08 December 2013

Beth Moore's 'Twelfth Month Redemption'

Popular SBC Bible teacher Beth Moore offers a lesson in how one ought not interpret Scripture. The following is an online video devotional that Moore posted on her blog on 5 December 2013:


There is a lot in this 17-minute video that could be criticized. For one, it seems that Moore still is under the impression that God is speaking to her personally, perhaps in a similar way in which He allegedly taught her about 'Sabbath moments' and playdates at the zoo. What may be more concerning, however, is the approach to Scripture that Moore takes in this teaching.

She tells her viewers that she used a search on Bible Gateway to find every instance of the 'twelfth month' in Scripture. Then she looked up these passages and found that many of them described some type of reversal in circumstances. This, she concludes, must mean that God offers reversals of fortune in the twelfth month of the year. Thus, everyone who has had a difficult and trying 2013 needs to pray that God would redeem the year in this final month of December. Moore's attempt to universally apply a principle that God redeems an entire year in the twelfth month is pure manipulation of the biblical text that could lead many of her devoted followers into despair if they find that such a reversal does not happen to them.

In this brief video, Moore takes her followers to two passages from 2 Kings and from Esther. An examination is only needed of the 2 Kings passage to demonstrate Moore's error:
Now it came about in the thirty-seventh year of the exile of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, that Evil-merodach king of Babylon, in the year that he became king, released Jehoiachin king of Judah from prison; and he spoke kindly to him and set his throne above the throne of the kings who were with him in Babylon. Jehoiachin changed his prison clothes and had his meals in the king's presence regularly all the days of his life; and for his allowance, a regular allowance was given him by the king, a portion for each day, all the days of his life. (2 Kings 25:27–30)
To begin, Moore brushes aside the fact that, for the Jews in Israel at this time the 'twelfth month' actually was March, not December. Already she has disregarded the basic grammatical-historical approach to Scripture interpretation. She ignores the obvious in her teaching: that these verses describe a historical event. This passage is descriptive and not prescriptive. But what is even more grievous is that she uses these verses to turn her followers' focus onto themselves. Have you had a difficult year? Pray that God will redeem this year for you. Why is this so disconcerting (aside from the obvious narcissism involved)? Beth Moore misses an opportunity to point her viewers to Christ.

Jehoiachin reigned in Judah only a few months before Nebuchadnezzar carried off the Israelites to Babylon and placed Zedekiah on the throne as a puppet king. Jehoiachin is referred to in various places in Scripture by other names, specifically Coniah and Jeconiah. What, then, can be learned about this king of Judah? The prophet Jeremiah prophesied of Coniah the following:
Thus says the LORD, "Write this man down childless, a man who will not prosper in his days; for no man of his descendants will prosper sitting on the throne of David or ruling again in Judah." (Jeremiah 22:30)
This curse, while not declaring that Jehoiachin would be utterly childless, meant that none of his sons, nor any of his descendants, would ever reign on the throne. Yet, this king is mentioned in another significant place, namely the genealogy of Jesus Christ through Joseph as found in Matthew 1:1–17. This poses a problem for which only God could provide an answer: If the descendants of Jehoiachin were cursed and were never to sit on the throne, how is it that Jesus could be the rightful Messiah, a descendant of David? The answer is found in the genealogy of Jesus through Mary, as recorded in Luke 3:23–38. John MacArthur explains in his sermon, "The Mysterious Jesus":
The kingly line came from David through his son Solomon, right? . . . David had more than one child. The royal line came through Solomon, the right to the throne. The royal blood also came through his other son Nathan. Mary was a descendant of Nathan, thus she carried royal blood, but not the right to the throne. Joseph had the right to the throne but couldn't take it because his seed was cursed. How are you going to resolve this? Go back to Matthew chapter 1 and watch this. Verse 16, "And Jacob begot Joseph, the husband of Mary," not the father of Jesus, right? "The husband of Mary of whom was born Jesus called Christ."

If Jesus had been born of the seed of Joseph, he never could have taken the throne, but because Joseph was not His physical father He was not cursed. But because he was His legal father, He inherited the right to the throne without the curse of Jeconiah and He got the royal blood from Mary. Nobody could have figured that out but God.
(Source)
Indeed, nobody could have figured that out except God! And what a marvelous reality upon which to reflect at this time of Christmas! These few verses from 2 Kings would have brought hope and comfort not only to Jehoiachin, who lived them and experienced God's mercy as evidenced by this passage, but to Israel as they came to understand that, even through the exile God had not forgotten His promise to David, and the Davidic dynasty had survived. Yet Beth Moore has chosen to ignore the historical and prophetic significance of these and instead has turned them into a prescription for a non-existent 'twelfth month reversal'. What will Moore say to the woman who prays for such a 'redeeming' of a turbulent year, but finds instead that these last few days of December bring her more heartache, uncertainty and pain? The Christian trusts God in times of trial and times of joy and learns to be content whatever the circumstance, trusting that the Lord is sovereign over all things.

Beloved, read the Bible for what it says. When you do, you will find that your natural tendency toward narcissism will fade as the great truths of the Lord Jesus Christ emerge. You will find that, whether your life is filled with comfort or catastrophe, your hope still lies in the Lord. You will find your faith strengthened in Him and His promises and you will find that truly 'abundant life' of which Jesus spoke in John 10:10 whether or not you find that this twelfth month of 2013 is 'redeemed' according to your fallen standards.

Further Reading
Beth Moore's 'Sabbath Moment' Playdate with God
NoCo90: Where Is Beth Moore's Husband?
Beth Moore Preaches Sunday Service at Louie Giglio's Passion City Church

*After writing this post, I noticed that Fighting for the Faith also commented on Moore's teaching. That audio is available here.

7 comments:

  1. Whaaaatttt????? Is she by any chance related to William Tapley?


    -Deborah C.

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  2. And actually, what if God wants to bring redemption and deliverance from a situation RIGHT NOW? He has the right to bring those things anytime He wants. Why would I have to wait 12 months, if He wants to do it now?

    Just another example of someone trying to mine a supposed "nugget" that hasn't been seen before (because it isn't there anyway), instead of just going through Scripture.

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  3. Here is apparently a news flash: Jesus Christ has ALREADY done all that is necessary for redemption for ALL things. Believe in Him NOW....TODAY....that is all you and I need to do for salvation or for anything else. All this other stuff is nothing but a bunch of baloney based in unbelief of this basic Truth.

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  4. Does this count for the Christians in Syria?

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  5. Narcissism? Really? When we pray, we often focus on our own needs as well as the needs of others. Why must anyone attack an intelligent, but real-life-faith-type woman as she talks about asking God for a Word (which I take to mean for Him to reveal what He wants her to receive from Him through His Word on the page) to give her (and her family) strength and a blessing at the end of our year? I hate to see mean-spirited envy and nit-picking in the Christian fellowship of believers, and I'm afraid that is what I read here today. I am embarrassed for those of you who have tried to undermine Ms. Moore's teaching. She does not even pretend to physically talk to and get answers from God. But considers a heart-answer" as a word from the Lord. I agree that this is how God most usually "gets through" to us in this day and age. Lighten up on the judgment calls and open your mind and hearts to "a Word from the Lord." He may have been speaking in your heart for years and hit only a stonewall. I'm sorry for your loss, o ye of little faith.

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    1. Dear Peggy, when I first heard the criticism of Beth Moore my first reaction was: Right, the guys are just jealous of the popular blonde lady. Picky, picky. They wish they could publish books and star in big conferences. They have to run somebody down to make their big-shot selves look good.

      I was wrong. I began listening to her own words -- right out of her own mouth, just like the vimeo posted here. If a first-year seminary student put out something like this for his hermeneutics class, he'd flunk the course. It's that blatant. I know she sounds sweet, sincere, concerned, and positive, but she's way off base. She is reading into Scripture, not interpreting what it says. She's putting words in God's mouth. He has never liked that.

      God has said all He has to say to us in the Bible. He has sent his Holy Spirit to teach it to us. He has called pastors and teachers to study it and pray it so they can teach it to his churches. He wants His children to read and study and obey it. We don't need to follow the superstar personalities. We simply need to go to a sound church and study the Bible in a local body of believers with the direction of a faithful preacher we can talk to face to face.

      You can know something about a person by the people with whom they associate. Beth Moore has been speaking at conferences with some persons who are not doctrinally sound. They say things just like she did in the video above. They've all got a new word from the Lord. They have a new word every time the next book or video series is published. . . . . .But they do not have a new word from GOD. And He does not have a new way of getting through to us "in this day and age." No heart answers. Faith comes from hearing, believing, obeying God's inspired Word. The Bible needs to be taught after studying it carefully, using sound principles of interpretation.

      Anyone who claims to be teaching God's Word should be challenged. Does their teaching measure up to Scripture? When it doesn't, it is right to challenge them and to warn others when that teacher does not submit herself to the authority of God's Word. Beth Moore was a ladies' Bible study teacher who was excited to learn how to study the Bible for herself. She started well. She has a political science degree. She does not have the training to take on a wider ministry. Apparently she isn't going to receive the correction she needs. LifeWay just keeps churning out her materials. There are people at LifeWay who should know better. (Or, maybe they don't now. Scary thought.)

      I can't believe that Beth Moore is not aware of the controversy she has stirred up. I have to assume that she is continuing on her path deliberately. I have no idea if anyone close to her has tried to help her . Either way, she is teaching error by choice. That is irresponsible. At our church we no longer use her video courses and have removed her books from our library. Life is just too short to spend good time trying to review materials for error when we have the Bible itself. I'll just take the Word pure and unadulterated. We use secondary materials by writers with a proven track record.

      I'm not called to have faith in Beth Moore, little or otherwise..

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  6. Christ warned about leaven, just a little leaven is evil. The hirelings have allowed error to grow into heresy followed by blasphemy! This GOD will not tolerate and we are now seeing the results of it in our churches and in the world. Unfortunately it will grow worse regulating regenerated believers to worship in homes or even to have to worship secretly. But GOD is great and His followers will continue to put all thier trust in Him while the world goes merrily to he'll!

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