Nine Truths, One Stinking Falsehood..
My mother was fond of teaching us the devil tells us enough truth to get us to swallow huge lies whole. Mom’s ratio was nine truths to one falsehood. I think the Beth Moore ratio is more like 7 to 3, with a fair number of pastoral illustrations harking back to high school. Her live audience, which appears to be all female, clearly comes alive when Beth is talking about some tale from her sophomore or junior year, and that’s fine, as far as it goes, except to say this: the primary problem with American Christian preaching, big and small, today isn’t bald-faced heresy from the pulpit. It’s bland, pleasant scriptural sugar cookies.
That’s not to say outright heresy isn’t out there. It is. Beth Moore — departing from scripture — can’t bring herself to simply affirm that homosexual acts are sinful. In Beth Moore’s world, Jesus and His Word are earnest young interns who need to be lectured about the best way to “market” the gospel. (Beth knows better on certain very sensitive topics.)
Nevertheless, I would wager for the most part, Beth will spend most of her pulpit time plodding through undisputed territory. In the sermon I linked above, her thesis is “Jesus makes a mess before He cleans things up,” referring to the money-changers and pigeon sellers in the temple. Beth argues that in our lives, Jesus may often make a mess, giving us trials so as to strengthen personal dependence on our Savior. To spice things up, Beth “challenges” us by observing that maybe, as Jesus cleansed the temple, a little pigeon poop flies here and there. (“Oh my!”) When Beth reminds us that Jesus came not to bring peace but a sword, she reminds her female audience, “your Prince of Peace is not your husband.”
Folks, please: who could possibly object to, or be even remotely challenged by, such painfully obvious truths?
Beth might make it a little more challenging by wondering, out loud, whether some of this money-changing isn’t happening in our mega churches and media-ministries right now, but instead Beth chooses to drive home a startling truth, one that I’m sure shakes us all to the very core: “Jesus doesn’t like people getting robbed.”
Wow. Jesus doesn’t like people getting robbed? Painfully convicting. I dropped to me knees and sobbed, only to find, as I returned to the screen that Beth’s audience appeared to be waiting for Beth’s next high school cafeteria story.
I was a tad hopeful that Beth might, at this point, point out that most of her American audience is getting robbed, at gun point, by a government that demands funds for everything from abortion to early retirement pensions for civil servants, but I can see that would only confuse, and possibly convict, her audience, so she went on to conclude, with great passion, that Jesus would never use the sword for violence. The same “Prince of Peace” who is “The Lord of Hosts” would never use violence.
A reasonably astute Bible reader might remind Beth, at this point, that the Romans 13 magistrate was actually given a physical sword, by God, to be an “agent of wrath” against evil.
And just now, I am reminded that a Texas church was protected against murderous mayhem, by armed worshipers. A few days ago, a valiant Kentucky pastor reminded me that Christians in Africa have been protected by President Trump’s intimidation of anti-Christian thug dictatorships.
A lot of young people are leaving the church, not because they can’t handle the truth, but because they can’t stand all the tedious, obvious, scriptural sugar cookies.
Beth Moore and friends: take note.