Archive for July, 2019

Why I removed some of my commentary from a chapter of Praying God’s Word

For those needing further information on the removal of some of my words (not God’s words but my own) from the chapter I’d written on “Overcoming Sexual Strongholds” in the prayer book Praying God’s Word:

When I wrote PGW many years ago, I exceeded Scripture and singled out same-sex sin as particularly satanic.

As the years passed, I increasingly winced at what I’d conveyed but the basic rule of thumb in authorship is that it is better not to go back and edit an old book but, rather, let it just phase out and simply don’t make the same mistake in the future. The problem was, because PGW is a handbook and not a regular nonfiction book, it didn’t phase out in the same way. I have had many years to test the fruit of what I wrote and have seen over and over again that numerous readers, who had gone to this chapter with their struggles, came to my words and proceeded no further. My words had kept them from God’s words. That, to me, is a pretty serious stumbling block.

I also heard from some heartbroken mothers about their kids who were having a hard enough time feeling ostracized as it was. This prayer book sits on the bedside tables and on the shelves in many Christian homes. Picture a 13 year old struggling with an onslaught of sexual feelings and temptations who has no idea what to do with them. The child picks up the book and reads my words, only, in this case, comes to the conclusion that he or she is particularly demonic. Not only is that devastating to the child. It is not even biblical.

I hold firmly to a traditional Christian sexual ethic and continue to believe the Bible sets apart marriage as a covenant between a man and a woman. But I also believe that Scripture clearly teaches that all sex outside of marriage is contrary to God‘s will.

Here is what I would want that 13-year-old to know:

I want that kid to know that the author of that book, Praying God’s Word, has been forgiven for more sins than that kid can fathom. I want that kid to know my gracious and merciful Savior, Jesus, and that I would have had reasons in my past to have been thrown out of the camp under Old Testament law if not stoned to death. By the power of the cross of Christ, I live. By His grace alone, I serve.

This may not have been the action you would have taken. I understand. But I came to a place that I believed it was the best action for me to take and I stand by it. In the words of the apostle Paul in Phil.2:11, we’re all faced with working out our own salvation in fear and trembling. None of this has been void of fear and trembling before God.

Lastly, I must tell you that I’m weary of our blind spots. Weary of my own. Here is what I no longer have the stomach for after the last several years: the hypocrisy burgeoning from hyper fundamentalist Christianity. I do not lack a Scriptural view of sin. I just believe in a longer list of serious sins than some.

“Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:19-21)

In Christ,

Beth Moore

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