Moore also shared,
One of the things that has concerned me most was believing that there was an extremely hard pull to the far right [in the SBC] where there was going to be less and less for women to do…that the only thing a woman really was called to do that was blessed by God in the church was in the context of the traditional family. And I don’t know what that does. I love the family. I love my role as wife. I love my role as mother. But I’m going to ask you, what in the world are you going to do with 10,000 single men and women?
In the end, Moore said that her decision to leave the SBC did not come from “a loss of love. It was a loss of belonging.” It was also a wake-up call of sorts. “Sometimes you leave because you love a people,” she said, “and sometimes it is an act of protest.”
What Galatians Has to Say
The book of Galatians provides a biblical foundation for there being an appropriate time for church leaders to challenge other church leaders on teachings and behaviors that are not in line with the gospel. In Galatians 2, the Apostle Paul describes a particular distortion of the gospel that required Gentile believers to become circumcised like the Jews were. When the Apostle Peter went along with this belief, Paul accused him of “hypocrisy” and “opposed him to his face.”
Beth Moore highlighted the fact that Paul writes that any twisting of the gospel is a false gospel and that our actions reveal what we truly believe. “The gospel, any distortion of it is still what [Paul] calls ‘another gospel,’” she said, “and…our belief in the gospel is most reflected by the activity of the Spirit through the fruit of the Spirit. Huge. Absolutely huge.”
While Moore expressed dismay at the distortions of the gospel she sees in American Christianity, she was quick to acknowledge that we all are led astray at times and “bewitched” as Paul says the Galatians were.
She said, “Any of us could look back over our shoulder and think of a time when we were like, ‘I don’t know what was going on in my head, [I was] just bewitched.’” She added, “All of us that are called to discipleship have to own up to some large degree that [where we are in American evangelicalism] is a failure of discipleship.”
Moore does not see the American church’s challenges as a reason for rejecting the church entirely. She stressed the importance of committing to a local church and of following the guidance of the Holy Spirit when considering whether or not it is time to leave a congregation. She shared that she stayed in the SBC for some time after she started feeling unwelcome.
“Two years before I did step away, people were going, ‘Why do you stay?’” she said. “And I was like, ‘You know, I just had not been led of the Spirit to do that. I just said no, I was going to stay and fight for it.” She explained, “I didn’t step out a moment before I felt like God went, ‘Go.’”
“We don’t just leave,” said Moore. “We’re not consumers in the church. We stay, we invest our lives in it. We work through conflict. If we’re there long enough, we probably work through a couple of different pastors that have shepherded that congregation. Maybe we liked one better than we like the other. But we stay. We invest our lives. There comes a time, though, that we have to be very awake to the leadership of the Spirit. When is it time to go?”
Watch the full interview with Beth Moore below: