When Godly People Do Ungodly Things: Arming Yourself in the Age of Seduction by Beth Moore (B&H Publishing, 2002, ISBN: 978-0-8054-2465-2)
This book was written by: Beth Moore, founder of Living Proof Ministries. Moore admits that even though she began vocational ministry to serve God when she was eighteen, "I had already broken virtually every promise I made to Him by the time I was twenty!"(p.34) It turns out that temptation is "an intense encounter with the kingdom of hell," which she knows because "I am convinced it happened to me"(p.93). She's okay now, though, and writes that “I really am a pretty normal person”(p.xiv).
What is in this book: Three parts, starting with a warning that "Satan is heightening his attack on devout believers"(p.xii), moving to a discussion of methods to "fortify ourselves against Satan's full-scale attack on the lives of the elect"(p.xiii), and ending with a map of "the road home for one who has been deceived and seduced by the enemy into a season of ungodliness"(p.xiii). These three parts are relayed in a conversational tone using colorful metaphors including "we have doused the term afraid with our bottled water until it slips comfortably into sentences such as, 'I'm afraid the ball game might be rained out'"(p.3), "Try to visualize your Father's expression when you saddle up your beast of deception, jump on its back, and leave the safety of home"(p.282), "If I commit sexual sin, I have a much harder time dumping the garbage"(p.24), and "The lion is in the yard"(p.177). Note that the last term is not a euphemism for a lesbian sex act, despite how it reads in the following paragraph that describes a woman who "feels convinced and devastated by her sin [of lesbianism]"(p.178):
She hates herself, but she doesn't know how to fix it. She just tries to be as good as she can. She gets involved at church and does everything she can to stay busy. Then one day a woman joins her prayer group. Not just any woman. A woman in active bondage to homosexual sin. The rules change. The problem once confined to the mind has weakened the nails on several slats of the fence. She looks up and the lion is in the yard. (p.178)
What is not in this book? Conventional wisdom. If there's one thing I've learned from lifetime movies and cop dramas, it's that the "age of seduction" is 12-15 years old. That's the age at which a girl's abusive stepfather is most likely to scream at interrogating police officers that "she seduced me!" (Alternate scenarios involve the girl's vehemently-in-denial mother screaming that her husband was seduced by her no-good slut of a daughter.) It turns out that the "age of seduction" is actually the present day, where Satan is seducing the godly and "the casualties are growing in number by harrowing leaps and bounds"(p.7). In fact, now is especially dangerous because Satan has been increasing his efforts. "We are living in the time closer than ever before to the end events of Christian history"(p.8). Go back and read that sentence again. It's even more accurate on subsequent readings!
Would you recommend this book to the liberal demagogues who have seized the American news media to further their own agenda of godlessness and secular humanism? Goodness, no. This book contains too many metaphors that could be taken out of context, like “That woman needed to die and be put out of her misery” (p.96) or "Suppose we had a wicked president who knew he had already been defeated in the election and his removal from office was imminent. Can you imagine how he might wield and abuse his power in the little time he had left? On a mammoth, humanly incomprehensible scale, I belive that's what we're presently experiencing"(p.20) or "The Body of Christ is being sexually assaulted by the devil!"(p.31). Wait, that last one actually stands on its own pretty well—"The Body has got to be taught how to guard her virginity"(p.31).
Would you recommend this book to a judge from the Tri-State Chili Cook-Off? No, they need its more specialized cousin, When Godly People Make Ungodly Smells.
What was interesting about this book? There is no middle ground when it comes to sin. "Any sign of relating sexually to anyone besides our marriage partner signals a demonic scheme of seduction. I believe that includes any intrusion into the thought life or what the world calls the 'fantasy life'"(p.164). Of course, "Please don't think for a moment that all seduction is sexually oriented. Most assuredly it is not"(p.22). By these definitions, it turns out that I was also seduced into sin. Fortunately, "If sins have been committed against a church body or a group of people, forgiveness should be sought through a heartfelt confession of a general nature if the details are unedifying"(p.229). Now I can clear my conscience by addressing the Salvation Army for a moment: I am truly sorry for that thing I did in that place