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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This article is kept continuously updated as needed.
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
A while back, my husband and I were driving down the road on the way to the store discussing various aspects of ministry. At some point the conversation turned to a pastor with whom we were both vaguely familiar. Neither of us knew much about him, so we decided to look him up on Facebook to see if we could get a better handle on where he was coming from, theologically. Aside from a couple of mildly iffy posts that it wasn’t a stretch to extend the benefit of the doubt about, it didn’t seem as though there were any major doctrinal red flags. He just seemed like your average, Bible believing pastor who needed to brush up a little on his discernment. (Hey, who doesn’t, right?)
I was actually more interested in the pastor’s wife and what kind of ministries she was involved in that I might also like, so I clicked over to her page. I was pretty disappointed by what I saw. She had posted materials from several major false teachers- the female equivalents of people from Joel Osteen all the way down to Benny Hinn.
I remarked to my husband that I thought there might be some concerns about this pastor’s theology if he was OK with his wife following and sharing materials from high profile false teachers. And my husband gently reminded me that wasn’t necessarily the case:
“He probably doesn’t even know those women are false teachers.”
My husband went on to say that he wouldn’t have known that people like Beth Moore and Joyce Meyer are false teachers if I hadn’t done the research and filled him in. Not because he doesn’t care whether or not I read sound doctrine, but because pastors and Christian men in general don’t often pick up and read books written for Christian women to examine the theology we’re feeding on.
Until the last few decades, they haven’t always needed to. If your wife went shopping and came home with a book from LifeWay, it never crossed your mind to question whether or not it was biblical. It was LifeWay for heaven’s sake. LifeWay is run by pastors and theologians with years of experience and doctoral degrees from seminary. Of course it was biblical.
Well not any more, it isn’t. The majority (and that’s not an exaggeration) of the “Bible” studies and other materials marketed to Christian women by Christian retailers are authored by false teachers.
Pastors, on behalf of Christian women everywhere, I plead with you: check out the theology of the authors and bloggers (including me) your wife is reading and the Christian personalities she follows and shares on social media. Please thoroughly vet the materials your Sunday School/small group/Bible study classes and women’s ministry are using. Find out about the speakers headlining the women’s conference or simulcast your ladies are attending. Make sure guest speakers appearing at your church’s women’s event teach sound doctrine.
It’s not my place to instruct you (and I’m sure you already know, anyway) in what the Scriptures say about being the spiritual leader of your family, responsible for its theological health or your obligations as a pastor to guard your church against false doctrine. I’ll leave that to godly men, fellow pastors, theologians, etc. What I’d like to do is to offer you some practical insights (in no particular order) from the pink side of the pew that you might find to be helpful tools as you think about and pray through how to handle vetting the teachers your wife or church ladies follow:
1. Your wife’s decision to follow false teachers could cost you a job. There are women out there like me who are familiar with the “twisted sisters” your wife is sharing on social media. If I could wrongly make assumptions about the theology of the aforementioned pastor based solely on his wife’s Facebook activity (because wives can be a reflection of their husbands’ spiritual leadership), others could do the same – maybe even those on a pulpit search committee – and that could impact your search for a pastoral position.
2. You don’t want to shoot yourself in the foot. A pastor’s wife can have a huge influence on her church. She is often the one teaching the women’s Bible study or heading up the women’s ministry, and even if she doesn’t, her input on curricula, guest speakers for women’s events, etc., is usually seen by the women of your church as carrying the weight of your approval or preferences. If you’re up in the pulpit preaching sound doctrine every week while your wife or women’s leader is importing false doctrine into the women’s ministry, it’s like bailing water out of a boat with a hole in the hull.
3. Your wife or (women’s ministry leader) may be chasing off spiritually healthy church members. (If you’ve stuck with me thus far, what follows is unlikely to describe your wife, but I’m going to go ahead and throw it out there for awareness’ sake.) I have heard the following prototypical scenario from dozens of Christian women (and experienced it myself):
“My pastor’s wife is in charge of our church’s women’s ministry, and is a big Beth Moore fan. We only do Beth Moore studies in our small groups, and last year our church hosted a Beth Moore simulcast. I participated in a couple of the studies, but they just seemed “off” biblically, so I started doing some research.
I discovered Beth Moore was teaching false doctrine, preaching to men, partnering with false teachers, and doing other unbiblical things. I went to the pastor’s wife and very kindly, humbly, and patiently showed her the scriptural evidence of Beth Moore’s false teaching. I couldn’t believe it when she flew into a rage, screamed at me, and accused me of trying to create disunity in the church! My husband and I tried to talk to the pastor about it, but he seemed completely unaware of what goes on in the women’s ministry or any problems with Beth Moore, and backed up his wife. We are now looking for a new church.”
This is not an exaggeration or isolated case. I don’t know what it is about Beth Moore’s disciples, but they (especially the ones who are pastors’ wives) seem to be some of the most vicious defenders of false teachers out there. And if your wife or women’s ministry leader acts like this it could cost you godly, spiritually mature church members.
4. Your children’s spiritual lives are at stake, both at home and at church. As with any dad who works long hours, your wife probably has more of an influence in the moment to moment aspects of your children’s lives than you do, even when it comes to training them in godliness. If her spiritual diet consists of false teaching, that’s what is being imparted to your children on a daily basis.
The same goes for the children at your church. The majority of children’s Sunday School teachers and children’s ministry workers are women. The false doctrine these women consume today will be taught to the children of your church on Sunday.
5. When women are spiritually healthy, the whole family benefits. Statistically, women make up about 60% of church attenders, and, of course, 50% of a marriage. That is an enormous influence on your own family and your church family. You want those women spiritually healthy. It’s not only biblical and good for them personally, but everyone they influence and interact with benefits.
When women are taught sound doctrine, they grow to Christlike maturity. They exhibit the fruit of the Spirit. They want to share the gospel. They walk in humility, patience, love, repentance, forgiveness, and biblical submission. They encourage their husbands toward godliness. And you know what else they do?
They teach other women to do the same. They train up children who are godly. They’re self-replicating.
Spiritually healthy, mature, godly women make your life easier, more peaceful, and more of a joy, both at home and at church, because they’re working with you, not against you.
But your wife and the women of your church are not going to get the pure milk of the Word they need to grow in Christlikeness from the pantheon of divangelistas lining the shelves of your local Christian bookstore. And most of those precious ladies you shepherd are completely unaware of that fact. So they need your help, Pastor. Your bride, and the Bride, desperately need you to mind what they’re reading.
As a ministry wife and someone in the field of women’s ministry myself, I, too, have noticed women leaving the church. Not just women in general, but a certain subset of church-attending ladies: discerning women. While Scripture is pretty clear that we can expect women (and men) who are false converts to eventually fall away from the gathering of believers, why are godly, genuinely regenerated women who love Christ, His word, and His church, leaving their local churches?
1. Eisegetical or otherwise unbiblical preaching Discerning women don’t want to hear pastors twist God’s word. The Bible is not about us, our problems, and making all our hopes and dreams come true. We don’t want to hear seeker-driven or Word of Faith false doctrine. We don’t need self-improvement motivational speeches or a list of life tips to follow. We want to hear a pastor rightly handle God’s word from a trustworthy translation and simply exegete the text.
2. The worship hour has become a variety show Skits, guest stars, movie clips, dance routines, rock concerts, elaborate sets, light shows, and smoke machines. We didn’t sign on for Saturday Night Live on Sunday. This is supposed to be church. Get rid of all that junk, turn the lights on, give us solid preaching, prayer, and some theologically sound songs we can actually sing, and maybe we’ll stick around.
*3. Women in improper places of church leadership The Bible could not be more clear that women are not to be pastors, instruct men in the Scriptures, or hold authority over men in other capacities in the church. If your church has a female pastor, worship leader, or elders, or if women are teaching and leading men in Sunday school, small groups, or from the platform in the worship service, or if women are heading up certain committees, departments, or ministries which place them in improper authority over men, you’re disobeying Scripture, and we don’t want to help you do that by attending your church.
4. Children are being entertained, not trained There’s nothing wrong with a bit of play time or crafts for younger children, but we want our children trained in the Scriptures, not entertained for a couple of hours. We want their teachers to open God’s word and read and explain it to them at a level they can understand. We want them memorizing verses, learning to pray, and demonstrating an age-appropriate comprehension of the gospel. We want them to understand that church is joyful, yet, serious, not a Jesus-laced party at Chuck E. Cheese. We need church to bolster the Scriptural training we’re giving our kids at home.
5. Women’s “Bible” Studies The majority (and I don’t use that term flippantly) of churches holding women’s Bible studies are using materials written by Beth Moore, Priscilla Shirer, Joyce Meyer, Lysa TerKeurst, Sarah Young, and others who teach unbiblical ideas and false doctrine. Not minor denominational differences of opinion. Not secondary and tertiary unimportant issues that can be overlooked. False doctrine. While we long to study God’s word with other women, discerning women will not sacrifice sound doctrine nor the integrity of Scripture to do so.
6. Ecumenism Is your church partnering with other “churches” whose orthodoxy and/or orthopraxy are at odds with Scripture? “Churches” which approve of homosexuality or female pastors, or which hold to an unbiblical soteriology (grace plus works, baptismal regeneration, Mary as co-redemptrix with Christ, etc.)? Are you partnering with those who deny the biblical Christ altogether such as Muslims, Jews, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Hindus, Mormons, or Buddhists? Discerning women know Scripture forbids yoking ourselves to unbelievers and we want no part of it.
7. Ageism Look around at your pastor and staff, your lay leadership, your music team, the “face” of your church. How many of those people are over 40? Usually, discernment and spiritual maturity come through walking with the Lord over many years, yet, increasingly, by design, churches are run by twentysomething pastors, staff, and other leadership, who are often spiritually immature and/or lack the wisdom and life experience that come with age. The staff is often specifically structured this way in order to attract young people to the church. The counsel and wisdom mature, godly men and women have to offer is brushed off as old fashioned, and middle aged and older church members feel alienated and unwanted. While there are those among the twentysomething set who are godly and growing into maturity, discerning women value the wisdom and teaching of their godly elders.
8. The “troublemaker” label Discerning women who see unbiblical things happening in their churches and stand up for what God’s word says about biblical ecclesiology and teaching are often vilified and labeled as troublemakers. We are called haters, threats to unity, complainers, gossips, negative, and a myriad of other scornful names. All this for wanting things done according to Scripture. Can you blame us for shaking the dust off our high heels and leaving?
9. Spineless or stiff-necked pastors Discerning women have little respect for, and find themselves unable to submit to the authority of pastors who see people in their churches acting overtly sinful or propagating false teaching yet are so afraid of confrontation that they will not set things right. By the same token, we cannot continue to attend a church in which we bring scriptural evidence of false teaching or sin to the pastor and he outright denies the biblical truth we present to him. We cannot be members of churches in which pastors will not submit to Scripture or carry out biblical mandates.
Frequently, the discerning women you see tearfully leaving your church have been there for years. Sometimes they leave your church because it was never doctrinally sound to begin with, and God has opened their eyes to this as they grow and mature in Christ. Sometimes they leave because false doctrine and unbiblical practices have crept in and taken over a church that was once a refuge of trustworthy biblical teaching. Either way, these things should not be.
Maybe it’s not that discerning women are leaving the church**, but that the church is leaving them.
*If you disagree with this point and are considering writing a comment arguing that women SHOULD be pastors and have other unbiblical positions of leadership, please save yourself some time, because I will not be publishing it. As it says in my “welcome” tab (top of this page), I do not print false doctrine without refuting it, and at the moment, I do not have the time. If you are truly interested in what the Bible ACTUALLY says about the proper role of women in the church, click here and explore the Scriptures that address this topic.
**While it may be necessary to leave a church that is not operating biblically, Hebrews 10:24-25 makes it clear that meeting together for worship and the teaching of God’s word is not optional for Christians. Please see my follow up article, Six Ways Not to Forsake the Assembly for more on this topic.
I find myself wincing a bit when I see people –who I know genuinely love Jesus—sharing, pinning, and re-tweeting quotes from false teachers such as Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyer, T.D. Jakes, and Christine Caine, just to name a few. Why? What’s wrong with the encouraging, even biblical, at times, things these people say?
First of all, let me back up a little. What is a “false teacher”? A false teacher is someone who is billed as a Christian pastor or Bible teacher who habitually and unrepentantly writes, teaches, or preaches things that conflict with the clear teaching of Scripture. For example, all four of the people I listed above teach some version of the prosperity gospel, the false teaching that is most rampant in the Western church today. Additionally, T.D. Jakes adheres to the false doctrine of modalism, and Joyce Meyer and Christine Caine blatantly disobey the Bible’s teaching that women are not to be pastors or instruct men in the Scriptures in the church.
These days, it can be difficult to keep up with who teaches sound doctrine and who does not, especially when pastors and teachers we thought were theologically orthodox seem to be turning apostate at an alarming rate. I myself have been a fan of more than one popular writer/teacher/preacher that I later realized was a false teacher (Joyce Meyer was one of them.) as I delved into what they actually taught and believed and compared it to God’s word. I know first hand that it’s easy to think that these people are good biblical teachers and preachers when what they say sounds good, makes us feel good, and has an occasional Bible verse sprinkled in.
Because I’ve been there myself and know how easy it can be to be drawn in by false teachers, I don’t have any less respect for folks who re-tweet the occasional Osteen-ism of the day. In fact, I have more respect for them, because I know they love the Lord, they’re making an effort to find biblical teaching to listen to, and they have the courage to try to share the gospel with their friends and family via social media. Those are all fantastically good things, and they are to be commended.
But, still, the quotes we share and the people who said them matter. Why?
1.Lost people’s eternities are at stake.
Seriously? From hitting the “share” button on a false teacher’s status? Seriously. I don’t think that’s overstating the gravity of the matter. There’s no way to take the possibility of an eternity in hell too seriously.
Think about it: You have an unsaved Facebook friend. She’s getting to the point in her life where she figures it’s time to get her stuff together, so she starts looking into this whole Jesus thing. Where to start? She’s never even set foot inside a church. Aha! She remembers you’re a Christian. Maybe you’ll have a good lead for her. As she’s thinking about all this, you share Joyce Meyer’s status, and it appears in your friend’s news feed. “Ah,” your friend thinks, “this must be a good Bible teacher if my Christian friend follows her.” So she “likes” Joyce Meyer’s Facebook page and follows her on Twitter. Then she starts watching her on TV. Buys some of her books. Maybe attends one of her conferences. Because your friend has zero knowledge of the Bible, she believes everything Joyce Meyer says. It sounds good. It makes her feel good. She’s hearing a few out of context Bible verses here and there. But the problem is that Joyce Meyer doesn’t teach the Jesus of the Bible. She teaches a false god of her own creation. And if your friend doesn’t put her faith in the true Jesus of the Bible, she’s just as lost as she was before. Only now she thinks she’s a Christian. And you can’t convince her otherwise.
Sound far fetched? Maybe. Maybe not. But if there’s even the slightest chance something like that could happen, is it really worth justifying that status share? Furthermore, is it worth even following a teacher who could lead someone you love to an eternity in hell?
2. It gives false teachers free publicity and a broader platform. One thing I was very surprised to learn when I first began the process of having my book published¹ is that publishers want non-fiction writers to have a built in audience, or “platform,” before they will publish your book. That means you’re already doing speaking engagements and/or have a decent sized ministry, have lots of followers on social media, etc. As I once explained to someone, “You don’t get your book published and then become (celebrity Bible teacher) you have to be (celebrity Bible teacher) in order to get published.”
Social media stats are a big factor in a celebrity preacher’s/teacher’s platform. If T.D. Jakes suddenly lost the majority of his social media followers, you can bet the TV stations he’s on and the conferences he gets invited to would be taking a serious look at whether or not they’d continue to affiliate with him, because it would indicate that his audience is shrinking.
Conversely, when we re-pin, re-post, or re-tweet these folks, their social media stats go up. They not only get a broader platform on social media from which to spread their unbiblical teaching, they continue to get more book, radio, TV, and other media deals, get invited to speak at more conferences, and even start exporting their false teaching overseas (“missions”) to people who have never heard the gospel before and have no way of knowing they’re being lied to.
When we promote false teachers on social media, we bear some of the responsibility for the spread of their false doctrine.
If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works. 2 John 10-11
3. It is disobedient to Scripture. Often, when a Christian is told she’s following a false teacher, the common response is, “Oh, I just chew up the meat and spit out the bones,” meaning that she takes to heart the “good” things the false teacher has to say and ignores the bad.
The question is: where does the Bible say this is the correct way to deal with false teachers? Answer: it doesn’t. In fact Scripture says exactly the opposite.
For starters, Galatians 1:6-9 says that if anyone preaches a different gospel (such as the prosperity gospel) from the one that’s set down in Scripture, “let him be accursed.” “Accursed” means “damned,” sentenced to hell for eternity.
1 Timothy 4:7 and Titus 3:10 say that we are to have nothing to do with people who teach “irreverent or silly myths” or cause division by teaching false doctrine.
2 Corinthians 6:14-16 tells us not to be joined together or partner with unbelievers, lawlessness, darkness, Belial (the devil), or idols.
1 Corinthians 5:7-13 tells us that when a person infiltrates the church who claims to be a Christian, yet is greedy, an idolater, or a swindler— all of which are things that prosperity preachers are guilty of— we are to “cleanse out the old leaven.” We are “not to associate” with them. We are to “purge the evil person from among you.”
Titus 1:10-16 says of false teachers, “They must be silenced,” because they teach “for shameful gain what they ought not to teach.” Paul instructs Titus to “rebuke them sharply,” and that, “they profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.”
“Because of them, the way of truth will be blasphemed.”
“In their greed they will exploit you with false words.”
They will “be destroyed in their destruction, suffering wrong as the wage for their wrongdoing.”
“They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions, while they feast with you.”
“They entice unsteady souls.”
“For them the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved.”
“They promise them [people who listen to their false teaching] freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption.”
The entire epistle of Jude is dedicated to exhorting Christians to “contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.” Of false teachers, Jude says:
“Certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ…Woe to them!”
There’s more, because a large portion of the New Testament is dedicated to exhorting Christians to stay awayfrom false doctrine and rebuke those who teach it, but I think you get the picture. Is it obedient to Christ and to His word to follow and promote someone He says is damnable? People who teach another gospel, such as the prosperity gospel, are the enemies of Christ. Who are we going to side with, Christ or His enemies?
4. Itis unloving and disloyal to our Master. Think about the person you love the most in this world. Maybe it’s your spouse, your child, a parent, or a friend. Next, think about your favorite celebrity, perhaps a movie star, a TV personality, or a famous author or athlete. Now try to imagine that that celebrity, in interviews with journalists, on talk shows he appears on, at personal appearances and speaking engagements, in books he writes, etc., routinely tells lies about the character of your dearest loved one. And thousands, maybe millions, of people believe him.
Would you continue to be a fan of that celebrity?
What if your loved one found out you were a fan of that celebrity? How would she feel to know you were a fan of someone who spreads lies about her?
If we wouldn’t follow someone who lies about a loved one, how much less should we as Christians have anything to do with a celebrity preacher, teacher, or author who drags the name of our precious Savior through the mud and lies about the gospel?
Friends, for all of these reasons and more, let’s stop promoting these false teachers on social media by publicizing their quotes and other materials. Looking for an encouraging quote to share? There’s nothing better than a verse of Scripture. Because Scripture can offer people something that false teachers can’t: truth and hope. As Jesus Himself said,
“Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.” John 17:17
¹My book, Jacob, Journaling the Journey is no longer in print, and that’s a good thing! I wrote it before learning good hermeneutics and how to handle God’s Word properly. You can probably still find copies of it at online merchants, but I would not recommend that you buy or use it. If you want a good Bible study, the best thing is to simply pick up the Bible and study it for yourself. Right now, I have no plans to rewrite Jacob for future re-release.