Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Beth Moore: Demand Your Dignity

"To possess dignity is to be worthy of respect. Worthy of high esteem. Absorb this: you are worthy of respect. So am I. No matter how foolish insecurity has tried to make us feel, we have the right to dignity because God Himself gave it to us." - Beth Moore's interview with "Christianity" Today (thanks to Christian Research Network for the link)

Sounds a lot like heretic Robert Schuller or maybe she's just read his "Self-Esteem: the New Reformation":

"What do I mean by sin? Answer: Any human condition or act that robs God of glory by stripping one of his children of their right to divine dignity. ... I can offer still another answer: `Sin is any act or thought that robs myself or another human being of his or her self-esteem.'" (p. 14)

"The classical error of historical Christianity is that we have never started with the value of the person. Rather, we have started from the `unworthiness of the sinner...." (p. 162) ~ Source

Beth Moore just oozes man-centeredness. Its all about "me" and really, self-esteem. She's demanding something as a right ("its time we got our dignity back"). This is NOT what Proverbs 31 is about at all! Its about a believing woman trusting and walking in the Lord, bearing fruit of the Spirit, always to HIS glory, not her dignity! This is about serving the Lord by serving others.

Unable to rightly handle the Word of God, she places onto all people something that Prov. 31 is actually addressing to a BELIEVING woman.

Proverbs 31:25 "honor":

Either:

וְהָדָר
u·edr
and·honor

BDB:
hâdâr
BDB Definition:
1) ornament, splendour, honour
1a) ornament
1b) splendour, majesty
1c) honour, glory

Not "dignity". I don't see where she got that when I looked up the verse as well as another example she uses, Ps. 8:3-5. Same word, but neither use "dignity" in the definition from what I can see. It does, however, play well to the social justice crowd who vie for "human dignity" as we see with Schuller as well as the Emergent do-gooders.

Proverbs 31 is not about her self-worth, but about her being honorable. Is she worth more than rubies? Yes, but its the fact that such women as described in Proverbs 31 are rare and precious, to be treasured as such, not used as an appendage to dismiss or even divorce if the man's whims aren't met. As a matter of fact, we see this use of "dignity" as honorable in Titus 2:7:"Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity..." "Dignity" here refers to reverence, respect, honour, purity in character.

John MacArthur says of Prov. 31:25:

""She is clothed," in verse 25, with spiritual character. She has spiritual strength and dignity. Now, what does that word "dignity" mean? It refers to the fact that she is elevated above common things. She is elevated above trivial things--her life is not all about what doesn't matter. She has true class, true virtue. She has godly character. She is spiritually strong and has elevated herself to the nobler issues. And she has the power of true character, and it is expressed in the fact that she smiles at the future. She has no fear. Why? Because she knows her life is right with God, and that secures His blessing in the future. "

"So, based on spiritual strength, and based on virtue, and having elevated her thoughts above common things, mundane things, trivial things, worldly things, verse 26, "She opens her mouth in wisdom," and she has credibility because of her life. "She opens her mouth in wisdom," (and I love this,) and literally, "the law of kindness is on her tongue." She opens her mouth--she speaks wisdom, but that wisdom comes with kindness."

We see, instead of demanding her right to high esteem, the Proverbs 31 woman is serving others in humility. Even John MacArthur says this:

"She exercises, according to verse 27, careful surveillance over everything. She manages the children; she manages the household; she is not lazy; she is not eating the product of laziness, but the bread of loving hard work. And then the real satisfaction comes for her; it comes from the people she loves the most. She has given everything to them and what does she get back? They rise up and bless her and they praise her. They reverence her, literally, they honor her, they hold her in high esteem, and even her husband, because she has set aside her own comfort for his--she receives from him the supreme blessing. After all the years of life, he loves her more than he has ever loved her, because he now understands her character better than he ever understood it. "

This is so far from divine human dignity its ridiculous. Its not speaking of innate worth, its talking about honorable living being honored later in life as the fruit of all those years. Careful observation of Prov. 31 will also show, beyond her submission to her husband, that the wife does not seek nor demand her dignity, honor, respect, accolades, rewards, "because I'm worth it". Rather its given freely out of hearts that have witnessed first hand her faithfulness to the Lord and to the family. Moore has women demanding it. Pitiful.

I don't see how Moore's doctrine here can be lived out, demanding the right to woman's dignity, when facing persecution. Praytell, what dignity to Jesus have as he hung striped, bleeding, spat upon, and pierced? Scripture says he, "dispised the shame". He wasn't demanding His share of "God-given dignity". Are we more deserving than the King of kings? What about the scorn of Paul, or Stephen or any of the believers in Hebrews 11 who were slaughted and tortured? Should they have demanded and take back their dignity too?

Titus 2 is actually the companion to Proverbs 31. Again, its not about demanding a right to some divine dignity.

Tit 2:3 Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good,
Tit 2:4 and so train the young women to love their husbands and children,
Tit 2:5 to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.
Tit 2:6 Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled.
Tit 2:7 Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity,
Tit 2:8 and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.
Tit 2:9 Slaves are to be submissive to their own masters in everything; they are to be well-pleasing, not argumentative,
Tit 2:10 not pilfering, but showing all good faith, so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior.
Tit 2:11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people,
Tit 2:12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age,
Tit 2:13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,
Tit 2:14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.

Now you can see what Proverbs 31 is saying, even to the women. Its not about worth, its about bearing fruit of the Spirit and keeping in step with Him as we grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Contrary to Moore's feminist/man-centered claim, its actually about HIM:

Eph 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

1 comment:

Committed Christian said...

Way to go in pointing out that it really is all about Christ!

I also want to say that I'm appalled that people would defend Moore with everything they have, because Moore seems to be catering to people's fleshly desires.

Committed Christian