By Will Hall, Baptist Message executive editor
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (LBM)—After at least two tumultuous years marked by her strident opposition to President Donald J. Trump and increasing bitterness toward Southern Baptists who voted for him, Beth Moore, the former top selling Bible study writer announced she is parting ways with LifeWay Christian Resources.
Moore also announced to the Religion News Service that she no longer considers herself a Southern Baptist.
She and her husband are changing churches, they were once members of Houston’s First Baptist Church, Houston, Texas, but RNS hinted that the new church they are visiting may be Southern Baptist, just “not tied closely to the SBC.”
From 2001-2016, Living Proof Ministries built its assets from $1 million to $15 million. But RNS reported LPM lost “more than $1.8 million” from 2017-2018.
In 2019 Moore became increasingly critical of President Trump and his Southern Baptist supporters.
She jumped on the bandwagon with other Trump critics in January 2019 to accuse a group of MAGA-hat-wearing students of racist hatred. The teens were in Washington, D.C., to participate in the annual March for Life. A video clip emerged that made it appear that after the event the teens were taunting a group of Native American adults.
For her part, Moore tweeted, “To glee in dehumanizing any person is so utterly antichrist it reeks of the vomit of hell.” Later, a lengthier version of the video showed the American Indian group actually was harassing the students, and the kids were trying to be respectful. Moore subsequently deleted her quick-to-the-draw tweet.
Months later, in May, she began to argue that biblical prohibitions against women preachers should be grappled with “alongside other words Paul wrote” that were “equally inspired.” Moreover, she insisted that these examples needed to be balanced against “the attitudes & practices of Christ Jesus … toward women,” noting that “He had women followers! Evangelists!”
She took her point further by accusing Southern Baptist leaders of wrongdoing because of their votes for then-candidate Trump, and tied this to opposition to women preachers.
“I had the eye opening experience of my life in 2016. A fog cleared for me that was the most disturbing, terrifying thing I’d ever seen. All these years I’d given the benefit of the doubt that these men were the way they were because they were trying to be obedient to Scripture … Then I realized it was not over Scripture at all. It was over sin. It was over power. It was over misogyny. Sexism. It was about arrogance. About protecting systems. It involved covering abuses and misuses of power. …”
Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, who once advocated for the ordination of women, was one of those who argued against women preachers by citing Paul’s words against a woman having authority over a man (1 Timothy 2:12). In a podcast, Mohler said, “This is where you go back to the original controversy in evangelicalism and in Southern Baptist life … biblical authority. Did the Holy Spirit inspire Paul to say that or not? If the Holy Spirit did inspire Paul to say that, then it’s the Word of God.”
LifeWay will continue to carry Moore’s books and study resources and she is listed as a speaker for “A Cruise with Lifeway” in October.