Sunday, July 1, 2012

Beth and Me

I CANNOT believe it’s been over a year since I posting anything on this blog.  I knew the weeds were growing out of control!  Who knows, it may get all weedy again!

As the title suggests this is a story about Beth and me.  Yes, THAT Beth.  Beth Moore, the sacred cow of women’s (primarily evangelical) Bible studies.  I want to go on record as saying she’s a gifted and engaging speaker.  I heard her recite the entire book of James and am duly impressed by that.

Specifically, I want to address a recent home Bible study I attended using her James DVD series.  It was the first intro class to the study.

I cannot endorse Beth’s Biblical teaching.  Here’s why:
She asserted that families will eventually come back together.  Specifically stating that James (Jesus’ half brother) was not a believer before Christ’s resurrection, but became a believer (eventually) after he witnessed the resurrection.  While she was working on the James study, her sister was restored back to her family.  
The Bible does not teach this principle.  The closest verse we have is Proverbs 22:6, Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.  As a matter of fact, we are taught the very opposite.  When Jesus is speaking about sending the apostles out to teach, he states:  Brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death, and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake.  (Matt 10:21) (See Matthew 10:16-25 for entire context)  This is obviously far from family restoration.

She asserts that the only thing left empty is the tomb.  By this, I believe she means, we can now be “filled up” with the Holy Spirit.  Emptiness isn’t a condition the Bible warns us about. Belief and unbelief in Christ as the Son of God, along with repentance for forgiveness of sins is the emphasis of the gospel—not necessarily being “full” or “empty.” There are six instances found HERE, in which people are filled with the Spirit or Holy Spirit before Christ’s resurrection.  So, before the tomb was empty, people were filled with the Holy Spirit.

Beth struggled with why James was not a believer when he had the experience of living with Jesus himself.  She even prayed that God would give her special insight while she was preparing the study.  Um, Beth, I think it’s safe to say Biblically, that he was DEAD in trespasses and sin until after the resurrection when he was given FAITH.  He could not decide beforehand, with his own will, to believe.
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,   not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand. .  Eph. 2:1-3 & 8-10
The best answer Beth came up with was because they were all a part of a Jewish community, and all were trying to live out the law, James could not tell that Jesus was Devine. 

Beth asserts that those who really need to see Jesus, will see him.  Once again, the Bible does not teach this principle.  The examples she gave was Mary (because Mary was distraught at seeing the tomb empty, as well as, the preceding events) at the tomb and Paul.  Thomas may also have been an example*.   What about the two that were on Emmaus road?  One of them being Cleopas, who was mentioned only in this account.  We really don’t know anything about their individual circumstances and yet, we can safely say, they needed to see Jesus?
The big takeaway from the above presupposition was:  A glimpse of Christ will change you.  Okay, this sounds so spiritual and enticing—but it is not a principle that is taught in the Bible!  For one thing, we know that many who actually saw Jesus when he was alive on the Earth, did not believe.  Did they “change?”  Maybe.  Who’s to say, and what is the “change” principle?  It’s unspoken that while we’re doing Bible study, when we “glimpse Christ” we will be changed.  What does this mean?  Obviously, it’s not likely that we are going to see a physical manifestation of Jesus.  What does “glimpse” then mean?  A tidbit of spiritual truth?  Again, who’s to say?  We are capable of reading or hearing Bible truths and not being changed one bit by them.   

My conclusion is:  I will be staying away from Beth Moore Bible studies.  It takes too much effort to weed through her un-Biblical assertions to find the accurate things she may have to teach.  I would rather spend time studying the Bible on my own, or look for a teacher who teaches God’s Word accurately.

Dear women who wish to pursue Godliness:  Please read and study the Bible on your own before you trust "outsourcing" your education to popular teachers.   Keep in mind:  Acts 17:11:  Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

*It has been a couple of weeks since I attended the Bible study, so some of the details have been forgotten.  This post was from the “high points” of the notes I made the day of the study.