Beth Moore Bible Study - Advice Needed

I joined a “non-denominational” women’s Bible study group. It is sponsered by the military and I know all of the women outside of church. We are currently doing Beth Moore’s Daniel. It is DVD driven and in the first week she reassures her audience that her study is non-denominational. I am half-way through the study and don’t know where to go from here.

Beth Moore is very motivating and on the surface seems to know her stuff. The deeper I get into the study the more disturbed I become. I’m beginning to think that Beth Moore’s version of non-denomination means non-denominational Protestant.

Let me stress, her underlying message seems okay, but her delivery bothers me. She could write some great self-help books from a Christian perspective but her Bible study method is lacking.

What bothers me:

  1. She comes up with a theory and then searches for scripture to back-up her theory. Seems backwards, but whatever.

  2. She ties scriptures together by taking them out of context in order to match her theory.

  3. Many of her nit-picky highlights are pointless based on the version of the Bible she is using. i.e., in Daniel chapter 3 she claims the 4th person in the fire is the Son of God and not an angel of the Lord (NAB says clearly “angel of the Lord”). In chapter 5 the goes on about the importance of the only the gold vessel being taken from the house of God (NAB says both gold and silver were taken). There are many more.

  4. At the end of lesson 5 she asks everyone to stand up and repeat a pledge/prayer. If I’m going to make a pledge before the Lord I’d like to know what I’m pledging.

  5. Time after time she says things like “what this could mean.” It is very subtle but she says it with such authority that the women seem to eat up her every word, jotting down what she says as gospel truth.

  6. Her passive-aggressive attitude towards Catholicism. She makes numerous jabs at Catholic teaching that most Protestants or some Catholics for that matter wouldn’t recognize as such. A Catholic with weak understanding of Church teachings could be swayed by her distortions/ommisions/selective Bible quoting. Day one of Chapter 5 is about Sola Scriptura, although she doesn’t use that term. One of the bolded in red quotes in the margin is “The Bible is Complete and Fully Sufficient.” Ironically, she can’t make this point without referencing 8 sources outside scripture. Of course, she uses 2 Tim 3:16 to drive home her point. :rolleyes: In addition, she says that Baurach is a ‘writing’ and not scripture. Honestly, I had to laugh at her 2 Peter 3:15-16 reference to “self-proclaimed scholars” and “arrogance is not a sign of true intelligence.”

Here I sit, caught between a rock and a hard place. I am the only Catholic in the group and I can just feel that several of the ladies are just itching to witness to me. Do I sit quietly back as the swoon over Beth Moore and how great her study is? Who am I to rain on their parade? If I start a debate it will be lost because several of them go to a church that keeps anti-Catholic brochure in their lobby. If I stop going altogether I don’t want them to think it is because I’m upset that Beth Moore’s ideas are shaking my faith. That couldn’t be further from the truth. My daughter loves going and spending time with her friends in the childcare room, it’s her favorite morning of the week. I enjoy the social aspect of being in the group. The Catholic women’s Bible study only meets once a month and no childcare is offered.

Any ideas, similar experiences or words of wisdom? I’ve been going to Mass every morning with my kids and praying a lot about it. I’m leaning towards using it as a growing experience. I will get up and walk out if any reference is made to the Catholic Church being the whore of Babylon. I don’t see her as being that obvious. I worry that as we get into the Revelation aspect of the study I won’t be able to discern between fact and fiction. I’m currently reading The Rapture Trap (Thigpen), reviewing The Lamb’s Supper as well as a Catholic study I did on Revelation so I am somewhat informed.

Sorry for the ramble, thanks in advance!

Non-denominational means all denominations except Cathoic. You could also, if you are able, go to the non-denom bible study and clearly state the Catholic position. I’ve attended these bible studies and the easiest way to fend off the “whitnesses” is to agree to disagree. BTW, I’m the only Catholic in my family of evengelicals…

What’s more important, being able to quote scripture (chapter and verse) or being able to live it?

If they are quoting the bible, just remind them that the modern bible was written (assembled) by the Catholic Church. And besides, Jesus never spoke English, therefore he never said anything which is in your bible…food for thought.:rolleyes:

Find yourself a good Catholic bible study and strengther your faith. I have taken the Catholic Home Study Service (CHSS) bible study amm.org/chss.htm.

God Bless,
Davis

GeorgiaPeach, I had a similar experience with BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) and came to this same conclusion:

I’m beginning to think that…non-denomination means non-denominational Protestant.

I enjoy the social aspect of being in the group. The Catholic women’s Bible study only meets once a month and no childcare is offered.

These are not legitimate reasons to stay in this Bible Study.

I’m leaning towards using it as a growing experience.

What would you be growing in…frustration, confusion, etc? You would be better off growing in your faith by attending a Catholic Study.

I worry that as we get into the Revelation aspect of the study I won’t be able to discern between fact and fiction.

For this reason alone, you should drop the study.

In all honesty, your post contains multiple paragraphs detailing why you should drop this study and look for a Catholic based one. It seems that your main motivation for staying in this study is socially based…so, maintain your relationships with your friends on a social basis, but grow your faith on a Theologically sound basis.

This is not an uncommon question that you are facing, and Catholic Answers has a very detailed treatment of this issue available: catholic.com/thisrock/2007/0701fea5.asp

I think you will find yourself much happier in a true Catholic Bible Study…I know that I am, and I’ve never regretted the choice. I only regret not making the switch sooner.

Sincerely,
rocketrob

You were right to sense something not quite right with Beth Moore’s sutdies. I started one at my church, went one session and never returned.

If you want to learn a lot about Beth, this is the study for you. If you want to learn more about Daniel, I suggest you open your Bible and dig deep.

This lady is very likeable and she can keep your attention, but listen carefully to what she says.

Your story brought back memories of my experience with Bible Study Fellowship (a supposedly non-denominational Bible study) I attended when I was becoming Catholic (going through RCIA at the time). I discovered first and foremost that there is no such thing as a “non-denominational” Bible study – it’s always going to have the theological slant of those posing the questions. Protestants are too contradictory with one another to be able to approach the Bible from a truly non-denominational point of view.

I eventually left the Bible study mostly because RCIA was beginning to take up too much of my time, but also because I didn’t see the point in studying the Bible from a flawed point of view. I think it might be good, if you’re asked by your Protestant friends, to share with them the reservations you have about Beth Moore’s method that you’ve posted here – maybe they’ll realize there’s a problem, too, who knows?

Thanks! I really needed the validation. Sometimes I wonder if I am being too sensitive and overly critical of Beth Moore. I mentioned my concerns to a close friend (who is not anti-Catholic) and she looked at me like I had two heads.

Rocketrob pretty much summed up what my husband told me when I talked to him about it the other night. I’m going to forward the link rocket posted to my husband. Fellowship isn’t a good excuse. I’ve done several Catholic Bible studies and loved them. I really miss it.

What I meant by ‘growing experience’ was that it really gets me fired up. I have questions about things she says and end up hitting my Catholic resource library hard. It’s aggravating yes, but I have discovered so many new things about Catholicism while being critical of Beth Moore’s teachings. I’ve read a lot on apologetics but I am discovering things beyond the basics. In addition, I am very curious as to what she is going to come up with in the second half of the study.

I’ve managed to keep my comments to myself when discussing the lessons. I’m good at discussing things on a one on one basis but I don’t feel prepared to take on the group. I pray that someday I will.

It just occurred to me after reading veritas41’s post that I can always help out with RCIA if I can’t find a study that fits my schedule.

If I may speak to the subject since 14y. ago I went thru the same experience when participating in a men’s bible study, most of them doctors from the same community and completely interdenominational. Knowing the catechism real well is no preparation for studying gospels and epistles in a formal bible study format. I started with Ephesians, a book now very dear to my heart because it gave me an insaciable hunger and thirst for God’s word. I have listened to B. Moore 3or 4 times and she is certainly dynamic and prepared, and needs to be to teach the book of Daniel! This book was a sealed book (incomprehensible) till the key to understanding it (The Revelation of Jesus Christ) was penned by the apostle St. John. The symbolism of the book run thru the entire book, all 12 chapters from the Babylonian king’s dreams to the many vissions of Daniel and every thing in between. In my bible study I experienced nothing but respect and acceptance from the other men, and this group lasted together for over 3 years, even though the catholic contingency was certainly the least informed. I learned as well how to look at Scripture from both a catholic and a protestant perspective, and ceertainly has helped me in being able to comprehend divers theological points and communicate scripturally with protestants. You mentioned what sounded to me like a supportive friend that enjoys these classes with you, and I will say that if there is no open hostility or desdain for you, to continue in the bible study. In my experience hostility cuts both ways but I’ ll leave it up to the denominations leaders to fight with each other if they must, while I deal with non-catholic friends on a brotherly basis (even if separated from communion). One thing I’m certain of is that God left us His word and we are to love and cherish it for it is His love letter to humanity, and the more we know it, the better for us. Fortunately, Moore is a theological conservative but I would caution you against doctrine-defying man-centered biblical teachings as frecuently seen on popular televangelists. For as much as I have heard denigrating comments about these so called “fundamentalists”, which I do not know who they are or what they stand for, I do recomend biblical conservative teachers who stick closer to the meaning of the biblical text (like Rosalind Moss of EWTN). Here and now, 14y later, I am glad I stuck it out in my bible study for my sake and God’s glory and I think you also will rejoice in future days of having done the same.
d

I posted this on another thread. Beth Moore is a pretty good motivational speaker, but her main agenda is making money–and she makes millions! She is not to be taken seriously as a teacher of the Word.

How about instead of feeling like you can’t talk about scripture, you just get in there and give your opinion. Just let them know you are Catholic and you would appreciate that they respect that… but I don’t see why you feel the need to keep quiet if you see an issue.

Talk about it. That’s what open bible studies are for!

I agree. This can be a great witnessing opportunity on your part. If they reject you then you should shake the dust off your feet and depart.

Hey i am kinda new to the forum but i though i would add my experience. I just finished a Beth Moore study with the same circumstance. I was invited by some good friends who are not catholic but seem evangelical. Yes they told me the same thing non demominational! So i had the book the whole nine and i too felt out of sorts. Being the only catholic i was the only one bringing the Catholic Bible and yes i got those looks too, but you know what if you are truly strong in your faith you will be fine. nothing will really effect you and you will see the problem with some of her quotes. That is growth in your faith and perhaps this is your time to be like an apostle for your faith, Heck maybe even teach them a thing or too! I found when trying to talk to some they seem to be completely uninformed about Catholicism out of either not wanting to crack a book or not doubting what whoever has always taught them, i know that i grew in strength and in a sense of knowing that i am right where i should be on my knees praying at a pew! Just a though!:slight_smile: :wink:

Yeah if I heard the words “non-denominational” I would just run away from it as fast as I can.

That term is such a crock. Basically it means so conservatively protestant that they can’t handle any authority but themselves. When dealing with them I met nothing but good people that really don’t like Catholicism.

~RSF

This is my experience with a Beth Moore Bible study. We will not be ordering one of her books again.

I am a Lutheran. I am a member of the Catholic Bible study of my “sister church,” a local Catholic parish. We did a Beth Moore Bible study last semester, and it seemed benign enough at the time (“Breaking Free”). However, I was at a meeting last night, and one of the ladies, a Lutheran, mentioned that she had just completed BM’s Daniel and found it very interesting and a positive experience. Then she began to describe what she studied. I was horrified. Rapture theology is NOT supported by the Catholic church, nor the Lutheran church. This is not a loving, Christian way to interpret scripture. I was upset that I had purchased one of this woman’s books, while not knowing that she probably believes we will be “left behind,” whilst she and her fundamentalist friends are off on another planet viewing the carnage that will be planet earth. I believe it is a responsibility of us, Christians and parishioners, to know what we believe. I find it scary to think that one of us could be sucked into this mind set by someone as persuasive as Beth Moore, and potentially misrepresent the Catholic, the Lutheran, the Anglican, the Methodist, etc. churches to a non-Christian looking for answers. I know that our faiths are not identical in ideology, but I feel on this issue we can certainly agree.

Welcome ENiezgoski!:thumbsup:

Non-denom always means Protestant error. Sola scriptura error. Private interpretation error. 3 strikes. Better to seek bible study from the same Catholic authority that canonized the bible in the first place. All else leads you away from Christ in the Eucharist. Sadly, it’s just that simple.

This site is rock solid teaching:

cssprogram.net/?page=aboutcss

Get a group started, maybe?

I am in the same situation. I am doing the study of the book of Daniel. It’s a mixed group of catholics and non-catholics. I want to know what the catholic church says about the visions in Daniel. I feel like many of the catholics in the group don’t know the faith well enough and are being swayed to believe whatever Beth Moore says. I want to know what our church says so I can let them know. I have searched the internet and haven’t came up with much. Any help is appreciated.

This is one reason that comments have been made regarding attending ‘non-denominational’ bible studies. You really should be informed and strong in your faith before you would attend such a study…but then again, if you were strong and informed in your faith, you might quickly question why you were attending such a study at all.

But since you are there, and want help, you might check out the following online commentary from the Haydock Douay Rheims bible (if you don’t have access to a hard copy):

haydock1859.tripod.com/id309.html

Another great reference is Bernard Orchard’s “A Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture.” There appear to be online versions that you can subscribe to:

questia.com/library/book/a-catholic-commentary-on-holy-scripture-by-bernard-orchard.jsp?CRID=a-catholic-commentary-on-holy-scripture-by-bernard-orchard&OFFID=se2qbp&KEY=orchard%20a%20catholic%20commentary%20on%20holy%20scripture

questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=99240475

I have not tried these myself because I have the book (which is out of print).

You could also research the Catholic interpretation of Apocalyptic literature in general. I would also recommend talking directly to your parish pastor, or adult educator, for help or references.

Hopefully, the above will give you some material to go on.

rocketrob

I am actually very strong and informed in my faith, just not real familiar with Daniel, and this Beth Moore study is actually being offered at my Catholic church.

I stand corrected and apologize.

I should have reworded that because it was based on some prior posts. I don’t know anything about this particular bible study except what has been written here, including your first post. Based on that limited exposure (several Catholics having concerns and not being certain they’re getting sound information), I am surprised it is being offered at your church.

Hopefully you will still find some of the links I mentioned useful.

rocketrob

Thanks, I did find some useful things in the info you suggested.

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