You Know are in a Good Place in the Parish When You Get a Note about Beth Moore Like This, by Pr. Rossow

0130151200I found the note in the picture on my chair when I got to church the other day. It is from my Principal and Assistant Principal. It was attached to an ad for some goofy spiritualist speaking at some local church that reminded them of Beth Moore. You know you are in a good place in the parish when you get a note like this. We work hard to not only preach the Gospel at our church and school but also to take the necessary time to warn our people about all the false teachers that are so prominent in the pop Christianity of the day that has also made its way into the LCMS.

On a discussion string on another post I mentioned that it takes strong, intentional, vigilant leadership and teaching to maintain Gospel purity in the local congregation. It takes the same in a synod.

Beth Moore is self proclaimed Bible teacher. She got her start talking to local Christian women’s groups and because of her bubbly and giddy manner she became popular all around the country. She is a false teacher on many counts. She:

  • Is a Southern Baptist
  • Denies the power of the sacraments
  • Rejects the power of the means of grace in favor of a methobapticostal decision theology
  • Is a millenialist
  • Replaces the spirituality of the cross with a spirituality of divine hunches and speaking

The quickest way I know to learn more about the dangers of Beth Moore is to go to the Fighting for the Faith site and do a search on “Beth Moore.” Pastor Rosebrough has done a lot of research into her errors.

It is the last bullet point that is her main claim to fame and the most devilish part of her false teaching.  Everybody loves to be taught that God speaks to them directly and that they can know God’s will for all the decisions in their life but this is a false teaching.

To her credit she often only teaches women. That is a part of her Fundamentalist ethos and I think it is also a reason she is so popular. Many women like the emotional high of knowing that God intimately speaks to them, even if it is just in hunches. You would think her Fundamentalism would carry over to the theology of the Word and it does in part. I am sure she has some sense of the inerrancy of the Word but whatever is gained with that is lost in her crazy claim that God speaks to her and that if you just tune in, God will speak to you and give you hunches on decisions in your life.

The problem with this is the question of authority and the cross. How do I know what hunches are truly from God? These hunches are usually just wishful thinking. There is no Scripture that promises or teaches that God will talk to you directly or in hunches to help you make decisions. Besides, we live under the cross. We walk by faith and not by sight. Beth Moore directs people away from God’s word of the cross and the forgiveness it brings. Instead she directs people inward to the self for a false sense of certainty for day to day living that is not based on God’s revealed word.

Beth Moore is probably a good barometer of whether or not a church is confessional. There are countless LCMS churches that promote Beth Moore and allow her into their churches via webinars, videos and Bible study materials. There are even more LCMS churches/pastors who may have never heard of Beth Moore but would think that it is a part of their Christian freedom to allow the false teacher into their parish.

There is a discussion on this blog and others as to whether or not the LCMS is heterodox. In less than five minutes on the web I found 10 LCMS congregations and one district that is promoting Beth Moore studies. (I simply googled “LCMS Beth Moore.”) Are we heterodox? What do you say?

About Pastor Tim Rossow

Rev. Dr. Timothy Rossow is the Director of Development for Lutherans in Africa. He served Bethany Lutheran Church in Naperville, IL as the Sr. Pastor for 22 years (1994-2016) and was Sr. Pastor of Emmanuel Lutheran in Dearborn, MI prior to that. He is the founder of Brothers of John the Steadfast but handed off the Sr. Editor position to Rev. Joshua Scheer in 2015. He currently resides in Ocean Shores WA with his wife Phyllis. He regularly teaches in Africa. He also paints watercolors, reads philosophy and golfs. He is currently represented in two art galleries in the Pacific Northwest. His M Div is from Concordia, St. Louis and he has an MA in philosophy from St. Louis University and a D Min from Concordia, Fort Wayne.


You Know are in a Good Place in the Parish When You Get a Note about Beth Moore Like This, by Pr. Rossow — 16 Comments

  1. Don’t forget Joyce Meyer Ministries in Fenton, MO. She began in LCMS church in same location. She started doing women’s Bible studies.
    Our position on women in the church offends so many feminists.
    A very dear friend grew up in Lutheranism and now claims Baptist Pastoral position.
    He keeps saying we are not Bible believers, like Romanists believing in physical means, not Christ.
    My grandmother came from VERDEN/Germany, home of Dr Wyneken. She left Lutheranism in Detroit to move to being a Baptist. She was a great Christian believer. When my family came to the USA, myself and parents, we gradually returned to our Lutheran roots. We were going to hell because we believed in salvation by sacraments (physical means). Hooey of course.
    Pastors need to teach more strongly the power of Salvation by Jesus Christ – SOLA Gratia!

  2. Isn’t it true that a church would be considered heterodox only if the whole church bidy (I.e. In convention) publicly, teaches falsely?

  3. I’m a recent convert to confessional Lutheranism from Evangelicalism. During my journey as an Evangelical, I’ve witnessed all sorts of heresy, from pietistic legalism to mild forms of the Prosperity Gospel(TM). One of the things I’ve personally found the most freeing about confessional Lutheranism is that there’s no such thing as trying to discern God’s will outside of the Word. So many Christians from most other denominations spend so much time trying to find God’s will outside the word. They resort to mysticism, either looking for a voice from God (but how do we know if the voice came from God or from ourselves?), looking for some sort of comfort (but is that comfort from the Holy Spirit or from ourselves?), or some sort of sign (but how do we know if that’s truly a sign from God). This way of discerning God’s will inevitably leads to disappointment; prayer and faith does not work like that.

    I think it’s very sad that this heretical thinking has infiltrated the LCMS. The LCMS is supposed to be the one true orthodox church, but many congregations have unfortunately deviated from the Book of Concord and from the Bible and have either become ELCA-lite churches or have become full-blown American Evangelical churches. There are too many people even within the LCMS who have fallen for the whole “doctrine doesn’t matter” mantra that is expressed by many American Evangelicals. We have to get back to the Word, and we have to rely on what God tells us in the Word, and not on our spiritual or intellectual experiences.

  4. Wine,

    Not really. We don’t vote on doctrine in conventions. We receive doctrine from God.

    Besides, we have bishops who do not reprove false teachings. How can a church claim to be orthodox when we have heterodox bishops.

    If you want to believe it go right ahead. I don’t.

  5. When orthodox churches within a synod are the exception and hard to find…
    When an ex-evangelical, excited about the Book of Concord, is talking to an LC-MS pastor, who is more excited about the study he’s taking his church through to help them conquer fear via Max Lucado…
    When you find yourself in a Sunday School class where the teacher and the students object to the assertion that we don’t make a decision to accept Christ…
    When you sit through a sermon about your picture in God’s wallet and finding your unique purpose…
    When you sit through a sermon about what it means to be a good Samaritan and you don’t hear THE Good Samaritan proclaimed…
    When you think that the LC-MS has lost it’s marbles for pining after the same errors you fled from and you have to beg an orthodox pastor over 200 miles away to please tell you there’s a church you can go to without moving…
    When you find others have encountered the same in various parts of the country…

    Yeah, an ex-evangelical might just get the idea, before ever having visited one single, LC-MS site that calls the LC-MS back to orthodoxy, that such a call is well-past due.

    On a related note, especially to those pastors who visit this site who worry that such openness about the problems within the synod will scare off ex-evangelicals. It’s not friendliness or programs or a happy smiley face on marketing publications that believers who have been driven to pride or despair are looking for, nor what attracted us. We are looking for Jesus. We are looking for a church where his work on the cross for sinners is proclaimed, rather than a footnote on a Ted Talk about finding victory over life’s challenges or recruiting others into the rat wheel of service with no gospel, while you’re hoping that no one discovers you haven’t achieved that second level of God speaking to you personally through some still small voice from an out-of-context verse.

    Yeah, that there are pastors and laity warning the flock that is coming into the LC-MS is a credit to the synod and a comfort to those that do not wish to hear, “Peace, peace,” where there is none. You can’t gloss over what ex-evangelicals can smell a mile away. We’ve already been in the midst of the manure.

  6. @Letetia #6
    I could also attest to the problems of uniform doctrine within the LCMS. I am currently in the process of transferring my membership to a confessional Lutheran church about an hour away from where I live. I became a member of a local LCMS church at a time when I was not fully educated about confessional Lutheranism. Unfortunately, my local LCMS church is not confessional; the most notable deviations from orthodox doctrine are open communion and unionism. But I didn’t know that open communion and unionism were heretical until I discovered this website and started studying our doctrine more carefully. Over time I grew more uncomfortable with this situation, so I started researching other options. Thankfully there’s a confessional Lutheran church within the LCMS that’s an hour drive from me. It’s not exactly convenient, but I’m fortunate to have a car and fortunate to be within driving distance from a confessional Lutheran church.

    I don’t want to give away church names since I don’t want my identity to be exposed.

    I hope that President Harrison will take a stand against heresy within the LCMS, and hopefully all churches within the LCMS will adhere to orthodox doctrine in its teachings and practices.

  7. The local LC-MS church in Pullman, WA (NW District) makes a regular diet of Beth Moore studies. They’re also a ‘catalyst’ on the Five2 Network. They “planted” a new satellite campus in close proximity to and in response to a small group of Confessional Lutherans that took the first steps toward starting a new confessionally faithful LC-MS church.

    It is refreshing to see the many faithful pastors in our Synod standing up for #truth and supporting Rev. Harrison.

    I pray our little mission will be blessed with a faithful pastor, such as are found here.

    + VDMA +

  8. @Michael #8
    Thank you for commenting. It’s encouraging to hear from others who are searching for and finding confessional LC-MS churches they can get to regularly, even if it isn’t convenient.

  9. @wineonthevines #2
    I would agree to that, adding that both active support and passive acceptance of false doctrine at the highest level (convention) makes a church body heterodox.

  10. Beth Moore Bible studies should be forbidden by the Synod, and this should be absolutely binding on any church that is affiliated with the Synod.

  11. @Letetia #12
    “Commitment to our mission, including financial.” And what is “our mission?” Why it’s “getting people to think and act like Christ.” That sounds good, until you unpack it, based on the context of the speaker and of 5/2. It’s about Christian, not about Christ. From listening to a couple of sermons of the 5/2 folks at Crosspoint (no “e”) Church, it’s all about getting to work. Jesus worked hard, and so should we. When you hear the word “commitment,” beware. It almost always means works righteousness.

    As for the Beth Moore business, I’ll have more to say about that in another post. After I cool down from watching this guy.

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