Popular preacher and author Beth Moore has announced that she is splitting from the Southern Baptist denomination. Moore, 63, is best known for being the founder of Living Proof Ministries and the author of titles such as Breaking Free and Believing God.
Despite being associated with the Southern Baptist movement for several decades, Moore has become increasingly distant from the denomination in recent years. During the Trump presidency, she received criticism for speaking out, often indirectly, against the rise of Christian nationalism seen across the evangelical community.
Finally, in December last year, Moore called on followers of Jesus to "move back" from supporting US President Donald Trump and his rhetoric.
"I have never seen anything in these United States of America I found more astonishingly seductive & dangerous to the saints of God than Trumpism," she tweeted. "This Christian nationalism is not of God. Move back from it."
In an interview with Religion News Service this week, Moore said she is now taking a full step back from the Southern Baptist movement.
“I am still a Baptist, but I can no longer identify with Southern Baptists,” she explained. “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 has also terminated her long-time publishing deal with Lifeway - the publishing arm of the Southern Baptist Convention. She is of no relation to Russell Moore, the president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, which serves as the public-policy arm of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Many have been reacting to the news on social media, with Christian writer and historian Diana Butler Bass calling Moore's decision "the religion news equivalent to Prince Harry leaving the royal firm".
"A big and unthinkable deal," she added. "And, of course, it means an institution is losing one of its brightest lights and voices of hope for renewal."