Grace Life Church of the Shoals in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, will be leaving the Southern Baptist Convention, Pastor Jeff Noblit announced to the congregation.
“I’ve been the hold back. Our elders would have done this years ago,” Noblit said, also mentioning that his church has had conflict with the SBC in years past over being elder-led and holding to Calvinistic doctrine. “The only thing they do with us is take our money.”
He went on to explain the church elders’ intention to leave the SBC:
“The straw broke the camel’s back for me, and a few logs have been thrown on that camel also. One of those is the rise and the embracing and the affirming of Beth Moore’s ministry. Beth Moore is a charismatic, gifted communicator who’s drifted toward considering herself a preacher. She does a lot of internet things where she kind of gets in the face of those of us who are conservative in our doctrine, saying ‘I’m preaching at so-and-so church this Sunday morning,’ kind of like ‘nah-nah-nah boo-boo, what are you going to do about it?’ This is a serious issue. Southern Baptists from all ages have held that the scriptures are unequivocally clear here, that women do not hold the office of preaching or pastoring the church. Women do not exercise authority by preaching the word in the congregational meetings of the church. Now we have key, prominent Southern Baptist leaders who are accommodating and blessing this. You want me to tell you why? Because she has a million followers online. She has a huge influence. And the great idol of Southern Baptist life is pragmatism — it’s working, it brings in the money, so hands off. We died to that idol a long time ago.”