Notable Southern Baptist Bible teacher and author Beth Moore believes “hyper-complementarianism” is taking attention away from the need to address the Southern Baptist Convention’s sex abuse problems.
Moore took to Twitter to comment on a Washington Post article by Sarah Pulliam Bailey about how many Southern Baptists were debating whether Moore could preach when they “are supposed to talk about sexual abuse” in the denomination.
One theologian quoted by Bailey said, “One thing we have massive agreement on: women do not preach on Sunday to the church. Doing so is functional egalitarianism. We will not capitulate here.”
In response to the story, Moore responded that she considered the backlash to her possible preaching to not be “the SBC I have known.”
“This is a different world. That a threat to hyper-complementarianism is the big deal to this many men amid an SBC abuse scandal is disturbing,” tweeted Moore on Sunday.
She went on to explain in a follow-up comment that the apparent outrage over her possibly preaching at the pulpit on a Sunday was unprecedented, as she has “not done anything differently than I’ve been doing for decades except becoming more vocal over the increasing surfacing of sexism & racism.”
“Let me state that more accurately: racism has been a demonic atrocity from the very formation of the denomination. Nothing is new about it,” she added.
“What is new is that fog cleared for me in 2016 in a way I’d never experienced and I saw what looked to me like racism gaining fresh steam.”
Complementarianism is the belief that men and women have specific biblically-ordained roles in the church, family life and elsewhere in society.
In contrast, egalitarianism is the belief that men and women can fulfill the same roles.
Last Saturday, the Southern Baptist Convention’s Sexual Abuse Advisory Group released a 51-page report in advance of their annual meeting, scheduled for June 11-12 in Birmingham, Alabama.
The SBC Sexual Abuse Advisory Group was created in response to the Houston Chronicle publishing a series on sexual abuse in SBC churches.
The Chronicle received over 350 additional tips and emails after they published part 1 in February, according to Houston Chronicle Deputy Investigations Editor Lise Olsen.
Among its findings, the report stated that theology was misapplied and that this misapplication led to failures in handling sexual abuse situations.
Examples included "wrong teaching that leads to treatment of women and children as inferior to men in value, intellect, and discernment" and "misapplication of complementarian teaching, leading to women submitting to headship of all men."