The Pen

A Pastor’s Wife Breaks Free of Beth Moore: A Testimony

The following testimony was submitted to Pulpit & Pen for publication:

My name is Lauran.  I am a Southern Baptist from Tennessee.  I walked the aisle to accept Jesus at age 5 but I believe I was truly saved 12 years ago at the age of 21.  I am currently the women’s Bible study leader at our church as well as the pastor’s wife.  I have broken free of Beth Moore.

I grew up attending Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennessee.  It was and is one of the most vibrant churches in the convention; its former (Adrian Rogers) and current (Steve Gaines) pastors have been the President of the Southern Baptist Convention and both served on the Baptist Faith and Message Committee.  At this faithful church, the Bible was proclaimed as God’s inerrant word.  Growing up in a church like that, I was often involved in Bible study.  One of my favorite Bible study authors was Beth Moore.  I was heavily involved in her studies for years.  I have seen her speak live multiple times, done countless numbers of her studies and own tons of her books.  I’ll never forget the day five years ago when my husband informed me that Beth Moore may not be a sound teacher.

My husband had stumbled across the profile on Beth Moore at the Christian Apologetics Research Ministry (CARM) website.  Incredulously, my Baptist husband read Matt Slick’s negative critique of Beth Moore.  He was surprised to see that CARM, one of the most trusted online sources for Christian doctrine, did not recommend participating in Beth Moore studies.  He knew she was the darling of Southern Baptist women’s studies and a best-selling author at LifeWay.  After studying the article, my husband couldn’t help but agree with Slick’s assessment.  The evidence was right there.  Beth Moore was not a sound teacher.  Sheepishly, he informed me that Beth Moore may not be a sound teacher.  I was aghast!

“What?!” I exclaimed.  “No Way! Beth Moore is a godly woman.” I had been growing in my knowledge of the word in leaps and bounds over the past few years.  I had even attended Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary for a degree in Christian education.  It had never been brought up to me in my long Baptist life that Beth Moore, this trusted woman, and leader, might actually be a poor teacher or even a wolf in sheep’s clothing!  I had always just assumed that what she was teaching was biblical. All of the churches I had ever attended had endorsed and done her studies as part of their women’s Bible studies. How could they keep doing her studies if her teaching and actions were unbiblical?!

There was only one way to answer this question.  I had really begun to study the Scripture heavily over the past few years and had really begun thirsting for knowledge and wisdom according to the word.  I had to learn for myself, by studying Beth Moore and comparing her to God’s word, if she was truly a sound teacher or if my husband was on to something.  Every teacher should be compared to the Word to see if she measures up.  I researched Beth Moore for countless hours.  I watched her teaching clips online.  I checked multiple reliable sources, comparing all I found to Scripture.  It led me to a shocking conclusion -Beth was not teaching sound doctrine.

It felt as though I was breaking up with an old friend. Beth Moore and I had to part ways. Some old things I had heard her say over the years kept coming to my mind. I specifically remember the bizarre story that she shares about the handicapped man in the wheelchair. Apparently God “told her” she needed to go and brush the man’s hair. That was the first time I remember hearing about her “special revelations” from God.

A more recent example was when God gave her a vision while sitting on her porch and a message to give to the whole body of Christ; she was supposed to tell the church this message, “my bride is paralyzed by unbelief.”

According to Beth, she is God’s divine instrument and He is giving her extra-biblical revelation to give to the whole church. The errors just continued from there. Aside from all the exegetical errors in her teaching and the extra-biblical revelations, she promotes the dangerous mystical practice of contemplative prayer. She claims Catholicism is part of the Christian church! She has no problem teaching men.  She has even recently aligned herself with Joyce Meyer and Joel Osteen, attending and speaking at conferences at his Lakewood church.

Beth Moore seems to be on a downward slope and she is getting farther and farther away from Scripture.  Let me remind you that there are parts of her teaching are biblically sound.  Additionally, the statement of faith at her church and her Living Proof mission statement make her appear as if she is biblical.  Remember how Satan works.  Just a little bit of false teaching, sprinkled in with a lot of biblical truth, can look good to the masses but it’s ultimate a clever deception.  As Paul told the Galatians, “A little leaven leavens the whole lump.” (Galatians 5:9)

Finding out that one of my favorite Bible study authors was a false teacher was bad enough.  However, what was worse was the reaction I got from others when I shared the news.  When I found out the truth about Beth Moore, I absolutely could not keep it to myself and let other women get swept away in her personality cult and false teachings.  I wanted to obey Paul’s command to the church – “take no part in the unfruitful deeds of darkness but rather expose them.” (Ephesians 5:11)   Yet, many of my Christian friends did not want to listen to my warnings.  I received comments such as “you are hurting the body” and “you are hurting women.”  I was told that I was wrong and judgmental. These comments were not just coming from my local Christian circle of women but even by leaders at very large Southern Baptist churches.  A youth pastor at the flagship church called me divisive!  I wonder if he has even read any Beth Moore books.  Who was I to call out a well-known teacher like Beth Moore?! Almost everyone seemed to immediately jump to Beth’s defense without even checking the facts or looking at Scripture! Even close family and friends were very resistant and offended at the idea that Beth Moore was not a sound teacher. I knew there was no turning back, I had to take a stand even if it meant I was hated and shunned.  That’s part of deciding to follow Jesus.  As the old hymn goes, “No turning back, no turning back.”

If you are a woman who has discovered the truth about Beth Moore and chosen to speak out, be prepared to be shunned by the women and men at your church and possibly even your pastor.  Though it seems more people have recently begun to acknowledge her errors, the vast majority of women are still on the Beth Moore band wagon simply because they have always done her studies at their church.  People don’t like to question what they have always done. Beth Moore has earned her spot at the top of every Christian book store and in every SBC church as part of the ladies’ bible studies.  When tradition is bucked by Scripture, it is never received well; just look at the example of Jesus and the Pharisees!  I feel the teaching commonly accepted by women today is exceptionally bad.  Maybe it’s due to the fact that, as women, we like to connect with people on an emotional level; we like to hear people that touch us and motivate us.  Beth Moore certainly uses her charismatic personality to do just that. She uses her personality to her advantage so that she can connect with women and in turn sweep them away.

I pray if you are a woman reading this article that you will not just take my word for it but will be discerning and seek the Scriptures and “test the spirits” as it says in 1 John 4:1 to see if Beth Moore lines up with God’s word or if she is leading women astray.  If you do, you will soon find she falls far short.  No one is a perfect teacher, but Beth Moore is a bad teacher, and one who claims to be a prophet.

As the women’s bible study leader at our church, I will not allow or promote any Beth Moore studies. We as teachers are held more accountable as to what we present to our sisters in Christ as acceptable, sound doctrine.  My prayer in sharing this testimony with you is that women everywhere would not allow themselves to be swept away by Beth Moore or any other teacher that simply appeals to their emotions but does not conform to every part of Scripture. Let us break free from Beth Moore choose to only sit under those who rightly divide the Word!

See also: False Teacher of the Day #7: Lisa Bevere

For more testimonies like this of people who have broken free of Beth Moore, see here.

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[Edited by Seth Dunn]

*Please note that the preceding is my personal opinion. It is not necessarily the opinion of any entity by which I am employed, any church at which I am a member, any church which I attend, or the educational institution at which I am enrolled. Any copyrighted material displayed or referenced is done under the doctrine of fair use.

Seth Dunn

Masters of Divinity in Christian Apologetics, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary Member of the Evangelical Theological Society Certified Public Accountant