As I read the news that Beth Moore was leaving the SBC and watched the public responses, I was deeply saddened. Some merely said, “good riddance.” Others mourned that Mrs. Moore left the SBC and openly expressed their great love and appreciation for her. Neither of those was where I ultimately landed. If you truly loved Beth Moore, you wouldn’t kick her to the curb or fawn over her, you would call her to repentance.
The Impetus for Moore’s Departure
A RNS article broke the news of Beth Moore’s departure from the SBC. It levied the charge that her view of Donald Trump and women preaching were the impetus. They argued as if these were the central issues that gave people pause over Mrs. Moore. However, this was not true for me.
First, my responses in 2016 to Donald Trump were almost identical to Beth Moore’s, and I was very vocal about it. I considered Trump’s treatment of women to be appalling and his claim to be pro-life highly doubtful. I was disturbed by those in the SBC who quickly hitched their political wagons to such a man and I did not cast my vote for him. While I am thankful that Trump ended up governing in ways that did not reflect my initial concerns, I continue to believe that he is not a role model for any Christian nor should he be hailed as a type of savior.
Second, it is true that I greatly differ with Beth Moore on the role of women in the church. I believe women are not called by God to be preachers in the pulpit to men. Mine is not an isolated position. This is a long-time held belief of the SBC, and was a major issue in the conservative resurgence. It has been the prevailing view throughout church history. Most importantly, it is the very teaching of Scripture: “I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet” (1 Tim 2:12).
However, the fact that Beth Moore joyfully promotes herself as a woman who preaches to men is only the tip of the iceberg of her problematic positions. The errors of her teaching are well documented and reach far beyond Sunday morning preaching.
Allow me to highlight just a few:
- Beth Moore claims to hear God’s voice and receive visions.
- Beth Moore promotes false teachers like Joel Osteen, Christine Caine, and Joyce Meyer.
- Beth Moore claims God gave her a vision that Roman Catholics are her “brothers and sisters” in Christ.
- Beth Moore teaches that we can receive direct messages from God.
- Beth Moore has retracted her previous statements about homosexuality and refuses to make her position on this matter clear.
Simply put, Beth Moore’s teaching is theologically unsound in a plethora of ways. We should be concerned with all who have been victims of her false teaching throughout the years and that the SBC facilitated this travesty.
The SBC’s Failure to Beth Moore
Beth Moore is a perfect example of what is wrong with the SBC. If the SBC were healthy, the RNS story would not have been that Beth Moore had severed ties with Lifeway, but that Lifeway had severed ties with Beth Moore.
Where the SBC ultimately failed Beth Moore was its unwillingness to hold her accountable and call her to repentance for her doctrinal error. It is tragic that so many big names in the SBC and in evangelicalism have done little to nothing to correct her and continue to give her a platform to propagate her false teaching. This is the greatest disrespect that Beth Moore has received from men in the SBC.
I sincerely wish Mrs. Moore had repented rather than left. But if she refuses to repent, I am glad she is gone from the SBC. Sadly, leaving the SBC won’t fix what is wrong with Beth Moore. It may likely only send her more quickly down the road towards apostasy. It also won’t fix what is wrong with the SBC in its perpetual unwillingness to openly deal with those who drift into theological error – both men and women.
Our hearts should not ultimately break that Beth Moore has left the SBC, but that she left a soundness of doctrine. Rather than mourn her recent departure from the SBC, we should mourn that she long ago departed from areas of the “faith which was once for all handed down to the saints” – and that few seemed to care. The most pressing question for the SBC is not how Beth Moore could ever come to the point of leaving the convention, but why it failed to love her enough to call her to repentance.