Beth Moore Aftermath

Based on some of the comments from three months ago, I figured you might be interested to hear how the Beth Moore study of Revelation went. Overall it was a learning experience. I learned a little bit about Revelation, but I learned a lot more about myself. I can honestly say that this will be the first and last Beth Moore study that I ever participate in. She is a very articulate speaker with a distinct style and I can see why she is so popular with so many. The advertising for the study was accurate, Beth Moore spent a large amount of time sampling from various commentators and explaining what they had to say and what she thought for particular passages. The technique worked, but I constantly found myself thinking this, “I could pick up that commentary from off of my shelf and read it for myself. I could even read the entire commentary on this passage instead of the two sentences she quoted.”

I guess that Beth Moore’s bible studies are for people who have trouble studying the Bible and understanding it. In this regard I consider my blog a complete success. I titled it Disciple of Scripture (in Latin) because I earnestly wanted to learn how to study and know the meaning of the Bible. This Revelation study showed me that I have progressed to the point that I truly can access the commentaries on my own abilities and apply what I read to understanding the scripture. I am not saying that I have a fully defensible position on how I would interpret Revelation, I don’t. I’m not sure I ever will. It is just nice to know that the hours I have spent studying and blogging about this stuff have really been blessed and paid off in the end.

I now find myself in an awkward position. Actually it’s not recent, it’s going on over a year now. It is really hard for me to find others who are at the same place theologically and who are interested in studying the Bible in depth. It’s been a bit of a… disillusionment for me. Not sure how to put it. I guess I don’t understand why God would show me all of these things and allow me to learn them, only to founder in an isolated bubble where I can’t interact with others personally about what I read. My wife and I have studied together off and on, but it hasn’t been that consistent. Overall I find myself pursuing things that are more rewarding and less of a downer, and I think this is reflected in my blog content. Feel free to pray for me as I continue to struggle with what to do next as this has been dragging me down for over a year now.

Honestly, I’ve never been more happy or content in my whole life. I have a job that I love and a beautiful family. I even have the time and resources to pursue some hobbies and garden as well. If there is one thing in my life I could change (besides financial independence, woo!) it would be to have peace and partners in the whole area of Bible study. If you have struggled with this in the past and overcome it I would love it if you would be willing to share here in the comments. I guess I should stop this rambling post as it’s already twice as long as I originally planned. I’ll be sure to update with how things go this summer, as I’ll have more free time to study when my school obligations wind down next week.

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14 thoughts on “Beth Moore Aftermath

  1. Before you ask… NO, I did not post this because I believe the world is going to end today. It isn’t going to end today. If it does, well, I guess I’ve been wrong before.

  2. That’s funny. I have long felt like I couldn’t be a real Christian woman because I have never participated in a Beth Moore bible study. :) I feel better now.

    I hate to say it, but I think it can just be kind of a lonely thing. I don’t know if it ever stops being disillusioning that so many peopThe more you learn and the more passion you have for really studying God’s word for the sake of knowing him, the fewer peers you will find. When you do find them, it feels like much more of a treat than it should.

    My theology isn’t super developed, but I’ve experienced something similar. Most women who give study the same place in their lives as I do seem to be primarily concerned with issues of women in “ministry”. Feminist or not, egalitarian or not, etc, etc. Those discussions have their place, but that is so not the point. It’s very difficult to find female peers in this area.

    I am fortunate, however, that my husband is very glad to talk to me about anything I am learning. He’s very philosophically/theologically/analytically gifted and very kingdom oriented – a great sounding board.

    I think the best fix is to pour out. Blogging is great for processing and a little for sharing, but it’s not the same as investing in people face to face (individually, small groups, or large groups). That is the most rewarding outlet for seeking God through study. Seeing lights come on and watching people get excited about God’s word allays the loneliness quite a bit. If you keep learning, you will probably always have a little more knowledge in a lot of areas, but in a sense, you would be ‘making’ peers or like-passioned people.

  3. Thank you for the comment Crystal. So far I have experienced the lights coming on that you are referring to, but it has been at school and with my students. Other than my friend who is also one of our pastors I don’t ever really experience the same thing when it comes to topics of faith. The norm is that most people just don’t care or value the same things I do. I have come to grips with this, but I find it sad that so many are content to live within the status quo. I need to take your advice and try to invest in people but it has taken so much effort with little result that I have poured myself into my work instead, since it has a more obvious reward for the effort spent.

  4. Boy Nathan, you hit on some things where we’re similar, like having a hard time worshipping through singing etc.

    I’m glad you wrote this post. I feel the same. Nobody in my small group reads much outside of the Bible and I’m not sure how many even have devotional times. To encourage people to read, I may give all of them nowing God. I can’t lead because of anxiety disorders. Last time I couldn’t even stand to be there in a room of people and had to go outside.

    As far as not having other like-minded people, other than my wife coming around, I just like to get to know God better, even if it’s just me and Him. How great it is to get to know the living God of the universe! (John 17:3).

    I bet Crystal is even more frustrated.
    Jeff

  5. Thanks Jeff. I really should be doing this solely for myself, but I have always had a hard time on an individual level. My faith has always been more of a communal thing and now that this part is diminished I don’t have a deep personal faith to rely on. For over a year now my wife has been telling me to just worry about myself and not everyone else, and she’s right (as usual).

  6. You’re last comment kind of confused me. I think you’re talking about two different things.

    A communal thing is good. I’m a loner, borderline social phobic, etc. So I’m used to growing by myself, even though that’s not really a good thing. But I make myself go to Bible study etc.

    But you’re also talking about being bothered by other people’s lack of enthusiasm right? And we can’t do much about that. But at the same time you need community to grow. So I’m a little confused.

    So what am I to do? I’m in a group I have a love/hate relationship with. They are great and they care for me so much but they’ve been together for 10 years and can’t even ask for prayer about their devotional lives or read a book unless it’s The Shack or headline prophecy.
    Jeff

  7. Beth Moore used to be just like Rick Warren as far as taking Scripture out of context and not knowing how to interpret it. Now she’s referring to commentaries it looks like. She’s also part of the contemplative prayer movement. My wife was in a Bible study of hers with a group over a summer. It was pretty bad. And she yells all the time if it’s on DVD which I heard once. That made me want to be deaf, at least for an hour.
    Jeff

  8. Beth Moore has a habit of referring to her audience as “sister” and “girlfriend” which was rather amusing in a group of ten aged men plus myself. I didn’t have any disagreements with what she had to say. I think Revelation is rather open ended in that regard.

    As for my confusing statement. I am bothered by lack of enthusiasm in others. I love the people I go to church with, I just wish that they weren’t content to go to church and come back the next week with nothing ever changing. I used to have a strong urge to really grow deeper in my faith and community and the feeling that I was all alone kind of killed that desire. I’ll try to be more clear in the future, though I am a bit tired from yard work and am probably not at my best right now. I’ll re-read it all tomorrow and see if there is something I should re-word.

  9. Nathan, oftentimes the path to greater learning is a lonely one. We humans are generarally content to possess a breadth of knowlege a mile wide and an inch deep.
    Dig only slightly deeper and the crowd thins out dramatically.
    You are apparently past digging and now mining. Hence, your travel companions on the path you’ve chosen will likely be few and far between.

  10. Pingback: Young, Restless, Reformed, and Frustrated | Scripture Zealot

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