This is the latest ERLC End-of-Year update as part of our RISE Campaign.
The ERLC team in Washington, D.C., advocates for public policy on behalf of more than 15.2 million Southern Baptists. The SBC is America’s largest Protestant denomination with more than 46,000 churches nationwide. As a result, government leaders are interested to hear from this large constituency on a variety of issues. The ERLC serves as that voice by applying a biblical ethic and gospel-centered worldview to the issues of our day.
Washington is as much a city of self-sacrificial patriotism as self-serving partisanship. Anyone with a Twitter account or television can attest to that. It’s not always apparent how a Christian seeks first the kingdom of God when aiming to produce a political win. The news of the day raises the question, is ethical public policy possible anymore? How does anyone maintain a faithful gospel witness in an environment burdened by moral relativism?
First, we remember our dual citizenship as those redeemed by Christ. We live in and love the United States of America, but we are also citizens of the kingdom of God. As Russell Moore reminds us in Onward, “We are Americans best when we are not Americans first.”
When Jesus spoke of the kingdom of God, he spoke of restoration for every man, woman, and child in every nation, tribe, and language. As citizens of God’s kingdom, we seek the restoration of our world through the finished work of Christ on the cross. After paying the penalty for our sin, Jesus rose from the dead to take his place on his throne, where all other authority comes under. It’s from this vision that the ERLC carries out our mission in this current culture, with all its complexities, to advocate for human dignity and promote human flourishing through public policy advocacy.
We work in Washington with joy, even when there is much cause for lament because our mission is not defined by cultural values or voting patterns. Our mission is defined by a person: Jesus Christ.
We work in Washington with joy, even when there is much cause for lament because our mission is not defined by cultural values or voting patterns. Our mission is defined by a person: Jesus Christ. This is why, in addition to analyzing legislation and advocating for a position, we take advantage of every opportunity to articulate the gospel with the friends we make in and out of government buildings. With confidence in God’s Word and direction from SBC resolutions, the ERLC advocates for positions among four categories of public policy.
We promote religious liberty as a biblical teaching because God alone is Lord of the conscience. We stand with our Baptists forefathers in defending the free exercise of faith for all people.
We navigate complex issues related to human dignity because every person is an image bearer of God. Our pro-life ethic colors all our policy views, beginning with steadfast protection of the most vulnerable among us, the unborn.
We believe marriage and family are essential institutions for human flourishing. We uphold God’s design for this covenant union and foundational community amidst related policy items.
Finally, we advocate for justice because the Bible teaches that God is deeply concerned with the extent to which the nations of the world abide by a biblical vision of justice. We work to ensure impartial judgment and equitable treatment of the marginalized because we believe in a gospel that saves without partiality.
Simply put, we proclaim the good news that Christ is King in Washington, D.C., as advocates to the United States government with that theological vision.