And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, so that you should walk in it. -- 2John 1: 6 (ESV)
Beloved, there is a reason for everything God says to us in His Word. There is a reason why He implores us to mark them that cause division in the body of Christ by spreading false doctrine. Mark them so you will know them. Mark them so you can avoid them. Mark them so you will not fall victim to subtler false teachings they may bring in. Other destructive heresies that perhaps we cannot spot as easily. Not every false teacher is obviously false. They often times will say plenty of correct things but those do not erase the falseness of their overall doctrine. For every obvious huckster like Mike Murdock there is a more difficult to discern teacher such as Joseph Prince. In order to get to the root of the heresy within Prince doctrine one must often do the work of a Berean that may not be necessary with the likes of Murdock, Bill Johnson or Benny Hinn. When we hear teachings from Bethel Church about the Holy Spirit being a "sneaky blue genie" or that glory clouds mysteriously emanated from their ventilations systems, we can dismiss those on our basic general knowledge of the Bible and rudimentary discernment. But discerning between the tremendous grace of God and false greasy grace preached by Prince is more difficult because of the nuance and because of the subtlety. It sounds right. It sounds like it makes sense. It sounds plausible.
And I, when I came to you, brothers,did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of menbut in the power of God. -- 1Corinthians 2: 1-5 (ESV)
We are living in a church age that has relatively no discernment. They cannot see nuance or subtlety. If it sounds plausible, they assume it is because the church culture has devolved into a cult of personality. We follow the preacher instead of the Savior. A true man of God however is in the business of constantly pointing you back to Jesus. Their wisdom is Biblical, not carnal. That is what Paul is saying here. He is providing the blueprint for preachers to follow -- preach Christ and Him crucified -- and let the Holy Spirit do the heavy lifting. This is the Gospel. It is when we start thinking we know better or can augment this, or somehow enhance it, that we drag our own human and carnal wisdom into the Gospel. Such is the case with Beth Moore.
Beth Moore is a false teacher. Flat out false. The company she keeps reveals her falseness before you even have to get into her doctrine. She preaches at Joel Osteen's church, Hillsong, and many other international false churches. She is buddies with false pastrix Christine Caine and Joyce Meyer. This alone disqualifies her. But her teachings are even worse. She espouses new age spirituality and contemplative prayer. She is widely regarded as an ecumenicist and routinely claims direct auditory revelation from God. Despite these things, Beth can be very subtle. She can say a lot of right things. She can say a lot of plausible things. As preachers and pastors however it is our job to discern and not further propagate someone we already know to be false. Why? Because even if the quote you are citing is 100% true, you are inadvertently leading people back to the false teacher. You are tacitly endorsing them. This past week a new Beth Moore quote has been circulating the Internet. I have seen Christians and pastors alike repost and retweet it. While it is bad enough to openly support a false teacher like Moore the quote itself is emblematic of the subtleties we face sometimes. Because it sounds right. It sounds plausible. But when you really get to what the message is you realize it is not biblical at all and the wisdom is all carnality.
You will watch a generation of Christians -- OF CHRISTIANS -- set the Bible aside in an attempt to become more like Jesus. And stunningly it will sound completely plausible. This will perhaps be the cleverest of all the devil's schemes in your generation. Sacrifice TRUTH for LOVE's sake. And you will rise or fall based upon whether you will sacrifice one for the other. Will you have the courage to live in the tension of both truth and love? -- Beth Moore
Beloved, these are plausible words of wisdom. The very kind Paul warns us about in those verses from 1Corinthians. Let's break it down and reason together. First of all Beth is completely right that there are a generation of Christians who in the name of pursuing Jesus will throw their Bible aside. That generation is currently learning this from the very places and people that Beth Moore aligns herself with! Her contemplative prayer and spirituality are staples at IHOP, which is indoctrinating so many youth with this experiential Christianity that places the Bible secondary to what we feel. Moore has been simulcast to Bethel Church which is ground zero for the experiential Christianity movement. We have seen this poisonous leaven spread to other camps within the purpose driven church network. It is Perry Noble that called people who wanted to go deeper in the word the "jackasses" in his church. Another mega-church pastor famously referred to them as the "excrement in the body of Christ." This past year we even saw someone who was largely considered mainstream, Andy Stanley, completely deconstruct the legitimacy of the Bible. So the opening of her quote is accurate but she is so spiritually blinded by her own heresy and apostate affiliations she cannot see how she contributes to the problem she decries.
Moore is also correct in stating that there is an over-emphasis on love that is placed at odds with truth. That is what you hear from the deceived generation. That God is love so therefore we should focus on that and not the do's and do nots of Scripture. People who want the Bible are deemed legalistic and in need of a spiritual revelation. But the problem is that Beth Moore legitimizes both sides by asking the wrong question. Will you have the courage to live in the tension of both truth and love is an absurdly false question. There is no such tension! Read the key verse today. What is love? That we walk according to His commandments. His commandments means His Word and His Word means His truth. So again the question is -- what is love? Love is truth. There is no separation as Moore teaches here. The problem with the Bethel, IHOP, and Beth Moore version of love is that it is unbiblical. THAT is why it has tension with the truth. It is this sloppy agape love that is completely carnal. It is what leads to the Jesus is my boyfriend worship music where borders on soft-core pornography. It is what leads to the absolutely heretical bridal paradigm that IHOP defends right on their website. The reality is these false teachings sacrifice both love and truth for the sake of believing the deceitfulness of their own wicked hearts. There is no love apart from the truth of the Word of God.
This is why God implores us to mark those that divide the church with false teachings. The first half of this Beth Moore musing sounds really right and plausible because it is actually happening already. But then she becomes oddly disconnected from what she is doing to perpetrate it and concludes with a profoundly sounding inane conclusion. If you find yourself with any tension surrounding the truth of God and the love of God then you must be defining one of them incorrectly. God is not the author of confusion. We are. Beth Moore says this confusing, unbiblical, yet plausible quote and it goes viral in the Christian community. Lisa Bevere and Shelley Giglio resend it out to all of their followers. Then the local Christians and pastors get a hold of it and think that it sounds too profound not to share. But it is not profound at all. It is false. As false as Beth Moore has always been. Mark those that cause division so that we might be able to avoid the more subtle ways leaven poisons the body of Christ. Christians and leaders need to start using better discernment. Do not lead people to wolves. That is the truth. That is love. There is no tension.