Friends Don’t Let Friends read Beth Moore

friends don’t let friends read beth moore

This post is for the ladies of the LCMS. So, men, if you are reading, you should definitely, definitely stop.

Unless you have women in your life who like Beth Moore. Then you should definitely, definitely keep reading.

Ladies, X out of the Beth Moore blog. Step awayyyyyy from the Joyce Meyer devotionals.

It’ll be hard. You’ll have withdrawal symptoms. You’ll miss the emotional high you got when Beth told you that you, too, can “feel the fire of Christ in your bones.” (Sounds painful if you ask me.) You’ll long for the the feeling of empowerment you got when Joyce pumped her fist in the air and belted out, “Complain and remain. Praise and be raised!” (From what? My couch?) You’ll wonder why the world seems so dark and colorless without them in it.

Or you won’t. Once you set them aside and are turned back to Scripture, back to Christ, back to His cross, you’ll actually realize something else: They get it all wrong . . . all the time.

You’ll read, “The name God placed on my heart for this 7-week series is Breath.”

And you’ll think, “I thought the name God placed on us was His own triune name in Baptism. And I thought that the Bible said that ‘In many and various ways, God spoke to His people of old by the prophets. But now in these last days, He has spoken to us by His Son.’ Hmm. That’s strange.”

You’ll read, “We are believing God to reveal Himself powerfully to us.”

And you’ll think, “But I thought He already revealed Himself to us in Jesus Christ. Wait. And I thought that He comes to us every week in the Holy Communion. Well, that’s weird.”

You’ll read, “I am NOT poor. I am NOT miserable. I am NOT a sinner!”

And you’ll think, “But . . . but . . . the Bible and the Creed say that I am exactly all of those things!”

You’ll read, “The healing power of God is working in me right now. Every day I get better and better in every way.”

And you’ll think, “But if I am getting better and better, why am I still a sinner who lives each day in need of Christ’s forgiveness? This isn’t making any sense!”

You’ll read, “Don’t run to the phone; run to the throne.”

And you’ll think, “Are you kidding me? Is this turning into a ding dang Dr. Seuss book? I do not like Joyce with a mouse. I do not like her with a house. I DO NOT LIKE HER, Sam-I-Am!”

And then it will hit you: Beth and Joyce have gotten it all wrong.


Beth and Joyce want you to feel your theology; Christ assures you of it.

Beth and Joyce want it to be all about you; Christ reminds you it is about Him for you.

Beth and Joyce want you to make a decision; Christ tells you it is finished.

There is a great temptation among LCMS women to fall prey to false teachers, especially when they are dressed in immaculate pant suits with lots of hair spray and come with a Southern accent. Resist it. Stop buying their books. Stop reading them. And whatever you do, stay out Christian book stores. They are, my pastor once told me, so filled with bad theology that they are like the yawning gates of hell.

Instead, go here and order yourself an ESV Study Bible. Order a Treasury of Daily Prayer. Read what your Lord has to say about His love for you, about the forgiveness and peace that are yours, and why He came to free you from the temptations people like Beth and Joyce will wave under your nose. Read what the church fathers believed. Read what the Church has always confessed.

Christ’s Words will fill you with more assurance, more joy and strength for the day than Beth or Joyce ever could.

Well, maybe not Joyce. She’s apparently stopped sinning, after all, and coming in a close second after the spotless Lamb of God is really something.

{Her grammar is still atrocious, but concentrating on being sinless really doesn’t leave much time for details, you know.)

Take a listen. Be horrified. And then stay firmly planted at the cross of Christ, no ams, weres, or hangings required.

79 thoughts on “friends don’t let friends read beth moore”

    1. I participate in a weekly non-denominational Bible study. We have had one or two studies that I have had to take with a grain of salt. Same with Beth Moore… I take her with a grain of salt. Would I choose to study her on my own? No. But, with this group of ladies? Sure, I’d give it a try. Of course, it would all be balanced against Lutheran theology. Can we take all of it as written? No. Should we? No. But can we use the good that is in it? Yes. I don’t say a lot in our Bible Study, as I know I am in a severe minority. And I do a lot of x-ing out of things and writing long commentary. But, it makes me get into my heart and my head, and into my Bible. And the fellowship with other believing women does me good.

    1. This article; the consuming attitude of slander toward those you disagree within your own body, just for starters (outsiders are fair game); the inability to converse, pray, and finally agree to disagree and yet live in love toward those in your own body!; the overwhelming condemnation of anyone who disagrees with you (see comments above!) – this is why I left the LCMS 14 years ago. It saddens me, a former multi-generational LCMS member, to see that little has changed.

        • So where did you go when you left LCMS? I know, there are reasons why one might; but I hope you didn’t go to ELCA, where doctrine is something to be compromised with the Episcopalians, the Presbyterians, the Methodists, the Moravians, the Congregationalists and the Mennonites, and where plain Scripture is subordinated to current social and academic fashion. That’s not slander–it’s an accurate description of recent fellowship agreements and changes in policy, which is why the Lutheran Congregations in Missions for Christ, the North American Lutheran Church and the Augsburg Lutheran Churches exist. The most devastating indictment of ELCA is *Stand and Confess*, by Tim Swenson, formerly of ELCA but now of Augsburg. (Fair disclosure: Tim preached at my ordination.)

            • I must admit that I find this post frustrating and disappointing. I agree that Beth Moore’s Bible studies occasionally include a note or comment that would not stand up to the harsh criticism of Lutheran theology, but she offers the in-depth study from a women’s perspective that can not be found anywhere else. I have done many Beth Moore studies and seen her speak in person at least twice and have NEVER left doubting my salvation based only on Jesus’ death and resurrection. Her message is clear that we are sinful humans in dire need of repentance and forgiveness. What disturbs me more than any Beth Moore message is the tendency for LCMS Lutherans to appear pious and self righteous seeming to be more interested in being Lutheran then bring Christian. We have enough evil to deal with in the world without making other Christians our enemies. It just doesn’t make sense.

              I know of many LCMS churches who use Beth Moore’s Bible studies as part of their women’s ministry programs with great success. One of the first Beth Moore studies I participated in was with an LCMS pastor’s wife right here in Bismarck. It was awesome!

            • Ken, from other comments you have made on this page, I don’t think you really want to know where I went for any reason other than to tell me how I am wrong, to discredit my faith and the true depth of my
              “Lutheranism”, and to further confirm that your attitude and beliefs about me are correct because of where I went when i left. I could defend myself with a litany of all my close family members who are/were LCMS teachers and pastors, or really seal the deal telling you that my uncle was a very respected professor at an LCMS seminary. I have lived in 5 states and attended 10 LCMS congregations in my adult life; some mediocre, some very good, some just plain awful. But I don’t have to defend myself to you, or anyone else like you anymore.

            • OK, your answer tells me without saying so in so many words where you went. My response would not be the one you are assuming UNLESS you were heading for ELCA or perhaps some other body like the Episcopal Church.

        • “mhor” – whoever you are, thank you for making the only point I’ve ever been trying to make – that this kind of approach doesn’t even give us a chance to express our theology because we drive people away with our attitudes. As an LCMS pastor who believes our doctrine with all my heart, soul, mind and strength, I obviously grieve that you are no longer a part of the LCMS. I’m sorry about your past experience. Please know that I’ve been in LCMS churches across the country that do not adopt this kind of approach and do as Paul recommends, “correct with geat patience and carefuly instruction.” I, of course, would love to sit down with you someday and better understand your reasons for leaving the LCMS. If it was for emotional reasons, I’d like to win you back. If it was for doctrinal reasons, I’d like to better understand how and why your own position changed – and of course I’d like to also win you back. But thank you for demonstrating by your response to those who want to sling hatred, that this approach only alienates. If we want our culture to hear what we believe to be truth, then we need to engage them in conversation, not attack them and shut down any possibility of communication. I rejoice that you are a fellow believer in Christ. While we cannot at this point say we are one in our confession of faith, I pray for the days ahead when we can move toward that end. That will only happen if we actually talk with one another, with respect, and love. You are right, that in this particular forum, it appears little has changed. And if you are not mobile, or if you are not in a big enough place to have more than one or two options for church, you are kind of stuck. But if you have several options, I’d encourage you to keep looking. Fortunately I have had the great privilege of being a member of some very caring congregations. Yes, they believe they are Lutheran for a reason, but they certainly are not characterized by the disposition I’ve expressed so much disapproval towards. Blessings on your continued journey in the faith as a disciple of Christ.

            • Thank you, Mike, for getting it. And thank you for recognizing that even though we are not in altar felllowship with each other we are still brothers and sisters called to love each other sacrificially and learn to get along in spite of disagreements. I wish the rest of you could hear and see yourself from below your bully pulpit.

    1. I wish that, instead of a very broad and general warning against these women, you would have taken their actual words and proven with God’s word how they got it wrong.
      Please don’t defame their character, but prove God’s Words to be true over theirs.

            • Yet you cite them without distinguishing between the two women. Joyce Meyer saying “I don’t sin” is a far cry from Beth Moore being excited about expecting God to work in the lives of those who are encountering the word in her studies – frankly I don’t see what’s wrong with that comment at all. Please don’t pair Beth Moore with Joyce Meyer as in “Joyce and Beth say…” you yourself should know since you appeared to have thoroughly reviewed their studies that they are light years apart when it comes to their relative orthodoxy. When did you become so ultra-right wing conservative that you felt you had to take on the task of being the defender of Lutheran orthodoxy? You didn’t use to write that way. You used to write useful things that set forth our teaching clearly, not wasting your talent tearing down others. You are too good of a writer to spend your time blogging about what other people are doing wrong. Use your talent instead to proclaim the things we do right…just my advice…

            • Mike, when did it become ultra-right-wing to defend Lutheran orthodoxy? And what serious Lutheran will not defend Lutheran orthodoxy? Are you saying that when some ELCA leader enters into an agreement that is plainly contrary to Scripture or nullifies something in our Confessions, you just nod and say, “#8220;OK”? Yes, we should write about our own correct teaching, but speaking out against false teaching is also important; in some cases, the false teaching may be so pervasive that it becomes more important. Our Lord found that a sufficient necessity that Matt. 7:15 exists; St. Paul found the same need, such that he wrote an entire letter to the Galatians. Even in anticipation of false teachings to come, he wrote cautions to St. Timothy not once but twice (1 Tim. 4, 2 Tim. 4) about false teachers who would come “with doctrines of demons” and pleasing listeners “with itching ears”. Polemic is a necessary part of a pastor’s duties. To be sure, there comes a point where it can become excessive. But I don’t see that it has reached that point in this discussion.

            • Mike, I am thankful the Apostle Paul did not take your advice. I learn an awful lot from his writings which call to task the sin and heresy of the Corinthians, and I hope theologians today will follow suit. “Lord, keep us steadfast in Your Word,” not in the devotions of people who leave the most important words off the end of their confession of faith.

              Moore’s statement should read: “We are believing God to reveal Himself powerfully to us IN JESUS.”

              Because that, as Mrs. Heins quoted above in her post (Hebrews 1:1-2), is the revelation which powerfully saves.

              Write on, Mrs. Heins!

            • I see that you have quoted them. But I got a little confused in your post as to which quote belonged to which person. What did Joyce say? What did Beth say?
              Where in scripture can you refute them?

              Now, Joyce Meyer literally scares me with the power she has, and the reach of her voice in our community. I agree that she gets MUCH wrong, and is trying to take away the authority and power Christ truly deserves, trying to put it into our hands. Very dangerous.

              There were a lot of quotes in this post, but I just feel it would have been more beneficial to readers (who we want to bring to Jesus, yes?) to read about a specific untruth and how the LCMS refutes it. Less negativity, more pointing to the truth. Less sarcasm about these women’s demeanors and more uplifting encouragement to believe what the LCMS confesses.

            • Well said Wendy. Let our speech edify, not tear down. Nothing wrong with tearing down false teaching at all, but you don’t tear down people with it. They are, after all, the ones you want to win to your cause. For some reason making fun of them doesn’t make them exactly dying to see the points you are trying to make. Next time, this author should say something like: “I watched a Beth Moore video. She said these good things. But then she said this. And when I compare that last thing she said to our own Lutheran theology, I think she errs. She says “x” – but look here in Scripture where it says “y.” See the disconnect. I affirm Beth for all that she does for women, I just wish she would correct this area to be more in line with Scripture.” — Don’t need anything in there about accents, or hair spray, or pant suits, and you specifically identify the issue you have, and then use your ink to point to truth, rather than just sound mean and hateful…

            • I would also like to state that I see the author of this blog as a very talented writer. One who uses words well and is clearly blessed with a gift from God. I also see, if I am correct, that she is an editor for the Lutheran Witness.

              This puts her in a position where people will look to her for wisdom. I’m so very afraid that the many women in our churches who do admire Beth Moore and Joyce Meyer will feel insulted by reading this post. Feel that they were being admonished for being so foolish to admire these women. Then, in turn, they may even be pushed further away from what the LCMS confesses.

              I think a better route may be to praise women for wanting to be in closer fellowship with God, wanting to be in the Word, wanting to feel closer to Him. Even if they are following a Joyce or Beth or Kelly or Pricilla or Joel or Billy or ANY other non LCMS study. Commend them on their choice of committing time to bible study instead of other things they could be doing. But in the same breath, point out the specific areas the LCMS finds to be untrue, and offer our beliefs and confessions.

              I’m a LCMS elementary school teacher and current stay at home mom. These bible studies have been my LIFELINE during the early childhood years. When a subject arises that we may find tricky or confusing, we invite our pastor in to give us his thoughts. God works in many ways to bring us closer to Him, and one day to His side in Heaven. Perhaps through these evangelists, as well.

              And for the record, I have yet to hear Beth Moors say anything that I disagree with or that I find in direct opposition to what the LCMS believes. I have not done all of her studies, though, so maybe the author of this blog has read or heard something I have not.

        • Excuse me! Prove that the Word of God is truer than the words of sinful human? Just think about that for a minute. We either believe God’s Word, or we don’t. There is no court of law to prove God superior over humanity.

    1. Wow!… so much to say. FIRST: Thank you. Every time I try to pick up a work by one of these women, Holy Spirit within me yells: NO!

      I did do an Elizabeth George study once. In trying to implement those teachings, I felt myself “kicking against the goads” of Holy Spirit’s grace. Condemnation abounded where it did not belong. I finally repented of hanging onto those millstones like a security blanket and focused on working out my salvation.

      As to the Christian bookstores: Each time I try to go into one and find a different perspective to challenge me, I see the same dogmas. Last week I went looking for a grace study for my 13 y/o and all I found were books on: don’t have sex. Be happy your single. Don’t date. How to be God’s Girl. Back to the interweb I went for a more diverse selection.

      Along with Elizabeth George, I would add Francine Rivers. Her “Redeeming Love” novel twisted the work Holy Spirit did within my heart through Hosea. I cried for days and not in a good healing way. In the end, he did redeem the time and I learned my lesson.

        • Wait, so the Holy Spirit is allowed to speak to you from within each time you pick up Beth’s books, but the Spirit is not allowed to speak with Beth Moore from without through the Word as she prepares her studies? Am I getting that straight? I’m confused…

    1. To those commenters who say, “hey, she’s getting women to read their Bibles and be excited about Jesus, how can you say that is bad?”, I say this:

      Mormon’s and Jehovah’s Witnesses also read their Bibles a lot and are excited about Jesus.

      The issue here isn’t how to get women to read their Bibles. The issues is a proper distinction of Law and Gospel and focus on the Sacraments for building and strengthening faith. Neither Moore nor Meyer have that. They both point you to something other than the Sacraments for your assurance and neither know how to properly divide Law and Gospel. It doesn’t matter how excited women get in these studies or much they want to read their Bibles afterwards. They are getting excited about the wrong things and for the wrong reasons.

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        • Should we be pointed to the Sacraments for our assurance of Salvation or should we be pointed directly to Christ, the One who through death on a cross made full and complete atonement for our sins??

          I don’t enjoy Beth Moore or Joyce Meyer studies, but I very much enjoy the assurance of Salvation I find in Christ Alone.

            • When the Sacrament of the Altar is properly understood, when one receives the sacrament, he/she is receiving Christ and His promise of forgiveness.

            • Dear “Hmm…”,

              I am so very glad you enjoy the assurance of your salvation in Jesus alone. So do I. That’s exactly why I go the Lord’s Supper every week. It’s why I remember my Baptism when Satan assaults me with guilt over my sins and failures. Because it’s in the Sacraments that Jesus is with us today, to assure us of our salvation. It’s in the Lord’s Supper and Baptism that Jesus Himself forgives us our sins and gives us His Life.

              Consider this. When Jesus instituted the Supper for us, he told the disciples “Take, eat; this is my body…Drink of it all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” (Matt 26:26-28). Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 11:26, “For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.” Every time I eat and drink Jesus’ body and blood in the Sacrament, I am objectively receiving all the Life and forgiveness that His atoning death on the cross won for me. It doesn’t matter how strong my faith is or how obedient I’ve been or how deserving I am. Jesus is there in the Sacrament to forgive me again, like he says he is.

              Consider also your Baptism. This is the gift that Jesus told the apostles to give to all those who would be his disciples (Matt 28:19). It’s in that Baptism we are united with Jesus’ Life. When Jesus was baptized (Matt 3), our sins were put upon him to be taken to the cross. When we are baptized, our sins are taken by Jesus and we are given his righteousness and Life instead, which were won for us at the cross. So Paul writes in Romans 6:3-11:

              “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.”

              This is how Paul can also write, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Gal 2:20)

              So you see, I find my assurance in Christ alone, where Christ has promised to be for me: in the Sacraments. They aren’t external to Jesus. They are Jesus. They are where I’m to look for him, where he promises to be for me to bless me, not in my own heart or faith or mind (which are dark and murky from the stain of sin). It’s in the Sacraments that Jesus “is with us always, to the end of the age.” (Matt 28:20). So it’s my Baptism I remember when I question my salvation: I am baptized, so I am a child of God, holy in His sight, despite my daily sins. It’s the Supper to which I go when I feel weak and God feels distant: there Jesus Himself is present for me, objectively, in my mouth and down my throat, to feed and sustain me in body and soul, giving me his Life.

              When we lose or reject the Sacraments, then, we’re not losing some manufactured or empty rite. We’re losing Jesus himself. Consider that.

            • You all do a wondeful job proving you are Lutheran. Congratulations. You know all of our proof texts very well.

        • There you go slandering again. Beth Moore clearly teaches that Jesus alone is the way to eternal salvation – and yet you try to put her in league with Mormon’s and Jehovah’s witnesses. See how far you have to stretch to construe her. Of course Beth doesn’t talk about the Sacraments, she’s Baptist, I wouldn’t expect here to. Is that a detriment? Of course it is. Does every Lutheran study have to end with Baptism and the Lord’s Supper? Is there ever a time when we can just study a book, because that’s usually what Beth Moore studies do. And, did I read correctly what you said, that “Getting excited to read their Bibles” is “getting excited about the wrong things?” Again, if you have a specific qualm with something Beth says, than address it by all means. But do you honestly believe that everything she says to women gets them excited “for all the wrong reasons?” I mean you’d have to watch ever study she’s ever done to be able to conclude that. And Beth Moore does plenty of Law and Gospel dividing. She talks about the very real problem of sin in our lives, and she proclaims very beatifully the atoning work of Christ on the cross. Does she get confused in her division at times? Yes, she does. And so do I. And so do most. Remember Luther said this is the highest art and a most difficult thing to do. She confuses Law and Gospel no worse than what I’ve seen in many, many Lutheran pulpits. Look, Beth Moore is Baptist, not Lutheran. She’s wrong in several areas, no doubt. But as some guy said below about “false teaching” – John was addressing gnostics who were outside of salvation. Beth is in the faith. And like it or not, God has blessed her with the gift of connecting women to the Scriptures. And I’ve yet to see a specific teaching of hers talked about with a specific response. It’s all a smear campaign on the “danger” of her teachings. Let me say this, if a Lutheran woman can’t tread through an occassional reference to decision-theology, then there is definitely a need for more catechesis in the faith. And here’s the catch, sometimes we actually learn by hearing something not quite right, and using it as an opportunity to discuss it and reinforce our own understanding even further. I know I’m not going to change people whose minds are already made up, any more than you will change my mind. But if you cannot grant that God has used this woman for good in the lives of others – I grieve for you. And if you cannot admit that the manner in which Ms. Dorr has portrayed her is not exactly defending her reputation, then I grieve for you as well. Please, please, continue to defend the truth and correct teaching. But please also don’t slander other Christians in the process. If you want to say something about a teaching she expressed, and provide a Lutheran response – so be it. We need that. But if you want to make fun of her for the pant suits she wears, or the fact that she uses hairspray, or speaks with an accent, or actually expects God to reveal Himself powerfully in the study of His Word, then, as I said at the outset, please refrain from writing at all.

            • Mike, there is most definitely a need more catechesis in the faith. We have a whole generation of Lutherans who have read more of Beth Moore than they have of our confessions, who know Billy Graham better than Martin Luther, who may actually confuse the teachings of Baptists with those of Lutherans.

            • Mike, I’m right there with you. Very well stated. I grew up practicing the Lutheran faith and have attended a non-denominational church for more than 25 years now. I am thankful to my parents who instilled in me a love for God. I do disagree with some of the tenets of Lutheranism but have NEVER mocked that faith the way they have mocked Beth Moore.

    1. I think most people like this type of study because it invokes feelings. People are big on how they FEEL. If they go to church/Bible study etc. and don’t FEEL like something happened, then it must not be “working”. The truth is, salvation is not based on feelings. Salvation is based on the fact that Jesus Christ came down from heaven, lived a perfect life, and died on a cross for us, poor, miserable sinners. He took our place, and the punishment we deserve. Thanks be to God.

    1. Maybe CPH could produce some Bible studies at the professional quality level as the Beth Moore stuff. I’m sure many ladies would love to use them. Do we not have one faithful female theologian in the synod who can also speak and teach in an engaging way? And don’t tell me that we have this kind of bible study unless you have actually seen a Beth Moore video study and can honestly point me to the cph equivalent. I get tired of the Beth Moore bashing without any response that offers a like alternative. Until we can deliver the alternative many women will do the best they can to navigate a Beth Moore bible study adding disclaimers where the teaching is obviously contrary to our beliefs. This is a sad story: the LCMS has treasure troves of brilliant theology yet cannot deliver it to the average 21st century woman.

        • “Professional quality” “Engaging” “Deliver it to…” For better or for worse, technology has created an addiction to entertainment in every part of our lives, including worship and Bible study. I don’t know if it’s laziness on our part or the need to be stimulated, but why is it so difficult to sit down with the Bible and a doctrinally sound, theologically accurate study and make our way through it — individually or in a group — without being entertained? There are faithful female theologians in the LCMS who speak and teach engagingly…I’ve heard them at many LWML conventions and international meetings. I think funding to create a video series of studies may be part of the issue.

        • Donna Pyle’s “Your Strong Suit” and “Overflowing Abundance” are two DVD studies which were supervised from beginning to end through the doctrinal review process by LCMS pastors. At present they’re available through the LWML and through her website: Yes…she is also a southern woman with hair sprayed hair…but she is also highly passionate about her Lord and Savior and is very engaging!

        • Well said Maryann, well said. I’ve watched Beth Moore studies connect very powerfully with ladies in congregations I’ve served and their faith has grown leaps and bounds. It gets them excited about their faith, about God, and the Bible. They want to know more. Now what exactly is wrong with that? I often wonder when it became illegal in the LCMS to experience emotion related to our faith. Of course we don’t rely on it. It’s not the foundation of our faith. But the watchdogs in our circles think it’s fine to go crazy about their professional football team of choice, but don’t you dare show emotion when it comes to your faith – that’s sinning. Yeah right. I pray for the day when our people would care as much about their faith as they do their football (and I like my football). I love to see people get excited about their faith. What in the world is there that’s better to be excited about?!

          For the author of this article – be wary of slander and eighth commandment issues. Yes, we are all guilty of a little gossip. So I don’t mean to throw stones. But you place Beth Moore, who talks very deeply about the problem of sin, next to Joyce Meyer, who says she doesn’t sin, and lump them in the same group as if its’ the same thing. And is not God even today allowed to place things in our heart? To work through His Spirit to inspire in us understanding of His Word and a love that wants to share it with others? Should Beth dress in rags when she shoots her videos or not use hair spray? Is it wrong to expect God to reveal Himself powerfully to us as we encounter His living Word? I’m sorry, but this is equivalent to hate speech. And it actually attacks things Beth Moore says that our own theology should make us shout. Would that all Lutherans, when beginning a Bible study, expect God to be at work powerfully to reveal Himself to us. If we don’t expect that, then what’s the point… it actually is a denial of what Jesus Himself has taught us about His Word, that He indeed is at work powerfully in and through it!

          If you want to ensure Lutheran viewers of Beth Moore studies keep their antennas up for areas where Beth’s theology departs from our own, fine. That is a noble task. I hope my own hearers do the same for my Lutheran sermons. But if your goal is to attack a woman who spends a great deal of time and energy trying to encourage women in their faith by intently studying the Word of God – then my advice would be to refrain from writing.

            • Mike, wise, wise words. I agree wholeheartedly. Beth’s passion for the Word inspired me to dig deeper into Scripture as a new Christian in my early 20s. Somehow she made studying the Bible less intimidating. It proved to be a catalyst that drove me to Scripture personally in ever increasing amounts to learn and allow God to transform me. Pastor friends helped me navigate through Scripture and answered hard questions I posed in ways that made all the difference. Studying Scripture became a passion and inspired me to write Bible studies for our LCMS ladies. I appreciate your comments here so very much.

            • If our own people don’t have the knowledge to wade through a little leaven, then we have failed greatly in our catechesis. The alternative is to lock ourselves in Lutheran bubbles where all is right and safe. Of course that makes it incredibly difficult to connect with the world. Beth Moore has touched so many lives and inspired faith. I’ve seen my own mother-in-law get excited about reading God’s Word for the first time. I’ve seen 90-year old women talk about how much they learned and that “they didn’t know Isaiah was talking about Jesus” – yet how incredible that really was. We can be thankful for Beth inspiring our own Donna Pyle (thanks for sharing Donna!). She now uses her gifts in our circles for good. As a new Christian, she apparently waded through a little leaven just fine – probably because Beth drove her deeper into the Word! It’s amazing how our “Lutheran police” make me support Beth more than I’ve ever supported her before. Frankly, I hope not too many non-LCMS people read these posts. If I wasn’t LCMS and I read the stuff being said on here, I’d never step foot in an LCMS church. “Whoever is not against us is for us.” (Lk. 9:50, Mk. 9:40). I certainly don’t think Beth Moore is against us – we have a whole lot of other demons we could direct our energy toward than someone who teaches the Bible in an engaging way. I’m not saying admit Beth Moore to our communion rail, she’s not one in confession with us and would probably have the integrity to realize that. But to think that an LCMS Christian women should not encounter her teaching and cannot benefit from it? Wow, that seems like blaspheming against someone who the Holy Spirit seems to be using very powerfully in our 21st-century American context, even in spite of a little leaven. I’m so glad God continues to use me, in spite of my unavoidable leaven as well… (and I have a curious suspicion – how many here commenting about Beth in a negative manner have actually done one of her studies start to finish? – I mean before you criticize, you should know what you are criticizing. Go ahead, watch one, and make your notes about every little thing she says that might possibly be construed as leaven. But be careful, God just might use this women to change you…)

            • Mike,

              Just because something works doesn’t mean that it’s good, helpful, or beneficial. God can use any study, thing, or person to drive people back to His Word – after all, He’s God. But that doesn’t mean that we ought to be giving a good countenance to heresy when we find it. Is it a sin to read a Beth Moore book? No. Is it possible to read one and practice discernment? Yes, absolutely. But when we, as members of the Church, decide to teach our fellow Christians, why on earth would we use materials that are leavened with false doctrine, when we can teach them things that are pure milk from the Word? I’m not doubting Beth Moore’s personal faith in Christ, or her salvation by God’s grace, but it’s no secret that she does teach things which are heretical. And the thing about false doctrine is, it doesn’t just show up when you’re explicitly talking about the issue at hand. If you believe in “making a decision for Christ” as a means of salvation, and reject the idea that Baptism is a means of grace, then that’s going to color your entire way of speaking in very subtle ways that aren’t always apparent on the surface (trust me, I’m a convert to Lutheranism from non-denominational Evangelicalism).

              Is passion or emotion the issue? Herman Sasse is passionate. David Scaer is passionate. John Pless is passionate. Gene Veith is passionate. Kleinig is passionate. All of them are excellent teachers, all of them have resources that one could go through with a group, and all of them are preachers of the truths of the Word that we confess in the Creeds and in our Confessions. When we read in private, for our own personal edification, we are absolutely free to use whatever resources we desire, so long as we practice discernment and separate the good from the bad in a particular writer. But when we preach or teach in public, we are *obligated* to give our fellow Christians the pure Word of God.

              Were the apostles Paul and John locking their congregations into “Lutheran bubbles” when they told their parishioners to avoid false teachers and not to listen to false teaching?

            • The question is, “why use materials that contain false doctrine for any purpose other than to examine what is false in their teaching?” OK. At seminary, we look at a lot of things that contain false doctrine for more purposes than that; but we are being trained to a level of discernment that you’re not going to introduce into these women’s study groups, nor would I. After all, if the Beth Moore materials are desirable because of the degree of enthusiasm they raise, are you going to take the one good thing about them out of them in order to deal with the problems they contain? Better to use good materials that don’t have those problems in the first place. (If you’re the Mike I think you are–just guessing that we got to know each other at the 2010 national convention–I think you are a dynamic enough teacher and preacher that you don’t need heterodox materials to inspire your listeners.)

              And no, it isn’t “illegal to experience emotion related to our faith,” of course not. But it can’t be elevated to the point of being the primary moving force in our faith, which is what far too many popular writers want to do, following the lead of the revivalists of the Second Great Awakening. The Finney style became the predominant approach in American Protestantism.

              There was a reason that Luther and the other Reformers constantly warned against the “enthusiasts” (die Schwaermer). They saw this approach being used by the Anabaptists and similar movements and recognized the error intrinsic to that approach; it is what the last paragraph of Article V of the Augsburg Confession warns against in strongest terms (“Und verdammt werden die Wiedertaeufer,” etc….) Sure, there’s an equal and opposite mistake of overintellectualization (which is criticized sharply in the introduction to the Large Catechism). But when we start evaluating teachings based on our feelings and not by the Word, we’re in trouble, and the promotion of the Beth Moore materials is very largely based on feelings.

              I would agree with you that Beth Moore and Joyce Meyer are different cases. But I wouldn’t use Beth Moore’s materials.

            • “Mikey.” Really? Yes Jesus sais this about Pharisees outside the faith, non-believers. And have I ever said we shouldn’t beware of false teaching? No, not at all. What i’m apalled at here is the manner in which we attack these other people. Believe it or not, I’ve watched a Beth Moore study or two in my life that had nothing in it that would disagree with Luthearn theology, and I’ve actually been edified in the faith and in my understanding of the word. And the fact that pompous LCMS Lutherans won’t grant that that’s even a possibility makes me sick. I’d love to sit down with everyone on here and watch one of her studies start to finish and make a list of all the “horrible doctrine.” Then make a list of the insight you are given into God’s Word and compare the two. Why do we slander others who are gifted in sharing God’s Word? Do all the people posting here really think they are always right, all the time? I get the impression they do. That’s incredible to me. It really is. You’ve never preached a sermon and then later realized that something you said might not have been spot on? You are a better servant of God than I for sure!

            • Mike,

              I hear what you’re saying, and I’m not condemning you for being edified by a Beth Moore study. I’m saying, though, that there’s a difference between things which are edifying for individuals and things which ought to be used in public teaching/preaching. The two aren’t one and the same. Just because something is helpful for me doesn’t mean that I should bring it into Bible study. I really like Casting Crowns, but I would NEVER try to get my pastor to use their songs in Divine Service.

              And it isn’t slandering someone to say that they teach something that I think is false. It would be slander if I misrepresented their teaching, or if I said, “Their teaching is false, therefore they are a bad Christian,” or some variation of the above. But calling out bad doctrine isn’t slander and it isn’t gossip; it’s a necessary part of discerning truth from error and rightly dividing the Word.

            • Donna, as someone who has done your studies and multiple Beth Moore studies, I just want to thank you for your statement in defense of Beth Moore and by the Holy Spirit and the Word, the impact these studies have on women. These comments and citations in the blog are taken way out of context and are a poor representation of facts. May we never hinder women who are (I dare say) excited to be in the Word every single day.

        • What is the problem with some women that if a study is by a man, they can’t receive its benefits? As to your question about female theologians in the synod, yes, some of our deaconesses are extremely theologically astute–they would also be the first to tell you that we are not Christians according to our sex but according to our faith. The all-male pastorate has nothing to do with that; it is a specific calling, not a separate class of Christians.

    1. You shouldn’t have to “know” your theology to benefit from Moore. The teacher should know their theology. This puts the student as having to be superiorly informed than the teacher and constantly on alert for errors which makes no biblical sense as regards qualifications for teachers of the word.

      Peter writes about false teachers who secretly introduce heresies. The word refers to something being hid by another thing. That is to say, false teachers often confess and robustly so, primary orthodoxy and behind this confession which gives them entrance to orthodox bodies, are novel heresies and proprietary interpretations.

      Neo-Calvinist John Piper is a very good example of this as a companion to Moore who has introduced much error.

    1. I would love more on this topic. It is so sad when LCMS women speak highly of Beth Moore. Joyce Meyer, where we are at in the country, is not the problem. Even a post like this leaves my friends and family saying, “I agree about Joyce, but not Beth. Her studies have taught me so much.”

    1. Some interesting facts:

      -Christians are referred to as saints over 25 times in the New Testament.

      -The Greek word for saint is the Greek word “hagios”, which means, “holy thing, saint, that which is set apart from sin and devoted to God.”

      -Sinners is only used once in reference to believers: in James 4, when he indicted his readers of adultery.

      I’m pretty sure this article is not written with the compassion and love of Christ, nor was any attempt made by the author to follow the biblical model of correction in Matthew 18 – to go to them privately first. Be careful: when you demonize someone’s teachings, you’re consigning them straight to Hell no questions asked. And that is firstly a very brash thing, but also a thing that is not marked by compassionate prayer for them as human beings who are in need of Christ’s redemption and love.

        • “Brian,” a public sin is to be rebuked publicly – see 1st Timothy 5:20, for example. By your own words – “I’m *pretty* sure …” but not absolutely sure? – and public posting, you commit the very sin of which you (wrongfully) accuse this blogger. “Be careful” … when you impugn someone’s motives, you’re consigning yourSELF unto judgement.

        • It would be helpful for you to go to the Gospels, For example, Matthew 9 or Luke 15. Who does Jesus eat with? Sinners and not those who think themselves righteous. Whom does Jesus call? Sinners and not the righteous. Are they holy? Most certainly, because of what Christ has done for them but the text never says they are no longer sinners. In fact as Paul quotes the Psalms, “No one is righteous no not one.” Our Lord continues to call to us sinners and continues to make us righteous.

        • Brian, show how you would resolve the passage you quote below in the comm box, 1 John 3:9 “No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God.”


          If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
          (1 John 1:8-10 ESV)

          Note that you left off the opening consideration to understanding the 1 John 3 passage… here it is:

          Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin.
          (1 John 3:4-5 ESV)

          “…makes a practice…:” That is the key to much of what follows.

          I know you desire context… This should help.

        • Brian,

          It isn’t consigning someone to Hell when we say that someone’s teachings are false. People can hold false doctrine and still be saved in spite of it, if they have faith in Christ (see 1 Corinthians 3). But like the other commenters have pointed out, public sin and false teaching ought to be rebuked publicly. Jesus didn’t talk to the Pharisees and Sadducees in private.

    1. Haha. Hallelujah, but I am redeemed, I am rich in Christ, I am full of joy, and I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. God speaks to me and He wants to magnify and manifest Himself to me anew, everyday. I am rich. I am full of joy. And I am no longer a sinner! I am redeemed!

        • Simul iustus et peccator…
          Righteousness is IN Christ… Still a sinner in the flesh.

          If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
          (1 John 1:8-10 ESV)

    1. This post should not be for “LCMS women”. If you are truly concerned with the Spiritual well-being of your fellow sisters in Christ (or even more-so those who do not yet know the Grace and Love of our Lord), then this post should be for ALL women. Although I very much agree that these authors, be their beginnings paved with well-intentions, have been led astray by the World… the way you speak so boldly and brashly against such general things is atrocious. Your comments on “Christian bookstores” are incredibly off-putting. What is Concordia Publishing House, but a larger “christian bookstore”?! What is each individual church library but a “Christian bookstore”?! Unless you have visited ALL bookstores that sell Christian literature, who are you to say that they are full of poor-theology They are also full of the God-breathed Word. Please be careful that the soapbox that you are standing on (be it also paved with well-intentions) does not become a pedestal that supports your own self-righteousness.

            • I am self-righteous and a sinner every second of every day. The Bible tells me these things. The only thing that can rescue me out of said sin, is Jesus Christ and His blood. Don’t get me wrong, I agree with this post whole heartedly, but I am wary of the fact that others may just turn away from it’s truths because of the attack that it makes on something one might care about. If something is not stated in Scripture, we need not speak of it as if it is.

    1. We (believers) are not poor/miserable/sinners in God’s eyes because of Christ’s death and resurrection. We have righteousness thru Christ. I appreciate Joyce and Beth and their emphasis on spending time in the word and in prayer (building a relationship w/ God). I’m a WELS lutheran and certainly appreciate our doctrine…but have not found devotionals, etc. that are as meaningful/insightful as some that are out there by nondenom authors…

        • Yes, Patty. I agree. I have found nothing in either of their books or studies that has made me question my church or its teachings and rather have found God’s word presented in a way that has strengthened my relationship with him and others, particularly the christian women with whom I shared the studies. They speak to specific experiences that relate to me and maybe as well to other christian women. I am grateful to have had the chance to share in Beth’s studies with other women, and I better appreciate my need for God’s love to fill me rather than any other of the things that I may have tried to fill my soul, even theology. God’s love does reach me through my heart rather than my head.

        • Patty, read Romans 7: “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” Read 1 John 1: “Of we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Read Romans 3: “None is righteous, no, not one;
          11 no one understands;
          no one seeks for God.
          12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;
          no one does good,
          not even one.”
          13 “Their throat is an open grave;
          they use their tongues to deceive.”
          “The venom of asps is under their lips.”
          14 “Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.”
          15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood;
          16 in their paths are ruin and misery,
          17 and the way of peace they have not known.”
          18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

          19 Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. 20 For by works of the law no human being[c] will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.

          21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

          Anyone who tells you that you are not a sinner deceives you, and the truth is not in her. What does your pastor say about this?

            • Be careful not to strip the Bible of its meaning by leaving out certain verses that do not cater to your disposition.

              1 John 3:9 “No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God.”

              Remember, in Romans 7 Paul finishes the statement you quoted with, “Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!” It is very suspect for you to have stopped quoting Paul in the place you did.

              Romans 6:11 – “In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” This is followed by an entire section of admonishment to be completely free from sin.

              In Romans 3 Paul is setting his readers up to receive the Gospel and he presents it in Romans 5. After that, he begins to tell us about our new identity in Christ.

              Christians are referred to as “saint” over 25 times in the NT. Sinner is used only once in reference to Christians: in James 4 when the author was indicting his readers for their worldliness.

            • You don’t address the significance of the passages I quoted. We are sinners. We will be sinners to the day that we are taken up into eternal life. Romans 7 isn’t the pre-conversion Paul; it’s Paul recognizing the sinful nature we continue to have. The Romans 3 passage cannot be disregarded as you’re doing. There is no one that does good, no not one. In Adam’s fall, we all fell. Our nature is utterly corrupted. We are, of ourselves, unable to do any good thing, and when we have done all that is commanded of us, we will still have to say, “We are unprofitable servants.”

              The Reformation, to a great extent, grew out of Luther’s initial despair that no matter how hard he tried to be a good monk, he found himself still full of sin. It was when he came to understand that faith would be reckoned to him as righteousness, but that we are simultaneously righteous and sinners, that the comfort of the Gospel was there. There are two equal and opposite errors. One is to be tortured by your sin; Christ has taken it upon Himself and you are no longer judged guilty of it. The other is to become complacent and say, “I am no longer a sinner.” That’s the way of the Pharisee. It is the one who says–and continues to say–”God have mercy on me, a sinner,” whose prayer God hears.

            • Ken1lutheran,
              I didn’t mean to imply that I no longer sin, what I said was that I am no longer a sinner in God’s eyes because of what Jesus, my Savior, did for me. He redeemed me, purchased me with his blood & death and overcame sin with His resurrection. The law shows us our sin, the gospel shows us how Jesus paid for that sin. In my opinion, Joyce is not saying that she no longer sins, but rather that because Jesus paid for all sin, she is no longer a “sinner” ~ her sins have been forgiven (thru faith in Christ, Jesus). I agreed that stating it this way could be confusing. I do not, however, question her absolute dependence on her Savior.

              Thank you Jesus for taking care of it all!

            • Ken, which is why we did not return to a church we once visited when we moved to a new state. Confession was “God, we make mistakes and follow our human nature, which is only normal” (to paraphrase) Sorry.. but I AM a poor, miserable, sinner. I know it, I own up to it, I confess it, I beg for forgiveness and help in overcoming my sin, and I thank God for His blessed Son who died for my wretched sins.

    1. A friend gave me a Beth Moore book and I listened to an analysis of some of her teaching on Prate Christian Radio/ Fighting for the Faith where she used out of context scripture to teach self confidence. I went to the book on my shelf and compared the scriptures to the points she was using them to support. They didn’t match. She didn’t understand what the scriptures were teaching in context so why would she be an acceptable bible teacher. I threw the book out.

    1. I’ve done a couple of Beth Moore Bible studies, one on Esther, at an LCMS church. Not a bad study, but you DO have to know your theology. The caution is when the Bible study group leader doesn’t…then you’re left twisting in the wind sometimes, trying to argue a point.