A few weeks ago we were at my parents’ house celebrating all the January birthdays in our family. We had finished dinner, the kids had run off to do what kids do and the adults were sitting around the table visiting. We all attend church though each family attends a different one. Locally, we have A LOT of churches. We were discussing a certain American preacher who has a huge church. Admittedly, it was not the most constructive conversation. I am guilty for being part of it. But I was. All of a sudden my sister-in-law pulled back on the reigns and asked what we were doing? How had we come to be ripping apart a minister?
There is a huge variety of theology around. Many denominations, each with their own little nuances of the truth. It can get confusing. We all claim to know Christ but we differ in our expression, our rules and our focus.
As a blogger, I can hardly start bashing the internet. It connects me to you, my audience. There is a dark side to the internet though. No, I am not talking about porn (though I could). I am referring the vast amount of conflicting information out there.
I recently had a case of curiosity killing the cat, sorta speak. I have done a number of Beth Moore Bible studies and I have heard her mention her family repeatedly. Because her daughters have both been involved in “Living Proof Ministries” I have seen pictures of them. I had never seen a picture of her husband, Keith, though.
I don’t know about you but I sometimes like to put a face to a name. I know some people don’t. One of my best friends feels that a picture of an author isn’t necessary. But I was curious. So I Googled him.
In my pursuit of a picture of Keith Moore, I stumbled across a blog on Beth. The blogger identified herself as a pastor’s wife. I did click on it and I was shocked to read a piece about why she doesn’t listen to Beth Moore anymore.
In blogging world, having a blog that goes viral can be a blogger’s dream come true. I remember reading a blog a few months ago that contained a list of interesting facts about Mennonites. It had done just that. Given my heritage and the area we live in, I was intrigued enough to visit this blog. It was interesting. Very interesting. This blog went viral. It was fun. I couldn’t relate on every point she made but there was a lot of entertaining information in there. I commend her.
This blog about Beth Moore had a similar response. It went viral also. However, it was not fun and entertaining like the Mennonite blog. It was a blog dedicated to explaining why the blogger was no longer a Beth Moore fan.
I love Beth Moore. I have learned more from her teaching than any other Bible teacher. I love her personal anecdotes. I love her passion for women. I laugh at her stories about her hair. I am not like her. I am not Southern or Baptist. I don’t dye my hair. But I can relate to her.
I relate to her as a woman. I relate to her as a mother. As a daughter of God. I want to have the passion for God that she has. The love that drives her to her knees daily. But I can accept that others might not care for her. They may question her theology. They may not relate to her passion. They may not care for her enthusiasm. She’s not their cup of tea.
I get that. I really do. If everyone liked everyone we would all be walking around as clones of each other. That is not what I am getting at. What bothers me is the license we feel we have to rip apart our Christian teachers. And it is disappointing.
I do not embrace every Christian teacher out there. I feel a tinge of reservation by some of the teaching out there. And thanks to the internet, there is a lot of it. I could find something or somebody on the internet that would agree with almost anything I wanted to propose. Everyone is entitled to an opinion and has a right to express it. The problem becomes when we share it a little too liberally and we start bashing other Christians.
To the outside world, the world outside the church, to non-Christians, we look terrible. We should look terrible to ourselves too. So why don’t we? When I bash Christian leadership I come across as self-righteous and judgemental. And will that win anyone to Jesus? Yes, God is able to do amazing things in spite of us but shouldn’t we be helping Him rather than hindering His work.
I crave truth. I want to know what I know and be absolutely certain of what God has me to go, to be. I want to be able to defend what I believe so that I can’t be shaken by any new idea, different teacher or false prophet. I am bound to come across some. I truly believe we are in the end times and the Bible promises “many false prophets will appear and deceive many people”(Matthew 24:11 NIV). I don’t want to be duped. I want to know what is true.
There have been a number of times when I have said something about Christian leadership when I shouldn’t have. I pray that God will open up my mind to see the truth. I pray for discernment. “For perception in the absence of judgment with a view to obtaining spiritual direction and understanding”(Google definition). I believe that God will give it to me. I believe that He wants me to rely on Him to help me see what is true.
I hope to keep learning through Beth Moore and her studies. I pray for her. I thank her for her candor and her heart for women. But I also know that she is not to be worshipped. Only God is. He has put her in the place she is. He has a purpose. I also pray that if the day that I could be lead astray that I will be aware. My eyes will be wide open. I will be able to discern the truth.
And, as always, I pray that God will be able to reveal Himself through me. Imperfect as I am. I pray I will point someone to Him in his or her pursuit of truth. That’s all that really matters.