Today, RNS reported that Beth Moore would be leaving the Southern Baptist Convention. Her convictions have not changed recently. She still holds to the inerrancy and authority of Scripture, the fundamental Baptist beliefs, salvation in Christ alone, and still believes her calling, by all indications, is to teach women to love God and his Word. Her most recent Bible Study, on Galatians, seems to represent those convictions. I will leave the details of this decision, in terms of “why?” and “why now?”, to the RNS article. There will be many opinions, no doubt, about this move.
As a lifelong Baptist, I feel that something needs to be said at this moment. I learned the Bible from my mother, who regularly participated in Beth Moore Bible studies. I married into a family where no Beth Moore stone went unturned, and my wife learned Scripture sitting on her living room floor as her mom watched Beth Moore’s bible study materials. I am not an impartial viewer here: over the last few years, my wife and I have become friends with Mrs. Beth, and been the beneficiary of her prayers, encouragement, and kindness. We have disagreements over pizza and over direct messages. We’ve found common ground more often than not. I have disagreed with her, and I have learned from her. But before Beth Moore was ever a friend, she had a tremendous impact on my life, just like so many others, because she did what God created and equipped her to do: she taught women the Bible with an unwavering commitment to show them what it means to have an audacious love for Jesus.
Because of that, I feel there’s something I need to say in this moment, and I think I can speak for hundreds of thousands, if not millions of others.
Thank you, Beth Moore.
We haven’t always agreed, but Beth Moore has given me and countless others something which we cannot repay. When it is all said and done, Beth Moore will leave a legacy of having lead millions of women to love the Bible and study it for themselves. Many women will move beyond her to “deeper“ teachers. Some have moved into other theological traditions. Some have come to the conclusion that they must move on from Beth, as they have come to different conclusions and convictions about theology or the Bible. But her legacy will remain. It seems incredibly unlikely that the vast majority of people who take potshots at her over secondary or tertiary disagreements will have 1/100th of the impact for the kingdom that Beth Moore has had. Meanwhile, their churches will be filled with women who either came to know Christ and study his word for the first time through a Beth Moore study. Instead, even in our disagreements, what Beth Moore has more than earned is our gratefulness.
She isn’t always right, but neither am I. Beth has said there are things she has said and done that she would take back, and Lord knows I have those things, too. But the one thing Beth Moore cannot take back is the impact she has had on my life, my mom’s life, my mother-in-laws life, my wife’s life, and the hundreds of thousands of women and men in Southern Baptist churches either directly or indirectly.
In an era marked by the “battle for the Bible,” Beth Moore taught millions not just to fight for it, but to study, love it, and stake their life on it. She taught them how to see Jesus in the Bible and to how to love him.
And frankly, that’s more important than our disagreements. Thank you, Mrs. Beth. You are welcome at my church, or my kitchen table, any time.
In an era marked by the “battle for the Bible,” Beth Moore taught millions not just to fight for it, but to study, love it, and stake their life on it. She taught them how to see Jesus in it and how to love him. Thank you, Beth Moore.Tweet