It’s been just over six months since Susan Heck, Michelle Lesley, Elizabeth Prata, Amy Spreeman and I published the Open Letter To Beth Moore asking her to clarify her position on homosexuality. Aside from some ambiguous Tweets and an admission that she softened her wording in the Kindle version of one of her books, she has never directly answered any of the questions we posed.
It’s odd hearing crickets at this time of year.
Beth doesn’t owe me, as an individual, an answer. She doesn’t owe Susan, Michelle, Elizabeth or Amy, as individuals, answers. I would even say that she doesn’t owe each of the 500+ women who signed the letter answers. Not as individuals.
However! Recently I reread Michelle Lesley’s post, The Mailbag: Questions about the Open Letter To Beth Moore. One point in particular made me think that, although it’s been half a year, we need to keep asking Beth to provide a clear answer on think issue. Michelle wrote:
One of the reasons I personally believe it is very much my business is not mentioned in the letter. (Again, I did not write it, though I do not fault the author for omitting this point.) It is my business and that of every single one of the 14.8 million other Southern Baptists out there.
Largely because the world has made homosexuality the litmus test of “Are you for us or against us?” the Southern Baptist Convention has, not unwisely, also made it a litmus test for whether or not churches can be in cooperation with the SBC and whether or not LifeWay will carry an author’s materials (we’ve seen this with Jen Hatmaker, Eugene Peterson, etc.).
Beth Moore is the best known Southern Baptist in the world, hands down. I have no doubt that she influences more Christians than the president of the SBC, the heads of all SBC entities, and all SBC pastors. If the SBC is going to make homosexuality the iconic issue on which we judge churches and authors, why should Beth, as LifeWay’s best selling author, and the best known and most influential Southern Baptist in the world not have to make it clear where she stands on homosexuality? If any Southern Baptist should have to clearly and publicly declare where she stands on the issue of homosexuality, it’s Beth. I mean, if any Southern Baptist church member walked into her pastor’s office and asked him these questions and he equivocated, refused to answer, or couldn’t biblically answer them, he would be flirting with violating the SBC requirement that churches hold a biblical stance on homosexuality or face being disfellowshipped. But Beth Moore doesn’t have to answer? No, she owes it to every Southern Baptist to clearly state where she stands on this issue – especially to LifeWay and to the women and churches who use her materials.
As a member of a Southern Baptist church, I took notice of her argument. Whether or not Beth Moore is posturing to become the next president of the SBC, her influence over the denomination makes her frighteningly powerful. I believe she has already steered our denomination towards liberalism and compromise. If she turns out to also be affirming of so-called gay Christians, the SBC will undoubtedly follow suit.
Aware of the possible compromise that Beth Moore could lead the SBC to take, two days ago I began posting Tweets encouraging Southern Baptists to pressure Beth into providing SBC members with a clear answer regarding her position on this watershed issue. I don’t want to debate any of the other problematic issues she raises. I definitely don’t want to assault her character or challenge her motives.
And truthfully, I don’t expect her to answer.
What I do want is to raise awareness among both conservative and liberal SBC members that Beth Moore refuses to take a stand on homosexuality. Many SBC members — on both sides of the argument — ardently follow Beth, and therefore need to really understand her position. All of us need to know where she’s taking our denomination.
If you’re on Twitter, please tweet some respectful, yet firm, requests that she answer the questions we asked in the Open Letter back in June. Use the hashtag #TellUsBeth to ensure that Southern Baptists see the importance of understanding whether Beth will uphold or alter present Southern Baptist regulations on homosexuality. We’re entitled to know.