Popular author, public speaker and Evangelical, Beth Moore has officially removed herself from the Southern Baptist Convention.
The Washington Post, in an article copy and pasted from Religion News Service, added their weight behind the insinuation that Moore’s departure was the result of Trumpism, sexism, and bullying.
As part of a longish biographical sketch, the RNS/WAPO piece described Moore as an ‘unlikely celebrity Bible teacher’, who was a threat to those within the SBC because her ‘outsized influence and role in teaching the Bible have always made some evangelical power brokers uneasy, because of their belief only men should be allowed to preach.’
Faithwire appropriately added that ‘the “Beth Moore brand’s” partnership with the SBC was over’ (slightly paraphrased). Then stated that Moore’s departure was due to how she ‘no longer felt at home’ there, hence her announcement on Religion News Service that she was “no longer a Southern Baptist.”
While the RNS/WAPO article gives a well-deserved glowing rendition of Moore’s noteworthy calibre as a ministry team leader, and evangelist, there was little mention of Moore’s move towards accommodating Social Justice ideology, in an appeal to the Social Justice Warrior mentality.
To fill in the gaps WAPO left behind, it’s Moore’s slow embrace of Critical Race Theory, and apparent watering down of the Bible that has some in the SBC concerned. Not Moore’s gender, success and popularity.
As Black Lives Matter critic, Darrell B. Harrison, dean of Social Media at Grace to You, has articulated at length since 2018 about what he sees as Moore’s move to syncretise Christ’s liberation, with Marxist Liberation Theology:
‘Beth Moore is a self-centered, cowardly opportunist. She is a woke fraud. Only when this current wave of social justice/CRT became the cause du jour within the SBC did she begin to conveniently, and disingenuously, comment on it. Prior to that—crickets!’
With his extensive list of credentials and experience, it’d be hard to argue that Harrison’s observations (however harsh they may appear to be) of Moore’s political theology were wrong. Worth noting, in response to his early criticisms expressed on Twitter, Moore blocked him.
Her own concerns might be more complex and nuanced, (like SBC member’s fragmented support for Donald Trump), but blocking out concerned stakeholders from engaging with her journey through those concerns, only appears to back claims that Moore’s public displays of concern, especially for black America are, in the end, self-serving.
There’s no way around ignoring how Moore has positioned her brand, and with her departure from the SBC, is perhaps repositioning her theology. She is fast becoming the Oprah of the Evangelical world. Not entirely a bad thing, unless there’s an empire to maintain. Ears to tickle. Fame to be had, drama to capitalise on, and fast money to gain.
Moore appears to have done everything she possibly could to push others away, and herself out. Removing herself from the SBC is akin to a celebrity tantrum. Thrown because the majority refuse to entertain virtue signalling, or surrender to Critical Race Theory, and compromise the Gospel by removing Christ, and coronating Marx in His place.
This isn’t unfair criticism when viewed in the context of her appeal to unfair, bandwagon hysteria.
While the Pauline view is that only men should hold the office of pastor. Nowhere does Paul say women aren’t entitled to a voice, or having an opinion. Regardless of its clumsy nature, Moore was given a platform for the latter, tolerated, celebrated, promoted, critiqued, and embraced.
Her decision to leave isn’t a betrayal, or abandonment, but many may see it as just that.
Despite the SBC’s flaws, it’s not Beth Moore’s theology that’s outgrown them, it’s her apparent compromise with the zeitgeist, allowing the post-Christian culture, not Christ to determine The Way forward for the Church.
First published on Caldron Pool, 10th March 2021.
©Rod Lampard, 2021