We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum. A.W. Tozer

Friday, May 2, 2008

Beth Moore Revisited

Due to various comments I have received on my previous articles about Beth Moore, I am posting this article demonstrating some of Beth’s teachings and why they are problematic. I do not want to get into a continual dialog about Moore on this blog - that is not its purpose. The purpose of this blog is to alert believers to false teachers and false teachings affecting the Church - this is the ministry of a watchman. It is up to the individual to determine what to do with the warnings. If you are concerned by what I report, feel free to e-mail me at the address on my profile and I will provide more details as necessary.

Due to the nature of this post, it will be the longest one I’ve done, so hang in there until the end if you truly are interested in why I say Beth is in error. I will be referring to Beth Moore’s DVD series, “Believing God,” because I personally viewed all 10 hours. However, many other apologetics ministries have reviewed more of her stuff and the problems I found in this series are repeated and enlarged upon in her other materials.

Firstly, Beth Moore makes many claims of direct revelation from God. There is no evidence that God has given anyone direct revelation since the New Testament. In fact, Hebrews 1 says that God now has spoken to us through His Son. Here are some examples from Beth where she claims direct revelation:

1. “One of the things God wants to do throughout this nine weeks we’re going to spend together is empower our prayer life.” How does she know that God wants to do this? (Session 1)

2. “What God began to say to me about five years ago, and I’m telling you it sent me on such a trek with Him, that my head is still whirling over it. He began to say to me, ‘I’m gonna tell you something right now, Beth, and boy you write this one down, and you say it as often as I give you utterance to say it: My Bride is paralyzed by unbelief. My Bride is paralyzed by unbelief.’ And He said, ‘Startin’ with you.’” God says, “and boy you write this one down”????? I find it interesting that God talks so “down to earth.” Is the Church really paralyzed by unbelief? Maybe I’m just a cynic, but I can’t believe this conversation took place. (Session 1)

3. “And this came as a direct revelation of the Spirit because this would never have come to me. I know God spoke this over me as He began turning through a concordance in my mind and I started thinking about one Scripture after another.” Notice she even says, “direct revelation.” (Session 3)

4. A de facto revelation of God is this claim: “God is desiring for His church to have a revival of true faith in who He is and what He can do and what He desires to do in our generation.” How does she know this?  (Session 3)

5. Moore has another special revelation: “Don’t buy the press that they [those in leadership positions] have it all together. If they did, God wouldn’t even be using them. Because I’m going to tell you, He wants people in process. They’ve got a fresh word going on in their lives. When they’ve got it all together, He’ll take them home.” Now, from where does she get this idea? Where is the Scriptural justification for this claim? (Session 5)

6. Another de facto revelation: “God is doing something huge in the church today, and I don’t want us to miss it.” If God is really doing something in the church, are Christians going to miss it?  (Session 5)

7. Moore has a conversation with God which sets her up as an authority when she teaches: “You know what He told me not too long ago? I told you when I first began this whole concept, He first started teaching it to me about five years ago, and He said these words to me: ‘Baby, you have not even begun to believe Me. You haven’t even begun!’ You know what He said just a few days ago? ‘Honey, I just want you to know we’re just beginning.’ Oh, glory! That meant I had begun. Hallelujah! But He was telling me, ‘When this ends, we ain’t done with this. Honey, this is what we do for the rest of your life.’ And He said those words to me over and over again: ‘Believe Me. Believe Me. And I hope it’s starting to ring in your ears, over and over again, Believe Me.’”  (Session 6)

8. “I don’t know how I even learned this except that God just taught it to me Himself.” So now God has been personally teaching her! (Session 7)

9. Moore made the claim that “God directed” her to do the “Believing God” study.  (Session 9)

So there you have the direct revelations from God to Beth on the DVD series I watched. What about her use of Scripture? In my February 16th article I gave two blatant examples of error and I will not repeat them here. So let’s look at a few more from this series:

1. In session two, Moore’s understanding of Matthew 16:18 is somewhat different than that of any other commentator I have read. She states that when Jesus is saying this, he is pointing first to Peter and then to Himself. He calls Peter a stone as he points to him, then He points to Himself when he says, “On this rock I will build my church.” So this makes Jesus the rock of the conversation (whereas I was always under the impression that the rock was Peter’s confession - which Moore does say it may also be), and then Peter is “a chip off the block.” Yes, that’s how she says it: Peter is “a chip off the block,” the block he’s chipped off of being Jesus. And that is why Jesus gives Peter special authority. However, in session four she says that in Matt. 16:18 the “rock” is indeed the testimony of Peter. My thought was, “Huh?” Remember, in session two she said that may be a part of it.

2. Matthew 17:19-20. “For some reason, ordained by God alone, He tells us that when we want something to move, we are to tell it to. We are to open our mouths and say to the mountain, ‘Move it! You are in my way!’” However, this passage is about what faith can do. It is not about the need to speak to mountains or anything else. Moore’s claims in this area are much the same as the Word of Faith teaching when she says that because God spoke creation into existence with “omnipotent words,” we can speak things into happening with our “potent words.”  (Session 6)

3. 2 Corinthians 4:2. “Renouncing requires speaking.” We must “verbally renounce all attachments to it [sin].” Again, this passage is about renouncing things no matter what method is used; it is not about speaking audibly.  (Session 6)

4. 2 Corinthians 4:13ff is also used to prove that we must speak the words because the author says, “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” But the context is about why he spoke what he did, not that speaking was required to prove anything.  (Session 6)

5. 2 Corinthians 4:8. Moore says the word “crushed” here (NIV) means “unable to express yourself, unable to speak out.” She then says Satan was preventing Paul from speaking out, and in the same way he will prevent us from speaking out. KJV says “distressed.” While a possible meaning of the word may be “restrained from talking” (not being a Greek scholar I don’t know, and Strong’s gives a meaning of the word as “distressed”), I’d say the context in this passage does not mean Paul was prevented from speaking. To continue with her unbiblical claims, Moore says, “Thinking is not exercising biblical authority. Satan can’t read minds. He is only intimidated if it comes from the mouth.” (I agree that Satan can’t read minds, but, again, do we intimidate him?) She goes on to say, “Perhaps more than anything else, Satan wants to hinder us from ever learning how to use our mouths. Because he knows once we draw the sword of the Spirit, and it starts coming out of our mouths, he has had it.” Again I must ask, is the mute then powerless against Satan?
(Session 6)

6. Beth discusses Joshua 4, and then she makes comparisons to Genesis 15 because there are Hebrew words that are used in both places, which to her was a very big deal. With Genesis 15 the pieces of animals were parted, while in Joshua 4 the Jordan was parted. In Genesis 15 God passed between the pieces making a covenant, while in Joshua 4 the ark of the covenant passed through the Jordan. Moore continues to build this whole idea into her belief that in Joshua God was “having a memorial moment” reconfirming to Israel and to Himself the covenant He made with Abram; that the crossing of the Jordan was intentionally symbolic of the covenant with Abram, and this is proven by the use of the same Hebrew words in both places. Then she makes the application: “Through the concepts in Joshua 4, God seems to say, ‘Because I have cut covenant with you, I will also cut a path through any obstacle that stands between you and the fulfillment of My covenant promises.’” She then finishes by saying, “Oh I believe that’s what He’s saying.” Hmmmmmmm.  (Session 7)

7. Beth discusses Joshua 5, and she says “circumcision was reinstated.” This would mean it had been temporarily set aside, but the Scripture doesn’t say that. It only tells us the ritual was not performed, that they had failed to do it. When they were circumcised, Moore says, “God cut away the sign of their unbelief, and they wore the mark of their new beginning.” The text doesn’t say the lack of circumcision was a sign of unbelief, it just says it wasn’t done in the wilderness wanderings. Beth adds her own ideas to Scripture.  (Session 8)

Now I will demonstrate some areas in this DVD series where Beth was aberrational in what she taught:

1. Moore says God’s use of her is “scandalous.” “He has risked His reputation and His name over a pit dweller like me.” If this is her attempt at humility, I think she has done more to denigrate God. Does God ever risk His reputation? Does God ever “risk” anything? (Session 3)

2. One concern I have that others tend to dismiss is the idea that we pray to God and thank Him as if it has already happened the way we pray, and it will then be certain of happening. This sort of binds God to our prayers; He is obligated to respond in the manner in which we ask. Moore says, “And you just start thanking Him over and over again when you’re asking, thanking Him in advance, ‘God, thank you, you’re going to work a miracle here, you’re going to work a miracle.” What if God doesn’t want to work a miracle? What if God has other ideas and the answer to your prayer is “no” because He knows what would be best?  (Session 3)

3. “This is the real thing, about living the rest of our lives intimidating the kingdom of darkness and making the devil finally tuck his tail and run. It is time for the body of Christ to stand up and become his worst nightmare. When are you going to start making him sorry that he messed with you? That’s what I want to know. When? When do we decide we’re going to make him sorry that he ever messed with us? That he ever messed with somebody you love? When does that happen? Tonight’s lesson is about becoming armed and dangerous to the kingdom of darkness.” Okay, so where in Scripture does it say we are to “become [Satan’s] worst nightmare”? This is certainly shades of a Frank Perretti novel and Strategic Level Spiritual Warfare. Where does Scripture say we ever intimidate the kingdom of darkness? What about Colossians 1:13 where it says Christ delivered us from the “power of darkness” (KJV) or the “dominion of darkness” (NIV)?  (Session 6)

4. “We have a need to pray and we’re struck dumb - that is the enemy not wanting words spoken. Just open your mouth and say ‘Jesus’ - one word - ‘Jesus,’ … and it sends Satan away. He’s just a bluff.” Well, what if we pray silently? What about a mute praying? And where in the Bible does it tell us if we say “Jesus” Satan will suddenly leave us alone?  (Session 6)

5. Moore opens the 7th session with: “The Holy Spirit is just all over us in this place… And we are praying for a miracle of God, because I am praying that same portion of the Spirit [referring to an earlier “worship and praise” session] is pouring out on your sweet little head right where you are. Because sometimes there is just nothing like that.” Again I have to ask, how does she know the Holy Spirit is “all over us” in that auditorium? Do we not have the Spirit indwelling us anyway? She then tells the audience, “God delights in your company.” Has she received a revelation from God that this is so?

How about her flippant and arrogant attitude towards God? After getting emotionally worked up over what she is saying, Moore then says, “I tell you what, Lord, if you don’t calm me down, I’m coming home!” Isn’t it rather presumptuous to be talking to God this way?  (Session 6)

Beth Moore’s teachings in this series brings to mind what the Scripture says about people gathering around themselves a great number of teachers who say what their itching ears want to hear rather than those who teach sound doctrine. (I also think her self-acknowledged obnoxiousness and theatrical demeanor, and apparent lack of humility are totally inappropriate for one in this teaching position.)

If this hasn’t been enough evidence of the problem with Beth Moore’s teachings, I can only recommend that you contact Personal Freedom Outreach at www.pfo.org and ask for their articles on Moore.