The following testimony was submitted to Pulpit & Pen:
My name is Susan. I grew up attending the Methodist church and rarely missed a Sunday. I accepted Christ in 1974 during my time in college. I am currently affiliated with a nondenominational church. I have broken free of Beth Moore.
After receiving Christ as my Savior, I began studying the Bible with a wonderful group of Christians called the Navigators. From the Navigators, I learned inductive Bible study methods. Kay Arthur was just becoming popular in Christian college circles for her inductive Bible studies and through this method of study, I learned to dig deeper into the Word. This was a spiritually enriching time but when I graduated and moved away, I also gradually moved away from God. I floundered about for many years doing things my way but calling upon God when I needed Him.
Three years ago, through a series of life changing events, I found out how inept I was at handling my own life and how much I needed the Lord to be Lord of my life. I was excited to improve my relationship with Christ and eager to learn all I could about Him. I began to attend a local women’s group Bible study. We would use books by popular Christian women and follow the study guide. This was a very different experience when compared to my previous studies with the Navigators and Kay Arthur’s inductive method.
So Long by Beth Moore, was one of the first studies I participated in with the women’s group. Our weekly assignment was to read a few chapters on our own. Then we would meet together, watch Beth Moore’s video teaching session for that week, and discuss what we learned. was captivated by Beth Moore’s easy style of communication and how she seemed to relate to the Lord on such a personal level. She not only seemed to know Him, but she seemed to know the everyday problems that women face along with how to fix them. I was impressed with her transparency and I felt that her ability to be open about sensitive issues was helping all of us in the group to openly explore these areas while learning how God could change us. I didn’t agree with everything Beth Moore said but I was not discouraged from continuing the study. My thinking was that we all make mistakes because we are human and it seemed to be that Beth was really trying her best to teach about the Lord. So, I grasped the things I did identify with and just brushed the questionable material aside.
I continued to seek a deeper relationship with God. I really liked what I was learning in the Beth Moore studies so I began watching more of her video teachings online on my own. I was able to find her earliest studies when she spoke to small groups and then moved forward watching the major conferences and more recent videos. I began to notice a curious evolution in her teaching – a bit of a “sea change”. In her first videos, she was quiet, a bit restrained, as a matter of fact, and an excellent communicator. She connected with her audience. As she became a more experienced speaker she seemed to loosen up and became more emotional and dramatic in her style, developing into the unleashed Beth Moore we see today. I noted the change, but like hair styles change, personal styles of presenting also evolve. I rationalized that she was just evolving to be more effective in today’s very different world. While watching one of her conference presentations one day, an alarm went off. Though her messages in previous conferences had seemed clear, she seemed to ramble and I had trouble understanding what she was trying to convey. I made a mental note of this experience but just decided that maybe I was tired and unable to follow her message that time.
My Bible study group moved on to another book. My interest in Beth Moore waned a bit but I thought I was just growing tired of using material by the same person. While at one of the group studies, someone made the comment “not everyone likes Beth Moore”. I was surprised by the comment and I wanted to know what she was getting at. She explained that some people had trouble with Beth’s style of presentation but that was all that was the extent of what was said. The comment made an impression on me, and the things I had previously brushed aside began to bother me enough that I finally decided to find out more about her. So I prayed for discernment and then began to read about her on various blog sites. After reading many posts, I decided this wasn’t really a fair approach because I wasn’t always able to verify the source used by the the blog authors. So I started studying some of her other books myself and watched more of her conferences online.
This experience opened my eyes and I realized it was time to stop making excuses for Beth Moore. The evolution of her presenting style is culturally accepted. However, I began to think she was going far afield when I realized the mass advertising, big business aspect of her teaching ministry seems to be no different than those of a rock star or the carefully orchestrated promotions of actors. I also find the rabid defenses of the slightest criticism toward her disturbing. Divisions can easily be created among women at the mention of her twisting of scripture, inserting herself into verses that have nothing to do with what she is using them to exemplify, her on stage emotional rants, and her lack of scriptural content. In one conference video, she uses precious teaching time to defend herself against those she labels “scoffers” as she goes on and on about them and demonstrates how we all need to get us a shovel.
By corralling the troops of her own personal army of disciples, she is actually doing the very thing she is speaking against, namely, causing divisions. Why should she be so concerned if she is truly doing the Lord’s work? Jesus was shunned on earth. I think anyone who follows Him should expect criticism, not doing masses hanging on every word. I think I understand that her need for acceptance from others is just like that of any of us, but when we are accepted by the Christ died who for our sins worldly acceptance no longer matters. I could go on here but much of my problem with Beth Moore’s teaching has been written about by others.
To take a stand, I made an appointment to speak with our Bible study leader about my concerns. I presented my case for discontinuing any further Beth Moore studies and told her I would go back to the inductive Bible study method. She was surprised but had not really dissected Beth Moore’s teaching as I had. She seemed alarmed by what I shared. She does not feel that studying Beth Moore’s material is essential but is okay with the fact that many people choose to do so. I will no longer be in that camp. I wrote a post expressing a few of my concerns on Beth Moore’s Living Proof blog. I was very kind but straightforward. It was deleted. I try to communicate my concerns when I have the opportunity and have found many women have broken away including those on this site. I will continue to speak up and to be on the alert for other false teachers and I will continue to pray for Beth Moore.
[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 of 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.
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