WASHINGTON (BP) — For Russell D. Moore, helping churches faithfully proclaim the Gospel is central to his leadership of the Southern Baptist Convention’s ethics and religious freedom work, WORLD magazine reports in its latest issue.
“The message of the church is the crucifixion, the resurrection and the forgiveness of sins,” Moore says. “The kind of Christianity that can withstand what is happening in the secular culture is the kind that brings good news.”
WORLD, which seeks to present the news from a biblical worldview, profiles the president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission in an article posted online Dec. 13.
In the current culture, Moore sees his two-part role as ERLC president as “keeping Christians out of jail, and making sure Christians go to jail for the right reasons if they do,” WORLD reporter Edward Lee Pitts writes in his own words. Moore, Pitts reports, desires “to protect them in their churches, but also project them into the culture.”
That does not mean dodging controversy in the public square, Moore says.
“If you and I do not speak of justice and morality, we do not love our neighbors,” Moore said at the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference’s summit in November, WORLD reports. “But we must never speak to these issues simply in order to get ‘amens’ from the people who already agree with us. … You and I are advocates for justice and advocates for righteousness, but we are not prosecuting attorneys. We are ambassadors of reconciliation who are pleading with broken hearts. It would be devilish to be people with values right-side-up and crosses upside-down.”
Moore aspires, Pitts writes, “to help the next generation of Southern Baptists stand for Christ when that may be less socially acceptable, more confounding as technology creates greater ethical and spiritual quandaries, and more complex as Americans push the envelope artistically and relationally.”
To do so, it is crucial for mature Christians to train “a new generation of children to know what it is like to live among a people who will see Christianity as very strange,” Moore says.
The article, which also recaps Moore’s early upbringing through Woolmarket Baptist Church in Biloxi, Miss., is in WORLD’s Dec. 28 issue.
Reported by Tom Strode, Washington bureau chief for Baptist Press. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress) and in your email (baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).