In a new memoir out this week, the Bible teacher opens up about the abuse of her childhood and the people and God who saved her.
There’s a downside to going someplace where everyone knows your name.
Author and Bible teacher Beth Moore discovered that reality in the months after making a public break with the Southern Baptist Convention, which had been her spiritual home since childhood.
Whenever she and her husband, Keith, would visit a new church, the results were the same. People were welcoming. But they knew who she was—and would probably prefer if she went elsewhere. Once the very model of the modern evangelical woman, she was now a reminder of the denomination’s controversies surrounding Donald Trump, sexism, racism, and the mistreatment of sexual abuse survivors.
When Moore would no longer remain silent about such things, she became too much trouble to have around. Even in church.
“I was a loaded presence,” she told RNS in a recent interview.
In her memoir, All My Knotted-Up Life, out this week from Tyndale, Moore recounts how the couple ended up at an Anglican church in Houston, largely at the suggestion of Keith Moore, who’d grown up Catholic and felt more at home in a liturgical tradition. When they walked in, the rector greeted them and asked their names.
When she told him who she was, the rector brightened up.
“Oh,” he said, with a smile, “Like Beth Moore.” Then, having no idea who he was talking to, he added, “Come right in. We’re glad to have you.”
After the service, a handful of women who had gone through one of Moore’s best-selling Bible studies, gathered around her. They knew who she was and wanted Moore to know she was safe in that place and that there was plenty of room for her in the community.
“Can I simply ask if you’re OK,” Moore recalls …