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Monthly Archives: July 2019

I want to share my thoughts regarding Beth Moore’s blog post from July 6, 2019, in which she addressed her removal from her book, Praying God’s Word, (PGW) a 6 page section in which she described homosexuality as follows:

Before we proceed to our Scripture-prayers for overcoming sexual strongholds, we are wise to address another deadly sexual assault of the evil one in our society: homosexuality. I have wonderful news for anyone who has struggled with homosexual sin, God indeed can deliver you and anxiously awaits your full cooperation. Do not let Satan shame you into not seeking forgiveness, fullness, and complete restoration in Jesus Christ. I know complete transformation is possible not only because God’s Word says so, but because I have witnessed it with my own eyes. I know plenty of believers who have been set free from homosexuality.[1]

She further writes of homosexuality that “it isn’t love,”[2] and that she is “convinced that God wants us to speak freedom from pulpits to every kind of captive…not just the socially acceptable ones.”[3]

When the removal of this substantial section of her book was pointed out, Moore initially offered this explanation on Twitter:

It was not a fast decision. I took several years to contemplate what to do about it as I watched the damage it caused. It’s an old book but still widely used. It was not my intention but I made people feel demonized. I overshot scripture by a mile.[4]

And in her blog post she further explained that in PGW she “exceeded Scripture and singled out same-sex sin as particularly satanic.” Three things immediately jump out.

First, Moore actually did not single out same-sex sin as particularly satanic. Note that in PGW she said “we are wise to address another deadly sexual assault of the evil one in our society: homosexuality” (emphasis added). She simply added homosexuality to the list of other sexual strongholds which she had already addressed in her book. She did not single it out, she simply added it to the list. Her claim of singling out homosexuality as particularly satanic does not square with the plain meaning of her own words.

Second, she had not, in fact, “overshot scripture by a mile.” She rightly said that homosexuality is “another deadly sexual assault of the evil one.” Scripture makes this very clear. Though it is true that all sin no matter how lightly we may view it earns God’s wrath (Romans 6:23; James 2:10), sexual sin is different in nature because unlike all other sins it is inside the body (1 Corinthians 6:18). Homosexual sin is particularly pernicious because it is contrary to the natural male/female attraction and is associated with the wrath of God’s abandonment (Romans 1:26-32).

Third, in PGW Beth Moore rightly states that there is “wonderful news for anyone who has struggled with homosexual sin, God indeed can deliver you” and that she “know(s) complete transformation is possible…because God’s Word says so.”

She is absolutely right! God’s Word does definitively offer complete transformation in the Gospel. The Apostle Paul addressed the believers in the Corinthian church and said

Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, not idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God. – 1 Corinthians 6:9b-11.

The Corinthians were these things. They were fornicators, they were idolaters, they were adulterers. They were thieves and drunkards and revilers. And they were homosexuals. But after having been washed, sanctified and justified by the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ they were those things no more! The regenerating work of the Holy Spirit of God fundamentally changed them. This transformation is not just a matter of behavior, it is a matter of orientation and identity. The Corinthians used to be those things. They were those things no more. This was no modification of behavior, it was a transformation of the heart.[5]

So why did Beth Moore take this out of her book? In her blog she says she did so because she worried about what it would do to a “13 year old struggling with an onslaught of sexual feelings and temptations who has no idea what to do with them” and then picks up PGW and reads it. But if Beth Moore really believes what she wrote in PGW (and she says the removal did not reflect a doctrinal shift) then she should hope and pray that such a young person would read that section in her book and then go to God’s Word! She says, “I have witnessed it with my own eyes. I know plenty of believers who have been set free from homosexuality.”

If what she wrote is true then she should have never removed that section! If she truly cares about that 13 year-old then she should want her to be confronted with her sin. Beth Moore should want her to realize she is a sinner who faces the wrath of God. And Beth Moore should want her to know that complete forgiveness and transformation is freely offered in the glorious Gospel of Christ. The sinner must be made to realize the seriousness of sin before the mercy of God will become precious.

One wonders if Beth Moore really does believe that homosexuality – not just the behavior, but the identity and desire – truly is a deadly sin. One wonders if she truly does believe that homosexuals can be completely transformed and if she really does “know plenty of believers who have been set free from homosexuality.” If she has indeed witnessed it and does indeed know all of these many people set free from this sin, why, why why would she remove that section?

I was not at all assured by her blog post. She said she believes “the Bible sets apart marriage as a covenant between a man and a woman.” Great. But that question was never asked of her. The questions asked of her in the open letter published June 19, 2019 remain unanswered:

  • Do you believe homosexuality is inherently sinful?
  • Do you believe that the practice of the homosexual lifestyle is compatible with holy Christian living?
  • Do you believe a person who dies as a practicing homosexual but professes to be a Christian will inherit eternal life?

She has spent far more time disparaging the ladies who published the letter and obfuscating than it would have taken her to simply answer the questions. This is not about being friends with homosexuals or with those who affirm homosexuality as she has tried to assert. It is and continues to be about what she believes regarding this issue.

Beth Moore says in her blog that she “hold(s) firmly to a traditional Christian ethic.” This sounds well and good but it is not satisfactory. She has painted herself into a corner and is desperately looking for a way out. She is trying to placate both sides of this issue with vague affirmations of believing the Bible. Matthew Vines, author of God and the Gay Christian[6], would say he affirms the authority of scripture. Jonathan Merritt claims to be a “gay Christian.” Eugene Peterson said in an interview that, if asked to do so, he would perform a same-sex marriage ceremony. He then abruptly reversed course literally one day later when LifeWay threatened to stop selling his books (Source) saying, “I affirm a biblical view of everything” (Source).

The stakes are too high for vague affirmations of ‘believing the Bible.’

In efforts to extricate herself from the theological holes which she has dug, Beth Moore has twice cited Galatians 5:19-21, a text which does mention sexual immorality. Quite telling, however, is her consistent failure to engage texts which specifically mention homosexuality such as Romans 1:26-32 and especially 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 which is cited in the open letter. Without a hint of hyperbole, her silence on this crucial text at the heart of the discussion at hand is truly deafening.

It is no secret that I have very serious concerns with Beth Moore. Many, many people do. Even if she were to (finally) make a strong and clear affirmation of what is truly a Christian sexual ethic on this issue, that would certainly be a welcome development but it would not allay the concerns with her poor hermeneutics, her allegorizing of scripture, her false claims of God speaking to her, her false claims of God giving her visions, and her endorsements of known false teachers. Those concerns are real and remain outstanding.

I do not write this with any ill will towards Beth Moore. I know many will doubt this claim but I state it confidently knowing that God sees this and that I will have to give an account for every claim I make and for everything that I teach. I write this because I genuinely grieve for those who sit under false teaching. Souls are at stake. I write this because I actually do believe 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 that states that those who die as unrepentant adulterers, fornicators, idolaters, and, yes, homosexuals, will perish for all of eternity; even those who claim to be Christians. I do not doubt Beth Moore’s sincerity and will not disparage her motives. But motives are not the issue. Sincerity is not the issue. Truth is the issue.

It takes no more effort on God’s part to save a homosexual than it does to save a heterosexual. Homosexuality does not present God with a special challenge over and above any other sin. Just as surely as God grants repentance to the liar and the thief, He can and does grant the same repentance to the homosexual. When I witness to someone who I know is a homosexual, I do not even bring up homosexuality unless he or she does so. I don’t need to. That homosexual is also a liar, thief, and blasphemer as all of us used to be and those sins condemn him or her. I witness to a homosexual the same way I witness to anyone – by giving the Gospel. And if God saves that person, his or her homosexual behavior and desire for that behavior will go away.

In closing, let me say that I am in no way one of those caricatured evangelicals who has a special dislike towards homosexuals. Not in the least. People are not lost because they are homosexual. They are homosexual because they are lost. The most hateful thing we could do to anyone is to know the truth but not tell him. The most loving thing we can do is to tell him the truth. And the truth is that through the Gospel, a homosexual can join the “such were some of you.”

Beth Moore is inarguably one of the most influential people in the evangelical world. Millions follow her. It is a most reasonable request for Beth Moore to tell us what she really believes about such an important issue.

[1] Beth Moore, Praying God’s Word, 2009 hardcover book, pg. 279. Emphasis in the original.

[2] Ibid., pg. 282.

[3] Ibid., pg. 280.

[4] Beth Moore tweet dated July 5,  2019.

[5] For a fuller look at the true power of Paul’s statement in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 see Dr. Owen Strachan’s article On the Revoice Conference, “Gay Christianity,” and the Apostle Paul’s Showstopper Words to the Corinthians

[6] For a review and critique see A Response to Matthew Vines.