By Elizabeth Prata
Recently Beth Moore departed Lifeway, renounced being a Baptist, and loudly left the Southern Baptist Convention. In June she declared on her Twitter that she had found a “small liturgical church” in her area. Beth has been mightily enjoying this small, liturgical church. It is an Anglican church. Anglican, not Episcopalian.
She and husband Keith became members of it in September. She said she’s figuring out the “kneeling bench”. She bought the book Every Moment Holy Vol 1, containing over 100 liturgies for daily life (including liturgies for meals). She gushed and gushed about being ‘deeply wounded’ in previous churches, and is wowed by loving people who wrapped their arms around her and her husband and welcomed the pair. She was happy to find a different way to worship.
She said she loves saying the Creed. She said the liturgy has filled her with hope again (not Jesus?). She said she and Keith shot to the altar for communion ‘like starving people begging for bread.’ She also loves what this liturgical church is about, because it’s “not just primarily upon what is coming from the pulpit.”
Here is the Thread Reader unroll link to read what Beth Moore had to say about this new-found discovery of her “small, liturgical church.”
The Moores’ new church is part of the Anglican Church of North America. You can read about the Anglicans’ beliefs here, but suffice to say, it is as close to Roman Catholic as one can get without being Catholic. Some people in the congregation kneel as they enter the pew, as Catholics do. Some genuflect in the RCC sign of the cross. A crucified Christ remains on the cross attached to the main lectern. Vestments are highly ornate and present on all who serve at the pulpit, including women. Women serve as deacons.
Remember, her husband Keith was raised by staunch Catholics, and Moore has taught publicly that RCC is another denomination akin to Methodists and Baptists.
Because this is 2021 and people misunderstand and misinterpret things, I’ll be clear. I am NOT saying that Anglican (or other more overt liturgical church denominations of Episcopal, Lutheran, some Presbyterian, and some Methodist) are filled with lost people. NO. Men I respect like JI Packer were Anglican. Chris Rosebrough is a Lutheran pastor. Many millions of people who attend liturgical churches are brethren, blessed by the liturgical service structure and glory in it.
I AM saying that if a person is lost, as Beth Moore is, they will want the trappings of religiosity without the submission. THAT is much easier to find in a liturgical church than a confessional one. They want to appear righteous without the obedience. (Matthew 23:28). They are devoid of the Holy Spirit, so they will want outward religious apparatus, ornamentation, and ritual. They will love the emphasis on liturgical tradition and its script, not “just primarily upon what is coming from the pulpit” as Beth Moore has said. And of course she wants to avoid “what is coming from the pulpit” from her previous churches, the word of God convicts of sin and urges repentance. Moore is neither about obedience to the word nor repenting of her usurping ways with changing her long rebellion against Jesus. She is a seeker of a place that will indulge her ungodly passions.
While many saved people enjoy liturgical services, many false believers find it easier to fit in to them. The service affirms their intellectual assent but does nothing for their soul. These false converts feel satisfied in participating in religious scripts, rather than glorifying God in obedience to His word.
There are a great many women serving during the service at Beth Moore’s new church. They wear the priestly-type vestments, speak from the lectern, participate with the priest regarding the Eucharist portion of the service, lead processionals…even give the sermon as a woman did this week. This visible role of women would appeal to a rebel female preacher like Beth Moore. It’s natural for a false convert such as Moore to slide in to a church like this that offers her satisfaction of her lusts. (2 Timothy 3:4)
The second point of my essay is this, and it’s sad. False believers bring with them their false notions.
After just 2 months of being a church member, Beth Moore was asked to teach a study at her new Anglican church. The class is part of her church’s School of Ministry and “is for education for both ordained and lay people.” It’s titled “The Biblical Narrative and How to Teach a Bible Study.” You notice right underneath the class calendar listing screen shot below, is a course about women in ministry – taught by female deacon Rev. Deacon Lisa Schwandt. Schwandt was one of only 3 women invited in 2019 to the College of Bishops meeting (big Anglican meeting, like the SBC Annual Meeting) to discuss women in ministry.
Sadly though, installing Moore so quickly as a teacher in her new church, one by her own admission she is totally unfamiliar with in terms of doctrine and practice, demonstrates that the person making these decisions in her new church lacks discernment. It is unknown whether she is teaching a co-ed class. One person on Twitter asked, but the query went unanswered. She was also asked to MC the church’s Women’s Advent luncheon. (Though she did take time out to carp that she was asked not to speak but only to emcee…). She’s become embedded, fast.
I saw that she was listed as an alter server for an upcoming service. I am not sure what a Ps/Epis does but I think it is a person who reads a Psalm and an Epistle during service. See photo above, where Moore is reading the Epistle of Hebrews. We see in the collage below that Beth Moore is in vestments and serving in a variety of ways during the service.
I am not remarking on a liturgical service or anything about Anglicanism. I am saying that Beth Moore’s departure from the SBC to a place where her heart’s desire has always been to serve in a place the Bible forbids has finally been satisfied. She is finally “home”.
Beth Moore’s gravitation away from the faith is evident in this new move. She has always been me-centered and man-centered. Religious trappings for her are not a vehicle to further glorify God but a way to appear deeply committed, while absent of the obedience Jesus requires to be one of His own.
But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. 2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, slanderers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, [a]haters of good, 4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 holding to a form of godliness although they have denied its power; avoid such people as these. (2 Timothy 3:1-5) underline mine.
then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from a trial, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment, 10 and especially those who indulge the flesh in its corrupt passion, and despise authority. (2 Peter 2:9-10)