Tuesday, December 11

An Objective Critique of Beth Moore

Close your eyes here friends because this one may hurt......I realize that for many of you Beth Moore may be one of your favorite authors and I am aware that much of what she has said and written has encouraged many Christian women...and men for that matter. However, for years I have personally struggled with what I saw as an integrational approach to life's problems (the mixture of Scripture with pop-psychology).

Kim, over at the Upward Call blog has an in depth analysis of one of Moore's Bible studies that I think deserves an honest and humble look on the part of our readers. Again, I ask you to look at this objectively...not emotionally. I believe that an honest look at what Kim says in her post will render at the very least some serious concerns over one of the most popular authors in evangelicalism among women.

Also, if this woman is influencing so many women in our churches who have unlimited access to her materials, it would only be wise and prudent for us to be sure that what they are reading is faithful and accurate as to how God wants His children to live to please Him in all areas of their lives (2 Cor. 5:9).

HT: Sharper Iron

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22 Comments:

Blogger Don Fields said...

I followed the link from Sharper Iron as well and thought it would be a great article to highlight. Thanks for doing the leg work!

12/11/2007 08:58:00 AM  
Blogger Cameron Cloud said...

This writer reminds me of a food critic more than a health code inspector.

Much of this article seems not to be, "she's teaching falsehood," so much as, "I don't care for her emotional/imaginative/dynamic style."

Perhaps I missed something the writer intended, but I struggle constantly with people who focus more on style than they should. She makes a valid point of substance over style, yet she expresses that she too has personal biases against certain styles.

There may be real issues with Moore's teaching, but this article comes across to me as an expression of personal taste.

12/11/2007 10:25:00 AM  
Anonymous will hatfield said...

I agree with Cameron here. She might have legitimate points but if most of it boils down to style then *shrug*.

12/11/2007 10:54:00 AM  
Blogger Kim said...

Mike:

Thank you for the link. I have a very small readership at my blog, and to have so many people critiquing it is a new experience for this very ordinary woman.

For the gentleman who compares me to a food critic: I don't think I would make a good food critic, as that would require me being a chef of sorts....

It is apparent that people have zeroed in on my discussion of Moore's style, but from my perspective, choosing to ignore context is not about style. Speculation is not a "style." Failure to establish context limits accurate interpretation. Speculation does not present the truth of God's word.

Many people who read my post failed to follow the link to the newsletter that provided a more thorough analysis of Mrs. Moore's theological leanings. I purposely did not address those issues because there was someone else who had already done a good enough job of that. No need to re-invent the wheel.

12/11/2007 11:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Cameron, Kim's explanation notwithstanding. I don't know that this is particularly all that substantive, but seems to reach for "substance issues" based on a fundamental disagreement with her style. I'm not a Moore afficiando (as a male), but the over-all tone of the "analysis" seemed snipish rather than substantive. Any pastor, Bible teacher, etc... held to the same standard of scrutiny could be accused of much of the same as Kim threw Moore's way. She is not a pastor or a theologian and does not present herself to be either. The practical applications and even the contextual musings in which she engages are consistent with many who have taught Scripture and they do not necessarily violate the spirit of exegesis in doing so.

12/13/2007 10:02:00 AM  
Blogger psalm63:3 said...

WOW! What is the reason for all the criticism? Truly, this is a "style" difference in personal opinion. Notice how the writer of this blog used the word "I" or "my" over 60 times? Opinion difference, nothing more.

Beth Moore has never written a heretical word, or anything that goes against the word of God. Is everything she writes deep and scholarly? No, but everyone who reads is not deep or scholarly, necessarily.

I have been a Christian for 18 years, and have not always walked closely with the Lord through those times. Beth Moore studies, and the ability (annointing) she has to help a woman re-connect with God, is amazing. Her "scenarios" are exactly what help most readers relate to situations in their own lives. It enables the reader to personalize God's word, what good is knowledge if we can't apply it? Doing these studies forces you to FACE who you really are by prompting you to really pray and think about situations and write them down. Only then can change occur.

So many Christians (myself included, in the past)would rather just "hear" lessons or be able to "understand" the Bible like a scholar without dealing with deep personal issues that require change in the reader's life. Issues such as: jealousy, anger, lust, pride, etc...

Beth's studies have helped thousands to come face to face with these issues and actually "DO" something about them. She so creatively, energetically, and joyfully takes you through the word of God and has an annointing upon her teaching. Lives are changed, period. The Bible says, by their fruits you will know them.

I have read Nancy Leigh DeMoss and she has done NOTHING for me. Does that mean she is useless for every reader? By no means! Many love her and respect her and learn from her, and that is wonderful. She is gifted to reach a particular audience.

The creative girls just seem to be more impacted by someone like Beth Moore!

I daily thank God for her and hope that one day I can meet her, so that I might have the chance to give back to her what she has given me...as iron sharpens iron...

10/24/2008 11:18:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A husband says: Re: Ms. Moores' ministry, I think the proof is in the pudding. Women do get closer to God, and heal. May God bless Ms. Moore for that.

My critique is she only does half of the healing job. Women are taught about how God's love can heal and assist them through their pain. Women are even asked to look at their role in generating (or failing to treat)their own pain in response to bad circumstances.

However, the scenarios given and the the overwhelming undertone or slant of her teaching is that the flock's biggest sin is over-enduring or unnecessarily having, pain caused by the sins of others. While getting women to recognize their power and responsibility (with God's help) to heal from bad treatment by others, they are not often (if ever) asked to look at their role in relationships as a pain initiator or a primary cause of pain to others. Beth Moore does not emphasize the depraved state of men and women cuased by the fall and how a woman is equally likely to be an abuser or cause of pain for others. In my opinion this is why Beth Moore is so popular. In my opinion, she enables women to seek God's help as victims (not as sinners) "enduring" as Isreal, the misfortunes wrought upon them by bad relationships or the like. That is a shame since God's love would also help women from their depraved state i.e. the other half of the teaching.

3/11/2009 12:13:00 PM  
Blogger Jay and Jen said...

I really liked your observation about the mixture of scripture with pop-psychology. I've realized how church messages offer advice that can be found in any self-help book at the bookstore. We don't need Jesus because he is primarily a counselor or a good teacher; we need Jesus because we are sinners before a holy God in need of forgiveness. I get the sense that on any given Sunday at a contemporary service, you'll have a message on, "How to deal with anger" then the pastor will give three main points and then give an alter call because Jesus can HELP you with your anger.. I think a person who comes to Jesus based on a message like that might end up as one of the seeds that sprouts up and then withers because he landed on the rocky ground.

7/27/2009 08:42:00 PM  
Blogger Katie said...

I have been attending Beth Moore's Bible study on Esther the past 5 weeks. I was immediately drawn to and engaged in the workbook and videos. Upon researching more about her online, I came across critiques of her that led me to rethink her. Now I want to know who she is and why she is teaching women before I start listening to her. Even as I write this I am foregoing the Bible study at this moment because I am not sure who she is and how I feel about her. To me, both sides have valid points (her lack of substance/her zeal and impression on women). I know how persuasive I can be as a young woman, and I want God's discernment to know how to divide God's Word.

Right now, I'm still sitting on the fence. I hope I am not being influenced by her all because of her emotional dynamism and reliance on her personal experiences or "takes" on Scripture. I enjoy the fact that a lot of references and research are apparent in her study on Esther, but I want some solid evidence that she is someone worth listening to, other than the large waves of women following her.

2/17/2010 08:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just because she is popular doesn't make her biblical.

3/09/2010 09:45:00 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Thanks for this link! I greatly struggle with the anti-intellectualism of Beth Moore studies. While I think they are helpful to many on an emotional level, it fails to teach women to critically think, apply Biblical hermeneutics, grow in knowledge of theology, and know how to defend their faith. I find that most churches expect women to be emotional and less intelligent, while men are supposed to go to seminary and take on more intellectually demanding tasks in ministry. I have yet to see a church suggest that a man use Beth Moore's study.

4/10/2010 11:39:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Sara.....maybe I have a mans mind without needing all the emotional jubilee that comes with these Beth Moore studies. My thought is...who are we drawn to? What is motivating us to study God's word for a man or women, (who are equal in the sight of God by the way)? We have great teachers, no doubt called by God, but when ladies Bible study attendence drops because we are not doing a Beth Moore study, then who are we worshiping?

5/12/2010 11:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had the privilege of attending Beth's studies live in Houston for about 6 years. I really enjoy her style, actually, and appreciate her "real-ness." One study we did she actually had us cross reference to the original Greek and Hebrew for every single lesson using an online lexicon to assure Biblical accuracy. I think much time goes into her research and I feel like she does give us context. I also never want to be in a place where I adopt a superior attitude over another's faith. I believe we can know by the fruit. Though I am not like Beth in personality, I love and appreciate her candor, her passion, and her heart for the Lord. I don't know how that was missed by some of the ones who have commented. I attend a PCA church which, by the way, will not teach her studies "because she is not reformed." I am in the process of trying to understand that statement and appreciate where they are coming from. When anyone tries to criticize her studies as "non-intellectual," red flags go up for me. I know we are to walk humbly with God and not judge. Nowhere have I read that we are to be intellectual, acquiring knowledge for knowledge sake and I believe scripture says knowledge puffs up and make us proud. I know that being in such high profile, Beth receives much critique, but to lean so heavily on her style and your distaste for it seems to discredit the rest of your comments. One thing that is also true that you wouldn't know is that when she teaches to her home Bible Study she comes across a little less polished, but I think that for the video teachings, she has to have it more planned for time constraints. I would take a trip to Houston on a Tuesday night and listen in to her live class. You will certainly be blessed and learn His word.

6/11/2010 08:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am 55 years old and have been a Christian almost 40 years. Beth Moore encourages every person to study and think for herself. She studies and researches endlessly to prepare for teaching. Her style appeals to many people; not to everyone. She, herself, tells her audiences to search the Scriptures for themselves and not to take anything she says just because she says it. I am very upset that people are turning Bible students away from a source of good, sound Bible teaching due to a style difference. Very few people agree with everyone; it is so easy to criticize and tear down. Why don't we encourage each other to go to various Bible studies that are Scriptural and not worry so much about too emotional of a style. Beth Moore has ignited a hunger for a relationship with Christ in thousands of women--and has managed to do it without criticizing other Bible teachers. In fact, she encourages women (and men) to go to other Bible teachers as well as taking her Bible studies. She wants to honor the Lord Jesus through Scripture. Why, oh, why is that a problem?

6/14/2010 08:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I put Beth Moore studies in the same realm as Joel Osteen. Good feeling God quickies for women who want stay with the world, keep shallow but get a personal happy Christian fix.
Included in Beth Moore studies are a great deal of worldly Pop Psycology, shallow bible teaching and too much personal opinion and speculation.

I think a better use of any woman's time, including my own, would be reading the actual bible, praise and worship and serving her family with love.

9/06/2010 01:31:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It should not be about style but when content is mainly about self-esteem and how great we are, it completely misses the true gospel that gives all credit and reliance on Jesus Christ. Christ is hardly mentioned in Moore's studies, and even scripture is treated as light window-dressing used to support ideas that come from Beth Moore's mind rather than the other way around. Very little is learned about scripture from her talks. What is seen is a misuse of many verses to force-fit them into Beth's pop psychological approach. It makes women feel good, but it isn't much of a bible study at all.

3/26/2011 09:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When is the last time you did a Beth Moore Bible study? Have you EVER listened to her or just skimmed over her material? Have you done the pages and pages of homework from her studies? Or did you just say that she twist the scripture? When is the last time a preacher, minister or who ever the leader in your church ALL agreed on the same scripture had the EXACT SAME MEANING?? If they do, then you NEED to fire all but one of them, because you are losing money if everyone has the exact same thought process. Heck, maybe, we all have the same money brain as Donald Triumph for that matter! That is how stupid it sounds when you say she is “twisting” the scripture!!! If that is the case, then why do we have so many different types of religion?? If you do not believe in her studies, then just do not do them! If you believe she twist scripture, then do not read her material. You need to read your Bible about judging someone, because you will also be judged. I know first hand that this woman, would NEVER EVER twist scripture on purpose, nor would she lead someone in the wrong direction! If you know ANYTHING about her ministry, it is for WOMEN! Yes, some men attend her studies and even her conferences, but it is the man’s CHOICE, no one is forcing them! I know couples that attend BOTH women ministry and turn around go to men’s ministry, as a couple, growing their marriage and faith as a couple! So, maybe you need to get the “church” police after the men speakers or the women for attending them! If you are so sure that Beth is NOT a Godly woman or meant to be a teacher for women, then YOU NEED TO STEP UP TO THE PLATE AND DO WHAT SHE IS DOING FOR WOMEN!!!!! How many women have you lead to Christ?? How many women, that you do not personally know, have you prayed for, just today alone? If you knew Beth or her history or her ministry, then you would NOT say anything! At least she is doing something POSITIVE for the Lord, and your negative talk is doing nothing but putting negative, hypocritical thoughts in people’s mind! Not to mention, what people see in a Christian, when they read this junk! It’s people like you who want to destroy others, yet you are not doing a single thing in that ministry! Until you are prepared to “walk a mile in her shoes,” then I suggest that you might want to re-evaluate your life and God’s purpose for you here on this green Earth. Have you EVER ONCE heard Beth put someone down, knock their religion, or even defend herself?? NOPE BECAUSE SHE IS TRULY A WOMAN OF GOD, SHE BELIEVES IN HER WOMENS MINISTRY AND THAT IT IS FROM AND FOR GOD, NOT TO MENTION SHE HAS STYLE, TASTE AND MANORS, something you missed!

4/20/2011 01:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

God can use anyone....reminds me of the same rantings as a few pharisees..get a grip people,seriously!...such a hysterical waste of time.

1/15/2012 01:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For you who judge you will be judged!! If you are a Christ follower??? Why would you say such things about your sister in Christ? Why would you just not ask her if she does the things you says she does? Instead you judge!

2/29/2012 06:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beth Moore……
Positives to say about her is she is a wonderful communicator and motivational speaker. She draws women of all ages and races to her side. She absolutely ADORES her family.

I have done probably every bible study that has been available to do. And there are many of them. If you were astute, you could catch some earlier bible studies and then do her more recent versions of those same bible studies. It is interesting to watch the transition from a younger Beth Moore to a “mature” Beth Moore. Sadly, the message doesn’t change and neither do the antidotes. Once you’ve heard “blonder than I pay to be” or that she is a “sanguine”, you kind of figure out what the message is going to be and where it is going to take you. Of course, 20 years in ministry has given her some time to reflect on her childhood, so that message changed somewhat in the James study.

I have issue with her popularity, but I have issue with any of “God’s chosen” and popularity. Scripture is quite clear that Jesus was not the most popular person who walked the earth….with the exception of how popular he was with his enemies….if you can honestly call that popular. God’s chosen people that are popular deserve to be tested with scripture to make sure their message is accurate and trustworthy. I don’t know why we think when God chooses someone they should be popular when His son’s message was NOT very popular! Test your teachers….this is what you are commanded to do in scripture!!!! Can’t say this enough!

Sanguine……The sanguine temperament is fundamentally impulsive and pleasure-seeking; sanguine people are sociable and charismatic. They tend to enjoy social gatherings and are usually quite creative. Often, when they pursue a new hobby, they lose interest as soon as it ceases to be engaging or fun. They are very much people persons. They are talkative and not shy. Sanguines generally have an almost shameless nature, certain that what they are doing is right. They have no lack of confidence.
Like I said earlier, she is a GREAT communicator, but I’m not convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that this Sanguine is really doing a good job with scripture content.

I know many of her studies are based on “receiving a word” from the Lord and researching it extensively. My issue here is that some of these verses are taken out of context. So she develops bible studies based on a word search, but doesn’t take the time to study the context around the single verse. She has done a video on how she prepares for her presentations on the weekend and has indicated that the content doesn’t even come to her until Thursday before she is speaking on Friday? I’m sorry, but that does not indicate the proper content/context study for a bible study for thousands.

Because of recent events, I started searching for Beth Moore on Google and I wasn’t prepared for others to see what I was seeing and even more disturbing, to see all the other teachers that were listed alongside her. It seems that God’s people really need to step up, test their teachers and voice some concern about what they are being taught. WE really need to go back to scripture as our sovereign authority!

Beth teaches that the generation of today are the leaders of today….let’s take heed to this and step up and make these teachers teach from the word of God. I have read so many comments about how Beth has led/encouraged others (women) to read the word of God. This is not an excuse for listening to unscriptural studies. I sincerely wish as many people stood up for Christ in his day as well as today as stand up for Beth Moore. I’m afraid to say that if Christ stood in the presence alongside Beth, some of her followers would deny him and follow her. I hope I am wrong, but fear this is not far from true.

One last note….I am guilty of relying on Beth for some content. I had many questions about her content when I did her studies, but never took the time to “test” her. Well, I have learned what an error that was on my part and will test any teacher as I should according to scripture.

6/22/2012 01:23:00 PM  
Blogger carecanada said...

I went to a" simulcast" and got very tired sitting for hours. She used the word "crazy",as well as "neurotic" and "psychotic" in a spiritual context...Psychosis is a medical condition, an illness. One would not say "cancerous" or " prone to fits--epileptic" in reference to a spiritual state. I found this usage of hers problematic, and wrote to her asking about it. However I did not (nor do I expect
a reply from this moneymaker. By the way, since when do we buy a ticket to hear preaching. When I go to church I do not expect to pay for a ticket to get in. Church is by donation normally? Billy Graham never found it necessary to sell tickets to get in to hear him, I liked her dynamic manner but regard her as an intellectual (and spiritual) lightweight.

9/18/2013 04:59:00 PM  
Blogger carecanada said...

3256I went to a" simulcast" and got very tired sitting for hours. She used the word "crazy",as well as "neurotic" and "psychotic" in a spiritual context...Psychosis is a medical condition, an illness. One would not say "cancerous" or " prone to fits--epileptic" in reference to a spiritual state. I found this usage of hers problematic, and wrote to her asking about it. However I did not (nor do I expect
a reply from this moneymaker. By the way, since when do we buy a ticket to hear preaching. When I go to church I do not expect to pay for a ticket to get in. Church is by donation normally? Billy Graham never found it necessary to sell tickets to get in to hear him, I liked her dynamic manner but regard her as an intellectual (and spiritual) lightweight.

9/18/2013 05:27:00 PM  

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