Was watching a Joyce Meyer program this morning with Beth Moore. I remember my best friend attending her studies at church before many knew about her in Christian circles. I went to look online and see what new bible studies she had out and the blog I googled in on was blasting back and forth on her scriptural accuracy (no examples were given), the audacity of having her name on her business and not her husband’s (I don’t know, does it legitimize it more to have a man’s name on a business or can he be a silent partner?), and the fact that she gave back the baby she adopted from one of her relatives after 7 years of struggling to care for him. They accuse her of not being forthright or transparent enough with the public, seeing that she is a teacher of the Word and held doubly accountable for her teaching and preaching. They stated she is too emotional and dynamic and alluded to reasons why as being that she had something to hide.
Perhaps after years of ministry in the church and teaching both in the professional nursing world and bible studies, I find that people feel like they have the right to inspect others whom they do not know personally. There were a few on the above blog that did come back with the comment that it all sounded like a bunch of gossip and I agree. Accuracy and integrity are important as a teacher, but reading someone’s book or hearing a slip of news in the media really doesn’t provide an accurate nor moral viewpoint as to a person’s character. There are some things you can learn over time with someone and more that you can learn when you actually walk with them, pray with them, cry with them and perhaps, at times, discipline them.
I am sure Beth is used to being in the public eye by now, but perhaps others forget. Those who serve, love, persevere in a church, family, business and find success, at times are still people. They are daughters, sons, husbands, friends, and sometimes unfortunately, imposters. I have facilitated a few of her studies and she is dynamic, emotional, but also passionate about her beliefs and sincere and honest. She, as a woman, is able and eager to share with her sisters and embrace their pain as well as open herself to the vulnerability it takes to speak to others about what most of us think we can hide inside…pain. She balances it with her love for the One, who healed her and continues to encourage and lead her and the One she holds herself accountable to, her Father and Savior.
There are always things in scripture, we can debate but the manner in which we do so should also demonstrate love and respect for God’s creations of man in His image and likeness. It serves no good to call out possible inaccuracies in character or teaching if you have to break the same Word you are holding them accountable for. Love is most important and yet somehow it is forgotten in the name of defending God…as if He needs defending. We are His Witnesses and I believe we must be able to ask the difficult questions regarding truth, but we must also make sure we do not work for the adversary and condemn our own brethren. Go in private to them first, but that would require a relationship with the person and I don’t think sitting under someone’s teaching, reading their book or going to their church can give a totally accurate picture of the person. We also will be held accountable for every word proceeding out of our own mouths and if we concern ourselves with that, we might not have time to sit in judgement of others so eagerly.
Sharing experiences, good and bad, can be helpful to us all, but sometimes we must have the courage to find out for ourselves when opportunities arise for learning. Many cried out in the crowd, “Crucify Him!” and they killed the innocent One who came to save them.
So I leave with a few words from Matthew 5:
9:Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called children of God.
10Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11Blessed are ye when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for my sake: 12Be glad and rejoice, for your reward is very great in heaven. For so they persecuted the prophets that were before you.