Beth Moore is a name that many women are familiar with. She is the founder of Living Proof Ministries and the author of many books and Bible studies. Her name is familiar to me as well. I have heard her name off and on through the years, though I have not taken any of her studies. I do know women who have used her material. Some of those women participated in studies offered through the Women’s Ministry at our church. I never pursued her studies there because they didn’t appear to be the kind of studies that I prefer.
Recently, I became a lot more interested in Mrs. Moore. This is because I learned that on September 13 our local church is going to be hosting a live Beth Moore simulcast. Though I have only attended church about a half a dozen times in the past six years because of my health situation, I still get emails about church events. With the date fast approaching, I decided to finally take a closer look at Mrs. Moore’s ministry. I was curious to find out what she was all about. This is what I do. When I come across a popular teacher that interests me or when I need to examine the trustworthiness of a preacher or author, I investigate to see what they believe and what they teach and how that compares to the Bible. This is what I affectionately refer to as a background check. I have written about background checks before. You may see those articles here and here.
To begin my background check, I googled Beth Moore. I got lots of hits. I went over to her Living Proof Ministries website and did some reading. I also got search results for churches that will be showing her live simulcast. I learned that it will be shown across the country. I also came across other websites that mentioned Mrs. Moore. A number of them had articles that said there were problems with her ministry. This was disappointing. I was hoping I wouldn’t find any problems. I knew many women followed her ministry, and I wanted them to be in good hands.
Once I realized there were some who saw problems, I began to take a “show me” attitude. I don’t just believe charges like this automatically. I need proof – sound, logical, biblical proof. I kept an open mind, prayed for discernment, and dug in.
I spent several days reading articles from different sources. In those articles I read that Mrs. Moore does indeed teach things that are good. I do not want to diminish that. However, there are also reasons to be concerned. From what I have seen, Mrs. Moore’s problems are not as blatant as some other teachers out there; but they do exist and should not be ignored. Some of the areas that are mentioned are repeated problems with proper Bible interpretation and verse usage, the receiving of personal revelations from God, and the support for contemplative prayer. These and the other problems that were addressed should not be taken lightly.
I would like to share some links to material I reviewed during my background check. At the end of this post you will find three links to articles that address some perceived problems with Mrs. Moore’s teachings. I encourage you to look into this whether you have used her materials or not. It is good to be well informed, and you may be able to pass the information on to someone else who would benefit from seeing it. Normally I wouldn’t simply provide links to work done by others. I would do the work myself and report what I found. But because that work would take a while and because the simulcast is airing in two weeks, I have decided to simply list links.
When you read the links, please pray for discernment and seek to determine the validity of the positions expressed in the articles. I believe the positions are valid, though I do not necessarily agree with every point that is made. When I read these articles and reviewed their positions, I checked to make sure that the authors of the articles quoted Mrs. Moore’s work or provided media links to support their positions. That was the case in many of the instances. Unfortunately, some of the links point to videos that have been removed from YouTube. With a little bit of looking, I discovered that some of them are in fact on YouTube. They are just posted by different users. I was able to check some of the quotes for accuracy as I recently came into possession of her book Praying God’s Word. I also now have her album An Invitation to Freedom. I intend to do more reading and collect more of her material because considering source material is at the heart of a good background check. Right now, from what I have seen, I believe that Mrs. Moore is not a trustworthy teacher of the word. If you do use her material, please do so with great care.
Be Like The Bereans
My experience with my first look at Beth Moore has reinforced my conviction that we must be diligent when we are considering a teacher. We need to be like the Bereans and check what we are hearing against the word of God. (Act 17:10-11) We must also follow the command in 1 John 4:1 to test the spirits. Not every voice out there is to be followed, and popularity certainly is not a reliable test for biblical accuracy. I do not think any teacher or author or anyone for that matter is completely free from problems with their beliefs, but some have more error than others. We must test our teachers to determine how closely they follow the scriptures. We should require a high level of fidelity to the word of God. We should also check to see how consistent they are over time. Are they moving in a good direction or a bad direction? Do they correct their errors or move into new ones?
Writing on the Wall?
I am curious to see where Mrs. Moore will be in one or three or five years. I am really curious because of some recent tweets that I saw from her and Joyce Meyer from Joyce Meyer Ministries. Apparently, they are seeking unity and planning a possible future event together. This concerns me because I am familiar with Mrs. Meyer’s ministry, and I know that she has some seriously erroneous teachings. When I first learned about the problems with some of Mrs. Moore’s teachings, I was relieved to see that her problems did not appear to be as grave as some other teachers I have researched. One teacher that came to mind at that time was Joyce Meyer. I hope this association with Mrs. Meyer does not move Mrs. Moore into new error.
If you would like to see why this association is troubling, please read this article. It reviews some of Mrs. Meyer’s teachings. Her unbiblical teachings are plainly stated. Here are some that are mentioned. She has taught that there was a point when Jesus was no longer the Son of God. She has also taught that Jesus was the first person to be born again and has said that she is not a sinner. She has also spoken about receiving a revelation from God, something that apparently even the Bible could not explain. (Remember that one of the concerns mentioned above is that Mrs. Moore also receives revelations. Reading the links below will make what this means clearer.) When you are done reading the link about Mrs. Meyer, remember that Beth Moore appears to be joining together with her. This is disturbing and should raise flags in many of the churches that are hosting Mrs. Moore’s live simulcast. I can only imagine that they do not know about it or do not see the errors in Mrs. Meyer’s teachings. Please pray for them and the leadership involved in bringing Mrs. Moore to their churches. Pray that they do their homework. Also please pray for the women who attend her studies and have no idea about this association or about the problems with her ministry.
Here are the tweets. They are from August 13, 2014. I will be watching to see how this unfolds.
A Concerned Heart
When I first thought about writing this post, I hesitated. That is not like me. I usually feel quite ready to raise my hand and say, “Wait! Please take a closer look at those teachings.” But this one was hard. I think it is because Beth Moore seems so main stream. I know some will take offense, and I care about those people a lot. But I say this to them now, it is exactly because I care that I have decided to write this post. I pray my words are received in the sprit intended, with Christian concern and love. I write with a love for my sisters in Christ and for the truth of the Bible. I pray that my readers will respond to this post as two women recently responded to my questions about Beth Moore. Two women I have spoken with in recent weeks were willing to listen and take a look at the evidence despite their previous impressions or feelings about Beth Moore. One was also open to hearing about Joyce Meyer.
I know it is not easy to hear that a speaker that you like may not be as solid as they should be. I know it is unsettling. Please keep an open mind and check out these links. It is important that we stay true to the Bible and that we follow teachers that do likewise.
There are people who have done a lot of work reviewing Mrs. Moore’s ministry. I have only listed links to three articles. I encourage you to search for other sites and articles. If you do, remember to investigate the source. Check out the sources I have used as well. Read their About Page and their Statement of Faith. Look for affiliated links. You should be able to get a feel for where they are coming from. The second link below will take you to a site that has also reviewed four of Mrs. Moore’s books. If you have some of these books, following along with the reviews will help you investigate her writings further and will allow you to judge the soundness of the reviews. Please read as much of this material as you can. Read it carefully and perhaps more than once. And again, pray for discernment. I know this takes time and work, but it is important.
Beth Moore; Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry
Beth Moore – False Teacher; The King’s Dale
Why Beth Moore and Not Me? The Danger of Claiming to Receive Direct Revelation; Do Not Be Surprised
*** UPDATE ***
I was able to see the simulcast that was aired September 13th. I was not able to get out to a local showing due to my health situation, but was able to sign up for an individual pass and see the live stream on my laptop. I have started a review. Please see Beth Moore Simulcast Review Part One: General Observations.
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Your observation is on spot. I was like…I had never sat under Beth Moore’s teaching or done any of her bible studies, but had friends who did and spoke highly of the bible studies. So about a year ago, I began to check her out myself. And I came across the same conclusions, mainly taking passages of Scripture out of context, which is why she uses a lot of translations and paraphrase bibles.
What is your opinion of Kay Arthur? Are you familiar with “Lord, I Want to Know You”? She seems solid Biblically, although she may err on the side of legalism.
I am familiar with her name, but I’m not familiar with her teachings or books.
I think Kay Arthur is “Kosher”, EM. She has a method of studying the Bible, and I’ve found her to be solid. It was many years ago, I should add.
Interesting article in the HSLDA magazine this month, in which Mike Farris also talks about the need to speak out against false teachings, because people can be hurt by them. http://www.hslda.org/courtreport/V30N2/V30N202.asp
Thank you for sharing that link. That is a very interesting article. I am familiar with Doug Phillips and the patriarchy movement, but not Bill Gothard. I was happy to see Michael Farris address the harmful teachings and the need to speak up against them. I was moved by his apology for not speaking up sooner. It takes humility and compassion to do that. Hopefully, with more dialogue about these matters, the families affected can find healing and receive solid biblical teaching.
“And I believe it’s wise to carefully evaluate the messages we hear from any speaker.” ~ Michael Farris