Beth Moore stated the following when speaking to a large gathering of 18 to 25-year-olds in Atlanta during the 2017 Passion Conference last week:
“You will watch a generation of Christians — OF CHRISTIANS — set the Bible aside in an attempt to become more like Jesus. And stunningly it will sound completely plausible. This will be perhaps the cleverest of all the devil’s schemes in your generation. Sacrifice TRUTH for LOVE’s sake. And you will rise or fall based upon whether you will sacrifice one for the other. Will you have the courage to live in the tension of both TRUTH and LOVE?” -Beth Moore
The statement stung me because as the mother of a son who is gay I have often been accused of throwing out scripture in order to support and affirm my son. But, nothing could be further from the truth. As a devoted follower of Jesus and a loving mother I studied, prayed, sought, questioned, listened MORE because I was a Christian mom with a gay son and my experience is that is also true of others like me.
I have a secret Facebook group for moms of LGBT kids (Serendipitydodah for Moms) with more than 1,400 members and everyday I witness the moms in that group asking deep and meaningful questions, sharing profound insight and wisdom, talking about the original language and historical context of scripture. These moms are not people who throw something aside in order to come up with an easy answer for their kids. These moms are not throwing out scripture or setting the bible aside. They don’t want to mislead their kids. They want to know the truth as best they can. They want the best for their kids. They want to feel confident and at peace with the guidance and insight they offer their kids.
So, when someone like Beth Moore says that “a generation of Christians will set the Bible aside in an attempt to become more like Jesus” our ears perk up and we want to respond and share the insight and wisdom that we have gained on this journey of love and faith.
Here are some of the responses from moms who are members of Serendipitydodah:
We follow the Bible, no one is setting aside anything. We are embracing it through the lens of Jesus, not the Lens of religious leaders. We emphasize and embrace what we saw Jesus emphasize and embrace (the best we can). We want to see Jesus be glorified by our love, service to others and the grace we extend to others, not our adherence to rules. – A Mama Bear
Isn’t Jesus the Truth? – so, by becoming more like Jesus you are not actually letting go of the truth. – A Mama Bear
“I struggle to resolve what Beth Moore said, with what the Apostle Paul said, particularly Chapter 13 of First Corinthians on love as one of the only three things (other than faith and hope, which he elsewhere defines) that followers of Christ are to hold primary above mortal speech, human knowledge, and all human understanding. Also, I struggle with Beth Moore’s words when considering the words of Jesus in the definition of the call of Christianity in the Great Commandment, where loving God with all our thought, and emotion, and spirituality, and loving others with the same wholeheartedness, is a refection of how God loves us, and is the axis on which all prophecy and law hinge and find resolution, as in Mark 12 and repeated again in Matthew 22. Therefore, my question to Beth Moore would be, “What truth should we hold above love?” – A Mama Bear
Bill Maher once said, “I don’t know anyone less Jesus-like than most Christians.” And you know what? The Christians he’s referring to read the Scriptures. I think we moms know from our own experience of supporting LGBT folks that the Bible bullies come out because of their faulty reading of the text. They erroneously employ Scripture to shame, condemn, and ‘other-ize’ people who aren’t like them and who don’t behave in ways they deem appropriate. So it’s not so much that we are dropping the Bible to follow Jesus – it’s that we are trying to drop a faulty, abusive hermeneutic to “GO and DO” what He commanded us in order that the Bill Mahers of the world can see a true expression of God in us. – Meredith Webster Indermaur
Sorry Beth Moore–The BIBLE tells me the Spirit will be my personal teacher. The BIBLE tells me to follow Jesus. The BIBLE tells me to love, even my enemy. The BIBLE tells me to be wary of false teachers (men and obviously women, too) who try to deceive the SPIRIT within me. So I think it’s you and your twisted interpretation of scripture the Devil is using because you are the one trying to separate the walk and life of Jesus from your reading of the BIBLE. – Margaret Boelman
My question to Beth Moore would be, do you have the courage to dig deeper and discover TRUTH? …not the truths twisted, added to, reworded & revised in translations, but the truth of God given by inspiration of the Holy Spirit to Hebrew and Greek speaking people. And would you filter those words through Jesus, THE absolute true WORD OF GOD, who was with God, in God, was God from the beginning? Because in light of that TRUTH there is no tension between truth and love. – Betsy Bruce Henning
I would say that Beth Moore does not have the desire, courage, or humility to see how she is harming God’s dearly loved LGBTQ children. Hers is one of the most dangerous and toxic statements a Christian authority can make, because it instills so much fear in followers and that fear causes a superficial reading of scripture and a reliance on so called Bible authorities. After all, who wants to come to the end of their life to have Jesus say “away from me I never knew you?” I grew up in and lived my whole life in an extended family who believed you were going to hell if you weren’t on the narrow path–the very narrow path that most won’t find and is tiny as the “eye of a needle” [which was interpreted literally by my family rather than in its Middle Eastern context]. Most of the church-going “Christians” I know won’t do that deep digging to uncover Biblical truths. It’s a lot of work, and they’re afraid and don’t trust themselves. Salvation is a lot to risk! They’d rather rely on their pastors and teachers like Moore to tell them what to think. After all, life is busy, and that’s what pastors and Bible teachers get paid for! (sarcasm) If you take the Bible “sola scriptura” as someone else mentioned and as I was taught, you have a lot of cognitive dissonance when you read and study scripture. True study is difficult when you try to understand context and compare the original languages to various translations. An individual almost necessarily needs an “authority” to guide them through those passages that create the cognitive dissonance, or at least someone who makes them feel they’ve arrived at the correct conclusion, because after all, salvation is at stake. – Laura Sparks Turner
Last I checked, love and truth should never be in conflict. If they are there is something wrong with your “truth.” And since when was living Christ-like *ever* secondary? – Debbie King
Be careful judging how the Holy Spirit guides those that don’t fit your label. It is not for you to say what their relationship with God should look like. Doing so, does not define truth. – Debby Laird McCrary
I love the Bible..But I don’t like it being used to discriminate against our LGBTQ children. – Lenora Lea Gill
I will live my life to be more like Jesus and less like the Bible because Jesus is the key to my salvation… not the Bible. – Sara O.
We shouldn’t have to sacrifice truth for love because Truth is Love. – Julie Ackerson-Armstrong
Not just me, but my child searched scriptures, opinions, books… many resources before deciding to just live for Jesus. She has contemplated and attempted suicide over her salvation, over wanting truth and love in her young life. She’s only 14… – Glenda Moore
I have searched and studied because I have a gay son. My heart is now at peace because my eyes have been opened to the true meaning of being a Christian. Many many people adapt the Bible to suit their way of doing things, just as I suppose this Beth Moore has. But one thing I do know for sure is my prayers to God were fervent and from the core of my soul and if God chose to ignore these prayers of mine then I can say He does not love me. But I know that His love for me is real so therefore He heard my cry. – A Mama Bear
I am tired of the box of Christianity they think is so neat and tidy. Life isn’t. God loves each and every one of us just as we are. If one believes that we are souls who inhabit many bodies in this earth school to learn lessons, then it would be obvious that we have been different genders. That can explain a lot. I choose not to be labeled anymore and think that we would all be better off not to slap labels and condemnations on anyone. Sadly, those who think they are right and are hell bent on proving it seem to have no trouble putting themselves in the driver’s seat of the Creator if the Universe. If that isn’t arrogant I don’t know what is. – A Mama Bear
I think we are setting aside the Bible, in some instances, because it simply doesn’t make sense. So many holes. So many translations. Once you free yourself from the Bible being the actual word of God, it is liberating to find your own relationship with Him. People like Beth who cling to the literal Bible as infallible take the easy way out because they don’t require any thinking with their faith. True believers can read the Bible, use their brains and come to a place of peace. That’s faith. Holding fast to something that makes no sense isn’t faith. It’s a crutch. – A Mama Bear
I have become a stronger Christian, and a stronger person because of my gay son. I read the BIBLE a lot more, and I pray a lot more. – A Mama Bear
IF anyone lives in the tension between truth and love, it is those of us with LGBTQ kids. We have had to learn to love in the unconditional way Christ taught us, instead of the conditional way our culture (yes, our church culture) instructs us. Putting the Bible aside has never occurred to most of us. Indeed, it is what we continue to lean on as we struggle with how God is using us in the place we find ourselves. He watched is Son suffer and die. Many of us do the same, at the hands of people who call themselves Christians. We know the depths of misery and the heights of Christ’s love in our lives. I would also add that if anything has turned me personally away from the Bible, it is people like Beth Moore.- A Mama Bear
It is a far scarier, humbling way to live… to not have it all wrapped up in a neat little box…. It also takes more faith and a much bigger God. – A Mama Bear
This statement from BM brings visions of the type of judgmental, self-righteous church mentality that keeps me and my husband away. It’s so ignorant, flippant and cold-hearted that it’s the furthest thing from Christlike. BM and those like her can keep their American Jesus. – A Mama Bear
I don’t know what truth is anymore — I have read so much information that I am not even sure about the Bible – I am beginning to think it is just stories written by people that lived a long time ago and PEOPLE have translated it from language to language not even knowing if they are right … And picking and choosing what stories should be included, I am just fed up with the Christian right thinking that their interpretation is the one and only way to read the Bible… Whether it is Satan blocking the way or I am just seeing a way different picture. I believe there is a God, I have good sound morals and I try to see people in a different light…. And treating people Lovingly and equally! Right now I don’t anymore! I definitely don’t need to go be “educated” in a church anymore! So DONE with all this! I just want to LOVE! – A Mama Bear
Being a l o n g time fan, it made my heart sink to read those words from her and even more alarming that my more conservative friends and family have used her words to wedge the divide even deeper between the Church, the LGBTQ community and their allies. For me, that’s not how the Word of God works, not at all. The Truth has set me free from any law and I have never loved more deeply or experienced God or the Word more profoundly. – A Mama Bear
The church’s treatment of the LGBTQ community is reminiscent of days when the developmentally disabled and mentally ill were rejected and mistreated and accused of being possessed by satan. It is heartbreaking to see that kind of hate and rejection aimed at your child. The Bible has been in the control of white hetero men of power since its inception therefore, as with all things in human control, is fallible and corruptible. We would be incredibly naive to think that has not been changed to meet the agenda of these powerful men. I love the bible. I read scripture and glean wisdom when God speaks to me through it. I Worship God not a book. He has given me a heart of love for all mankind, including the LGBTQ community. Unfortunately my husband, our church and his extended family do not agree. I will stand with all those rejected and persecuted for simply being who God created them to be. – Elizabeth Frauenknecht
My God is SO BIG and has such a great imagination. Look at the diversity of ALL that God made! I will certainly NEVER be worthy of such unconditional love. Luckily, I don’t have to be, I just have to accept God and God accepts me JUST THE WAY I AM. God made me to be me. He made you to be you. All God wants is for me to be the most kind, loving person I can be and for you to be the most kind loving person you can be. If we all do that (and I fall short EVERY DAY), we won’t have enough time to judge our sisters and brothers. Can I get an AMEN? – Spring Davidson
I’m not a Beth Moore fan. God is much bigger than the biggest, most popular, most righteous, most justified self proclaimed evangelist. I don’t set aside scripture. I listen to what God is telling me which might just not add up to what my pastor, or my Sunday school teacher, or my small group leader or my dearest friend, or my dearest friend who is a pastor or my bible study teacher interprets. I read scripture, I teach Sunday school, I teach Bible studies, I lead support groups, lead small groups, and women and kids and I listen for the still quiet voice of the Lord to tell me what He has for me. My daughter coming out helped me to become authentic. Authentically Christian. Including a slightly different interpretation of scripture from many around me which does not make me wrong. Pray for God to separate the man made stuff from His stuff. He can’t not. It’s a great journey. He has my in the palm of His hand or I couldn’t do any of this. It’s not about me. Beth is too much about Beth. Sorry. Not a fan. – Deborah Noffert
I pray sincerely that one day Beth Moore will have her spirit humbled and broken by the same loving, gracious God that humbled and broke mine years ago! The church has been wrong in judging and persecuting our LGBTQ children of God. The church has taught partial truths and used verses out of context to justify a position of “judge and jury”, acting as “THE voice of God” on a subject that is in no way “perfectly clear” if studied in depth at all. In the gray space, I had to choose a place of trust in the guidance of the Holy Spirit in my life. It is a faith journey that IS NOT for the faint of heart. I reject the implication that I have set my Bible aside in any way. God has walked me into His beautiful presence and commanded that I accept my LGBTQ brothers and sisters as perfectly His. I am in no way to try to change them. I am simply commanded to love them as they are. I was also commanded to apologize profusely on behalf of “the church” that has judged them for the grave and serious harm they have caused in the lives of LGBTQ people that have sought God with their heart and were pushed away by Christians. – Tamara Darbin
I have been to several Beth Moore events and loved her. It hurt me deeply to see her say this. I have gotten so much closer to God since my daughter came out. I have learned so much actually studying my bible, and not listening to what past church leaders/pastors have said. God loves all people, man created the love the sinner hate the sin mentality! God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit loves all. Remember the greatest commandment is about love. – Renay Boyes
I was shocked at the pain I felt all over again when I watched that statement be tweeted and then retweeted by others I believed to be allies. I have struggled to be sure that the truth of scripture was never distorted in my relationship with my child and can honestly say that we have not sacrificed or abandoned any of the truth of the gospel in loving our son or helping him to become the Christian Man that he has become. – Laurie Harrison Lewis
We can idolize our understanding of the Bible and totally miss the God of the Bible. Mercy not sacrifice was both the God of the Old Testament and the God/Jesus of the New. My favorite recent quote comes from Richard B. Hays: “the quality of mercy is not set in opposition to the Torah; rather, Matthew’s Jesus discerns within Scripture itself the hermeneutical principle – expressed epigrammatically in Hosea 6 : 6 – that all the commandments are to be interpreted in such a way as to engender and promote the practice of mercy among God’s people.” – A Mama Bear
Beth must not have read Matthew 22:40! – A Mama Bear
As a parent of a child that was so depressed they would not leave their room for months or get out of bed, I prayed and agonized with God that He would reveal to me what was wrong. During those agonizing times He would whisper “Transgender” to me. It was a couple of weeks later that my then son broke down and told me he was a girl. Was I totally surprised? No, I was so relieved that God had answered my prayer. During our journey, I asked God to close any doors that we were not to go through while we maneuvered through her transition. I believed and had faith that God would close those doors, if we were not to go through them. I had peace from day one. John 14:27 But during this time, I would sit in my then home church Sunday after Sunday with a spirit that was so “troubled” because they did not embrace our daughter. I would see her friends and their parents sitting in the pews and they never asked about her. I would leave sobbing and so heart broken and grieving. As a sister in the body of Christ should I have suffered alone? Our daughter needed her christian friends beside her, but where were they? Who ended up setting the Bible aside? My guess would be the generation of Christians in the church. – Gloria Melton.
I believe/pray that this will be the first generation that truly sees how horribly we have treated our LGBT brothers and sisters in Christ. I keep asking myself why don’t I know any gay Christians and the response seems to be because we’ve not welcomed them into our churches or society. What are we Christians so afraid of? It’s not a disease that you can catch. These people are just like us made in the image of God. Jesus loves them as much as He loves you and me. Could some of our Holy Scriptures that were translated from Greek and Hebrew be wrong? Yes! Has culture changed since ancient times? Yes! Do you have the courage to open your heart, mind and church to LGBT people? What if Satan is blinding you, as most of our Evangelical churches have sent our LGBT children out on their own in this world confused, depressed and thinking God and His people hate them! This generation hopefully will have the courage to stand up for the LGBT children in their churches and welcome them with open hearts and minds. – A Mama Bear
I read a Letter to Beth Moore in 2015 and through that post I got in touch and joined Serendipitydodah for Moms. In a way it feels like Beth Moore led me to join this group of moms who love and affirm their LGBT kids. I wonder how Beth would feel about that. – A Mama Bear
Serendipitydodah for Moms is a private Facebook group created as an extension of the Serendipitydodah blog. The group is private so only members can see who is in the group and what is posted in the group. The group was started in June 2014 and presently has more than 1,400 members. The space was specifically created for open minded Christian moms who have LGBT kids and want to develop and maintain healthy, loving, authentic relationships with their LGBT kids.
For more info email firstname.lastname@example.org