Christian teacher and author Beth Moore has made it very clear she does not shy away from stirring the pot. Less than a year ago, she riled up many in the evangelical world with her open criticism of President Trump; and now, fresh into 2019, she is once again igniting controversy.
Earlier this week, she took to Twitter to voice her thoughts that spending time with God and reading the Bible are not necessarily the same thing.
Moore began by writing, "Spending time with God and spending time with the Bible are not the same thing. The Bible is the Word of God, crucial to knowing Him, but it's not God. We can study our Bibles till the 2nd coming & leave God completely out of it. We can grow in facts & never grow a whit in faith."
Spending time with God and spending time with the Bible are not the same thing. The Bible is the Word of God, crucial to knowing Him, but it's not God. We can study our Bibles till the 2nd coming & leave God completely out of it. We can grow in facts & never grow a whit in faith.— Beth Moore (@BethMooreLPM) January 2, 2019
Shortly after her initial tweet, Moore followed up to further support her stance, "Do not be deceived. People who study the Scriptures constantly and are continually mean-spirited, rude, slanderous and aside [of] their religious rhetoric, bereft of outward evidences of the Holy Spirit are having Bible study without God. He affects us. You can take that to the bank."
She concluded with, "I will emphasize once more that my point is NOT studying Scripture less. I am a proponent of daily Bible study. It's my practice. My life work and my delight. My point is that we need God in our study of His Word. I'm just saying don't leave Jesus out of Bible study."
These posts came as a shock to many of Moore's followers, as her name is virtually synonymous with her many successful Bible studies. Though Moore did her best to reassure her audience of her unwavering value for Scripture, the tweets instantly became a lightning rod as her followers weighed in with vastly differing reactions.
Among those who disagreed with Moore, a common element was seeing her tweets as a devaluing of the Bible or a questioning of its divine inspiration.
One comment which Moore responded to was from a Twitter user who wrote, "You're wrong, the word of God is God speaking to us." Moore answered, "Agreed. But we can read it without one iota of His Holy Spirit at work in us." This exchange largely explains the controversy, which seems to be strongly rooted in a disagreement of how the Holy Spirit works in the lives of believers today.
Despite the opposition, Moore has stood by her statements, and has found support from many of her followers who have rallied to her defense. One commenter highlighted the transformation in the life of the apostle Saul, tweeting: "Saul, full of the word without the Spirit inside/then Paul, once born again, the word in him came alive!" This was a common thread among those who agreed with Moore, as they contrasted the practice of the Pharisees of Jesus' time, whose devotion to the Law led to death, against reading the Bible with an invitation to the Holy Spirit to be at work.
Lydia Martin is a writer for the Lightworkers team. LightWorkers' mission is to create engaging, uplifting and inspirational content that breaks through the clutter, building a community of sharing and igniting a movement in the real world that motivates people to celebrate and share the good all around them. Find them at www.lightworkers.com/.
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