Popular author and Bible teacher Beth Moore has become the focus of a theological tit-for-tat over a recent tweet she made. She tweeted, “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.”
That comment generated a lot of heat and little light in the tweeter-sphere. Her defenders and accusers seem to fall into two distinct groups; those who think she is a female messiah and those who think she is an out-and-out heretic.
Though she is a prolific writer and speaker, I have never read any of her books, and the few brief times I have heard her speak I wasn’t overly impressed. I prefer a message with more substance and with less of a bent for what I think is sensational.
I could write about those who attacked what she said and her responses, but it seemed to amount to “wrangling about words,” something Paul told Timothy not to do, 2 Timothy 2:14. I am simply going to analyze her initial tweet.
In her second sentence she said, “The Bible is the Word of God, crucial to knowing Him, but it’s not God.” That is true. The Bible is the Word of God but it is not God. It is a subtle distinction but an important one. It is the same distinction between any author who writes and his writing. My articles reflect what I believe, but they are not me.
There are those who read the Bible just to find fault with it and admit they care nothing for its divine Author. And like most who want to find fault with something they find what they are looking for, but the faults they find are the product of their faulty perspective. So one can spend time in the Bible and not spend time with God. But that is the perspective of an unbeliever.
I believe the two most important Christian disciplines are prayer, and reading and studying the Scriptures. The Bible records prayers of both the Old and New Testament saints and I have often repeated the words of the Scriptures when in prayer, but any sensible person should recognize there is a difference in praying the words of the Bible and praying to the Bible; it is the same difference that exists between worshiping the Bible, bibliolatry, and worshiping the God of the Bible.
I have a high view of the Book of books but I worship the One who authored it. I think Beth Moore does too, but this is the perspective of believers. So whether one is spending time with God when reading the Scriptures is entirely a matter of perspective and intent of the reader. These attacks are silly and lack the grace of understanding.