Just to Make It More Interesting: A Guest Post

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I got a letter from a friend about my post on Russell Moore, and I asked him if he could rework it a bit and I would run it as a guest post. I would then reply (which I will probably do tomorrow morning). He said sure, but wanted to post as “a friend.” That’s fine with me, and the only thing I will say about identity here is that it is not Nancy.

I think your post misses the mark with Moore in two respects:Anonymous

1) When Moore took a shot at the Religious Right, you heard Schaeffer and Koop. There’s no way Moore had those guys in mind. He had these guys in mind:

Donald Trump announces new religious advisory board

Many of these are old guard Southern Baptists who have been a part of the Religious Right since the Disney boycotts, and have now hitched their wagons to the Trump Train. There are a number of SBC big shots from a previous generation:

Richard Land: Moore’s predecessor at ERLC
Robert Jeffress and Jack Graham: megachurch SBC pastors in Dallas; still very influential in the convention
Ralph Reed: Even his initials tell you that he’s a member of the Religious Right
Dobson: Enough Said
Ronnie Floyd: outgoing president of the SBC

Those are old guard Religious Right guys who are still around and who have now joined Falwell in his cravenness. That’s who Moore was blasting (and given his position in the SBC, that sort of thing does take courage; all of those guys know he’s talking about them; they represent significant constituencies in the SBC, and now Moore will have to deal with the fall out. If we only knew the letters that Moore gets…). You’re always saying that it’s easy to be courageous about yesterday’s battles. You read Moore as doing that in this case because you see him doing that on the Confederate flag. But in this case, he just poked a bunch of his co-denominationalists in the eye while they were still breathing and can make his life more difficult.

The SBC has some precarious fault lines, and Trump support seems to be a good litmus test. Trump won a lot of evangelicals in the South, including many in the SBC. So when Moore takes a shot at the Religious Right, he’s got live opponents in mind, not Koop and Schaeffer.

2) I also think you miss the mark about Moore’s constituency. The guys in the SBC who are “bending” his way aren’t more moderate version of Rachel Held Evans. They’re not progressive-lite. The team that Moore has assembled at the ERLC are solid thinkers and convictional Christians who are trying to navigate in a world gone mad. They are more than willing to live with the opprobrium of the liberal intoleristas on the issues that matter.

I’ve got my differences with Moore on how he tackles various issues. But if the church is heading into the wilderness for a generation, I’m glad that he’s one of the guys helping us find a way.

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Wesley Sims
Wesley Sims
5 years ago

You’re always saying that it’s easy to be courageous about yesterday’s battles. You read Moore as doing that in this case because you see him doing that on the Confederate flag. But in this case, he just poked a bunch of his co-denominationalists in the eye while they were still breathing and can make his life more difficult. I think that’s a good point, but suppose he is martyred for this action by folks in the SBC–do his mainstream and leftist-friendly actions and positions lend to a relatively soft landing in the popular culture outside of the SBC? Isn’t he… Read more »

mkt
mkt
5 years ago

Not sure if Jigawatt wants to be quoted here, but I think this gem sums up Moore et. al. better than anything else: “One gets the feeling that after every white guilt (or straight guilt) inspired resolution, sermon, interview, or tweet, they sit back and say, ‘Maybe NOW the progressives will love us.'”

We can add NYT op-ed to that list. And maybe “old guard Religious Right” to the types of guilt, since those guys are so intolerant of our Muslim buds.

jigawatt
jigawatt
5 years ago
Reply to  mkt

It does give me hope to read stuff like this from one of Moore’s et al’s: There is a hard truth that every Christian must come to terms with. No amount of virtue-signaling or apologizing will deliver you from the reproaches of Christ. The sexual revolutionaries will smoke you out on this issue. You will either accept their terms or you will be in the same pickle as the rest of us. There’s no middle way. The key thing to remember is that if you you are a disciple of the most high king, you will bear his reproach in… Read more »

Consistorian
5 years ago

“Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.” (Prov. 27:6)

Chris AndAngela Oswald
Chris AndAngela Oswald
5 years ago

Totally agree. Doug did wrongly associate Schaeffer, etc… I found that particular comment from Moore to be courageous. Discern your hipsters Doug! :)

Luke Pride
5 years ago

Not really courageous to take a stand within the minority for what the majority applauds.
And if Moore cares about the gospel and theology he would speak against those Christian leaders supporting socialism and hatred politics but he never has.

mkt
mkt
5 years ago
Reply to  Luke Pride

Or take a stand against the demonic religion of Islam. Instead of mentioning Mateen and his 911 call, Moore says we should “bear patiently with those who jump the gun…For many of them, the jump to talk about…Islam…or any other issue isn’t so much about pontificating as it is about frustration.”

We need more Jeremiahs, not more Obamas. There’s nothing courageous about Moore.

Chris AndAngela Oswald
Chris AndAngela Oswald
5 years ago
Reply to  Luke Pride

I don’t read Moore very often and am not familiar with the balance he strikes or fails to strike in his criticisms. I will say that to be vocally complimentarian in this culture is courageous. That’s something I have heard him stand for. If he was going for appeasement in the way that some see to suggest, that’s the place I would expect him to compromise.

Ian Miller
5 years ago

Thank you for posting this, Doug, and thank you to the author for writing it.

Carson Spratt
5 years ago

Since the usual suspects seem to be oddly absent, I’ll fill in the obligatory “Doug never listens to any opinion but his own!” Oh, wait…

Daithi_Dubh
Daithi_Dubh
5 years ago

Precision eludes me here, but I believe I can communicate this best through imagery, albeit admittedly generalized imagery. I have felt for some time now my stomach wrench when I hear certain words from these types, including “missional,” “sustainable,” “narrative,” “relevancy,” etc. Believing unreservedly in the Great Commission, I nonetheless now hesitate when I hear and see some of the fruits of their labors: mega-churches as much a feature of ugly urban/suburban sprawl of the universal Nowheresvilles found from New York to LA to Atlanta, as McDonalds, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Lowes, and Wal Mart; rootless people, regardless of region,… Read more »

Former Baptist
Former Baptist
5 years ago

Russell Moore is a George Soros puppet. End of story. You know Soros right? The athiest globalist Southern Baptists laid off 600-800 missionaries due to a shortage of funds but have plenty of money for Russell Moore’s six-figure salary and 3-4 million dollar ERLC budget. DO NOT TITHE TO THE BAPTISTS!!! You are funding Russell Moore with your tithes and offerings. Go to a non denominational church instead, at least you can figure out where your hard earned money is going (and yes I know it’s really all the Lord’s and we are blessed to keep up to 90%). Former…… Read more »