|HT Bud Ahlheim|
Someone asked a very reasonable question:
Come on, guys. I know there are plenty of Beth Moore issues, but do you seriously think this wasn't a joke?Is it a joke? Should we all just lighten up? I thought about it for a while then wrote back,
If this was the only tweet, essay, book blurb, or audio statement she ever made of this nature, then yes, joke. Sadly, in context of the body of all her work over many decades, such shallow narcissism, self-.involvement, and comfy cozy God-talk is all too usual for Moore. So I conclude it is not a joke, or only a half-hearted joke.The points here are both good. Don't take one thing a teacher or leader said once and blow that up especially if it's obviously meant as a joke. Common sense should prevail. However if a certain unbiblical behavior is constant, for example, anger or sarcasm or boasting, then by all means take the totality of the person's work or speech and compare it to scripture.
In one other thought, I replied again,
And let's say in devil's advocate fashion, that it was a joke, a lighthearted comment meant for fluff. Remember, Moore says she teaches God's word, speaks for God in her lessons and influences millions of women over several generations. Is this the kind of speech a mature Bible teacher should be constantly and 'light-heartedly' tweeting? (Tweets of this nature are constant).
Would a mature teacher with gravitas, say a John MacArthur, ever tweet, "I had tie pride so God made me spill soup on it right before I went to the pulpit so I'd have to take it off."? No, Titus 2:7b-8 applies.Some teachers take their relationship with God seriously and other teachers don't.
There are several things to unpack here. As for the totality of her casual rapport with God, such Twitter comments are all too sadly common from Mrs Moore. She says God calls her honey, baby, babe, kiddo, and other terms of intimate endearment. Setting aside the allegations of direct revelation, can one believe that God calls Moore these things? Did God call John His pal? Did He refer to John the Baptist as kiddo? Did He announce the birth of Christ by shouting from heaven, "Hey, Mary baby!" No. Not that there aren't tender and intimate moments (Jesus comforting Hagar in the desert, an angel baking bread for a tired Elijah, etc,) but the casualness of such speech diminishes God's august stature and our own witness.
When Beth Moore goes on a Sabbath play date with God at the zoo and says she and God had a blast, compare that casual kind of language to the Bible by inserting one of the Patriarchs, Prophets, or Apostles' names. In the Bible lesson where Moore claimed she and God went on a date, contained in her book The Beloved Disciple, she had said God took over her steering wheel and as if on autopilot He steered her into the zoo where she and God watched a baby koala sleep while she sipped a Starbucks fancy drink. Nothing was reported as to what God had sipped. As her date with God to learn how to Sabbath rest concluded, Moore declared she and God had a blast.
Let's compare that scene to the moment when the real God actually taught Moses about the Sabbath. Sadly for Moses, God did not take over Moses' legs and put him on autopilot as Moses trudged up Mount Sinai. He did that on his own. When Moses got to the top, did he and God watch a sleeping mountain lion while Moses sipped brewed tea and God wrote the Ten Commandments? Was it a picnic atmosphere when Moses met with God up there? Did Moses then feel restful and walk back down the mountain and face all Israel and declare, "God and I had a blast! We played!" I think not.
As for the casualness of declaring what God is doing and saying at any given moment, we have lost the gravitas due our Savior, thanks in no small part to Moore and her silly statements. Remember John the Baptist's father, Zechariah. He was a priest and labored in the Temple on rotation, it was his rotation when Gabriel appeared and announced to Zechariah that he would be blessed with the forerunner prophet to Messiah despite he and his wife Elizabeth being advanced in years. (Luke 1:8-23). Zechariah was then struck mute when he asked an impertinent question. God is serious! That Moore's impertinence has been overlooked for this long is a measure of how much common grace He bestows upon unbelieving sinners like her.
As for the silly self-involvement of Moore's statement, that God made it rain specifically so that her hair would be flattened, it's just too over the top to comment on. The pride in which someone would actually say that and believe it is just sad. God didn't make it rain in order to bring sustenance to farmers so people could eat? (Leviticus 26:4, James 5:18). God didn't make it rain so He would prove He is still ordering the progression of the seasons in His capacity as Creator and sustainer of all things? (Genesis 8:22). No, He made it rain so Beth Moore's hair would be squashed down, never mind the thousands of other people nearby who do not have hair pride and who would also suffer the woe of flat hair for the rest of their journey.
My points are several:
1. Do not follow Beth Moore
2. Give Jesus His due and respect Him on social media
3. If you're not sure if something a teacher has said or a Bible anecdote really applies, insert a Bible character's name into it and if you can't picture him or her saying it then there's your answer. Examples:
Moses said, "God and I had a blast up on Sinai!"
Paul and Silas were singing in jail and God appeared and said "Baby, you have not even begun to believe Me. You haven’t even begun!’"
Mary said, "Elizabeth, guess what! God hollered from heaven and said "Baby, you're gonna have a baby!"
Comment to the naysayers:
No. I have not contacted Moore. She already has been contacted, multiple times, and she refuses to repent. Also, contacting her is not necessary. See here and here.
No, I am not against lighthearted tweets. This from Moore was appropriately fun and lighthearted:
Goofing around with her daughter after her grandkids were sleeping is a mom-daughter fun thing to do. Fine. Not fine is when you start tweeting you know what God is doing and including His name in your silliness. It's offensive to me as a Christian and as a woman.
The Second Commandment says not to take the Lord's name in vain. At Desiring God, that is defined:
How do you define the sin of taking the Lord's name in vain?
Well that's a quote from the Ten Commandments: "Don't take the name of the Lord your God in vain." The idea of vanity (and I think the Hebrew carries this connotation) is "don't empty the name."
So it doesn't just refer to a certain tone of voice or a certain use of the word. It's dealing with God and speaking of God in a way that empties him of his significance. This includes both throw-away words—like "God!" or "Jesus!"—as well as speaking about him in trifling and flippant ways. Not just swear ways but cheap ways, low and insignificant ways that just treat him like a commodity. And when you hear them you sense that there is no weight to that sentence, no corresponding emotion to that statement. It seems to have just been gutted.Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, 4and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, 5to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. (Titus 2:3-5).
Self-control. Does the Body of Christ good.
Breaking up with Beth Moore, by Pam Terrell
The Apotheosis of Beth Moore, by the husband of the woman above, Robert Terrell. Very good essay.
Strange Fire Q&A,
How do I respond to people who refuse to admit that those who supposedly receive divine revelation are dangerous even though they don’t teach outright heresy?
Can you talk about the dangers of popular teachers who are not heretical but say that God talks to them? I am thinking specifically of Beth Moore. What are we to do with people who refuse to see the danger and insist such teachers are OK?
Believers must always listen carefully when any teacher or preacher speaks about the Bible and theology. They must share the nobility of the Berean saints whom Luke commended for double checking Paul’s teaching according to Scripture (cf. Acts 17:1–11). While Beth Moore teaches with accuracy on some points, she also holds positions and teaches doctrines that are both incorrect and dangerous.
Beth Moore promotes contemplative prayer, a mystical practice not found in Scripture which includes elements of eastern mysticism. She chooses not to draw firm doctrinal lines on her website while implying the Roman Catholic Church is a Christian denomination alongside the Methodist, Baptist, and other denominations. Beth also claims that she has received visions from God and sometimes receives revelation from Him in her heart. From these examples we must conclude that the lack of biblical and theological depth in Beth Moore’s teaching renders her a dubious and dangerous source of Bible teaching. You may read a critique of Beth Moore’s teaching here.