Recently, popular evangelist and author, Beth Moore, tweeted about no longer being in alignment with the teachings based on complementarianism theology. Complementarianism is the complicated, SAT-worthy word to describe the belief that women and men serve different purposes within the church – namely church leadership. In her tweets, she goes so far as to apologize for her role in teaching this type of theology.
This article is not going to be a battle of theologies (i.e. egalitarian vs complementarian). However, I do believe there are some lessons to be considered and, dare I say, learned from Beth Moore.
- It’s okay to evolve in your spiritual walk. Some might take Beth’s stance as “flip-flopping” from one belief to another. However, I’d like to challenge that thought. Perhaps, what we’re witnessing is spiritual maturity. When you’re first starting out in your faith walk, it’s easy to attach to a certain teaching or certain denomination, especially if they appear to be “on fire for God.” However, as your relationship with Christ grows stronger and you spend more time in God’s Word, you might find that you no longer align with what you’ve been taught or are teaching. And that’s okay. In 1 Corinthians 3 we are reminded that just as newborns, we are first fed “milk” before transitioning to “solid food.” In essence, your walk with God is just that, a walk.
2. Walk away from the theology, not God. We often hear about people leaving the church or no longer believing in God because of “church hurt.” In this instance, you have someone (Beth) who no longer condones the teachings of the Southern Baptist denomination. So, what does she do? She walks away from the church but not her faith. This is me letting you know that if you are currently at a church that no longer feeds you or whose teachings you no longer align with (biblically), you do not have to stay there. Sometimes you have to grow and go.
3. Show yourself grace. “I plead your forgiveness for how I just submitted to it and supported it and taught it. I trusted that the motives were godly. I have not lost my mind. Nor my doctrine. Just my naivety,” Moore tweeted. You do not have to beat yourself up for what you believed, condoned and shared during your season of spiritual immaturity or at the beginning stages of your faith walk. I can recall a time when I was so caught up in church culture in the South and simply “doing church” because that’s what we do in the “Bible belt.” I knew how to look the part. I knew how to throw around all of the church phrases about being “blessed and highly favored” and “if it’s God’s will” and so on, and so on. However, I was still participating in workplace gossip. I was still focusing on “doing me.” I was still “living my best life.”
As I began to prioritize relationship (with Jesus) over religion, God began to show me the error in my ways. He began the realignment process. With that came transitions. With that came new perspectives and beliefs. With that also came showing myself grace and not placing the blame on my heart but my naivety. And there’s nothing about that to be ashamed of.
May we all have the courage to reroute when necessary.