my next concern with her method of teaching. I haven't gotten to the content yet! I'm going in order of least offensive to greatest offenses.

Next: She isn't dignified. Yes, that's what I said. Beth Moore is not dignified on her stage. She moves around a lot, quickly delivering scriptures and her interpretations in rapid-fire fashion. She will use tricks like having a wastebasket prop to "throw away" negative behaviors, she presses participants to wear bracelets that supposedly mean certain things (I read this from three blogs) and she will contort, kneel, dance, and generally cut up, sometimes while holding the bible. Laughter is frequent.
Call me staid (Decorous? Sedate?) but I don't think Paul hung "I AM" posters around the necks of hapless volunteers in the synagogues when he was reasoning with them...
A bible lesson is not a comedy routine. I am all for laughter. Our pastor says some funny things sometimes and the congregation will of course laugh. I am among those who laugh loud and I'm sure even the choir can hear me from where I sit. But teaching the bible with respect requires some gravitas. It requires some dignity. It isn't a prop or a party trick. I shun antics as the main behavior of the teaching session. Funny sometimes, yes. Zany bible teachers? No.

Lest you think that I am too picky, let's turn to the scriptures and see what they say about mature leaders of the church handling the word of God.  Be sober, be alert, be wise--

Instructions for Ministers:
"A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;" (1 Timothy 3:2-3)

Instructions for wives of ministers:
"Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things." (1 Timothy 3:11)

Instructions for aged men:
"For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world." (Titus 2:11-12)

Instructions for aged women:
"Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips, nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may train the younger women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be self-controlled, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored." (Titus 2:3-5)

Do you get the idea that the church leaders, teachers, and elders should be dignified? I hope so. The scriptures are clear. Anyone who has seen a Beth Moore clip knows that self-control and circumspectness is less than optimal. Her bio says she 'teaches with energy and passion.' She even calls herself obnoxious. I call it undignified.

Awww, cow patties, you might say. That is part of who she is! She's from Texas! Well, let's look at women leaders from Texas and see if they are fast-talking, jumping bean, let-it-all-hang-out leaders:  Laura Bush? Lady Bird Johnson? Kay Bailey Hutchinson? Hillary Clinton? (Beth Moore was raised in Arkansas). Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor? Can't picture them being fast-talking, jumping bean, 'energetic and passionate' in front of a crowd in order to get an important point across? There is a reason. It's distracting to the point you're making. The problem with energetic and passionate delivery is that is puts the speaker at center stage when it should be the Word.

I mentioned Beth Moore's rapid-fire delivery. This next issue is a bit more problematic. She talks fast. And I mean F-A-S-T. She spits out verses, explains its interpretation like lightning, and then launches into a personal story that supposedly confirms the verse and interpretation. The Word deserves better. It takes a moment to find the address of the verse, it takes a while to absorb the truth being presented. Spitting it out fast and furious, flinging it all around the stage like fast food is not respectful to the Word and its meanings. It also makes it harder to detect error. What I want is gravitas. Beth Moore talks of bible truths so fast and at such a high pitch, that as Chris Rosebrough of Pirate Christian Radio said, 'she makes my ears bleed.'

Now a staunch supporter could dismiss the verses on being sober, grave, and self-controlled and put the rest down to my individual preferences. I don't think so, but in any case, in part three I'll take a look at some of the more troubling things about Beth Moore's teaching: its content, her penchant for eisegesis versus exegesis, (those terms are defined here) and aberrant interpretations.

39 comments :

  1. "You hear it in moms who don't declare things, as in 'put your toys away now,' but instead they ask the child's permission: 'Put your toys away now, OK?'"

    Oh, I started laughing a bit then cringed. This is something I'm battling still. It's so hard to break the habit!!! I wrote a blog post about it once, but along the lines of "if God commanded us in the same way I commanded my kids, the commandments would be 'thou shalt not kill, ok?"


    Great post. You do make excellent points!

    That is something I remember now, how fast she went. It bothered me because I couldn't keep up.

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  2. thank you Emily for your good comments. I'm sorry to have made you cringe! I know it is a cultural habit now to make the order into a question, but it sounds like you're making progress on kicking it.

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    1. Seems to me many men preachers are also guilty of this when they say "Amen?" and "Can I get an amen?" at the end of a sentence? (I'm not disagreeing, just an observation)

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  3. My interest is peaked but we should do research ourselves. I will say for a positive, I started memorizing scripture more because of Living Proof blog. Not because of the get together in January, as I will not attend (personal health issues) but because God's word is important and I want to hide God's word in my heart. I want to know God and His word.
    I'm looking forward to your article.

    When I tell my daughter to do something or help me with my own, I ask her - "Do you understand?" "Ok?" not because I need affirmation but wanting to make sure she understands the task at hand.
    Do I assume that she knows what I want? If I am teaching I would want to make sure that the group or whomever understands. Yes I understand that speakers/ministers should have an authoritative stance and if someone doesn't understand they need to read more and ask for clarification.
    I have not listened to Beth but maybe a handful of times. Why write about the human voice that God gave her that you or others might not like? Why not just state facts on the actual speech/words versus God's word?
    I would like to read about your take on this coming weekend but with facts.
    I just read CoG's comment on the previous post and I agree... Matching up with God's word is the way.

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  4. Thanks for writing on this, I'm hopeful someone will benefit from it. My very good friend studies Beth Moore and asked me to listen to one of her devotionals. It was the first time I'd heard her. Beth mentioned the Mishna and related some story, but the rest of her devotional did not reference one scripture. She spoke with some truth, pieces of scriptural truth interwoven with the point she was making. She was very energetic and excited in her speech. I mentioned the lack of scripture referencing to my friend who told me in other devotionals she does make reference to scripture. Still it bothers me. I'm not a bible scholar but definitely more strict with my expectations for bible study. I think it may be too easy to feel energized by her teaching rather than digging through the word and praying for God to energize us. I'm looking forward to part 3.

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    1. Most of everything that I get out of Beth Moore Studies lead me to scripture and I love that. She is very historically based and bible based

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    2. Anonymous, yes Mrs Moore leads you into scripture. Most false teachers aren't going to teach from the book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. The issue with her teaching is that she teaches the verses out of context and incorrectly overlays history on it (by spiritualizing the Old testament) in order to push a 'all about me' agenda. There is correct extraction of meaning from the Word, called exegesis, and there is incorrect teaching from the word, called eisegesis. More on that here
      http://the-end-time.blogspot.com/2011/07/troubled-by-beth-moores-teaching-part-6.html

      Moore is in the side of incorrect, eisegesis. Let me give you an example. The devil tempted Christ. (Matthew 4:5-6). The devil 'led' Christ 'into scripture'

      Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple 6 and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written,

      “‘He will command his angels concerning you,’

      and

      “‘On their hands they will bear you up,
      lest you strike your foot against a stone.’”

      The devil had twisted the meaning of the passage he was quoting to suit his own agenda. He used it to throw at Jesus to use as a rationale to be forgiven if Jesus would do as the devil suggested, and tested God. Jesus knew the correct meaning and rejected the devil by using scripture correctly.

      There is a right way to lead a person into scripture and a wrong way. Knowing the difference is called "discernment."

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  5. I've learned a lot from Beth Moore. She keeps my attention unlike many boring pastors. Jesus has a sense of humor and he doesn't expect his children to be caught up in legalism. I believe you can honor Jesus and still have fun in the pulpit. There's nothing wrong with reading a scripture and then relating it to personal experiences. Don't the parables do the same thing? If Beth Moore is insecure, God can still use her and DOES! We all have our faults. Jesus said, "He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." Jesus accepts us as we are and loves us unconditionally. I am sure he is looking down on Beth Moore and is very happy that she loves Him so very much and is willing to do God's work. I do not believe he is finding fault with her.

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  6. When I've used the "ok?" on the end of a sentence to my kids, it's meant as "did you hear me? Are you listening? Do it!" - I'm NOT asking their permission. They understood that loud and clear. Maybe it's also a cultural thing, how it's used.

    As for Beth Moore's teaching on Revelation - godly men who spend time, prayer and hours of study, do not agree with each other on the meaning of Jesus' Revelation to John, therefore I am not surprised to learn that you have disagreement with her on this. You and I do not agree completely on it either. Where we must have 100% accurate teaching in in who Jesus Christ is and what He did. How the end comes about - well, we ALL are going to learn the truth when it actually happens! (Come quickly, Lord Jesus!)

    I'm curious about your next part to this series of posts. My mother attended one of Beth Moore's studies at her local church, one on Martha and Mary. I had just heard a series of very good sermons on that part of the New Testament and was very surprised at how these two women were treated by Moore. My mother is a "Martha" and came away very encouraged, believing that it's fine to work, work, work and not sit and listen. When I disagreed, she got very upset and accused me of trying to ruin what the Holy Spirit had told her during the study. That was my first experience with a Beth Moore study and it really put me on alert. Therefore, later here in Ukraine, a dear young woman was given a study by Moore in English and wanted to teach it (can't remember which one now!). She translated parts of it into Russian for the group and gave me the English copy to read along. I had to correct several things through the course of the few weeks as we met (quoting Scripture, not opinion). She finally gave up due to all the translating, not my correcting what the study said - wish I could remember what it was!!! Guess I've blocked it out of my mind.

    Someone commented that Beth Moore regularly preaches at her church. Huge warning flag! She is already out of order and so is her church leadership. Women are to remain silent in the church and ask their husbands at home if they have a question (single women should ask their father, an elder, deacon, the pastor later, or possibly an older Godly woman, since they have no husband). I didn't say this - GOD DID. I Corinthians 14:34 and I Timothy 2:12. The older women should teach the younger women: Titus 2:3-5 "Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God."

    This brings up a question that I've had ever since I found your blog: in your ministry to the Church as a watchman, how are you, Elizabeth, under the leadership of your church? As Christians, we do not stand alone in anything we do, especially when studying and teaching the Word of God, but we are subject (under the authority of) our church leadership and God is going to hold them accountable. Just curious. If you've written about this before, please post a link.

    It's important to remember this: "so that no one will malign the word of God." God takes His word and how we treat it very seriously. Jesus IS the Word (John 1:1). And I am reminded of these verses, and wonder as they describe the time in which we live:
    Amos 8:11-12 “The days are coming,” declares the Sovereign LORD,
    “when I will send a famine through the land—
    not a famine of food or a thirst for water,
    but a famine of hearing the words of the LORD.
    Men will stagger from sea to sea
    and wander from north to east,
    searching for the word of the LORD,
    but they will not find it."

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  7. Elizabeth thanks for your perspective on Beth Moore, it’s so important for the “body” to carefully evaluate what I call contemporary Christians icons – best selling authors, event idols etc.
    When we owned and ran our Christian Bookstore in Colorado (1999 – 2007) we had numerous requests to stock Beth Moore study materials. Researching book wholesalers I soon learned that the only way I could purchase her material was directly through “Lifeway”. Calling “Lifeway” I discovered that they give no discounts, what so ever, to book stores. If we wanted to have her material we would have to pay full retail plus shipping (freight charges for bookstores are huge- books are heavy). As a business we made the decision not to carry her material because selling her titles would mean losing money on each sale. We made our practice to tithe local churches and ministries not publishing companies. Well this choice of ours did not sit well with many of our customers, especially those up valley (Aspen area). We asked them to contact Beth Moore’s ministry directly explaining that there were no “Lifeway”
    stores out on the western slope of Colorado. They did and Beth’s ministry had no answers other than “order through Lifeway and have them shipped”. I personally had phone discussions with some very high ups in Lifeway – they would not budge – no discounts period.
    Sadly I could only draw one conclusion – this whole operation was about making money and very little about ministry.

    Craig

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  8. Hi Craig,

    I'm sorry that Lifeway would not work with your and your bookstore...

    You know, in the article I read from Christianity Today, they said that she was really hard to interview. It took years to get her, after repeated requests. Years! I forget how many but maybe as many as 5.

    "When I arrived at Moore's ministry headquarters, I was ushered into a conference room filled with donuts and candles. Pillows were scattered on the ground, and a tissue box and Tootsie Rolls sat on top of a small refrigerator in the corner in the room where Moore led some of her focus groups for So Long, Insecurity.
    It was not easy to get there. Just as Moore's stories are at once personal and private, Moore in person is intensely friendly—and 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."

    In my opinion, if you have such a huge platform, and one of the largest Christian magazines hankering after you, I'd think that the opportunity to share Jesus would be foremost. If it was about Jesus, that is. If it was about myself, then I'd stay, as CT wrote, "closely guarded."

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    1. I think we are not to judge her calling and criticize a woman God has chosen. She has to answer to God.....as you and I. Woe to us

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    2. Then you must also say woe to John, who 'criticized' two women, and Paul, who not only 'criticized' false teachers but also Peter. "Judging" a person's doctrine is NOT judging someone's heart. We are called to be discerning, not excessively tolerant doormats who accept any satanic lie that comes along.

      Reverend Matt Slick wrote:
      "But Christians are told in the Bible to separate themselves from the sinful practices of man and to expose error. "Examine all things and to hold fast to that which is true" says God's word (1 Thess. 5:21). So we do."

      You can read more about the false notion that we cannot "judge" here. We do have the right to make discernment calls with a right heart.
      http://carm.org/do-we-have-right-make-these-judgments


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  9. Ooooh, Elizabeth I love what you just said. "In my opinion, if you have such a huge platform, and one of the largest Christian magazines hankering after you, I'd think that the opportunity to share Jesus would be foremost. If it was about Jesus, that is. If it was about myself, then I'd stay, as CT wrote, "closely guarded."

    That is such a good point. I remember reading that article in CT too. I thought it was very strange.

    I also agree with the fact that her rapid firing way of speaking makes if VERY difficult to be a berean. I am the anonymous from the first post that wrote about Hebrews 10:35. Well, I was listening to that teaching, trying to be critical, but then I would get caught up in her personality. I would find myself to relating to what she was talking about, and thinking "Yeah,I know what that's like . . . " and forget that her story has NOTHING to do with the scripture.

    We get fooled. We end up relating, but not with the Word of God, and people walk away thinking they had a Bible study when they didn't. What is even more infuriating is how the women at church say that Beth Moore is a great "historian" and that her studies are so "deep" ??? REALLY??? I spent a half an hour listening to my friends talk about how Beth Moore says Babylon is really like Beverly Hills. I mean, okay, we can relate to the worldliness and materialism I guess, but Babylon is MUCH MORE than Beverly Hills. I feel offended that just because I am a woman, she is going to try and bond with me over overpriced fashion.

    Anyways, I really think that the Lord didn't want me to waste a year of my life in a Bible study that would be a constant test of discernment. Having to constantly question if what she is saying is true, and if I absorbed something false without knowing it. I ended up doing two studies on the book of Daniel, on my own, and I feel like I learned so much. Of course I didn't talk endlessly about how amazing the authors/speakers were, but that is probably a good thing! : )

    Anyways . . . On to your next blog : )

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  10. Thank you for this fine post,

    I am not a Moore fan and agree with you on the majority of your objections to her teaching in this series. My issue with her most primarily however, is not that she is a woman teacher, but a woman teacher with a male audience. I didn't see your

    I am involved with an international woman's Bible study program where women teach women and have been involved for many years. I have no issues with women teaching women and do not believe it goes against Scriptural teaching for a woman to do so. I,like you, do not love women's ministry programs for the very reasons you mention but in this well established and respected women-only ministry in particular, have never seen undignified or emotional lectures being presented. Just the opposite. I also think it is important to note that this is simply not your preference. It is not un-biblical for women to join together to study the Bible.

    While not a fan, I'm also not an expert on Beth Moore but your description of her speaking style sounds quite accurate to how many women communicate. I can believe it is both irritating and diminishing to the Gospel message. I do wonder however, if her speaking style and idiosyncrasies that you so correctly point out are actually a gender issue as much as a attitude and reverence issue. I see many male teachers today diminishing the Gospel via affirmation seeking (remember the old "can I get a witness? Or "I need to hear an amen people!" from the evangelists of the past?).

    Additionally, a lack of dignity in the pulpit is a hallmark of the current age. The Purpose-Driven tsunami in the last few decades has successfully changed the very foundations of what is considered acceptable Gospel presentabtion and what is considered respectful of God's Word. What would have been considered blasphemous in past generations is now common fare. There are quite a number of media darling pastors out there today who go way beyond an undignified style to actually take the "gospel", if you can call it that, into the gutter. They are overwhelmingly male.

    I don't think that a lack of dignity and seeking human approval through affirmation are necessarily gender-specific or gender-inclined failings, they are a sign of our times.

    Just the same, Mrs. Moore, however she comes by her speaking style and whatever her other failings, should not be teaching a male audience, period. On that, I could not agree with you more.

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    1. I took her online study years ago, and I recall her only allowing audiences of women.

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    2. Hi Robin,
      Men attend her studies now. In addition, Mrs Moore preaches, filling pulpits at churches where men attend, and it is the Sunday Sermon.

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  11. Thanks to The Watchman' Bagpipes for posting your comments on his blog. I too have been vocal in my concerns about Beth Moore - some were received with thanks - while others, not so much thanks - but I press on.

    Perhaps you have spoken of it and I have yet to read- but one of my issues is her continual speaking about her hair, her hubby and her dogs.

    This drives me crazy.

    Thanks Elizabeth for your blog, I'll visit often.

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  12. Hello Watchman on the Wall,

    Thank you for visiting. I appreciate it. Yes, in the Reaction to Beth Moore Teaching in Charlotte, I wondered if as many people would show up if there was one guy on acoustic singing the Old Rugged Cross and if Beth only talked about the bible for six hours- no hair, no dogs, no cute stories.

    http://the-end-time.blogspot.com/2011/07/beth-moore-reactions-to-living-proof_24.html

    I think we know the answer to that...:) I may be old fashioned but if I go to a bible teaching I want to hear about the bible, not the teacher's highlights. That kind of talk trivializes the teaching, in my opinion.

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  13. "These are called tag-end questions and the woman's tendency to use them as a method of establishing rapport and relationship building was observed by gender sociologist "

    Huh. Maybe that's my problem. I hate those things and avoid them like the plagues. (Sometimes more successfully than others). I wonder if it ticks people off that I'm not always asking for approval/opinions. When I do ask for opinions I just ask "What do you think of this?"

    However if you can ask questions that make people think, that's a different approach entirely (socratic method I guess). I do try to use that if at all possible. But people still get ticked. I've been told I have an anger and pride problem and am dishonoring Christ. :-)

    "Spitting it out fast and furious, flinging it all around the stage like fast food is not respectful to the Word and its meanings. It also makes it harder to detect error."

    When words are many, sin is not absent...

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  14. There is a big difference between personal preference and Biblical doctrine. And I think this essay has expressed clearly your personal preferences in a teacher rather than communicated Biblical doctrine about how a teacher of the Bible should go about teaching. The Scriptures referenced to support a Bible teacher, minister, wife, elder, etc being dignified do clearly state how they should conduct themselves, but I cannot draw the conclusion that talking fast, moving about quickly on a stage, how we use props, whether we stand, kneel, jump or run down an aisle is relevant in any way to being "dignified". These are style, personality, and just plain how God made you issues. We all weren't made to be quiet, reserved, slow-talking and boring.
    I think it would serve you well to see that Beth Moore has her ministry (there are people who are encouraged and grow in their relationship to Jesus through these teachings), she loves Jesus (her words not mine) and is reaching lives for Christ. And she is sharing the gospel (look at her Ministry Page and you will find her "how to become a Christian" mirrors yours). It might not be the way you would teach if you had a ministry to women (or perhaps you do) but for many women, it's reaching them. And they're not being led astray - they're being led to Jesus.
    It seems as though you have difficulties with her style. Tear apart her doctrine and theology & perhaps you'll make your point. But complain about her style...well, we all have preferences.

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  15. Hi Anonymous,

    Thank you for yoru comment. I apprecaite it very much.

    I did go on and write several more pieces about her doctrine. 16 in all, actually.

    As for her style of teaching, I believe the scriptures, period. They say that teachers are to be dignified. They specifically delineate how to act. I do not ignore them just because I may or may not have a preference toward one style of teaching or another.

    I don't think it should be a debate that the pulpit from which any biblical teacher shares the truth should be showman-like, with innuendoes of sex with husband, personal stories of family, me-me-me ad nauseaum delivered in an undignified manner are appropriate. How a bible teacher acts while teaching is indicative of how they handle the gravity of the content.

    Bible teaching isn't entertainment. It can and should be fun, interesting, awe-inspiring...but not entertainment. That is my opinion, and I believe the scriptures in this regard are clear...

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  16. Anonymous, I offer this comment about the dignity of the teaching pulpit from a preacher who write it in 1997:

    "Today if there is ever a time when a man is on "holy ground" it is when he is preaching Christ and Him crucified. Qualifications are specified. The inspired writer says, "And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also" (2 Tim 2:2). Peter demanded, "If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God" (1 Pet 4:11). Preaching and teaching the word of God is a serious matter. The pulpit is no place for frivolity and merrymaking. Theatrics and foolishness are as out of place in the pulpit as a cowbell in a musical concert, and beneath the dignity of a faithful representative of the crucified Christ. No man has a right to profane the pulpit while representing the Saviour of the world. Cuteness and slang may provoke a laugh from the less spiritual, but the more serious disciple of Jesus demands sincerity and evidence that Christ lives in us (Gal 2:20). "

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    1. In the year of 2010 my husband whom was an ordained
      Baptist Minister went in view of a call to
      a mid-size country Southern Baptist church. The church had
      been without a Pastor for a couple of months
      and majority of the members wanted him to come as their Pastor .
      Well the head conrolling Chariman of Deacons
      called him aside one Wed. night and said this
      and I quote > > "Bro. Tom right now our church
      funds are exceedingly low and we are going to hold
      off right now in calling a full time Pastor, we intend to use the Beth Moore series on Sunday and
      Wednesday nights until we can get our funds built
      back up"
      My husband was very disappointed to think he was being replaced by a Miss Charsmatic Personality.
      But in all honesty............I'm glad it happened because if that was their mentality, then he and/or we didn't need to be there anyway.

      Tom went home to be with the Lord November 2011, I'm happy for him but sad for me. He was a man of God and the BEST husband and father ever !!!
      He was so tired of all the religious nonsense and entertainment and phoniness that goes on in the church world, it seems today the house of God has been turned into a holy club for saints instead of a hospital for sinners. This info was in a church bulletin I received while attending yesterday.....August 12, 2012........ Ice Cream socials / exercise work outs / picnics / coupon clubs / sign up for volleyball /walking class now in family life center /Golf Outing $50.00 a player - 4 players qualify for $100,000.00 prize / pounding for the Pastor next week / the list goes on it's exhausting.
      It saddens me that men of God allows this hype and fad to go on in their local assemblies. Women in the assembies are not only prominent but have become dominate more than they should be. That which is highly (esteemed among men)is an abomination to the Lord.
      I do not wish to attack Beth as a person butI do attack her techniques and question her soundness of the scriptures and disagree with much of her drama.__ Susan- South Carolina

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    2. Dearest Susan

      I'm so sorry that you are missing your beloved husband...at least it is a comfort to know he is in the grace and glory of the Lord right now. Thank you for your comment. Truly amazing what passes for church these days.

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  17. My church is currently holding a beth moore bible study on tuesday nights on the topic of Esther. I went and listened to the introduction by beth moore, and I felt literally overwhelmed by the end of the video.

    She never stops moving, speaks very loudly, akin to shouting..etc...she's very exuberant. I enjoy seeing people excited and passionate when talking about the Lord, but I think you have to be careful to bottle it and appropriate it as to not overwhelm your listeners.

    I have the odd concern about her myself and that was after just one session. Thanks for sharing your thoughts:)

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    1. Hello Anonymous,

      Thanks for joining the conversation. :)

      In my opinion, if a person remembers more of how a person spoke instead of what a person spoke, then it is not a good teaching and the teacher is not that good of a teacher. Here's why: a Godly bible teacher wants the Word to be front and center, not him or herself. A good bible teacher actually *wants* to fade into the background and let the word be primary.

      That's not to say that they should be boring, but the pulpit is no place for jokes, anecdotes, shouting and general obnoxiousness (As BM describers herself). It is a place for gravitas and where Jesus is the show, not yourself.

      Even after several years, I remember what Kay Arthur said, and I remember nothing of what Beth Moore said in the different studies I'd taken from each of the women.

      I hope that as you progress thru the study that the Holy Spirit will open your eyes to the truth and give you discernment.

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  18. Jesus has changed my life through Beth Moore, who makes the Word relatable to so many people in all areas of life. Believe me, her style of teaching through Jesus has actually made ME feel loved, and she does this through such a fiery and funny personality that makes me wake up and want more of Jesus.

    I can not believe someone who has supposedly accepted Jesus into his life can be so sexist, negative and close-minded. I used to think, like you, at one point that the Word was something only to be analyzed. But now, I realize the Word IS my life and there's nothing wrong with having a little fun in getting to know Jesus. He is always there to greet me with open arms, and guess what, a SMILE. You don't need to be so critical about Beth's eccentric and humorous teaching method. Are you for real?? No, no only Jesus is Real. I can't believe I'm even commenting to such fault-finding and derogatory bigotry.

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    1. Anonymous:

      Jesus does not "change your life through Beth Moore". He changes your life through the Holy Spirit.

      Anonymous, Jesus does not 'make you feel loved' by a teacher's funny personality, He makes you feel loved through knowledge of the Gospel.

      Let's look at the most famous NT teacher: Paul to see his teaching approach. It wasn't funny, it wasn't entertaining, it wasn't eccentric, it wasn't fiery.

      1 Corinthians 1:17 "For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel--not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power."

      1 Corinthians 2:1 "When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God."

      1 Corinthians 2:4 "My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power,"

      I hope you see that it is not the teacher who draws us closer to Jesus, it is the Spirit. Beth Moore preaches Beth Moore, and collects undiscerning students to herself, as you have unwittingly and very sadly evidenced. When one thinks of a teaching when it is over, one should be thinking about the verses, not the teacher. The teacher should recede at the lectern and in your mind after.

      Anonymous, please refer to the verses I have shared in the comment and in the essay to see how and why Mrs Moore is not good food for you.

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    2. I was willing to be open to your criticisms of Beth Moore right up until this statement... "let's look at women leaders from Texas and see if they are fast-talking, jumping bean, let-it-all-hang-out leaders: Laura Bush? Lady Bird Johnson? Kay Bailey Hutchinson? Hillary Clinton? (Beth Moore was raised in Arkansas). Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor? Can't picture them being fast-talking, jumping bean, 'energetic and passionate' in front of a crowd in order to get an important point across?

      I have lost what little openness to your opinions I had and not as it directly relates to only Ms. Moore

      But your use of Hillary Clinton as a roll model for any reason...do not mistake position with dignity and Christian Grace.

      I should hope that as Christian women we would immerse ourselves in the foundation of Christ so greatly that we would be far removed from the type of behavior and principles that Hillary Clinton exhibits there should be no comparison.

      Remember Billy Graham and the fired up preachers of old... well I do and Thank God for them.

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    3. I said "leaders", not Christian women.

      I said *type* of speaker, not content.

      My point was even if those women know how to speak in a rhetorical method of gravitas with a secular message, how much more should Moore speak with gravitas having the holiest message of all?

      If you please prayerfully and carefully read before jumping to conclusions we will all be better off.

      So sorry you lost being open - and you lost it on a poor basis too, a personal opinion and not a biblical exposition. That's on you.

      Billy Graham is a liberal compromiser, a heretic,and a wolf who has damaged a century of the faith. Do not mistake popularity with grace.

      Graham:
      http://www.freepres.org/pamphlet_details.asp?graham_facts

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3gBTZljN0_Y&list=FLatdgBZ1YUVrgJPctJftLeg

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btVPQOQvnG4&list=FLatdgBZ1YUVrgJPctJftLegv=3gBTZljN0_Y&list=FLatdgBZ1YUVrgJPctJftLeg

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  19. I know I'm coming across this entry late, but I really wanted to just say a resounding THANK YOU to you for making the point about tag-end questions and affirmation-seeking.

    I'm a woman who does not do this, has not done this for years, if ever. (I can't remember if I did back when I was like 12 or 13, and perhaps I did then.) It bothers me so much not only that other women do this but also that I'm perceived as being RUDE because I do not. I speak forthrightly ("let your yes be yes and your no be no") but ever since relocating to Tennessee from Indiana as a 21-year-old newly married woman I've been given to understand that assertive talk from women is "rude" or "undignified". The tag-end questioning is almost required speaking. And that bothers me.

    (This is saying that I'm "anonymous" but I'm trying to sign in with my Wordpress id. I'm Katherine Coble and can be found at mycropht.wordpress.com)

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  20. oh i hate that end-questions, ESPECIALLY when they are directed at a person. I once had a prophetess ask me in front of everyone, "Did you get anything out of my talk? Were you blessed?" And what was I supposed to say in front of all those women who had been so "blessed"??? "NO, I thought that was a whole tub of crock?"

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  21. There is no perfect preachers on earth. We are all sinners saved by grace and work in progress. For someone who does not let her imperfection stop her from obeying God's calling to share and teach the Word of God, Beth may be grateful that God increases and she decreases.

    When our attitude is truly seeking God's kingdom and His righteousness, we can discipline our mind to focus on God's Holy presence and the ministry of His Word bypassing the imperfect channel. We can love and pray for our flawed brothers and sisters. God is exceedingly greater than our flaws. He used all flawed people including Abraham, Issac, Jacob, Moses, David, Peter, and many more.

    When I came to the US nearly 2 decades ago, I was shocked by the American church culture and preachers' delivery styles. The flaws identified in Beth Moore are nothing in comparison with the flaws I see from church to church in much larger scale.

    Some people taking God's presence so lightly that they bring in their coffee mugs to the sanctuary (even go out to refill it and return to the seat); they chew gums throughout the praise/worship and sermon; they talk, they joke among themselves; young men and women running their hands up and down the backs and shoulders of their partners or lovers; they constantly checking their emails and visiting websites on their mobiles and iPads throughout the service. ...

    Most preachers (I have yet not attended a Sunday worship preached by a woman priest) start their sermons with silly jokes, current affair headline news, family news .... completely disregard the climax of worship that the Holy Spirit has orchestrated with the last worship song. I so wish more preachers will learn to ride on the waves of worship and declare exaltation, praises and honor to God Almighty before they start preaching .... forget those self attention-seeking jokes and news.

    Yet, I still attend these "imperfect churches", listen to "imperfect preachers", sit among the gum-chewing, coffee drinking, impatient lovers, email addicts, and others who treat church service as social gathering. You see, I cannot let the imperfection of the church (including myself) stop me from worshiping the Perfect God! It is our attitude that matters more than the flaws we see in others.

    There is no point to correct the behavior without changing the hearts. I learn to pray for these people to truly experience God and believing Who He really is. Right believing will lead to right living and right worship.

    The most constructive thing we can do to delight God when we see flaws in others, is to bring the concerns to our gracious Father with all humility (because we are flawed too) and love. Our Potter is shaping and perfecting us day by day. All glory to His patience and love to us!

    Easter victory - not what we can do but what Christ has accomplished on the cross for us! His finished perfect work for all. Praise and bless our Risen Lord!












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    1. Anonymous, you're right, there are no perfect preachers. There is no one perfect except Jesus.

      However, that is a straw man argument precisely *because* no one is perfect. Responding to false teachings by saying 'oh well, no one is perfect' is saying that you accept anything anyone says. Because, after all, we're not perfect.

      False teaching is not "imperfection", is it infection. And alternately, seeking solid teaching is not seeking perfection. It is exalting Jesus. Learn the difference.

      What of the preacher who says Jesus never died? What of the preacher who says Jesus never lived? What of the preacher who says He is not coming back? That there is no hell? Is your stance then, 'Oh well, no one is perfect?' Hope not.

      We are commanded to test all things, and hold fast to the good. That means by definition, we let go of the bad. In your stance, you hold on to everything.

      Discernment means knowing the difference between a preference and false teaching which kills. If my church plays contemporary praise music (which they do) and I hate it (and I do), do I go to another church? No. It is a preference.

      The same is true for discerning the difference between preachers preaching false doctrine that is fundamental to the faith and things which are not fundamental and we can live with. THAT is the non-perfection we live with.

      For example, if a preacher at a pulpit states he is not sure if the rapture is pretrib or not (it is) then do I storm out never to return? No. It doesn't impact salvation. But if a preacher preaches something that is contrary to salvation, like that there are many paths to God, I DON'T say "oh well, he's not perfect." I address it.

      In 1 Timothy, Paul named eight false teachers, by name. Eight. Why? He loves his brethren and does not want them to be drawn away by myths and man-made words. Saying 'oh well, no one is perfect' is saying you do not care enough about your brethren to warn them from falling off the cliff

      I'd ask you to ramp up your discernment and pray for wisdom to understand what is required of us in these last days of heightened apostasy.

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  22. Thank you, dear sister. It is indeed absolutely important that we never compromise the Biblical truth with false teaching. I thought that is an obvious given in this discussion among all mature believers. Please forgive me for assuming that.

    I certainly agree to speak up for Biblical truth - in love. The fruit we bear in our lives are equally convincing and impactful, if not more than mere boldness in proclaiming the truth. May our God of all grace help us to minister grace and love to other servants of God. "For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places." Eph 6:12.

    While one could approach the person (in this case Beth Moore) directly and graciously to share one's sincere concerns, correct and restore(which is very biblical), let us discern the true spiritual warfare and direct one's energy in fighting it through intercession.

    The transformation power comes from God. So are grace and love.

    Grace, love and peace abound toward you, precious sister.



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  23. While I have taken several Beth Moore studies and read some books, I'm not a Beth Moore "superfan" and really want to know the concerns people have about her. I look forward to your opinion about Beth's theology - where it really counts, but everything you've said here seems just nit-picky to me.

    I agree that the self-affirmation is annoying, and I wish she would do less of it. But, it's also a valid speaking technique to get your listeners to think about what you are saying on a more personal level in the context of their own experiences, and don't we want that in a Bible study? I don't think her intent is to demean the authority of the Bible at all.

    Regarding whether she is dignified -- yes, she does do a lot of the rapid fire delivery. But if you take her studies in depth like they are meant to be, the rapid fire is simply an introduction to something that she provides ample opportunity to study further, at a slower pace. I believe her personal stories help put scripture into a modern context, and since scripture seems outdated and archaic to so many, this is very useful. While I have laughed quite a bit during her video studies, she always brings it back to a serious level, and the "comedy routine" portion is short.

    Yes, the Bible provides guidelines for ministers. But God recognizes that we are all individuals with different learning styles (he made us that way). Do you really think that the Apostles delivered Jesus' message exactly the same way to Jews and Gentiles? Do you think Paul took the exact same approach in every city he went to throughout his travel? Of course not. And if all Christian teachers sounded alike, a lot of people would simply tune out the message today. I don't see anything blatantly un-Biblical about Beth's style. You may not like it, but if it reaches others, maybe it really is God-given and used for His glory.

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    1. It's not 'nit-picky" to God how we handle His word and how we present it in a teaching situation. It is also not nit-picky how women are to behave. He put it in the bible. If you want to dispense with those particular commands, then be my guest. However I remind you, these things matter to God.

      Secondly, I have written about Beth Moore 17 times at last count. There is much to discuss about her supposed "deep study", because what comes out isn't deep. It's wayward-to-false.

      --There are issues with her alleged 'visions."
      -Her Gnosticism
      -Her improper teaching based on eisegesis, not exegesis
      -over-allegorizing OT passages to apply to us where they do not apply to us
      --contemplative prayer
      -including Catholics in the body of Christ

      and more. A study or teaching that "reaches others" is not a reliable barometer as to whether it is biblical. Satan's theology "reached others". So did the eight men who Paul named as false teachers in just one book of the NT.

      No, her style isn't blatantly Biblical, but it is slightly unbiblical. It indicates a casualness and an ignorance of how we are to conduct ourselves. It is the first pass in the downward slide. Now we have churches where preachers come to the pulpit on a zipline to the tune of Highway to Hell. Is that just a different style? Some will say so. But "style" matters because how you treat the Word, the sermon, the teaching, and the pulpit is a manifestation of how you think of Jesus. That preacher didn't wake up one day and say, "gee, I think I'll zoom in on a zipline." He started sliding somewhere back along, wearing jeans maybe, swearing at the pulpit maybe. Don't for a minute think that these things don't matter. It is HOLY GROUND!

      It's up to you to see if these things are true. But don't dispense with them because you think they are too small a problem. Match up what she says and what she does based on the bible, not your opinion of whether these things are a "big" enough problem or not.

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  24. I tried to do one Beth Moore Bible study, but wanted to bang my head against the wall very quickly. If I had to hear another 'Can I get an amen..." I couldn't finish the study. On speaking the Bible verses quickly, though, I have to say that, many Bible teachers do this, even John Macarthur. With him it seem to be uber familiarity with the verse, so he tends to fire it off really rapidly, which bothers me, not necessarily being so familiar with it.

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