BETH MOORE: From her Twitter page.

Beth Moore, a renowned Bible teacher, has announced she’s no longer a Southern Baptist, Religion News Service reports.

Advertisement

“I am still a Baptist, but I can no longer identify with Southern Baptists,” Moore said in the phone interview. “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.”

Moore told RNS that she recently ended her longtime publishing partnership with Nashville-based LifeWay Christian. While Lifeway will still distribute her books, it will no longer publish them or administer her live events.

Advertisement

Moore was raised in Arkadelphia. She’s gone on to great fame in a denomination that doesn’t welcome women preachers. She now lives in Houston.

The explanation for her change is Donald Trump.

Advertisement

Moore’s criticism of the 45th president’s abusive behavior toward women and her advocacy for sexual abuse victims turned her from a beloved icon to a pariah in the denomination she loved all her life.

“Wake up, Sleepers, to what women have dealt with all along in environments of gross entitlement & power,” Moore once wrote about Trump, riffing on a passage from the New Testament Book of Ephesians.

Because of her opposition to Trump and her outspokenness in confronting sexism and nationalism in the evangelical world, Moore has been labeled as “liberal” and “woke” and even as being a heretic for daring to give a message during a Sunday morning church service.

Moore has had big success as a speaker, including financially, but that has been harmed by her criticism of Trump. Her departure from the SBC is significant, RNS says.

For Moore, the Southern Baptist Convention was her family, her tribe, her heritage. Her Baptist church where she grew up in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, was a refuge from a troubled home where she experienced sexual abuse.

“My local church, growing up, saved my life,” she told RNS. “So many times, my home was my unsafe place. My church was my safe place.”

As an adult, she taught Sunday school and Bible study and then, with her Lifeway partnership, her life became deeply intertwined with the denomination. She believed in Jesus. And she also believed in the SBC.

In October 2016, Moore had what she called “the shock of my life,” when reading the transcripts of the “Access Hollywood” tapes, where Trump boasted of his sexual exploits with women.

“This wasn’t just immorality,” she said. “This smacked of sexual assault.”

She expected her fellow evangelicals, especially Southern Baptist leaders she trusted, to be outraged, especially given how they had reacted to Bill Clinton’s conduct in the 1990s. Instead, she said, they rallied around Trump.

“The disorientation of this was staggering,” she said. “Just staggering.”

Lots more in this article. Southern Baptists are the largest denomination in Arkansas.