Class on Discernment: Beth Moore's Living Proof Simulcast |

TBC Staff - EN

[TBC: Prior to a September 12, 2015 Beth Moore Simulcast Conference, the following advice appeared in an online women's blog. Although the Beth Moore conference has come and gone, the admonition for attendees to exercise discernment concerning her teaching remains biblical and critical.]

Class on Discernment: Beth Moore’s Living Proof Live simulcast [Excerpts]

Beth Moore’s Living Proof Live simulcast [aired] September 12, 2015. Many churches signed up to participate along with women who will watch from home. If you were one of that number, I invite you to do something as you watch [another]. I invite you to turn the simulcast into a class on discernment. This means, we will use the simulcast to practice the ability to confirm truth and detect error in a Bible message or teaching. Some may feel it is unnecessary to do that with a Beth Moore event since she is so established and well liked as a Bible teacher. I would respond that it is always necessary to be discerning at every event or service where God’s word is taught. It is necessary even when the preacher you’ve sat under for 20 years gets up to preach.

Discernment is so important for our spiritual well-being. It is our biblical responsibility.  (1 John:4:1) The example of the noble-minded Bereans encourages us to do as they did. (Acts:17:10-11)  Paul prayed for the Philippians’ discernment in Philippians:1:9-10, and the distinguishing of spirits is listed as one of the manifestations of the Spirit in 1 Corinthians:12:10.  We are not be children who are “tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming;” (Ephesians:4:14) Discernment is clearly a vital part of the Christian life. It is not a good idea to listen to or read any Christian material without evaluating it for biblical soundness.  It is not enough to simply look for things that make us feel good or speak to our hearts.  It is not enough to simply be fed emotionally.  We must pursue sound teaching and avoid the dreadful pronouncement found in 2 Timothy:4:3-4: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires,  and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths” (2 Timothy:4:3-4).

Required Reading for the Class: The foundation for discernment is the Bible.  It is your textbook for this class and all of life.  The ability to discern between good and bad teachings exists in proportion to the amount of scripture we are exposed to.  We cannot possibly evaluate our teachers for biblical accuracy if we don’t already know what the Bible says or remember to check things out in context.  One may think they can rely solely on promptings of the Holy Spirit to identify truth and error in a message; but unless the truth of God’s word is involved, there is no objective way to confirm or test those promptings.  Additionally, it’s important to remember that our hearts and minds are subjective.  Alone, they’re not a reliable test for truth.

I cannot stress enough how important it is to employ the Bible when you’re listening to Bible teachers.  It may seem like an obvious thing to do, but unfortunately it is neglected.  I believe a big part of why false teachers prosper is because many people don’t evaluate what they hear against the word. They just soak it in, dangerously accepting everything they hear without question.  We can all try to help stem this tide by gently encouraging others to check things out using the Bible.

Pray for Discernment: Along with reading the Bible, prayer is paramount in discernment.  Through it we rightly honor the source of truth by going to God and asking for his help.  It is his truth we are seeking; it is his guidance we need.  We can pray that we might grow in our understanding of the Bible and that he might help us see anything that is contrary to it.  We can also pray for protection against unknowingly assimilating error. We can also ask him to give us mental clarity while we listen, that we may spot anything that seems unreasonable or illogical.  It may or may not be a biblical issue, but could be indicative that something is wrong.  If someone needs to jump through hoops to make their point or takes leaps in logic, their conclusion is probably not sound. We can also pray to be honest and loving in our assessment and not give a speaker a pass because we are a fan or become close minded or harshly judgmental because we are already aware or suspect that there are problems. I will be praying like this before the simulcast.  I will lift my voice up as the psalmist did.

“Teach me good judgment and knowledge: for I have believed thy commandments.” (Psalms:119:66)

("Class on Discernment: Beth Moore’s Living Proof Live simulcast," Chapter 3 Ministries, 9/5/12).