Beth Moore Ends Relationship With Southern Baptists, Drops Lifeway as Publisher

by | Mar 9, 2021 | Church & Ministry

Renowned Bible teacher and longtime Southern Baptist author and speaker Beth Moore has made a staggering decision public: On March 5, she told Religion News Service in an interview that she is “no longer a Southern Baptist.”

“I am still a Baptist, but I can no longer identify with Southern Baptists,” Moore said. “I love so many Southern Baptist people, so many Southern Baptist churches, but I don’t identify with some of the things in our heritage that haven’t remained in the past.” She also told RNS that she has ended her long-term relationship with Lifeway Christian, which will continue distributing her books but will no longer publish them or administer her live events.

Moore was the first woman to have a Bible study published by LifeWay and has since reached more than 22 million women, per The Atlantic. Her Living Proof Ministries grew in assets from $1 million in 2001 to just under $15 million by April 2016, RNS says. Her Bible teaching ministry grew from her home church, First Baptist Houston, to a broad teaching ministry that included sold-out stadium events.

But some of that changed when Moore, horrified by the release of the Access Hollywood tapes prior to the 2016 election, began speaking out against Trump. His boasting of his sexual exploits with women dismayed Moore, herself a survivor of sexual abuse. Her Twitter posts revealed her growing concern for what she viewed as her fellow Southern Baptists’ and evangelicals’ blind eye to his issues.

Kate Bowler, a historian at Duke Divinity School, told RNS that Moore’s departure represents a significant loss for the Southern Baptist Convention, which remains the largest Protestant denomination in the United States. Rather than basing her platform on marriage to a famed pastor, Bowler said Moore developed her broad following from her own “charisma, leadership and incredible work ethic.”

“Ms. Moore is a deeply trusted voice across the liberal-conservative divide, and has always been able to communicate a deep faithfulness to her tradition without having to follow the Southern Baptist’s scramble to make Trump spiritually respectable,” Bowler said. “The Southern Baptists have lost a powerful champion in a time in which their public witness has already been significantly weakened.”

Moore told RNS she believes politics and Christian nationalism have crowded out the gospel in her former denomination, saying she has realized the SBC is “not in step with the gospel. It felt like we had landed on Mars.”

Moore also sparked a 2019 debate among Southern Baptists and other evangelicals about whether women should be allowed to preach in church and, at the same time, condemned what she saw as widespread hypocrisy, misogyny and power abuse within the SBC, posting an open letter “to my brothers” and writing on Twitter that “there are countless godly conservative complementarians. So many.”

Beth Allison Barr, a history professor and dean at Baylor University, told RNS that Moore’s departure will come as a shock and a potential call to action for Southern Baptist women. “If she walks away, she’s going to carry a lot of these women with her,” Barr said. “I applaud this move and support her because I know how soul-crushing the SBC is for women. She will be far better off without them, doing the ministry God calls her to do.”

Ed Stetzer, longtime Southern Baptist and current Billy Graham Distinguished Chair of Church, Mission and Evangelism at Wheaton College and executive director of the college’s Billy Graham Center, posted his thinly veiled support for Moore’s decision on Twitter, announcing that she will co-teach at Wheaton this summer and ending with, “Yep, Beth is at home at @WheatonCollege.”

And Trillia Newbell, acquisitions editor for Moody Press, wrote words of unity in her Twitter post: “As I think about our tendency to analyze and tear each other apart, I hope we’d resist it here and instead pray.”

Where is Moore headed? After saying that she and her husband have begun visiting a new church, “one not tied as closely to the SBC but still ‘gospel-driven,'” Moore told RNS, “I am going to serve whoever God puts in front of me.” {eoa}

Portions of this story were excerpted from this article on religionnews.com, © 2021 Religion News Service. All rights reserved.

Follow breaking news like this and more in our new platform, CHARISMA PLUS.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Why Love Shouldn’t Upset Your Health Journey

Why Love Shouldn’t Upset Your Health Journey

What should we do when our loving husband brings us our favorite candy and we have committed to not eating sugar? As a Christian weight loss coach, I’ve heard from many wives who are afraid of hurting his feelings if she tells him she doesn’t want that any more. She’s...

What’s the Answer to Raging Political Violence in the Nations?

What’s the Answer to Raging Political Violence in the Nations?

Read Time: 1 Minute, 21 Seconds I’ve had several prophetic words on political violence come to me in recent months. I can’t shake it, especially after seeing the vice president of Argentina narrowly escape an assassination because the would-be-murderer’s gun jammed....

Prophecy: The Lord is Releasing Prophetic Destinies

Prophecy: The Lord is Releasing Prophetic Destinies

Read Time: 1 Minute, 44 Seconds The world is shifting and we are entering a critical time in history, one that can be concerning for some and exciting for others. We are seeing the very prophecy of the Bible laid out and manifesting before us. The harvest is coming!...

David Jeremiah: The Significance of a Small Sacrifice

David Jeremiah: The Significance of a Small Sacrifice

Read Time: 4 Minutes, 28 Seconds Did you hear about the boy who took off his favorite bow tie during the church service and put it in the offering plate? When his dad asked him why he had done such a thing, the youngster replied, “Don’t you know? The pastor tells us...

Kingdom Economics: Choosing a Better Way—God’s Way

Kingdom Economics: Choosing a Better Way—God’s Way

The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released its third and final estimate of second quarter GDP (Gross Domestic Product) and its PCE (Personal Consumption Expenditure Price Index). Since core (less food and energy) PCE is one of the Fed’s preferred measures of...

RECENT ARTICLES

Orthodox Jew: The Miraculous Return of the Red Heifer to Israel

Read Time: 4 Minutes, 4 Seconds American Airlines flight 146 touched down at Israel’s Ben Gurion airport on time, arriving from New York’s JFK airport as one of the dozens of flights that arrive in...
Brother Andrew Was My Hero

Brother Andrew Was My Hero

When Andrew van der Bijl was a young man, doctors told him he was “too weak to travel” because of his chronic back pain. That advice seems absurd now, when we look back on the life of this legendary evangelist who came to be known as “Brother Andrew.” After he started...

Elvis Presley’s Charismatic Faith on Display in New Book

Elvis Presley’s Charismatic Faith on Display in New Book

A new book called “The Faith of Elvis Presley” explores the spiritual side of the iconic “Heartbreak Hotel” singer, asserting that Elvis was a devout Christian who prayed for the infilling of the Holy Spirit on a regular basis. The author, Billy Stanley, whose mother...

Pin It on Pinterest