This is the latest ERLC end-of-year update as part of our RISE Campaign.
How can the gospel of Jesus Christ influence the public square with the intent to inform and love our neighbors instead of trying to divide? How do we ensure the pro-life movement continues moving forward? In our complex culture, how can parents be better equipped to raise children in a more Christ-centered fashion?
These are just a few of the questions the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission sought to answer in 2017.
Whether it’s our Evangelicals for Life conference which brings together leading pro-life thinkers and seeks to mobilize Christians to advocate for the unborn, the orphan, the immigrant, and the vulnerable; or our 2017 National Conference that focused on equipping parents with gospel truths for their homes, the ERLC is committed to putting together compelling programming that makes a difference in the lives of Christ followers.
But we’re more than just an organization that hosts conferences. We build relationships with elected officials and bring a message that focuses on human dignity for every situation. We gather with pastors and church leaders to help them think through the vexing questions our fallen world is continually throwing at all of us and the church, and we provide a helping hand when called upon. Because of these conversations that take place on Capitol Hill or in the hallways of your local church, we’re proudly on the frontlines against an enemy that prowls like a lion (1 Pet. 5:8).
Thankfully, God has moved in all these instances. For example, in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey’s devastation in Houston, Texas, we were approached by a church to help secure funding for a new ultrasound machine that was lost in the storm. This machine was part of a local Southern Baptist congregation’s ministry to the city, and it had saved countless lives. But the church did not have the funds to replace it. We quickly worked with partners to raise the money necessary to replace it and get the local pregnancy resource center up and running again.
As we look ahead to 2018, we see a great need to continue helping Christians develop ways to see through the cultural storms and avoid being conformed to this world.
Following our 2017 ERLC National Conference, which was the largest conference we have hosted under Dr. Russell Moore’s leadership of our organization, we released a Christ-centered parenting curriculum that builds upon much of the helpful guidance and practical wisdom featured at the conference. To date, thousands of couples have found it to be a vital resource for shepherding their children through today’s confusing culture.
As we look ahead to 2018, we see a great need to continue helping Christians develop ways to see through the cultural storms and avoid being conformed to this world (Rom. 12:2). We believe that begins with helping Christians realize everyone has inherent worth; we are all image bearers. Our 2018 EFL conference will help unpack the value of human dignity across all issue areas. And we’re going to mark 50 years since Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was murdered by placing a special focus on the pursuit of actual racial unity in this world, discussing his life and legacy, and emphasizing how God calls us to an Ephesians 4 cohesion in the church at our special MLK50 conference with our friends at The Gospel Coalition.
Finally, we have a heavy burden for Christian marriages and families. At a time when the culture seems to be at war with what we believe, we know pastors and laymen alike need refuge and reassurance from the gospel. So throughout 2018, we are going to focus on what we call the cross-shaped family. In other words, we are going to explore the myriad ways God brings families together and uses their experiences to mold them. So whether it’s thinking through how to protect our marriages, how to disciple countercultural children, extending dignity to the vulnerable, or thinking through end-of-life care, we plan to cover it in the next year.
We are thrilled about the possibilities that lie ahead in the next 12 months, and we hope you will join us in this journey. The time is now, fellow Christian. It’s time to rise.