Beth Moore’s Letter Draws Fire From a Man Writing Without Substance

Jesus said that those who abide in him will bear good fruit. (John 15.) I sometimes consider that when I see how two people address the same point. It came up the other day with Beth Moore and Seth Dunn.

Beth Moore wrote an open letter to men in her circles about how some of them have treated women in ministry. She probably expected to get flack for it, but had the courage to write it anyway. Some men took it well and expressed their appreciation, even asking forgiveness for how they have mistreated women in ministry. The number who have not responded at all is unsurprising, as well, since this type of information can take a while to digest for those who need to rethink their thoughts and actions.

But the response from one “ministry” is astounding for its unbridled vitriol and hubris. Seth Dunn from Pulpit & Pen took Beth to task in a vitriolic polemic riddled with ad hominem attacks set against a glaring absence of evidence. There is a constant criticism of Beth’s teaching with no citation to specific teachings. It’s all accusation and no substance, with self-congratulatory references scattered here and there as filler.

A comparison of spiritual fruit indicates who bears the fruit of the Spirit and who doesn’t. As Paul wrote to the Galatian Christians, the sinful

“… acts of the flesh are obvious: … hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy … .” (Galatians 5:19-21.)

But when it comes to the Spirit of Christ, the fruit is

“… love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22-23.)

In reading Beth’s letter and Seth’s response, one person consistently exhibits the Holy Spirit’s fruit in her writing while the other person’s writing exhibits the other type of fruit. One is consistent with the New Covenant model for God’s people and the other isn’t.

I hope my writing is consistently more like Beth’s than Seth’s.

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32 Responses to Beth Moore’s Letter Draws Fire From a Man Writing Without Substance

  1. Thank you for your thoughts on this. Seth appeared to be reforming his views and writing some good posts on abuse. Then this…

  2. Mary says:

    A friend of mine has a saying: “Throw a rock into a pack of wolves and the one that yells is the one you hit.” Sounds like Seth got hit and doesn’t like it.

  3. Anu Riley says:

    Always, always amazes me how nice looking men in suits and ties—-who look so presentable to the world, can be the ones that are so full of evil and corruption on the inside.

    Jesus spoke well of people like this. They are like whitewashed tombs, beautiful to look at, but full of dead bones. A clean cup on the outside, but dirty and grimy on the inside.

    Can I PLEASE reiterate that THIS is why so many women stay silent and don’t speak up about their own personal experiences; their personal testimonies of how badly they’ve been treated. It is because of attacks like this (that NO ONE wants to deal with and would pay anyone to avoid).

    This man was so verbally abusive and unnecessarily cruel. Verbally abusive and callously heartless. I have spoken out about pastors and leaders who I find to be despicable, but I am careful to not use childish taunts and shaming words (not that anyone cares what I say, anyway! But we are all beholden to the Lord for every word we speak, even if no one takes notice)

    Beth is a beautiful woman, by the way, but may I add that doesn’t mean she is automatically fodder to be hit on. And therefore it is justified that a “godly” man would be afraid to speak to her. To get a bit personal, my spouse has pointed out women to me that the world considers to be very beautiful (and they are) but he does not personally find them attractive.

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and even IF my spouse found someone to be attractive, that doesn’t mean he is automatically afraid to speak to her, for fear of stumbling. And IF he did stumble, even in his thoughts (with no action taken), I would hold him responsible, not the woman.

    I hope this man repents. Because he has brought down a good woman who was just sharing her thoughts, giving her perspective, and challenging the status quo.

    I also hope we all avoid him like the plague. His tactics were abusive, because I recognize them well and have experienced them. EVEN if this is not his “norm” (meaning he doesn’t usually lash out like this), it is a bad sign if he does not repent.

    It will BECOME his norm if he does not repent and plead for forgiveness from Him and from Beth herself.

    Man’s anger does NOT bring about the righteousness He desires. (James 1:20)

    Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. (James 1:26)

    On the latter verse, which is one of my favorites, I don’t know why it’s not preached on more frequently, if at all. Those are STRONG words, a VERY harsh warning about the power of our tongues. It means any “good” that you supposedly do is meaningless, if you have an abusive tongue.

  4. T Parker says:

    Tim: I would be interested in who is calling out Seth for this obvious personal attack against Beth Moore and all women. Thank you for calling him out on this!

  5. Jeannie Prinsen says:

    Dunn’s letter would be funny if it wasn’t so gross.
    – Notice his reference to “Henry [instead of the more familiar Henny] Youngman” 😀 (I guess a good scholar always uses the real name of any comedian he quotes in the process of insulting someone else!)
    – “I am not personally friends with a single pastor who thinks you are sound.” Of course not. Anyone who would write a letter like that wouldn’t be capable of being a friend to someone who thought differently from him.
    – In response to Moore’s anonymous reference to the theologian who commented on her looks, Dunn says “Name him, or you don’t care about the other women he talks to like this.” That is a particularly nasty form of gaslighting. Women are so often disbelieved or dismissed when they share #metoo experiences – and THEN they’re criticized for the fact that they didn’t speak out at the time and spare other women.

    What a nasty piece of work.

  6. What a miserable post! For a man who disagrees with her teaching, he certainly seems to disagree with her existence quite a bit! I had trouble reading the whole thing. How can someone who claims to be a follower of Jesus write such things about another person, Christian or not? If he wants to take her to task on her theology, that’s one thing, but to say that SHE is awful is quite another – and quite unnecessary. He didn’t call her out on her theology, he attacked her. It was mean and rotten and not at all like Jesus.

    • Tim says:

      Not at all like Jesus. But I think he sees himself as a modern day prophet. He should remember that Baal had prophets too.

  7. Pingback: Beth Moore’s Letter Draws Fire From a Man Writing Without Substance. – on Tim Fall’s blog – GBFSV SPIRITUAL ABUSE VICTIMS' RECOVERY

  8. Linn says:

    I’m not a big fan of Moore, but I couldn’t believe the level of vitriol in Seth’s response to her letter (which I personally found was well-written and thoughtful). Seth is so full of anger that I wiouldn’t be surprised if he gets into legal trouble someday.

  9. Doug says:

    Of the 9 Holy Spirit fruits, it seems Dunn shows none, and Moore shows more. Jesus says “You can know them by their fruits.”

    Doug

  10. cookingwithdogs says:

    How long do you think all the comments giving him pushback on his post will stay up?

  11. Lea says:

    It appears that a certain subset of male ‘christianity’ seems to find being the rudest, nastiest, bitingest, person ‘cool’. It isn’t. I don’t believe these men have progressed beyond junior high mentality here.

    Agree or disagree with Beth about theology? Fine. That’s your opinion. But she’s not a ‘dangerous heretic’. That is utter nonsense, and judging by context, likely prompted by misogyny.

  12. dukegcf2 says:

    His response to Thabiti Anyabwile was also disgusting and disrespectful. He truly does not seem to have any empathy or grace when it comes to dealing with fellow Christians who are marginalized.

    • Linn says:

      I wouldn’t consider Beth Moore or Thabiti Anyabwile marginalized at all, which shows how pathetic Seth Dunn is. He will find himself marginalized from his own if he doesn’t figure out that people don’t appreciate hyperactive know-it-alls. No matter what your theological persuasion, this guy would be a huge liability on any church staff. I worked at a Christian non-profit years ago where we had a highly, “I will always share my opinions” staff member. His last day of work was when he insulted one of our major donors.

      • Tim says:

        Beth and Thabiti both display the Spirit of Christ. Seth’s post displays a complete absence of the Spirit’s fruit.

    • Tim says:

      Thabiti was gracious, like Beth. Seth needs to learn from them, not burn in the fire he unsuccessfully tries to direct at them.

  13. Michele says:

    Thank you from a woman in ministry that feels much of the same things that Beth Moore finally put into words that I couldn’t.

  14. silvereyes1945 says:

    Not familiar with Beth Moore, or her theology. That said, I totally believe her claims that she was mistreated so badly by male theologians and pastors in the SBC considering what I’ve been reading about these guys and how they operate. While some of them denounce her for her theology, I’m beginning to think this is more about jealousy that a woman is more popular than they will ever be especially when I read reports that some people would like Moore to become president of the SBC. Sounds like the real reason Seth Dunn hates her so much. He appears to be a nobody with a recent seminary degree who hasn’t arrived yet, and he resents Moore because she snatched the whole jar while he hasn’t cut the mustard yet. Strange that a denomination will not ordain women, but their star pastor is actually a woman (and yes, she is a pastor despite what they try to say). Why is she so popular? Because she appeals to women who really don’t have a voice in the SBC, and the men are taking notice. Unfortunately, not many of them will learn anything from it if they behave like Dunn.

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