Well-known Christian evangelist, Bible teacher, and author, Beth Moore, launched quite the heated debate last week with a tweet stating that spending time reading the Bible and spending time with God [is] not equivalent.
“Spending time with God and spending time with the Bible are not the same thing,” she wrote. “The Bible is the Word of God, crucial to knowing Him, but it’s not God. We can study our Bibles till the 2nd coming & leave God completely out of it. We can grow in facts & never grow a whit in faith.”
Spending time with God and spending time with the Bible are not the same thing. The Bible is the Word of God, crucial to knowing Him, but it’s not God. We can study our Bibles till the 2nd coming & leave God completely out of it. We can grow in facts & never grow a whit in faith.
— Beth Moore (@BethMooreLPM) January 2, 2019
The tweet has since garnered over 1,100 controversial comments from those who both side with Moore and critics who vehemently disagree.
“Not as Christians we can’t because the HS fills us and uses scripture to sanctify us,” commented one Twitter user opposed to Moore’s assertion. “Fact is, the more time we spend in [the] study of His Word, the more He will change us. You are making a separation that does not exist.”
Other critics pointed to the verse John 1:1, which states, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
In response to [the] backlash, Moore elaborated further in defense of her original stance:
“Do not be deceived. People who study the Scriptures constantly and are continually mean-spirited, rude, slanderous and, aside their religious rhetoric, bereft of outward evidences of the Holy Spirit are having Bible study without God. He affects us. You can take that to the bank…
I will emphasize once more that my point is NOT studying Scripture less. I am a proponent of daily Bible study. It’s my practice. My life work and my delight. My point is that we need God in our study of His Word. I’m just saying don’t leave Jesus out of Bible study.”
In spite of her efforts to clarify her statement, several ministries also called out Moore’s “misguided” perspective.
“Of course spending time in Scripture is the same thing as spending time with God,” argued one Christian ministry called Reformation Charlotte. “You cannot know God any other way. It’s how he speaks to us (Hebrews 1:1). Yes, you can spend time with Him in prayer as well, and you can spend time with Him in worship. But what she’s saying is essentially the same thing as saying that listening to your parents speak to you is not the same thing as spending time with them. The Scriptures are God’s full and complete revelation to us. It informs all matters of our faith in Him, including our prayer and worship.”
However, it seems the continued criticism of her controversial position has left Moore undaunted.
In response to one supporter stating that her point has been made in various comments, the evangelist jokingly said, “LOL. Well, I have come to expect it from a certain amount of people. All of us who are choosing to stick around Twitter are having to accept it. If I said, tomorrow the sun will rise in the east and set in the west, there would be outrage. ‘Now she is prophesying!’ :).”
What are your thoughts on Beth Moore’s statement that spending time with the Bible is not the same as spending time with God? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!