Thursday, July 21, 2011

Troubled by Beth Moore's teaching: Part 4: Legalism


I am working on a series of essays looking at the teachings of Beth Moore. She is currently a wildly popular Christian bible teacher. Her books, DVDs, lessons, devotionals and tours sell like hotcakes. She regularly fills stadiums and arenas to capacity. She is sought after for speaking engagements and has a regular spot on a television show called Life Today. She teaches Sunday School in her home town of Houston when she is in town and has had that position since 1984.

We are in the times of the doctrines of devils, of false teachers and of deception. Beth Moore may be true or she may be false (we'll explore that this essay and the next) but because the bible warns of these problems with teachers and teachings at the latter days, it is important for us to take a careful look at any and all teachers who have this much influence. I mentioned in Part One that I am headed to a Beth Moore conference this weekend. I'll be listening to her for 6 hours and may have more to say afterward. In preparation for these essays I've listened to Beth Moore for several hours, prayed, read others' concerns, and studied.

In exploring whether the content of Mrs. Moore's lessons contain solid teaching, I'll be looking at five issues- Contemplative Prayer, Legalism, Personal Revelation, Eisegesis vs. exegesis, and outright error. This part will  look at Mrs Moore's insidious Legalism.

Troubled by Beth Moore Teaching, Part 1: Introduction and Casualness
In which I declare my biases, give a short lesson on discernment, and begin with a concern about how casually Mrs. Moore delivers her lessons.

Troubled by Beth Moore Teaching, Part 2: Un-dignified teaching
In which I look at one of the things that happens when women teach (tag-end questions and affirmation seeking), the undignified delivery of her lessons, and the problems with a rapid-fire teaching.

Troubled by Beth Moore's Teaching, Part 3: Contemplative Prayer
In which I explain what Contemplative Prayer is, why it is bad, and Beth Moore's participation in it.
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Legalism

Legalism is a reference to the Law, the Law of the Old Testament designed to show us in no uncertain terms that there is nothing that we can do in our own strength that will sanctify us and provide the pathway to heaven. If we rely on the Law, we are dead. Satan's old trick of instilling in us the notion that we have to do things to get into heaven is alive and well, and has been since the earliest New Testament days. Legalism teaches that we do is more important that what we believe. Paul dealt with the first instance of legalism, busting it out of the water: "We who are Jews by birth and not 'Gentile sinners' know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified." (Galatians 2:15-16)

Ecclesiastes 7:20 reminds us of legalism's futility: "There is not a righteous man on earth who does what is right and never sins."

I'd mentioned in the last segment that Mrs. Moore has a tendency to pry apart the tightly woven tapestry of scripture and insert things you have to do, make conditions for salvation (if you do this, then you're saved) and to teach of a certain way of doing Christianity. Some people say that it is just her style of casual teaching, friendliness and quick speech but she really means that we're saved by faith alone. But then again, I spoke to the dangers of quick speech and casual handling of the Word. Bible teachers have to say what they mean in precision and back it up with scripture. Oftentimes, Mrs. Moore makes assertions that have no basis in scripture and adds conditions for our faith walk. Here are three examples:

I used one example of legalism at the end of Part 3. It was from her contemplative prayer quote: "[I]f we are not still before Him, we will never truly know to the depths of the marrow of our bones that He is God. There's got to be a stillness." So IF you aren't still you WON'T know God. At least, not like a real Christian. It's Pharisaical thinking, 'I do this practice so I'm really more pious than that tax collector over there.' (Luke 18:11). And the Pharisees were the ultimate legalists.

Here is another example. In one study, Beth Moore is speaking of 'confidence and competence' that Christ gives us. The study is based on Hebrews 10:19-20 but her interpretation of the verse is wrong from the beginning. I'll address her interpretive error in the exegesis vs. eisegesis segment to come.  But once the basic interpretation is wrong it is no surprise that what follows falls into even worse error. I transcribed this- Watch carefully as she inserts conditions to salvation and even outlines the effect of not believing the extra add-ons she includes. "...but what can happen is this ... If we receive Christ as our Savior but we never recognize and by faith believe Him to also be our healer and our restorer then we just stay just as cracked as when we got here.”

That’s a blasphemous, heretical statement. Let the momentousness of that statement sink in for a second.

The Gospel is now Law. We have to believe some things above and beyond what the bible says we believe to be saved. John 6:29 says, “The work of God is to believe in the One He has sent.” We believe the Lord died to save us from our sins and rose again, and we are saved (Romans 10:9). Even better, there’s nothing anyone can ever do to change that (Romans 8:38-39). The moment you asked for your salvation it was delivered. (Matt. 7:7-8). It’s guaranteed forever (Ephesians 1:13-14, 2 Cor 1:21-22).  I certainly don't see anything about having to believe that Jesus is our Healer and Our Restorer or else we stay cracked.

To continue:

…it [confidence] just bleeds out everywhere, we can’t keep any confidence in there. Because we have never trusted Him to put three pieces of our lives back together. Is this making any sense to anybody? We have all these cracks and all these pieces. … And we’re supposed to be effective here on earth. ... Salt and light and profoundly effective, but we can't be any of that unless we have our God-confidence."

What she is saying is that --
1. Unless we accept Jesus as savior AND Healer AND Restorer, His work is not sufficient.
2. Unless we get some God-confidence, we are not effective.

Well...Moses wasn't confident. "Then Moses said to the LORD, “O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.” So the LORD said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the LORD? Now therefore, go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say.” (Exodus 4:10-12). By any standard, Moses was effective.

Jeremiah wasn't confident. His first worry was that he was too young for the job. " Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, I cannot speak, for I am a youth." But the LORD said to me: Do not say, ‘I am a youth,’For you shall go to all to whom I send you, And whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of their faces, For I am with you to deliver you,” says the LORD." (Jer 1:6-8). By any standard, Jeremiah was an effective man of God.

Now as for this cracked business, the bible does speak of being cracked: "For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, The fountain of living waters, To hew for themselves cisterns, Broken cisterns That can hold no water." (Jeremiah 2:13). The ones who forsook God were cracked- the evil ones were the cracked ones and were bleeding water out everywhere. But when Jesus saves us, we are sealed! "Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee." (2 Cor 1:21-22) There is no in-between, being saved but leaking. That is disrespectful to Him and it's just not biblical. But it is legalism.

I've given two examples of Beth Moore legalism. One was from her stance on the DVD "Be Still," about Contemplative Prayer. One was from an audio teaching about Hebrews 10:19-20. This next example is from her book, "Breaking Free: Making Liberty in Christ a Reality in Life". It is a review of that book by Paige Britton.

Britton says, "One rather ironic element of Moore’s teaching is her definition of “legalism,” one of the roadblocks we must remove if we want to journey on to authentic freedom. According to Moore, legalism occurs whenever one studies the Word but fails to enjoy God; it is the absence of relationship, passion, engagement of the heart (pp.75, 77). This definition is fine as far as it goes, but it effectively obscures the fact that Breaking Free is all about applying new rules in order to gain what God meant for us as a gift in Christ. Since Breaking Free is also all about experiential things like peace, satisfaction, and the enjoyment of a passionate personal relationship with God, it couldn’t possibly be an example of human-centered, legalistic religion, could it?"

Of course, the answer is yes.

Sister, watch or listen or read her works carefully, carefully, with this in mind: Beth Moore tends to apply conditions for faith that are not in the bible. She also makes sweeping claims that she does not back up with scripture. It's worse than Joel Osteen, because there is barely any Gospel if any at all in Osteen's speeches. In Moore's there is a lot of Gospelese mixed in with falsity, twisted interpretations, and legalism. Study, pray, and search these things out for yourself!

23 comments :

  1. This post made things so clear, I almost couldn't help but give a little 'whoop.'

    I can only speak for me, but I have so much reading on my plate right now that I can't take on more, so I can't read her for myself at the moment and come to my own conclusions. I just have my one experience with her one study, which left me unsatisfied, and then the examples you have given, which are sufficient for me for now. Thank you!

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  2. Very well done!
    False teachers appear correct in their speaking because what they say is true to a degree, there is always a twist. What Beth claims about Jesus IS blasphemy. We are to believe in Jesus and His work on the cross, that He is God's Son and He is now seated at the right hand of the Father. Anything added or taken away is false.

    Elizabeth, you are very thorough in your research. I will be keeping you in prayer while you are at the conference, I believe you will need protection.

    Blessings,
    <><

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  3. Thank you Child of God! I am having a sinking feeling I will be called to pop up and challenge something...at the very least I'm sure that more will be revealed as I sit there for 6 hours, and at some point in gentleness and humility I'll be called to confront these points with the sisters attending with me...it is a part of the ministry He has had me do - not often- but when I have to it's excruciating.

    When I began the study on Beth Moore, I was hoping I was wrong. I was hoping that it was just my distaste for loud women, or for energetic bible teaching, but it soon became apparent it is more than a matter of style. The moment I heard her say that we need to accept Jesus as savior and healer and restorer and the misapplication of the Hebrews verse which I'll post soon, she was sunk...not to mention the pop psychology and personal revelations. I don't think the conference will restore to my mind the damage I've already uncovered, which is what I was hoping for.

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  4. Hi Elizabeth,
    That is what I felt while reading this post. That God will put it on your heart to challenge her. :s I believe, if called, you can do it but will be needing prayer cover and I believe God has called me to pray.

    So I will be praying,
    <><

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  5. by the way, this legalism is NOT a recent development. This kind of thing is staple in places like Thomas Road Baptist (Jon Falwell currently) - Saddleback, Charles Stanley, Adrian Rogers...

    Just check out Adrian Rogers' recent devotional "Obedience Brings Blessing"
    http://www.hisloveextended.com/blog/obedience-brings-blessing
    "If you want God’s blessing upon your life, you cannot just obey in part, you must obey perfectly. What wife wants a husband who is 85 percent faithful to her?"

    Well, this one does. And he wants me with all my shortcomings as well.

    This reminds me of an excellent message by Matt Chandler "Jesus wants the Rose"
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-zR3h2UsR4

    (even with his somewhat John-Piper-ish faults -- he gets this so right)

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  6. Thank you. It seems I should say more but those 2 words have a depth I pray the Holy Spirit shows you. Thank you again.

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  7. If you reference Matthew 13 and the parable of the farmer sowing the seeds, I think you will understand what she is discussing here (although she herself does not reference the verse in your citation). There are the four soils, and only one bears fruit. This is not a salvation issue, but she is discussing the idea of transformation post-salvation. Are we merely the seeds on the rocks or in the thorns, or are we the seeds in the good soil who bear fruit?

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    1. The Parable of the Sower is about salvation. Only one of the four seeds represents a person who is saved. It is not about 'transformation post-salvation', which is called sanctification. If she taught that it is about personal transformation, she is incorrect.

      read here
      Mt 13:18-23,

      and also here
      http://www.gotquestions.org/parable-sower.html

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  8. The parable of the Sower is about how different Christians respond when they hear the Word of God, therefore, it is not about Salvation. It is about people who are already Christians responding or not responding to the Word. Beth never said that a person has to "...by faith believe Him to also be our healer and our restorer..." to be saved. She's sayin we need healing and restoring to be healed and restored, as in no longer "cracked". Also, Moses wasn't confident, but he was God-confident, as Beth talks about. He obeyed God because he knew God could do what He said He'd do. Stop tryin to find fault where there is none and get busy about the LORD's work!

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    1. The Parable is about salvation. I know that Mrs Moore teaches the opposite...unfortunately. That is why her teachings are a problem. It is about the sower (Jesus) sowing the seed (the Word) about how to get into the kingdom, into the soil (which is the heart.) Mark 4 commenting on the same parable says, "Accepts the Word."

      You stated that "Beth never said that a person has to "...by faith believe Him to also be our healer and our restorer..." to be saved." She did. I was at the conference when she said it and I wrote it down. She spent about 20 minutes of that segment adding to the message of Jesus.

      If you want a scholarly and solid interpretation of that Parable, go here, it is a good sermon!

      http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/80-181/the-parable-of-the-soils

      The Lord's work includes helping undiscerning or less discerning brethren avoid falling under the sway of false teachers. It is one of the spiritual gifts the Holy Spirit bestows. (1 Cor 12:10). As MacArthur explains, So spiritual discernment is the ability to separate God's person, God's work, God's will, God's truth from everything else that wants to encroach upon it." Using the gifts IS the Lord's work.

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  9. You are wrong! I have the gift of dicernment, as well. How do you KNOW that parable is about salvtion?
    And?.....Moses?

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    1. Three reasons. First, the bible says it. It is written that the seed is the word. Second, I gave the Mark 4 verse that states what the seed is as a proof text to show that one way how discern is look at all the parables of the soils as recorded in the different Gospels for the full picture in context. Third, I gave the link to a sermon that properly exegetes it in context. If you read the sermon and you read the parable in the different gospels, you will have a fuller understanding, I'm sure of it.

      What Gnostic teachers like Beth Moore do is change whatever bible verse she is teaching to be about us rather than about Jesus. Gnostic teachers always preach the worth of the sheep instead of the work of the Shepherd. That is exactly what Beth Moore did with the text of the Parable of the Sower (His work= salvation, vs. our worth = good fruits)

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  10. The Word says with all your getting get understanding Proverbs 4;7. It is important as Christians that we understand what the speaker is saying. Beth is a teacher not a pastor. I don't understand how you bibically can be opposed to gender based teaching when the word of God encourages that to happen Titus 2. No, Paul was not a flowery speaker, however Apollos was an eloquent speaker Acts 18:24-26 and God used his ability to convince unbelievers of his Word. Secondly, Christ asked questions-- was Christ asking for affirmation? I think not.
    This thing about being undignified the very meaning of the word is opposite of the actions of Paul, and to be concerned with your own personal dignity is unchristian. I am not avid reader of Beth Moore, but I have read one of her books and you are wrong if you are suggesting she only suggests quiet 5 minute contemplative prayers with the Lord.

    I'm from the North too and no we don't dress things up-- that is a cultural attribute that we as transplants must adjust to once we cross the Mason Dixon line. But devoting multiple blog entries to tear down a woman teaching the word becuase you don't like her style is preposterous and secondly against the teaching of the Word of God.
    You went to that meeting not seeking the Lord about what truth he would speak to you, but as a Pharisee-- to see where you could find fault so you could write a series for your blog. What life comes from what you speak or write-- you devoted more time to Beth Moore than Paul did to Alexander the heretic.

    Nothing you have written conveys the love of Christ. Your prejudices concerning women teaching because somewhere you were taught that wasn't your place to do so ( even though we know women were instrumental in the New Testament: Junia, Priscila, Chloe and others) blinded you from the context of her message. There is a time to speak and a time to contemplate and let the Lord speak to you. The Lord gives us our daily bread or as Luke says our day by day bread. He gives a fresh word every morning if we seek Him, so for you to demand that she post her messages ahead of time so that you can develop your own understanding based on the commentary of men you respect is also ludicrous.

    It is imparative that one understands the difference between a teacher and a pastor. I accidently came to this site looking for a scripture reference, instead I found modern day Euodias and Syntyches doing the very thing 2 Timothy 2 advises us not to do.

    As I'm visiting Christian sites it is apparent our Lord is soon to return because believers have gone crazy, millions of people are dying without ever hearing about the Lord or knowing him as Savior. But here we are arguing about style and affirmation and culture and contemplation. If you think a brother is teaching heresies talk to that brother twice and if he doesn't stop turn him over to Satan for the persecution of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved on the day of Lord 1 corinthians 5:5. And if you want be like Jesus how about you pray for her, so that her eyes might be open.


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    1. lexisherre, I am not against women teachers. I am against women teachers (and male teachers) who are Legalistic Gnostics who twist scriptures, Like Beth Moore does.

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  11. Sower parable is about both salvation and spiritual growth, Ms. Prata to say it is not is false. Some people hear the word and immediately reject, others do good for a while and for whatever reason find themselves unbelieving the explantion Jesus gives tells you that portion is about salvation. However, if it only about salvation why does some groud produce 30 fold, and others 60 and still others produce 100 fold?

    This isn't about gnosticism this about really reading the Word of God and asking God to open our ears so we can hear and our eyes so we can see. We must seek him daily in prayer and reading the Word and allow the spirit to move through us and allow the Spirit to cut down our preconcieved ideas. Milk is great for babies, but at some point believers have to get off the commentary boob and surface level scripture reading and allow the Holy Spirit to guide you into all truth and if it is of God it will line up with his Word. Just because a person preached it no matter how dry doesn't make it right and the only right way to look at if ( if Christ is the word than the word has depth, heigth, width and breadth, which makes it multi dimensional, which in turn means that it isn't flat).

    I am tired of people throwing around the word Legalism or legalistic. Are there legalistic saints of course, but lets not misunderstand liberty. We must pray and read our Word is that legalism? We are commanded to grow in Christ 2 peter 3:18.Yes, it is Christ who does all the work, but we must grow in Christ and know the fullness of him --his depth, length, breadth, and heighth Ephesians 3:18. This only comes from love of Christ; which is only possible through a relationship with him, which requires time spent with him.

    Yes, you must accept as healer and restorer. You must understand that many people think of Jesus as coming only to save us from our sins, So when they think Savior they think of solely being saved from death and hell. They don't know him to believe him to be a healer of broken hearts or a binder of our wounds Psalm 147. They don't realize that he came not only to give them life, but life more abundantly that he can fix everyone of their problems and solve every issue in their soul. They don't know that he can change their minds and hearts. Jesus is our Lord and our Savior and he his also are healer( by his stripes we are healed), an restorer, becuase he reconciled us back to God, the Father. Jesus said he would save us to the uttermost Hebrews 7:24.

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    1. In this blog entry and the one before, I explained what legalism was and I gave examples. You can always re-read those to answer your question about what legalism is.

      I am tired of people throwing around the legalism moniker, too. Mostly because so many false teachers today are legalist. I wish these legalist teachers would stop. Paul was tired of it too, calling the Galatians foolish for so quickly abandoning what they had heard in sound doctrine and falling prey to false teachers, in that case,t he circumcision group. If the Galatians could be swayed by sweet talking false teachers mere months after Paul himself had taught them, what are our chances of escaping falling pray to false teachers like Beth Moore? What are our chances that the Legalism demons wold have stopped trying to get followers? Low to nil. Unless you ask the Spirit for discernment and direction in properly understand the scriptures (like the parable of the sower) then we are sitting ducks.

      Beth Moore is a false teacher who claims to hear directly from God, have visions, accepts the Catholic Church as part of the global church, promotes false spiritual disciplines, is a Mystic, and teaches falsely. I am glad you're reading these blog entries (I hope you read all of them) and hopefully some of the lessons here will sink in.

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  12. Lord, please open their eyes to the truth and so all turn to you and not against each other.

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  13. What about the verse "Be still and know that I am God."

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    1. I have little to go on to answer your question, a bit more information would be nice. Absent that, here are two thougths-

      "Be still and know I am God" is the title of a DVD in which Beth Moore participated, promoting the unbiblical practice of contemplative prayer, incorrectly using the Psalms verse as a basis.

      It is a verse found in Psalm 46:10. It is taken out of context by the contemplative crowd, used to promote something that is not productive for the Christian to engage in. The verses immediately prior to verse 10 are these:

      "Come, behold the works of the Lord,
      how he has brought desolations on the earth.
      9 He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
      he breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
      he burns the chariots with fire."

      Hardly 'peaceful' are they? Pastor Larry DeBruyn at Guarding His Flock ministries explained the entire verse very deeply & specifically. Here is one of his points, you can read the entire essay of what 'be still and know that I am God, here,http://guardinghisflock.com/2010/04/09/be-still/

      "Fourth, the command to “Be still” (v. 10) is specifically addressed to the survivors of a war torn nation, people that on all sides continued to feel threatened. To those scared to death by what was going on all around them (v. 2), the sovereign Lord encourages them to stop their trembling. As one commentator observed, “In this explosive context, ‘be still’ is not an invitation to tranquil meditation but a command to allow God to be God, to do his work of abolishing the weapons of war.”

      This correct interpretation is hardly the interpretation Beth Moore gives it. This difference exists because one person practices exegesis (proper interpetation, by Pastor DeBruyn) and oneperson practices eisegesis, (incorrect interpretation, Beth Moore.) You can read more abotu how Mrs Moore twists the bible by practicing eisegesis, here
      http://the-end-time.blogspot.com/2011/07/troubled-by-beth-moores-teaching-part-6.html

      You can read another essay as to what contemplative meditation is, here
      http://www.gotquestions.org/contemplative-prayer.html

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  14. Historian David Barton came to our church a couple of weeks ago and spoke privately to my husband, who asked how he ever got into studying our founding fathers and American history. He began to share how when he started looking at our founding documents, they did not line up with the history being taught in the schools. Essentially, they were learning lies that had replaced truth over time. This is what is happening in most mainstream churches today. we need to learn our bibles not cultural free grace Christianity. Read Jesus' words and we should shake in our boots about the reverence we should have for our Lord, enough to clean up America in a day. I am sick of Gods commandments being DONE AWAY WITH when The Lord promised to write them on our hearts. Oh, they are there, all right, but we live in constant state of rebellion as in the days of the judges when we "do what is right in our own eyes"! Christians should have no divorce rate, no premarital fornication, no aborted babies, or babies out of wedlock, no disobedience to parents, no mistreatment of children, no alternative lifestyles and no one even in want! Sounds too harsh? Read your bibles. Stop bashing Beth Moore and read how being in the very presence of God should literally clean up the church. At least she is trying to do her due diligence by preaching. Through her studies, I have learned to read the bible and put honor where it goes, to Christ alone, Who has redeemed me. The least I can do is live my life as a light to draw others to him in my gratitude!!! Stop making the Law a bad word by calling it legalism. 2 timothy 3:16 says ALL SCRIPTURE is useful for teaching rebuking and training in righteousness (the scripture referred to here is Old Testament by the way)
    1John 5: 2 "By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. "
    Stop CALLING LEGAL "LEGALISM."
    We obey his commands because we love him. It is the result of a redeemed life.

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    1. Hi Anonymous,

      Thanks for your comment. I agree that we should have a precise definition of words. I think you may be operating under a misunderstanding, and that is partly my fault, because I did not define legalism. I apologize. Legalism is not the Law. They are two different things. There is Law, and there is grace, and legalists mix the two. Their faith is not by grace alone, and Beth Moore teaches we must do things to get closer to God, thus is a legalist.

      GotQuestions defines legalism --
      http://www.gotquestions.org/Bible-Christian-legalism.html
      The word “legalism” does not occur in the Bible. It is a term Christians use to describe a doctrinal position emphasizing a system of rules and regulations for achieving both salvation and spiritual growth. Legalists believe in and demand a strict literal adherence to rules and regulations. Doctrinally, it is a position essentially opposed to grace.

      The apostle Paul warns us of legalism in Colossians 2:20-23: “Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules: ‘Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!’? These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings. Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.” Legalists may appear to be righteous and spiritual, but legalism ultimately fails to accomplish God’s purposes because it is an outward performance instead of an inward change

      Read more: http://www.gotquestions.org/Bible-Christian-legalism.html#ixzz2bgWPwhFb

      You said, “At least she is trying to do her due diligence by preaching.” But her preaching is consistent with what the bible teaches, and in God’s economy, no teacher gets a pass for “effort.” (James 3:1). ‘Trying’ doesn’t cut it.

      When you say “stop bashing Beth Moore” what do you mean? Did I say she was a horrible person? Ugly? Impugn her life? That's bashing. What I believe I did was I compared her teaching to the bible and her teaching came up short, in my and others’ opinions, btw, and then reported that back to the body of Christians for their edification. This is not bashing, but it is testing all things. (1 Thess 5:21).

      I encourage you to stop by the GotQuestions link on legalism so next time we chat we both have the same understanding of that legalism is. Or this one, it's good too

      http://carm.org/what-is-legalism
      "In Christianity, legalism is the excessive and improper use of the law (10 commandments, holiness laws, etc). This legalism can take different forms. The first is where a person attempts to keep the Law in order to attain salvation. The second is where a person keeps the law in order to maintain his salvation. The third is when a Christian judges other Christians for not keeping certain codes of conduct that he thinks need to be observed. Let’s examine each one more closely." more at link

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  15. Hello!

    First of all I would like to thank you for taking the time to write these very interesting blogs on different issues. I can imagine that it is not only time consuming, but can be very exhausting physically and mentally.
    I am reading your series on Beth Moore and I do agree with some of the issues, but not all of them.
    I am not quite sure that some of your emotions got in the way during this event, and not in a good way. I have not been to a Beth Moore event, but I have read a couple of her books. You seemed to have mentioned a lot about her looks, her speech pattern, lack of formality, and legalism. These are all mainly personal preferences or observations. In the legalism section, you mentioned Moses and Jeremiah which were both under the law as Christ had not yet been born, so of course they would be required to follow the law. It appears to me that she was saying finding quite time to spend with God will help you grow in His Grace, not that you would have to find quite time to pray to be saved.
    Maybe I am looking at this all wrong, but to me her teachings are more for Christian women who are trying to bond with one another and learn the scriptures, and not as much evangelical. I see on her website today that she is asking for her readers to memorize the book of James which is fantastic.
    I am a southern woman and really found your descriptions of Beth rather hurtful. Sometimes those with the gift of discernment can use it for harm too, just as those for teaching.
    Keep the faith

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    1. Dear Anonymous,

      Thanks for your encouragement and also for the comment. I’ll address them.
      Regarding the parts you don’t agree with, you were less than specific so I’ll respond as best I can to your concerns. As far as being “emotional” about it, well I’ll let you conjecture as to the inner state of my mind when I wrote it. It’s curious you assert emotionality in my comparing a teacher’s behavior with scripture, where it is the false teacher who trades on emotion RATHER than scriptures in her ‘lessons’ that should be a more weighty concern.

      I did not say a lot about her looks. I did mention that people teaching the scriptures should treat the lesson with the gravitas it deserves. Where the bible speaks of qualifying characteristics for pastors, teachers and elders, most of them are behavioral. Only one speaks to ability: able to teach. So uncontrolled, un-sober behavior and lack of formality are definite negatives that scriptures advise against in our elders. It’s not personal, it’s scriptural. I thought I’d put enough scriptures that would have made this clear, but here are a few more:

      James 3:1-2 Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.

      Ephesians 4:11-15 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God,
      Titus 2:3-5, Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, 4 and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.

      In fact, Moore herself speaks about looks quite often during her lessons. I find that demeaning, by the way. And distracting.

      Legalism: It refers to a term that most understand means adding works to a Gospel in order to attain salvation, not that certain people were born under the law. I do believe I shared the definition of legalism when I posted the piece. Here it is again:

      Legalism teaches that we do is more important that what we believe. Paul dealt with the first instance of legalism, busting it out of the water: "We who are Jews by birth and not 'Gentile sinners' know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ.

      Paul was against the Judaizers – who were legalists. GotQuestions explains Judaizers, “A Judiazer taught that, in order for a Christian to truly be right with God, he must conform to the Mosaic Law.
      Read more:http://www.gotquestions.org/Judaizers.html#ixzz3Kqv0AWOI”

      It is a shame that you separate the learning of the scriptures from evangelizing. A bible lesson surely does bond the brethren because we are built up in common through them, but the reason for learning is to worship and to evangelize according to the Great Commission. How the teacher teaches and what the teacher teaches count, and they are the only things that count. A false teacher isn’t going to say things 100% of the time that are wrong either. Of course it’s a good thing Moore asked her women to memorize the book of James. False teachers are right some of the time, otherwise it’d be obvious they were false. Satan is more subtle than that. But a little leaven spoils the lump. There is no doubt Moore is a false teacher.

      As far as being hurt by the things I'd shared about Moore's teaching, I'm sorry your feelings were hurt. I find her perversion of the Gospel hurtful against my savior. Here are two men sharing why her teaching is false, perhaps they will reach you where I did not-
      http://www.worldviewweekend.com/tv/video/has-beth-moore-become-false-teacher

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