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  • Writer's picturecliff carbone

An Open Letter to Busybodies and Hypocrites (In response to 'An Open Letter To Beth Moore')

Updated: Nov 17, 2021

*An Open Letter to Busy-Bodies and Hypocrites - Namely: Susan Heck, Debbie Lynne Kespert, Michelle Lesley, Martha Peace, Elizabeth Prata & Amy Spreeman

Dear Mrs. Heck, Mrs. Kespert, Mrs. Lesley, Mrs. Peace, Mrs. Prata and Mrs. Spreeman,

Hello - even though I strongly believe that you ladies are actively advancing teachings that cause great harm to millions of children and teens by forcing them into a closet of self-hatred and shame - I hope this open letter finds you ladies doing quite well. ;-)

I recently came across your OPEN LETTER TO BETH MOORE which you composed in 2019. It is quite evident that you are rather proud to have published this open letter in an attempt to shed light on Mrs. Moore's problematic life choices. As a simple google search revealed, you ladies were quite proud to take ownership of your letter and shared it in various ways. You even, at a later date, offered a long - and I do mean long - TIMELINE OF EVENTS that had transpired both before and after you posted your open letter.

Is there anything more Christ-like than a group of perfect Christian women getting together to single out another Christian woman who’s ministerial success had vastly surpassed that of said small group and composing an open letter to express their petty judgements disguised by the claim of "genuine concern?"

There are many aspects of your letter that I would just love to address but for the sake of time and, well, my sanity, I will limit it to three:

Women and the Church

It would appear that a big issue that you have with Mrs. Moore is her evolving viewpoint on whether or not a woman should teach men in church. I completely understand this concern. After all - Paul clearly expresses in his 1st Letter to the Corinthians as well as Timothy that a woman should not speak in church nor have authority over a man. (For the sake of a simple argument I will not dwell on the fact that most Biblical historians and scholars do not believe that Paul actually wrote the Letters to Timothy and Titus thus calling into question the teachings of these letters - and - well - the Bible as a whole.)

But something is troubling me. It appears you ladies are suffering from selective outrage.

It is my understanding that you ladies make it your life's mission to teach other women in a spiritual and/or church setting. But doesn’t Paul EXPLICITLY state that a woman is supposed to ‘remain silent in the churches?’

1 Corinthians 14:33-35

33 For God is not a God of disorder but of peace —as in all the congregations of the Lord’s people. 34 Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says. 35 If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.

If I understand this passage correctly, it doesn't seem to be permitting you to speak in church as long as it's only to women. Rather, it seems to very explicitly instruct that women are not supposed to be speaking in church - at all. And, of course, we all understand that where 2 or 3 are gathered in His name - that is 'church.' Therefore this directive from Paul is NOT just referring to teachings that may take place in the confines of a building of walls.

So do you ladies speak in church? At all? If so, what gives you that authority when the Scripture itself clearly states that you are to be silent.

Not only that, but in Paul’s letter to Timothy, he even goes on to explain WHY a woman is to remain silent in church: because women, due to Eve being the first to eat some fruit, are more prone to deception than man.

1 Timothy 2:12-15

12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet. 🔹13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. 15 But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.

So if we follow this through -

If women are more prone to deception than men then should women really even be teaching other women, or worse, our precious, vulnerable, impressionable children?

Based on Paul’s writings I would think that women simply do not have the authority to speak to or teach ANYONE in church. I'm gathering that this would not only include preaching and teaching but also public prayer and worship.

It would appear that while you choose to busy yourself on that particular line too-far crossed with Beth Moore that you are conveniently ignoring the fact that you, yourselves, have crossed that line.

*DISCLAIMER: Just in case it is not apparent to the reader I do want to clarify that though I DO believe the Bible oppresses women in this way I, personally, believe a woman should be able to speak whatever, whenever, wherever and however she wants and she certainly doesn't need my, nor any man's permission to do so. My concern here is the tendency for some to pick-and-choose from Scripture in an attempt to shame others and hold them to a standard that they cannot, themselves, meet.

That's hypocrisy.

The fact that the Bible endorses these oppressions towards women says NOTHING about how women SHOULD be viewed but how we should view the Bible. It is simply not a perfect framework for what we consider moral and immoral as it clearly endorses practices that we deem immoral today.

A Lifestyle of Sin

You spend a great portion of your letter to Beth Moore attacking the gay community by questioning her apparent evolved thoughts on the matter. I'll talk about your view of homosexuality in a second but first wanted to point out a couple of observations:

First - would you consider going against the Word of God sin? Based on the previously mentioned Scripture passages it would seem that every time you lead another woman, or women, or children, in a Bible study or do so much as speak, teach, or even sing in church, you are committing a sin against God and His will as directed by Paul in the Scriptures.

Second - Since this appears to be how you fill your days and life, how could you justify this not being a lifestyle of sin? I certainly know that you like to dwell on that attribute (lifestyle of sin) when discussing the LGBTQ community.

Homosexuality - immoral?

Well - here are the simple facts.

1. A person, (roughly 3.5% of the human population) whether heterosexual or homosexual, or anywhere on the spectrum between, does not get to choose which orientation they are born with. Much like their skin color, race, gender, etc., their orientation is simply a part of their created identity.

2. A person who is born with same-sex attraction, even when acting out on that attraction, harms neither you, me, themselves, their partner nor anyone else. (Compare this with actual harmful practices such as gluttony, murder, slander, cheating, etc.)

3. A person born with same-sex attraction, just based on being a human being, is every bit deserving of a relationship complete with intimacy and companionship - and one befitting and compatible with how they were created, including their sexual orientation, as that of their heterosexual counterparts.

And last, the advancing of the teaching that homosexuality is inherently evil and abominable and is a product of darkness and sin, is simply a bad tree that has bore nothing but bad fruit.

This teaching forces millions of children and teens into a closet of self-hatred and fear and where they live under the weight of shame. In this closet, they experience a host of mental, emotional, spiritual, psychological and even physical abuses. And to cope with these bad fruits they often adopt harmful practices. It results in isolation, loneliness, acts of hate, thoughts of, or attempted, suicides, strained relationships, etc.

It is simply child abuse.

The fact of the matter is your ONLY evidence that homosexuality is immoral comes from an ancient text written in the context of a hyper-patriarchal society with problematic origins.

Though I can certainly concede that the Bible does, indeed, speak out against homosexuality, I cannot concede that the Bible, itself, represents a perfect framework for what should be considered moral and immoral.

The Bible quite clearly endorses:

Chattel & Debt Slavery (Genesis 8: Leviticus 25:44-46, Numbers 31, Ephesians 6:5-8, 1 Timothy 6:1, Leviticus 22:11, etc.)

The beating of One’s Slave (Exodus 21:20-21, etc.)

The Murder of Homosexuals (Leviticus 2-:13, etc.)

Genocide (Numbers 31, Genesis 18-19, Exodus 11-12, 1 Samuel 15, Numbers 21:2-3, etc.)

Human Sex Trafficking (Deuteronomy 21:10-14, Numbers 31, etc.)

Oppression of Women (Genesis 3:16, Genesis 19:1-8, Exodus 21:7-11, Exodus 38:8, Exodus 21:7-11, Exodus 22:18, Deuteronomy 21:11-14, Deuteronomy 22:13-21, 1 Corinthians 14:33-35, 1 Timothy 2:11-15, Numbers 31, etc.)

Words of antiSemitism (Luke 24, John 8, Acts 13, 14, Romans 11, etc.)

Segregation of the Races (Genesis 8, Acts 17, etc.)

Seeing as how your only evidence that homosexuality is immoral comes from the same book that endorses these practices that we, today, consider to be immoral - well - I find that highly problematic.

And this says nothing of the historic, cultural, contextual, problematic and irreconcilable contradictions and inconsistencies found in the the Bible as well as in its origins.

To be clear, you are each flawed humans who are teaching everything you know as it relates to your faith and the Bible to other flawed humans who will, in turn, teach it to other flawed humans, and so on.

And you, yourselves, were taught EVERYTHING you know as it pertains to your faith and the Bible, by other flawed humans who were taught by other flawed humans. You were taught what to believe, how to believe it and why to believe it.

And if nobody was harmed in this process I would have nothing to say of it. But people are truly harmed by the bigoted, small-minded, hateful and indoctrinated words of your taught faith.

Your unwillingness to TEST what it is that you have learned and what you teach against a standard befitting of the Golden Rule, to do unto others as you would have them do unto you, (a teaching that existed in societies, religions and cultures long before it was spoken by Jesus) should give you enough pause to consider what side of history you would have been on at a time when VERY SPECIFIC SCRIPTURE REFERENCES were used to promote, endorse and justify slavery, segregation, racism, women's oppression, genocide of the Native Americans, etc.

At the end of the day a little boy shouldn’t have to suffer in a closet of self-hatred and shame just so you can feel better about a faith that was taught to you.

A little boy shouldn’t have to live hell on earth just so you can feel better about what will happen to you after earth.

What you ladies are doing is simply paramount to child abuse and is certainly not in keeping with love and the Golden Rule.

I have no qualms in letting you know that it is YOU that should feel NOTHING but shame. These hurtful teachings that you ladies are advancing is TRULY what I find to be ABOMINABLE.

Kind regards,

Cliff Carbone

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