Back on June 19, 2019, Michelle Lesley wrote ‘An Open Letter to Beth Moore’ asking for a clarification about her biblical position in regards to homosexuality. In part Michelle writes:
“We as female Bible teachers ourselves write this letter to you in hopes of receiving clarification of your views on an important issue: homosexuality.
In the last few years, particularly since 2016, you have been very vocal in your opposition to misogyny and racism. Anytime a story with so much of a whiff of these issues comes to the forefront you are very quick to speak out. The actions of the Covington kids, for example, you said “is so utterly antichrist it reeks of the vomit of hell” in a January 19, 2019 tweet; a tweet you deleted, without apology to the kids, once the full video was shown that portrayed a very different reality than what initial reporting suggested.
It is this Johnny-on-the-spot readiness to engage issues related to misogyny and racism that makes your virtual silence on the issue of homosexuality so puzzling.
To your credit, in your book To Live is Christ: The Life and Ministry of Paul, you wrote, “I met a young man who had experienced freedom from the bondage of homosexuality” (pg. 119). This book was first published in 1997 and then republished in 2008 but it seems since then you have said very little if anything publicly about this issue.
Another factor prompting our open letter to you is the very public mutual affection and admiration between you, Jen Hatmaker and Jonathan Merritt.
Jen Hatmaker and you regularly exchange affirming posts of one another on social media. In just one recent example, Hatmaker on September 17, 2018 wrote “Beth Moore will enjoy my respect and devotion forever. She is worthy of being a mentor to an entire generation. And friends, I wish you knew how deeply and profoundly she has loved me these last two years” (Source). In an interview two years before this post, October of 2016, Jen Hatmaker said she was a “left-leaning moderate,” came out as fully supportive of homosexual marriage (saying it can be “holy”) and said practicing homosexuals can be part of the regenerate body of Christ (Source). It was then that LifeWay decided to pull all of her books from its shelves.”
Source: Michelle Lesley, ‘Discipleship For Christian Women’ blog, https://michellelesley.com/2019/06/19/an-open-letter-to-beth-moore/, Published June 19, 2019. (Accessed July 5, 2019.)
Updated to include timeline of events:
On Monday. July 8, 2019, Michelle Lesley writes:
“Since the discussion of the events and commentary surrounding the open letter have mostly taken place on Twitter, and many who have an interest in these events and comments are not Twitter users, this article is intended to be a timeline outlining the sequence of events, beginning with the publication of the open letter.”
As time passed and as more people added their names to the ‘open letter’, Beth Moore’s silence has been deafening – until now. Some very observant pastors noticed that ‘a book she wrote many years ago has now been edited in its Kindle edition so as to remove a discussion about homosexuality.’ This led to some questions being directed to Beth Moore on twitter.
Is the above tweet from Beth Moore the long-awaited response to Michelle Lesley’s ‘Open Letter’? Is this all she has to say to Michelle and others who ask:
“When all of this is coupled with your total silence on homosexuality (in stark contrast to your very vocal stance on gender/racial/abuse issues) it naturally raises the question as to what your beliefs on it truly are.”
Wait, there’s more (on Moore):
In a recent Facebook post James R White from Alpha & Omega Ministries referenced Beth Moore’s twitter response and posted his own ‘open letter’?
Dr. White writes:
I have never read a book by Beth Moore. I have never listened to an entire talk, teaching, or “sermon” by Beth Moore. I am given to understand she is not as “far out there” as many female televangelists and the like, but I will be honest, I really do not invest time in comparing them to one another. There are plenty of people who can do that, so I try to focus on other areas where there might be fewer who will stand in the gap. There are plenty of big-name male teachers and preachers that I do not follow or read either. It is simply a matter of time and focus, nothing more.
We have archives of the Dividing Line posted on line that go back to 1998. Hence, I can document that I have been speaking to the issue of homosexuality for a very long time now. No, I am not claiming to have the kind of prophetic insight some men have shown in discerning the direction of cultural change (Francis Schaeffer comes to mind). But I could recognize the foundational, presuppositional nature of the arguments that were being used back then, and we have seen those arguments come to fruition today.
Beth Moore has taken a pretty central role over recent months as the earthquake in cultural thinking has flowed through evangelicalism. She has shown herself more than willing to back the “woke” movement and is plainly promoting the development of “soft complementarianism” which is another term for “not quite yet fully cooked egalitarianism.” And it does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that if you are woke and pushing the “soft complementarian” perspective, there is another clear and obvious car in that social-justice train. It’s the homosexuality car. That’s the train car that just ran through the PCA GA and ran over 40% of the delegates. Yeah, that one.
So a few weeks ago a group of women teachers wrote an open letter to Beth Moore asking her for specific answers to specific questions. As Dr. Mohler has said for years now, the day is coming when there will be nowhere to hide on this issue. I’d say that day has come, but the cost is just going to increase with time. In any case, the questions were fair and, of course, perfectly understandable. No Christian teacher of any standing should be hesitant to take a stand on these issues. Here are the questions Mrs. Moore was asked (I am sure the fact that there are five of them was theologically fortuitous!):
1. Do you believe homosexuality is inherently sinful?
2. Do you believe that the practice of the homosexual lifestyle is compatible with holy Christian living?
3. Do you believe a person who dies as a practicing homosexual but professes to be a Christian will inherit eternal life?
4. Do you believe same sex attraction is, in and of itself, an inherently sinful, unnatural, and disordered desire that must be mortified?
5. Why have you been so silent on this subject in light of your desire to “teach the word of God?”
Of course, as with any set of questions, the person answering will wish to provide proper context, and maybe even ask for further information as to the intention of the question. The only question that might be problematic would be the last one since it would open the door to a lot of obfuscation on the less-than-clear meaning of “silent” and how this relates to Moore’s desire to teach the word of God. But the first four are pretty straightforward, and could be answered quite fully in a decent sized paragraph each.
But Beth Moore has chosen to not only ignore the open letters, but to impugn the character and motivations of those questioning her (a very common tactic, but one being utilized with consistency by those wearing the “progressive” label today). This has led others to look closely at her writings and to discover that a book she wrote many years ago has now been edited in its Kindle edition so as to remove a discussion about homosexuality. The discussion was unremarkable, especially when it was written. It includes this: “Before we proceed to our Scripture-prayers for overcoming sexual strongholds, we are wise to address another deadly sexual assault of the evil one in our society: homosexuality. I have wonderful news for anyone who has struggled with homosexual sin. God indeed can deliver you and anxiously awaits your full cooperation. Do not let Satan shame you into not seeking forgiveness, fulness, and complete restoration in Jesus Christ. I know complete transformation is possible not only because God’s Word says so, but because I have witnessed it with my own eyes. I know plenty of believers who have been set free from homosexuality. p. 279, Praying God’s Word, 2009.
This section is no longer in the Kindle version of this book (yes, I bought my first Beth Moore book to confirm this). It has been removed. A few pages later 1 Cor. 6:9-11 is cited as being prayed by the reader, and the term “homosexual offenders” is still there. But the discussion of homosexuality as a “deadly sexual assault of the evil one,” “homosexual sin,” deliverance and restoration, is gone, along with Moore’s own testimony of knowing “plenty” of believers who have been set free from homosexuality! And this is purposeful. Moore tweeted the following in answer to being questioned about the editing of her book:
After taking 3 years to pray and to test the fruit, it became clear to me that my words in this section, words that exceeded Scripture, were stopping many from God’s words which follow. It wasn’t a doctrinal shift. When our words keep people from God’s words, we’ve overspoken.
I will admit, I had never heard the term “overspoken” before. But let’s think about what Mrs. Moore is saying here. To speak of homosexuality as a deadly sin is to “exceed Scripture.” To speak of deliverance and restoration from homosexual sin is to “exceed Scripture.” To claim that there have been many who have been set free from homosexuality is to “exceed Scripture.” And the source of these conclusions? “Prayer and testing fruit,” whatever that is supposed to mean (these days you can cram a lot into a line like that).
While she may wish to claim this did not involve a “doctrinal shift,” if you teach X is sin, but then conclude that X is not sin, or that to say X is sin is to “exceed Scripture,” that is a doctrinal shift, at least for those of us who still think words have meanings anyway–at least meanings that can be relied upon for more than, say, a decade at a time?
If you want to know why Beth Moore won’t answer the questions above, you have your answer. And I predict that within five years we will get a Rachel Held Evans/Jen Hatmaker/hundreds of others style article explaining how after prayerful consideration and growing in love for God’s people and getting to know so many wonderful LGBTQ+ brothers and sisters in the Lord, Beth Moore has come to understand that we dare not exceed Scripture and we must follow the Spirit’s lead to recognize the need for their full inclusion in the life and fellowship of the body, etc. and etc. But maybe I am a silly optimist and it will actually take place next week. These days, you just never know.
Source: James R. White, https://web.archive.org/web/20190705021319/https://www.facebook.com/prosapologian/posts/2571147009576802, Published July 5, 2019. (Accessed July 5, 2019.)
Pulpit & Pen update: Beth Moore labels christians against homosexuality, “Hyper-Fundamentalists”.
News Division writes:
In a continued social media meltdown, similar to the one that had the unstable and hysterical feminist take a break from Twitter back in May, Beth Moore labeled Christians explicitly opposed to homosexuality “hyper-fundamentalists.”
Moore was referencing her Christian critics who have repeatedly asked her to clarify her position on homosexuality, noticing her leftward drift. While Moore sidestepped the issue and refused to say whether or not she viewed homosexuality as a sin, her fans claimed that Moore had been sufficiently clear in past writings, and therefore didn’t need to repeat herself. However, it was revealed over the Independence Day holiday that Moore has deleted anti-homosexuality passages from newer Kindle versions of at least one of her older books, thus covering up any evidence that she opposed homosexuality.
Moore has since taken to playing the victim, claiming that the “attacks” (read that: requests for a clarification on her position) have “almost made [her] cry.” Her friends in the Southern Baptist Convention have been out in full force attacking her critics today, with one ERLC board member claiming that “discernment blogs are a big threat to the SBC.”
In response to those dismayed that she has expunged remarks critical of homosexuality from her books, Moore said the following on Twitter:
Of course, the thing about a witch hunt is that sometimes you actually find a witch.
Source: News Division, Pulpit & Pen blog, https://pulpitandpen.org/2019/07/05/beth-moore-labels-christians-against-homosexuality-hyper-fundamentalists/?fbclid=IwAR0smfSRljsSi2Y4CBSi4uusnTlwuqHHLSKc9WqQf_JQpuEjD37Dvu2_PKU, Published July 5, 2o19. (Accessed July 6, 2019.)