There are few names within American mainstream
evangelicalism as familiar as Beth Moore.
The founder of Living Proof Ministries, Moore’s career as a speaker and author
has skyrocketed in recent months to the point that many speculate she will be
the next president of the Southern Baptist Convention.
But with increased notoriety comes increased scrutiny, and a
recent post by Moore invited plenty of it.
The popular Bible teacher took to Twitter to offer this bizarre observation:
There are simply no gospel grounds for defending White supremacy. None. This isn’t theological rocket science. The Savior of the world gave Himself on the cross for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God & Father, wearing a brown body.
Admittedly my tolerance for virtue-signaling (that is,
making sure everyone knows how righteous you are comparatively speaking) is
very thin, but this was the textbook definition of it. After all, could anyone provide an actual
list – naming names – of any orthodox evangelical Christian leader who is
defending White supremacy? Moore was
actually asked to do that very thing by hundreds of frustrated followers. For instance, a Twitter user known as “An
Agent of the Protestants” responded to her statement by saying:
Cool. Anyone: Do me a favor and link me to any living pastor in the OPC, PCA, SBC, LCMS, ARBCA, or other orthodox, conservative, Christian denomination who states otherwise. Or if we’re just saying things no one disagrees with to virtue signal, “Burning witches is bad!”
Feeling a bit of heat, Moore sadly retreated into this defensive posture:
In case anyone else is asking who’s actually defending white supremacy. There are lots of ways to defend it. Some are just more passive. Some deny it’s even an issue. (What are you smoking??) We can’t be unclear any longer on this sickness. If you don’t see it, you’re not looking.
Being charitable to Ms. Moore, I don’t think she intended it
this way, but her defensive response could easily be seen as suggesting that if
you don’t have any idea what she’s talking about you’re actually part of the
looming problem of white supremacy. Such
intimations, without case or evidence, is hardly Kingdom-building.
It is also logic-defying to say, “If you aren’t condemning a
problem I say exists, you are necessarily defending that problem on gospel grounds.” To provide an example, I find no evidence
that Moore has spoken out consistently against the rise of gay clergy. Would I then be justified in proclaiming that
Beth is “defending gay clergy on gospel grounds,” or would that be an unfair
leap of logic?
Here’s my point: if there are those orthodox Christian
churches and ministers who are defending white supremacy, Christians certainly
have an obligation to call them out, rebuke and correct them. And Moore is right that we should do it
publicly. But if that isn’t happening,
Moore is unnecessarily and unproductively tying a vile sin to the body of
Christ in America for what purpose? So
she can appear honorable and morally superior?
Again, I don’t know what motivated Moore’s statement, so I’m
not lobbing an accusation. But I am
concerned that without clarification, she provides impetus for those opposed to
the gospel to heap unjustified criticism upon the body of Christ for a sin it
is not committing.
Interestingly if Beth is looking for a gospel-purifying
cause to give her voice to, there are plenty of dangerous ideologies and
manmade pagan philosophies infiltrating Christian campuses and pouring from
Christian pulpits these days.
Egalitarianism, the so-called “gay” gospel, critical race theory,
liberation theology, and racialism to name a few. In actuality, Moore’s original tweet
indicates a concerning element of racialism itself, highlighted by Darrell B. Harrison:
There also are no “gospel grounds” for placing an emphasis on the color of Jesus’ skin, as if that were of any significance in terms of enhancing the efficacy of the atonement that Christ accomplished vicariously on the cross for His elect, who are comprised of all ethnicities.
Amen. I would humbly suggest that given her immense
platform, Beth Moore owes it to the bride of Christ to either clarify her
remarks or apologize to her.