Methodist Kudzu – The Problem of Beth Moore

If someone is setting fire to your house, why let them in?

flickr_beth-moore-simulcast-2010

One of the more frequent arguments I’ve seen in the church lately is about Beth Moore. A colleague was asked why they wouldn’t allow a Beth Moore bible study to be used by a Sunday School class. The colleague responded with this concise one-liner that we’ll expand on in one of the longest posts ever at Hacking Christianity:

“If someone is setting fire to your house, why would you let them in?”

The Problem of Beth Moore: Introduction

Beth Moore is a Southern Baptist author, teacher, and evangelist, and the founder of Living Proof ministries that offers videos, bible studies, and events for women. She is very popular and is probably the #1 moneymaker for LifeWay Christian Bookstores, a Southern Baptist affiliated chain of bookstores (similar to Methodist’s Cokesbury).

Because she is massively successful, her videos are inspirational, and her events are empowering to women, it is not uncommon to find a Beth Moore bible study in a United Methodist Church in the Bible Belt. It used to be that pastors could prohibit it by saying “We only allow curriculum from Cokesbury” but Cokesbury sells her materials now. Also, there’s usually pressure for male United Methodist ministers to allow this dynamic woman into their Sunday Schools or else they get accused of misogyny.

Therein lies part of the problem of Beth Moore. One of my facebook friends described Beth Moore as Methodist Kudzu: a plant that was taken from its natural habitat and now runs wild causing havok. While Moore is perfectly at peace and in sync with the Baptist tradition (other than being a female teacher in an anti-women-preacher denomination), her brand of theology and way of reading the bible conflicts with the Wesleyan tradition and the United Methodist Church’s doctrine to which it has spread.

So what is a United Methodist clergyperson or church to do with Beth Moore?

Here’s where I’m on shaky ground: I’m not a woman. I have no idea what it feels like to be a woman and see a confident, capable female biblical scholar whose passion about the Bible is infectious. I haven’t watched these videos in a woman’s group and been inspired and had the discussions afterward. So I don’t know what that is like and I’m hesitant to comment on it…

But luckily for you…I have woman friends! To be more specific, a half-dozen mainline (not crazy liberal and not crazy conservative) United Methodist women who are either clergy or clergy spouses have done at least two full studies and video programs with Beth Moore in their churches and wrote about their concerns to me.

I’ve categorized them and I’ve done some light editing to proofread/anonymize them but 98% of the quotes is their words.

Some disclaimers (or pre-emptive strikes, if you will):

  1. I am ABSOLUTELY not dismissing Moore’s ministry, faith, perspective, or obvious love for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and for helping women form a relationship with Christ. I am saying Beth Moore is appropriate for Baptist women within their theological system and NOT appropriate for Methodists and the Wesleyan system.
  2. I am ABSOLUTELY not dismissing women’s lived experience of Beth Moore or the transformations that she has had in their lives. That’s awesome and I celebrate that for you. Really! However, for those women who do not have a positive experience or are wondering about it, I offer these women’s lived experiences for you. If you think I’m dismissing women’s experience, I’m actually celebrating these women’s experience and holding them up as a counter-narrative to the Beth Moore phenomenon.
  3. Finally, I am ABSOLUTELY supportive of women in ministry. If you search online for Beth Moore criticism, almost all of them start out with the bullhonky about “women shall not have authority over men.” Most online criticism is thus not helpful to United Methodists, who by empowering women are closer to Jesus on that point (BOOM!).  So this is an attempt to add to the conversation but without the fundamentalist hangups that, frankly, discredit most online commentary on Beth Moore in my eyes.

We good? Good. Read on…

The Problem of Beth Moore: Biblical Scholarship

Quotes:

[1] Beth Moore cleverly hides that she is a literalist. She does not just shoot from the hip, she uses a lot of commentary and you can learn about the cultures at the times the stories were written…probably the best part is when she explains why God hates the Amalekites and other groups and that’s why it’s okay for David to kill philistines and why the one guy in Esther hated Mordecai. She never approves of it officially, just explains it matter of factly without ever mentioning that the perspective of the authors may have been biased obviously.

[2] Beth Moore uses the New American Commentary as her primary source for Biblical exegesis (This is from their website–The New American Commentary is for those who have been seeking a commentary that honors the Scriptures, ….The New American Commentary assumes the inerrancy of Scripture, focuses on the intrinsic theological and exegetical concerns of each biblical book, and engages the range of issues raised in contemporary biblical scholarship.)

One of the main disagreements between her commentary and others is the four kingdoms that are represented by the beasts in Daniel. The whole idea of Daniel is taken as a literal prophecy (no consideration that it could have been written after the time of Daniel–he wrote it himself of course.) So she uses the Romans as one of the conquering armies, and keeps tying Daniel’s visions into the Romans conquering the Jews, and thereby brings Jesus into it.

She furthermore uses Revelation as a confirmation and continuation of the visions of Daniel, and ties them all together into this weird little package of end-time prophecies, with a literal Antichrist, matching the “big horn” in Daniel with the AntiChrist in Revelation.

It gets confusing, and a little dangerous, because there is just enough solid scholarship, in the names of the Greek Rulers, the Seleucids, Maccabees, the Babylonians, etc., that people tend to “buy” what she is saying, and tying this all in together.

Summary & Commentary:

Moore says often that scholarship and higher-level thinking gets in the way of the Gospel message. As a bible scholar, nothing offends me more. In her Daniel study, she takes everything very literally and does not offer any scholarship on what a message meant back when it was written, only at face value.

It also offends me that the very passages she quotes are often taken out of context and sometimes is read into beyond what is there. It might be helpful to slow down or pause her videos. In her videos she speaks so quickly that if you slow her down and look up the Scriptures she is referencing, you might see something different than what she is saying. I found that several times in her references to Mark and Romans in her Believing God DVD.

Further, a female blogger writes about Moore’s book So Long Insecurity:

This gets at the heart of the problem; Beth does not explain the meaning of the passage as derived from the context, she reads the passage in isolation, an elementary Bible study error. What she often fails to do, as is the case in this instance, is to explain how in submission to the scripture she arrives at her conclusions. She admittedly speculates and introduces personal experience and psychologizing of the text to back up her claims…sadly, she leaves her readers, many who are unfortunately disenchanted with the intellectual nature of the Christian faith, revisioning Paul the apologist as someone whose defense is motivated by self-centered weakness instead of a necessary defense of the gospel.

In short, students often learn how to read the Bible based on their teacher. By the way Moore presents the bible as Literal Truth but doesn’t read it literally, she is not modeling a consistent or helpful hermeneutic for students.

 The Problem of Beth Moore: Unhelpful Theology

 Quotes:

[3] My biggest problem with her theology is that she’s a Calvinist and though she avoids emphasizing it at times, she will wait for scripture that supports her perspective. Case and point: Esther (“but who knows that you have come to this position for such a time as this”). She really drilled it home on Esther and I couldn’t make it through the whole study. Now, like all successful modern Calvinist she always discusses the pain she has been through and never officially suggested that women are raped, abused, etc. for some higher purpose. She almost always uses her Calvinist perspective in a positive way like that we are destined for something greater that what we are living right now.

[4] From the Esther study, the main [problem] is her extreme doctrine of Providence. She believes, states, and teaches that everything that happens in our lives is an event caused by God, in order to teach us, or help us, etc. God causes everything to happen, whether good or bad. She goes on and on about it extensively, almost every lesson. I had to tell my ladies to really think about this–and where it leads. Because if they believe this, then do what do they tell a mom whose child has just died–that God caused it? To teach her what? Of course, the women don’t believe that, as most UM’s don’t…

[5] My Beth Moore criticism would include teaching that God causes bad things to happen to us to teach/test us. Lots of women in my church are ODing on BMoore – end up in my office for counseling when God “causes” tragedy & they can’t trust Him.

Summary & Commentary:

In addition to the above, my personal take is that Moore overuses the idea “God spoke to me” and people feel inadequate b/c God doesn’t always speak to them the same way. I am not doubting her experience, but as a pastor, I doubt she realizes the effect this has on some people. There’s a pastoral issue when one emphasizes special revelation in a study that is meant to be empowering and illuminating…and given her role, of course she doesn’t have to deal with the ramifications for the individual women trying to make sense of why God “willed” their son to die.

Thus, to these women, Moore’s biggest conflict with United Methodism is whether God wills terrible things to happen. From the Esther study, her main teaching is on Providence. “God causes everything to happen, whether good or bad” as our commentator mentions. This is absolutely unhelpful to women who have lost a child, have cancer, etc. I have never been able to look a woman in the eye who had a stillbirth and tell her God has a plan for her child to die (though God does have possibilities for healing!).

For example, the United Methodist Book of Worship includes a healing service for a family who has lost a pregnancy. Nowhere in this painful service do we ascribe to God that God had a purpose in this. We talk about mystery, we talk about “limited understanding” but never do we assume God’s intention in this, either the content of the intention or if there is an intention at all!

United Methodists are a diverse lot but if you really got down to it with the Methodist Middle and our Doctrine and Polity, we do not believe in this form of Providence (also called Determinism which is also taught by Rick Warren). It’s fine if individual Methodists believe this (and find meaning in it), but I do not and anyone I let into my house to teach ideally should not.

The Problem of Beth Moore: There’s Few Alternatives

http://www.flickr.com/photos/emagic/56206100/in/photostream/

This situation was fully avoidable, and while no one can point fingers at women who were inspired and wanted to share that inspiration with their friends (because that’s excellent!), I can point my fingers at one entity and blame it for the Methodist Kudzu problem: Cokesbury and the United Methodist Publishing House.

Cokesbury and UMPH went the wrong way on the Beth Moore phenomenon. Instead of seeking out and offering publishing deals to a spunky United Methodist woman who loves the bible (a dozen of them I know just off the top of my head), they sold out and went where the money was and supported Moore’s publications.

What happened then is that Methodists had no equivalent to compare to Moore. What, suggest a women’s group just do a Disciple bible study instead? Please. BORING.  Even the Living the Questions studies on Uppity Women are great theology but snoozer presentation (and SO EXPENSIVE that they are inaccessible to most). While these studies reach a certain segment of the denomination in really inspiring ways (I love them personally), the population segment that is attracted to Moore is not as attracted to these studies.

Why? Here’s my claim and feel free to debate it: People who watch Beth Moore aren’t as interested in the Bible as they are in someone who loves the Bible. One of my pastor friends expressed his frustration with Beth Moore being so popular by saying “she’s just so excited about reading the Bible.”  While flippant it points out that while there may be better theologies out there, the UMPH is not offering comparative personalities.

Three of the six respondents mentioned that the attraction of Moore’s work wasn’t her theology but the way she made bible studies exciting. Her cadence, her structure, and the rhythm were well done…and easily/authentically imitated by a UM woman. As one of the commentators said and I promised I would include for balance sake:

[6] Here’s the kicker: I couldn’t have talked to you about any of those characters in the old testament before i did her studies. You learn the names, the stories, you get excited about the Bible, and she funny and interesting to listen to for the most part. I would have stuck with her, but her newer stuff is just too Calvinist. My favorite of the three i have done was David because it is a really exciting story and I never got bored. Please emphasize at some point that what she really has is a good structure for a well-paced study of the bible and she isn’t boring. I really think that’s why she has the Methodists. That, and the fact that none of us know anything about the Bible

That last line is flippant but it’s true for more people than you think!

All the above said, in an ideal situation personality shouldn’t dictate whether a study is good or not. From another female blogger Kim who reviewed The Patriarchs study:

A bible study should NOT rest on the strength of the speaker; it ought to rest with the strength of how God’s Word is presented and explained. When we rely on style alone, it becomes a matter of taking the Scripture and adjusting it to make us look more dynamic. That will invariably involve more personal narrative than exposition, and then where are the students left? Nothing wrong with personal narrative; it just should NOT form the bulk of the teaching.

Excitement is contagious, but instead of supporting a UMC equivalent, Cokesbury went where the money was, to our shame.

Conclusions, Suggestions, and Call for Resources

In short (for those of you that skip to the conclusions), there’s three things about the Beth Moore phenomenon within the United Methodist Church.

  1. Moore offers biblical criticism that is anti-intellectual even though it wraps itself in appeals to a commentary (one that interprets Scripture literally). There’s a difference between using biblical criticism and commentaries (which she does) and valuing intellectual engagement with the cultural context of the Scripture (which she typically doesn’t but has started to use more with her more recent material, thankfully).
  2. Moore’s expressed theology does not fit within a Wesleyan system. Her reliance on special revelation and emphasis on determinism often requires a pastoral care response that must deal more with the problems with that theological framework than the personal problem the individual has.
  3. There is undoubtedly an equivalent voice to Beth Moore in the UMC, but the publishing house and Cokesbury bookstores sold Moore (and now David C. Cook too! Argh!) instead of finding and supporting a comparative UM voice. We give money to the Baptists in our United Methodist bookstores and invite in a theology that John Wesley opposed fervently.

For me, any teacher who disregards scholarship and paints a very different image of God than I’m comfortable with would be very difficult to deal with in a Sunday School setting or a women’s group study. If I spend all my time building up a Methodist theology in my church, why would I want a Calvinist theology that is antithetical being taught (and indeed, Wesley is one of the few evangelists of his time that resisted Calvinism). Thus, if someone is trying to burn your theological house down, why let them in and run unchecked?

Even though one-liners to prohibit Beth Moore studies are entertaining, here’s some suggestions for dealing with Moore Kudzu in your congregation:

  • Teach the studies yourself. This is by far the #1 suggestion. If you are a clergyperson or Sunday School leader who is well versed in United Methodist doctrine, it might be most helpful to allow the group to watch the video with the requirement that you be given time to respond at the end. By the third session of this, one of my clergy friends who did this had the participants look at her whenever they heard something out-of-sync with United Methodism. It works and it meets people where they are, but only if the clergyperson is well versed to handle it. And honestly it may stop people from asking for it so they don’t have to hear your comparisons! Ha!
  • Continue to not allow Moore and print off this blog post as a conversation starter. Educate and show your congregation why Moore is problematic. Engage the person in conversation about these issues and why it is out of your pastoral care for them that you think it is not helpful.
  • Lift up an alternative suggestion and emphasize WHY it is important to hear the voice of women in our same ecosystem. There’s a whole range of UM women who have great books, studies, and work even if they don’t have the same cadence or rhythm of Moore. I’m not going to add my preferences at the moment–I’d rather other voices lift up their experiences below. If you have an alternative suggestion, mention it below in the comments and the compilation will be published as a future blog post (and this one will be updated too).

Your turn! Requests for further engagement:

  • Share who the alternatives are! There are a ton of United Methodist women (or other religious leaders whose expressed theology doesn’t inherently conflict with Wesleyan systems ie. Calvinism) who are excited about the Bible and offer comparable experiences for pastors and laity who want similar exposure. Who are they? What has been your experience? Leave them as comments and we’ll publish them for a future post.
  • Comment below your experience of a Beth Moore study. Remember to read the ABSOLUTELY disclaimers above before you accuse me of discrediting yours or Moore’s faith. If you’ve had a good experience of Beth Moore and have grown as a follower of Christ, I couldn’t be happier for you. Comment, please!

Thanks for reading and sharing.

 (Photo Credit: [1] “Beth Moore Live Simulcast 2010” by Brian Hendrix, Creative Commons share on Flickr; [2] “frustration” by e-magic, Creative Commons share on Flickr)
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Comments

  1. pamela hessler says

    this commentary is very biased. i have taken several beth moore studies, in fact i just finished 2 of her studies. she is bible based with life-liviing examples,refferenced by scripture. it is unfair to accuse her of all of your comments without even having studied of read her books. i pray anyone who reads this will also feel deemed to comment on her behalf.

    • Bimal Dey says

      Jesus said in Act 1-8 ‘ ye shall be witness unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judae-a, and in Samaria, and unto the utmost part of the earth’. I and my wife jointly took Beth Moore’s class on Daniel and felt blessed to be a part of this class offered by one of the lay leaders in our UMC church. I personally felt close to God and Jesus as I took this class, and it helped make both my wife and I to become better people. I am not a scholar and do not understand the theological differences between Churches and complex terms that Rev Jeremy Smith has used to differentiate Methodists from other denominations and Beth’s style of ‘Calvinist’ preaching. All I know is that I and my Wife have come closer to God and Jesus after attending Beth Moore’s class and I am looking forward to more of her classes being taught in the Church. I agree that if there are questions in the class, we should consult our respective pastors, but in no way I feel we should belittle God’s work that Beth is doing! God bless her for us two people close to God and our Savior Jesus!!

    • Deb says

      I could barely make it through this article. So very sad! So sad! Personally I know many women who have learned so much about God’s Word through Beth Moore studies. My adult daughter’s LOVE the study of God’s Word using the Beth Moore studies and I could not be more thrilled. I have done at least 6 of the studies and am always so excited doing the homework each day. The highlight of my day is getting out my Bible to learn more about my Savior. Is this article really saying that because Beth is sometimes fun to listen to that this somehow makes her not credible?? The theological issues cited here are laughable. This article wreaks of denominational bias and dismisses the core foundational truth that brings us into faith….
      There is no place for this kind of criticism. Wonder what God thinks? I am pretty sure I know. BTW….I am born and raised UM.

  2. Jean says

    I believe that if you have a problem with her theology you should talk to her about it personally, not publicly call her out on an internet blog. Read Matthew 18:15-17.

  3. Dorothy says

    Hogwash! I have belonged to a Methodist Church as well as a SBC, in our families moves across the country. Beth Moore is the real deal, a Spirit annointed minister of the gospel. Your article is complete hogwash. god bless your soul!

    • Lisa Robertson says

      Perhaps their is a hint if jealousy from a denomination that has cleared the way for women pastors but not yet produced a teacher such as Beth Moore. Open hearts, open minds, open doors?

  4. Jean says

    I can’t wait til you and your words stand before Christ. He doesn’t care about your denomination or it’s rules. Go to Beth and tell her your concerns, if no resolve, take another Christian. If still no resolve, take to the elders. In case you didn’t know, that is how you handle conflict according to scripture. Not doing this.

    • Rebecca says

      Jean,

      This isn’t really about handling conflict – it is about pointing out the teaching of false theology. I think the Scriptures commend that; and tell us not to listen to or support those who teach what is contrary to the Word of God (even if they are sincere and make us feel good).

  5. Mary says

    “What happened then is that Methodists had no equivalent to compare to Moore.” This comment reminds me of something I heard once somewhere. Maybe you have heard it before too. “I appeal to you, brothers and sisters,[a] in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought. 11 My brothers and sisters, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. 12 What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ.”

    13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized in the name of Paul? 1 Corinthians 1:10-13 New International Version.

    What do you think is going to happen. We all are going to go to heaven. God is going to divide the land like he did for the 12 tribes. The Methodist will take a northern patch. You too good to be with the rest of us Gentiles.

    “But if we are the body
    Why aren’t His arms reaching?
    Why aren’t His hands healing?
    Why aren’t His words teaching?
    And if we are the body
    Why aren’t His feet going?
    Why is His love not showing them there is a way?
    There is a way”
    If We Are The Body
    Casting Crowns

    Well Casting Crowns I am going to answer that question because we all still can’t get along is why His feet are not going and His love is not showing. We are all occupied elsewhere. Arguing over things that have been argued for the last 100 years and still aren’t seeming to get anywhere.

    and finally to quote above,
    “In addition to the above, my personal take is that Moore overuses the idea “God spoke to me” and people feel inadequate b/c God doesn’t always speak to them the same way. I am not doubting her experience, but as a pastor, I doubt she realizes the effect this has on some people. There’s a pastoral issue when one emphasizes special revelation in a study that is meant to be empowering and illuminating…and given her role, of course she doesn’t have to deal with the ramifications for the individual women trying to make sense of why God “willed” their son to die.

    Thus, to these women, Moore’s biggest conflict with United Methodism is whether God wills terrible things to happen. From the Esther study, her main teaching is on Providence. “God causes everything to happen, whether good or bad” as our commentator mentions. This is absolutely unhelpful to women who have lost a child, have cancer, etc. I have never been able to look a woman in the eye who had a stillbirth and tell her God has a plan for her child to die (though God does have possibilities for healing!).”

    Beth Moore has personally opened up to having been a victim of child abuse and having done such extensive bible study as a result of seeking to be free from the bondage that goes along with having been raped as a child. Maybe someone missed that, but as a survivor of child abuse myself and a believer it is hard to describe the challenges of growing in faith in Christ to someone who has never had to experience them as a fellow survivor.

    Sometimes personally, I think God speaks to me just solely because I am that lonely as a result of the abuse.

    So maybe she has some more experience in suffering than you are aware of. What you see is someone on the other side of the mountain. You don’t know what questions she might have had herself on the way there.

    She also never says anything like you are suggesting. She never says God causes children to die in the same way as he caused Esther to be positioned to do what she did. She is never anything but compassionate towards such things. She was in a study for Esther. Esther’s story was of being used by God in a providential way only illustrating such things are possible, not that every situation is providential. A couple other good examples in the gospels being Lazarus (John 11:1-45) and Jesus waiting to come to him to be able to raise him instead from the dead, and the blind man and Jesus says to the disciples, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.” John 9:3.

    Technically, scripture also does show repeatedly that it was God’s will for terrible things to happen, which is how the church takes heat from people such as Richard Dawkins author of The God Delusion, which references God on the cover as “genocidal and infantacidal.” As well as Sam Harris who is a neuroscientist and author of The End of Faith, which is intended to compel people to see the reason behind removing religion being beneficial as it would remove the need for wars. His inspiration was taken from the 9/11 attacks, but the book isn’t anti-islamic. It includes that all faiths are guilty of the same offense as the terrorist islamic extremists and as a result, it would be beneficial to eliminate them all.

    The scripture do teach such things were in God’s will. Take the prophets for example. Should we remove them for suggesting and recounting the history surrounding the Israelite’s being taken into captivity.

    I think that it is very presumptuous to assume that that is what she is implying especially from an Esther study, which is known for the classic verse, “And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14 New International Version.

    I was sexually abused for many years growing up. I never got to be a child. I have been struggling with this for many years. I felt punished by God, practically every emotion comparable to Job including not wanting to live anymore. I don’t know what it is like to lose a child. I know what it is like to suffer. I also know that it isn’t easily alleviated all the time. But, I do believe that by perseverance, God can still use me. Maybe use me specially for something specifically because of it. As a reward if nothing else.

      • Michele says

        Mary, that was awesome. I so totally agree. Beth Moore and her studies only seek to bring people closer to God. She is so kind and unassuming. She speaks the love of God in love.

  6. Michelle says

    “For me, any teacher who disregards scholarship and paints a very different image of God than I’m comfortable with would be very difficult to deal with in a Sunday School setting or a women’s group study”

    The problem with your entire argument against Beth Moore is that the arguments happen to be based on denominational differences instituted and created by men (and women) who are prone to doctrinal error and subject to the doctrinal interpretations of the individual to whom you subscribe.

    The same arguments could be made against what you teach in your church. While I agree you should not allow the teaching of doctrines that wholly disagree with the philosophy and ministry of your church and statements of faith – I think to publicly berate another teacher in this forum is so outside the bounds of biblical boundaries of Matthew 18 that I do not feel I need to say more. I write to you because I am offended by the fact that you would do so publicly without any consideration for the harm you may be causing.

    I choose to be like the Bereans in Acts who searched the Scriptures, studied them for themselves and made sure that what they were being taught was truth. I “test everything and hold onto” what is good. I don’t, however, go around tearing down the varying teachers and denominations who do not hold to the same interpretations, scholarship and translations of the Bible that I do. It is God who holds to the higher standard, not the measure of the mind and hearts of men. Man looks at the outward appearance, and God looks at the heart. I pray that He finds your motivation for this critique to be genuinely beneficial and not a targeted attempt to discredit another denominations teachers and doctrines.

    Interesting perspectives. I choose to follow many teachers and ONE Christ. Man is not my end all be all – God is.

    • Kevin Rutledge says

      But that is just the point. The point of this article is not to discount her theology. In fact, in the beginning he expressly says that that is not the aim. What we are talking about is creating, finding, and using material in a United Methodist Context. To which, the author says, Beth Moore is not the best fit because her Calvinist theology is at odds with what we believe and proclaim about God in a United Methodist Denomination. And that the United Methodist Publishing House has not done enough to provide Methodist alternatives.

      So lets reverse the question, would you expect a Baptist Church to use or even promote Methodist Theology?

  7. Marsha Cerra says

    My bible study group has done 4 Beth Moore’s bible study. The age of the group has been 30′s to mid-80′s. As, I read this article, some of the different posts and opinions it was sad in a few ways, first of all Christians attacking Christians, we have a way of doing that don’t we, we shot each other. Right now we are doing “When Godly People do Ungodly things”. Let me share with all of you why our group learns from her studies, first of all we can relate to her. It isn’t because she is good looking, or a good speaker (even though she is). She brings the bible alive, alive in a way that it is about “today’s living”. God”s word was true then, His word is true today and will remain true throughout the days to come.
    She discusses problems or circumstances that people are or have face in their life, she brings it home about our loving God, but yet also talks about what we need to do to have that
    relationship. Do I believe that God only talks to her, no I attend church regularly, I read God’s word, and in a couple of bible studies. I am first and for most a child of God, which I found that missing in some description in the posts. I truly believe that in heaven there will be all denominations, let’s not get wrapped up with titles. God can and will use each of us to build His kingdom. In our bible study, I believe that God is leading me to blog and share with others while we do the study. I will end with this, there are some doing more destruction out there than BM could ever do, by preaching water down messages.

  8. Mary Jo Owens says

    I agree with Marsha Cerra. The Beth Moore studies have enhanced my appreciation of Bible studies to the point that during the summer months when our Bible study group does not meet, I find another study that deepens my faith. I believe that objections to these studies are merely objections to different doctrines. I will continue to plumb Beth Moore studies for biblical truths and explore them further. Some of the comments about God “willing to let bad things happen to teach us a lesson” puzzle me because I have not inferred that. It’s, to me, very much like the story told by a pastor at a funeral: The mother whose son had died after an auto accident where his car hit a telephone pole asked why God hadn’t moved the pole. The pastor told her that if He had moved the pole all the laws set up by God that control our physical world would no longer apply.

  9. Emily says

    Heart breaking to think that time was spent on putting this article together. God is using her as His hands and feet…it’s a beautiful thing that should be celebrated.

  10. Deb H. says

    I thought Baptists were enmeshed in their own “doctrine” to the point of eliminating anything that did not agree…until now. After reading only the first third of this page, I couldn’t go on.
    A. You all (women and clergy included) sound as though you feel you are the keepers of your female members’ minds, ability to think or ability to hear from God…Himself! I’m reminded of the Scribes and Pharisees, more intent upon arguing the Law than in keeping it.
    B. Of all people for you to accuse of taking the Scripture out of context, Moore is a bad choice. Not only is she a (secularly) well-educated woman – her background is in law, of the criminal justice sort – but, she has studied the Bible from its original text. Her background on Esther came not from the New American Commentary, but from Israeli rabbis, ancient texts and incredible research into the original culture.
    C. As for attempting to “keep her out of the Methodist culture,” because she takes the Bible so literally…I suppose that I’m just speechless. How, might I ask, do you take it? Is God I AM THAT I AM, Sovereign and omnipotent…or, must He be brought to the level of human understanding, human logic and “wisdom?” For whose purpose is the Methodist “faith?” For that of the clergy? To wrangle in the members and then keep them in the paddock under lock and key? I’m just flabbergasted, for lack of a better word. God is. His Word is. Either He is Who He says He is…or He is not anything at all.
    D. I almost laughed (though it was too sad to do so) at your comment, “…for balance sake:” So, let me get this straight…out of six comments, you included ONE that was positive for “balance” sake?
    “Three of the six respondents mentioned that the attraction of Moore’s work wasn’t her theology but the way she made bible studies exciting. Her cadence, her structure, and the rhythm were well done…and easily/authentically imitated by a UM woman. As one of the commentators said and I promised I would include for balance sake:

    [6] Here’s the kicker: I couldn’t have talked to you about any of those characters in the old testament before i did her studies. You learn the names, the stories, you get excited about the Bible, and she funny and interesting to listen to for the most part. I would have stuck with her, but her newer stuff is just too Calvinist. My favorite of the three i have done was David because it is a really exciting story and I never got bored. Please emphasize at some point that what she really has is a good structure for a well-paced study of the bible and she isn’t boring. I really think that’s why she has the Methodists. That, and the fact that none of us know anything about the Bible”
    Kudos to you for including that one! Now, we’ve gotten to the heart of the matter. What you clergy do (in most denominations) is talk at your congregations, expecting them to hang on your every word in order to hear a verse or two from God’s Word once per week (or less). What ministries like Beth Moore’s do is bring God’s Word into daily life; she encourages women to “seek God,” not seek God’s men. It is through your constant debating about the authenticity, allegory, literal meaning or symbology – essentially, as I said, what the Scribes and Pharisees did – that keeps people out of heaven and headed for hell. Oops! Did I mention another allegory? Sorry, there’s really no place for sarcasm and I should speak in love. However, I am so taken aback by your blatant ENCOURAGING women NOT to discover God or to listen for Him to speak to them! We will meet God one day, Mr. Smith, and we will be accountable for how we have influenced others.
    E. There are so many inaccuracies in the above “commentaries” that I could not address them all. The most heinous of them, I believe, says that Beth Moore contends that God “causes” both good and bad. Since Moore “Believes God,” and since she takes Him at His Word, she knows that God does not cause evil; Satan does. Furthermore, if you’ll read that Bible that you feel is best left in the hands of clergy, you’ll find that what it says (and to what Moore refers) is Romans 8:28. Too many people misunderstand this one, and think that it says He makes everything happen and then it turns out okay. For those who seek to know Him and are given knowledge through the Holy Spirit, the meaning is obvious: even when we err and face the consequences of our sin, God can use what Satan meant for our harm (when we turn to Him) and use it for good. Period. A marvelous example is a man in prison for 20 years, as punishment for a crime of which he was guilty. When that man finds God and turns to Him, the criminal can be used for the good of those around him, bringing hope to men in darkness. God didn’t send the man to jail. Is this too difficult, do you think, for the average woman to digest?
    F. I am praying that I say this in a loving and honest manner, Mr. Smith. You’ve been featured on NPR and you may have made the mistake that many humans have after a bit of personal notoriety; it could be that you are offering answers that come from the mind of Jeremy Smith, rather than seeking answers from The Ancient of Days, for Whom you claim to stand behind a pulpit. It is a dangerous thing to mislead or to discourage anyone from the study of God’s Word, while you purport to be a man of the cloth. I love what the woman said above: “I really think that’s why she has the Methodists. That, and the fact that none of us know anything about the Bible” You see, we don’t know what we don’t know…when someone brings God’s Word to life through application OF it, a woman’s soul responds. Feed your sheep, Mr. Smith. Edify women of any denomination (and men) who preach God, nothing barred.

  11. Deb H. says

    Your blog name is appropos: HackingChristianity. That’s exactly what this feels like. You’ve come into God’s elect – as a pastor! – through another means (outside His Word) and seem to be “stealing” bits and pieces that are to your liking, while discarding what you do not agree with. Pray for more wisdom and understanding, for a discerning spirit that will “rightly divide the word of truth” in your theology. I will pray for you, too.

  12. Deb H. says

    The irony is indisputable. Tonight, I left my Beth Moore class (Stepping Up; Psalms of the Ascent) after a closing prayer where I was shoulder to shoulder with women of various races, denominations and – perhaps – some not even Christians. They, too, are invited. Moore had spent the last 15 minutes of the video portion speaking to us about the necessity of forgiving each other, the importance of encouragement, and the depth of love necessary for unity within the faith. Not unity within a denomination, mind you, but unity among the brethren – and sisters – in Christ.
    This blog has haunted me since stumbling upon it while searching info on Beth Moore. In much the same way that I was stunned by the “pastor” publicly burning the Quran in Florida (an act of such total disrespect), this site was as shocking in its blatant attempt to discredit a person whose materials are easily among the most faithful to our shared foundation (purportedly)…Jesus Christ. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
    Beth Moore so lovingly challenged Christian women to get past petty differences with each other that can cause difficulty within the body of believers. Then, she urged us to encourage each other, because discouragement is such a tool of Satan’s in making any witness ineffective. What brought “Hackingchrisitianity” to mind during the end of the segment was her sweet imploring for us to never criticize another Christian or another sister in Christ because she worships differently than we do, or because she is of another denomination or whose viewpoint is different. Reminding us that – as children of the same Saviour – we need to defend and love each other (representing Christ to the world), she read Nehemiah’s account of the men rebuilding the temple…a defensive weapon in one hand, building with the other. We must defend our faith, not divide and conquer for the sake of denomination, disagreement or ego.
    Mr. Smith, you represent Christianity to an NPR audience or to anyone with whom you converse. So do I. When you encourage people not to engage in the study of God’s Word – at all, but primarily because another Christian takes it so literally – do you realize how you’ve delighted Satan? C.S. Lewis’ “Screwtape Letters” comes to mind. Or, does the Methodist church even give place to Satan? Another symbol?
    On the one hand, we have a woman who encourages love and respect for fellow Christians of all denominations. On the other, we have a man at the helm of a church who bemoans the fact that some of the women of his denomination are being “misled” by her and attempting to “teach” others how to keep her from ruining their congregations! I would ask you this: If Jesus returned today, to which of the two do you suppose He would say, “Today shalt thou be with me in Paradise?”

    • Julie says

      Deb H., You are so spot on! Thank you! I might add, too, that I am so sad that those in the Methodist church seem to increasingly believe that they are the only one true way to Jesus. (I went to a methodist liberal arts college, and attended a U.M. church for years.) Thankfully, Jesus can not be put in a tiny little box!! He loves believers of all sorts (yes, even Baptists will meet Jesus face to face!), and I’m convinced He takes great delight in Beth Moore! The specifics of her theology don’t matter to me. I don’t really care if she is a “literalist” or not. She inspires and teaches women to fall in love with the Word of God. The Word of God has the power to transform ordinary lives into extraordinary lives. The author of this blog seems to place church doctrine over the saving power of Christ and the importance of His Word in our hearts and lives. So, so sad. He has succeeded in writing about a topic in which he knows nothing. (Maybe he could actually do a few studies?) He has only succeeded in dishonoring one of Christ’s children, and bringing joy to the father of lies who would love to take down a woman who, quite possibly, has led more people to Christ than this writer’s U.M. church ever thought possible!! So very sad.

    • Deb D says

      From one Deb to another (and the rest of the world reading this), you are spot on.

      Along with all the items mentioned in your reply Deb, the biggest one that stuck in my craw was the comment about those of us women who don’t actually like to study the bible but instead prefer to be (in essence) entertained and persuaded to read it!!! You have got to be kidding me! We women here in NZ are more likely to be turned off by American hype than anyone, yet because we individually love the word of God and genuinely love to hear another’s perspective (“iron sharpens iron”) we purposely switch off the “visual and hype” and actually listen to the word spoken and then judge it and compare it. I have often found that when I have new insight or new revelation during one of these studies, it has been confirmed by another teacher or author (“two and three witnesses” is the rule of thumb according to the Word).

      The Pharisees had a hard time getting over themselves when Jesus dared to contradict them and throw light on the flaws in their theology and they killed the son of God to protect “their way of life”. Be careful that you are not trying to protect your autonomy or your way of life. God has a habit of busting down walls and ideologies to get to the heart of a man (or women) and when you resist hard enough, well …

  13. Chris says

    Seriously? I stumbled upon this article and am dumbfounded. This has Pharisee written all over it. The great commision isn’t to go out and find fault. Its go out and share the gospel. Love as Christ loves us. He told His disciples that whoever was not against us is for us. I am amazed at the waste of time and effort in this article. This artice and the spirit it was written in is pure evil and has nothing to do with what Christ died for us to have. To the pastor who spoke sarcastically about Beth Moore being so excited to read the Bible. I ask that you point your congregation to the word and then resign your post.

  14. LARRY C, says

    My 2 cents worth. Beth Moore is a prodigy of bible teacher, Kay Aruthor of Precept International. In fact, Moore borrows heavily in style, content and delivery from years of Kay’s very entertaining presentations of the bible. I sat under Kay’s “ministry” and teaching for a large part of the 1970′s. Kay’s only theological training was through a fundamentalist bible school in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Does Beth make the bible come alive? Yes. Does she make her viewers and hearers feel good about themselves? Yes. Does she give people hope that “God” has their back through the difficulties of life? Of course. She is, in essence, a very personable religious entertainer. She has no theological training whatsoever other than what she has picked up on her own. People like her can do their rapid-fire bible verse quoting routine and people think they are listening to a real expert on scripture when they are not. Though the bible has some great stories and lessons within its pages, it cannot be taken as an authoritative source for modern life. It is patriarchal, homophobic, anti-intellectual, moronic and downright silly. Like many popular, literalistic, bible-thumpers, they give their audiences lots of feel goods and self- confidence instead of dealing realistically with problems of living.

    She is also dangerous by espousing that whatever problems one is having, “God” has given us the answer within the pages of the bible and we simply have to discover it. If this bit of advice is followed, it means that people don’t seek proper medical and psychiatric care and instead go chasing after the supposedly, magical, “biblical” answers. I wish life was so simple that all I had to do to deal with everything is digest the contents and concepts of one book. . . but that’s not reality. Beth Moore is propagating the evangelical version of magical thinking and problem solving and her hearers will eventually discover that it’s not reality.

    The Methodist pastor of this article is absolutely right about how Beth’s calvinism pastoraly sets people up for self-blame or viewing God as an ass-hole for failing them in their time of need. And ministers like him are left trying to help a person cope with a major loss and spiritually make sense of it all. Moore’s triumphalism and confidence is attractive but it’s not the real world.

    • jackie pugh says

      Is it possible all these complaints about Beth Moore come from being jealous ? I think so. I came from the Catholic Faith to a United Methodist Church, I never once opened my Bible while being Catholic. When I became a Methodist, I went on a Emmaus walk which changed me forever & I’m so happy for it. When I came I started studying the Bible in my Church. Now after my walk I cann’t get enough of the Bible from everywhere. I do several devotionals from different demoninations. I take from Beth Moore what is Biblical also from my different devotionals. I have done several studies from different authors, there again I take what is Biblical and leave the rest. I really like Beth Moore because she is a real follower of Jesus Christ. I also hear from God, like her I have been through may trials & tribulations, which makes my walk with God all the better. I pray unceasingly, I wait on God, I try to be Jesus Christs hand, feet, & voice to everyone I am in contact with. As for her Esther study, it impacted me greatly, now when I am in a trial or tribulation I take comfort in ” maybe she was put here for such a time as this. Stop being jealous which is so sinfull & harmful to your souls. Start loving untead it will be great I assure you. Maybe I am just a siimple person but again I say don’t be jealous but joyfull for Beth More is just another human being like you or I. Don’t hate the messenger but love our God instead. I hope these comments impact you to change.

    • JChun says

      Dear Larry,
      It sounds as if you have been wounded and may have befallen a tragedy of which you could not make sense of (of course this is speculation based on how you phrased your retort). You will be in my prayers.
      I would like to respond to the following statement: “Beth’s calvinism pastoraly sets people up for self-blame or viewing God as an ass-hole for failing them in their time of need. And ministers like him are left trying to help a person cope with a major loss and spiritually make sense of it all. Moore’s triumphalism and confidence is attractive but it’s not the real world.” ………

      You are absolutely right when you say that ministers are left to help a person cope with a major loss, to which I respond: Why??? Any study, whether it be Beth Moore or Joe Schmoe, is intended to get you to open your bible and read it, as well as, giving some food for thought. After which, it is our responsibility to “test every spirit” to make sure it aligns with the word of God not speculation or human bent. In this “microwave” world we live in, far too many are relying upon bible studies or pastors/teachers to give them all of their answers. This is not what God intended when he set forth his redemption plan for this world. It was his intention to have a personal relationship with us, which is founded on faith. Many have become accustomed to being spoon fed and are not engaging in a relationship with God for themselves. I think that 2 Timothy 2:15 is a good passage to remember, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth”.
      Although that scripture has a far more reaching purpose in that chapter of 2 Timothy, it is still applicable to us who need to be immersed in the word so as to deepen our understanding and our relationship with Christ.
      The “Real World” is a harsh place. I believe that we are to go and love those that have been wounded by its lies and harshness. By those who have been devoured by the evil that is so apparent, we as Christians are called to be in the world but not of it. There is no simple, pat answer for why awful, ugly, horrible things happen, the best anyone can rely on is that God sees what is going on in our lives and we must call upon him in our time of need, with complete honesty, bare our hurting hearts to him and let the Holy Spirit counsel and minister to us through prayer, the word and wise counsel.
      As Christians we must remember that we were given all instruction that we need and though at times it seems to not make sense or may seem to simplistic, well…I say, how is it supposed to look? The mere fact that we require Almighty God to make sense to us and to explain himself for why he allows what he allows is a concern. It seems we may have become (to coin a phrase from my grandmother) “too big for our britches”. I think we need to look no farther than our own selfish hearts to gain insight.
      God is love and in him there is NO darkness, he does not make bad things happen, they happen because we live in an ungodly world that is filled with selfishness and pride. He made a redemptive plan that is freely available. He died a torturous death to make that plan availed to us all. I praise God that we are not robots, with no will of our own, that must adhere to his commands without choice. That we are all made so differently with so many wonderful variations of people, thoughts, ideas etc. is a testament that God wants us to be free to express who we are but he expects that we would appreciate this freedom and not abuse it. Unfortunately, there are those that do abuse that free will and henceforth we have a selfishness and wickedness in the “Real World”.
      We cannot blame a bible teacher, our pastor, the world etc. for ours or anyone else’s problems or inability to understand the difficulty of being able to walk through our pains, problems and hardships.

      If anyone has a flippant attitude that God is going to wave his magic wand and POOF and all of our prayers are answered with our pain and hurt gone, does not understand God’s redemptive plan renewal of our heart and minds. Just because a teacher encourages them to have courage, believe that God has the way for them and can heal their pain, without thinking that they have a large part to play in that process, does not understanding God’s ways or his word. Nor are they taking responsibility for their own journey that they must walk through, to come out renewed/changed. I pray that we are mature enough not to expect a few little tidbits in a 30 minute lesson to be a substitution for our own personal relationship with God We learn through walking with God and seeing his providence in every step that we take. It is only our generation that expects instant answers or does not have the endurance to wait on the Lord and let Him renew our strength as is his promise.
      You are loved and the God of all things is thinking of you. I want you to know that he sees your pain and hurt and desires to walk along side you. He will restore your soul. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God . (Eph. 3:16-19) I am saddened that your experiences with life have been hard, I understand completely! As one who has survived MUCH and have lived to walk through it, I have seen God’s providence and though I do not understand His ways. I do know beyond a shadow of a doubt that He is for me, with and Loves me. This same love is available to all !!

      John 17:6 I have told you these things, so that in my you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart, I have overcome the world. 1 Peter 5:8 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour (KJV: in fierce hunger seeking whom he may devour) 9: Resist him , standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of suffering.

      I find it interesting that those in other countries who are going through terrible suffering and persecution do not blame God for the evil in this world or the terrible things that happen to them, instead they seek God with all their hearts and are desperate for even one page of the bible that they have to pass in secret to one another and wait on bended knee for their next page of the precious word of God.
      You are loved. I would like to share (of which you of course already know) 1 Peter 5:10 “And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered for a little while, will HIMSELF restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen

      God Bless
      JChun

  15. Reader says

    Thank you for this information. The Bible says teachers will be held to a higher standard. Instead of trying “to fit in with the ladies at the Bible study”, we need to ask questions and hold people accountable for their teachings because we certainly don’t want the blind to lead the blind.

    • jackie pugh says

      I know teachers will be held responsible for their teaching, but I’m not worried for Beth Moore. I also know that Pastors will be judged more harshly than teachers. When this pastor comes before Jesus to have his words evaluated & judged, what will he say to Jesus about his bashing Beth Moore, one of His brethen ? How will he defend his trying to gut her career ? I don’t know what he can possibly say to defend himself. It is obvious to me he hasn’t been reborn. Maybe before he dies he will be find the true Jesus & be reborn .

  16. Nicki says

    I found this while reading the blog you posted to fb about Mars Hill relocated to the UMC parish in Seattle. To your credit, I think you handle talking about things you don’t like about other churches and speakers in an open, understanding and very UM manner, which I approve of having been raised in the UMC myself and am currently in the ordination process :)
    Disclaimer: Some of this will be snarky, but it all comes from a place of love and wanting greater unity amongst the greater Church, not because I think I know everything or even teh best thing, because I don’t.
    My question is this: Why is it that “calvinism” and Baptists” have to be so separate from us “Methodists”?
    Why can’t we all be children of God who happen to think different things? Why can’t you take a Calvinist study and, as you pointed out in the solutions section, talk about the differences and what they bring to the table to teach us? My personal (albeit frequently unpopular) belief is that provided the person or group in question has been in deep reflection with God and scripture,(a thing that can be hard to suss out for sure, but not impossible to see) their beliefs aren’t wrong, just different from mine.
    How much richer would our faiths be if we allowed opinions we disagreed with to be openly discussed, not just quietly shoved into a corner and labeled with a general term that only sort of grasps at the fullness of someone else’s understanding of something. God is big. Like, huge. And while we’ve gotten quite good at seeing certain pieces of him, other people’s perspectives, even ones we disagree with, can add levels we never would have gotten to on our own.
    So why not challenge our beliefs with other peoples’? Why not threaten everything we know to be true for the depth of understanding that comes from not having all the answers?
    It would cut down on a lot of the infighting, and then maybe we could actually get to the talking about Jesus and sharing his love part.

  17. Rev. Sarah says

    Wow – amazing how so many people think that the author of this blog set out to criticize Beth Moore and think he should go to her face to face…when instead he is clearly writing for a Methodist audience (particularly pastor and lay leaders) who struggle with allowing someone to teach theology that clashes with the Wesleyan understanding of grace and our understanding of God’s work in this world.

    No different than a Baptist pastor writing about not wanting a Methodist teacher to come to Sunday School to talk about infant baptism…it would muddy the waters of something important to a Baptist understanding of Christian faith. Having Determinism lifted up as the way God works in this world is contrary to a Methodist understanding of Christian faith. This blog post was very helpful to me as a pastor so that I would be more resourced to help my women’s Bible studies who are perpetually cycling through Beth Moore Studies…

    • Rev. Denise says

      Thank you for saying this. I’m out of breath reading all the criticisms of this article. Jeremy is not “attacking” Beth Moore. He is clearly laying out the significant differences between her theology and the Wesleyan perspective. I am grateful for this analysis as I have been deeply concerned about the implications of Moore’s “scholarship” and its affect on people who are searching for a deeper relationship with Christ through scripture.

    • says

      Rev .Sarah -
      I would just like to point out that I would have the same issues if someone of a Baptist persuasion wrote an article against someone who was teaching Wesleyan Theology.
      I am a United Methodist – not clergy – but a pastor’s wife and I do teach Beth Moore studies. Yes, she is very Calvinistic in her beliefs but I think as long as I can point that out and share the differences that it really shouldn’t be that big of a deal.
      I fully believe that Satan has a field day keeping denominations arguing over who is “right”. In doing that, he keeps us from working together to further GOD’s Kingdom — which is what we really should be doing. This is the first article I’ve ready from this website, but it was sent to me by someone who, by her own description, had a cultish upbringing and she is working to really figure out what she believes. She shared this article with me because she felt it was very one sided and biased. Not at all loving and happy that Beth Moore is able to share God’s Word with people.
      I do agree with one thing in this article though, It really IS a shame that there are no women’s speakers/ bible study authors from the United Methodist Church.

  18. kim pledger says

    I agree w everything you have said and thank God for it. Beth is more than fluff and stuff that I heard all my life in the Methodist church. I finally learned a thing or two by using her methods of Bible study.

  19. says

    I just finished reading this “critique” of Beth Moore as well as a critique from a more “literalist” denomination. I find it so interesting that she is being criticized for being a “literalist” in one camp and then not being “literal enough” from the other camp. THIS is the kind of bickering and jealousy that turns those who may be seeking God completely off. I have heard her teaching IN COMPLETE CONTEXT, not bits and pieces. I have been a believing Christian for over 30 years, and I can honestly say I have not heard ONE thing that Beth Moore has said that would take away from the message of Christ. She is a human being, and as humans, we are NOT God, obviously. If I wanted to pick apart every sermon that John Wesley, Martin Luther, John Calvin, etc. etc., I could find all kinds of imperfections as well. That’s just the point. We are human beings, and as such, we are imperfect messengers of God’s Word. Of course, Beth Moore is not John Wesley, Martin Luther, John Calvin, etc. She’s just a human being who diigently studies God’s Word and desires to grow in her walk with God. Wesley, Luther, and Calvin were….they were….oh WAIT…THEY were just human beings as well, weren’t they???

  20. Rev. Denise says

    I don’t know where to begin. I truly celebrate for all these women who have posted their positive and life-changing experiences with Beth Moore Bible studies. But I also cringe at many of the comments. Many comments seem to reflect an unwillingness to engage in the theological give-and-take that is the hallmark of serious critical reflection.

    For the record, I found Jeremy’s analysis both helpful and balanced. Yes, he “criticized” Moore, but the “criticism” was in the context of “analysis” not “calling her out.” Every scholarly journal in the world is about “criticism” of another person’s ideas and analyses. This is the context I see here. When we go to seminary, our papers are “criticized” by our professors and peers in class. We debate theological positions to gain greater and clearer understanding of others’ and our own views. The Bible can be debated, too. Original languages do not always translate easily into English or other modern languages. This is why we have so many commentaries. Sometimes words and phrases are ambiguous and scholars and students of the Bible have to make decisions as to how something could be interpreted. From our interpretations and our experiences in life we develop our theologies. Everyone has a theology — anytime we make an affirmation about God, we are stating our theology. “God is good” is a theological statement. “God has a reason for this baby to die” is a theological statement. I have the right and, I think, obligation, to question, to “criticize” either of these statements. The Bible contains many theological statements that were made by human beings experiencing life in a particular time and place. We read those statements in light of our own experiences in life as they are determined by family, culture, education, personality, church, etc., etc. Beth Moore comes from a particular place in theology and experience that is not congruent with general United Methodist theology and experience. That’s fine. That’s why there is a Southern Baptist Church and a United Methodist Church and others. If we are United Methodists and we want to listen to Beth Moore, we need to understand that she comes from a different perspective so that we can make informed decisions about what we are going to believe and take in to our theologies. Doctrines arise from shared experience and understanding that come from like-minded people. Doctrines are a way of putting into words what our experience of God and life is telling us. It is a process of spiritual discernment — what is God saying to us in this experience, this situation? And then we do our best to sort of “solidify” what we “hear” into coherent statements of faith to live by. Doctrines can change and should change as our understanding of Scritpure changes through its intersection with lived experience.

    The Bible is a living “document” (for lack of a better word). It is alive because the Holy Spirit continues to whisper to us through its pages as we bring our living experience to it. A literalist interpretation of the Bible treats it as a “static” rather than a dynamic document to be wrestled with. A literalist looks at the words of Scripture and sees fixed points and set doctrines that cannot be changed.

    United Methodists are not biblical literalists. Beth Moore is. Thus, we have conflicting views and theologies, conflicting appoaches to biblical interpretation. This becomes a problem when the rubber hits the road, i.e., when we start intersecting the teachings of Beth Moore and those like her with the lived experiences of real people. Like another person who commented above, I came to the UM church from the Catholic Church. While in the CC, I became increasingly dismayed by the Church’s teachings and practices concerning women. When I first left the CC, I visited around and found myself in some fundamentalist churches and discovered the situation was no better and in some cases worse. When I found the UM church, I felt as though I came home. My lived experience as a woman who had experienced abuse and put-downs and discrimination from church and other places found a church where my experiences were valued and honored. They were valued because of the theological and biblical wrestling that had already taken place in the UM church and had evolved into teachings (doctrines) that not only valued women and their place in the world, but placed value on all of human experience and the ways that human beings have struggled to understand their relationship with God.

    Higher-order thinking or criticism is a gift from God because it enables us to ask the deep questions about the mysteries of God and our relationship with God and the world in which we live. It empowers us to think “critically” about the Bible and to engage the Scriptures with our questions that come from our experiences, both individual and shared. It helps us to shape and grow in our faith. Beth Moore is against higher-order criticism, and I think that is detrimental to our faith. Without higher-order criticism, we do not question — we passively accept whatever happens with some ambiguous assent to “God’s will.” This is where we get such beliefs as “ours is not to question why” or “everything happens for a reason (God caused it)” or “the Bible says it, I believe it, that settles it.” “Believing the Bible” becomes a slogan that often will disguise an unwillingness to dig in and look at the Bible in its context and accept that interpretation may be more of an art than a science.

    I do not doubt that many women have grown spiritually from Beth Moore’s studies. I have watched Beth Moore videos and she is entertaining. She does desire to encourage and build up. She does have a passion for reaching out to people. But I am afraid that her use of the Bible promotes cultural and religious stereotypes based on uncrtitical study of the Bible and a lack of engagement with serious theological issues. This is the undercurrent I see in her teaching. I am not attacking her as a person, and neither is Jeremy. But as long as she is putting her teachings out in public, her approach is fair game for analysis and critique. We all learn more about our own theology and understanding of the Bible when we are free to question one another. And all of that is what shapes our faith and empowers us to live our lives in relationship with God.

    I agree with Jeremy that Cokesbury should not be selling Beth Moore or David C. Cook. My opinion is that they are both heavy on legalism and light on grace. I think they present ancient thought and experience as inflexible law that must be adhered to no matter what we have since learned in history, science, anthropology, theology, spirituality, etc. The United Methodist Church I know and love is not afraid to engage in all the available resources we have to grow and develop in our faith. We have examined the ideas about predestination, subservience for women, biblical inerrancy/infallibility, etc., and decided that we do not understand God to work that way. We believe in grace unbounded, equality and justice for all, a God of love and mystery who only wills our wholeness in body, mind, and spirit. That is what we believe, it is what we teach, it is who we are. We do not claim to have the whole truth. We know that we see in a mirror darkly. We know that we go only by the grace of God as forgiven and reconciled people. That is why we question and critique and seek to grow by what we learn.

    I have written too much, but I am passionate about this. Beth Moore would not be comfortable sitting in our pews on Sunday morning. I would not be comfortable sitting in her church. I do not want her teaching in my church because my church has already examined the doctrines she espouses and decided that that is not how we understand God to work in human life.

    I am very glad that people have grown spiritually with Beth Moore. I am glad that more will grow closer to Christ because of her. But I pray for the ones I will meet in my ministry who will suffer spiritually and psychologically because they believe that God hates certain people, that God causes harm and misery in order to get people’s attention, that God chooses to send certain people to hell because they did not ascribe to certain doctrines, etc., etc. This is what underlies Beth Moore’s teachings and I will not accept it.

    The End.

    • Jim McLean says

      I deeply appreciate Rev. Denise’s thoughtful response. Regardless of where one comes down of the subject of Beth Moore as a Bible teacher, using her studies exclusively and granting her primary status as the source of ultimate truth are both forms of idolatry, which is a Biblical no-no from any point of view.

      • says

        I agree that camping under one teacher too long is a no no. That includes sticking only to hearing Wesleyan belief systems. We should all be reading our bibles ourselves, within a relationship with God and trusting the Holy Spirit to lead us.
        Rather than just believing what we hear — no matter who the teacher is.

  21. Theresa says

    Does God no answer prayer. Is the Holy Spirit not our teacher???
    Recently I was asking God to deal with someone I thought was judging wrongly and without mercy. In my heart I heard “okay my daughter I will take him out behind the woodshed. How many times will I use the rod??? Remember you will be getting one more rod when I take you out behind the wood shed next. Are there not many Biblical references to our not to be judging others???? I think that when we all get to heaven we will see that each denomination had some things right but that each of us was out to lunch on some things too. Satan has enough of a hayday with us as Christians why should we be giving him more hay.
    Above all else we are to love God with all our heart soul and mind and love our neighbours as ourselves.

  22. Wanda says

    I was introduced to Beth Moore Bible Studies back in 1998, after a grieving process and moving from one state to another. I ask God to help me wake up at 5:00 in the mornings so I could have quiet time before my family was up and the daily busyness started. That early in the morning was definitely not my norm and I apologized to my husband if I would wake him up also but I would need to set my alarm. I know that it was the Holy Spirit that nudged me every morning about ten minutes before 5:00 and my alarm never went off. It was the most awesome time and God knew I needed this time with him. I am so grateful that He “anointed” this lady, Beth Moore, called her to service, and opened her mind to so much understanding and then gifted her with the words only HE could inspire trough the spirit. I needed healing and this first study was BREAKING FREE. Every morning I ended up on my knees in tears , grateful that I had a God who loved me so much that HE would speak to me personally through Beth. No one can tell me that God isn’t pleased with Beth Moore and is blessing her life because of all those He has blessed through her. Does one really think for a minute that denominations make any difference to God as long as the GOSPEL is presented , Confession and belief in Jesus Christ as Lord, and HIS children obey HIS commands for living ? Thank you Beth Moore for being obedient to your calling. “Consider it Joy when you face persecution”. It’s only Satan who seeks to come against you.

  23. Kate Anderson says

    Say what you will, but Beth’s teachings AND her personal commentaries touch my heart and only push me toward a closer intimacy with my Father. He wants our heart. Impressed with our intellect? Not so much. God will be her defense.

  24. says

    This is a clearly stated post. Your reasons for not using Beth Moore studies in the United Methodist context are not only clear, but accurate. Any accusations that you are somehow “anti-Beth Moore” are founded on emotional reactions of those who either have not read the entire blog, or who have allowed their feelings about Beth Moore to color their comprehension of the piece.

    I agree that we, as United Methodists, as well as other Wesleyan denominations, but learn and teach what it means to have a Wesleyan view of theology. Teaching, or allowing the teaching of, theologies that hold opposite views to Wesleyan teachings is having a detrimental affect on our congregations. They are only helpful if they are used to illuminate the Wesleyan way of understanding Christ.

    We welcome everyone to worship with us, equally and without judgment. However, we cannot change our theological viewpoint to please those who do not understand what our is.

    Also – I have to tell you that I love all the studies you mentioned – Disciple is the best overall lay study/discussion I have ever taken. Of course, I don’t find it boring at all. Living the Question is enlightening and informative – and for those who walk on the more conservative edge, challenging! I’ve only seen the Ruth study in the “Uppity Women” series, and while it is filled with great information and excellent discussion questions, I have to agree that the delivery is too much like a lecture to draw interest from many.

    Finally, I have to say that I am not that enamoured with Ms. Moore’s delivery. It’s wonderful to be excited about the Bible, but her fast talk punctuated with “can I get an amen?!” drives me just a little batty. But that’s just me. And before readers jump on me for that, remember – I’m allowed to have a personal opinion. And so is the author of this blog.

    • says

      Third paragraph should read: We welcome everyone to worship with us, equally and without judgment. However, we cannot change our theological viewpoint to please those who do not understand what our viewpoint is.

  25. JoAnn says

    I have been a part of several Beth Moore Bible Studies as well as other studies. She is by far the best. Even the homework gives you insight into the Bible. As a southern Baptist I do not see her making specific denominational referrences. I would recommed a Beth Moore study to anyone at any church.

  26. Tammy says

    So my daughter in Louisville, Ky called me and was very excited to tell me about Beth Moore. She seen her at some concert like deal and u had to pay to get in. My daughter spoke of her humor and style. Said surprisingly, that she sat through an eight hour
    Event. I told her that I would research her before I watched her. After reading ur article, I will now have to educate myself about other things too. Lol Sorry but I don’t know what Calvinism is. Need to learn.
    I agree with u about it being twisted if indeed her teachings are being sent to followers as God is the reason for everything. If that is the case then I would be very angry with God for the horrible things that happen to me as a child. I think that is taking responsibility from the ones who made me the victim. I will keep all this in mind when I view one of her teachings. Thank you for sharing.

  27. Jackie says

    I think this is less of a calling out of Beth Moore and her theological perspective and more of a calling out of the UMC for not helping to train, publish and promote women who are gifted teachers and can reach out and relate to women, bringing the Bible alive in the same way Beth Moore does. I am Wesleyan. I have done Disciple. However, Disciple, nor any other study from Cokesbury, encouraged me to study and think intellectually about Scripture the way Beth Moore studies did. I taught several studies of her’s. I felt obligated at times to point out and provide resources that give a more Wesleyan perspective…all the while wishing the UMC would put out something of similar quality–but they haven’t. I think they are working on it though.

  28. Libby says

    Thank you, Wanda – you are dead on in your comments.
    I was raised in the Methodist church, & can say absolutely that I was never taught nor did I see anyone who walked out what having a personal relationship with Jesus is, or what living a life with the power of the Holy Spirit inside you looks like. This is what the church looks like in the book of Acts, minus “denominations.” But historically it is not a concept the Methodist church has taught or lived out. I love my church, but if I had stayed only under Methodist teaching I would never have developed the walk with the Lord that He has so sweetly drawn me to. He blessed me to be in the life of a man who exudes love for Jesus, and walks out a life of teaching & serving that awes & inspires me. I am so happy that my very large & growing Methodist church is moving more & more in this direction of Bible teaching & living. Out of that might come some powerful women teaching God’s word in Methodism. I would love to see that but unfortunately, Bible scholar commentary like this one just serves to drive people away instead of draw them in as we as believers are called to do. Yes, we are to be knowledgeable in the word of God so we recognize false teachers – but the Bible clearly puts that responsibility on us.
    I applaud Beth Moore for using the method used by the servant in Jesus’ parable who, after being fired, went to those who owed his master money & renegotiated their bills to lower amounts so that he would have friends with loyalties to him. Jesus praises this servant for employing worldly methods to make friends. Whether she has done this intentionally or not, what Moore has done is draw women to the word of God by lifting Him up. I have never, in 6 studies, heard Calvanist views. I have, however, heard (& read) her speak & teach on bad things happening in a fallen world. I defy anyone to explain to human satisfaction the dichotomy between providence & the pain that exists in a fallen world.
    What Beth Moore does model is humility before the Lord, love for His word, & love of service to women who need every day to hear themselves from the God of the universe. She never glorifies her sin but always gives credit to the Lord for the work He is doing in her life – from glory to glory.
    It’s ok not to like her teaching or to find fault with theology that differs from yours. But the response to that is – as one person pointed out what the Bible teaches – to address it directly, but more importantly, make sure your theology creates an environment that draws people to the Lord & produces teachers to grow believers who are hungry for His word & to live a life that looks more like Jesus in this world.

  29. unknown says

    I feel people should stop critizing. If god wants to work through her in this way, leave it be! If you don’t feel comfortable with her, don’t use her stuff, but don’t post stuff like this, that might keep people away, and that was how God might have wanted to meet with them. Nobody has the same opinions and believes about God, because He touches and teaches all of us differently. We should stop looking at what everyone else around us is not doing ‘correctly’, and come together as one and woeship God the way He intended!!

  30. JennyK says

    I just stumbled across this and called my husband in yelling, “Yes! This is putting into words the vague feeling I’ve had when listening to her!” I’ll admit that I’ve not read any of her books or heard her speak in anything more than 10 min mini-lessons pulled from lessons. (I hear her on my local Christian station while waiting in line to pick up my kids from school, so I’ve heard many, many, many different lessons, just in pieces). The feeling I come away with is ocassionally, ” I wish she hadn’t said it THAT way.” (And I’m a Southern woman, so I know what she means, but I wonder how others take it.), but more often it’s, “Wait? That doesn’t seem exactly right…” Then my kids come out, we go on our way, and I forget about it until I hear the next clip.

    Your very well (and kindly) stated article helped me put my thumb on what it is I’ve felt uneasy about in those few minutes…it’s Baptist theology rather than Weslelyan (and I’m Wesleyan by denomination as well as personal theology).

    Thank you!

  31. Andi says

    Shame on you. As brothers and sisters in Christ, we are to lift each other up. The body of Christ falls apart when we simply decide to tear each other down. Beth Morre is changing lives by teaching the Word of God and giving Him the glory. I’m not United Methodist, neither are half the women in the study I’m doing of hers. I would say to think and pray hard about getting your focus on what is real and true – we are called to love each other. I’m sad that as Christians, we go to a place of cruelty – to each other! How does this help us reach others for Christ – it doesn’t! It makes people not want to be a part of this “community” that simply judges each other and rips each other apart. Stop it, all of you just stop it – this article sickened me. Let’s all get off our high horses and realize none of us are better than the other. Beth Moore is my sister in Christ and I love her because of it and because of what she taught me – FROM GOD’S WORD. She’s in love with Him and this gift of the Bible he has given us. That’s it. She doesn’t get caught up in all of this. But I can promise your words hurt her. And you should be ashamed of that. Way to tear down a woman that is fufilling her calling to minister to others. Hiding behind the “disclaimers” of this article doesn’t make what you’re doing right. READ YOUR BIBLES, my dear friends. And let’s put our energy into something more beneficial to the Kingdom of God.

  32. Rebecca says

    you all sound like jealous people. you all can do your own study’s and air them now, but you won’t. you will never really get blessed with that kind of attitude. if you don’t like her find someone you do and stop with the negativeness.
    i have done several of her studies and am always blessed and have grow in the Lord. Ester was my favorite study, it healed me in many ways.
    Maybe you all are doing the studies and listing for the wrong reasons. be-careful and God Bless

  33. Chelsea Walker says

    Tonight we searched in vain for any thing Christian on the non- Christian television stations .
    The Masterpiece Theatre Show we ended up viewing had adultery , pre -marital sex,
    an abortion and a lesbian scene with two women kissing . This is what we are up against
    in Southern CA, anyway ( although the show was made in England ) In other words total
    Godlessness .

    I am not a Calvinist and I don’t believe God causes the death or suffering of anyone , but Beth Moore does not bother me in the least compared to what the leftists produce in the popular
    culture .

    On another subject , and as an encouragement to people on this blog, some of the Christian women I know are
    actually going out and praying for healing for people at the bus stations . God is healing
    them .

  34. Tina Beard says

    Your article saddens me for the UMC body of believers. Salvation…….not doctrine, not Beth Moore, just JESUS! You wasted so much time casting stones at Beth Moore, you are missing the point! If any of us would spend as much time before our God as Beth Moore, He would also speak to us. Heaven is the ultimate goal and I don’t believe there will be a division of Methodists and Baptists.

  35. Abby says

    God does cause suffering. For His greater purpose and glory and our greater good, which is the same thing. It was HIS will to crush His Son Jesus (Isaiah 53:10). Another translation says that it *pleased* Yahweh to crush His Son. I can understand how people who think bad things of God. But I have trouble understanding how Bible scholars can read past God ordaining suffering–for both His enemies and His children–to display His glory on the earth. And in the suffering, there is hope. There is hope in the life that is to come and often even in this life. In the suffering there is rejoicing, like when we are counted worthy to suffer for His Name’s sake. He gives and takes away. We wouldn’t have enough time to look at ALL of the examples of this in Scripture, and still to this day in the lives of believers, particularly missionaries all over the world.

    This is an awkward critique because what is being questioned (her lack of biblical scholarship) has actually proven your view to lack scholarship. I say this with all respect to your person. Just because it is something people have trouble swallowing (i.e., that God would have ordained suffering in the life of His children), doesn’t make it wrong. Just some thoughts there…blessings.

  36. granny says

    Wow, so much stone throwing. She is a Christian first and her study and use of the Bible for teaching has helped many women, I being one of them. I pray God’s forgiveness and compassion on all stone throwers!

  37. Lucy says

    I just finished a 10 week Beth Moore bible study. I come from a strong Methodist heritage and have done many studies in my adult life (58 years). I have never had any challenge my spiritual growth as this one.
    I disagree with many of your conclusions regarding Beth Moore.
    God Bless.

  38. Ruby Wells says

    I pray for those who haven’t recieved the message of the Bible yet. Or the message of what God is asking of us here on earth. I am here to love, forgive, help people. He asks us to do these things. That is clear. I am wondering what is the other busy stuff we are wasting time doing?? Such as ……

  39. Patricia says

    Chaplains meet people where they are spiritually. Fortunately for us Heaven will be filled with those who have accepted the atonement sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ. This will include John Calvin, John Wesley, and Beth Moore. Beth Moore studies encourage women to study the Bible daily and the principle questions when handled by good facilitators allow women to grow spiritually where individual denominational beliefs are secondary to central Biblical Truths. The studies can be used without Beth Moore’s teaching DVD’s.

  40. Kerry A. says

    I just spent an hour reading through all of these comments as I had stumbled upon this blog while looking for the name of the church Beth Moore’s son in law pastors. My heart and soul became so burdened for those in teaching positions who feel that it is important to their denomination to keep Bible teaching out of their churches. Are we here to promote our denomination or Jesus? What is most important?-the Wesleyan Way or Jesus, the Way, the Truth, and the Life? Can only the intellectuals hear from God? I do believe that Jesus came and revealed Himself to the lowly uneducated fishermen instead of the highly educated pharisees. Are we limiting God when WE think that our way is the only way instead of allowing the mighty Holy Spirit that is at work in all believers to teach us personally? This blog reads PRIDE all over it and we know who the author of Pride is.

  41. Maggie says

    It seems Beth Moore is faulted for her literal interpretations of the Bible. How then should the Bible be interpreteted……nothing literal, part literal? I know the parables needed Jesus’ explanation but what of the rest of the Bible?

    • Kris says

      I think your question is sincere, and I didn’t see a response to it, so I’ll add a brief one of my own: Wesleyan people do not take the Bible literally, we take it seriously. It means we don’t do logical gymnastics to try to rationalize why absolutely every word of scripture is Truth with a capital T, and instead use critical methods of thinking, history, culture, and the best scholarship we’ve got, to understand scripture within its own context. We discern what is appropriate to understand as Truth using our experience, tradition, and reason, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. An example of this is that we might reject some teachings in the scripture that are not relevant to our context (like, that a woman who has been raped should be stoned to death, or that polygamy or slavery are valid lifestyles), and embrace those things which we believe are in line with the revelation of God in the person of Jesus (“Love your neighbor” and hanging out with sinners, healing the sick, holding people accountable and treating everyone with grace). This is a Wesleyan way of interpreting scripture, and we do it in community to hold one another accountable so we do not simply reject the things we do not like and embrace those things we find affirming. We come to the scripture with a sense of humility as a conversation partner, but trusting that the ultimate revelation of who God is comes through the person of Jesus.

  42. Payne Ackerson says

    So my girlfriend is a Beth Moore fan and i have NEVER been a fan of mainstream, popular, (RICH) evangelists. But after reading this its very clear that i am a Beth Moore fan. You tried to make her beliefs negative but all you did was show me how right she was. I’m a Calvinist and ask around to see if you can find a FORMER Calvinist. Very unlikely, once you can grasp this bothersome and heavy concept, which isn’t salvation based so you don’t have to, but when you do you can’t turn your head away from the blinding truth of God.

    • Payne Ackerson says

      one more thing. When you say that she is right for one group of Christians and wrong for another you have drawn a line in the christian community. That is a huge problem in the Christian community. Denominations are useless. The only positive for using them is to define your basic theology, to get an understanding of of the others thoughts. Any faith based (Faith in Jesus is the only thing you need) Christianity is correct. But when you draw lines you move away from faith and move into theology based salvations.

  43. ChristiansUnite says

    Wow, the comments and replies criticizing this article are RIGHT ON!!!
    I cant imagine that this “scholarly” author concluded that Beth Moore’s Esther study teaches that God CAUSES bad things to happen so that he might teach us! quite the contrary, the study clearly teaches that God USES bad things to accomplish his will.

  44. Alison says

    I appreciate a good discussion as believers we need to always be personally be seeking Gods will and truth individually. I am disappointed however that this commentary is more about following the Wesley system vs the Baptist system and we divide ourselves again. Back me and your concerns up with the Jesus system and His words and you have my attention and hope for unity He alone is the one we should be following. The doctrine of denominations is just rules set up by men to disagree on. I will not argue with the words of Christ and had there Ben more of them in your argument
    You would have validity with all believers
    We are wasting our time when we could be loving each other
    Methodist , Beth Moore ,baptist whoever. You , I , they
    Not worthy. Only Christ

  45. Cheryl says

    So sad. You do not even realize that the denominational tag will fly off if you’re raptured and burn off in Hell. You need to do one of Mrs. Moore’s Bible studies for yourself, and then do James McDonald’s Lord, Change My Attitude.

  46. Cyndi says

    I would love to hear Beth’s response to this ludicrous, incredibly biased and un-Biblical commentary but fortunately she is a Biblical purist and honors – “But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless.” Titus 3:9, but let me just say, I am so stinkin’ glad I left the United Methodist Church. BTW, that happened when I actually became a Christian. Beth Moore is an anointed teacher of Scripture who does not discriminate against denominations. Too bad you do. The Methodist light is flickering out, which is sad because my great grandfather was a circuit riding Methodist preacher…you know…back in the day when the Methodist church actually believed something.

  47. Catherine Stewart says

    I so appreciate your opinion and thorough analysis of the Beth Moore “phenomenon.” I have always felt that there was something not quite right about her studies and was easily swayed by her dynamic and inspired delivery. Although I have not been able to articulate as thouroughly as you have here the reasons my spirit was bothered, I had noticed that she did take scripture out of context and adds in her own psychology. Thank you for “putting a finger” on what I could not.

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