A while back I spent many months completing an extensive study of Beth Moore and her teachings. In the course of this study, I read 3 of her books, read 1 of her Bible studies, read her website and blog, and watched several online videos. The following is a summary of my research. My separate reviews of Moore’s books and Bible study are available here. The following is really long, so pack a lunch.
Beth Moore is the founder of Living Proof Ministries, Inc. which began “in 1994 with the purpose of teaching women how to love and live on God’s Word” (Living Proof Ministries). She is a best-selling author of books and Bible studies. She is also a prolific public speaker and Bible teacher through her Living Proof Live conferences, a radio ministry called “Living Proof with Beth Moore”, and regular appearances on the television program “Life Today with James and Betty Robison.” She has built a large, prosperous ministry that reported 2011 income in excess of $5M and over $12M in assets (Internal Revenue Service). Reporting this financial information is not an indictment of Moore or her work, but is merely an illustration of the reach of her ministry.
What does Beth Moore Teach?
There are a few positive aspects of Beth Moore’s ministry. She is a very dynamic, highly energetic, and personable speaker. Drawing richly from her own life, Moore is able to make strong personal connections with her audience. In her Bible teaching, Moore will often read relatively long passages of Scripture. While she does not appear to be able to read the original Biblical languages, she quite often will try to add information about the underlying Greek or Hebrew from concordances and Bible dictionaries.
Unfortunately, Moore mixes a lot of incorrect teaching, faulty theology, non-Biblical personal revelation, and even a false gospel in with her teaching. Moore’s videos, books, and Bible studies are riddled with problems. This article will expose 5 major areas of false teaching and 4 types of repeated errors in Biblical usage by Moore. This article will attempt to not only identify the particular false teachings, but equip you to recognize these types of errors when reading the works of Moore or similar writers who twist the Scriptures. The 5 major types of her false teaching to be reviewed are:
- Personal non-Biblical revelation
- False gospel of pragmatism, self-improvement and prosperity
- Glorification of humanity
- Roman Catholicism as a Christian denomination
Moore’s false doctrines primarily result from her mishandling of the Bible. She repeatedly demonstrates the following errors in her books and videos:
- Proof texting
- Improper allegorical interpretation
- Poor knowledge of the canon of Scripture and methods of translation
Moore’s supporters may argue that the Lord has worked through Moore and her ministry to bring some people to genuine repentance for their sin and saving faith in Jesus Christ. That may be true. However, we must never let these results blind us from the clear warnings of Scripture to avoid false teachers like Moore:
But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! (NASB, Galatians 1:8).
We should also desire to be like the noble-minded Bereans who examined the Scriptures daily to determine if the teachings of Paul and Silas were true (NASB, Acts 17:11). As Christians, we should avoid the false teaching of Beth Moore and warn others about her. Moore needs to repent of her false teaching and publicly proclaim her errors so that those she has led astray might be saved.
Beth Moore teaches personal non-Biblical revelation
Receiving personal revelation from outside of the Bible is dangerous. We are told by God Himself that His Word is adequate for every good work:
All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work (NASB, 2 Timothy 3:16-17).
Yet, Moore repeatedly relies on personal revelation that she has received from God outside of the Bible. She also encourages others to get personal, non-Biblical revelation and even incorporates their personal revelations into her books. This implies that the Scriptures are not sufficient to equip us. Ironically, Moore describes the danger of this non-Biblical revelation. Unfortunately she fails to recognize this significant danger even from her own writing. In So Long, Insecurity, Moore writes:
I’d like to replay it to you in the form of a dialogue because when it occurred, it was as if God spoke every word concretely and audibly to me. In reality, what I’ll describe was expressed in my spirit rather than in my physical hearing. After spending years in relationship with God, seeking what He’s like and how He operates in Scripture, I, like many people, can get a sense of something He’s strongly impressing upon me without “hearing” precise words. When thoughts come to me out of the blue that I’m convinced did not originate in my own mind, if they’re consistent with God’s character and sound like something He would say in Scripture, I usually assume it’s Him. Ultimately, time proves whether or not I discerned the voice correctly. If it produces substantial fruit, I know it was God and I was on target. If nothing comes of it, I probably misunderstood or accidentally ascribed it to Him. None of us are beyond confusing our own thoughts with God’s, no matter how many times we’ve been around the bend with Him (Moore, “So Long,” pp. 325-326).
This long quote from Moore demonstrates the real danger of listening to these inner voices rather than relying solely on God’s revealed will in His Holy Word the Bible. If “none of us” can be sure it is really God speaking, why should we act on those feelings, hunches, or even words? Moore is convinced the thoughts “did not originate in [her] own mind.” However, if they later prove to not be from God, who were these messages from—possibly demons? Do you see the danger? We are warned in 2 Corinthians 11:14 that “even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light” (NASB). So, Satan will use words that sound like something God might say. Satan even used Scripture out of context in the temptations of Jesus (NASB, Matthew 4:6). While the Holy Spirit may occasionally provide special revelation to some individuals, the Biblical record shows that it is not normative. In her book Jesus the One and Only, Moore provides personal revelations on pages 18, 20, 42, 123, 164, 215, 325-326, 333, and 343.
Another example of Moore’s dangerous teaching on personal non-Biblical revelation comes from the video God’s Purpose For You – Part 1 of 6. In this clip, Moore has been talking about the difficulties, defeats, and pain in our lives. Then in the segment from 2:30-3:45, Moore states the following:
Somehow in the midst of it God speaks to every single bit of it; even makes sure that He speaks in the hour of our needs straight to our need. And everything we’ll turn on: a Christian radio, programming, read in a book—if we will allow Him to, He is a God not only of time, but of perfect timing, speaking right into our here and now, carrying me through every single one of those difficulties, every single fear, every single celebration, there was Christ and there was His Word applying every single second. And I want you to know something. God will manipulate these lessons to speak straight into your present experience. So at no time are you to set that aside; pick up your problems later. You lay whatever your present problem, what your difficulty is, right out before you when you listen to the Word—at church when you’re listening to your pastor, your teachers, on the radio, wherever it may be. God is going to speak straight into your experience. Don’t disconnect it from real living. He will speak (Moore, “God’s Purpose”).
This is dangerous, non-Bibilical teaching by Moore. She is encouraging her listeners to find direct revelation from God all over the place—from the radio, from TV programming, from our pastors, from teachers, from “whatever it may be” because “God is going to speak straight into your experience.” This is false teaching that cannot be supported by the Bible. Our revelation from God should come from the Scripture. But, even then we cannot flip to a random page of the Bible and assume God is going to speak to our need from that particular page on that specific day.
In this next example of non-Biblical revelation, Moore relates the story of a woman who approached her during a speaking engagement in Louisiana:
With obvious anointing, she told the story we’re about to study, then she said: “I don’t know you Beth. I have no idea why God sent me with such a message to give you, but He told me clearly to say these words to you: ‘Tell her that her many sins have been forgiven—for she loved much’” (Moore, “Jesus the One and Only,” p. 91).
She later continues regarding this story with:
He simply sent a woman to deliver His word—that I was forgiven. He whispered to my spirit, “Now, My child, be at peace.” Oh, how I would love to be that woman to you today. Allow me to pull up my chair right in front of you, look you in the eye, and tell you what He told me to say: “Your many sins have been forgiven—for you love much.” Go in peace (Moore, “Jesus the One and Only,” p. 95).
In this case, Moore has placed non-Biblical revelation above the written Word of God. The Bible was not sufficient to convince Moore that her sins were forgiven, but this stranger who claimed to get a word from God was able to. Now, Moore wants you to trust what she says about your forgiveness rather than point you to the God-breathed words of the Bible for that assurance. We should heed the warning of Scripture:
For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light (NASB, 2 Corinthians 11:13-14).
Trust the Bible, not messages from Beth Moore or anyone else no matter how spiritual or even Christ-like they may sound. In the final example Moore demonstrates why her new “revelations” are not really from God and thus should not be trusted:
God kept repeating a word over and over to my heart: unbelief. Unbelief! I kept sensing Him saying, “My people are suffering from unbelief!” At the time I felt that this word was a separate message from the material He was beginning to give me for Breaking Free … As clearly as a bell, God spoke to my heart through His Spirit and said, “The answer to your question is the sin of unbelief.” … Suppose I heard God correctly. (I have certainly misread Him before!). Why do you think not believing God personally and lavishly loves us could be a sin? (Moore, “Breaking Free,” p. 211-212).
Take careful notice of the contradictions in her statement above. The message from God was as clear as a bell, but she has misread God before and is worried she may have misread Him again. How does she misread a statement that is as clear a bell? Simply put, if she has spoken a single statement that was declared to be from God but was not really from God, then she is a false prophet. This is extremely serious. Moore does not take seriously the danger of falsely proclaiming that she is speaking the words of God. In the Old Testament, anyone who shared a false word from God was to be put to death:
But the prophet who speaks a word presumptuously in My name which I have not commanded him to speak, or which he speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die (NASB, Deuteronomy 18:20).
Because we are no longer under the Old Testament judicial system, this is not an argument that Moore should be put to death. Rather it shows the seriousness of her offense. Moore is presumptuously speaking words from God that He has not commanded her to speak. Moore needs to repent of these false prophecies and quit claiming she is receiving messages from God. Everyone should completely avoid her false teaching and false prophetic messages.
Beth Moore teaches a false gospel of pragmatism, self-improvement, and prosperity
In her various works, Moore proclaims a false gospel of pragmatism, self-improvement and prosperity. The gospel of pragmatism and self-improvement views Christianity as a way to get a better life and overcome your problems. If only you pray with the proper attitude, enough sincerity, and the right words, God will help you in these areas. The pragmatic evidence is often that it has worked for the author. The prosperity gospel is the false teaching that health and financial wealth is what God desires for all Christians.
Moore’s ideas of self-improvement find their roots in the idea that people are basically good, worthy, and loved by God as they are. We must improve to fully enjoy the life, destiny and purpose God desires for us:
I have the invitation from Christ to rise to a new life–a more compassionate life, a wiser life, a more productive life. And yes, even a better life (Moore, “Breaking Free,” p. 135).
It’s up to us whether or not we’re going to let the worst of us get the best of us (Moore, “So Long Insecurity,” p. 58).
Moore also teaches this false gospel of pragmatism and self-improvement in her book Praying God’s Word. The premise of the book is that prayer is the method to get a better life and overcome your mental, emotional and spiritual “strongholds”:
It is most definitely God’s will for you to be free from all areas of bondage. Galatians 5:1 says, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery” (Moore, “Praying God’s Word,” pp. 9-10).
These “strongholds” or “areas of bondage” include problems such as despair, feelings of rejection, and addictions. If only you pray with the proper attitude, enough sincerity, and the right words, God will “definitely” help you in these areas.
Another common tactic used when spreading this false gospel of pragmatism is an appeal to how it has worked in the author’s own life. Listen to Moore describe how her formulaic methods have improved her life:
This book is a result of my unquenchable desire to share one of the most effective approaches to the liberated life in Christ that God has ever taught me: praying Scripture to overcome strongholds (Moore, “Praying God’s Word,” p. 2).
This approach has worked powerfully every time I’ve applied it. It takes belief, diligence, and time, but the effects are dramatically liberating and eternal (Moore, “Praying God’s Word,” p. 8).
This is not my formula. With all my heart, I believe it is one of God’s…And I am living proof that God can liberate anyone (Moore, “Praying God’s Word,” p. 9).
I’ve been practicing them myself for the last several months, and I am astonished by how much progress I’m experiencing (Moore, “So Long Insecurity,” p. 149).
In her Bible study book, Jesus the One and Only, Moore teaches that if we do everything we can and give everything to God, He is going to multiply it. She uses the feeding of the 5000 from Luke 9:12-17 as the basis for the following teaching:
Christ can perform astounding wonders when we bring Him all we have… Beloved, I want you to hear something loud and clear: no matter what your ‘only’ is, when you bring all of your ‘only’ to Jesus, it’s huge! When we bring Him everything we have, He multiplies it beyond our wildest imagination. On the other hand, we can surrender Him ‘some’ of our lot and it can dwindle to nothing. I know of no other way to say it: Christ is into ‘whole’ and ‘all,’ not ‘half’ and ‘some’ (Moore, “Jesus the One and Only,” p. 117).
She later finishes it up by stating:
All it took was everything a willing boy offered and the blessing of Jesus… That’s what happens when you take part in God’s provision (Moore, “Jesus the One and Only, p. 117).
However, the Bible does not promise that if we give God everything (our money, our time, or our lives) He will multiply it. Just a few verses later, Jesus says, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me” (NASB, Luke 9:23). Many other passages of Scripture also warn us that we should expect suffering and persecution, not multiplication of whatever we give to God. (Matthew 24:9, Luke 21:17, John 15:20, 2 Timothy 3:12, 1 Peter 4:12-19)
In that same Bible study book, Jesus the One and Only, Moore teaches more false gospel:
Every hour you do on your job as working for the Lord gets punched on a time clock in heaven. You, sister, are getting paid by God Himself for the hours you work as unto the Lord. I’m not being cheesy. Our future inheritance is real, and it far exceeds minimum wage. You possess a heavenly bank account in which He is making divine deposits for every moment you work as unto Him. As you partner with Christ at your job, you will be more efficient. No matter whether your new efficiency increases your earthly dividends, it most definitely will increase your eternal dividends where moth and rust cannot destroy or thieves break in and steal (Moore, “Jesus the One and Only,” p. 67).
Here is the fuller context of the passage from Colossians 3:22-24:
Slaves, in all things obey those who are your masters on earth, not with external service, as those who merely please men, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve (NASB, Colossians 3:22-24).
First, Paul is specifically writing a word of encouragement to slaves. Even if we choose to interpret this as a general directive for all people to serve the Lord when we work, there is no description of a heavenly bank account, punching our time clocks, or divine deposits from the Lord. Paul writes of the inheritance that will be received. An inheritance is a gift given from a father to his children. It is not a wage that is earned.
Self-improvement is a common teaching in Moore’s books, but in her book Breaking Free, she goes beyond mere self-improvement to suggest that we can have our dreams fulfilled and receive great wealth. Moore is not as bold as most of the health and wealth prosperity gospel teachers, but in Breaking Free she employs many of the same ideas and the same language—dream big, believe it, claim it, reinvest it, and God will bless you.
I have the invitation from Christ to rise to a new life—a more compassionate life, a wiser life, a more productive life. And yes, even a better life (Moore, “Breaking Free,” p. 135).
I fear that many of us have almost despaired of ever seeing two things: the fulfillment of our childhood dreams and a solution to the wickedness that haunts our hearts….He [God] is leading us to a land of fulfilled dreams and victory over our sin nature (Moore, “Breaking Free,” p. 137).
I believe practically every little girl has at least four dreams … (1) to be a bride, (2) to be beautiful, (3) to be fruitful (which we usually define as having children), and (4) to live happily ever after…Satan wants to destroy our dreams. God wants to surpass them. He gives us dreams so we’ll long for His reality (Moore, “Breaking Free,” p. 146).
Each of us has dreams; and, if we trust Christ with all our hearts, nothing can disable God from surpassing our childhood dreams with His divine reality (Moore, “Breaking Free,” p. 161).
Moore goes on to teach that we must claim these blessings from God that come because of our obedience:
Believe that blessing ultimately follows obedience (Moore, “Breaking Free,” p. 184).
Believe it and claim it! Obey and see that you can trust! (Moore, “Breaking Free,” p. 185).
Finally I realized God’s blessing would come when I did what He said (Moore, “Breaking Free,” p. 187).
However, God does not promise to fulfill our dreams or give us earthly blessings in this life. Rather the Bible teaches that we can expect trials and suffering:
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance (NASB, James 1:2-3).
The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him (NASB, Romans 8:16-17).
Continuing in Breaking Free, Moore clearly implies that it is possible to believe God will bring us wealth (possessions, gold, silver, and costly stones) if we take the plunder and reinvest it with God:
When God delivers His children, they never have to escape by the skin of their teeth! The Israelites were impoverished slaves, but when God delivered them they left with the riches of the Egyptians…What about you? Did you come out of your Egypt, your time of slavery, with plunder from your enemy? … He wants to bring us out of our times of captivity with possessions! … Let God bring you forth from your time of slavery with gold, silver, and costly stones … the Israelites reinvested the plunder by offering it back to God–a God who can take a few simple fish and loaves and multiply them to feed thousands, a God of awesome returns. How can a person reinvest the plunder she or he brings out of captivity? Have you already had an opportunity to offer your plunder to God as reinvestment and see Him bring greater returns? (Moore, “Breaking Free,” pp. 261-262).
As an example of this reinvestment of plunder, Moore uses the example of her life being used by God to reach others who may have suffered from problems similar to those that she has overcome in her life. However, to someone reading that text above about gold, silver, and costly stones and looking at Moore’s wealth, the implication can certainly be drawn that she is also referring to material wealth.
There are no such promises in Scripture. While she does not explicitly call out multiplying the money we give, neither is it denied here. In the following passage, Moore even gives the impression that Jesus had great wealth. This is a claim also made by some prosperity gospel teachers.
I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them (John 17:9-10). In this context, Christ used the word glory to indicate wealth and riches He had received. No matter where you are on the journey to the glorifying, liberating life in Christ, you are His treasure (Moore, “Breaking Free,” pp. 34-35).
This is false. In the context of John 17 the “glory” is not the wealth and riches Jesus received. It is also not about us being Christ’s treasure. There is no mention of wealth or riches in John 17.
In summary, Moore consistently presents a false gospel mixture of pragmatism, self-improvement and prosperity. Her false teachings are based upon her inability to properly read and interpret Scripture.
Beth Moore teaches a glorification of humanity
Moore’s false gospels of pragmatism, self-improvement and prosperity find their basis in her glorified view of humanity and her associated low view of God. For example, Moore writes:
The Creator of heaven and earth assigned us dignity and immeasurable value, and only when we finally accept those inalienable truths will we discover authentic security (Moore, “So Long Insecurity,” p. 238).
Thankfully, we don’t always get a scathing result when we perform a soul search. Sometimes we might actually discover that our motives are not that off base (Moore, “So Long Insecurity,” p. 34).
When God sees humans cooperate with His good work and fulfill what they were created to be, He still sees something very good. Perfect? No. Respectable? Yes. When the Father sees a human who is prone to selfishness, pride, and arrogance humble him or herself and tremble at God’s Word, He esteems that person (Moore, “Jesus the One and Only,” p. 80).
This feeds the popular, but non-Biblical, idea that we are basically good people with “immeasurable value” whose motives are sometimes “not that off base.” Maybe not “perfect,” but certainly “respectable” and worthy of being esteemed by God. However, when we compare ourselves to God’s standard of perfect righteousness we are completely off base. The Bible says even “all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment” (NASB, Isaiah 64:6). A more literal translation of Isaiah 64:6 would state that our righteous deeds are like a used menstrual cloth. If that is a description of our righteous deeds, imagine how filthy our sin is.
The answer is to deal with the insecurity, believing that everything God says about us is true (Moore, “So Long Insecurity,” p. 35).
The idea in Moore’s statement above is that we are basically good and worthy. But, what does God really say about us in the Bible? “Every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (NASB, Genesis 6:5) and “the intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth” (NASB, Genesis 8:21). This is not just an Old Testament idea of wicked people. The New Testament states, “There is none righteous, not even one … there is none who does good, there is not even one” (NASB, Romans 3:10-12).
So, yes we should believe that everything God says about us is true. If we are an unbeliever, it should drive us to our knees in despair and make us cry out to Jesus to forgive our sins. If we are a believer, it should drive us to our knees in thanksgiving that our sins have been paid for by Jesus on the cross.
Moore takes this false idea of mankind as only slightly damaged goods a step further when she glorifies humanity in the following statements:
From our perspective, it’s all about Him. Thank goodness, He is the center of the universe. So how can we live with such a God-centered mentality? Freely! Because from God’s perspective, it’s all about us (Moore, “Breaking Free,” p. 181).
I think heaven will be heaven because He [God] will be there, but He thinks it will be heaven because you will be there (Moore, “Breaking Free,” p. 213).
This is contrary to the Bible which states that even from God’s view it is all about Him. Listen to the Apostle John’s description of heaven:
And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, “To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever” (NASB, Revelation 5:13).
In heaven, “every created thing” worships the uncreated God. The focus is on God the Father and God the Son—the Lamb who took away the sin of the world. The focus is not on us.
These next two passages further emphasize Moore’s mankind centered focus.
If you’ve agreed to go the extra mile with God and do whatever freedom requires, He is proud of you! God always loves us lavishly, but imagine God being proud of us and having the privilege of boasting about us (Moore, “Breaking Free,” p. 252).
God is so proud of you. You are someone God wants to boast about (Moore, “Breaking Free,” p. 275).
Moore’s glorification of humanity leads to some dangerous teaching:
At least I was drawing close enough to God that Satan couldn’t build a wedge between us. I haven’t always responded rightly at times of insecurity; but when I have, Satan has failed to gain an advantage (Moore, “Breaking Free,” p. 228).
That statement not only has a high view of mankind, but a low view of Satan. Satan is far more powerful than we are. It is God that protects us from Satan, not our own works in drawing close to God and responding rightly.
In conclusion of this section, Moore has demonstrated a failure to understand the true fallen nature of sinful humanity. She also demonstrates a low view of God by seeming to place humanity at the center of God’s universe. These are not the views represented in the Bible.
Beth Moore teaches legalism
As we have seen, Moore teaches that mankind is valuable, worthy, and basically good. To overcome the remaining weakness and problems we do have, Moore regularly teaches of the many things that we must do as Christians. Often, these imperatives even get twisted into apparent requirements for salvation. This is works righteousness. Numerous examples abound in Moore’s books and videos.
The first example of this legalistic teaching comes from the video God’s Purpose For You – Part 1 of 6. Moore is teaching from Acts 13. From 5:10-5:41, Moore states the following regarding our purpose:
And it is imperative that we begin to find it [our purpose]; that we see it. And the progressive revelation that it is; and that bit of light that comes to us, one point after another. That we begin to walk fully in the purpose that God begins to reveal for us. Absolutely critical. When everything is said and done we want the bottom line of our lives to be ‘this is all that will matter when it’s all over’. Did we serve God’s purpose in our own generation? (Moore, “God’s Purpose”).
We must do these things. They are “imperative”, “absolutely critical”, and “all that will matter.” This is legalism. Moore is effectively teaching works righteousness. She contradicts the very message of Paul recorded here in Acts 13. Paul teaches we are “freed from all things” (NASB, Acts 13:39), but Moore teaches we must find our purpose, walk fully in our purpose, serve out that purpose. This is law, not grace.
While Moore will sometimes discuss the freedom we have in Christ, she then takes away that freedom by providing a long list of things a Christian must do. In perhaps her most dramatic false teaching on works righteousness, Moore asserts:
We know from John 3:16 that God loves the entire world, but He shows love to those who love and obey Him. God lavishly loves every person, but He reserves the right to demonstrate His loving mercy to the obedient. John 14:21 expresses the same truth, Jesus said, “Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him” (Moore, “Breaking Free,” p. 108).
Here she takes verses from two separate contexts—John 3 and John 14—and then compresses them together to turn it into works righteousness. Romans 5:8-10 says:
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life (NASB).
Moore teaches that God demonstrates His loving mercy to the obedient. The Bible teaches that God demonstrates His loving mercy towards the disobedient who are His enemies. The contradiction between the Bible and her false teaching is clear. By undermining the foundation of the gospel message, Moore demonstrates that she is a false teacher.
These next four examples further demonstrate her poor teaching on Christian freedom and the imposition of new requirements. Note that she writes that we must make sacrifices, respond rightly to God’s Word, and repent and rest in order to be liberated in Christ, have freedom, and have salvation—this is legalism.
To be liberated in Christ, we’ve got some sacrifices to make. Make sure He’s the one asking for it, but if He is, any sacrifice you make will be wholly consumed by Him as such a sweet sacrifice. He will bless (Moore, “Breaking Free,” p. 5).
Rightly responding to the Word of God is our ticket on the freedom train. God’s word is the perfect law that gives freedom (Moore, “Breaking Free,” p. 167).
Eternal salvation requires that we repent of our sins and depend on the work of Christ. Our need of deliverance does not end, however, once we become Christians. We still need lots of help avoiding snares and pitfall. The same equation applies: “In repentance and rest is your salvation!” (Moore, “Breaking Free,” p. 174).
In returning to God and resting confidently in His promises and power, we will continually find salvation (Moore, p. “Breaking Free,” 174).
Adding requirements to our salvation is dangerous teaching. This is more than just a minor doctrinal error by Moore, but is a false gospel. Paul warns that if we add works, then we are severed from Christ:
You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace (NASB, Galatians 5:4).
Beth Moore uses eisegesis in her Bible interpretations
It has been clearly shown that Moore is a false teacher and a false prophet. The rest of this review will discuss some of the repeated errors that Moore makes in her use of the Bible: eisegesis, proof texting, improper allegorical interpretation, poor understanding of the canon and methods of translation. Eisegesis is the interpretation of the Biblical passage by reading into it one’s own ideas. This is opposed to exegesis is which the interpretation of a passage is rightly determined through analysis of the surrounding context, the rest of Scripture, and the original language.
The first example of Moore’s eisegesis comes from the video God’s Purpose For You – Part 1 of 6. Moore is teaching from Acts 13. From 4:25-6:41 she begins by reading Acts 13:36 from the New International Version of the Bible which states:
For when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep; he was buried with his fathers and his body decayed (NIV, Acts 13:36).
This video series is about “God’s purpose for you.” Moore abuses Acts 13:36 by reading “God’s purpose for you” into this verse. She states,
What I’m saying straight into your life, through the work of the Holy Spirit, is that God has a purpose for you in this exact generation (Moore, “God’s Purpose”).
Notice how David has been effectively replaced by you in her interpretation. Later, beginning at 5:41, Moore teaches her listeners to insert their own name in place of David in verse 36. This is blatantly and clearly reading her meaning (i.e. your name and your purpose) into the text. The message of Acts 13:36 and the surrounding context is that Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies, and that through Him was forgiveness of sins:
Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through Him forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, and through Him everyone who believes is freed from all things, from which you could not be freed through the Law of Moses (NASB, Acts 13:38-39).
Within that larger context, Acts 13:36 specifically is showing that David did not fulfill the Old Testament prophecies because his body decayed. David is contrasted with Jesus who was resurrected and, therefore, did not undergo decay (Acts 13:37). Moore completely ignores the meaning of the Biblical text and instead abuses it for her own purposes. In this relatively short video clip, Moore not only demonstrates eisegesis, but also legalism, personal non-Biblical revelation and glorification of man.
Her book, So Long, Insecurity, contains some of Moore’s worst examples of eisegesis or a complete misunderstanding of the Scripture. In Chapter 4, “Good Company,” she tries to show Biblical examples of people who also, supposedly, struggled with insecurity. At one point she discusses the supposed insecurities of the Apostle Paul and the so-called super apostles from 2 Corinthians chapters 11 and 12.
“I do not think I am in the least inferior to those “super-apostles.” I may indeed be untrained as a speaker, but I do have knowledge. 2 Corinthians 11:5-6 (NIV). Tell me that’s not insecurity. If you’re not convinced, take a look at what blurted from his pen only a chapter later: I have made a fool of myself, but you drove me to it. I ought to have been commended by you, for I am not in the least inferior to the “super-apostles,” even though I am nothing. 2 Corinthians 12:11 (NIV). Do you think just maybe he protests too much? In all probability, he fought the awful feeling that he wasn’t as good as the others who hadn’t done nearly so much (Moore, “So Long Insecurity,” pp. 56-57).
Moore not only misses Paul’s teachings, but she also borders on blasphemy by saying that the very words of God that were conveyed by Paul were merely “blurted from his pen” due to his insecurity. Paul is being sarcastic or “foolish” in this section to prove the point that he is a true apostle. He begins this section by saying “I wish that you would bear with me in a little foolishness” (NASB, 2 Cor 11:1) and ends it by repeating that this is all foolishness: “I have made a fool of myself, but you drove me to it.” Paul is absolutely secure in his calling as a “true apostle” (NASB, 2 Cor 12:12). Moore is either reading her ideas about insecurity into the text (eisegesis) or simply does not understand the passage. Later on page 57, she says that the super-apostles were also Biblical examples of insecurity. Wrong again! As Paul wrote, they were Biblical examples of false teachers who preach another Jesus and a different gospel (NASB, 2 Cor 11:4).
The next example of Moore’s clear inability to interpret simple Scripture and her blatant eisegesis comes from her book Praying God’s Word:
It is most definitely God’s will for you to be free from all areas of bondage. Galatians 5:1 says, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery” (Moore, pp. 9-10).
Her corruption of Galatians 5:1 is one of the foundations upon which the entire book rests. Moore has taken Galatians 5:1 and applied her definition of freedom from bondage to the text. She reads into the text her idea of being “free” from the “bondage” of various mental, emotional, and spiritual “strongholds.” The Galatians 5:1 text (when taken in its proper context!) is warning believers to not be burdened by the Old Testament Jewish laws and rituals because they have been saved by faith alone. Paul specifically first addresses the Jewish ritual of circumcision, but then opens it up to be under the “whole Law.” Here is a slightly larger context for the Galatians 5:1 passage:
It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. Behold I, Paul, say to you that if you receive circumcision, Christ will be of no benefit to you. And I testify again to every man who receives circumcision, that he is under obligation to keep the whole Law. You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace (NASB, Galatians 5:1-4).
Beth Moore uses the Bible to proof text many of her doctrines
Proof texting is the practice of pulling a portion of Scripture completely out of its context and applying it to your own message. The proof text passage is used in a way that the author never intended. One common proof texting method is to employ multiple Bible translations and paraphrases. One piece of evidence for the proof texting in Moore’s book So Long, Insecurity is the use of eight (yes, 8!) different Bible translations. This Bible translation hopscotch is common among writers who want to find a particular wording, or even the use of a single word, to support their ideas. Rather than starting from the Scripture and drawing a conclusion, they start from their own conclusion and find a Bible verse that can be made to sound like it supports their ideas. They only have to find the right translation and rip the verse out of its context.
Moore is not above using even the heretical paraphrase of the Bible, The Message, for proof texting. In So Long, Insecurity she is teaching women to not compare themselves to other women as this supposedly leads to more insecurity. Moore employs the following two texts from The Message to support her idea:
We will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse. We have far more interesting things to do with our lives. Each of us is an original. Galatians 5:26, The Message (Moore, “So Long Insecurity,” p. 283).
The vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival” Galatians 5:21, The Message (Moore, “So Long Insecurity,” p. 283).
Later, Moore states:
In no time at all, I knew that Peterson’s translation was right on target (Moore, “So Long Insecurity,” p. 283).
Contrary to Moore’s claim, Peterson’s book, The Message, is not on target and cannot even be considered a translation! The Message is a corruption of the original, inspired Biblical text. Galatians 5 is about the deeds of the flesh versus the deeds of the Spirit. It is not about eliminating our insecurities by not comparing ourselves to others and depersonalizing our rivals. Moore has used these verses from The Message as proof texts to make her desired point.
The Bible teaches that we have peace with God because of Christ’s death on the cross. Moore takes this Biblical idea of peace with God and then reapplies it to our peace of mind. She uses Isaiah 53:5 as a proof text to support her ideas of Jesus coming to bring us peace of mind. In Breaking Free, she quotes Isaiah 53:5:
He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities, the punishment that brought us peace was upon him (Moore, “Breaking Free,” p. 42).
Jesus’ death on the cross brought us peace with God. That prophecy was not about Jesus coming to merely give us peace of mind. She makes the same error in the following:
…in Luke 19:41-42. As Jesus approached the city of Jerusalem, He wept over it and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes.” I believe Christ still grieves when He sees hearts in unnecessary turmoil (Moore, “Breaking Free,” p. 43).
Jesus was not grieving about the turmoil of the people of Jerusalem, but that they were enemies of God facing His coming judgment. Jesus was bringing peace with God through His sacrifice. Jesus was not bringing them peace of mind.
Beth Moore improperly allegorizes Scripture
The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines an allegory as “the expression by means of symbolic fictional figures and actions of truths or generalizations about human existence; a symbolic representation.” The Bible sometimes uses allegory. For example, in Galatians 4:21-31 Paul uses the sons of Sarah and Hagar as symbolic representations of those free in Christ versus enslaved in sin. Moore improperly allegorizes Scripture repeatedly by taking historical accounts and making them symbolic and applicable to our lives. Often this twists the meaning and undermines the historicity of the accounts.
In So Long Insecurity, Moore uses an extended allegory from the Garden of Eden about how we need to recognize when we are eating from the tree of life versus the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Not only is it a bad allegory that twists the Scripture, she then incorrectly applies her poor allegory:
How do you know when you’re moving from one tree to the other in your pursuit of knowledge? Usually you will be able to feel it (Moore, p. 222).
Moore is encouraging you to do exactly what Adam and Eve did in the Garden of Eden—ignore the clear word of God and trust your own feelings. No! Do not trust your feelings! Your heart is wicked and deceitful. “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?” (NASB, Jeremiah 17:9).
In her book, Jesus the One and Only, Moore takes the account of Jesus’ healing of the paralyzed man from Luke 5:17-26 and allegorizes it:
Whether or not sin has ever made you physically ill, couldn’t we each say that we’ve been somehow paralyzed by it at one time or another? One situation involving sin in my past literally paralyzed me with fear. Would you like to know how I found healing and began to walk as a healthy believer again? … I would still be paralyzed except for the truth God presented to me out of this exact Scripture” (Moore, “Jesus the One and Only,” p. 71).
This undermines the impact of the real, historical account in which Jesus not only healed a paralyzed man, but forgave his sins! Jesus was demonstrating He was God because only God can forgive sins. Allegorizing this to being paralyzed with fear misses the impact of the account. This was never meant to be an allegory.
In a similar abuse of Scripture, Moore allegorizes the account from Luke 8:27-39 of Jesus driving the demons out of a man who had been living in the tombs:
I wonder how many people are living their lives ‘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’ (Moore, “Jesus the One and Only,” p. 104).
A large section of Breaking Free is based upon Moore taking the history of the kings of Israel and and turning those historical accounts into allegory. Here are a few examples:
Each of the kings [during the life of the prophet Isaiah] embodies the problems we too must encounter on the trail to freedom. By learning how they wandered into captivity, we can begin to see ourselves … [and] begin to spot the first clues to how to escape captivity (Moore, “Breaking Free,” p. 11).
Pride can lead to captivity (Jer. 13:15-17) … Uzziah’s tragic end signals our first warning. Pride will be an obstacle every believer must face on the freedom trail … Jotham serves as the poster boy for another path to captivity. To be free in Christ, our high places will have to fall (Moore, “Breaking Free,” p. 13).
We must remember that the Bible is not primarily about us. After His resurrection, Jesus taught two disciples traveling on the road to Emmaus that all Scripture points to Him. “Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures” (NASB, Luke 24:27).
Beth Moore undermines the trustworthiness of Scripture
In addition to the mishandling of Scripture described above, Moore also has a poor understanding of the historical creation of the Bible and the translation process. This creates doubt as to the reliability of the canon of Scripture. For example, Moore writes the following regarding the canon of the Old Testament:
Old Testament Scripture, which included the five books of the Law and probably the Psalms and the Prophets (Moore, “Jesus the One and Only,” p. 50).
There is no probably about it. The canon of the Old Testament was completed long before the time of Christ. The entire Old Testament had been written hundreds of years prior to Christ. Before the life of Jesus, there was even a complete translation of the original Hebrew Old Testament into Greek called the Septuagint. Jesus referred to the writings of the prophets in Matthew 5:17:
Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill (NASB).
Jesus also refers to the entire Old Testament in Matthew 23:35 when He refers to the first (Abel) and last (Zechariah) deaths recorded in the Jewish ordering of the Old Testament.
One of the dangers of Moore’s teaching here is that if the writing of the prophets were not part of the Old Testament then we would not have the fulfillment of those prophecies by Jesus such as the Messianic prophecies of Isaiah 53. It can also cause her readers to doubt the reliability of the Word of God.
In the next example, Moore is discussing the birth of Christ as recorded in the Gospel of Luke chapter 2:
We women could be tempted to picket the New International Version for leaving out one little detail that had a profound influence on Mary’s trip: ‘Mary … being great with child’ (Moore, “Jesus the One and Only,” p. 27).
Moore pits the translation of the King James Version of the Bible against the New International Version. This calls into question the reliability of the English translations that most of her readers would employ. The committee that created the New International Version did not leave anything out, they just did not employ the euphemism “great with child,” but rather said Mary “was expecting a child.” To suggest they left something out does a disservice to the translation and could again cause readers to doubt the reliability of the Scriptures.
Finally, Moore demonstrates her lack of understanding about the Greek New Testaments used in creating the various versions of the English New Testaments. In a discussion of Luke 4:18, she states the following:
“To heal the brokenhearted” (Isaiah 61:1). Unless you’re using a King James Version, this phrase probably comes from the Isaiah reference. Some New Testament translations include it, while others don’t (Moore, “Jesus the One and Only,” p. 52).
First, the wording of the whole statement does not make any sense. In Luke 4:17-21, Jesus is reading from the Old Testament book of Isaiah. The phrase (with or without ‘to heal the brokenhearted’) definitely comes from Isaiah 61:1. She is correct that some New Testament translations include it and some do not. The difference, however, is not a matter of translation, but is due to the fact that some of the ancient Greek manuscripts used for creating the translations include this phrase and some do not. It is not a translation issue, but a function of selecting which minor variant of the various ancient Greek manuscripts to employ to create the English translation.
Beth Moore teaches that Roman Catholicism is a Christian denomination
Roman Catholicism is a non-Christian religion in which salvation is based upon faith and works. This is contrary to the Bible:
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast” (NASB, Ephesians 2:8-9).
Moore, however, falsely believes followers of the Roman Catholic Church are fellow Christians despite their denial of this essential doctrine of saving faith. In reality, they are “severed from Christ” (NASB, Galatians 5:4) by trying to add works to their faith in order to gain salvation.
For example, in her book, So Long, Insecurity, Moore calls a Roman Catholic nun a “fellow Christian”:
One of them [her friends] is Sister Lynn. In this case, “Sister” isn’t just a figure of speech for a fellow Christian. Lynn is a real, live sister in the ecumenical sense of the word. She and her merry group of social networkers are nuns” (Moore, “So Long Insecurity,” p. 340).
Moore goes so far as to call Roman Catholicism a denomination within Christianity. At the beginning of a video clip, Moore states that she is teaching a “class.” There are several groups of women seated on the stage behind her who, during the video, Moore identifies as denominations through words and signs. These “denominations” are:
- Roman Catholic
At the 0:06 – 0:17 segment, Moore says,
We are a very interdenominational group, and so I’ve literally gotten to position people from these denominations and from these backgrounds into these groups, so that just thrills me (Moore, “God’s Vision”).
Then, during the 1:15 – 1:33 segment, Moore introduces the group of individuals who are representing the Roman Catholic denomination in her lesson. Moore’s faulty views on Roman Catholicism further demonstrate her poor knowledge of the Bible, the gospel, and the method of salvation. Moore is a false teacher.
Beth Moore is a false teacher who presents a false gospel, glorifies mankind, and adds legalistic requirements to our freedom in Christ. She is also a false prophet who repeatedly proclaims false revelation as if it is from God. Moore needs to repent of these sinful teachings and stop instructing others. Due to the very public nature of her ministry, this repentance from these false teachings should be equally public so that those she has misled can come to the knowledge of the truth. Christians should not use Moore’s materials in their studies and should warn others to avoid her false teaching.
Internal Revenue Service. SOI Tax Stats – Exempt Organizations Business Master File Extract, March 12, 2012. http://www.irs.gov/taxstats/charitablestats/article/0,,id=97186,00.html.
Living Proof Ministries. “Beth Moore Bio.” http://www.lproof.org/AboutUs/BethMoore.
Moore, Beth, Breaking Free: Discover the Victory of Total Surrender. B&H Books. Revised edition, April 1, 2007. Paperback, 304 pages. ISBN-13: 978-0805445527
Moore, Beth, “God’s Purpose for You – Part 1 of 6.” Lecture. YouTube, 10 Feb. 2010, YouTube, viewed 15 Dec. 2011. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EulFjjbvWRg.
Moore, Beth, “God’s Vision For The Church Includes The Roman Catholic” Lecture. YouTube, 22 Dec. 2011, YouTube, viewed 23 Dec. 2011. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-Lk5YyI43Y.
Moore, Beth, Jesus the One and Only. Lifeway Press. Eleventh printing, April 2007. Paperback, 238 pages. ISBN10: 0-7673-3275-X.
Moore, Beth, Praying God’s Word: Breaking Free from Spiritual Strongholds. B&H Books. Reprint edition, September 1, 2009. Paperback,352 pages. ISBN-13: 978-0805464337.
Moore, Beth, So Long, Insecurity: You’ve Been a Bad Friend to Us. Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. First Edition, February 2, 2012. Hardback,,368 pages. ISBN-13: 978-1414334721.