From Seth Dunn to Beth Moore:
Today you wrote a letter to your brothers in Christ. Allow me to respond.
Be silent. You are not a good Bible teacher. You preach and write about yourself all the time as is if you were a character in the Biblical story. You’re not. You are a character in the farcical and cruel story of the evangelical industrial complex. I read Believing God recently; it was one of the worst Christian books that I have ever read. It pains me to know that so many women erroneously think that you are a good source for biblical teaching. You are not. Let me be clear, you aren’t a terrible Bible teacher because you are a woman, you are a terrible Bible teacher because you are not good at teaching the Bible. That you are a woman is irrelevant.
I have observed you over the past few years as you’ve transitioned from a professing Southern Baptist to what you call a “professing Evangelical.” I suppose this helps you broaden your base. It seems like, today, when the time is convenient and when your millions are secure, that you are apologizing for the history of what little orthodoxy you exhibited. You’ve been moving towards Pentecostalism for a while now. Joyce Meyer, Christine Caine, and that crowd can have you. If Rodney Dangerfield was a Southern Baptist, he might say, “Take my Beth…please.”
You wrote the following in your letter:
As a woman leader in the conservative Evangelical world, I learned early to show constant pronounced deference – not just proper respect which I was glad to show – to male leaders and, when placed in situations to serve alongside them, to do so apologetically. I issued disclaimers ad nauseam. I wore flats instead of heels when I knew I’d be serving alongside a man of shorter stature so I wouldn’t be taller than he. I’ve ridden elevators in hotels packed with fellow leaders who were serving at the same event and not been spoken to and, even more awkwardly, in the same vehicles where I was never acknowledged. I’ve been in team meetings where I was either ignored or made fun of, the latter of which I was expected to understand was all in good fun.
I would like to chastize these men for giving you the silent treatment. You should have been roundly and loudly rebuked by each and every one of them. I guess they tolerated you because, like Harvey Weinstein, you could draw money. They just looked past the bad parts.
You also wrote in your letter:
I was the elephant in the room with a skirt on. I’ve been talked down to by male seminary students and held my tongue when I wanted to say, ‘Brother, I was getting up before dawn to pray and to pore over the Scriptures when you were still in your pull ups.’
As a seminary graduate, male or not, it has been one of my great joys to collect submissions from women who have rejected you and your Bible studies. The most popular article I ever published was a testimony from a pastor’s wife about how awful your teaching is. You are utterly unqualified to do what you do. Yes, you are popular. So are Joel Osteen and TD Jakes. You are successful in a market that demands a horrible Bible-study product and is readily supplied with it. … You scoff at the seminarians who “talked down” to you. Maybe if you didn’t drop out of seminary (like Perry Noble) you would understand why they think you are so awful. Here is a hint, it is not because you are a woman. It is because you are awful. That my writing and blog-editing has kept others from your products makes me happy. It is to his shame that John Bisagno did not shut you down when I was still in pull ups. Instead, he did what many mega-pastors do, he went with what drew numbers. Josh Buice, Justin Peters, Matt Slick, Chris Rosebrough, Elizabeth Prata, and Michelle Lesley have all warned about you. I am not personally friends with a single pastor who thinks you are sound.
You are showing your true colors lately. As time progresses and the evangelical market becomes more lenient you inch towards egalitarianism. Now you are acting like this big advocate for women. Listen, if you really care about women why don’t you name the person you were referring to when you wrote this?
“About a year ago I had an opportunity to meet a theologian I’d long respected. I’d read virtually every book he’d written. I’d looked so forward to getting to share a meal with him and talk theology. The instant I met him, he looked me up and down, smiled approvingly and said, “You are better looking than _________________________________.” He didn’t leave it blank. He filled it in with the name of another woman Bible teacher.”
Name him, or you don’t care about the other women he talks to like this. Also, to be forthright, you are a good-looking woman. Did it ever cross your mind that the Christian ministers who didn’t talk to you at conferences didn’t want to jeopardize their career by being thought to flirt with you? Maybe they didn’t want to end up in your next personal anecdote. Just maybe they were trying to protect themselves from making the wrong decision around a beautiful, effusive woman. Beth, I could go on and on about this but my I need to change my baby’s diaper (which reminds me that I’m not finished reading When Godly People Do Ungodly Things), so I am going to wrap this up quickly by saying:
God isn’t talking to you. Stop saying He is. You sound crazy. If God was talking to you, you’d likely not be such a horrible Bible teacher.
I’m not saying what scores of other theologians and pastors haven’t already thought. If anyone is wondering “How does this look to lost people?” I hope it looks like a theologian who loves Jesus and thinks Beth Moore is crazy and wants to protect Christian women from Beth Moore. It’s not like Keith Moore has been doing a good job of it.
*Please note that the preceding is my personal opinion. It is not necessarily the opinion of any entity by which I am employed, any church at which I am a member, any church which I attend, or the educational institution at which I am enrolled. Any copyrighted material displayed or referenced is done under the doctrine of fair use.
All Beth Moore Critiques, All In One Place – Elizabeth Prata
Published with permission by Pulpit & Pen