Beth Moore's strangely disappearing tweet: a discernment lesson
In interesting little incident happened on Beth Moore's twitter stream yesterday. Mrs Moore wrote:
Even some of her followers were puzzled by Moore's inadvertent unbiblical admission.
I tweeted the following:
A few other people made mention of Moore' puzzling admission too. And then the usual happened. Usual for these apostate days:
Beth Moore's tweet went POOF.
There are a few discernment things to understand here. First, on the literal side of things, Beth Moore's tweet demonstrates two simple biblical failures. Of course Keith Moore is not "inclined" to study scripture. None of us are. Our flesh always battles Godly disciplines. However the point of the Christian life is that we deny those fleshly indulgences by picking up our cross (Mt 16:24), and we rely on the Holy Spirit to help us overcome the flesh (our 'inclinations') to pursue holiness. All of 2 Peter exhorts for growth in godliness and pursuing the holiness our Lord deserves. That Mr Moore gives in to the flesh so as to avoid pursuing holiness is not sanctification.
Secondly it fails the husbandly aspects of a Godly marriage. The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary has a guide for husbands regarding this aspect of marriage. I quote it because the Moores have stated many times they are Southern Baptist, belong to a Southern Baptist church and are proudly Southern Baptist. "Lead Your Wife Spiritually: A Guide for Husbands"
it’s especially true of husbands who bear the responsibility to lead in a marriage. Your marriage should be a significant source of your wife’s sanctification. Consider Paul’s words to the Ephesians again:
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. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. (Ephesians 5:25-28)
Clearly, you’re not Christ. There is a sanctifying work that only Jesus can do, but as you model your love on the sanctifying relationship of Christ in the church, you do have a role in your wife’s sanctification. Even if your wife is more spiritually engaged and mature than you are, you still have a responsibility to lead.Next, moving away from the literal aspects to the conceptual aspects of Moore's tweet, teachers of God's word, as Beth Moore claims to be, should be mature, wise, careful, and self-controlled.
Paul advised young Timothy to "set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity."
Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us. (Titus 2:7-8).
Titus 2:3 also advises elder women on behavior and comportment in Christian life. As does 1 Timothy 3:11-
In the same way, the women are to be worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything.
I would further state that advice for elder women goes in spades for when they are speaking publicly about their husbands.
On the discernment side, if you're having red flags about a certain teacher or preacher, one thing to look for is if he or she makes hasty statements. Do they have to retract things often? Do they have to go back the next week and fix a wrong thing they said? I'm not saying teachers don't ever make a mistake, but if the teacher or preacher you like or follow has a habit of always having to re-explain, correct, or retract, it's an issue. Real teachers consider their words carefully and speak wisely to minimize such problems, as the 1 Tim 3:11 and Titus 2:7-8 verses says they should do.
I've said before that Beth Moore is not qualified to teach partly because of her undignified delivery. She speaks casually, quickly (both in tempo and in heart-haste). Her haste, multitudes of words, and thoughtlessness in her teaching was replicated in posting that tweet for the world to see. It was careless, as evidenced by her almost immediate deletion of it. The Bible says of a person who is hasty in words,
Do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him. (Proverbs 29:20)
Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few. (Ecclesiastes 5:12)
Now someone could say, "Gee, that was one tweet, maybe Beth Moore meant Keith wasn't inclined to study scriptures with her right then." That could well be what she meant. So in discernment, we don't jump to conclusions but we watch fruit grow. LOL, it takes a long time to watch fruit grow. It's like watching paint dry. It takes time and patience. So, in Keith's case, is there any? What is the overall, long-term pattern and is there any evidence to support that this is a consistent husbandly failure on his part?
Yes, and yes. The Moores have had a long, public spiritual life. There is much evidence to support that Keith Moore has consistently failed his wife by abandoning the husbandly role, and in so doing, rebelled against his God and allowed a Jezebel-type to be born.
Beth Moore chose to be President of her multi-million dollar corporation, Living Proof Ministries. Her husband chose to be Vice President. In one video interview I watched of Beth, she said her husband Keith has no part in the company (ministry). She was saying that as if it was a good thing, but it is really a bad thing. In looking at Living Proof Ministries' tax returns, Moore's reported hours working at the ministry were 50 hours per week and Keith's were 8 hours per week. She was President and he was Vice-president. He took no compensation. So what she said was true.
However, in ministry, the wife is supposed to be led by the husband. He is supposed to oversee her. If her non-profit was a ministry as she claimed on her IRS forms, the man needed biblically to be very involved so he could rightly make decisions and lead his wife. If it isn't a ministry but is a corporation, then why was she taking the lead role, in that case she would be be leading a feminist lifestyle? Either way, it was a #fail.
In an interview in Charisma Magazine some years ago, Moore explained how she and her husband worked out their roles as Living Proof Ministries grew and placed increasing demands on Moore.
The only time Keith ever voiced any objection, both women say, was in the early days of the ministry when Beth, at God's prompting, quit teaching aerobics classes and began to write Bible studies. The aerobics classes had brought in at least "a little part-time money," Beth says. But at that time, the Bible studies were not for-pay publications; they were simply a tool she prepared gratis for the women who were attending her Thursday morning Bible class at Metropolitan Baptist Church in Houston. Keith didn't understand Beth's willingness to invest so much time in a project she wasn't being paid for.So her husband objected to Beth STOPPING her work outside the home and OBJECTED to her being at home more. In fact, biblically, it should be the opposite. Keith objected to her ministry work FOR THE LORD as long as she wasn't being financially compensated. Again, this is not what we do for the Lord.
When Moore's children were small the growing ministry required her to travel away from home. This was not a problem for Mr Moore. In the interview, Beth said that he simply stepped in to the wifely role as the wife stepped into the husband's. From the same article linked above, it is reported in the interview and using their own words, that the children endured long and/or frequent absences of their mother away from home, that they strove to maintain normalcy when Beth was gone, that they lost family privacy, that the family endured trials because of Beth's choice to work outside the home, that they all had to sacrifice for the sake of Beth's ministry, that each time Beth left home the children saw their father (unbiblically) performing in the wife's role, and that Keith totally supported Beth's choices all the while. Moore says of her absences from home as a mother, her children
"invested in the kingdom every time they kissed their mother goodbye."This is what happens when the husband follows his fleshly "inclinations", and fails to rightly lead. It is not surprising then, we end up with a false teacher like Beth Moore who does not know how to handle scripture. In the end, the answer is yes, there is along-term pattern of unfruitfulness so as to be able to credibly say enough evidence exists to support that this is a consistent husbandly failure on his part? We can answer the question Pastor Mike Abendroth asked, Where is Beth Moore's Husband?
So the take-away discernment lessons here are:
1. Use social media wisely. It's embarrassing for someone to speak impiously and worse to see the twitter stream littered with "unavailable tweets." Proverbs 12:4 here, An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who brings shame is like rottenness in his bones. Sin and error never lead to courage. They usually lead to hiding the sin and deleting the tweet. When you tweet, post, blog, vlog, or otherwise, do you stand behind what you've said? Even under fire, does what you've said, stand on solid ground?
2. Do not be hasty when speaking, especially publicly. If you are a teacher, be even slower with your words. Proverbs 12:18 says, There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
3. Women, help your men do their duty of protecting and overseeing you. First, because it is a biblical command, and second, because the false teachers are just waiting to "creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions," (Ephesians 5:22-24, 2 Timothy 3:6).
5. Sin always finds you out. (Numbers 32:23). Where a false teacher is concerned, both their doctrine and their lives (behavior) will be suspect. Yes, even Billy Graham's. We detect the false doctrine earlier and more easily because false teachers can't hide their teaching, that is their moneymaking, stock-in-trade. They can and do hide the sin in their lives more easily, but as the verse says, it will find you out. The natural man can't keep a lid on his sinful behavior forever. It WILL come out.
In Beth Moore's case she tries very hard to hide her private life. The Charisma interview I linked to is 13 years old. Not many interviews occurred after that. Or if they did, Moore insists on prepared questions ahead of time, denies tours of her office, and refuses to speak of certain periods or issues in her life (untransparent to the extreme). There are always some glimpses and gleanings of the all-important moral side emerging, though. She can't keep a lid on all of it.
Usually at some point a critical mass is reached, the cracks in the dam can't be plugged and the whole thing comes down. Every false teacher always has some moral issue that emerges. We saw this with Mark Driscoll. Tullian Tchividjian. Creflo Dollar. Jimmy Swaggart. Joyce Meyer. Jack Schaap. The list is seemingly endless. That's because a false teacher or false pastor has no hope of restraining the sin in him, and even a secret sin always finds its way out.
6. Honor your husband. It is a great example to set for the younger women. A solid, biblical marriage is wondrous to behold and that is because marriage is a picture of Jesus and His Bride.
Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty thunder peals, crying, "Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to be clothed with fine linen, bright and pure"-- for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints. And the angel said to me, "Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb." And he said to me, "These are true words of God." (Revelation 19:6-9)