04 June 2010

Beth Moore Says "So Long" to Insecurity, Allows Sin to Stay

After reading this excerpt from Beth Moore's latest book, So Long, Insecurity, I think I can safely say that I won't be wasting my coupon for Family Christian Apostasy Store. I haven't been able to stomach enough of Moore's work to properly ascertain so I have to ask, does she always turn her readers into victims of circumstance in order to stroke their egos and gain their love and devotion? I'm not heartless, it's a terrible thing that Beth Moore was victimized when she was young. I do not, however, think that it should be her excuse for sin, and that is how it is coming across. Instead of blaming her disappointments in life on sin, be it her own or the very fact that this entire creation is fallen and wallowing in sin, Beth Moore has come to the startling realization that "insecurity" is at the root of all her troubles.
"I am convinced now that virtually every destructive behavior and addiction I battled off and on for years was rooted in my (well-earned) insecurity. Not only was I abused, I was also raised in a home where I constantly wondered if my parents loved each other. I was an emotional wreck even as a young child, fearful and tearful. I developed the disturbing impression, whether or not it was accurate, that no one was emotionally healthy enough to carry the heavy psychological load of us five children. By the time I reached early adolescence, those impressions gave way to new and dangerous "freedoms." While the cats were distracted, the mice were destructive. I was crawling out of the bedroom window with my older sister when I should have still been playing with dolls." 
Read the entire excerpt here
Hm, sounds to me like the problem was in the sin of the parents which fostered sin in the child. But let's not label it "sin" let's just call it "insecurity." I did a search in the ESV Bible for the words "insecurity" and "insecure" and came up empty. Just an interesting observation.

The excerpt continues with Beth "unpacking" Proverbs 31:25a (we couldn't examine an entire verse let alone the entire context, that would be unfathomable!).
"She is clothed with strength and dignity[...]" (NIV, because that is what Beth is using)
Beth attempts to "teach" the reader that this paints a picture of God covering up our insecurity and clothing us instead with our "God-given dignity." Then she jumps to another passage of Scripture, Psalm 8:5, and replaces the words in order to fit the message she is trying to convey. Psalm 8:5 says,
Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings 
and crowned him with glory and honor. (NIV)
Coincidentally, I've been reviewing the book Scripture as Communication by Jeannine Brown for my Hermeneutics class and came across a common "pitfall" to avoid when interpreting Scripture. In Chapter 8 of her book, Brown warns against both inferring the meaning of a word from its later usage and against reading all possible meanings of a word into a specific usage. I've noticed in Moore's works, however, that she often eagerly replaces words which educated scholars have deciphered and translated in favor of a word that, though it may also at times be attributed with the same Greek or Hebrew term, better fits the message that Beth desires to convey.

In Psalm 8:5, Beth replaces "honor" with "dignity" (I admit, this isn't a huge jump, but is it necessary?) and says,
"No matter how foolish insecurity has tried to make us feel, we have the right to dignity because God Himself gave it to us."
"Notice that God didn't put this honor/dignity in our hands. He put it on our heads. He wrapped it as a crown right around our minds, just where we need it most. Our possession of dignity is not always something we feel. It's got to be something we know. Something we emphatically claim." 
I also did a Bible search on the phrase "claim dignity" and once again came up empty. I've wracked my memory trying to locate where the apostles taught us to claim our dignity but nothing comes to mind.

The good news is, as much as Beth raves about being released from "insecurity" in this excerpt, I know something that Christ truly does release us from: sin.
"We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin."  Romans 6:6-7 (ESV)
"But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness." Romans 6:17-18 (ESV)
"But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life." Romans 6:22 (ESV)
Interesting that the Apostle Paul doesn't speak of being freed from insecurity. We have been set free from sin. Why is that so difficult to admit? I hate to break it to Beth, but "virtually every destructive behavior and addiction I battled off and on for years" was not rooted in insecurity, it was rooted in sin. Her sin, her parent's sin...sin! 


I looked up the term "sin" in Webster's Dictionary and Thesaurus and, interestingly enough, "insecurity" is not a synonym. Here is the definition of sin:
1 a breaking of a moral or legal code 
2 that which is morally unacceptable   
3 immoral conduct or practices harmful or offensive to society 
4 a regrettable or blameworthy act
Insecurity, by contrast, is defined as:
1 : not confident or sure
2 : not adequately guarded or sustained
3 : not firmly fastened or fixed 
4 a : not highly stable or well-adjusted
 b : deficient in assurance : beset by fear and anxiety 
Now, those definitions just don't seem to be at all similar!

I propose that, instead of focusing on self-pity and all of the things that make you feel "insecure" and consequently weak and not useful, perhaps one needs to do a heart-check. Our heart is where the real trouble is rooted because our heart is deceitfully wicked. Beth Moore will never be able to write a book entitled So Long, Sin this side of Heaven because even the most faithful of Christians will struggle against sin until his final breath. But nevertheless, we must grow in sanctification. So the sin is what needs to be attacked, Beth. The sin is what is causing the destructive behavior. The sin is what is separating us from God. Jesus Christ did not endure the tearing open of His flesh so that I can be free of insecurity. He did it so that I may be free from the stench and death of sin. Jesus Christ did not endure nails in His hands and feet so that I may one day stand before God the Father with my insecurities covered. No, He endured these things that I may stand before God with my filthy, dirty, blood-stained sin covered in the robe of His righteousness, my sin covered by His precious, saving blood.

I can only pray that Beth Moore will one day stop this belittling of the amazing sacrifice of our Lord. Her Scripture-twisting may give you the warm-fuzzies now, but it will do you no good in God's Kingdom.
I will greatly rejoice in the Lord; my soul shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. Isaiah 61:10 

3 comments:

  1. Well, I'd heard this book was coming. Thanks for your excellent review.

    Beth's stuff always comes back to "poor little me," doesn't it?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Glenn,
    Yes, I heard this was coming too. And now the wait is over! One look at the covers of most of her books tells you "It's all about ME." Even her name looms larger than the actual title. It still absolutely baffles me that women eat this stuff up. Talk about junk food for the brain and the heart.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for taking the time to go through her stuff and post on her. She has far too much influence in the evangelical church and for no GOOD reason. She's mostly psychology but I must admit occasionally she gets a short spurt where she gets the gospel in there. But they are few and far between.

    ReplyDelete

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