Author of various works and the engine of Living Proof Ministries, Beth Moore certainly holds much influence, especially since she has reached many people with her works. As a result, many groups/people have written about her. CARM recognizes her good and her bad. The Pirate Christian Radio gang has done much work on her: Steven Kozar wrote about her “false doctrine, mysticism and impassioned frenzy” and Chris Rosebrough has reviewed a PLETHORA of her cases of narcigesis. Michelle Lesley, in a post from 2014, states that she is slipping. Pulpit & Pen, a fire-breathing “discernment ministry”, has posted numerous articles about how people “break free” from Beth Moore (while the people do have legitimate reasons for “breaking free” from Beth Moore, the mass amount of these “break free” articles acts more like a smear campaign against Moore by Pulpit & Pen). Other websites, such as Delivered By Grace and 828ministries, have also written about Beth Moore. There is certainly no drought of information on her.
Given the wealth of available information on Beth Moore, it will be hard to add unique information to the existing body of work. As a result, this article sums up Moore while, at the same time, attempting to add new information to the existing body of work. In fact, the framework of this summation is perhaps a new point not often (if ever) considered. This article looks at the good, the bad and the ugly of Beth Moore.
While such a framework may be absurd or perhaps demeaning on its face, one need only take a look in the mirror to see that we all have something good, bad and ugly about ourselves. The only good I really have is my faith in Christ, the only way by which mankind may be saved (Acts 4:12; John 14:6). The bad about me is my life before Christ, which involved gross idolatry, including a stint in the cult of Mormonism (this would be considered “ugly” if I continued in this unrepentant idolatry until death because a continuous life of unrepentant sin and rejection of God leads to a very real place of eternal, conscious torment called hell—-Romans 2:8-10; Revelation 9:2; 19-20; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10; Matthew 8:12; 22:13; 25:14-46 Mark 9:43; Isaiah 66:24; Luke 13:22-35; 16:19-31). The ugly would have to be (but certainly not limited to) a left foot that constantly clicks whenever I rotate it (my right foot does not do such a thing). This is “ugly” because I am convinced that this problem cannot be solved while I am alive. Instead, I believe it will be solved only when I get my new glorified body in heaven, a free gift not earned or deserved by meritorious works (1 Corinthians 15; 2 Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:23; 1 Thessalonians 4:16; 1 John 3:2; Revelation 21:1-5; Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8-9). What’s good, bad and ugly about Beth Moore? This article attempts to answer that question as it arranges and analyzes the existing information while also attempting to add new information.
As mentioned, CARM recognized Beth Moore’s good (as well as her bad, which won’t be covered in this specific section) by summarizing some of the good things on her organization’s mission statement. The following comes right from her “we believe” section of the organization’s About page:
We believe that Jesus Christ is “the way, the truth, and the life.” – (John 14:6)
We believe that “salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to man by which we must be saved.” – (Acts 4:12)
We believe “if we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” – (1 John 1:8)
We believe “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” – (1 John 1:9)
We believe that “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” and can fully redeem and powerfully use even those who consider they have been “the worst.” – (1 Timothy 1:15)
We believe God “is patient, not wanting any to perish but everyone to come to repentance.” – (2 Peter 3:9)
We believe that all scripture is “God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” – (2 Timothy 3:16)
We believe that every believer in Christ is the “temple of the Holy Spirit.” – (1 Corinthians 6:19)
We believe we have been “baptized by one Spirit into one body” (1Corinthians 12:13) and recognize the value and equality of all members of the body of Christ. We are “all one in Christ Jesus.” – (Galatians 3:28)
We actively support the unity of all believers eclipsing all denominational, economic, or ethnic diversities.
We believe we have “different kinds of gifts but the same Spirit.” – (1 Corinthians 12:4)
We believe that “our citizenship is in heaven and we eagerly await a Savior from there the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables Him to bring everything under His control, will transform our lowly bodies so they will be like His glorious body.” – (Philippians 3:21)
“And so shall we forever be with the Lord.” – (1 Thessalonians 4:17)
Until then, we believe we are to strive to “live holy and Godly lives as we look forward to the day of God.” – (2 Peter 3:11,12)
Clearly, the above information is good: nearly every statement is backed with Scripture, Christ alone is proclaimed as the only way to salvation, and Christ’s mission (to save sinners) is clearly conveyed. This is really awesome. While CARM recognized that there is no doctrinal statement (which is a bit of a problem), Moore’s organization hits the nail on the head with several excellent points in its “beliefs” statement. The fact her organization even has some kind of clear, easy-to-find page of beliefs is also a victory in itself given some churches do not have one.
One can look at Moore’s organization’s “beliefs” page and easily conclude she is a safe teacher. However, as mentioned earlier, Michelle Lesley said she is “slipping.” This warrants a look at the “bad” of Beth Moore.
Moore partners with many a false teacher/religion/practice, which is bad. The late Ken Silva of Apprising Ministries has a number of articles on Moore’s associations, including but not limited to Moore’s worshiping at Joel Osteen’s church while Christine Caine preached (Osteen is not really a pastor while Caine is a major promoter of the Word of Faith heresy) and Moore’s endorsement of Roman Catholicism (which, per the still-binding 1545 Roman Catholic Council of Trent, declares eternal condemnation to those who hold to Christ alone for the forgiveness of sins). Moore also has partnered with Joyce Meyer, who is someone known to preach heresy. Given Moore’s earlier “good” statements from her organization’s mission statement, these affiliations would violate Scripture (2 Corinthians 6:14-17; 2 John 7-11; James 4:4).
While the aforementioned affiliations are all at least a year old, Moore still endorses non-biblical practices. On August 9, 2017, Amy Spreeman, one of the engines behind Berean Research, posted a Facebook photo from Moore’s new TBN ad that featured a prayer labyrinth. What’s the big deal, you ask? Prayer labyrinths are unbiblical. In the comments thread of that photo, the media team stated that it chose that photo not realizing it was a prayer labyrinth. However, they offered no apology for making such an egregious error. Furthermore, Moore herself did not offer an apology for what had happened essentially in her name. This is bad. Furthermore, the discerning Christian should recognize by this time that Moore surrounds herself with bad company, which is not a good thing (1 Corinthians 15:33).
While Moore obviously engages in bad affiliations and practices, dismissing her because of this bad stuff alone would be weak argument. As always, we need to know how the person’s teachings/sayings line up with Scripture. With Beth Moore, this is where stuff gets ugly.
As mentioned, Chris Rosebrough from Pirate Christian Radio has reviewed a plethora of Beth Moore material. In fact, he has reviewed no less than five messages of hers. These include but are not limited to Ephesians 3, 2 Kings 4, Genesis 26:21, 1 Corinthians 2 and 1 Samuel 17. One common denominator surfaces in each review; Beth Moore narcigetes each text she touches. Before every Beth Moore review, Rosebrough plays a standard song with the slogan, “Able to narcigete a Biblical text faster than a hummingbird strung out on Starbucks’s caffeine, it’s time for another segment of ‘Bible twisting’ with Beth Moore.” In each episode, Rosebrough does an excellent job of explaining how Moore is not a sound Bible teacher; he refutes her with Scripture while strengthening the point that Moore is indeed a Bible twister.
Rosebrough is not the only person to mention Moore’s faulty Bible interpretation. A website known as Psalm12Outreach (which no longer exists) posted a Youtube video showing Moore’s narcigesis of Acts 16:14. While the video is very short on context/commentary and poor in quality (the video and audio are out of sync), it shows enough evidence to prove that Moore does indeed make the passage about “you”, the reader (she specifically addresses the “11,000” of her audience), when she clearly states, “You are Lydia today.” There’s something worth considering from that statement. Because Beth Moore teaches men (which is a violation of Scripture, per 1 Timothy 2:9-15 and 1 Corinthians 14; Rosebrough also offers insight from his review on Jory Micah, someone who doesn’t believe women are to be kept silent in the church), it is possible (though not certain based on the footage) that some men could be in that audience. Is Moore suggesting that a gentleman in the audience is “Lydia today”? The fact Moore even stated that “you” can be Lydia from Acts 16:14 is already absurd. However, the fact Moore both teaches men AND makes that statement is even more absurd as well as flat out strange. After all, we are not any of the characters in Scripture today; we are our own individual souls made in His image (Genesis 1:26-31). Furthermore, how can a male be a female named Lydia from Acts 16:14?
Finally, Matt Slick at CARM (whom I have cited on multiple occasions already) gave some excellent examples of more of Moore’s exegetical errors, as follows:
If Mrs. Moore is exercising the position of a Bible teacher, then she should be able to properly exegete Scripture. Unfortunately, she is guilty of frequent allegorization where she misapplies Scripture. To allegorize means to use a symbol as representing a more complex idea. The problem is that with allegorizing, Scripture can be made to say almost anything. Let’s take a look at a few of the many examples of Beth Moore’s improper biblical interpretive practices.
- Quote: Speaking of the demoniac of Matt. 8:28-34, she says, “before we proceed to the next point, consider a fact revealed in verse 27. The demonic didn’t live in a house. He resided in the tombs. I wonder how many people today are living “in the tombs”? I know a woman who is still so oppressed by despair that decades after the loss of a loved one, she still lives “in the tombs.” (Jesus, the One and Only, by Beth Moore, B & H Publishing Group, Nashville, Tenn., 2002, p. 143-144)
- Response: The biblical text is about Jesus’ authority over the demonic realm, not about people living “in the tombs.” The two demoniac’s that were living in these dark places were exceedingly violent (v. 28). They said to Jesus, “What do we have to do with you, Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?” Jesus then commanded the demons in these two men to leave, and they went and entered into swine (vv. 31-32). The point of the text has nothing to do with people who are held in bondage by emotional traumas. Beth’s allegorizing the text to make it fit her need is a wrong use of the text.
- Quote: “as stated in the introduction to this book, we may not always be sure God wills to heal us physically in this life of every disease or prosper us with tangible blessings, but He always wills to free us from strongholds. You will never have to worry about whether you are praying in God’s will concerning strongholds. “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free” (Gal. 5:1). (Praying God’s Word: Breaking Free from Spiritual Strongholds, by Beth Moore, B&H Publishing Group, Nashville, Tenn., 2009, p. 36, italics in original)
- Response: The context of Gal. 5:1 is dealing with being under the law (Gal. 4:21). Paul contrasts children under the law and “children of promise” (Gal. 4:28). Paul was warning the Galatians about being enslaved to the Mosaic law, which is why he says in the next verse “… that if you receive circumcision, Christ will be of no benefit to you.” Beth Moore has improperly applied a verse, taking it out of its original context and meaning, and used it in a manner for which it was not intended — as the biblical context demonstrates.
- Quote: After writing about literal Barbie dolls used in churches, put in pews, with hands lifted up, she mentioned how one of them had a gnawed off leg. “Though the group didn’t know it, they’d hit the nail right on the head, or maybe the leg right on the stump. That was me all right. No, I don’t have a missing leg, but if you could see me with your spiritual eyes, surely at least one of my legs was gnawed off at the knee. Ephesians 4:27 warns, “Do not give the devil a foothold.” Uh, too late. Satan has wounded me, but he hasn’t devoured me. He got the leg, but he’s never gotten the thigh, though goodness knows he wanted it. I may walk with a spiritual limp, but thanks be to God, who holds me up and urges me to lean on Him, at least I can walk. So can you.” (get out of that pit: straight talk about God’s deliverance, by Beth Moore, Thomas Nelson, Nashville Tennessee, 2007, p. 87)
- Response: The context of Eph. 4:27 is this: “Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth, each one of you, with his neighbor, for we are members of one another. 26 Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and do not give the devil an opportunity. 28 Let him who steals steal no longer; but rather let him labor, performing with his own hands what is good, in order that he may have something to share with him who has need.” The stronghold in Ephesians is about sinning in anger or theft, etc., something the devil can use against us and others. Beth Moore’s “spiritual eyes” about being gnawed off at the knee and not giving the devil a stronghold, have nothing to do with the text. Beth should not take any text that “might” look like a phrase that could fit a “spiritual” lesson and then use it to make a point. She is failing to exegete Scripture properly. She is teaching to just apply verses willy-nilly in whatever direction seems fit. This is dangerous.
Scripture means what it means in context. Beth Moore needs to examine the context of Scripture, note what it actually says, and then stick to it. She should not take a word or phrase in Scripture, expand it, throw in a “spiritual” meaning not taught in the verses, then misapply it in a five step how-to-get-out-of-your-pit-of-depression pop psychology speech that is housed in Christian terminology. Proclaiming God’s word is a very serious matter, and all Bible teachers should seek to be as faithful to Scripture as possible – lest we violate God’s word and mislead his people.
As you can see, Slick does a fine job of refuting Moore’s primary sources with Scripture. He clearly shows how Moore heavily engages in narcigesis and gross allegorization. Moore essentially both scratches itching ears and teaches for shameful gain what she ought not to teach (1 Timothy 1:3; 2 Timothy 4:3-4; Titus 1:11). This is an ugly thing because she is misleading many people with her horrible Bible interpretation skills. Unfortunately, it is happening at an ugly frequency.
One would do well to mark and avoid Beth Moore (Romans 16:17). One would also do well to pray fervently that she repents from her strange doctrine and gross false teachings (1 Timothy 1:3-4; 1 Thessalonians 5:17). Instead of teaching her strange doctrine, she needs to teach about how God, being the loving but just God that He is, sent the infinite god-man Jesus Christ to die on the cross and rise from the dead to pay the penalty for our sins and purchase the free gift of heaven for us since we are sinners who cannot save ourselves (1 John 4:8; Exodus 34:7; John 1:1, 14; Isaiah 53:6; 1 Timothy 1:15; Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 3:23; Matthew 5:48). We receive this free gift of heaven (eternal life) through faith, which is a trusting saving faith in Christ alone and not mere head knowledge (Acts 16:31; James 2:17). While Beth Moore’s organization’s mission statement suggests that she has a good head knowledge of what salvation is, it is not translating to sound instruction in either her teachings or her affiliations. Because of that, it has led to some bad and ugly things. Let us pray that Moore’s bad and ugly may soon be a bad past and/or clicking bones (actually, something other than clicking bones since I would not wish clicking bones on anyone) instead of the poor affiliations and false teachings that are unfortunately misleading many.