Outside of rare scenarios, I usually keep my focus on politics and not on the Christian Church. But there has been a collision of the two this election season and we continue to feel the reverb of that many weeks after the election has run its course.
Yet, as I see good men under fire for their uncompromising positions on truth and principle, I can’t help but speak out in defense.
Dr. Russell Moore was a beacon of strength and light this election season, especially to many younger Christian Conservatives who refused to engage in the same kind of moral relativism political games as their parents. I watched pastors around me drop like flies with only the slightest bit of pressure and others who remained strong until the pressure became too intense towards the end. They took the lead of many evangelical leaders who posted their pulpits For Sale to the highest bidder and very early on sold their influence for promises of power and large donations.
And like a pack of hungry wolves are now seeking revenge on the very few who refused to cave to the pressures of populism. Why? Because small men with weak backbones and wobbly principles feel even smaller next to men of courage. It emphasizes their instabilities and Scriptural shortcomings.
Dr. Russell Moore is the President of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. His entire role is to address the social, moral and ethical concerns that take place within the SBC. He was one of the leading evangelical voices among the #NeverTrump groups to stand and courageously declare, as his role demands of him, that Trump was a man who had nothing in common both in morality or policy with the “religious right.”
Trump, in his usual mode of operation of harassing those who don’t fall in line and calling his troops to attack tweeted, “Russell Moore is truly a terrible representative of Evangelicals and all of the good they stand for. A nasty guy with no heart!”
He stood boldly, even under a colossal burden to join the ranks of those who fell into line, and wrote:
“These evangelical leaders have said that, for the sake of the “lesser of two evils,” one should stand with someone who not only characterizes sexual decadence and misogyny, brokers in cruelty and nativism, and displays a crazed public and private temperament — but who glories in these things. Some of the very people who warned us about moral relativism and situational ethics now ask us to become moral relativists for the sake of an election. And when some dissent, they are labeled as liberals or accused of moral preening or sitting comfortably on the sidelines. The cynicism and nihilism is horrifying to behold. It is not new, but it is clearer to see than ever.”
Courage. Grit. Audacity.
All attributes that flaccid men like Mike Huckabee, Jerry Falwell Jr, and James Dobson are quite unfamiliar with as they simper at the feet of acceptance.
Mike Huckabee has recently thrown his own daggers at Dr. Moore saying, “I am utterly stunned that Russell Moore is being paid by Southern Baptists to insult them.” Proving that the SBC truly has the inability to police themselves—simply dismissing those whom they hire to govern over moral issues—when they violate those moral issues.
I stand with Dr. Russell Moore, because he was willing to identify the cancer growing in the Apostate Church. He shined a light on the fact that pastors can be bought with promises of power and large donations. That, in the end, the modern day church is becoming rotten and is decaying, not because of the liberal boogey-man, but because of a lack of consistency in morality and a trend of hyper hypocrisy. He called out those willing to sacrifice their testimonies, their reputations, their integrity for a “win.”
As a Christian Conservative, I am still struggling with the Church. My list of spiritual leaders and those with whom I would seek godly counsel has dwindled to a flimsy handful. I know many of you are struggling as well, as I hear from you.
It’s going to take a small army, a remnant of the faithful, to stand behind and support those like Dr. Russell Moore who are on the front lines and have the tenacity and fortitude to go to battle against those who seek to rebrand and redefine our principles under the banner of something shamefully unrecognizable.
And as I’ve noted in the past, my prayer is that we find the endurance to not abandon the church but the strength of will to reform it. And may we all find the courage as Russell Moore to put our hope and trust in the One who holds our future and not squander it all for the sake of a passing political fad.