Today I started my yearly summer Bible study with many older ladies. Of course, if ladies are involved, that must mean it's a Beth Moore series!
Now, Beth has gotten some flack from Reformed discernment circles in recent years due to involvement with contemplative spirituality. And rightly so. There are some scary happenings within contemplation that the church needs to seriously consider. Are with talking to God differently, or are we flirting with Satanic influences? Some practices I personally love and consider to be okay, such as lectio divina. LD involves just reading Scripture and meditating on it. I see no problems there and see this as perfectly in keeping with Sola Scriptura. However, you get into other practices such as yoga, labyrinths, and even meditation without scripture. Yoga has Hindu origins, and while it works scientifically, it is very dangerous spiritually. I've heard stories of people who practice yoga having nightmares of demons who had the faces of those Hindu gods. Also, labyrinths seem kind of pagan. I mean, corn mazes are fine, but I go to those for exercise and because I like to solve puzzles, not because I'm looking for direction. But actual labyrinths are something we should not toy with. It involves emptying your mind, which God never intended to be empty, and this is just compromising with Nirvana which is for from what we seek as Christians. Then meditation. Within context it can be good, but again, you are looking within yourself. Jeremiah is clear that the heart is evil above all things, so if you look within, you will only find darkness. Christians can search for the Holy Spirit, but non-Christians can't. And also, it denies Sola Scriptura because only the Bible has God's Words to us today. Any other voice needs to compare with it.
Now that that rabbit trail is over, I'll discuss Beth's study. I don't know how deep she is into CSM, but her Bible studies are good. She redid A Heart Like His and I'm taking the updated version. It was the first study I did and is still my favorite. The intro video was about the names Samuel and Saul and how they both stem from the phrase "Asked for." Samuel sounds like it and Saul actually is that phrase in Hebrew. Saul is the king Israel asked for but not God's idea. Samuel was the boy Hannah prayed to bear and his name means Name of God. Eventually Saul was rejected and Samuel chose a godly man named David, a man after God's heart. And in the lesson for today, it was about Jonathan, Saul, Jon's armor bearer, and the unauthorized fast where Jonathan ate honey and almost got killed. One, Saul only wanted to manipulate God, he never wanted to love and serve God. Beth is adamant that we love God and not use him for selfish ends. Therefore she should not support CSM because that's all you do in contemplation: try to manipulate God.
Two, she compared Jonathan and his armor bearer to Jesus and us. We follow Jesus into battle and can only slay our enemies when following him. We need his armor and no one else's. Sounds good to me.
Three, Saul's call to a fast was not authorized by God and in the long run really did cost him and his son their lives. We must be very careful to only worship God in ways that he approves, and not in extra-biblical practices such as CSM.
One last remark, we watched a clip from the original David study, from the big hair days, about how she heard God call her to brush a man's hair in an airport. I suppose it worked out in the end, but if I recall, there is nothing in Scripture calling us to brush the hair of total strangers. She is abandoning Sola Scriptura for "words" from the Holy Spirit that may or may not be true. Praise God that he's sovereign and used this incident for his glory. But the Holy Spirit can only be confirmed by Scripture. Stodgy Reformers, please tell me if I'm on track with this paragraph!
That's all for now. Blessings!