Concerned that the Southern Baptist Convention is being "torn apart' by the devil, author and Bible teacher Beth Moore addressed the subject of women preaching, a contentious issue within the denomination that doesn't allow women to be pastors.
Writing on Twitter Sunday, Moore said she felt compelled to say something that she hoped might bring peace to the denomination.
"There are no women trying to take over SBC pulpits, least of all me. It’s a straw woman. One woman speaking on Mother’s Day 2019 does not a takeover make. PEACE," she said.
"This infighting over women preaching in the SBC is a distraction & an enormous waste of energy. Be honest about what these fights are over. Perhaps my memory fails me in old age but I thought we were gospel people, all sent out to share the good news of salvation through Christ."
The debate over women preaching and leading churches resurfaced last year after Moore was invited to speak during a Sunday morning service at an SBC church on Mother's Day.
"I will indeed speak occasionally in services on Sundays when asked by a church, depending upon the occasion & pastor’s request. If that’s a deal breaker, hold me responsible. Don’t hold my gender hostage over it. These women are brilliant. Gospel carriers. Make a place for them," Moore continued on her Twitter thread on Sunday.
"Truly, that’s the last thing I hope to say as an insider. As I watch the devil tear apart a denomination I loved so much & served so long, witch hunting, & so in need of a fight they have to make infidels out of Jesus loving, Scripture-believing people, it’s hard to be silent."
Her words come amid an ongoing and sometimes rancorous debate about women preaching not only within the denomination but also the larger Christian community.
Theologically speaking, what are known as complementarians, generally believe that women are forbidden from holding certain offices in the church. By contrast, theological egalitarians insist that Scripture does not warrant such restrictions.
When questioned in October about his thoughts about Moore, pastor John MacArthur said "go home" and went on to compare her teaching ministry to that of a salesperson peddling jewelry on television, a remark many saw as gratuitously mean-spirited.
Moore has previously suggested that the SBC has placed too many restrictions on women, and that obsessing over the subject ultimately impedes the furtherance of the Gospel.
"Relentless overemphasis on biblical manhood and womanhood — the constant pounding — will inevitably, inadvertently cause us to attend more carefully to carrying our genders than carrying our crosses. Whether you’re male OR female, deny yourself, pick up your cross & follow Jesus," she tweeted last June.