I have decided to take another break from my series about submitting in everything to write about something that is time sensitive. It is in regards to the upcoming Living Proof Live Simulcast that is scheduled for September 12, 2015. Beth Moore promises an audacious message. The theme for this year’s simulcast is connected to her new book Audacious.
What is Audacious?
“Audacious is the newest book written by Beth Moore. She wrote it specifically thinking of YOU, the simulcast audience! Audacious is an exclusive pre-release for simulcast participants! This is the very first time we have had a book that was connected to the message of her simulcast. We are thrilled to offer participants the opportunity to gain exclusive access to the book before the public release.”
I discovered this information when I recently visited Mrs. Moore’s site, Living Proof Ministries. (It led me to LifeWay) I went there to look into registering for an individual pass to watch the simulcast from home like I did last year. After watching the simulcast back in September of 2014, I wrote a review. Unfortunately, my review wasn’t terribly favorable. I say unfortunately because it saddens me that a ministry that reaches so many women has some troubling issues. If you’d like to read last year’s review, here’s the link to part one. Beth Moore Simulcast Review Part One: General Observations There are also many helpful articles on the web documenting issues with Mrs. Moore’s ministry written by concerned Christians and ministries that you may wish to examine. I recommend looking into it if you haven’t already.
When I watch the simulcast this year, I am hoping and praying that I will not see the same types of things that I saw last year including a heavier focus on women than on God, problems with Bible interpretation and verse usage, and emphasis on personal revelations. Knowing about these things, my discernment radar will be active. That does not mean that I won’t have an open mind. I will test things fairly using the Bible, sound interpretation practices, logic, and other objective standards. I invite you to do the same. I would love to see every woman who watches the simulcast do so with eyes umm, ears of discernment. That is a big part of why I have this ministry, to encourage my sisters in Christ to grow in discernment and to learn to test their teachers, preachers, and authors so that they may avoid following the wrong ones and regrettably miss out on any of the beauty and truth in God’s word.
Evaluation and Red Flags
To that end, I would like to use this opportunity to do an exercise that can help increase discernment. Today we are going to do a pretest. It is a short investigation into the official, available material that we have about the simulcast. This is something we can do whenever we are heading to any Christian event. It can help us get an indication of the soundness of the message or teacher before we even show up.
The process involves praying, reading, thinking, and looking for any red flags. A red flag is a sort of alarm that warns you that there may be a problem. I performed my pretest when I was directed to LifeWay’s site after visiting Living Proof Ministries. While there, I discovered and reviewed text and videos connected to the simulcast. Eventually, I came across something that was worth reading very closely.
This is a description of the book Audacious. You can also see it on Amazon. Since we read above that it is connected to the message of the simulcast, it can help us assess the simulcast before we even begin to watch it. So, I’d like to ask you to do that. Do you find anything in this paragraph that you might consider a red flag? You might wish to read it a couple of times and look for anything that jumps out at you as a signal that something might not be quite right.
Find anything? I’d like to share what I found. If you found these or any others, please share that in the comments.
- A good amount of this description is about Beth Moore’s ministry. I wonder how much of the simulcast will be spent discussing that. How much will be on God?
- Women are aching for something. I am a big fan of the word “some”. Whatever it is that was missing from Mrs. Moore’s vision, some women may be aching for it; but I can’t image that all are. This statement and the following description of what it is make it seem as if all women are missing something incredibly important. It also gives the impression that Mrs. Moore knows the hearts of all women. Broad statements like these do not foster credibility.
- Jesus is longing for something. I have several thoughts about this. I don’t have a lot to go on, but this seems to suggest that Jesus has a strong need or desire that is beyond his control to satisfy. On the surface, it appears to diminish Jesus, the sovereign Lord of the universe. For the sake of argument, let’s say he is longing for something. How did she learn about it? If it was through the Bible, how did she miss something that important in 30 years of Bible teaching? I could guess that she learned about his longing through personal revelation. Mrs. Moore is in the practice of claiming that she receives them, but I won’t make any conclusions based on red flags. I’ll just wait and watch. Additionally, since the description says Jesus is longing and women are aching for this incredibly important missing thing that is the path to the life we were born to live, I have to wonder if it is being implied that the missing thing is not only missing from her vision but also from the whole church. If Jesus is longing for it, does that mean he has not seen it anywhere else? And what of the women? They are aching for it. So are they not receiving it anywhere else in the church? Is this missing thing missing everywhere? I know the description doesn’t say that, but it’s hard not to read that as an implication.
- Mrs. Moore identified the missing link. It is not uncommon for individuals and groups that have messages that run contrary to sound teaching to claim that they have found something that was missing. New light is exciting and increases membership and sells books. Mrs. Moore identified it. Signing up for her simulcast and pre-ordering her book will put us in the position of being able to find out what it is. This automatically causes me to raise an eyebrow.
- Mrs. Moore spotlighted a turning point that can infuse any life with holy passion and purpose. This is an amazing statement. Taken literally, does a thing even exist that can infuse any life with holy passion and purpose? You might say conversion to Christ through the gospel. Then I would ask, is that really a turning point that needed spotlighting? Has the church not had the gospel for millennia? And I would also like to ask does the gospel even fit that claim? We know from Romans 9 that there are some vessels prepared for destruction. Since only believers could possibly have holy passion and purpose, how can the turning point infuse any life with them? Not all are saved. Not all will be. The claim about the turning point doesn’t appear to be a biblical statement. Again, I will hold off making any solid conclusions. There may be something I haven’t thought of that can make the claim true.
- The missing link is for all of us. This is not unlike the previous statement. Again. It’s pretty incredible. I’m guessing the purpose is to set up broad appeal. If I say every one of you can benefit from my message, then you are more likely to listen. More listeners mean a bigger audience and that translates into bigger sales.
- The missing link is the path to the life you were born to live. This is an incredible claim. Somehow Mrs. Moore has discovered the path that each and every one of us were born to live. Please think about that. The only thing that I can think of that could possibly be true for all people would be that we were born to glorify God and fulfill his purposes. But even how that plays out is different for everyone. And again, that is not missing, at least not from sound teaching and preaching ministries in the church. It did not need to be unearthed. It’s in the Bible and has been taught for centuries. So what else could it possibly be? I don’t know, and that is why this is a red flag. Incredible claims like this sound like snake oil sales pitches to me. I have seen too many groups and individuals make claims like this to take them seriously. They have the answer for you. The thing that will change your life. If they aren’t preaching the gospel (which isn’t missing), I ain’t buying.
Whether or not these red flags are in fact flying correctly will be revealed during the simulcast. Until then, I will leave room for my own misunderstanding, incomplete explanations, or a bad choice of words on the part of the writer. I will hold off on any concrete conclusions until the simulcast. I pray everything goes well and there is nothing troubling to report.
I hope this pretest provides some guidance as to what to be aware of if you watch the simulcast. These flags and past reviews of Mrs. Moore’s work done by me and many others strongly indicate a need for discernment. Being discerning is wise and biblical. (Philippians 1:9-10, Hebrews 5:14, 1 John 4:1) Testing the water like we did today is smart. There’s too much at stake to not do this type of work. If we don’t test our teachers, we could end up holding onto error unknowingly or accumulating an ever growing amount of error in our belief systems. That would be tragic. Should we not aim to have as much beautiful, biblical truth as possible? I pray our desire to know God and his word rightly would trump any aversion to testing our teachers, even ones we highly admire and have given time and money to.
In my next post I will share a list of things to look for and consider when watching the simulcast beyond what we have looked at today. They are not unique to the simulcast. They can be used in any situation in which we are seeking to be discerning. It will in effect turn the simulcast into a class on discernment. I think it will be a great exercise. While it will help us evaluate the simulcast, I have a bigger goal in mind. I wish to help you develop and practice the skills needed to test any event or teacher, even your next Sunday service. I don’t think any sound biblical teacher would be opposed to such scrutiny. If you are not very aware or convinced of any problems with Beth Moore’s ministry, then I highly recommend you take the class while you watch. If there is nothing wrong, then that will become evident. If there is, may we respond appropriately, to the glory of God.
Whether you read my next post or not, if you watch the simulcast, please pray for discernment, keep the Bible as your standard of truth, and think through everything that you hear. And please join me in praying for Mrs. Moore.
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*Update* Now ready
Next post: Class on Discernment: Living Proof Live Simulcast
2015 Living Proof Live Simulcast Review Part One
Companion Post: Romance with Jesus: The Bigger Picture
2015 Living Proof Live Simulcast Review Part Two