Beth Moore tweets Jesus was 'safe enough to be alone with a woman'

Sparks fervent defence of so-called ‘Billy Graham rule’

Bible teacher and preacher Beth Moore has once again faced a barrage of responses from indignant Christians over a tweet about “the Billy Graham rule”.

Moore was accused of saying that Jesus himself didn’t follow “the Billy Graham rule” of never being alone with a woman who wasn’t his wife or family member.

Moore has become a lightning rod for Christian outrage, refusing to become the poster child for extremely conservative evangelicals or progressive Christians. Last year, she found herself the subject matter of articles and blogs when John MacArthur, a prominent US evangelical pastor, declared she should “go home”.

This past weekend’s firestorm began with Moore tweeting:

Responses came thick and fast.

Tweeter Dave Miller pointed out that men have a hormone called testosterone in their body, writing: “I don’t understand what your tweet has to do with the massive amounts of testosterone that define Christian manhood.”

One brave tweeter from the Gut Check Podcast attempted to reason with the masses:

Unfortunately, this comment was largely ignored, only to be validated by Moore’s next tweet when she checked back in to Twitter approximately four hours after her first tweets, and indicated she had no intention of weighing in the contentious Billy Graham rule.

Not all tweeters expressed vexation, however, with some evidently finding Moore’s thoughts cause for reflection on the biblical story:

And in the aftermath, Moore has defended one tweeter who asked her a question and was lampooned for his efforts by her own supporters, causing him to delete or hide his account.

She went on to concede that “there are some real jerks out there. Trolls of the worst sort. Liars & harassers. And sometimes I don’t mind telling them that’s what they are. But truly this was not one of them.”

A woman who has frequently been the target of recent critics – both on social media and elsewhere – Moore then offered the Twitterverse some sage advice:

“Let’s take it a little easier on one another. The meanness on Twitter takes a legit toll on the soul.”