This page contains the full content of my review of Beth Moore’s September 13, 2014 simulcast. The review was written in three parts. I have put them all together here for convenience sake. The three parts were originally posted in my blog. Please follow these links to the posts if you would like to read them individually or leave a comment. Thank you.
Beth Moore Simulcast Review Part One: General Observations
Beth Moore Simulcast Review Part Two: Bible Interpretation Issues
Beth Moore Simulcast Review Part Three: Personal Revelation
PART ONE: GENERAL OBSERVATIONS
Back in August, I wrote a post called A First Look at Beth Moore. It was the result of my first exploration into the ministry and teachings of Mrs. Moore, an exploration that turned up a number of problems. Please see that post for why I began looking into her ministry and what I discovered. Since that time, I have had the opportunity to become more acquainted with her. I did more reading online and revisited her website. While there I discovered that it was possible to sign up and watch her Living Proof Live simulcast from the comfort of my own home. I was interested in the simulcast because I knew it was scheduled to be aired at our local church in a couple of weeks, and it seemed like a good way to follow-up and examine her ministry more. Since I would not be able to see it at church because of my health situation, being able to stream the simulcast on my laptop was very convenient.
After viewing the simulcast, I decided to write a review because I observed some things that were troubling. The following post is part one in a series that will review some areas of concern. This first post covers general observations. Subsequent posts will cover Mrs. Moore’s problematic handling of the scriptures and the subject of personal revelation.
Before the conference began, I prayed for discernment and for an open mind. I wanted to be fair. Though I had read about some problems and knew what to look for, I had no desire to presume anything. I was truly hoping that I would not see any of the problems that I had discovered. Unfortunately, before the first session was done, I did.
While the purpose of these posts is to highlight concerns, I don’t want to come across as if I view the simulcast as all bad. That is not the case. Good things were taught, and I don’t doubt that many women were blessed because of it. These posts are simply here as a flag waving to draw attention to things that I believe my sisters in Christ should be mindful of when listening to Mrs. Moore. Please consider it shared out of love and concern.
The Living Proof conference started at 9:30 on September 13, 2014. I was ready with my notebook and pen. The conference was streamed live from Fort Wayne, Indiana. We were told that the women participating, including those in attendance and those watching in churches, groups, and individually totaled at least 190,000. I am not sure what that translates into money wise, but I image it is quite a lot. I have read that her ministry’s income exceeded $5 mil in 2011.¹ Some argue that the money that Mrs. Moore charges is inappropriate for a gospel ministry. I’m not sure if that is the case, but it might make for an interesting topic for discussion someday.
During the conference there were three teaching sessions interspersed with worship music. Altogether the teaching sessions were over 3 hours long, plenty of time to get a feel for Mrs. Moore and her teachings. From the beginning to the end of the conference, she put out a lot of energy. She definitely worked hard that day. She is a good speaker and appeared to be very friendly and likable. She also seemed to genuinely care about her audience often making mention of those of us watching alone in our homes. She made an effort to make us feel included. I thought that was very kind.
The main focus of the event, at least the way I perceived it, was womanhood. Mrs. Moore shared seven points which served as our outline for the day. They all mentioned a woman or women. She asked her audience to write them down. As I listened, I wrote them down too. Though they were given periodically over the day, I will list them all together here.
Point One: We are one gathering of many women yearning for God to speak.
Point Two: Jesus changes the story of every woman he meets.
Point Three: Jesus wants a woman to know what she is and what she is not.
Point Four: Sometimes a woman needs a clean sweep to find what she is missing,
Point Five: A woman’s joy is not the same without girl friends to share it with.
Point Six: All of heaven rejoices over a lost woman found.
Point Seven: Every woman is able to share how God is changing her story.
Along with these points, early in the conference we were told that we would be studying “being female well“ and “what it is like to do womanhood very well”. During the section for Point Three she presented an Identify Declaration that spoke of our identity in Jesus. It spoke of us being women of God, redeemed, loved, and chosen amongst other things. In this section, we were encouraged to “woman up” and were told we are “woman enough” no matter what has happened in our life. During the section for Point Five, the subject of friendship and competition with other woman was addressed. Again, the subject of womanhood was present throughout the day.
Mrs. Moore also taught from a few different selections of scripture. I will be addressing that in later posts. Near the end, she invited us to make a decision to accept Christ as our personal savior. Later she and her staff led prayer for many different groups of women.
The following are things I noticed during the simulcast that I feel are worth pointing out. They are not as earth shattering as some problems I have seen with other teachers, but they are still troublesome. They serve to highlight that things are not quite right in several little ways. I will be writing about bigger problems in future posts. All these things together are why I do not consider Mrs. Moore to be a trustworthy Bible teacher.
1) While it makes sense to me that matters concerning womanhood were the focus of the conference because it was a conference for women, I was left with the feeling that the day was more about me/women in general than about God. I was expecting Bible teaching that focused more on Christ. I was surprised and disappointed that I didn’t see that.
2) Doctrinal matters didn’t come up very often. It didn’t seem to be the purpose of the event to dig into the Bible. One thing that did catch my attention was the invitation to make a decision for Christ. I know this is popular language, but the implication behind it does not do justice to the sovereignty of God in salvation.
3) My third observation involves Point One above. Again, Point One is “We are one gathering of many women yearning for God to speak.” I am not 100% sure what Mrs. Moore meant by this. She never really came out and said “This is how God speaks”. I don’t think she meant the Bible because she never said that, but there were repeated references to personal revelation and receiving a word from God. If she did mean we are yearning for God to speak to us through personal revelation and received words, which did seem to be the case, then that would be very disturbing. Such a teaching would minimize the Bible because it implies that it is not enough.
Since we have the Bible, there is no need to yearn. God has spoken to us abundantly in his word. Even if one has read the whole Bible through, there’s still so much to gain by reading it again and again and again. I think it would have been far better to point her audience to the Bible instead of implying that there is a silence from God.
4) As I mentioned above, we were told that we would be studying being female well and doing womanhood well. As I listened, I hoped for clarification about what that meant; but I didn’t hear anything specific. Though she intentionally read verses that happened to have women in them (verses that were used out of context – more about this in a future post) and shared some good advice for our relationships with other women, there was no Biblical model for womanhood taught. I believe that is the way to do womanhood well.
5) My fifth observation relates to Beth Moore’s Point Five: “A woman’s joy is not the same without girl friends to share it with.” Within this part of the conference, we were told that Mrs. Moore had the following revelation over the weekend: “Our joy deficit is equal to our girlfriend deficit.” We were told to say it and write it down. She was quite excited about it. She said the nature of joy is to be shared. She referred to the parable of the woman who lost and then found her coin as part of her support for this.
“When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin which I had lost!’ “” (Luke 15:9)
She taught that the woman saying to her friends “Rejoice with me” was evidence that women have more joy when they have more friends. The woman shared her joy.
You may wonder why I would have anything to say about this. Surely, there is some truth in what was taught, and I do believe it was an attempt to encourage friendships between women. That is a positive encouragement and having more friends in our life can increase our joy. But something did trouble me about this. It had to do with the source of our joy and the teaching that “Our joy deficit is equal to our girlfriend deficit.”
As a Christian, I know that there is a way we can have fullness of joy and it has nothing to do with girlfriends. Here it is: “You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.” (Psalms 16:11) I would rather see THAT being taught as a remedy for a joy deficit instead of more friends. God can be our exceeding joy (Psalms 43:4), and our joy can be made full through the things spoken by Jesus. (John 15:11) I love my friends, and they make me very happy; but nothing compares to being close to God. He provides all fullness of joy and erases any joy deficit regardless of how many girlfriends we have. He takes away our sorrows and restores our soul. I think her teaching elevated girlfriends too high in our lives and reduced the joy that comes from God. It also completely leaves out any joy that can come from our husbands, our children, and a myriad of other things. And what of the woman that doesn’t have a lot of friends? Does this mean she can expect to have little joy? God help many of us, including me. Being housebound, I have contact with very few friends and only once in a while. Surprisingly, my joy is oftentimes quite high. Why? Chiefly because of God. Knowing him and being mindful of him is a great source of joy to me even in the midst of chronic suffering. I found it interesting and disturbing that this teaching about joy said nothing about God.
6) I heard a lot of advice during the conference about being better to the woman in our lives and about having healthy friendships. I think Mrs.Moore did a good job speaking about those things. I would have liked to have seen it based on the Bible more, but it was good.
7) There were a number of times that Mrs. Moore mishandled the meaning and context of certain Bible verses. This will be the focus of my next post. What I saw has been seen by others in her other material so this was not a one-time occurrence. Her problems with Bible interpretation and application are no small concern. I hope you’ll look for the next post and consider how this affects her rating as a trustworthy Bible teacher.
8) As stated above there were repeated references to personal revelation and receiving a word from God. I believe this requires its own separate post, one which I will be sharing last in my series.
If you have made it this far, thank you for reading. Please be on the lookout for my future posts for more details about problems with Bible interpretation and the subject of personal revelation. When I take all the things into consideration that I saw during the simulcast together with what I have learned from other reviews, I maintain the opinion that I arrived at after my first look into Beth Moore’s ministry, namely that she is not a trustworthy Bible teacher. She repeatedly falls into various errors, some more serious than others. Since that is the case, I would not use her for my own purposes nor recommend her to others.
1. Beth Moore – False Teacher; The King’s Dale.
PART TWO: BIBLE INTERPRETATION ISSUES
Problematic Practices of Bible Interpretation
This part of my review takes a look at Beth Moore’s problematic practices of Bible interpretation. The kinds of problems that exist are the practices of eisegesis, proof texting, and the allegorizing of the scriptures. I became aware of these problems when I first grew more familiar with her and her ministry back in August. If you have been following my posts about this you might remember that I decided to learn more about her because our local church was going to be hosting a Living Proof Life Simulcast. Since I had only heard her name and was unfamiliar with her material, I decided it might be a good idea to check things out. I did some research which lead me to articles that listed a number of problems including those in the Bible interpretation category. I encourage you to do some more reading beyond this series. There are lots of articles to examine. They have been written by many different people who have concluded that there are problems that raise real concerns.
During the simulcast, I waited to see how Mrs. Moore would do in the area of Bible interpretation. As it turns out, she did fall into some of these same practices again. It happened when she taught from three different sections of scripture: Acts 16:6-15, Luke 15:1-10, and Isaiah 28:16. In this post, I will go over what she taught from them and show how her teaching was not in line with proper Bible interpretation practices.
Sharpening Our Discernment
The following examination of Mrs. Moore’s teaching is an example of the level of scrutiny that serves us well when considering a teacher’s words. We need to look closely and think through the things that we hear. Failure to examine our teachers closely can cause us to miss out on the true meaning of God’s word or accept and believe things we should not.
The main errors that you will see below are the failure to actually teach what a verse means and to instead build another meaning around it or from it. In other words, Mrs. Moore took certain words from certain verses out of their context and then put them into a completely different context. These errors deprive Mrs. Moore’s listeners of much of what is actually in the verses.
It will take some time and effort to get through this post to see how Mrs. Moore mishandled the word of God, but it is worth it. What is learned here will hopefully help you to judge her work in the future and the work of Bible teachers in general. It will be a good exercise for sharpening discernment. If we see these practices being done by any teacher, we should look elsewhere for instruction. I want all my sisters in Christ to have good, trustworthy teachers of the word.
Recently, a young Christian woman told me that she noticed these errors when she first began listening to one of Mrs. Moore’s recordings from iTunes. She said that she listened for a bit and then looked up the verses that were used to see them in context. She noticed that they did not mean what Mrs. Moore said they meant. This woman decided to discontinue listening to the album because she knew that was a bad practice and expected more from her teachers. It is my hope that as others become aware of these practices of Mrs. Moore, they have a similar response and choose a more proficient teacher of the word to sit under. If I become aware that Mrs. Moore learns to avoid these errors, I will gladly report it.
The first section of scripture that Mrs. Moore read from was Acts 16:6-15. It is about Paul’s journeys to the Phrygian and Galatian region, Mysia, Troas, and finally to Philippi in Macedonia. In Philippi, Paul preached to a group of women. One named Lydia became a believer. It was the account of Lydia that Mrs. Moore focused on.
“and from there to Philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia, a Roman colony; and we were staying in this city for some days. (13) And on the Sabbath day we went outside the gate to a riverside, where we were supposing that there would be a place of prayer; and we sat down and began speaking to the women who had assembled. (14) A woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple fabrics, a worshiper of God, was listening; and the Lord opened her heart to respond to the things spoken by Paul.”
When Mrs. Moore taught from these verses, she did something quite troubling. She put her listeners into the story in a way that did not fit the meaning and context. At the beginning of her teaching on this verse, Mrs. Moore said we were going to “personalize it and adapt it to ourselves.” To facilitate that, she had us write out verse 14 substituting Lydia’s information (the above, underlined red words) with our own. We were to write it with our name, city, and something we do. It was her intent to put us “on the page of this scripture”. She said that we are “the woman in the story today“ and we “are Lydia today.”
Now I am not against applying the scriptures personally and putting ourselves “in the story” if doing so does justice to the meaning and context. In fact, doing so is why they can have meaning for us. For example when we read that “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 2:16), it is proper to consider ourselves one of the “whoevers” who will not perish if we believe in Jesus. Additionally, we can trust in many of the promises in the Bible given to believers because we know they belong to all believers. These things are proper, but it is not proper to put our names and information in verse 14 and then teach something completely off topic. I will get to what she taught in a moment.
A correct application would have been to teach what we can learn about our own faith from this passage. There is something quite beautiful to learn here namely that it is God who opens hearts to respond to the gospel. But that is not what she taught. Nothing of the sort was mentioned. I see this as a great loss because this important truth was not shared. Instead, the way that Mrs. Moore put us “in the story” didn’t fit. What did she teach?
Drawing from the word “respond” in verse 14, she taught that God wants us to “respond” to revelation that we were going to receive at the simulcast. This was a gross misapplication of the verse and is not the proper way to handle the word of God.
Let me explain more about what was actually taught. During the conference there were quite a few references to revelation and receiving “a word” from God. Mrs. Moore started the simulcast by saying that “God has a word for you.” If you read Part One of my review of the simulcast, you might remember that seven points were taught that day. The first one had to do with hearing from God: “We are one gathering of many women yearning for God to speak.” It is my understanding that the word from God and the speaking of God was a reference to personal revelation that would occur during the conference. (More about this in the next post.) Revelation is something Mrs. Moore actively seeks and claims to receive. She said revelation is good and that “we have to have revelation”. She also said that we go to the Lord and say “Lord, reveal yourself, reveal yourself, reveal yourself.” She said we also say, “I wanna receive, I wanna receive, I wanna receive.” But she said, the main focus of the simulcast was not just on revelation. It was on something that she felt the Lord had put on her heart to say to us. She said God is saying, “I am revealing Myself plenty to you, I am looking for you to respond.” She then put this question forth: “What will you do with what God says to you today?” This is where Acts 16:14 came in. She used that verse as biblical support to show us that God want us to respond… to revelation.
She also taught on the part about Lydia’s heart being opened. She spoke completely off topic from the verse and said that God is the one who binds up the broken hearted. She said that sometimes we stay too long with our heart bound up after he has bound it up. She said there comes a time when we need to open our hearts for healing. Drawing from the word “opened” in verse 14, she said God is calling us to put our hearts wide open. Somehow a verse meaning that God opened Lydia’s heart to believe the gospel got changed to mean that we believers need to open our long bound up hearts. This is so far from the meaning of Acts 16:14.
1) As stated above, the meaning and context of the verse were ignored. The responding that we were called to do according to Mrs. Moore’s teaching was not to the gospel as Paul was sharing. No, as stated above, we were called to respond to a revelation that we will receive that day at the simulcast. Additionally, it was not the gospel that our hearts needed to be opened to, it was something else. We needed to open our hearts that had been held closed too long after being bound up by God.
These practices of not teaching the meaning, ignoring the context, and creating a new one are reoccurring in Mrs. Moore’s material, but it is not the practice of good Bible teachers. This is part of why I do not consider her to be a trustworthy teacher of the Bible.
2) Though the cause behind the opening and responding in verse 14 was God, she said we need to respond and we need to open our hearts. The cause was changed, again ignoring the context.
3) Though the opening and responding in verse 14 happened to a non-Christian, Mrs. Moore changed the story completely and applied them to us who are already saved.
The way this verse was handled was not in line with sound practices of interpretation. The next section will look at Luke 15:1-10. The same types of errors were made with it as well.
Luke 15:1-10 contains the account of two parables. It starts with the Pharisees and scribes grumbling against Jesus because he receives sinners and eats with them. Jesus proceeds to instruct them through the parables. The first is about a shepherd who left his ninety-nine sheep to look for one that was lost. The second is about a woman who swept her house looking for her lost coin. Both the shepherd and the woman rejoiced when they found what was lost. Jesus taught that in the same way, there will be joy in heaven over one sinner who repents.
When Mrs. Moore taught from this selection of verses, she did the same thing that she did with Acts 14:16, she put us “in the story”. She focused on the parable about the woman with the lost coin and brought us into her house.
“Or what woman, if she has ten silver coins and loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? “When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin which I had lost!’ “In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
We were told that it was a small house because it was lit by one little lamp. She said it was “just you” in this one house. The purpose appeared to be so that she could apply imagery from the parable to us personally. Again, this would be ok if she did it in a way that fit the context, but she did not.
As Mrs. Moore continued, we were told about a survey that she had sent out earlier that week. One of the questions asked was “What is something you feel you have lost that you wish you could get back?” She said that maybe we don’t care about a lost coin, but there might be other things. She shared some of the answers from the survey including innocence, virginity, and dignity. Then as a means of encouragement she said, “There are a whole lotta things we have lost that we can indeed have back in Jesus’ name.” She told us that if we couldn’t get it back (like virginity), we can trade it for something else. This teaching was based on the lost coin of verse eight. Since that verse mentions that something was lost and found, that was enough to teach that we can get things back that we have lost.
1) Unlike her handling of Acts 16:14 and the account of Lydia in which she did not teach about the actual meaning of that verse, she did touch on the meaning of these verses later in the simulcast.
2) However, like her handling of Acts 16:14, she taught something from these verses that ignored the meaning and context. The parable of the lost coin was taught by Jesus to teach about the joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and to answer to the Pharisees and scribes objection to him spending time with sinners. It is not correct to take the imagery of the lost and found coin and create a completely different teaching around it. Why it may be true that we can get things back that we have lost through the grace of God, it is not correct to teach that from a verse that has nothing to do with that. Good Bible teaching avoids this type of error.
The next part of Mrs. Moore teaching on these verses was based on the sweeping in verse eight and lead up to Point Four of the seven she shared during the simulcast: “Sometimes a woman needs a clean sweep to find what she’s missing.” At the beginning of this segment, she said that if she asked us what we’ve lost, we might not know. This section was an encouragement to sweep out the clutter in our lives to find what was missing. She said we may say, I have a good man, a good job or other things; but something is missing. She said we might also say “Lord, I have no idea what I am missing. There’s so much clutter going on here. I got so much happening, so many people happening, so many things happening – SWEEP IT OUT!” She followed with, “There comes a time when ‘sweep and you will find.’” We were encouraged to make time every day, set everything aside (sweep it away) and spend time with Jesus.
1) While it may be a good encouragement to sweep everything aside and make time for Jesus, it is not correct to teach that from these verses. It is not proper to use imagery from a Bible verse and apply it in a completely different way from the original meaning. A Bible teacher should not forgo solid Biblical interpretation for giving good advice. Either separate the advice from any Bible verse or teach Biblical principles from verses that can be applied correctly and practically.
2) This type of teaching practice is erroneous, harmful, and dishonoring to the word of God. Bible teachers including Mrs. Moore who practice such things are not trustworthy. They do a great disservice to their listeners and teach that it is ok to ignore context and build a story around a word or action being done in a verse. That is a very bad lesson.
Before I leave this topic of Bible interpretation, I would like to address Beth Moore’s teaching on Isaiah 28:16. The way she applied it serves as another example of her questionable interpretation practices. During the prayer section in the third part of the simulcast, she spoke about those who may have a propensity towards fear and panicking. She used this verse as an encouragement. She read it from the NET, a version she loves and uses in her morning time with the Lord. She actually only read the very last part of the verse: “The one who maintains his faith will not panic.”
Here is the whole verse
“Therefore, this is what the sovereign master, the Lord, says: “Look, I am laying a stone in Zion, an approved stone, set in place as a precious cornerstone for the foundation. The one who maintains his faith will not panic.”
Isaiah 28:16 NET
She taught that when she is panicking she is “bled of faith”. She said she is going to have panic or faith. She shared how she has woven this verse into her belief system so when she starts to panic, she can call on faith and not go there.
While the teaching that faith can arrest panic is helpful and true, is that actually what Isaiah 28:16 is about?
Let’s take another look at Isaiah 28:16. Here it is from the NASB.
“Therefore thus says the Lord GOD, “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone, A costly cornerstone for the foundation, firmly placed. He who believes in it will not be disturbed.”
The ESV and KJV end differently
“Whoever believes will not be in haste.” ESV
“he that believeth shall not make haste.” KJV
Here is Strong’s Hebrew Dictionaries definition of the word that is translated “panic” in the NET
koosh A primitive root; to hurry; figuratively to be eager with excitement or enjoyment: – (make) haste (-n), ready.
So, I am not sure where the NET got the word “panic”; but my issue is not really about the translation. A good exegesis of this verse would have mentioned Jesus. Every commentary that I looked at said that Isaiah 28:16 points to Jesus Christ as the cornerstone, the one in whom belief is put. This makes sense because the New Testament says exactly that. Reference to this verse is made in a number of places including:
“just as it is written, “BEHOLD, I LAY IN ZION A STONE OF STUMBLING AND A ROCK OF OFFENSE, AND HE WHO BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.”
“For this is contained in Scripture: “BEHOLD, I LAY IN ZION A CHOICE STONE, A PRECIOUS CORNER stone, AND HE WHO BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.”
1 Peter 2:6
The way Mrs. Moore used the last part of Isaiah 28:16 ignored this important meaning of the verse. It is about one believing in Jesus or the promise of his coming. A good Bible teacher needs to be thorough and make sure the meaning and context are being respected and represented well. This verse beautifully points to our Lord and faith in him. It really isn’t about maintaining faith to arrest panic.
Beth Moore’s problematic practices of Bible interpretation can be seen in different places within her material. The simulcast simply served as an example of problems that can also be seen elsewhere. The errors that she makes including eisegesis, proof texting, and the allegorizing of the scriptures are documented by various sources online. Again, I encourage you to look into this further and decide if she should be considered a trustworthy teacher in light of her regular problems with interpretation and verse usage. Choosing a Bible teacher is an important decision. We must have faithful teaches of the word. When we sit under them, they exert a certain degree of influence over our understanding of God, the Bible, and our faith. They must be tested and continuously retested to ensure that they teach what is true and teach well. We must see that they do their work fearfully to God’s glory and for our benefit. A good teacher studies the word, prays about its meaning, and tests their understanding against the rest of scripture and the centuries of Christian understanding. They do not ignore context. They understand the seriousness of their job.
Ladies, if you are still with me and use Mrs. Moore material, I encourage you to test what you read or hear. Check out the verses that she uses. I know this takes work, but it is so important. Since she is a Bible teacher, we must hold her to a high standard. If we are trusting her to teach God’s word, then we are right to expect her to be faithful to it. We should be hearing and learning about the true meaning of verses not an application that doesn’t fit. Anything less cheats us and does not honor the word of God. It should concern us greatly when a teacher does not handle the scriptures correctly. It is understandable that mistakes be made from time to time, but what I have seen is a pattern of the same types of errors. That’s why I would not use her for my own purposes nor recommend her to others. I do not believe she is a trustworthy teacher.
I know many ladies like Mrs. Moore, and it may not be easy to accept that there are problems. I am praying for those who may be struggling with this. Please see my Contact page if there is any way I can assist you.
PART THREE: PERSONAL REVELATION
Part Three takes a look at the topic of personal revelation. It is the final post in this series. It will review some revelations that were shared during the simulcast as well as references to receiving “a word” from God.
It is not surprising that these things would come up during the simulcast. Beth Moore has repeatedly claimed to receive personal revelations over the years. This has been addressed and documented by various people and ministries. Here are a few examples.
1) In her book The Beloved Disciple, Mrs. Moore wrote about taking time to rest in our busy lives. She wrote, “Recently God spoke to me about capturing what He and I are calling ‘Sabbath moments.’” She continued by saying that God spoke to her heart and said, “My child, in between more intense rests, I want to teach you to take Sabbath moments.” (Page 220) You may read more about this directly from her book here.
2) On another occasion, Mrs. Moore shared a revelation in which God told her “My Bride is paralyzed by unbelief.” Mrs. Moore said God told her to write it down and say it as often as he gives her utterance. You may see the video of this here. Unfortunately the video does not continue past a certain point so I cannot judge the application, but it is an incredible statement all the same even if I am not sure what she meant by it. Was the church really paralyzed by unbelief? Christians struggle with faith sometimes, but paralyzed? and the whole church?
3) In a blog post at the beginning of 2014 Mrs. Moore wrote about a word that she got from God and a warning that she received in a dream. The word was “Stop sowing over and over in the exact same field.” Apparently the Lord meant to direct her into a new field of ministry. The warning was that God would take her voice if she did not obey. You can read the blog post here.
Claims of receiving personal revelations from God are a big deal. These older claims and the ones that I observed during the simulcast should be evaluated carefully. Since I am writing about the simulcast, I will focus on the ones that occurred then; but I did think it important to share these others. I share them to illustrate that this is a repetitive pattern and to give you more examples to assess.
Mrs. Moore’s own personal revelations shared during the simulcast
1) The first revelation was a revelation about revelation. Yup. We were told through Mrs. Moore that God wants us to respond to the revelations that he gives us. Let me explain.
During this section Mrs. Moore said, “Today’s emphasis is not just on revelation.” Before elaborating on what that meant, she expressed a positive view of revelation. She explained that it is something she is favorable towards and actively seeks. She told us that she asks for it every class and every morning. She said, “I’ve gotta have it. That’s where everything – that’s where everything launches. We have to have revelation”. She also taught that those of us listening seek revelation because she said that (like her) we go to the Lord and say, “Lord, reveal yourself, reveal yourself, reveal yourself” and “I wanna receive, I wanna receive, I wanna receive.”
After expressing this positive view of revelation, Mrs. Moore returned to her comment that the emphasis of the simulcast was not just on revelation. This was based on something that she felt the Lord had spoken into her heart. According to her, God wants more from us than simply seeking and receiving revelation. She said she felt God put this on her heart to say to us, “I am revealing myself plenty to you. I am looking for you to respond.” She then put this question forth: “What will you do with what God says to you today?” This question followed from Mrs. Moore’s announcement at the beginning of the simulcast that “God has a word for you.”
2) There was a prayer time for various groups of women at the end of the simulcast. When Mrs. Moore started her part of the prayer time, she said that she was going to pray for those with a propensity towards fear and panicking. She said that God gave this word to her regarding panicking: “I’m gonna set some people free from panicking.”
References to getting “a word” from God
3) At the beginning of the simulcast Mrs. Moore excitedly said “God has a word for you!”
4) She also shared a short story about a friend of hers who told her that she had received a word about the simulcast while praying for it in the weeks prior to the event. She said “the Lord gave her the word ‘landmark.’”
5) The first point of seven that were shared during the simulcast was “We are one gathering of many women yearning for God to speak.” The speaking was referring to receiving a revelation or “a word”.
6) When saying that the simulcast was about us and Jesus and encouraging us to get the most out of it, she encouraged us to copy off our sister’s paper if she writes something down. We should ask, “What did you just write?” Our sister says, “I just got a word from God.” We should ask, “What is it? I want it too!”
7) She said she is asking God for “a word for every single woman” and “a wonder for every single woman”.
8) She twice asked if anyone got a word from what was being said.
9) During the last session of the simulcast we were asked, “What was the word that kinda fell on you?” and “What was your word?”
The topic of personal revelation is a big one. There is disagreement over whether or not Christians today legitimately receive revelations and words from God. For many who say no, Mrs. Moore’s claims immediately put her into the category of a false prophet. My position is that I am always cautious when I hear such claims. I believe there is good reason to be so, and I would like to share my reasons here as well as some of my thoughts about what was said during the simulcast.
1) First and foremost, I believe that the Bible is the word of God and provides everything we need to know about God, the way of salvation, and how to live for him. In it we have the special revelation from God that is inspired and authoritative. It is sufficient to guide us in matters of faith and life. (2 Timothy 3:16-17) The Bible may not answer every single question about the details of our lives, but it contains enough for us to know God as we must and to live lives that are pleasing to him. It is truth and is our standard for truth. (Psalms 119:160, John 17:17) In it we have the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. (Jude 1:3)
We are deeply blessed to have the scriptures. Unlike in the days of the early church, we have the full council of scripture at our disposal. The Bible and the work of the Holy Spirit is how God speaks to us. We can hear from God every day in real and precious ways. As we “hear” from God though his word, we can grow in our understanding of his special revelation and will. But this type of hearing from God is not the same as the “God told me … ” that seems to pop up out of nowhere apart from the Bible. No, it is in conjunction with the inspired and authoritative word of God.
2) I am cautious of any claims of revelation and words from God because such claims set up an authority outside of the scriptures. When someone says they have heard from God, that automatically gives them and what they have said some degree of authority because they are claiming to speak words given by God. There is real danger in this because of the possibility of fraud, error, and self-delusion. Every single revelation and word should be tested against the only authority we can always trust, the Bible. It is important to check to see if the revelations and words contradict the Bible and if they point towards God and the Bible or elsewhere.
Let’s test the two claims of revelations that Mrs. Moore shared during the simulcast.
revelation one) She told us that in reference to all the personal revelations God gives us, and in all the reveling that we seek, God is saying: “I am revealing myself plenty to you. I want you to respond.” We were asked: What are we going to do with the “word” we receive during the simulcast?
A) This isn’t a prophetic word, so we can’t test it that way.
B) Notice that it is not the Bible that Mrs. Moore says God wants us to respond to. It is personal revelations that are at best subjective and at worst unbiblical. That does not sound like a message from God to me. God wants us to respond to what is written in the Bible, what we KNOW to be his word and will. Encouragement to do so would seem legitimate. Absence of any mention of it seems illegitimate.
C) This revelation directing us “to respond” was supported by a verse that was taken out of context. Please see Beth Moore Simulcast Review Part Two: Bible Interpretation Issues for a look at how Acts 16:14 was handled during this part of the simulcast. A revelation that comes along with a mishandled verse does not have a lot of credibility.
revelation two) We were told that God told Mrs. Moore: “I am going to set some people free from panicking.”
A) This is a prophetic word, but I can’t test it as such because I cannot follow up with anyone from the simulcast.
B) There really isn’t necessarily any Biblical contradiction in this word. It is believable that God wants us to be free from panic. The Bible encourages us in many places to trust the Lord. However, we can’t biblically test if it is God’s will to set people free on that day. This revelation shows why this type of thing is potentially dangerous. The one who claims to have received a word could say anything, and there may be no definitive way to test it.
C) Unfortunately, the Bible verse that went along with this was also taken out of context. (See Part Two)
3) Another reason why I am very cautious about claims of revelation and words from God is because they rely on the interpretation of the human person sharing them and are therefore subjective. There is the possibility of error or self-delusion even when intentions are good. One may misinterpret their own feeling or thoughts as a revelation or word from God. Our hearts are deceitful (Jeremiah 17:9) and must always be tested.
4) There have been lots of false prophets and false teachers who have claimed to have received revelations and words from God. They seek to bring new light to the masses. I know that is not a rock solid argument against it, but it does make me very cautious. There will always be frauds out there, and we need to be diligent and test everything we hear.
5) Certain groups with faulty doctrine lean more heavily on personal revelations and words from God. For example, personal revelation is pursued in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints[¹], and claimed revelation is common amongst the proponents of the Word of Faith Movement. Yet, I have not seen it in churches/individuals that are more biblically solid. Since the practice of receiving a revelation or word from God exists within groups with faulty doctrine, the practice itself becomes questionable. Doctrine and fruit matter. I will not accept claims of revelations and words from God from those who fail in these areas. As for Mrs. Moore, there are things about her teachings and her fruit that concern me which I have written about before. These render her revelations highly suspect.
6) People who claim to have received a revelation or word from God could say many things that cannot be tested. If we cannot test something by God’s special revelation, the Bible, then I believe it should be set aside. It has no authority and no credibility.
For these reasons and more, I remain skeptical of any claims about receiving revelations and words from God. Leaving this for now, there are a few more comments I would like to make about what I observed during the simulcast.
By way of reminder, Mrs. Moore’s first point out of seven that was shared during the simulcast was: “We are a gathering of many women yearning for God to speak.” The speaking was a reference to revelation and receiving a word. When I first heard her say this I wondered why she thinks we are yearning. It confused me. Yearning is such a strong word, a word one might use if they had no revelation from God at all. But we do! God has spoken volumes to us in his word, the Bible. It is more than we could ever truly understand in our lifetimes and is an abundant treasure. Whether or not it was intended, this point made it seem like the Bible was not enough because supposedly we are yearning for God to speak through personal revelation. This saddens me and concerns me because of the lack of focus on the Bible.
As addressed earlier this was not the only time there as a lack of focus on the Bible. I am referring to the moment when Mrs. Moore said that we go to God and say: “Reveal yourself, reveal yourself, reveal yourself” and “I wanna receive, I wanna receive, I wanna receive.” This picture of Christianity is foreign to me. I don’t fit into the “we” that she spoke of. I am guessing many other Christians don’t either. I do not cry out to God to revel himself. I don’t have to. I have the Bible. I wish the focus had been on the Bible and not on responding to personal revelations. I know I have said this before, but I believe it is worth repeating. What is the priority here?
There is one last thing I would like to point out about this topic. Throughout the simulcast there was no teaching about how to judge any received revelation or word. Are we not to judge them? How do we know what is and what is not actually from God? Well, I would test it all by the scriptures, but that was not taught. At one point, you might remember I mentioned that we were told to copy off our sister’s paper if she had gotten a word from God so that we don’t miss out on anything. I understand that Mrs. Moore wanted us to get the most out of the day, but this suggestion didn’t sit well with me. Our sister could write anything down, anything. Just because she says she got a word from God, we are to take it for ourselves? This practice removes all caution and testing from something that is extremely important. We must have discernment. I found the lack of any teaching about discernment to be negligent.
This concludes my review about personal revelation and about the simulcast in general. It took a while to do and was a lot of work, but I feel it was worth it. I cannot tire when testing my teachers, and I will not stop short of sharing what I learn if there is a way I can do it and if it is important enough to do so. I pray these posts help to shed light on some things that need to be weighed when considering Beth Moore as a teacher. As stated in the very beginning, I do not believe she is a trustworthy teacher. I think she can be if she corrects some errors that have been noted and avoids falling into new ones. There is real concern about where she is headed due to her new association with Joyce Meyer. You can watch them speak about unity here on Mrs. Meyer’s website. They begin to talk about unity in the body of Christ at 13:00. If you are unsure why this association is troubling, you may benefit by doing a background check on Mrs. Meyer. This article about Mrs. Meyer by Let Us Reason Ministries would be a good place to start.
Part of what I do here at Chapter 3 Ministries is to encourage women to grow in their discernment. We have been applying that discipline to Mrs. Moore. Since she is seeking unity with Mrs. Meyer, I fear Mrs. Moore’s discernment leaves much to be desired. I hope and pray that changes. I am praying that she moves in a good direction. I pray that for Mrs. Meyer too. I am also praying that my readers, especially those who use Mrs. Moore’s material will pray about the issues raised by these posts. I also pray that the leadership in churches that use her material use discernment and make choices that honor God and protect their flock.
RefMT Issues Word of Caution Concerning Beth Moore; Reformation Montana
Beth Moore; Apologetics Index
Beth Moore; Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry
All Beth Moore critiques here in one place; The End Time
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