EDITOR’S NOTE: We’ll be sharing one of our top ten most popular posts of 2021 every day for the rest of the year. Some of these stories are encouraging, some are infuriating and some are just weird, but hopefully all of them help illuminate a different side of God’s Kingdom and the people in it. Today’s post is our ninth most shared article of the year.
For decades, Beth Moore has been one of the most beloved and popular Southern Baptists in the U.S., winning multiple generations of fans with her witty and wise preaching and writing. As an author, she’s sold millions and has taught millions more in her big events. But times have changed and the Southern Baptist Convention that Moore gave her life to has undergone an enormous reckoning in recent years. Now, in an interview with Religion News Service, Moore has announced that she is no longer a Southern Baptist.
“I am still a Baptist, but I can no longer identify with Southern Baptists,” Moore told RNS. “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 has also ended her publishing deal with LifeWay Christian, though the store will still sell her books. Her departure was described as amicable.
Moore has grown increasingly critical of the SBC in recent years, particularly following the broad white evangelical capitulation to former President Donald Trump. Moore spoke with RELEVANT in 2017, frankly expressing her growing concerns.
“The reason I got more vocal was because of the overlap with the witness of the Church and the witness of Christianity,” she said. “Our care with the name of Christ. The message being preached loudly to the world about our values and what we were willing to compromise to get what we wanted. I just found it deeply disturbing: our tolerance for wrong to get what we think is right.”
Moore has also been outspoken on Twitter, where she has boldly confronted Christian nationalism and Trumpism, often sending her name to the top of Twitter’s trending topics. “I do not believe these are days for mincing words,” she tweeted in January. “I’m 63 1/2 years old and I have never seen anything in these United States of America I found more astonishingly seductive and dangerous to the saints of God than Trumpism. This Christian nationalism is not of God. Move back from it.”
Her departure is an enormous blow to the SBC, which is already fraught with controversy over racism within its own ranks that has led to several high profile Black Southern Baptists announcing that they would leave the Convention. Now, it appears Moore is following their lead.
You can read Moore’s full conversation with RNS here.