Home Christian News Despite a ‘Messy’ Ministry Path, Beth Moore Says Quitting Isn’t an Option

Despite a ‘Messy’ Ministry Path, Beth Moore Says Quitting Isn’t an Option

beth moore
Screenshot from YouTube / @Preston Sprinkle

For the 1,000th episode of his podcast “Theology in the Raw,” biblical scholar and author Preston Sprinkle had a candid conversation with Beth Moore, calling her the “queen of evangelicalism.” Moore, a prolific author and Bible teacher, publicly left the Southern Baptist Convention last spring, citing sexism and misogyny as key factors.

The title of the episode, “On ‘Going Home,’” refers to a 2019 incident, when Pastor John MacArthur indicated Moore should “go home” because women preachers aren’t biblical. The spat was part of an ongoing debate about complementarianism and women’s roles in the denomination.

Beth Moore’s Journey From Safety to ‘Outsider’

During their candid hourlong conversation, Preston Sprinkle asks Beth Moore about her upbringing and turning points in her life and ministry. Moore, whose new memoir is slated for an April release, admits to being on a “messy” and “rocky path” but credits Jesus with saving her life. “I absolutely know that I should’ve been in a ditch,” she says, citing an “extremely unstable” home life growing up in Arkansas.

Moore, 65, describes being “very happily Southern Baptist all my life,” saying her home church “was my harbor, my safe place.” Though she wasn’t “blind” to some issues and frustrations within the church, Moore was happy with her faith heritage, which taught her to love missions and Scripture. That’s why recent upheavals have “felt like free-falling,” she tells Sprinkle, because “you do think you know your people.”

During her mid-30s, Moore’s Living Proof Ministries exploded, taking off in a way she “had not planned—and didn’t want.” With that success came scrutiny, she says, throwing her into “situations where I became very aware of being an outsider” and being “in way over my head.”

Moore realized she wasn’t academically trained and was an easy target for criticism. “I’m a mess! I’ll say things I wish I didn’t,” she says. “I’m so easy to make fun of because I’m so much! I’m easy to ridicule, easy to imitate.” (Just this week, for example, Twitter erupted when Moore described having “a crush” on Jesus. “You’re gonna have to learn to lighten up a little bit,” she responds to one critic, Josh Buice.)

As she became a public figure, Moore also was introduced to situations where not all the men wanted her there, which made her self-conscious. She says she went out of her way to avoid being “threatening” to people, such as wearing flats, not heels, when appearing on stage with a shorter man.

Throughout the podcast, Moore emphasizes that her ministry had always been to women, and she had “never ever pursued a pulpit.” She continues to have “confidence” in God’s “calling,” she says. “I’m so positive of what he’s called me to do…not necessarily where and how; I have to navigate that all the time.”