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Jesus Saved Beth Moore’s Life. Twitter Blew It Up. A New Memoir Will Tell the Story.

By Bob Smietana
beth moore twitter memoir
Beth Moore speaks at Wheaton College on Dec. 13, 2018. (RNS photo by Emily McFarlan Miller)

For the past few years, Bible teacher and best-selling author Beth Moore has been one tweet away from disaster.

Moore, perhaps the best-known ex-Southern Baptist in the country, will recount her Twitter battles, her split with her former denomination and, more importantly, her lifelong journey with Jesus, in a new memoir titled “All My Knotted-Up Life,” due out from Tyndale in April 2023.

News of the memoir was first reported by Cathy Grossman of Publishers Weekly. Tyndale publisher Karen Watson told PW that the memoir will be a “southern literary reflection on an unlikely and winsomely remarkable life.”

Among the characters in the memoir will be Moore’s tobacco-chewing great-grandmother Miss Ruthie, known for her floor-length silver locks

“My whole family — well, for the most part — is like this. Spitting in a can, all spool-headed, one minute. Sleek and lovely and mesmerizing the next,” Moore writes in the memoir, according to Publishers Weekly.

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For decades, Moore was beloved among Southern Baptists and other evangelicals for best-selling Bible studies and sold-out Living Proof events for women, named for Moore’s ministry. She ran afoul of Southern Baptist leaders for her criticism of Donald Trump during the 2016 election, especially after the Access Hollywood tapes surfaced of the candidate making lewd remarks about women — and seemed to be met with shrugged shoulders by evangelical leaders.

“I expected Donald Trump to be Donald Trump,” she said during a 2021 speaking engagement in Nashville, Tennessee. “That was not a shock to me. I did not expect us to be us.”

beth moore
Beth Moore speaks at the Southern Baptist Convention in Birmingham, Alabama, on June 10, 2019. (RNS photo by Adelle M. Banks)

That criticism led to a backlash from pastors and churches, who stopped buying Moore’s Bible studies, which were published by Lifeway Christian Resources at the time. Her ministry lost millions in the years after Trump’s election.

Then Moore posted what she thought was an innocuous comment on Twitter about speaking at a Mother’s Day church service, which sparked a national controversy over the role of women in the church. That debate overshadowed other issues in the Southern Baptist Convention, including the denomination’s reckoning with sexual abuse in churches.

“We were in the middle of the biggest sexual abuse scandal that has ever hit our denomination,” Moore said in March 2021. “And suddenly, the most important thing to talk about was whether or not a woman could stand at the pulpit and give a message.”

Eventually Moore would cut ties with Lifeway and leave the SBC. She now attends an Anglican church and frequently tweets about her experiences as a newcomer to a liturgical tradition.

Still, she said in 2021, she was grateful for the role SBC churches played in her life, saying that her home church was a “safe place” during a difficult childhood.

“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,” she said in March 2021, in discussing her departure from the SBC.

Despite social media controversies, Moore had remained an active Twitter user, connecting with just under a million follows and mixing in photos from her life, thoughts about cooking and family, and reflections on the Bible.

Recently she tweeted about how social media algorithms have “made us crazy.”  

“I don’t want to be their fool,” she tweeted recently. “Now I’m mostly on here these days for the fun of it & for the community of people I interact with here that I don’t have anywhere else in my life so I’m staying on for now. But I, at least, want to learn how to be less, how shall I put this, stupid.” 

Bob SmietanaBob Smietana is a national reporter for Religion News Service.



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32 Responses

  1. This is an excellent article about a remarkable women who had the guts to call out the phonies and misogynists. They are not only in the SBC, but in all evangelical churches. They repel people from the real Jesus and swoon if an intelligent woman calls them out. Well done Mr. Smietana.

  2. How can you write an article like this and not quote the tweet that was controversial? It’s like saying someone was convicted of a crime without saying what the crime was, or that someone had beat a world record without saying for what.

  3. Personally I don’t use any form of social media at all. The only thing I ever use is email. My kids call me Fred Flintstone! I don’t even have or use a smart phone, just an old-fashioned user-friendly flip phone to call and ask my wife if she wants chop suey for dinner. That being said, I’m very saddened to see and hear of all the pain and humiliation that Beth Moore, this very godly and precious woman has had to endure at the hands of social media buffoons who use it as an axe to try and destroy people they don’t like and more specifically, hate individuals political and religious platforms. Julie and company, you are truly doing the Lords work! I like the Winston Churchill quote, never give up, never give up, never, never give up.

  4. I like Julie Roys. I like Beth Moore. I am a tad troubled by one comment in this article: “Her ministry lost millions”. Really? Is that how “ministry” is measure nowadays—whether it gains or loses millions?

    1. No, ‘millions’ represents the revenue she uses to pay staff, buy services from others and invest in her ministry. It’s the ‘love’ of money that is evil, not the use of money to efficiently transfer value.

      1. You make a good point, but even your vocabulary “invest in her ministry” seems to use money as a metric when measuring ministry.

      2. It depends on the ministry and how they use their financial resources. Ministries certainly need financial resources to pay staff, purchase supplies, office space, etc. However, The Roys Report has also brought to light the way others such as James MacDonald and John MacArthur have used ministry money to support lavish lifestyles through expensive international vacations, multiple expensive houses, and the like.

    2. Perhaps “Her business lost millions,” would be more accurate. There’s nothing wrong with people’s having a business that makes money for them.

      1. Is there something wrong with a “ministry” which becomes more of a “business” so that a primary metric when it comes to measuring impact has to do with dollars?

        1. I think journalism is inclined to view everything through the lens of dollars or some other number.

  5. I love Beth Moore. I had done a few of her studies and Daniel was AMAZING. God has touched her with such intelligence, heart and energy for His Word. I have the utmost respect for her and cannot wait for this book. I am not surprised by the backlash against her any more than she (nor I) was surprised by DTrump’s behavior then and now.

  6. Whenever someone criticises a woman using her gifts that somehow raise the ire of others because she is a woman, the go to response has to be Galatians 3:28.

  7. This article seems very disingenuous as it has not addressed many of the larger controversies. Wasn’t huge controversy sparked because she seemed to support Black Lives Matter which is well known to be Marxist, atheistic, anti family. I also thought she felt it was OK for a Christian to be a practicing homosexual. She’s also free to dislike Pres Trump but she voiced her dislike in a very inflammatory way.

    1. If you have no firsthand knowledge of these supposed statements or beliefs, you have no business passing them along. When are Christians going to learn that “Gladys from my Bible Study” is not a good source of information about the world? I suppose Moore could have “kindly” said that Trump acted in ways that were deceptive, lecherous, immoral, and unGodly. Could you perhaps demonstrate how one does that? John the Baptist and Jesus went with “brood of vipers, whitewashed tombs, hypocrites, children of hell.” Of course it’s inflammatory. That’s the point! This episode is another installment in the favorite game of the church: “Shooting our own in the back.”

    2. Seriously? Inflammatory way?? What does that even mean? She spoke the truth about Trump and the religious right came calling for her to be taken down. Black Lives DO Matter according to God and the Bible! And what I’ve gained from her on homosexuals is simply.LOVE THEM like Jesus loves us.

  8. I wish Ms. Moore the best. Use of Twitspace is a choice, and one gets what’s coming when one chooses it.

  9. I will read this book. I will pre-order it.

    I wrote more than 25 novels for the “Christian Publishing Industrial Complex”, before leaving it AND the Evangelical Church AND everything remotely evangelical or fundamental. For a number of years my husband and I (he was with me in this journey) “roamed the wilderness” before finding a home in an Anglican Church here in Canada. I am still finding my way. It is still a journey. It always will be, I expect. I graduated from Moody in the Communications program back in 1971 and am mostly retired now from writing. For a long time before writing novels, I worked as a freelance journalist – so I love what you do, Julie!

    I still suffer from a kind of trauma, though. A few years ago I needed to buy a gift in a town where we were visiting. As we walked past a Christian bookstore, my husband said, “Why not try in there? They always have cute little trinkets and stuff,” But by this time my stomach was hurting and my head was beginning to throb. I really thought I was going to throw up – I couldn’t get away from that store fast enough, and it was a store I had never been inside of and the people were probably all nice people!

    I am finding solace in my garden, friends, painting, drawing and writing my various and sundry life thoughts and reviews right on my Facebook page. (I don’t even have a blog anymore.) I am learning that doubt is not the opposite of faith, it is a part of faith. I am SO happy that places like The Roys Report actually exist in our Christian world.

    Linda Hall

    1. Indeed my friend, indeed. “A kind of trauma” as you wrote…….brilliant one liner. There is beauty in the suffering. For me, the trauma of losing my religion, not my faith. Religion is not always a bad thing, except when the wonderful and sacred traditions you once had, are reduced to trinkets for sale.

  10. I find it hard to believe that the main reason that Living Proof Ministries began to lose money was due to Beth Moore’s stand against President Trump. I am part of a ladies’ Bible study in our church. Neither the church nor the pastor tells us what Bible studies we can or cannot order. We have gone through many of her studies and enjoyed them. But for some reason, the study on the book of James (which I enjoyed), published in 2011, was not to everyone’s liking, so it turned out to be our last Beth Moore Bible study.

    I took one of her online studies during the pandemic, as an individual and I found that the topic wasn’t her usual Bible study but something else. I could not relate to it at all. I’m not saying that it was a bad study, but I just don’t hear from God in the same way as Beth Moore.

    Could it be that the ladies’ Bible study market became saturated and the competition caused Living Proof Ministries to start declining in sales before 2016? Especially as groups who might have been like ours chose to hear from someone else with less polished production values and without celebrity status? And then, as it might have been struggling a bit, could the pandemic further effected sales?

  11. Beth Moore impresses me as a con artist extraordinaire. Women should not be preaching (First Timothy 2:12); therefore, Beth Moore should not be preaching — but she does. Her venues are packed with gullible, ill-taught, and silly women (and men) who are easily led astray (see Second Timothy 3:6). Now, on top of all those cons, she’s come up with a masterstroke: a memoir that tells her story. And the silly, gullible ones will rush out to buy it. What a con artist!

    1. Instead of calling people who believe differently than you “silly, gullible, con artists,” it might be wise to consider just how many scholars and pastors throughout history have disagreed with you on this topic. Many of them might have been even more learned and schooled than you are in theology, yet they arrived at a different conclusion about women in ministry through study and prayer. Everyone’s theology is wrong somewhere, even yours. Do we really need to attack each other over those differences?

    2. I have followed Beth Moore since her early days as a Sunday school teacher. She was always positioned as – and openly says she is – a women’s ministry/Bible study leader. Her examples in her books and teachings are strongly geared towards women. Men began to wander in to her live sessions little by little as they saw the women in their lives transformed by Beth. Is she supposed to stop teaching because a man walks in?

      It is God’s ideal design for children to be raised in heterosexual, 2 parent, married households – yet He still will use those born out of wedlock to accomplish His purposes (we see this in scripture too). Same for women and men. In a society where men are being led astray and not rising up to lead Godly households as He instructs, God will still accomplish His purposes thru Godly women.
      Instead of berating the Godly women preaching His word, how about calling “silly, led astray” men to repent, rise to the occasion and step into their God given purpose?

      It’s exhausting for all the finger pointing to be aimed at women.

    3. @JimRivers
      Your comment says far less about Beth Moore and vastly more about you. Is it necessary to call people names and attempt further character assassination? Even more so, as you point out chapters and verses, is it biblical to sit behind a computer and keyboard and lob stones at people? Or would the deity of your bible do something different? Just a thought…

  12. Sad to see someone like her let emotion be a driving force. Does not make a whole lot of sense to leave a doctrinally sound denomination and simply not just find an independent conservative church, unless there has been a doctrinal slide on her part which I worry is the case. I wonder what her stance now is on biblical innerancy and if that will change as that can vary among Anglican churches. But to get what she wants she may sacrifice orthodoxy. Give it some time and she may find her way to Roman Catholicism.

    1. Marty: It is probably me, but your comment seems like an attack from your first word to your last word.

      1. “Give it some time and she may find her way to Roman Catholicism.”

        As a convert to Catholicism (1993), I consider the final sentence complimentary to Ms. Moore.

    2. The doctrine MAY have been there, but the behavior of living out that doctrine wasn’t. That’s just as problematic as faith without works.
      It creates a culture of hypocrisy, which Beth called out and left. Good for her. Scripture supports refusing to fellowship with hypocrites.

  13. Beth Moore is a wealthy multi home owning business

    “Yeshu entered the Temple grounds and drove out those who were doing business there, both the merchants and their customers…..My house will be called a house prayer. But you have made it into a den of robbers.

  14. I am thankful to Beth Moore for her bible studies that taught me that God is bigger and wilder and more loving than I can imagine. I will continue to believe and trust in Him and pray for our churches and our nation.

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