Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Beth Moore Twist

Reading the Bible in context sometimes means that a verse won't mean what it could mean if we just isolated it from the rest of the passage, tweaking it ever so cleverly so that it fits our particular agenda. If you listened to the episode of Pirate Christian Radio that I posted yesterday, you'll see how popular teacher Beth Moore did just that very thing by making Hebrews 10:36-37 apply to self-confidence rather than confidence in Christ's shed blood to secure our salvation.

Mrs. Moore understands that women generally believe that they lack healthy self-esteem, so she used the phrase "Don't throw away your confidence" as a springboard for her   'Atta Girl pep talk.

Doubtless, that talk encouraged numberless hurting women, assuring them that Jesus "believes in" them. How could anybody criticize her for making women feel good about themselves? After all, Ephesians 4:29 says we should build each other up with our speech!

Well, the verse does say that, but let's look at the context:

17 Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. 19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. 20 But that is not the way you learned Christ!— 21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
25 Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. 26 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and give no opportunity to the devil. 28 Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. 29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. ~~Ephesians 4:17-32 (ESV)

Using Scripture fragments as dishonestly as Beth Moore used Hebrews 10:36-37 may build up feminine egos, granted, but Paul meant building up the Church in a holiness that reflects Christ. Notice Paul's emphasis on putting away falsehood, and renouncing sensuality. How in the world does the misapplication of Hebrews 10:36-37 for the purpose of making women feel good about themselves possibly produce the type of edification that Ephesians 4:17-32 describes?

Beth Moore preaches a god that flatters women, and she does so by isolating Scripture from its context and wrongly applying it. I don't question her compassion for hurting women, nor do I doubt her sincerity. But wouldn't her ministry honor the Lord better by handling God's Word on His terms rather than her own?

4 comments:

  1. I'd like to listen to the episode you mentioned but I am having trouble linking to it directly and I can't find a way to search the Pirate site for the episode on Beth Moore. Will you please add a link to your post? Thanks, Melissa

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  2. We can have no other foundation except Jesus. If we make happiness or self-esteem our foundation it is one which hangs in the air with nothing to then support you and eventually will disappear along with all other mirages of this world. The book of Ecclesiastes calls these things "vanity" which is empty, a pretty bauble with nothing inside of it.

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  3. Here's the link, Melissa:

    http://www.extremetheology.com/2010/03/beth-moores-dangerous-bible-twisting.html

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you, Debbie! I figured out that the link wasn't showing up on my iPhone but it worked fine on my home computer so I listened to it while making my kids' lunch. It was a very good segment which clearly illustrated how far someone can go when teaching out of context. What a shame. So many women I know adore Beth Moore. So many women will read books written by false teachers instead of the very Word of God or they will think that they are studying God's Word because Beth Moore includes scripture references in her studies. I fail to see the purpose of her ministry beyond boosting women in their self-confidence under the guise of Christianity while keeping them dragged down so that they can buy more of her stuff.

    Melissa

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog post! I'd love feedback, as long as you attach a name. Disagreement is fine, as long as it is presented respectfully. Please keep comments confined to a maximum of four short paragraphs. Sorry for making to do the Word Verification, but I've been getting too much spam.

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