When you gaze out across the landscape of the visible church through an earthly, superficial lens, you’ve got to scratch your head and wonder, “Has evangelicalism lost its ever-lovin’ mind?”.
And the answer is to take off those inch-deep dollar store glasses, fire up the electron microscope of Scripture, look long and deep into God’s Word, and reply to yourself, “Of course it has, silly rabbit. What did you expect?”. The Bible is perfectly clear about these things and why they happen.
Exhibit A: The trend in recent years to invite a woman to preach the Sunday morning sermon in church, to the whole congregation (including men) just because it’s Mother’s Day. Not a brief personal testimony, the sermon. This isn’t anything brand new. Hope Adams (though I’m certain she wasn’t the first in this trend) did it at Ed Young, Jr.’s Fellowship Church in 2014. Lisa Harper did it at CrossPoint.tv in 2015. Christine Caine did it at Willow Creek in 2016. Lisa Bevere did it at CRC Cape Town in 2017, and a host of other famous and unfamous women at famous and unfamous churches have been doing it for years, even at churches that normally obey Scripture and don’t let women preach.
I say “hiding in plain sight” because she has given enough of an impression here that she is preaching the sermon to test the waters and see what the reaction will be, but has worded her tweet vaguely enough that if she meets too much resistance she can still decide to back out of preaching, give a brief word of biblically appropriate Mother’s Day greeting or encouragement to the ladies at another point during the service, and come back and claim with wide-eyed innocence that that’s what she meant all along by saying she was “doing” Mother’s Day. (Someone asked Beth point blank, in a subsequent tweet if Beth’s tweet meant that she would be preaching the Sunday service and Beth did not answer her. If she’s not, why not just say so? And if she is and isn’t ashamed of it, why not just say so?)
I say “presumably” at BCF-Tomball because, even though she publicizes specific details about time and place with other speaking engagements, she has not mentioned (at least not anywhere I can find as of the time I’m writing this) the specific church she’s preaching at on Sunday, and the church hasn’t mentioned on their website that she’ll be the guest preacher. Additionally, unlike other speaking engagements Beth does, this speaking engagement is not listed on the calendar of events at her website and she hasn’t mentioned it (other than the tweet above) on social media. With all this “open secrecy” I will be surprised if the video or audio of her sermon is posted on YouTube and/or the church website.
Why all this cloak and dagger about the highest profile woman in the Southern Baptist Convention2, possibly in the entirety of evangelicalism, preaching the Mother’s Day sermon?
Because she knows it’s unbiblical. Because weknow it’s unbiblical. And it doesn’t take an electron microscope to see it. It’s right there, in black and white, jumping off the pages of Scripture:
I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. 1 Timothy 2:12
It couldn’t be more clear. And for pastors who ought to know better to either fall prey to or intentionally perpetuate the serpentine seduction of “Did God really say you can’t preach?”, using Mother’s Day as an excuse to induce a woman to sin by having her deliver the sermon is a slap in the face – to God, to the church, and to women.
Using Mother’s Day as an excuse to induce a woman to sin by having her deliver the sermon is a slap in the face – to God, to the church, and to women.
What do his actions say to God? “I don’t like Your way and I won’t submit to it. I don’t trust that Your way is right regardless of what the world says. I’ll do what’s right in my own eyes.” It’s the lesson his church learns from his actions as well.
But why is inviting a woman to preach an affront to Christian women? Take a stroll down to verse 15 of 1 Timothy 2:
Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.
Not only does the pastor who invites a woman to preach adulterate the role God has set aside specifically for men, he also denigrates one of the good and holy roles God has specifically and intentionally set aside for women: the role of literal, and spiritual, mother.
Eve shattered God’s perfect, unique design for women by allowing herself to be seduced into rebellion. But are we daughters of Eve forever doomed to bear the shame and guilt of her sin, never to have a role in building the Kingdom? Pariahs, to be shunned and shut out of God’s plan? No, praise God! Through the cross, the good works Christ has ordained for Christian women to do – including mothering our own children and being spiritual mothers to our daughters in the faith – redeem the prestige of women. Mothering, in every sense in which God intended it, raises the role of women back to its rightful place in God’s plan.
And we don’t need men – especially men who are supposed to be rightly leading God’s people – to come along and entice us to mess that all up again.
But that’s exactly what’s happening.
When a pastor invites a woman to sin by taking over the pulpit, he drags her and the women of his church right back to post-Fall Eden. He trashes the rank and repute of our God-given high and holy role of mother and implicitly says Being a woman isn’t good enough. You have to steal the role of men to be valued and esteemed.
When a pastor invites a woman to sin by taking over the pulpit, he implicitly says, “Being a woman isn’t good enough. You have to steal the role of men to be valued and esteemed.”
We don’t need to be second rate imitations of men in order to “count”. We need to be first rate, full throttle, take it to the limit women of God. God loves us and values us so much more than to give men a special and amazing role and leave us without an equally special and amazing, yet totally distinct, role. The God who spoke the universe into existence and planned out an unparalleled purpose for every single plant, animal, bacterium, and every other atom of the cosmos, did not leave the queen of His creation roleless. He did not bring us into being only to toddle along after the Hairy Ones trying to copy their every move. How unloving of God, and devaluing to women, would that be? Why would you want to act like a man when God blessed you with the gift of being a woman?
If, by God’s good Providence, you’ve “stumbled across” this article and you’re a woman who has been invited to preach, I plead with you: don’t buy the lie. Say no. Your Savior has a whole treasure chest of good works for you to do as a woman. You are worth infinitely more to Him as the woman He created you to be than you are to the world, or a worldly church, as a cheap knock-off of a man.
Let us be the mothers our own children need, raising up a godly seed unto the Lord. Let us be the spiritual mothers longed for by younger women in the faith, daughters orphaned by Christian women who have abandoned them to take on the role of men. The practice of denigrating women, devaluing our God-given role, disobeying God, and darkening the understanding of the church by inviting women to sinfully take the pulpit must stop in the house of God and be replaced by strong godly women, unafraid and unashamed to flourish in the precious role our Lord has blessed us with.
Last week I had a wonderful time interviewing with Melissa Morris on the very first episode of her Sharing the Journey podcast. Listen in (and watch!) as we chat about biblical womanhood, Beth Moore, discernment, and how women can and should serve the local church.
We also talked a bit about the women’s conference I’ll be speaking at this fall at Melissa’s church. It’s going to be on the topic of biblical womanhood, and we hope you can make it. Here’s the info (from my Speaking Engagements tab):
October 22-23- Women’s Conference, Pop-Up Church in Faber, Virginia. (This conference will be open to women in the surrounding areas, but you must contact the church directly for details.)
Got a podcast of your own or have a podcasting friend who needs a guest? Need a speaker for a women’s conference or church event? Click the “Speaking Engagements” tab in the blue menu bar at the top of this page, drop me an e-mail, and let’s chat!
It was the shot heard round the world online Christian neighborhood I hang out in. (I’m sure most of the actual world couldn’t care less.) On Tuesday, March 8 – in a hit piece from RNS (Religion News Service) that came thisclose to libeling everyone who has ever biblically called for her de-platforming – Beth Moore announced she had broken ties with the Southern Baptist Convention, and flounced out the door, smearing the institution that made her what she is on her way out. Classy.
What does this mean for Beth? For you? For Southern Baptist churches? For the SBC?
For Beth personally…
For Beth, personally, it means she no longer has to keep her church membership at a Southern Baptist church. A few months ago, when Beth mentioned that she was looking for a new church, I figured she was probably looking for something much less biblically restrictive than her Southern Baptist home church (which already plays fast and loose with the Scriptures by allowing Beth – a woman and a false teacher – to preach). Something progressive. Politically correct. A church that would fit Beth’s unbiblical worldview on whatever the hot political / social topic du jour might happen to be, be it Critical Race Theory, egalitarianism, social justice, the perversion agenda, abortion, and so on. A social media follower, who knows which church she’s trying out, described it to me, and it sounds like she found the progressive church I imagined she would be looking for.
It also means, assuming she doesn’t tie herself down to a publisher or other entity that places restrictions on her (you know – expects her to act, speak, and teach like the Christian and Bible teacher she claims to be) that she will feel much freer to clearly express exactly what she thinks about those hot topics.
Anyone who has followed Beth on social media for any length of time knows that she can be cryptic at best, and borderline incoherent at worst, when expressing a significant thought – especially a thought on a controversial issue. Which has likely been due, at least in part, to trying to walk the tightrope between expressing her true thoughts and not crossing the line with the powers that be at LifeWay (an entity of the Southern Baptist Convention).
This was abundantly clear during the Open Letter to Beth Moore debacle two years ago. Beth clearly did not want to (and indeed, never did) come right out and flatly say that homosexuality is a sin. Yet because of her financial and contractual relationship with LifeWay (which has a policy and history of dropping authors who affirm homosexuality), she could not come right out and say that homosexuality is not a sin (which, I’m sure, disappointed her homosexual / homosexuality-affirming fans). I have suspected from the day it happened, that LifeWay somehow forced Beth into publishing her final statement on the matter as well as her month-long Twitter hiatus which immediately followed. It will be interesting to see whether she spills the tea about things like that or keeps them to herself. Personally, from a writer’s perspective, I’m very curious to see if she has used this cryptic style of writing as a way to veil her true thoughts just enough to pass LifeWay’s “smell test” and will now feel free to speak clearly and forthrightly, or if “cryptic” is just the style of writing with which she feels most comfortable.
But the darkest, most devastating consequence of this move for Beth is that she is purposefully casting off the last vestiges of biblical restraint God’s common grace has, until now, provided her. You see, there are still biblically faithful people, processes, and provisos in place in the SBC that have acted as guardrails for Beth, keeping her from careening over the cliff of sin and rebellion she’s been so desperately gunning for. The RNS article shamefully makes it seem as though a bunch of petty meanies have long been picking on poor little Beth, and she’s (once again) a victim, pushed out by heartless bullies who just wanna keep a good woman down.
That’s not the case at all.
Beth is not leaving the SBC because people were mean to her for not liking Trump, or for speaking out about abuse, or for taking a stand on racism. That’s just the window dressing diversion she has created as she makes a break for it out the back door.
Beth is leaving the SBC because she chafes at Scripture’s rebuke of her sin.
And in the SBC – even as biblically off track as it is in so many ways – she meets that rebuke at every turn. Beth is leaving because she wants to go somewhere where she can openly sin in peace, with nary a flicker of conscience or whisper of reproof to plague her.
And that’s an extraordinarily dangerous place for anyone to be.
Time after time, God sent Moses to warn Pharaoh. Time after time, Pharaoh hardened his heart. Finally, God gave Pharaoh over and hardened his heart, and Pharaoh cast the last vestige of godly warning and influence out of his presence for good. There was no turning back.
When a person repeatedly hardens her heart against God’s admonitions and commands – come they through reading His Word, circumstances, or the call of faithful Christians to repent – God’s time of forbearance with that person eventually comes to an end. Perhaps he takes the person’s life, or perhaps He takes away His restraining hand and turns her over to a reprobate mind, to “do what ought not to be done,” but continued contumacious sin comes at a steep price.
For Beth’s sake, I dearly hope I’m wrong, but I fear this is what may be happening in the spiritual realm while we sit mesmerized by the trappings of the temporal realm.
For the average Beth Moore fan…
Beth’s average fan isn’t going to see much of a difference in terms of her availability. LifeWay’s publishing arm will no longer be publishing her materials, but LifeWay Retail will still be selling them in their online store. LifeWay’s conference division will no longer be hosting and platforming Beth’s conferences or other live events. But I’m sure Beth has other publishers (maybe Zondervan or Thomas Nelson?) and conference promoters lined up around the block – probably in a bidding war – to offer her their services. So, she’s not going anywhere anytime soon. In fact, you may see an increase in the availability of her materials and conferences, depending on how much (if at all) she felt her contractual obligations to LifeWay may have been holding her back.
But you’ll probably begin noticing some much more important changes. I’m not a prophet, nor the son of a prophet, but here’s an educated guess based on observing Beth’s ministerial trajectory over the last twenty or so years: You’re not going to see a sudden uptick in holiness, humility, and obedience to Scripture. With God’s gracious hand of restraint via the SBC cast off, what you’re going to see is a continued downward spiral – now at breakneck speed – into sin, heresy, and rebellion. More preaching to men1. More yoking with other false teachers. More Scripture twisting. More CRT. More liberal politics. More social justice. More “God told me…”. Clear approval of homosexuality, and maybe even abortion at some point, too.
If you’re still a Beth Moore fan, I urge you, for the sake of your own spiritual well-being, to divorce yourself from her immediately. This is not going to be pretty.
For the discerning Christian…
Some have jokingly speculated that Beth’s announcement of her split with the SBC will be followed by her heeding John MacArthur’s admonition to “Go home.” I can’t see that happening. As I said, if this move affects her availability at all, it will most likely make her more prolific. And even though she is in her 60’s, I would be very surprised if she voluntarily retired any time soon.
You will have to continue to warn your friends and loved ones about Beth, though this shift of hers may prove conducive to that in a couple ways:
With this being a hot story for the moment, some of her followers, and some pastors, are beginning to ask questions. “Why would Beth want to leave the SBC?” “I’m seeing Beth Moore’s name trending online and people saying there are biblical problems with her. What are the issues I should be aware of?” That’s an open door for you to lovingly explain and present evidence for Beth’s false teaching and sinful behavior. (Need a little help? Use my article Living Proof You Should Follow Beth (No) Moore.)
As mentioned above, Beth will most likely become much more open about her false teaching, sinful behavior, and approval of others’ sin. The average evangelical in the pew may not understand the reasons that, say, extra-biblical revelation or preaching to men is unbiblical, but they know homosexuality is a sin. They know Christians are supposed to be 100% against abortion2. And so, if Beth stays on the trajectory she’s on and begins to publicly take an unbiblical stand on these things, it may be easier for you to point to, and for her followers to grasp these polarizing issues as reasons they should stop following her.
For Southern Baptist Churches…
In terms of the availability of Beth’s materials, I wouldn’t think any church who has a purchasing relationship with LifeWay would see much, if any difference when they log on to place an order. The main difference in availability will be for churches that simulcast or purchase blocks of tickets to her live events. They’ll no longer be able to do this via LifeWay. They’ll have to go through whatever platforming agency is handling her event sales. It shouldn’t be too much of an obstacle for any church or women’s ministry that’s determined to keep following Beth, unfortunately.
I had hoped that for Southern Baptist churches Beth’s departure would serve as a wake up call to spur pastors to vet Beth more carefully and stop allowing her to destroy the women of their churches. And, perhaps, for a few, it has. But if comments like this one…
…from Ed Litton (a presumptive nominee for SBC president at the 2021 annual meeting) are any indication, most will remain willfully clueless and derelict in their Titus 1:9 duties.
The impact Beth’s departure should have on the local church is to get pastors and church members alike to start thinking critically – not just about Beth, but about the authors of all the materials they use and about the issues the SBC is currently embroiled in at the national level. Because each SBC church is autonomous, there’s a tendency among a large swath of church members (and even some pastors) not to pay any attention to what’s going on at the national level.
So I imagine, first of all, that a sizable portion of Southern Baptists don’t even know Beth has left the SBC, because they don’t make any effort to keep up with what’s going on in their own denomination3. Also because of that, many of the ones who do know are likely baffled by the issues she’s citing as reasons for leaving, and what is and is not the biblical position on those issues in this hot, chaotic mess.
Southern Baptist churches should take this situation as a Providential Gibbs slap…
…and henceforth stop being so lax about false teachers and so uninformed about current events in the SBC.
For the Southern Baptist Convention…
Beth’s departure isn’t going to change the Southern Baptist Convention in any noticeable way that I can think of. Some have observed, “Well, at least this puts the issue of her being elected SBC president to rest.” I don’t think there was ever much chance of that happening. Not that she couldn’t have been nominated. Not that people wouldn’t have voted for her. I just don’t think she would have accepted the position. It’s a lot of work, and she’s already monumentally busy. Plus, she doesn’t strike me as someone who enjoys administrative work. (I guess that’s one thing we have in common.)
While they will still earn revenue by selling Beth’s materials, LifeWay lost a chunk of change when she decided to take her publishing and live events contracts elsewhere. And the sad and shameful thing is, that’s all they’ve been concerned about all along. Money.
LifeWay didn’t care about Southern Baptist women whose spiritual lives they crippled by the thousands through Beth Moore’s false teaching and ungodly example. They didn’t care about the Southern Baptist churches they sowed division into by peddling Beth’s poison to them. They didn’t care about the discerning Southern Baptist women who have been forced out of their churches and spiritually abused by Southern Baptist pastors, pastors’ wives, and women’s ministry leaders deceived by Beth.
And you know who else LifeWay didn’t care about? Beth. They didn’t care enough to look into her teaching, her beliefs, and her behavior, compare them to Scripture, and go, “Something is off here. This is not the fruit of someone who is saved, much less of a sound teacher. We love this woman as a soul created in the image of God, and we’re not going to help her continue down this road of destruction. She needs the gospel. She needs Christ. And for the sake of the judgment she’s going to face, she doesn’t need to be teaching anybody.”
But, no, they were making money off of Beth, so they just kept building her empire. Why let a little thing like her eternity get in the way? The time came to choose between serving God and mammon, and they picked mammon. They sold Beth’s soul for thirty pieces of silver.
Strong words? Not nearly as strong as they’ll hear when they have to answer to God for caring more about money than they cared about the priceless soul of this precious woman.
I pray God uses Beth’s departure to graciously open the eyes of those at LifeWay and in SBC leadership who have been complicit in encouraging Beth in her false teaching and in gilding the chains that bind her to her sin. I pray He mercifully puts them on the ground in the sackcloth and ashes of repentance, that they might be forgiven. And I pray that they would then reach out to Beth again, this time with a call to turn from her sin and believe the gospel.
Beth Moore, and those in SBC leadership who helped make her what she is, have played no small part in creating, contributing to, or paving the way for the morass of unbiblical issues festering in the SBC today: CRT, women preaching, false doctrine, false teachers being made into celebrities, political posturing, maneuvering, and intimidation, pride and impenitence, and much more.
May Beth’s departure be an opportunity for the SBC to examine itself against Scripture and right the ship.
Indeed, may we all take this opportunity to examine our denominations, our churches, the teachers we learn from, and our own hearts.
1A few have speculated that now that Beth is no longer beholden to the Baptist Faith and Message (the SBC’s statement of faith) which disallows women from holding the office of pastor, that she may decide she wants to pastor a church. If they mean a typical, existing church, I find this extremely unlikely. From Beth’s position and perspective, becoming a pastor would be a huge step down. It would mean less money, less celebrity, more responsibility, and more accountability. I don’t see it happening. But, I guess anything’s possible.
2Beth has not made any pro-abortion statements yet that I’m aware of, but I sense that, as with her devolving unbiblical stance on homosexuality, this is coming. Even before leaving the SBC she had already adopted the liberal “I’m pro-all of life” mantra.
3Yes, I’m aware that the SBC isn’t technically a denomination, but a voluntary cooperative of autonomous churches. But if it looks like a denomination and often functions like a denomination, it’s going to get called a denomination sometimes.
The gist of the story is that this sweet little girl, Annabel, was climbing a tree when a branch broke, causing her to fall head first, thirty feet into a hollow tree, where she was stuck for five hours. It’s unclear from the reports I’ve read whether this was actually a near death experience, the reports mentioning only that she was “unconscious” at some point (this is when she supposedly “went to Heaven”), and that she was rescued without injury. Additionally, Annabel had suffered for years with a very serious intenstinal disease, and after her accident, became asymptomatic.
These are nice people. Sincere people. The kind of people I’d probably be friends with if they went to my church.
And they have nicely, sincerely, and with the best of intentions fallen into what I think is the number one theological error facing Christian women today, namely, believing and trusting in human experience over God’s word.
Now, I don’t doubt the facts of this story: that Annabel had a dangerous and frightening accident, that she lost consciousness and had some sort of experience before awakening, that she had a serious intestinal disease, and that, in God’s perfect timing, He chose to heal Annabel shortly after this tree accident.
And the reason I don’t doubt any of that is that it is all based in verifiable fact (unless someone comes forward with documented evidence to the contrary) and none of it conflicts with God’s word.
But an actual “trip to Heaven”? That’s not based in verifiable fact and it does conflict with God’s word.
If you feel upset with me right now for saying that, I’d like to ask you to examine why that is. Why are you upset? On what do you base your belief that this child (or anyone else outside of documented cases in Scripture) has actually made a real trip to Heaven and come back to tell about it? Her say so? This child was nine years old when this happened. Nine. Colton Burpo (Heaven is for Real) was three. Alex Malarkey (The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven– which Alex has been recanting for years) was six.
Have you ever spent any time talking to a nine year old, a six year old, a three year old? A lot of them will tell you they believe in Santa Claus and the tooth fairy, or that they have an imaginary friend, or that they’re a super hero. They’re very sincere and they aren’t lying, but they’re also very wrong because their beliefs are not based in fact and are strongly influenced by their immaturity. So why are we so quick to believe, based solely on their own say so, that the experiences these children had while unconscious were actual trips to Heaven?
For the same reason we love chick flicks and fairy tales and Hallmark movies, ladies. These stories appeal to our emotions. They make us feel good just like a rich piece of chocolate on a stressful day. And when you slap the “God” label on a story of childlike wonder coming out of a nice Christian family, our belief not only makes us feel good, we also feel justified in believing the story.
And God’s word says that kind of mindset is not for strong, discerning, godly women, it’s for weak women.
But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. 2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4 treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. 6 For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins andled astray by various passions, 7 always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. 2 Timothy 3:1-7
When we hold these “I went to Heaven” experiences (whether from children or adults) up to the light of Scripture, they crumble, from Hebrews 9:27, to the descriptions of God, Jesus, and Heaven that clearly contradict Scripture (and the descriptions from other people who supposedly went to Heaven and came back), to the sufficiency of Scripture, to the stark difference between Paul’s and John’s scripturally verified trips to Heaven and the trips being taken today (interestingly, Paul was stricken with a “thorn” after his trip to Heaven “to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations” while Annabel’s healing is being offered, in a whirlwind of publicity events, as proof that she went to Heaven), to the fact that the Bible doesn’t say anywhere that this kind of spiritual experience is valid or appropriate for Christians today.
The people who claim to have gone to Heaven had some sort of experience while unconscious, no doubt, but if they say that experience was an actual trip to Heaven, they are either mistaken or lying. It could have been a dream, a hallucination, an experience initiated by demons (let’s not forget that Satan was once an angel and continues to disguise himself as an angel of light), or a lie they’ve concocted, as was the case with Alex Malarkey. Yet, for some reason, Christian women, who, if asked point blank, would say that they believe the Bible is our ultimate authority for Christian belief, plunk down money for these books, movies, and other accessories, and eat these stories up with a spoon without ever engaging their brains and checking these supposed eyewitness accounts of Heaven against Scripture.
But “heavenly tourism” stories aren’t the only area in which we’re choosing to believe someone’s experience over Scripture.
Do you follow someone like Joyce Meyer, Beth Moore, Priscilla Shirer, Christine Caine, Lysa TerKeurst, or Paula White? These women all say that God “called” them to do what they do, which includes preaching to and instructing men in the church setting. Do you believe them when they say God “called” them? If so, you’re believing their supposed experience over the crystal clear word of God in 1 Timothy 2:12-14 (and plenty of other passages) which expressly forbids women from instructing men in the Scriptures or holding authority over men in the church.
And even putting aside the false and unbiblical doctrine these women teach, how many times have you heard one of them begin a sermon or teaching – not by reading God’s word and accurately teaching what the Bible says- but by telling a story about how God ostensibly “spoke” to them, acted in their lives in some way, or sent them a dream or a sign, and then basing their teaching on that experience rather than on God’s word? If you heed that kind of teaching, you’re believing their experience, not God’s word.
What about when it hits a little closer to home? You know God’s word says that homosexuality is a sin, but your 20 year old comes home and announces he’s marrying his boyfriend. So you just throw out that part of God’s word in favor of a happy experience with your son. You defend your right to swear like a sailor despite what God’s word says to the contrary. You “feel” that it was just fine for you to divorce your husband because you fell out of love with him, even though that’s not a biblically acceptable reason for divorce.
Ladies, if God’s word says it ain’t so, it ain’t so, no matter what you or I or anyone else experiences to the contrary. And it doesn’t matter how real or vivid or intense that experience was or how right or godly it seemed– God’s word, and God’s word alone defines reality, truth, existence, right and wrong. And we’d better get with the program and submit to its authority. If not, well, I guess we’ll prove the truth of what Paul said by choosing to be those women he talked about: weak, burdened with sins, led astray by our emotions, and always learning yet never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.
God doesn’t want you to be weak. He wants you to be a mighty woman of His word.
Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. John 17:17
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Beth Moore is easily the world’s best known women’s Bible study author and teacher in the world. With her down home charm, endless energy, and stunning smile, she has captured the hearts of millions with her humor and storytelling style of teaching.
In forty years of ministry, Beth has written dozens of books. She also gives numerous Living Proof Live conferences every year and has a radio show and a television show on TBN, both called Living Proof with Beth Moore.
Beth truly seems to care about her followers and her passion about the issues of sexual abuse and racism have endeared her to many inside and outside the church.
As beloved and likable as she is, it would be so much easier and more pleasant to jump on the Beth Bandwagon than to have to warn against her as a false teacher. But as Christians, no matter how much we love a certain teacher, our highest love and loyalty must always be to Christ and His Word first, which means we must reject anything – even a beloved teacher – that is at odds with Him and the Scriptures. Beth Moore’s teaching and behavior conflicts with Scripture in several ways. For these reasons it is my sad duty to recommend that you not follow Beth Moore or receive any teaching from her or anyone connected to Living Proof Ministries.
Beth Moore preaches to men
There are dozens, if not hundreds, of videos on YouTube featuring Beth Moore’s preaching and Bible teaching which clearly show men in the audience. Beth Moore has, for quite a while, been teaching and preaching to men as well as women. First Timothy 2:12 clearly forbids this.
For those who would try to defend her by saying, “She can’t help it if men come to her conferences,” or “Co-ed conference preaching isn’t ‘in the church’ so it’s OK,” Beth not only preaches to men at conferences and other parachurch events, she is no stranger to preaching Sunday morning sermons to the entire congregation (including men) in churches (see also “preaching to men” link above and the Additional Resources section at the end of this article). In addition to the video above of her Sunday morning sermon at Progressive Baptist Church, the screenshot below refers to Beth preaching the Mother’s Day Sunday morning service at the Tomball, Texas campus of her home church, Bayou City Fellowship, on May 12, 2019 (read more here).
(And to those who would attempt to defend the trend of women preaching the Sunday sermon on Mother’s Day, let’s be clear about something. The Bible doesn’t say women are prohibited from preaching except on Mother’s Day. Mother’s Day didn’t even exist when Scripture was written. Scripture makes the blanket statement that women are not to preach to, teach Scripture to, or exercise authority over men in the gathering of the Body. Period.)
Here (in a continuation of the preaching on Mother’s Day kerfuffle), Beth admits to having preached in multiple Southern Baptist worship services over her 40 year career (she has also preached in many non-SBC churches) and seems to proudly defend her sin of doing so, while simultaneously boasting of her track record of obedience, by saying it “only” happened fifteen times.
It’s a bit confusing. Is Beth saying preaching to men is a sin and we should be grateful she “only” did it fifteen times? If so, this is not how we handle sin. We do not boast like the Pharisee about how few times we have sinned and how obedient we are, we grieve over even one sin, repent, and cry out with the publican, “God be merciful to me, a sinner!”. Also if Beth is saying it’s a sin, why is she defending the fact on Thursday, May 9, that she is still planning to preach on Sunday, May 12? Why isn’t she instead confessing her plan to sin, humbly repenting, and announcing that she will not preach on Sunday?
If Beth is saying preaching to men is not a sin, why is she defending herself as only having done it fifteen times? Why didn’t she do it far more than only fifteen times over 40 years? Why not proudly enumerate all the times and places she has preached? Why have we not heretofore heard about these fifteen preaching events, as we hear about all her other speaking events, if it was OK for her to preach? Why didn’t she list the Mother’s Day event in question on her website alongside all her other speaking engagements? Why didn’t she talk it up on social media as she does with other speaking engagements? Why didn’t the church she’s speaking at excitedly advertise that she would be speaking as other venues do when she speaks?
Beth seems to know that preaching to men is a sin, but is trying to defend the fact that she does so.
Beth Moore partners with, and is being influenced by, false teachers
Beth Moore tweeted this in December 2013. “Lakewood” is prosperity preacher Joel Osteen’s church. Christine Caine also preaches to men and originally hails from the leadership team of Word of Faith (prosperity gospel) church, Hillsong.
The pictures below were posted by head “pastor” of Hillsong, Brian Houston, on his Facebook page on March 8, 2019 after he interviewed Beth for his TBN television show “Let’s Talk, with Brian Houston”.
Scripture is quite clear that we are to have nothing to do with false teachers, especially when it comes to ministry.
Beth Moore claims to receive direct, personal, extra-biblical revelation from God
Beloved, I am convinced one of our severest needs is pure rest. Not only sleep, but refreshment and recreation. Recently God spoke to me about capturing what He and I are calling “Sabbath moments.” Like many of yours, my schedule right now is particularly tough, and I see no time in the near future for a number of days off. God spoke to my heart one Saturday morning while I was preparing for Sunday school: “My child, in between more intense rests, I want to teach you to take Sabbath moments.”I wasn’t certain what He meant. Just that morning God confirmed His desire for me to drive all the way to the other side of Houston to the medical center to visit a patient with brain cancer. I was very thankful for the privilege of visiting this patient, but I knew in advance it would be tough emotionally and far from restful. Excerpted from Beth Moore’s The Beloved Disciple
Aside from the fact that it’s unbiblical in and of itself for Beth to claim that God is talking to her, God is not inventing new teachings besides the ones He has already given us in Scripture. And this “Sabbath moments” teaching is found nowhere in Scripture. Passages like 2 Timothy 3:16-17 and 2 Peter 1:3 explain that Scripture is sufficient to teach us everything we need pertaining to life and godliness.
Additionally, notice that Beth says “I wasn’t certain what He meant.” When you have a few hours, go grab your Bible and look up every single passage about God actually speaking to somebody. Did any of them ever say, “I wasn’t certain what He meant.”? Absolutely not. When God speaks to someone, He is completely, perfectly clear about what His message means.
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.” Excerpted from Beth Moore’s “Believing God” video
In her blog article It’s Hunting Season for Heretics, Beth defends herself against those calling her to repent of believing and teaching extra-biblical revelation with this comment, displaying either her confusion or ignorance about God’s Word and His authority:
“Nothing equates with the Scriptures: no word of knowledge, no prophetic message, no insight, no revelation, no dream, no vision. Nothing. That doesn’t mean they can’t be valid. The New Testament says they can. But they must never supplant or be placed on the same level with the Scriptures.”
This makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. First of all, where – in context and rightly handled – does the New Testament say this, as she claims? It can’t. All of the dreams, visions, prophecies, etc. in the Bible from God to His people became Scripture once they were written down, and we know that all Scripture is breathed out by God. Know what that means? God Himself equates all of these types of revelation with Scripture.
When God speaks, God speaks. He doesn’t speak authoritatively in Scripture and non-authoritatively or less authoritatively outside of Scripture. Doing so would make Him imperfect and, thus, not God. People who claim to receive “words of knowledge, prophetic messages, insights, revelations, dreams, and visions” claim that these extra-biblical revelations are God speaking to them. If this is true, and this really is God speaking, then His spoken word to them is “on the same level as Scripture”. (And I won’t even go into the instances in which these folks, including Beth Moore, have said God has told them something that conflicts with Scripture or that God told them something was going to happen and it didn’t. I guess God just gets it wrong sometimes?) If it is not true and it really isn’t God speaking to them then why are we listening to them and why are they saying that their own ideas and imaginings are God speaking to them?
These are just a few of the numerous examples of Beth Moore supposedly receiving personal, direct revelation from God. Pick up any of her books or watch any video of her teaching, and count how many times she says, “God told me…” or “God said…” or “I think…” or “I believe…” or bases her teaching on a personal experience, story, or what God supposedly spoke to her rather than teaching what God’s all-sufficient word clearly says.
Beth Moore refuses correction
Scripture teaches that the wise humble themselves and receive biblical correction. But in this video, Beth Moore preemptively strikes out at anyone who sees and hears what she will soon be teaching or doing and finds it to be in conflict with Scripture. Do you notice she does not quote or read a single passage of Scripture to back up what she is saying? Notice how many times she says “I believe…” This is all based on her own subjective ideations.
Instead of taking a step back and honestly evaluating where she is wrong on the biblical issues she has been called to account for, Beth Moore frequently doubles down as in this blog post striking out against people calling her a heretic or a false teacher for “disagreement” or “getting something wrong.” My comment to her was:
You’re absolutely right, a simple difference of opinion between two people doesn’t make someone a false teacher. And making a mistake or getting something wrong doesn’t make someone a false teacher either, if, when she is shown from Scripture that she is wrong, she repents and stops doing/teaching whatever she was wrong about.
That’s not what’s going on here.
You have been shown numerous times by numerous people that you mishandle and disobey God’s word (you preach to men in direct violation of 1 Timothy 2:12ff, you have unequally yoked yourself with false teachers in the prosperity gospel movement such as Christine Caine, Joyce Meyer, and others, also in violation of Scripture, you twist and misapply God’s word, etc.) and yet you persist in doing so and continue to justify yourself and cast aspersions on brothers and sisters in Christ who call you to repent and conform to God’s word. THAT is what makes you a false teacher, not a simple mistake or disagreement.
You are not being called a false teacher because of man’s opinion, but because you rebel against God’s word and lead others to do the same. Please repent, obey God’s word, and teach sound doctrine. That is what the women who listen to you need.
At the end of this same blog post, in response to comments like mine calling her to repent for her false doctrine, Beth later wrote an addendum, the gist of which was, “I’m still right and anybody who disagrees with me is wrong.” This just further illustrates her inability to accept correction and her tendency to double down when reproved.
Another example of Beth’s refusing to accept correction (technically, it wasn’t even correction, but a request for her to clarify her position on homosexuality) came during 2019’s “Open Letter to Beth Moore” debacle (*see below).
Beth Moore is heading toward affirming homosexuality
In the summer of 2019, five women bloggers and Bible teachers and I, published An Open Letter to Beth Moore. It was subsequently signed by over 500 additional Christian women. The letter was merely a request for clarification of Beth’s views on homosexuality since she maintains public, adulatory friendships with well known homosexuality-affirming evangelicals such as Jen Hatmaker and Jonathan Merritt, and since she has been virtually silent on the issue of homosexuality in recent years while not hesitating to speak out on other heinous sins.
For two and a half weeks, *Beth ignored the letter, slandered the signers of the letter, and refused to make her position on homosexuality clear in any venue. It was then discovered that Beth had biblically addressed the sin of homosexuality in her book Praying God’s Word, but had later removed this section from the book because she felt she had “exceeded Scripture”. Finally, Beth wrote a blog post explaining why she had removed this passage and making a biblical statement on human sexuality, yet still not declaring homosexuality to be a sin. (You can read more about this series of events in my articles Questions about the Open Letter to Beth Moore and An Open Letter to Beth Moore – Timeline of Events.)
A few weeks after Beth’s blog post, Beth admitted she has been looking into the arena of same sex attracted (SSA) Christianity on her LifeWay-sponsored TBN television show, in an episode entitled Staying Afloat on the Fellow Ship – Part 4.
In her latest lesson video on unity and fellowship, Moore used many phrases and code words that indicate her stance toward same sex attraction, homosexuality, and their attendant issues, is aligned with the aforementioned folks she was supposed to be ministering to in love by warning against these very things.
Moore makes it sound as if homosexuals are doing Jesus a favor by choosing celibacy. Homosexually attracted people are no different in their sin than…any other flavor of sexual sin…touting their “tremendous sacrifice” makes it seem as if they are.
I believe this video and Moore’s recent handling of the homosexuality issue means Moore seems to be readying herself to ‘come out’ as it were, of affirming homosexuals in some way as believers.
Beth Moore is “going woke” and progressive
It’s difficult to give a precise definition for what “woke” means, but generally speaking, it’s basically what you see playing out in race relations in the U.S. right now: Critical Race Theory. White privilege. Reparations. Oppression. Repent of and renounce your whiteness. White people’s racism is so deep seated we’re not even conscious of it. White power, white privilege, and racism are inextricably embedded in politics, education, religion, economics- every single system in existence. It is a paradigm through which social justice issues are viewed and addressed, and “woke” means you’ve finally been “awakened” to these supposed truths. In addition to racial issues many would also include more general social justice issues such as illegal immigration, poverty, etc., under the banner of “wokeness”.
Over the past few years, Beth has been on more and more of a woke trajectory. Many of her tweets on Twitter indicate this, and she has not only befriended several who are leaders in the evangelical woke stream, she has also publicly praised them, recommended their books, and yoked with them in ministry, which is a violation of Scripture. Some of these include Jemar Tisby, Dwight McKissic, Charlie Dates (you may have noticed in the first video of this article that the church Beth was preaching at is pastored by Charlie Dates), “racial trauma counselor” Kyle J. Howard, and LaTasha Morrison, to name a few. You’ll also notice in the slideshow below that Beth now subscribes to the progressive “pro-all of life” version of “pro-life” – that in order to truly consider yourself “pro-life” you must also be pro-illegal immigration, pro-CRT, pro-intersectionality, and so on. In other words, you must be “pro-” anything and anyone liberals claim are being wronged or oppressed, regardless of whether or not it may be illegal or unbiblical.
In a June 2020 Instagram video (below), Beth recommended Jemar Tisby’s The Color of Compromise and LaTasha Morrison’s Be the Bridge. A couple of quotes from Morrison’s book:
“We won’t be agents of reconciliation until, like Ezra and Daniel, we take on the guilt and shame of our community and let it propel us toward confession.” p. 78
“Jesus didn’t just come to restore individual people; he came to break down systems of oppression, to provide a way for his kingdom to appear on earth as it is in heaven. He came so that we, his followers, could partner with him in restoring integrity and justice to broken systems, broken governments, and ultimately, broken relationships.” p. 180-181
Beth Moore uses intentionally and purposefully deceptive language
Beth often craftily couches her statements about controversial issues in such a way as to give her plausible deniability if she’s ever called on something she needs to back out of. In other words, her statements are just vague or non-committal enough to convince her followers who want to believe she’s biblical into thinking she’s notsaying what she’s actually saying. And at the same time if someone she’s accountable to says, “This statement contradicts Scripture,” she has enough wiggle room to say “That’s not what I meant. I meant something else.” A couple of the things I’ve mentioned in previous sections above are very good examples of this.
Let’s revisit the Mother’s Day 2019 preaching incident. Take a look at the conversation again:
Instead of coming right out and clearly announcing “I’m preaching the Sunday morning sermon at my church,” Beth’s response to Vicki was, “I’m doing Mother’s Day too!”. Several people in that tweet thread asked her if that meant she was preaching the sermon, and she ignored them.
That leaves reasonable doubt for Beth’s fans who actually understand that women preaching is wrong to think, “Well maybe she just means she’s giving her personal testimony or saying a few words of welcome and she’s not actually preaching the sermon.” Whereas people who know Beth’s history of preaching to men would know she means that she’s preaching the Sunday sermon. Do you see what I mean about this example of deceptive language? She’s announcing she’s preaching but wording it in such a way that people can choose to believe she’s not.
Another example of Beth’s “wiggle room wording” is the final response she gave in the Open Letter to Beth Moore discussed above. Here’s what she said in her blog post that was supposed to put an end to the questions and definitively state her position:
I hold firmly to a traditional Christian sexual ethic and continue to believe the Bible sets apart marriage as a covenant between a man and a woman. But I also believe that Scripture clearly teaches that all sex outside of marriage is contrary to God‘s will.
It’s not a bad statement on sexuality in general, and Beth’s followers who are undiscerning or don’t know their Bibles well probably thought it clearly said she thinks homosexuality is a sin. Which is exactly what she wants them to believe she said. But it doesn’t say that.
She still does not plainly say, “Homosexuality is a sin that must be repented of.” She didn’t even use the word “homosexuality” or other synonymous terms in this statement. And there’s still enough wiggle room in this statement that it leaves the door open for her, in the future, to validate homosexual orientation, identification, lust, or anything short of sexual acts or homosexual “marriage”.
She also added a Bible verse to back up this statement, Galatains 5:19-20:
Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Again, to the average, church going Beth Moore follower who thinks she’s perfectly biblical, this sounds like Beth is pointing to the Bible and saying homosexuality is a sin. And that’s what she wants those people to think she’s saying. But she doesn’t want her homosexual followers to think she’s saying that.
That’s why Beth intentionally chose a verse that does not use any form of the word “homosexuality,” even though she is undoubtedly familiar with the ones that do, for example 1 Corinthians 6:9-10.
For those of us who are familiar with Galatians 5:19 and the Greek behind it, we already know that “sexual immorality” covers all sexual activity outside the monogamous heterosexual marriage bed, which does include homosexuality. Therefore, many of Beth’s followers from a conservative church background will take her quotation of this passage in Galatians 5 to mean, “Yes, I agree with the Bible that homosexuality is a sin.”
However, Beth also has many homosexual and homosexual affirming followers, many of whom likely subscribe to the “gay Christian” movement’s idea that the verses in the Bible that condemn homosexuality are only speaking of homosexual temple prostitution and assorted other perversions, not loving, faithful, monogamous homosexual “marriages” or relationships.
People who believe all of these errant ideas about homosexuality are not going to to see the term “sexual immorality” as applying to supposedly faithful homosexual relationships, so they will see Beth’s remarks as saying that she considers “sexual immorality” a sin, but not that that term includes supposedly “moral” homosexual relationships.
This use of language is intentionally and purposefully deceptive. It’s not an accident. It’s not being loving and kind. It’s speaking with the forked tongue of the devil. If that sounds harsh to you, I would encourage you to get out your Bible and consider how Satan craftily uses language in the Garden with Eve or when he’s tempting Jesus. Then compare Satan’s shrewd use of language to Beth’s. She’s being deceptive because she’s trying to keep all of her followers happy – the average evangelical woman who’s at church every Sunday and at the women’s Beth Moore Bible study class every Tuesday and the “gay Christians” and those who affirm them.
Christians are truth speakers. We speak the truth lovingly and kindly, but we speak it directly and clearly. We let our yes be yes and our no be no. We don’t use language like it’s an abstract painting that can mean whatever the person taking it in wants it to mean.
A final note that’s semi-related to Beth’s deceptive use of language: Many of Beth’s unbiblical statements, positions, behavior, attacks on others, etc., as you may have noticed from the links above, take place on Twitter, and occasionally, Instagram. If you only read Beth’s books, attend her conferences, watch her videos, or follow her on Facebook, you aren’t going to see these kinds of things.
That, too, is purposeful and intentional. She is playing to her demographics. As many with online ministries have discovered, older, more conservative evangelicals generally tend to use Facebook. Younger, more progressive evangelicals generally tend to use Twitter, Instagram, and other more “cutting edge” social media platforms. Beth isn’t going to take a chance on offending the middle-aged and older women who follow her on Facebook (or aren’t on social media at all and only know her through her books and conferences), but she can get away with her more progressive comments on other platforms.
Beth Moore’s ministry produces rotten fruit
Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit,nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits. Matthew 7:15-20
Beth’s followers and supporters are the fruit of her ministry. Are they good fruit or bad fruit? Is she a healthy tree or a diseased tree? Would a godly, doctrinally sound teacher have multiple followers who are homosexuals and homosexuality-affirming? Who rebel against the Bible’s teaching on gender roles? Who blithely blaspheme, spew profanity, and threaten Believers who object to Beth’s sins and false teaching? Who slander and make false accusations against Believers, and display every opposite of the Fruit of the Spirit?
Disclaimer: The specific links below are provided and endorsed as evidence pertaining to this article only. I do not endorse any of these sites in so far as any of them might deviate from Scripture or conflict with my beliefs as outlined in the “Welcome” or “Statement of Faith” tabs at the top of this page.
Overviews/Series – Multiple Theological Problems with Beth Moore:
How Beth Moore Is Calling Down Pentecostal Fire at Charisma (Please note, this is an article praising Beth for doing unbiblical things and is provided only for evidence of such. Charisma promotes all sorts of false doctrine, and I definitely do not recommend or endorse it.)
Beth Moore preaches the Sunday sermon at Bayou City Fellowship Church: Mother’s Day 2016