Beth Moore on the Contemplative Bandwagon
August 14, 2008 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, email@example.com; for instructions about subscribing and unsubscribing or changing addresses, see the information paragraph at the end of the article) -
Beth Moore, a Southern Baptist who is influential with a broad spectrum of evangelical women, is also on the contemplative bandwagon. She joined Richard Foster, Dallas Willard, and other contemplatives on the Be Still DVD, which was published in April 2008 by Fox Home Entertainment. Shortly after it was released she issued a retraction of sorts, but she soon retracted her retraction. In a statement published on May 26, 2008, Moore’s Living Proof Ministries said: “We believe that once you view the Be Still video you will agree that there is no problem with its expression of Truth” (http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/bethmoorestatement.htm).
To the contrary, the very fact that it features Richard Foster and Dallas Willard are serious problems!
Lighthouse Trails issued the following discerning warning:
“In the DVD, there are countless enticements, references and comments that clearly show its affinity with contemplative spirituality. For instance, Richard Foster says that anyone can practice contemplative prayer and become a ‘portable sanctuary’ for God. This panentheistic view of God is very typical for contemplatives. ... The underlying theme of the Be Still DVD is that we cannot truly know God or be intimate with Him without contemplative prayer and the state of silence that it produces. While the DVD is vague and lacking in actual instruction on word or phrase repetition (which lies at the heart of contemplative prayer), it is really quite misleading. What they don’t tell you in the DVD is that this state of stillness or silence is, for the most part, achieved through some method such as mantra-like meditation. THE PURPOSE OF THE DVD, IN ESSENCE, IS NOT TO INSTRUCT YOU IN CONTEMPLATIVE PRAYER BUT RATHER TO MAKE YOU AND YOUR FAMILY HUNGRY FOR IT. The DVD even promises that practicing the silence will heal your family problems. ... THIS PROJECT IS AN INFOMERCIAL FOR CONTEMPLATIVE PRACTICE, and because of the huge advertising campaign that Fox Home Entertainment has launched, contemplative prayer could be potentially introduced into millions of homes around the world.
“[On the DVD Moore says], ‘... if we are not still before Him [God], we will never truly know to the depths of the marrow of our bones that He is God. There’s got to be a stillness.’ ... [But is] it not true that as believers we come to Him by grace, boldly to His throne, and we call Him our friend? No stillness, no mantra, no breath prayer, no rituals. Our personal relationship with Him is based on His faithfulness and His love and His offer that we have access to Him through the blood of Jesus Christ, and not on the basis of entering an altered state of consciousness or state of bliss or ecstasy as some call it” (“Beth Moore Gives Thumbs Up to Be Still DVD,” http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/bethmoorethumbsup.htm).
In her book When Godly People Do Ungodly Things (2002), Moore recommends contemplative Roman Catholics Brother Lawrence and Brennan Manning.
Of Manning she says that his contribution to our generation “may be a gift without parallel” (p. 72) and calls Ragamuffin Gospel “one of the most remarkable books” (p. 290). She does not warn her readers that Manning never gives a clear testimony of salvation or a clear gospel in his writings, that he attends Mass regularly, that he believes it is wrong for churches to require that homosexuals repent before they can be members, that he promotes the use of mantras to create a thoughtless state of silent meditation, that he spent six months in isolation in a cave and spends eight days each year in silent retreat under the direction of a Dominican nun, that he promotes the dangerous practice of visualization, that he quotes very approvingly from New Agers such as Beatrice Bruteau (who says, “We have realized ourselves as the Self that says only I AM ... unlimited, absolute I AM”) and Matthew Fox (who says all religions lead to the same God), and that he believes in universal salvation, that everyone including Hitler will go to heaven. (For documentation see “A Biographical Catalog of Contemplative Mystics” in our new book Contemplative Mysticism: A Powerful Ecumenical Glue.)
If Moore truly wants to disassociate herself from the contemplative movement, that would be a simple matter. Let her issue a statement renouncing Richard Foster and Brennan Manning and their Roman Catholic contemplative friends and unscriptural practices. But don’t hold your breath, dear readers!
In disobedience to 1 Timothy 2:12, Moore teaches a co-ed Sunday School class at First Baptist Church in Houston, Texas. The Scripture says, “But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.” According to this verse, women in the churches are forbidden to do two things. They are forbidden to teach men and they are forbidden to usurp authority over men.
Moore’s meetings are attended by people from “every denomination,” because she “doesn’t get caught up in divisive doctrinal issues” and “steers clear of topics that could widen existing rifts between different streams in the body of Christ” (Charisma magazine, June 2003). This is the popular but unscriptural “positive-only” ecumenical philosophy that is so helpful to the furthering of end time apostasy.
Romans 16:17 and Jude 3 are commandments that are commonly ignored by popular ecumenical speakers, but they will not be ignored at the judgment seat of Christ.
“Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them” (Rom. 16:17).
“Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3).
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