Bible study writer and speaker Beth Moore is one of of the best-known ministry leaders in the conservative evangelical world. The self-described, life-long Southern Baptist founded Houston-based Living Proof Ministries and has written best-selling Bible studies for women for decades.
It's one reason why her Thursday blog, citing numerous instances of sexism and misogynistic attitudes directed at her by male pastors and ministry leaders over the years, struck a nerve. Moore doesn't mince words and she doesn't use social media as a platform for mindless and endless outrage.
In "A Letter to my Brothers" Moore writes of being ignored by fellow male leaders ministering with her at events. She describes being the butt of jokes in male-dominated ministry meetings and holding her tongue when male seminary students talked down to her.
She recalls meeting a respected theologian who she says looked her up and down and informed her that she was "better looking" than another woman Bible teacher.
She says she watched misogynistic attitudes surfacing among key Christian leaders in early October 2016 and concluded: "Scripture was not the reason for the colossal disregard and disrespect of women among many of these men. It was only the excuse. Sin was the reason."
Moore is calling male ministry leaders to have "no tolerance for misogyny and dismissiveness toward women in your spheres of influence."
Male Leaders Respond
On Thursday, men ministry leaders, especially in Moore's Southern Baptist denomination, responded affirmatively and one even apologized.
Russell Moore, the Southern Baptist public policy spokesman, retweeted Moore's blog and praised her for encouraging him and his wife to stay in ministry during a particularly discouraging time.
Pastor J.D. Greear, who will be nominated in June to be the next Southern Baptist president, said he was thankful for her challenge to men and emphasized "misogyny must have no place in our churches."
Andrew Walker, who serves as the director of policy studies for the Southern Baptist's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, commended Moore saying "What amazes me about our failure toward our sisters is that the expectation for us is not even extraordinary. It's simple decency, kindness, and respect."
But Pastor Thabiti Anyabwile, who serves on the council of The Gospel Coalition, responded with a public apology to Moore, saying he had slandered her over the years with his non-verbal cues that discredited her and by failing to speak on her behalf in meetings where her reputation was questioned.
"I've been in rooms where your name was mentioned with disparaging tone. And rather than ask a few basic questions...I said and did nothing. I wasn't any different from Saul standing by holding clothes while Stephen was stoned," he said.
Danny Akin, the president of the Southern Baptists' Southeastern Seminary, thanked Moore "for speaking the painful but necessary truth to your brothers in Christ."