Saturday, May 24, 2014

False teachings, or not?

On my blog I have often made references and quotes to several authors and their books and Bible studies that I have read and gained insight from.

At least three of them, I have recently learned, have been seriously questioned by some who are concerned about false teachings, contrary to the Word of God, being presented.

1) Ann Voskamp, in her book One Thousand Gifts: concern as to some of her wording implying panentheism or the oneness of God and nature, that is contrary to the Biblical truth that God created nature and is separate from it.

2) Sarah Young, in her book Jesus Calling: her statement "I knew that God communicated with me in the Bible, but I yearned for more" and sharing what God has supposedly communicated with her in direct revelation. She later  wrote in her book Dear Jesus: "I've continued to write with the help of Christ's Spirit, who guides my thinking while I listen in His Presence. I believe the Bible is the only infallible Word of God. My writings are based on that absolute standard, and I try to ensure they are consistent with Scripture." 

 3) Beth Moore, concern that some of her Bible studies exhibit legalism; that some of her statements indicate that she believes she receives direct revelation from God ("I received a word from God"); that she teaches men (in my experience, she always makes the disclaimer that her teaching is to the women, however men may be present); and that she condones mystic practices such as contemplative prayer (a dvd called "Be Still")

Anything that contradicts or is in addition to the Word of God, or taken out of context, is false teaching. So I do not ignore any claims of false teaching, but take the time to research them. We should ALWAYS test the teachings of men and women to see if they are in agreement with the Bible.

For the past month, I have done some research into these claims, and will continue to do so. I think some of the claims are taken out of context, and some maybe unfortunate choices of words; however some of the concerns may be valid.

I haven't come to a conclusion about these claims of false teachings yet. I'm praying about them and consulting other Godly men and women about them.  I am still using Sarah Young's "Jesus Lives" as a daily devotional and I am certainly continuing my 1000 gifts list (which I started long before I ever read Ann Voskamp's book). But I am also really digging into the Word more on my own, rather than relying a guided Bible study, such as I've done with a lot of Beth Moore's studies in the past.

Right now my method for studying 1 Thessalonians on my own is to go verse by verse asking the who, what, why, when, where, how questions, looking at key words that are repeated, looking up reference verses, using different translations, and using the Blue Letter Bible website to study the original Greek and Hebrew for some verses or parts of verses.

Bible study takes time (I don't get it done everyday; some days I just read a Psalm or a few verses) but it is so rewarding.

Though I was very upset initially hearing about these claims about false teachings, whether they end up being proven true or not, I am so thankful for how it has drawn me back into deeper study of the Word.


  1. hm....well, we do know a person based on the fruit in their lives...and I have read both books (ann's and sarah's) and own both. I also "hear" from God in direct, contemplative prayer which to me, is just sitting outside in nature (unless it's winter and then I tend to be in my little living book and music room

  2. oops...i think I hit publish before i was done. I was saying that I engage in what I call contemplative prayer which to me is just quietly sitting after reflecting on some Scriptures. God often directs me to "prayer journaling" which is just writing down what I sense God speaking to me. I think that is very much lined up with the word of God. as for Beth Moore studies, I find them ok...i'm not a huge fan of her (can't stand her accent) but the few I have done in large group Bible studies have been spot on and full of Biblical truth. I say that we know people best by the fruit in their lives. and all of these women are bearing MUCH good fruit.

    1. Thanks for commenting! I do prayer journaling too and I think it is important to be still before God and seek Him and His direction through the Scripture. Whatever we do should line up with Scripture, maybe that is why contemplative prayer has gotten a bad rap because it doesn't emphasize that what we should be meditating on is the Word of God. So glad you feel Beth Moore's studies are full of Biblical truth, I feel the same.