Discernment, False Teachers

You Might Be Apostate

might be apostate

Comedian Jeff Foxworthy hit the big time several years ago with his “You Might Be a Redneck” one-liners. He frequently introduced the bit by saying, “I’ve found that there are rednecks all over, but sometimes people don’t know they’re rednecks. So, I came up with this little test…” and continued with such gems as:

“If you’ve ever had to carry a bucket of paint to the top of a water tower to defend your sister’s honor, you might be a redneck.”

“If your wife has ever said, ‘Honey, come get this transmission out of the tub so I can take a bath!’ you might be a redneck.”

“If you’ve ever been accused of lying through your tooth, you might be a redneck.”

It was a routine that a lot of us in the South found hilarious because we knew someone who fit nearly every one of Jeff’s jabs.

Like rednecks, there are apostate false teachers all over the place out there, only a lot of them (and their disciples) don’t know they’re false teachers. And the fruit of their lives is far wackier than anything a redneck has ever dreamed up. That fruit doesn’t make them false teachers, but it sure is a sign that we’d better examine the root of doctrine from which the fruit sprang.

So if any of the preachers and teachers you’re following have ever said or done the following things (or something even crazier), watch out, because they Might Be Apostate.

HoNuthaLevelIf you’re a middle aged pastor who makes embarrassing rap videos, who publicly extols the virtues of Spanx for men (even though it gives you gas) and who calls himself a Ferrari you might be apostate.

If you feature a Naked Cowboy impersonater (aka- your youth “pastor”) at your “Christian” women’s conference, you might be apostate.

If you’ve ever purposefully applied the pronoun “herself” to God, you might be apostate.

If you celebrated your 35th birthday by preaching at the “church” of your mentor, T.D. Jakes, and placing a $35,000 check in his offering wheelbarrow, you might be apostate.

If God has ever told you to go up to a stranger in the airport and ask if you can brush his hair, you might be apostate.

If you’ve ever given your congregation a sob story about needing a new $70 million Gulfstream jet, because the old one is worn out, you might be apostate.

If you think of the Holy Spirit as the “sneaky,” “silly,” “funny,” “blue genie from Aladdin,” you might be apostate.

If you’re a woman who thinks God is OK with you preaching to men despite what His word clearly says to the contrary, you might be apostate.

If you’ve ever said, regarding your church’s worship service, “I probably wouldn’t have a stripper on stage…” but leave the door open to the idea because “God told Isaiah to walk around naked for three years,” you might be apostate.

Benny Hinn at Maple Leaf Gardens on Sept. 28, 1992 photos by Tony Bock/Toronto Star and handout photo.

If you think smacking people in the face with your Nehru jacket is a ministry of the Holy Spirit, you might be apostate.

If you’ve ever typed a Facebook status in tongues, you might be apostate.

If you say you’re a trinitarian, but think the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are three “manifestations” of God rather than three Persons, you ARE apostate.

If you think Proverbs 21:9 means you should camp out on your roof in a quest for biblical womanhood, you might be apostate.

If your senior pastor father sexually abused boys at your church and paid them off to keep them quiet and you, as the subsequent pastor, knew about it but didn’t speak up, you might be apostate.

If you officiated at your homosexual son’s “wedding,” you might be apostate.

If you’re a pastor who thinks expository preaching is “cheating” because it’s “too easy” and that “it’s not the way you grow people” AND that we shouldn’t say “the Bible says…” AND that parents who take their children to a small church instead of a mega church are “stinkin’ selfish,” AND that we shouldn’t use the Bible to convince the lost of their need for Christ, you might be apostate.

If you’re Oprah’s idea of an awesome pastor, you might be apostate.

downloadIf your preaching, ministry, and theology have ever been publicly rebuked by John Macarthur, Paul Washer and Steve Lawson, you might be apostate.

If you partnered with a Roman Catholic mystic with a degree in spiritual psychology to make a completely unbiblical movie about the Bible featuring ninja angels and Mary Magdalene bossing the disciples around, you might be apostate.

If you and your 80s rock star third husband stand in the pulpit and tell people to watch porn to improve their sex life, you might be apostate.

If a feature of your “worship service” is people laughing uncontrollably or barking like dogs, you might be apostate.

If you’ve ever decided to “p*ss off the religious people” on Easter Sunday by playing AC/DC’s Highway to Hell to open the service, you might be apostate.

If you’ve written a book entitled “I Am” and it’s about positive confession rather than Jehovah, you might be apostate.

If you think you have the power to control the weather by the words you speak, you might be apostate.

Joyce-Meyer-600x450If you think that between the cross and the resurrection Jesus went to Hell and that Satan and the demons jumped up and down on His back, you might be apostate.

If the top three “pastors” you encourage people to follow on Twitter are T.D. Jakes, Rick Warren, and Joel Osteen, you might be apostate.

If a currently practicing homosexual couple wants to serve in leadership at your church and your only problem with it is that one of them isn’t yet divorced from his wife, you might be apostate.

If you’ve ever been accused of having an affair with Benny Hinn, you might be apostate.

If, a hundred years ago, your worship leaders might have been carted off to the funny farm or treated to an exorcism for conducting themselves like this, you might be apostate.

And, if you’re about to write a comment rebuking me for marking false teachers to avoid and exposing unfruitful works of darkness because Jesus would never do such a thing then you don’t know your Bible.

And you just might be apostate.

23 thoughts on “You Might Be Apostate”

  1. If you’re loved by other “believers” who love:

    *experience more than biblical truth
    *Jesus but reject the church
    *sin more than God
    *the world more than bible-believing Christians

    ….. you might be an apostate.


  2. Reblogged this on The Recovering Legalist and commented:
    This afternoon, because of a share on Facebook, I came across this fireball of a Christian blogger – why have I just now heard of her?

    Anyway, I thought the following post of hers was so provocative Thad I had to share it. I know a few of you will disagree with a few of her points, but I hope not all of them. Otherwise, you might be apostate 🙂

    (Michelle Lesley, I look forward to reading more of your not-quite-Calvinist posts)


  3. Good morning, Michelle. I need your spiritual insight and guidance again. I read this post carefully, even going to the links provided for each person mentioned, in order to gain better understanding as to why he or she would be apostate. There was one I struggled with. Not that I don’t agree that she is apostate with her partnership with Joyce Meyer, her teaching of men, etc. However, it was the link that was to support the evidence. I remember reading, not hearing, the Beth Moore “hairbrush in the airport” story 7 or 8 years ago and being so moved by it. So, I listened and watched as she shared it live on Life Today. I listened a second time. I then took it to my husband and asked him to please help me, so we watched and listened together. Is it because she was moved by the holy spirit to show practical love to a man in the airport? Is it that she claims that God spoke to her and told her to brush the man’ s hair? What am I missing in this testimony that would scream “apostate”? Help me, Michelle.



    1. Hi Kathy-

      Thanks for asking. Just to clarify a bit for anyone else who might be reading this comment, as I said in the article, it is not these isolated incidents of behavior that make these people apostates/false teachers. What makes someone a false teacher is the false doctrine he or she teaches. When we see these “fruits” of unbiblical behavior, they serve as red flags to alert us that we need to examine the doctrine of the person more closely.

      If you’d like to learn more about the problems with Beth Moore, click on the “Popular False Teachers” tab at the top of this page.

      Your question about the hairbrush story is quite timely. Chris Rosebrough recently gave an excellent analysis of it on his program, Fighting for the Faith. Click here to listen.


      1. If you’re trying to expose Beth Moore as an apostate, I think the Hair Brush story is a poor example. I had forgotten that story until I heard it again on this site. To me, it’s a precious example of listening and obeying the prompting of the Holy Spirit and also of stepping out of our comfort zones to love others. Per your suggestion, I went to Chris Rosebrough’s site to listen to his analysis and learn what it was that I was missing. I found his rambling sarcasm too tedious (not to mention unChristlike) and signed off before he actually got to the point. Maybe I’ll have the patience required to listen to him another time.


      2. Hi Janie-

        As I mentioned in my comment to Kathy, the hairbrush story only serves as a red flag to examine the doctrine Beth Moore teaches. When her teachings are compared to Scripture, as I (and several others) have done in this article, it’s patently obvious that her teachings stand in opposition to Scripture.

        I’d encourage you to objectively examine the evidence of Beth Moore’s teaching and behavior against Scripture yourself, go back and listen to Chris’s analysis (his tone rubbing you the wrong way doesn’t mean it’s unbiblical- Jesus, Paul, and others used sarcasm and a less than gentle tone on more than one occasion in Scripture), and don’t make the mistake we ladies can be vulnerable to: Sacrificing Truth on the Altar of Tone.


      3. You answered the general question: “Why is it correct to label Beth Moore apostate?”

        You have not answered the specific question: “Why is Beth Moore’s hair brush story a red flag that should cause us to examine if she is apostate?”

        I believe the latter, more specific question is more consistent with the intent of the comments here. I have the same question. Can you elaborate?


      4. Because Beth Moore’s hairbrush story is just one of many examples of her belief that she is receiving extra-biblical revelation from God and that she acts on and builds her doctrine and teaching on those extra-biblical revelations, often in contradiction with Scripture. Biblically, that alone is enough to qualify her as a false teacher, but it’s best not to take one isolated incident (like the hairbrush story) and assume that the person is a false teacher. So when we see something like the hairbrush story, it should serve as a red flag to urge us to examine the teacher and her teachings more closely.


      5. Thank you for the reply. Your response was far more concise and helpful (at least to me) than the podcast linked to above.

        I did eventually listen to the full podcast linked in the comment above, and while Chris Rosebrough does acknowledge that the offer to brush the man’s hair is indeed a “good work” (and not a contradiction of scripture), his problem is that she seems to let “special revelation” motivate her desire to help the man instead of letting the sufficiency of scripture compel her to do the good work.

        Personally, I don’t know how one can conclude that this “special revelation” is not itself prompted by Beth Moore’s knowledge of scripture, as she never says that it wasn’t in telling the story, unless I missed something. In other words, she never says “God told me to brush the man’s hair, and I did so independently of whatever the Bible has to say about it.” To be fair to your argument, she never says that scripture did motivate her, either, so we’re left to assume one way or the other.


      6. Which is precisely my point. In the same way we would not look at a person with a 103-degree fever and determine right off the bat that this person has cancer, but would use that fever as a warning sign that this person needs a careful physical examination in order to reach a correct diagnosis, we don’t look at this one incident and determine from it that Beth Moore is a false teacher. We use it as a warning sign that we need to do a careful biblical examination of her.

        That being said, Beth Moore has been carefully and biblically examined by many people and is, indeed, a false teacher, as demonstrated by the evidence at the link I provided.


      7. Thank you for your continued engagement in this discussion. Here’s something I’m still having a hard time with:

        Both your commentary and especially the linked podcast seem to affirm that Beth Moore’s action (brushing the man’s hair) is consistent with scripture (a “good work”, and an example of loving one’s neighbor, as the podcast states). The problem seems to be that she does not attribute her actions, which are consistent with the leading of God’s recorded revelation, to that recorded revelation. She does not say one way or the other.

        In judging Beth Moore apostate, is the burden of proof on her to directly attribute her actions to scripture, or is it on you to show that her actions are NOT motivated by scripture? Stated another way, does the Bible state that we should attribute to the Bible why we behave as we do when interacting with others?

        I may live in a vacuum, but I know nothing of Beth Moore other than the few links I’ve followed as a result of this blog. In looking at your “You Might be Apostate” list, and given my lack of context, her’s is not an example that I would have considered a red flag. In other words, in isolation, this incident does not give me pause or prompt me to “examine the root of doctrine from which the fruit sprang.” I’d like to understand why her lack of attribution to scripture, when telling her story, makes her apostate.


      8. “Stated another way, does the Bible state that we should attribute to the Bible why we behave as we do when interacting with others?”

        No, we don’t have to go around saying, “I’m washing the dishes because the Bible says…” or “I’m going to the store because the Bible says…” (although we should certainly understand and be able to explain, according to Scripture, why we do the things we do when needed).

        The thing is, with this haribrush story, she’s not simply “interacting” with people. She’s using this story as an example or illustration in the midst of teaching a Bible lesson. And what she is teaching by way of this illustration is not that we should study Scripture and obey it when it says to love and care for others- which is the proper way to teach God’s word – she’s teaching that people should audibly hear God’s voice (which is unscriptural) and act on that extra-biblical revelation.

        “I’d like to understand why her lack of attribution to scripture, when telling her story, makes her apostate.”

        As I’ve said, this one isolated incident is not what makes her a false teacher. And it’s not even necessarily her neglect of saying, “I brushed this guy’s hair because the Bible tells us to care for people.” It’s the fact that, in this story, she claims to receive extra-biblical revelation from God (unbiblical), that that extra-biblcial revelation was the basis for her behavior in this situation (unbiblical), and that she’s teaching others to expect extra-biblical revelation and build their beliefs and behavior on it (unbiblical). When an isolated incident has that many unbiblical aspects to it, that should serve as a red flag to examine the person’s doctrine and behavior more closely. And when we do that – as I’ve demonstrated in the evidentiary article I wrote about Beth Moore (link above) – we find that the hairbrush story is not just one isolated “oopsie.” Beth Moore’s “ministry” is saturated with false teaching and unbiblical behavior which has steadily gotten worse over the years. That is what makes her apostate, not this one isolated incident.


  4. I really don’t understand the difference between manifestations of God and 3 persons. I believe God is God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit being one God in three persons. Are you telling me I’m wrong?


    1. Hi Carolyn-

      Are you referring to this?:

      If you say you’re a trinitarian, but think the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are three “manifestations” of God rather than three Persons, you ARE apostate.

      If so, did you click on the hyperlink in that sentence? It links to an article that explains the difference between the heresy of modalism (manifestations) and the biblical view of the Trinity (one God in three Persons).


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