This past week Christians gathered from all over to celebrate Martin Luther Kings life and legacy in Memphis, Tennessee. The Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission and The Gospel Coalition put on the “MLK50 Conference,” headlined by Matt Chandler, Jackie Hill Perry, Eric Mason, Russell Moore, John Piper, and Benjamin Watson.
Beth Moore, the founder of Living Proof Ministries in Houston, Texas, sat on a panel called “Evangelicals and the Future of Racial Unity.”
Moore condemned the “prosperity gospel,” like many Christians do, and then surprised people by what she said next. She called Christians out for subscribing to a pampering gospel, one that makes them feel safe, and keeps them in the confines of their comfort zones.
She then addressed the changes we have seen around the country in the past 18-months, hinting at the election of President Trump. Moore has not been shy about addressing the Trump administration like many other evangelicals have been.
“What I saw begin to happen 18-or-so months ago was that there was such an outcry of ‘shut up’ to every dissenting voice and that is terrifying,” the 60-year-old Bible teacher said.
“If we watch everybody shut up when they are told to, what does that say?” Moore asked. “We have got to speak out. It is part of the Gospel message. It was very much a decision to keep talking. It wasn’t because I thought I had something important to say. It is because we have the right to speak. We have the right to disagree. We have the right to come in with a different outlook.”
On March 29, a few days before the conference, Beth Moore tweeted:
Want to try to share something that ends positively but starts negatively so persevere. Been slogging through a bit of an existential crisis for the last 18 months that I let become more obvious than I meant to. One person called it woke but it felt a lot more like ticked to me.
— Beth Moore (@BethMooreLPM) March 29, 2018
While many evangelicals in America today are proud that they don’t subscribe to a “prosperity gospel,” Christian evangelist Beth Moore argued Wednesday night that many are guilty to subscribing to a “pampered gospel.”
Over the past 18 months, Moore has been vocal on just about every platform telling Christians how important it is to speak out against things like racism, misogyny, and bigotry. She has received attention on Twitter as she has called time and time again for reform in the way Christians respond to problems. She has stood up in boldness and has kept her posture while responding to conservative believers who disagree with her stances.
While many have disagreed with Moore’s stances, she has also received a variety of compliments because of her actions. She stated that she struggles with the compliments, especially when other Christians call her “brave.”
“It is not brave,” she stated. “This is Gospel.”
“What I think has happened here is that in our discipleship, we are not teaching what is normative in the believing life,” she added. “When we carry our cross and we follow Jesus, we are walking into a storm. We were told that in Luke 10, Matthew 10 we will be ‘sheep among wolves,’ not wolves among sheep.”
She uses the biblical comparison of Christians being “sheep among wolves.” Saying the Bible specifically tells us that as Christians we will face persecution, criticism, imprisonment, and possibly death for our beliefs. She points out that many people around the world know this first-hand, but that those within the United States do not. She states that Christians in the United States continuously pat themselves on the back for not following the prosperity gospel, but at the same time, are so pampered that we fear the least bit of criticism.
“We have been very proud of the fact that we have not subscribed to a prosperity gospel. But what we have subscribed to is a pampered gospel where we are so afraid of suffering and we are so afraid someone is going to criticize us and hurt our feelings,” Moore stated.
“This is the Gospel work of Jesus Christ and we are going with Him. Whatever it takes, no matter how unpopular it is. He was hated. We have to have thicker skin than that.”
Those sitting on the “Evangelicals and the Future of Racial Unity” panel were then asked, how Christians should be in order to be the “type of people that are champions for healing in the midst of this racial tension?”
“I think one of the strong suits of the streams that we represent up here today and this week is that so much teaching has come from this stream of Christianity. It is a beautiful thing, but we are very accustomed to that. We are very accustomed to being the ones that have the seminaries and the commentaries and all the things that we learn from. But in the situation we are in right now, what it’s going to demand is that there is also a reversal of roles, that we become listeners and students and that we learn from these voices, that we intentionally lean in.”
Moore encouraged everyone to take a step back from situations, and become listeners. She encouraged white evangelicals to take a back seat, and listen to black people that they don’t agree with.
“One of the things that I hear leaders of color telling us is that we don’t just want to come to you on your terms. When you say, ‘We want unity and we want to all be together, now come over here and come be unified with us in what we do in all the ways we do it.’ We can’t do it that way. It’s not going to work,” Moore said.
Next week, the March for Humanity will be taking place in Atlanta to commemorate the legacy of Martin Luther King. Moore will be in attendance and encourages others to go.
“I need to go where I don’t have any privilege, I don’t have any protection. I am just going to be out there in a mass of people because I got to reverse roles and be able to go in and learn in that environment and see what that is like and learn it from that perspective,” Moore said.
Moore finished saying, “We can’t see how codependent we are if we cannot let our relationship change and let somebody else take the lead and us follow and listen.”
Moore calls out racism, bigotry, misogyny, and all forms of evil every single day. She has talked the talk, but she is known for walking the walk as an evangelical leader.
On April 4, Matt Chandler also delivered a controversial speech, calling on white evangelicals to start confronting racism, which starts in the pews.