Confessions of a Beth Moore Convert

by Karen Spears Zacharias

Why the Bible teacher with the big Texan hair may just be our female Billy Graham.

Americans are becoming more biblically illiterate than ever. The Barna Group reports that fewer than half of us can name the four Gospels. Sixty percent of us couldn’t name five of the Ten Commandments, and fewer still could name two or three of the disciples.

The now-deceased but ever-respected Michael Spencer warned that this illiteracy was only part of the free-fall that is seeping into evangelicalism. Spencer warned in 2009, in the widely read “The Coming Evangelical Collapse”: “Being against gay marriage and being rhetorically pro-life will not make up for the fact that massive majorities of Evangelicals can’t articulate the gospel with any coherence. We fell for the trap of believing in a cause more than a faith.”

Spencer was right. We have managed to busy ourselves with issues that have us flailing about in shallow waters, rather than investing in the disciplines of our faith. We find it sexier to participate in a march advocating prayer in schools than to actually spend time praying. We’d rather sit at Starbucks discussing the Bible than to spend time reading it.

Bible Study is like homework, right? And everyone knows, homework is, like, so B-O-R-I-N-G.

Unless, you happen to be Beth Moore.

Linda, my sister, has long been a fan of Moore’s. Over the past decade, if Moore was within a day’s driving distance, my sister was in the audience. To be honest, Linda’s rabid devotion for all-things-Moore annoys me. My sister waited four months before ordering my most current book. If Moore releases a new book, Linda has it ordered within four minutes. Hundreds of thousands of women share my sister’s affection for Moore and her teaching ministry, but as usual, I’m late to the party.

I gave up on women-only Bible studies in the 1980s. I’m not a huge fan of fill-in-the-blank workbooks. I’m loathe to whittle big issues down to four words or less. I wrangle publicly with hot-topic issues like gay marriage, war, and the poor. As a rule I don’t like uniformity or conformity. If a pastor asks the congregation to repeat something together, I’ll be the woman singing a Janis Joplin tune aloud instead…


Her.meneutics: Confessions of a Beth Moore Convert

The Poached Egg

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