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Beloved Bible teacher and best selling author, Beth Moore, joins Be the Bridge founder and podcast host, Latasha Morrison, once again on the podcast. They discuss her new memoir: All My Knotted Up Life and some of the stories she shares in it of growing up in racialized settings in Arkansas and Texas. They lament how we find ourselves in a time of being unable to reason together and of people looking away from injustice.
Latasha and Beth agree on the need to know definitions in the language surrounding racial justice, that it is good and right to always be learning, and that remembering is a sacred act. They laugh together and share wisdom together. Beth is living proof of humble leadership and dedicated companionship.
All My Knotted Up Life: A Memoir by Beth Moore
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Host & Executive Producer – Latasha Morrison
Senior Producer – Lauren C. Brown
Producer, Editor, & Music – Travon Potts at Integrated Entertainment Studios
Transcriber – Sarah Connatser
Not all views expressed in this interview reflect the values and beliefs of Latasha Morrison or the Be the Bridge organization.
The full episode transcript is below.
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Beth Moore delivers a compelling self portrait.
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We’ve got a Beth Moore spotting.
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For nearly three decades Christian teacher Beth Moore has traveled the world and…
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Her life took a turn after she criticized former president Donald Trump resulting in her leaving the Southern Baptist denomination.
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You are listening to the Be the Bridge Podcast with Latasha Morrison.
Latasha Morrison 0:28
[intro] How are you guys doing today? It’s exciting!
Each week, Be the Bridge Podcast tackles subjects related to race and culture with the goal of bringing understanding.
Latasha Morrison 0:39
[intro] …but I’m gonna do it in the spirit of love.
We believe understanding can move us toward racial healing, racial equity, and racial unity. Latasha Morrison is the founder of Be the Bridge, which is an organization responding to racial brokenness and systemic injustice in our world. This podcast is an extension of our vision to make sure people are no longer conditioned by a racialized society but grounded in truth. If you have not hit the subscribe button, please do so now. Without further ado, let’s begin today’s podcast. Oh, and stick around for some important information at the end.
Latasha Morrison 1:17
Be the Bridge community, it is my pleasure to bring back to the mic the lovely, the beautiful, one of the best communicators that I know, one of the best Bible teachers that I know, Mrs. Beth Moore. She is a New York Times bestselling author (for those of you who don’t know – I don’t know what rock you’ve been under, but just in case you don’t). She is a teacher whose conferences take her across the globe. Beth founded Living Proof Ministries in 1994 with the purpose of encouraging women to know and love Jesus through the study of Scripture. She has written numerous best selling books and Bible studies including So Long Insecurity, Chasing Vines (one of my favorites), Breaking Free, and Now that Faith has Come, as well as the novel The Undoing of Saint Silvanus. In addition to her conferences, Beth can be seen teaching Bible studies at Living Proof with Beth Moore on the Trinity Broadcasting Network. She and her husband of 44 years live in Houston, Texas. She is a dedicated wife, the mother of two adults daughters, and the grandmother of three delightful grandchildren. And she is an active church member and a dog lover to the death. We have that in common. I never thought I would become a dog lover, but I am a dog lover along with you. And I know you’ve had some sad occasions to happen with your dogs here lately. I heard about it on the Twittersphere. You know, that’s where we get all our news.
Beth Moore 3:05
Yes, we do. (laughter) Tasha I could not be happier to be here with you today. I have looked forward to this ever since the first moment I was told that this was going to work out. Girl, you look fantastic. I love everything, I love everything you’ve got going on there. I love the braids.
Latasha Morrison 3:28
Yes, and I had to, I have braids. I love braids because I don’t like doing my hair. I really don’t. It’s just like one less thing I have to think about when I have braids. And so I am going to keep them for a little bit longer. (laughter)
Beth Moore 3:44
I do not blame you. You look marvelous. And thank you for having me on. I thought when you were talking about my bio, I thought to myself, that there are some words that I would interject to that and one of them will be, “a very big mess,” (laughter) and, “our guest today has been a train wreck in 1000 different ways.” That’s the truth.
Latasha Morrison 4:06
Aren’t we all? Aren’t we all?
Beth Moore 4:08
I have to bring this to the mix today. Yes.
Latasha Morrison 4:10
I know, aren’t we all. It’s so awkward when someone’s reading your bio. And then, you know, there was like a couple of words I stumbled on here. But you know, I’m so excited to really talk about this new book that you have. And it’s called: All My Knotted Up Life. And this is like your first memoir. And it just released on February 21. I have my copy! And this is just something that you haven’t done before. What made you decide to write this particular book?
Beth Moore 4:53
I think, Tasha, that it is for one thing just from a very basic and practical perspective, I think that I’m at that age, that classic age, I’m 65 1/2 years old. And it is that time of life…you know, they’re very significant birthdays, 16, 18 21, there’s 40, then there’s 65. And it’s just that time when you know, and this is without being in any way morbid, but you know that most of your life is behind you and most of your vocation certainly is. It’s the age that we think of as the age of retirement, even if we still are planning to work for whatever length of time the Lord gives us. I’m still in it. But I am open-eyed enough to know that most of my work life is behind me. And so I think it’s a natural thing to do. And then for a writer then the way to process that, as you look back over your shoulder and kind of try to make sense of it…and I think that as much as anything, too, I’ve always been one who journaled and jotted things down, but that need to look back at it and try to make some sense of it. So there’s that very natural thing that comes at my age. Then as a writer, then, of course, the way you would process it is in words. And then I think also, because there have been some things that I have held back that I have wondered, and my husband and I have wondered together, “Could they be helpful?” But they really could not be shared much before now. Because my parents generation needed to be well past and not bring any kind of dishonor or just scandal to their peer group and their cousins and siblings and all of that kind of thing, just to let time pass and also let time pass on some of our own healing. But that really is it. It just seemed like, “Girl, if you’re gonna do it, now is when you do it.” I wanted, Tasha, to still be able to feel it – to be far enough from it to be able to look in some overview, but close enough to it before all of it becomes sentimentality and loses the actual blade, that sense of that blade that comes with that wound.
Latasha Morrison 7:33
Wow, I know it’s going to help so many people. I really love listening to memoirs in general because…I just listened to, I think it was one with Viola Davis that was like incredible. Oh my goodness.
Beth Moore 7:50
I’m just listening to it now. Girl. I have about four more hours of it.
Latasha Morrison 7:54
Oh really? It’s so good. And just to see her life now. And you know, and to look what she’s been through. I was looking at an interview with her and Oprah. And Oprah said, “Girl,” she said, “I was poor. But she was ‘po.” And I was like, oh my goodness. (laughter) But there’s so much to it, you know, but it was encouraging and it’s also inspiring. And I know that that’s what people are going to get from your heart that you poured into that. There’s someone going through some of the similar things that you talked about. And you know, maybe you’re on the other side of that or still going through, still processing, still healing, but they can look and see what God has done and so I know that’s an inspiration. And I’m glad that you’re wrapping up your interviews; I know you’ve been on a whirlwind. I’m so glad you’re wrapping it up with us, with Be the Bridge!
Beth Moore 8:57
I’m so so happy to be here. And I love when I know that it’s going to be someone like you that’s going to fully enter in. And I have to loop back to Viola Davis because one of the things I love about it, I’m with you I love memoir, and one of the things I love about hers is that she’s reading it herself.
Latasha Morrison 9:18
Beth Moore 9:18
So you are fully leaned in. And when we talked about it with All My Knotted up Life we were like when the publisher said, “You know Beth, you know you’re gonna have to be the one to read it?” I said, “Listen, I have to be because nobody else can quote my grandmother’s vernacular. I’m not about to hand my Arkansas accent over to anyone else to quote my mother and my grandmother and my grandfather. No, I’m not going to do it.” So I have enjoyed talking it through because I think there is so much value, if you are a person of faith which we are are, in looking back and realizing it’s very easy for us to remember all the bad things that happened to us. But when we are people of faith, to go back and look and see what I knew when it was over, Tasha, was that I knew I could say that goodness and mercy had followed me all my life. I knew it. And in all of the upheaval, and if I guess if…I was asked yesterday, “What word would you use to describe the whole thing?” Tumultuous. That it’s just been, the whole thing of it, the whole 65 years of it. I could have already written another chapter since then. Latasha, of all things while I’m out there talking about the book just being released, my brother, who I talk about in the book.
Latasha Morrison 10:55
I know, I know.
Beth Moore 10:57
Drops dead. And I am left grieving at the same time as I’m getting to talk about the release of this book.
Latasha Morrison 11:09
But then it’s like, it’s like this beauty, but these ashes. I always tell myself, “Okay, timeout timeout.” I have a friend that just went through some loss and in the midst of the loss, then there’s some health challenges that she’s walking through. And it’s just like, “Enough.” You know? And so we know that beauty is going to come from the ashes, but the ashes are just so hot at times. And just, you know, just having walked through, I know, your brother, you’re close to your siblings, but just being able to…I don’t know if your brother got a chance to read this book before he passed, but I know that he’s extremely proud of you for telling your story. And I know, like in the book, you only tell your story from this. And I love how you you give this intro in the book that, you know, “I’m gonna do my Arkansas accent and then I’m gonna do my Texas accent.” (laughter) I was like, “I don’t know the difference.” And then I was like, “Oh yeah, there is a difference.” (laughter)
Beth Moore 12:51
Because let me tell you, I couldn’t have been true to it. I thought, okay, this is going to be a lot. And for some people, it’s going to be too much. It’s going to be too much. And so they’re going to need to stick with the actual written version, and not go with this version. But I wanted to tell people from the beginning, “Listen, if you find this unbearable, please know that it’s going to shift from my Arkansan accent into my Texan accent.” But whether or not it’s getting better, is up for everybody’s own judgment. (laughter) So it was, oh my goodness, but I couldn’t be true to it without talking the way that we talked. How do I quote that with a sophistacted voice? (laughter)
Latasha Morrison 13:33
You can’t. You have to do it in that voice. But that allows the reader to enter in. And it also helps you to visualize. I’m very visual. And so as I’m listening, I’m actually visualizing characters and people and all of these things as you describe them. And so I think that’s really important. The last time you were on the podcast, you were on episode 208. And we talked about blind spots, repentence, the journey of speaking out on politics and culture. We share this podcast a lot, even listen, to the point where…let me tell you, Beth, I have people contact me and it’s like where they’re trying to get in contact with you. I’m like, “I just interviewed her on the podcast!” (laughter) But people think you’re my aunt. And they know I can just call my Aunt Beth and say, “Such and such is trying to get in contact with you.” (laughter) But that means we came across like so well. I really don’t meet a stranger and we’ve met in person a couple of times. But you know how you have people in your life, even from afar, that you just have kindred spirits with and you just feel like you know them. And that’s how I feel.
Beth Moore 15:11
Me too. I tell my daughter, Amanda, she was asking me what was on the docket for today. And when I told her I was gonna get to talk to you, oh, she was so happy. And I said, “Oh, I just can’t wait.”
Latasha Morrison 15:22
I love Amanda.
Beth Moore 15:23
Because we love you so much and admire you. I could talk to you for hours. In fact, Tasha, do you remember? I mean, honestly, we could not bring that podcast to an end. (laughter) I don’t know how long it was that we went over our time on that one.
Latasha Morrison 15:41
It was about two hours long. (laughter)
Beth Moore 15:42
I could not be more pleased to come back around with you. One of the things that I just love, I think about, I’ve done some of this in my scripture memory out of Philippians chapter three. And so I think about it as I was going over my memory work this morning, and it says, you know, it talks about that I may be found in Christ. And one of the things I just love, Latasha, after all we’re going through as a culture and a society and as a church and as a nation, all the things that are happening, all the crises, and the division, what a beautiful thing to circle back around to someone we’ve not talked to face to face in a couple of years and go, “Are you still hanging in there in Jesus?” “Yes.” “Are you?” “Yes.” We may bear scars and bruises, but listen, we’re still here. We’re still here.
Latasha Morrison 16:49
Yeah. And that, you know, I just interviewed Tracey Michelle Giggetts and she wrote this book called Black Joy. And she talked about joy as our birthright, joy as a part of our birthright and it’s like this resistance against oppression and suffering that comes just with life, just living and breathing that comes. And even in trauma we have to laugh. And I know this even about my culture, like we can take just our sorrow, our lament, our sadness, and we turn it into blues music or gospel music. You know what I’m saying? It just really brings about that Scripture, “The joy of the Lord is your strength.” And how do you, and I think this is what I feel there’s so much joy even when I hear you, when I hear you speak, how do you laugh and cling to joy in the midst of everything that’s going on?
Beth Moore 17:55
Really the only way to do it is that somehow we have to be hanging on to Christ, the person of Christ, more than the whole concept of Christianity. That it is this person and not just this place or position, but This person of Christ. To be convinced into the marrow of our bones that he is Savior and Redeemer and Rescuer. That he is not like human flesh and blood. That he is incapable of lying. He’s incapable of perversely dealing with us. In him is no darkness at all. I think that it all is there. And I think also, Latasha, the gifts of the Black church to evangelicalism cannot even be estimated. One of the gifts of it is that because there is lament, there can also be joy.
Latasha Morrison 19:14
Beth Moore 19:15
If we don’t lament, if we don’t feel like we can cry out of our hardship, this is something that you teach is that we do get to mourn and mourn soulfully and with our whole person, and it is that that then leads us back over and over to joy. It’s not ever going to be denial. It’s always going to be that we’re going to lament our way back around. That we had the opportunity in a culture that for whatever reason, and to whatever degree and they’re such varying degrees, have put their hand over our mouths, it is a way to say, “I get to open my mouth to my God, to my very faithful God, who indeed, has supplied me through His written word, words with which to complain.” And I’m going to tell you something. Tasha, it doesn’t get more mind blowing than that. That literally is it. He said, “You’re going to really need these. I’m going to make sure that in this hymn book I give you that I’m going to give you a way; and I’m going to give you the prophets; I’m going to give you the Lamentations; I’m going to give you a way; I’m going to give you those songs in the night; I’m going to give you a way to express your complaint, your lament, and to also be able to proclaim the faith of a God of resurrection.” It’s just as often as anyone will hear me say it, I will say to the death, I’m a Christian because of Christ.
Latasha Morrison 21:05
Beth Moore 21:07
He is what I love about Christianity.
Latasha Morrison 21:09
Yeah. And there’s so much power in collective lament. And that’s something that we don’t do well as a part of the Kingdom of God, but even as a country. I can recount like, for me personally, when I think about this collective lament that moved us…cause lament should move us toward something. So there’s some sorrow that you can have, that’s different, but lament is like a petition to God.
Beth Moore 21:43
Latasha Morrison 21:43
And so, to me, like, I can’t recall like a time as a country where we like lamented that moved us toward toward good. You know? In that sense? And I was just kind of rethinking, because at first I was thinking, oh, was it after 9/11? And then I was like, but I don’t think that moved us toward good. There was fear, there was sorrow, but I think we maybe grasped more toward fear in our response towards it. And I was just trying to think back. In chapter…Beth, first of all, I did not know you were 65 and a half. I love how you put the half in there. Because I’m like, you know, after a certain age you kind of stop doing the half. (laughter)
Beth Moore 22:34
Well in just a couple of months I’m turning 66. So I think to myself, “When will they air this? And would I have actually been 66?” But let me tell you something, Tasha, I put in every minute of this. I feel it in my bones. I feel it to my bones. And so I intend to own it.
Latasha Morrison 22:57
You gonna own it. You’re encouraging me. Because I am also a half. But I never put half. I am 49 and a half. But I said it, I said it. Okay? But I always say 49. (laughter)
Beth Moore 23:11
49 and a half.
Latasha Morrison 23:14
Yes, in a couple of months. Is your birthday in June?
Beth Moore 23:18
Yes! Is yours?
Latasha Morrison 23:20
Mine is in June also.
Beth Moore 23:21
Latasha Morrison 23:22
Yes. June 23rd.
Beth Moore 23:24
June the 16th.
Latasha Morrison 23:26
Beth Moore 23:27
I love that. I love that.
Latasha Morrison 23:32
I love it. Okay, we got to talk, we could talk all day. This could be another two hour podcast. But in chapter three when you’re talking about the theater, and this story stuck out to me, and I will tell you why. You make note that white people were welcome to take the official entrance and sit downstairs. And because you’re growing up in Arkansas, so I’m thinking that’s what was relative to your age. My mom is 69 and a half and so just hearing, you know, her stories and my great aunt’s stories of growing up in Robeson County in North Carolina, you say that the Black people could come in a separate door and go up to the balcony. And this is the very story that my mom told me that they would sit in the balcony. And to me I was saying, “Why would anyone want you to sit in the balcony as a way of oppression when you’re above them?”
Beth Moore 24:33
Latasha Morrison 24:35
And so my mom told me all the things that they used to do, like when they were kids, like throw popcorn down there. Just like all the things that they would do. (laughter) And so they grew up in Robeson County. And in Robeson County there’s a large Indigenous population. But that was also segregated. So it wasn’t just Black and white was segregated, but the Indigenous population were segregated. So the Indigenous community had to sit upstairs with the Black people. But they had to sit on separate sides.
Beth Moore 25:13
Latasha Morrison 25:13
And it was the same way on the bus. So you had to sit in the back of the bus. And so the Indigenous community sat on one side, and the Black people said on the other side. And schools were the same way. It was a white school, a Black school and Indigenous school. And I was like, but you know, it wasn’t until I start doing this work, that they really start talking about these things. And now like, I just can’t get them to stop. Like every time I talk to my great aunt she tells me a story. But in your book you said, “10 years had passed since the Supreme Court declared segregation in public schools to be unconstitutional. But Arkansas, generally speaking, was a bit slow footed. The molasses at the ankles thickened considerably. Several years after the ruling when in 1957, the governor summoned the Arkansas National Guard to block Black students from the doors of Little Rock’s Central High on the first day of school. And I was like, “Oh, my goodness, like you remember that?”
Beth Moore 26:18
Oh. Oh, yes. This is the climate I was born into. So I was born in 1957. Arkadelphia was our hometown. Now I was born in Green Bay, Wisconsin, because we were Army and my dad was stationed there for a little while. But then we came right back home. But this was where our aunts and uncles, our grandparents were, all of our cousins were, very much rooted deeply in Arkansas. So this was the whole climate. And the reason why I’m glad that you’re bringing this up, especially in reference to the theater, is because understand this was during my lifetime. When we want to believe this was so long ago, oh, oh, no, no. I’m not, my appendages aren’t cold and in the grave yet.
Latasha Morrison 26:18
Beth Moore 26:21
This is very much a world that I remember well. And I remember the riots. I remember one in our high school. I remember the stress level even between the generations. I remember so well. Because here we are going to school and trying to live in what is becoming the normalcy of what a classroom looks like, with our parents, grandparents, uncles, and aunts, the generation before us all just like having a breakdown over it. And so, I’m not painting us as any better. I’m saying we were trying, this was our reality, and yet, we were constantly being pumped with fear and with a stereotypical way to look at the fact that this was harm against us. It was just, it’s nuts to think about because it was a very short time ago. Very.
Latasha Morrison 28:19
it sounds very familiar to things that are happening now with the fear. When I think about, a lot of people when they think about Little Rock, you know, when they think about our Arkansas, we think about Ruby Bridges. Some people say little Ruby Bridges, but little Ruby Bridges is just a few years older than you.
Beth Moore 28:43
Latasha Morrison 28:44
She’s alive and well. And I was just hearing in the news yesterday that a movie about her life, you know, so her memoir about her life is being banned. And I’m like, this is someone who is actually alive. So it’s like, you’re almost like, re traumatizing her. It’s like, you’re almost like…
Beth Moore 29:14
Latasha Morrison 29:14
I mean, she’s hearing this. Because one thing about our stories we want, you know, like I just said, you know, there’s a lot of hard things that you have to write in telling your story. But the process what we’re looking at, not even just focusing on the hard things, but focusing on the healing, the freedom that comes from that truth that you’re telling. And when you take that away, when you take that truth away. Just imagine if we couldn’t tell the story of the Revolutionary War. You know?
Beth Moore 29:49
I know. It’s incomprehensible. One of the things that is so characteristic of our time is that the when there is something that is disliked, something that is picked out to be what this group or that group feels like is detrimental or dangerous, when this whole entire it becomes then everything is lumped into one thing and all of it. So, it’s like we have ceased being able to reason. And I don’t, I can’t comprehend it. I was even thinking yesterday, I kept thinking of that verse in Isaiah chapter one, “Come, let us reason together.”
Latasha Morrison 30:42
Beth Moore 30:42
Why is it that we seem to have lost the capacity to reason together? One of the things that I think is so important for us to understand is that when we look at history, and the way it is playing out in real time, in the age in which our generation is living it, you have to understand that we don’t just go forward like we just continue to make progress. There are things that can throw us back in time. And I felt like, I’m going to say in the years 2012, 13, 14, 15 coming up to 16 and from where I sat, from my perspective, and not a lot of people are going to share it. But from where I was sitting, what I felt like I saw happening was that for people of color, and then for women, it was like we were being thrown back into the 60s. Of course, there were things that never ever equalized.
Latasha Morrison 32:04
Beth, repeat what you just said because you froze a little bit.
Beth Moore 32:08
Latasha Morrison 32:08
Just repeat that last sentence.
Beth Moore 32:08
I felt like what we were watching starting around 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 I’m talking the way rhetoric got, the way we began to sound publicly, and saw the biggest names of all that had the airways the way we were treating one another, all the things that were happening, I felt like it was a swing back in time. That it was not just that it was going to pause the gains that we were making, it was that we were going to lose some of the progress had been made. That we literally went back. And to me it had sounds and senses of the 60s. And I had lived in them and felt them, young in them, yes. But very much this was the climate. And it was like, “No, no. We haven’t just pushed pause. We have put the gear, in my opinion, in reverse.”
Beth Moore 0:00
It wasn’t just paused. We have put the gear, in my opinion, in reverse.
Latasha Morrison 0:07
Yeah, yeah. And we’re seeing that. And I know, a lot of us are looking and you described as you tell that story in your book, how when when you were in the lobby of the theater and how your eyes met with some of the Black children and you didn’t know what to do so you just looked away.
Beth Moore 0:30
Latasha Morrison 0:31
And that’s what, I mean that was so profound. And I know that sharing this story is so important, but it was so important for me to hear you share this story. Because I think that also feels like that’s what people are doing now when things are happening. And some of it is because, like you said, you didn’t know what to do so you looked away. And the reason why we exist as an organization is so that people know what to do, so they don’t look away.
Beth Moore 1:06
Latasha Morrison 1:06
Why was sharing this story and this moment so important for you?
Beth Moore 1:13
Well, for one thing, what I was attempting to do, what makes a memoir so different from an autobiography, I wasn’t looking just to document time and experience regardless of what kind of importance it had in the larger scale of things. I was going after, say, 10 to a dozen of the most shaping events in my life. That you would say that, “Okay, what is it that makes Tasha Tasha by the time you are the one who is sitting in front of me right now at 49 and a half years old? What is it that has made you you?” And so it’s this, of course, this course of both the beautiful and the very brutal and the the experiences that were very positive to us and those that just tore us apart. But, you know, being raised in Arkansas during that era there…to leave that out. And, you know, I was going into it with some amount of trepidation, because I thought I want to be true to my upbringing without doing more harm than good. But I want to try to say that this is how it was. And one of the points that I was trying to make, and I want to say it in our time together, since you have brought this subject to the forefront. I knew even as a child, there are some things that we still know, are wrong. But for instance, I come from abuse, and when my father assaulted me, I knew. I had never been taught anything about sexuality. I mean, I’m still waiting for my mother to have the talk with me. No one ever had the talk with me. But did I know what he was doing to me was wrong? Absolutely. I not only knew it was wrong, Tasha, I knew it was evil. And so I want to put this back over here, because I knew. I knew. So did my brothers and sisters. Any one of them will say it. Even as much prejudice as we may have carried with us and all the things that were part of the way we thought and the way we talked as heinous as it was, still there, we knew that our grandmother had, the way she thought and the way she talked, we knew it was wrong. I just refuse to believe when we just say, “Well, you know, I was a victim of my culture.” We can take that to some extent. But we have been given a conscience. You would know, I want to take this back much further to the time of chattel slavery. I want to say, you would know not to treat an animal the way that these people treated other people. It doesn’t take,” Well, it was part of our society.” No, no, no, you don’t get to do that.
Latasha Morrison 4:24
Yeah. You don’t. Yeah.
Beth Moore 4:25
You still know. You still know when you see someone abused like that, that what is happening, you may not be able to define it, but you know, it is evil. And you know it is a dark, dark, dark sickness that is coming from something, well, that we believe to be demonic.
Latasha Morrison 4:46
Yeah. And that’s the only way to describe it. You know, because these are human beings that have feelings and display emotion, that displayed pain, that displayed anguish and hurt. No matter how you try to scientifically erase that. We know that people resisted. We know that people, you know, one of the first things you hear about when at the end of enslavement is people trying to find their relatives, their family. You know? And so, it’s kind of surreal, you know, hearing you talk about that saying like, you knew. Because I think what happens is, you become indoctrinated into it, you become assimilated into that way of thinking.
Beth Moore 5:38
Latasha Morrison 5:38
But, you know, but even with the Word of God, you know. I was just listening to you. I think it was, I don’t know if I was listening to you on a podcast or something, or reading something, but you were talking about a pastor that read Philippians two. And then when you described this, I was like, “Oh, my God, I know, someone else, I saw it even on Instagram.” Someone posted a scripture from Ezekiel and someone called them, “You’re posting woke liberalism.” And I was like, “What?! It’s in Ezekiel. It’s in the scripture.” (laughter)
Beth Moore 6:22
And so our listeners or viewers know, this is the part in Philippians we’re it just opens up at the very beginning of Philippians chapter two, which is put others’ interests in front of your own, take on the attitude, adopt the same attitude of that of Christ Jesus. I mean, this is our actual calling, as we are hoping to reflect the life and the values of Christ. And people going like, oh, I mean, just panicking. That pastor had criticisms for his woke theology by the time he got home from church. And it’s like, okay, folk, we’re gonna need to know the Scriptures. We’re going to need to know the scriptures.
Latasha Morrison 7:06
So in classification, the Bible, I mean, because if you think about Isaiah, if you think about Paul, you think about Jesus, they are some of the most woke people, if that’s…and let’s go back to not the definition what the world is trying to define woke as, but the definition of awareness, being aware of oppression or sin. We should all be woke and aware of those things, so that we do not repeat those mistakes or do not stumble into those things. And so I think that’s, but we’ve kind of distorted it. The enemy is just the king of confusion. And that’s what you have where people, all of this rhetoric, where people are just really confused.
Beth Moore 8:02
Yes. And redefining it according to your own.
Latasha Morrison 8:05
Beth Moore 8:05
I mean, everybody’s become their own Webster’s; we’re imposing this according to our definition of it. Or something that is also happening is that we’re leaving no definition whatsoever. And one of the things that I have really asked for, and I know a lot of people have asked for it way before me and far better than I have. But one of the things I’ve struggled for is that we need some definitions to some of these things that we’re using. I remember, a couple of years ago, if it’s been that long, when the seminary presidents of the SBC came together on a statement about CRT. And I simply asked, “Could could you define what is and isn’t?” Because do you see what can happen here? Is that if churches misunderstand this, that they decide that when their pastor rightly speaks against racism and injustice, which could not possibly be more biblical, then they are immediately. If you don’t give some definition, they’re immediately called by their congregation as teaching something that they’re not. Can you just define it? And to me, this is one of the very, very tragic mistakes of our current evangelical climate is this, “We’re gonna throw everything into these categories. And we don’t know, we don’t even know what the other one is considering to be the definition.” And I will say, as we look at this…I think to myself of Ephesians chapter five, where he does tell us, “Awake o sleepers and rise from the dead and Christ will shine on you. Look carefully then so you walk not as unwise, but as wise making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.” We are called to be. And I’m thinking also of Paul in First Thessalonians that we are to be people who are not asleep during times of evil and injustice and wrongdoing, but that that we are sober and alert of what’s happening.
Latasha Morrison 10:42
Yeah, yeah. And I mean, just the things that we’re talking about, we know that it’s counter to just the message of Jesus. And so when you put that, overlay that…I mean, I read scripture, and I’m like, “Oh, my goodness. You could not be reading the Bible and coming up with these outcomes.” You know? Because, you know, like you said, the dangers of that, what that has become now is history, and just Black history in essence, where that equates to woke-ism. And that’s just like, it’s a travesty. Because this is our history and also our lived history. And, just your experiences, where you are talking about in the movie theater, those are the experiences of my mom, those are the experiences of my great aunt who were up in the balcony, who looked and who witnessed these conversations or witnessed the rock throwing. My mom to this day, she doesn’t like, she’s never really liked Halloween. But she doesn’t like it she said, because they would get tormented on Halloween with rocks and eggs thrown at them when you were out. She just recount these things. These are a part of our memories. And we want to excavate those memories. And we want to be able to heal from them. But a part of that, you know, a part of your recalling even in your book is a form of healing and to also see where God has brought you from. And we see that in scripture, that we’re to recall. We’re in Lent right now. We’re about to celebrate resurrection. That is all about recalling. It’s all about rememberence.
Beth Moore 12:44
Remembrance. Remember what happened. Remember what the Lord has brought you through. Remember, remember, remember. How in the world? Listen, the reason why I don’t play around with some things, and why I don’t live in the gray in some areas of my life and haven’t for a number of years is because I remember well when I gave over in seasons of my life to that kind of temptation, or that kind of stronghold of sin. I remember well. I mean, all the Lord has to do is just suggest to me by way of His Spirit in my heart, “Do you really want to go there again?” No, sir. I do not. I can’t think of anything I’d rather not do then go there again. Because I remember. I remember what it cost. I remember how painful it was. I remember those days when I was so caught in sin and I don’t want to go there again. And if we have no way, if we refuse to remember, then how when we see signs of something cycling, when we see signs of something that, “Wait a second, wait a second.” This is the way this started. This mentality that we are practicing has bore extremely poor fruit. I mean, isn’t that everything?
Latasha Morrison 14:14
Beth Moore 14:14
That we’re supposed to look at what is it that bears good fruit? What is it that…if we have no memory of, if we refuse to look at it, how then can we even look and go that that’s not going to be fruitful? That is only going to bring rotten fruit and over and over again. And so that can’t be, I don’t…it’s insanity. It’s insanity to think that that’s going to be the answer is that we just don’t talk about it at all.
Latasha Morrison 14:45
Yeah. Yeah. And you know, but if you know anything about the history of my people, that’s not going to cut it. (laughter) You know, it’s like I just feel like we are in the midst of another civil rights movement. You know, and we have to, but I think that what’s going to be different about this one that is going to look very diverse. Just like we saw in the summer of 2020. Because when you know better, you should do better. And I think there’s just a lot of good people out there. We have more books about these issues than we’ve ever had before. I mean, brilliant books, you know, that I know, even you’ve learned from Esau McCaulley, of Jemar…
Beth Moore 15:39
Latasha Morrison 15:38
…(laughter) Christina. Be the Bridge, we’re here. And what I tell my community is that we’re gonna be here when it’s trending and when it’s in the spotlight. And when it’s not, when it’s not popular, when people are resisting and when people are rejecting or they don’t no longer want to associate. But it is hard. And so, we have to keep our hope through this. But one of the things you prayed…one of the things you talked about your prayer, and then, you know, this resonated with me, when I was listening to it. You said about some of your, you talked about your husband’s suffering. You put it all out there. This is the thing, because we live in a world that carries so much shame, you know, and when someone is able to freely talk about things, like, truth really sets you free. So when people say, “Oh, my God. Beth went through this, she was going through this.” And then when you think about everything else that was going on in your life while you were going through this, it’s an encouragement to say I’m not alone in this. And you were saying, “How long O Lord? Does God care that he’s never had a day off from his pain?” And we say so many are with you in that prayer when we think about, you know, the school shootings that just happened. Like I think people are just saying, “How long O Lord?” We’re coming fresh out of, as we’re recording this, just Nashville and six souls lost, the things with police brutality, like time and time again, it’s like a cycle. And we know that people, there are things that can be done. But there’s a refusal. You know? And this really impacts when we start thinking about the systemic racism, gun violence, it’s like, the thing I know, just even part of our prayer and part of our lament is, “God, how long?”
How long, Lord? When will lives be more important than sides?
Beth Moore 18:09
It’s so heartbreaking, because it’s like we’re in such a divisive time, that we’re not even listening. Again, Isaiah one, “Come, let us reason together.” Are there not reasonable people on both sides of the aisle that help bring about legislation, that can put their heads together and go for the people, for the children, for our country, and not just our party? Where are these people? And it’s so heartbreaking, it’s so demoralizing that if we did not know that the Lord had every determination to deal with it, we would be beside, it would be, these would be unlivable lives. And it’s very demoralizing to just keep saying over and over again, “What is this going to take?” “How long? How long, how long, how long, how long?” And to not lose heart in prayer or love or deed. That we must continue to pray and to hope and to act.
Latasha Morrison 19:33
But unless you understand I think it gives…sometimes I find encouragement in Scripture through when the things that you’re dealing with and you’re like, “What? What is happening?” You feel like sometimes you’re at an out of body experience.
Beth Moore 19:49
Latasha Morrison 19:49
Like do people really think like this? And to me it’s one thing for the secular world to think one way, I could deal with that.
Beth Moore 19:56
Latasha Morrison 19:57
But when it’s coming from the body of Christ influencing it and holding it up as a banner and actually being complicit with it as like historically, that’s when it really becomes this. You brought up Isaiah and you know Isaiah as it goes down I feel like we’re in this time where it says, “When you come to appear before me, who has required of you the trembling of your courts.” And then you jump down and it says, “I cannot endure iniquity and solemn assembly. Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hates. It has become a burden to me. I’m weary of bearing them. When you spread out your hands I will hide my eyes from you. Even though you make many prayers, I will not listen.”
Beth Moore 20:49
That’s right. Yes.
Latasha Morrison 20:50
“Your hands are full of blood. Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean. Remove the evil deeds from before my eyes. Cease to do evil, learn to do good. Seek justice.”
Beth Moore 21:03
Latasha Morrison 21:03
“Correct oppression, bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.” And then your scripture that you referred to, “‘Come now let us reason together,’ says the Lord.”
Beth Moore 21:17
Latasha Morrison 21:18
And I think, like a beck and call, those who are listening to this podcast, you know, I think part of my heart’s cry would be, “Come now let us reason together, says the Lord.”
Beth Moore 21:38
Latasha Morrison 21:39
You don’t want to repeat the mistakes.
Beth Moore 21:41
Latasha Morrison 21:42
We don’t want to, you know, like you doing your personal work, the Lord doing a work in you is causing you not to re-traumatize the generations after you.
Beth Moore 21:58
Latasha Morrison 21:58
Because we’ve seen so many times where abuse happens, and this is perpetuated in some other form of abuse. And we see people living that out. But I am with you, come let us reason together.
Beth Moore 22:14
It’s such an eye opening thing to go back and read the major and the minor prophets. Because even them speaking to that time, what they do for us (and one reason they’re of such value for us to study and for us to see and for us to hear sermons about and have Bible studies through) is because they tell us explicitly and often poetically and thematically in ways that are shocking how God feels about certain things. And some of the things that he is speaking to through the prophets in that time, 400 and 500 and 600 years before the coming of Christ, the things he’s speaking into are also so characteristic of our day. And one of the things that he’s saying there, I’m so with you because boy it is not just in Isaiah. It is in several of the prophets where he’s saying, “Don’t burden yourself bringing me all your worship paraphernalia and all your sacrifices and coming here and speaking all of these things and fasting and throwing yourself in sackcloth and all that, because I have watched how you have treated others all week long. And I’m going to tell you save it. Because I don’t believe it, and I don’t receive it.” It does matter. And these are, what I’ve found, because I’ve been in them just neck deep. Melissa and I both studying the Old Testament prophets here recently.
Latasha Morrison 22:13
Beth Moore 23:50
And it’s so eye opening how much he is speaking into things that…he is stepping on everybody’s toes. You don’t have to worry that God’s just like taking this side or he’s taking that side. He’s just taking over. And he is saying, “I object to your injustices. I object to your sexual immoralities. I object to your hypocrisy.” So it’s like, listen, he doesn’t have his favorites. He’s saying, “Every way you do your neighbor wrongly is an offense to me and is in need of repentance. And oh my goodness, it’s serious. It’s serious.
Latasha Morrison 24:43
And I think that is my prayer. Because I believe that all work starts with yourself. You know? And you give out of that. And I think that is like coming in to this new year I was like, “God, we need repentance.” Like, you know, it’s just like a burden of repentance. And you were saying that you were doing a study on the Minor Prophets, and you also talked about you were reading Habakkuk.
Beth Moore 25:26
Latasha Morrison 25:28
And the difference between in the Minor Prophets how they’re addressing a group. But you know, Habakkuk is not.
Beth Moore 25:39
He’s addressing God.
Latasha Morrison 25:41
Beth Moore 25:42
And he’s saying to him, “Why, do I still have to see all this? Why does this all still happen? And we’re still here, and we still don’t see anything of a solution to it.” And it’s so profound, because I think only God could be secure enough in his godness, in his holiness, in his goodness, and in his light, and in His love and his perfections that he could say, “Listen, I will give you the verbiage to use. Here’s how you do this.” I don’t think any of us will walk for very long and many years in a journey of faith and not come to places like Abraham, who says carefully and reverentially in Genesis chapter 18 and then leading into 19, “Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?” That to come to that point where we say to the Lord, “Lord, will you see to what is right here?” And to believe that he will. And to know that we are called, we are still called to teach and proclaim and preach truth whether or not it changes anything. And I know that’s hard for people to understand. But we don’t get to measure our acts of obedience according to how well received we are. We just continue in our obedience; we continue in what God has called us to do; we continue to proclaim what we believe to the best of our understanding with the Holy Spirit within us to be truth. That we stand on it with everything we’ve got, no matter what the reaction is to it. And that will be faithfulness. I think all the time, Latasha, we have so little control over so much. But we have control over one thing, and that is whether or not you, whether or not I am going to be faithful to the Lord. That we each…am I going to pursue faithfulness to the Lord as well as I understand it? I can’t control anything else. I can’t control anybody else’s response to him. But am I going to be faithful to him? Am I going to be prayerful, mindful, and respond not only in Word but in deed?
Latasha Morrison 28:23
Yeah. And I’ve seen you walk that out just in the chaos of life and the things that has happened with you departing from the SBC and just how you’ve really walked that out. And I know, it’s been an encouragement, but I know the fire that I’ve seen, the brutal stones that are thrown or I guess you would say the Twitter stones that have been thrown in that way. But like, how you take that. And I know it hurts. But you respond back out of the love of Christ. And I love sometimes when you respond back with a little bit of petty. (laughter) With a little bit of petty. With a little bit of shade. (laughter)
Beth Moore 29:20
Sometimes the feeling of the Spirit wears thin on us at times and we just, you know. Oh, man, I have a good friend and he says, you know, “Beth just try to text it to me before you tweet it. Try to get it out of your system on me.” And sometimes I can do that better than others. Other times it’s just like, No, no, I’m about to lose it; I’m about to lose it. Melissa has had to tell me a time or two, “You know, Mother, you sound a little bit hysterical right here.” She said, “You might need a little bit of a break.” Yes. Yes. I might need a little bit of a break.
Latasha Morrison 29:53
Yes, yes. (laughter)
Beth Moore 29:53
I want to share something with you, Tasha, because I want you to hear this. Because I had a word of correction come to me by way of a Black sister that I will appreciate forever. And I’ll never, if so long as I have soundness of mind, forget it. Because I had said on Twitter and this was several years ago, I had said in this just way what I felt and still feel like was a very fresh wave of racism and of hatefulness and I wish I could, of just supremacy, supremacy. It was so obvious to me. And so I had said, “What we have to do,” and I was talking about, you know, using we and would have been talking about my own demographic in the American church. And I said, “What we have to do is we have to outlast the racists in our congregations. We have to outstay them.” And a friend of mine was kind enough to DM me on Twitter. “I want to tell you what some of my friends are saying,” and she said, “Beth, the thing about it is I followed you for a while.” And she said, “You and I’ve had some fun together,” and she said, “I know what you were saying. But I want you to know how it comes across.” She said, “Because Black believers in Christ have been enduring for centuries.” So it’s not suddenly, you know, “Okay, we’re going to come through on this.”
Latasha Morrison 31:49
“This is what we’re going to do.” (laughter)
Beth Moore 31:53
It was such…I want to say it hurt so good. Because it uh! No, that’s not what I would have meant.
Latasha Morrison 32:03
Beth Moore 32:03
I see how that came across. And so to have people in our lives that can walk with us through that. Latasha, I’ve said it so many times. Listen, I’m in elementary school where this subject is concerned. I’m having to be grown up and taught by people that do this a lot better than me.
Latasha Morrison 32:29
Beth Moore 32:30
I have people willing to have patience with me when it is so awkward, like awkward middle schoolers. You know?
Latasha Morrison 32:38
Yeah. But you’re trying. And I think that a lot of times when people get corrected, they hand in their keys and they walk out. Or when things get tough, you know, like this work is so uncomfortable and there’s a lot of discomfort in it and there’s a lot of pain in it. But there’s also a lot of joy in this work, there’s even a lot of hope within this work. It’s like we’re always, we never arrive, we’re always learning. We’re becoming, you know, just like Scripture tells us, we’re becoming. So even in this, the moment that we feel like we arrive, that’s when we’re really leading out of pride. And we tell people, you know, especially our white brothers and sisters, this goes for any of us, like even as a African American woman, I’m still learning; I’m learning from other people. I don’t know, I’m still learning about our Indigenous community, the Asian American community. I still need to learn from my elders. You know? I still need to learn from this next generation that’s coming up. We have to keep this posture of humility.
Beth Moore 34:00
That’s the truth.
Latasha Morrison 34:01
I think that allows us to be teachable. And when we’re teachable, that’s when God could transform us. And I think you’ve done that. You’re doing that.
Beth Moore 34:11
Well I’ll tell you this, Latasha, this is the pater. This is the joy on the other side. Because when we’re willing to learn and learn from others and humble ourselves and let the word do its job (which is transformation through the power of the Spirit), work through the awkwardness and say, “Okay, all right. Boy, I did not convey that well.” All the things that make it so awkward. But when we then do make progress with our brothers and sisters. To have won, as the scripture says, then you’ll have won a brother or you’ll won a sister. The joy that comes from not turning in our keys, from not giving up. From considering, okay, this is going to be quite the process. But I want and I must, because of my position in Christ – and I’m not talking about leadership – I’m talking about because I am in Christ.
Latasha Morrison 35:28
Beth Moore 35:29
I am obligated to the life of the cross where I put the interests of others before my own. And so it’s worth it because there’s laughter and there’s joy. I have a good friend, I have a dear brother that has walked me through so much of this in regard to understanding where a little bit of how it seems like it’s coming from the white church, and he’s able to just speak truth. He can do it in such a way that I’m just not wounded by it.
Latasha Morrison 36:02
Beth Moore 36:03
But we can laugh together and talk together. “And remember when and remember when we had to have that conversation.” And, “Remember what I said then.” And, “Remember,” and just God, thank You. Lord, I’m nowhere close to where I want to be. But I want to be a companion. As Hebrews 10 says, I want to be a companion to those who have been mistreated.
Latasha Morrison 36:38
I love that. I love that word companion.
Beth Moore 36:40
I do too.
Latasha Morrison 36:41
I actually like that better than ally. You have to learn from…say it again.
Beth Moore 36:49
Companion is what he calls it. And I just absolutely love it. And I think that all the time because I can’t act like I have an experience…I don’t have the same experience. I can’t act like I do. I came from the majority culture. And so I can’t even play like I understand. But he says in Hebrews chapter 10 verse 33, “Sometimes you were publicly exposed to taunts and afflictions. And other times you were companions of those who were treated that way.” Companions. That we can be. I can be a companion. I can say, “Listen, I hope to live my life in such a way and speak and act in such a way that makes your life easier.” Yeah.
Latasha Morrison 37:46
Yeah. Yeah. And as we get ready to wrap up, I typically ask this question, because I think it’s important just for believers to…I consider lament a form of worship. I typically ask, you know, what are the things that you’re lamenting? But I know having walked through your brother’s departure from this earth I know best probably something that’s fresh on you now. So I want to ask – unless you want to answer that question – but I wanting to think about what are some things that’s bringing you hope in this time right now? What are some things that you’re hopeful for?
Beth Moore 38:36
Oh yes. Yes. I can tell you that I am fairly, hopelessly hopeful. (laughter) I think it’s one of the things that my, I know I’m just talking about critics, but some of my haters hate the most about is, yes, I do get slapped down. But I do, you know, God’s made me sort of bouncy, where I put me back on my feet. But it comes down to actively believing God and taking him at his word. That he says to us, as I would have said this to myself as recently as this morning, and yesterday, that the place that he is preparing for us. He’s going to dry all our tears. And I love that he says in Revelation 21 that he’s going to dry our tears, because I for one, think we ought to have one last really good one. I really do. I think I can’t imagine that I’m going to see him and I’m not going to weep and go, “Lord, oh, I’m so happy to see you and I’m so glad to be out of that world system.” But that we’re going to a place where there will be no more sorrow and there will be no more sickness and there will be no more death. There will be no more violence. And that nothing will be at enmity. I love the how the Old Testament prophets put it in such a way that the child will be able to play with a cobra, that there will be nothing to hurt children. And that I know, I have to think continually, if we don’t have a good eschatology, a good grip of that we’re not going to like this ghost existence where we all pass through one another, but that the place where we’re going, the kingdom of God, when we can see it all with our eyes, and he is enthroned before us is that this life is a shadow compared to that reality. That’s what I keep my mind on at all times, is not just where I am, I have to think where I’m going. Where I’m going, this will be over where I’m going. This will be over. And we do everything we can to affect change on this side of him bringing in the kingdom into our visible presence. But that one way or the other, God is going to see to it, he will see to it. And every, every wrong will be made right.
Latasha Morrison 41:29
Yeah, yeah. And just when you’re saying in Revelation it says, “Behold, I have making all things new.”
Beth Moore 41:36
Latasha Morrison 41:37
And then he said, “Write this down for these words are trustworthy and true.”
Beth Moore 41:44
Trustworthy and true.
Latasha Morrison 41:45
And that is the hope is because these words are trustworthy and true. It’s been a pleasure.
Beth Moore 41:54
Oh it’s been all mine. Thank you so much. I’d do this with you anytime, girlfriend.
Latasha Morrison 42:01
So appreciate that. So appreciate it. Just the things that you’re talking about, I think is like, one of the things you said is having people in your life that can bring correction, that can lead you, that can coach you, that can teach you and that is our heart here at Be the Bridge. For those of you who are listening, you know, this podcast is a resource. This is something that we want to equip you to help you engage in these conversations so that you can look people in the eye and not turn away, but be able to say something, to be able to give truth, to be able to give some hope, to be able to have definitions of words. And so one of the things that we’ve done as an organization is we have a glossary term. So you know, where you get the true definitions. We try to have these difficult conversations and kind of walk them out so that you will feel equipped in your Be the Bridge groups, in your Bible studies, and within your churches. And so, I’m so grateful for you Beth and all that you’ve done.
Beth Moore 43:17
I am so grateful for you.
Latasha Morrison 43:19
For the kingdom. This is good work. It’s hard work. But I think about, as Representative Congressman John Lewis said, “This is good trouble.” Good trouble. So keep staying in that good trouble.
Beth Moore 43:36
So grateful, Tasha. Thank you so much. I loved every second of it. Take care.
Go to the donors table if you’d like to hear the unedited version of this podcast. Thanks for listening to the Be the Bridge Podcast. To find out more about the Be the Bridge organization and or to become a bridge builder in your community, go to BeTheBridge.com. Again, that’s BeTheBridge.com. If you’ve enjoyed this podcast, remember to rate and review it on this platform and share it with as many people as you possibly can. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Today’s show was edited, recorded, and produced by Travon Potts at Integrated Entertainment Studios in Metro Atlanta, Georgia. The host and executive producer is Latasha Morrison. Lauren C. Brown is the Senior Producer. And transcribed by Sarah Connatser. Please join us next time. This has been a Be the Bridge production.
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