Beth Moore & Biblical Illiteracy

I know you all probably think this is the only place where I stir things up but it ain’t. (Public Service Announcement: While I’m trying to write Tim is going around singing “Oh, Danny Boy”.  He sounds like a drunk coming in after the all-nighter. Moreover, it’s way too early for me. That he’s singing it to the dog only annoys me further. Rather than yell at him, I decided to vent to you. Whew! Thank you. I feel so much better now.)

Like I was saying, I manage to stir things up nearly everywhere I go and even when I am not going anywhere, just sitting here in my own home, minding my own beeswax and simply writing. Which is what I was doing one day when I got an email from a certain editor who said they were surprised to learn that I am a fan of Beth Moore. They asked me if I’d be willing to write about that and since writing is my crack, I said yes, like any addict would.  It never ever occurred to me that Beth Moore is a controversial figure. Seriously. Is there anything, I mean anything, that Christians won’t fight each other over? You can head over to Christianity Today’s Heremenutics and enter the fray if you like.

While we are on the topic of Biblical illiteracy (which is one of the points I made in the Moore article), you might want to head over to Katdish’s site and read this excellent piece Seeing Red.

I’ve mentioned Sarah TheBarge to you before and suggested you read her blogs about The Somalia girls. Well, Sarah has a new piece up at Burnside Writers titled Sitting in the Dark. Those of you who have read Will Jesus Buy Me a Doublewide? will recall the story of The Marine and Lena that Sarah refers to and from which her essay title is taken. Sarah is a breast cancer survivor and has one of the most powerful personal testimonies I’ve ever heard. She is a compelling writer and gosh, such a beautiful woman, inside and out.

Some of you may recall that my daughter Ashley serves as a mentor. I have had the opportunity to meet the little girl that Ashley has mentored for the past two years. Yesterday, after spending the morning at Women’s Bible Study, where we are doing yet another Beth Moore study, I came home and headed up the stairs. As I did so I was hit with a wave of the Spirit. I don’t know what else to call it. I was simply and suddenly overwhelmed to pray for this girl. Praying for her is something I do routinely but this was such a powerful impression that I fell to my face,  (no, not there on the stairs, up once I was in my room) and began to cry out to God on behalf of this child, and the many others like her.

Broken children break my heart, as I’m sure it does yours. When I spoke to my daughter later, Ashley told me that at the school where she mentors the civic organizations help provide an emergency fund. It’s normally used to buy kids coats or granola bars for those who arrive to school too late to have the free breakfast, that sort of thing. But in talking with the administrators recently, Ashley discovered that this year they’ve had to use the fund to buy underwear and socks for the children. “Underwear,” she repeated, “can you imagine?”

I can, actually. There are some benefits to having grown up in a trailer park. You realize the extent to which children can be neglected.

It makes me teary-eyed proud to know that my adult children, out of their fullness, are pouring their lives into others. I’ve long been a supporter of Don Miller’s The Mentoring Project. If you are looking for a way to help, this is  a good place to start. And be sure to head over to Billy Coffey’s site and read his moving post The Luckiest Boy in the world.

Speaking of Don Miller, be sure and check out excellent advice about life (and writing) The Choices We Make. But if you are not a writer, just a doodler, you have got to read Jeanne Damoff’s wonderful essay on doodling your way through life over at All the Church Ladies site.

And finally, a word from Hugh Hollowell at Love Wins which stopped me in my tracks: Honoring people’s choices is hard. Loving people when they choose poorly is even harder.

Go read the rest of his thoughts on Tasha’s Overdose.

As for me, I’ve got to put Oh Danny Boy outside.

What about you? What’s the tune you’re singing today?

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  • I’m curious why you’re such a fan of Beth Moore. I’ve done a few of her studies & didn’t like them and have my own opinions but would love to know yours. 🙂

  • Gloria

    Ok apparently it is not enough that your blog makes me cry, you are now using other blogs to make me cry! Seriously, thank you for sharing these. Katdish’s comment to the Luckiest Boy blog was so SPOT on. I was a little confused though at the end of your blog. Did you put Tim out or Poe?

    • Karen Spears Zacharias


  • There are so many lonely children – and adults. How many do I pass on the street and never even give a smile or a brief second of recognition to?

    David,, “Salt and Light”

  • I read your Beth Moore piece yesterday, but didn’t realize the comments section was going crazy. Mainly, it’s one guy, though. My main problem with the comments wasn’t that guy, but how someone named Kate mentioned that Moore’s Texas accent was something to be tolerated. In fact, a true TX accent is to be enjoyed. Alas, Beth got her accent being raised in Arkansas.

    • Karen Spears Zacharias

      James: You crack me up. Seriously.

      • Actually I’m amusing myself by practicing work avoidance. 😉

    • Never have understood the hostility that people have towards accents, in particular Southern ones (course I have one too!).

      To quote the Drive-by Truckers “Don’t worry about loosing your accent/a Southern man tells better jokes.”

      • Karen Spears Zacharias

        Laughter is the hallmark of any good barbecue joint.

  • Somebody (Shane Claiborne?) said that the greatest threat to White Conservative Evangelicalism is that their kids are going to take the rhetoric about reading the Bible seriously and actually do it.

    It blows my mind how low the level of Biblical literacy is not only in society, but in my church and in my school (and I am in Div School!)

    Thanks for raising these issues.

    • Karen Spears Zacharias

      It’s a trend that expands beyond the Bible. We can name the Jersey Shore folks but not the disciples. Somebody slap my mama.

  • Thanks so much for the mention, Karen. Now I gotta go read your Beth Moore story and see what all the hub-bub is about…