I've explained my reading plan to help you understand why I happen to be in Jeremiah and Jude at this precise time. Beth Moore's recent blog post, in which she basically stamps her foot because a young pastor's wife had the courage to name her as a false teacher, has set off a flurry of blog posts discussing false teaching in general and Beth Moore in particular. Interestingly, both Jeremiah and Jude address the issue of false prophets/teachers. Consider this passage from Jude that I read this morning:
3 Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. 4 For 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. ~~Jude 3-4 (ESV)This evening, I won't go into specifics about Beth Moore, mainly because I spent so much time researching her (again--sigh!) that I used up my day. I plan, Lord willing, to get into one of the more troubling issues about her very soon. But right now, I want to make a brief comment on Moore's blog post, contrasting it with Jude's letter.
For instance, Moore complains that the "trend" of exposing false prophets/teachers damages the Body of Christ.
We are the Body of Christ. We are brothers and sisters. Even when we are utterly convinced the other person is wrong and we have doctrinal ducks in a row to prove it, we are never to treat one another “as an enemy, but warn him as a brother.” (2 Thessalonians 3:15) Yes, we must hold one another accountable and hold ourselves accountable. We question one another. We by all means keep discussing and debating and entering into healthy disagreements.She's said things like this before, most notably in her televised meeting with Joyce Meyer (which I'll discuss in a future blog post). Moore promotes the sort of "unity" that ignores differences between Charismatics and Cessationists, and indeed between Catholics and Protestants. For all her talk about "accountability," she prefers blurring doctrinal distinctives in favor of "unity."
But we stop short of labeling one another things like false teacher and heretic until we’ve done our homework.
In contrast, Jude laid aside his plans to write about the salvation that unifies believers in favor of instructing believers to contend against false teachers. Jude had looked forward to writing a nice letter extolling the salvation that brought Jews and Gentiles together. The Holy Spirit, however, led him to write about how the Lord would weed out heretics from the church. The fact that the Spirit included Jude's letter in the canon of Scripture demonstrates His commitment to doctrinal purity.
As Beth Moore blogs against those who call her to account, the Lord providentially led me to read Jude's letter, which responds so beautifully to the issue at hand. As the Body of Christ, we must preserve unity by condemning false teachers who scatter sheep by proclaiming wrong doctrine.