WASHINGTON, D.C., June 19, 2015Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the “Southern Baptist Convention,”:http://www.sbcannualmeeting.net/sbc15/default.asp addressed Baptists at the SBC annual meeting and challenged them not to fear cultural changes in America but to allow the Gospel to frame their mission.
ERLC Convention Report
In the ERLC convention report on Wednesday, Moore told Southern Baptist messengers the ERLC has worked hard this year to speak with a word of witness in the public square and equip churches to have a word to “witness about.”
We say to our government and every regime around the globe: no government bureaucrat will stand with sinners at judgment, so no government, no president, no king, no regime has authority over a free conscience. Brothers and sisters, we as a denomination must not be silent.
In addition to the ERLCs work in the public square, the ERLC has also equipped churches to think through current, cultural issues of the day with a Gospel lens.
Our primary priority has been to equip churches to bear witness to the transforming effects of the gospel. As Baptists, we bear a responsibility for the rest of the Body of Christ. Were those who are the conservators of freedom of conscience, of a free Church in a free state. And when we stand before our King, there are so many things we will want to say. But one of them will be the truth of these words, Our fathers were in prison, with you.
In closing, Moore said Baptists must continue working to preserve religious liberty.
Theres too much at stake for the advancement of the Gospel for it to go. But theres one thing worse than going to jail for your faith. Thats having a faith that is too safe to jail. Thats why we stand, and thats why we speak.
Same-Sex Marriage Panel Discussion
Moore joined a presidential panel discussion Wednesday on The Supreme Court and Same-Sex Marriage: Preparing Our Churches for the Future.
He challenged pastors to be faithful to Christ and love others with the Gospel.
If you arent being criticized both for being narrow-minded and bigoted for holding to the Gospel and for the fact that you must be soft on homosexuality because you eat with tax collectors and sinners, then you are following someone other than Jesus. We want to teach and equip people on how to walk in that way.
SBC Pastors Conference
During his address at the SBC Pastors Conference on June 14, Moore challenged pastors to move into the changing culture with confidence.
The temptation we are going to have is to move into that changing culture with a lack of confidence and with a spirit of fear. Maybe God is interested right now not so much in getting America in line with the Church as God is interested in getting the Church out of step with America. Remember that the power of the Gospel is able to reach, transform and turn around any heart.
Connecting Church and Culture
The ERLC and “9Marks”:http://9marks.org/ co-hosted an “event”:https://erlc.com/churchandculture/ at the SBC annual meeting featuring Moore and Mark Dever, senior pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. where they discussed issues related to the Church and culture.
America is at best pre-Christian right now. And so were not looking backward and saying we need to get back to the 1980s or the 1950s or the 1770s. Were saying, Were moving to the future toward God joining heaven and earth.'”
The Southern Baptist Convention is Americas largest Protestant denomination with more than 15.8 million members in over 46,000 churches nationwide. The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission is the SBCs ethics, religious liberty and public policy agency with offices in Nashville, Tenn., and Washington, D.C.
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