By / Jun 4

In this episode, Josh, Lindsay, and Brent discuss the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre, a Christian response to Pride Month, a major leadership change in Israel, and recent news involving the ERLC. They also cover new ERLC content including a critical abortion case headed to the Supreme Court, questions about content moderation on social media, and one city’s approach to combatting abortion through local ordinances.

ERLC Content

Culture

  1. 100 Years since the Tulsa Race Massacre. Churches are leading on racial unity.
  2. June is “Pride” Month. How should Christians think about that?
  3. A major shake-up in Israel’s national leadership. What’s that mean for the Biden Administration?
  4. A leaked letter from Russell Moore sparks conversations within the SBC about race and sexual abuse.

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By / May 21

Earlier this week, Russell Moore announced he is leaving his role as president of the ERLC. Moore will join Christianity Today in a new role as Public Theologian and Director of the Public Theology Project, where he will continue to engage pressing cultural issues with the gospel.

“I’ve struggled with this decision, because my gratitude for the honor of serving the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission is so deep,” said Moore. “As I conclude my time serving Southern Baptists as ERLC president, I am filled with gratitude as well as excitement for the future.”

After Moore’s term as president concludes June 1, the ERLC board of trustees will begin a search for the commission’s next president. In the interim, the ERLC Executive Committee has asked Daniel Patterson, ERLC executive vice president, to serve as acting president.

While he will be sorely missed, the staff of the ERLC is grateful for the opportunity to serve under his leadership and thankful for his commitment to carrying out the work of the Kingdom of God. “As a pastor, theologian, ethicist and author, Moore led the ERLC to call Christians to confidently march onward as a joyful, prophetic minority,” said Jeff Pickering, the director of Public Relations for ERLC. “He called for the SBC and other Christians in the U.S. to engage the social and political issues of the day with a gospel focus, not simply as American citizens but as those who belong to another Kingdom — one that is permanent.”

Some of the year-to-year highlights of Moore’s tenure include:

2013: Joined a group of national religious leaders and scholars in releasing an open letter calling upon the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) to expand conscience protections to cover any organization or individual that has religious or moral objectives to covering, providing, or enabling access to the mandated drugs and services. 

2014: Joined Pope Francis and others in addressing a worldwide interreligious body at the Vatican on issues of marriage and family. 

Launched the ERLC Leadership Summit, with the inaugural theme of “The Gospel and Human Sexuality.”

Launched the Leadership Network Council, a group of evangelical pastors and leaders who serve as an advisory council to the ERLC Leadership Network. 

Launched the Research Institute and appointed an array of scholars and professionals as research fellows, with the aim of being a catalyst to “connect the agenda of the gospel to the complex questions of the day and to do so at the highest levels of academic scholarship for the good of local congregations.”

Started “Questions & Ethics,” a podcast answering listener-generated questions related to culture and ethics such as marriage, pornography, immigration and pop culture.

Hosted the ERLC’s first National Conference titled “The Gospel, Homosexuality, and the Future of Marriage.” 

2015: Partnered with Alliance Defending Freedom to create a “legal guide” for churches, schools, and nonprofit organizations to use for their organizational structure in light of changes in the culture concerning marriage.

Assembled a broad coalition of evangelical leaders to oppose the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize same-sex marriage in a joint statement titled, “Here We Stand: An Evangelical Declaration on Marriage.”

Began publishing the Gospel for Life book series, which features issue-specific volumes from noted leaders that address hot-button ethical issues facing Christians in today’s culture.

Joined other faith organizations in forming the Faith for Just Lending Coalition for the purpose of raising awareness about families in financial crisis and how high-cost lending negatively impacts them.

Partnered with Ministry Grid, the online video-training platform of LifeWay Christian Resources, to provide exclusive video training for pastors and church leaders on important moral and ethical issues.

Won Christianity Today’s 2016 Book of the Year award for Onward: Engaging Culture without Losing the Gospel.

2016 – 2017: Hosted Capitol Conversations event on religious liberty and human flourishing in Washington, D.C.

Assembled a broad coalition of evangelical leaders to support the appointment of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Deployed the organization’s first national online advertising campaign today aimed at building support across the nation for the effort to defund Planned Parenthood.

Co-hosted a special event with The Gospel Coalition on the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., called “MLK50: Gospel Reflections from the Mountaintop.”

Released a six-week small group study on religious liberty, titled “Religious Liberty: How the Gospel Shapes Our First Freedom.”

Delivered the fifth annual William E. and Carol G. Simon Lecture on Religion in American Public Life, for the Witherspoon Institute and the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions, on the Princeton University campus.

Hosted an event in conjunction with the U.S. Department of State’s Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom.

2018 – 2019: Won Christianity Today’s 2019 Book of the Year award for The Storm-Tossed Family: How the Cross Reshapes the Home.

Produced a documentary titled, Humanity Denied: Religious Freedom in North Korea, and premiered it at an event in conjunction with the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom. 

Launched the “Caring Well Challenge,” a unified call to action designed to confront church sexual abuse and to provide churches with a clear pathway to immediately enhance their efforts to prevent abuse and care for abuse survivors.

Produced a documentary about the life of Pearl Brown and the powerful choice her family made to value and honor her life, even in the face of adversity.

2020 – 2021: Received the Religious Freedom Institute’s 2020 Defender of Religious Freedom Award.

Moderated a conversation with President George W. Bush and Yuval Levin for virtual event on “Immigrants and the American Future.”

During Moore’s tenure, the ERLC sought to equip Christians to apply the gospel to the current pressing cultural issues through publishing daily resources, equipping churches, counseling pastors and ministry leaders, and hosting conferences and events. The staff of trustees of ERLC remain dedicated to carrying on the important work that Moore began during his time as president.

By / May 18

NASHVILLE, TENN., May 18, 2021—Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, announced today he will be leaving his role at the commission after leading the organization for eight consequential years. Moore will join Christianity Today in a new role as Public Theologian and Director of the Public Theology Project, where he will continue his work to engage pressing cultural issues with the gospel.

Reflecting on his time at the ERLC, Moore wrote, 

“The team I have been blessed to work with at the ERLC is second to none. I am always amused by people who assume that we have a staff of hundreds, just based on everything this team is able to accomplish, when in reality we have a small team of brothers and sisters who are peerless in their gifting, excellence, commitment, and who love each other and Jesus. Through the leadership of this team, we have worked together in building a project I could never have imagined on my own. Through their gifting and hard work, we were able to see God work in amazing ways—including in advocating for human dignity, religious freedom for everyone, kindness and civility in the public square, racial reconciliation and justice and the fight against the scourge of church sexual abuse.” 

David E. Prince, chairman of the ERLC board of trustees, offered his gratitude for Moore, 

“On behalf of the ERLC board of trustees and Southern Baptists everywhere, I want to extend our deepest gratitude to Russell Moore for his eight years of principled, energetic and prophetic ministry. He led with integrity, courage and convictional kindness during tumultuous times. It has been our joy as trustees and fellow Southern Baptists to be on mission for Christ and His Kingdom with the utmost confidence in Dr. Moore’s leadership and in the effectiveness of the commission’s ministry. Though we are sad to see his time leading this entity come to a close, we wish him the best and will continue to look to his leadership and voice in American evangelicalism. The importance of the ministry assignment Southern Baptists have given to the ERLC remains essential to the SBC and our trustees will now begin taking the necessary steps to identify the next president for this organization.”

Moore’s term as president will conclude June 1 after eight years in office. The ERLC board of trustees will soon begin a search for the commission’s next president, details of which will be announced at ERLC.com. In the interim, the ERLC Executive Committee has asked Daniel Patterson, ERLC executive vice president, to serve as acting president.

Moore was elected as the eighth president by the entity’s board of trustees in March of 2013. He began his time in office in June of that year, and was inaugurated in a September ceremony at Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. In his inaugural address, Moore preached from Luke 4:14-30 and committed to three aspects of ministry that would become the summation of the ERLC’s vision: kingdom, culture and mission.

As a pastor, theologian, ethicist and author, Moore led the ERLC to call Christians to confidently march onward as a joyful, prophetic minority. He called for the SBC and other Christians in the U.S. to engage the social and political issues of the day with a gospel focus, not simply as American citizens but as those who belong to another Kingdom—one that is permanent.

During Moore’s tenure, the ERLC sought to equip Christians to apply the gospel to the current pressing cultural issues through publishing daily resources, equipping churches, counseling pastors and ministry leaders, and hosting conferences and events.

ERLC conferences frequently address critical topics in American life. Under Moore’s tenure, key conferences included: 

  • “The Gospel, Homosexuality, and the Future of Marriage,” in Nashville in 2014 as the U.S. Supreme Court considered cases on LGBT issues and marriage, 
  • “MLK50: Gospel Reflections from the Mountaintop” in Memphis in 2018 alongside The Gospel Coalition to reflect on racial justice and reconciliation at the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assasination, and 
  • “Caring Well: Equipping the Church to Confront the Abuse Crisis” in Dallas in 2019 to lament sexual abuse and learn from experts on how to support survivors and protect people. 

In Washington, D.C., the ERLC under Russell Moore’s leadership, advocated for issues of human dignity, religious liberty and justice before Congress, the White House and the Supreme Court. The ERLC was instrumental in 

  • convening faith leaders to advocate for religious liberty for child welfare providers and conscience protections for medical professionals, 
  • rescuing the Adoption Tax Credit from elimination during the 2017 tax reform debate, and 
  • ensuring that faith-based organizations could access SBA Paycheck Protection Program funds created for COVID-19 relief in 2020. 

Beyond the United States, Moore and the ERLC led efforts to safeguard international religious freedom for the persecuted in Malaysia, North Korea and, most recently, in countering the Chinese Communist Party for their acts of genocide against the Uyghur people. Through his advocacy work, Moore bore witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ and called all those in authority to promote and secure human flourishing around the globe.

Moore has published numerous books, Bible study curricula, LIGHT magazines, opinion pieces in national publications, newsletter essays in “Moore to the Point,” and podcasts, including his interview series, “Signposts,” and his solo project, “The Russell Moore Podcast.” His recent books published while serving as president of the ERLC include Onward: Engaging the Culture Without Losing the Gospel in 2014, The Storm-Tossed Family in 2018, and The Courage to Stand in 2020.

By / Oct 6

NASHVILLE, Tenn., Oct. 6, 2020—Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, released his latest book today, “The Courage to Stand: Facing Your Fear Without Losing Your Soul,” published by B&H Publishing Group.

In “The Courage to Stand,” Moore calls readers to a Christ-empowered courage by pointing the way to real freedom from fear—the way of the cross. In the book, Moore defines the way of the cross as integrity through brokenness, community through loneliness, power through weakness and a future through irrelevance.

Throughout “The Courage to Stand,” Moore inspires readers to discover real freedom from fear by addressing issues such as: 

  • Courage and Crisis
  • Courage and Anxiety
  • Courage and Integrity
  • Courage and Justice
  • Courage and the Future

“The way of courage, as defined by the gospel, is not the pagan virtue of steeliness and fearlessness, much less our ambient culture’s picture of winning and displaying, or strength and swagger. The call to courage is terrifying because the call to courage is a call to be crucified,” Moore says.

During a time when people are experiencing angst about the future, Moore illuminates for readers in “The Courage to Stand” how fear is rooted in the idea that we might lose our belonging in whatever tribe in which we seek safety, or simply, that we might have to stand alone. He calls readers to a Christ-centered courage that equips us to face our fear and keep walking toward the voice that calls us homeward. 

About Russell Moore

Moore is the author of several books including The Storm-Tossed Family: How the Cross Reshapes the Home,” which was named Christianity Today’s 2019 Book of the Year. This prestigious award was also conferred upon Moore’s book, “Onward: Engaging the Culture Without Losing the Gospel,” by Christianity Today in 2016. In addition to these titles, he has also written “Adopted for Life: The Priority of Adoption for Christian Families and Churches” and “Tempted and Tried: Temptation and the Triumph of Christ.”

The Wall Street Journal called Moore “vigorous, cheerful and fiercely articulate.” He was named in 2017 to Politico Magazine’s list of top fifty influence-makers in Washington and has been profiled by such publications as the Washington Post, the New Yorker and the Weekly Standard. A native Mississippian, Moore and his wife Maria are the parents of five sons.

By / May 3

NASHVILLE, Tenn., May 3, 2019—“The Storm-Tossed Family: How the Cross Reshapes the Home” by ERLC President Russell Moore has won the Christian Book Award in the category of Faith & Culture, a recognition given by the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA).

The honor was presented April 30 during the ECPA Awards Celebration in Chicago. The Christian Book Award program “recognizes the highest quality in Christian books and Bibles and is among the oldest and most prestigious awards program in the religious publishing industry,” according to the ECPA.

Published in September 2018 by B&H Publishing Group, “The Storm-Tossed Family” addresses questions such as, “Why do our families have so much power over us?” and explores how family makes us who we are and how understanding this can liberate us to live without fear.

“Dr. Moore is an incomparable writer, thinker and leader. Working alongside him on books that are culture-shaping and life-changing is an honor,” said Jennifer Lyell, vice president of book publishing and merchandising for B&H. “Watching his efforts be so consistently recognized by readers and the publishing industry is exactly as it should be. We are very proud of ‘The Storm-Tossed Family’ and the recognition it received by ECPA.”

Moore’s book was also recently named Christianity Today's 2019 Book of the Year.

For more information about the ECPA Christian Book Award program, visit ChristianBookAwards.com. For more information about Moore's book, visit StormTossedFamily.com.

By / Dec 11

NASHVILLE, Tenn., Dec. 11, 2018—The book, “The Storm-Tossed Family: How the Cross Reshapes the Home” authored by Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, has been named the Christianity Today 2019 Book of the Year. This honor is given to a release that “best embodies CT's pursuit of truthfulness and loveliness” and is Moore’s second time receiving the award.

“The Storm-Tossed Family” was published by B&H Publishing Group in September 2018 and addresses questions such as “why do our families have so much power over us?” and explores how family makes us who we are and how understanding this can liberate us to live without fear. 

Moore’s book “The Storm-Tossed Family” also won the “Award of Merit” in the Christian Living/Discipleship category for Christianity Today’s 2019 book awards.

Mark Galli, editor-in-chief for Christianity Today, commented on Moore’s book of the year award:

“Moore refuses to let the conversation remain on the extremes. He recognizes that the family is crucial in God’s economy, but he doesn’t turn it into an idol. He explains persuasively how the church is our first family while giving practical, realistic direction in how to nurture and maintain a healthy, biblical family life, one that reflects the life, death, and resurrection of our Lord.” 

Topics addressed in “The Storm-Tossed Family” include: marriage, sexuality and fidelity; divorce, abuse and broken relationships; parenting, discipline and bonding; trauma, generational sin and healing. This issues have resonated with both secular and Christian media, and in interviews Moore has skillfully connected these biblical principles to current events and culture.

“Dr. Moore’s work—really, everything he writes—is a rare combination of equal parts truth and beauty,” said B&H Trade Books publisher Devin Maddox. “It’s fun to see Dr. Moore receive honor he so richly deserves.”

Moore’s book, "Onward: Engaging the Culture without Losing the Gospel," also won the Christianity Today's Book of the Year in 2016.

By / Dec 14

Does character count? Russell Moore discusses the Alabama election with Religion News Service. 

"One day after a surprise Democratic victory, many political onlookers are wondering if evangelicals are reconsidering the importance of character.

That was the question after Tuesday’s (Dec. 12) special election in Alabama, in which the usually reliable and sizable Republican voting bloc underperformed to give Democrat Doug Jones a stunning, come-from-behind victory in his race for U.S. Senate.

To some evangelical watchers, the answer is obvious. Alabama, a deep-red state where white evangelicals can easily elect one of their own, could not stomach a flawed candidate like Roy Moore, who stands accused of sexual misconduct with teenage girls and holds a host of controversial views on gays, Muslims, women and race."

Read the full interview here.

By / Mar 20

From the ERLC Executive Committee

Our country has come through one of the more challenging political cycles in recent history. Evangelical Christians, and Southern Baptists in particular, faced difficult issues and decisions, which, at times, frayed and threatened even to tear the fabric of our civic and denominational unity.

It is in this difficult context that Dr. Russell Moore has exercised leadership with integrity and with boldness. We affirm Dr. Moore in his leadership of the ERLC. He has spoken with clarity and conviction on ethical matters that have been identified in our Baptist Faith and Message and various Convention resolutions. These included issues related to religious liberty, racial reconciliation, character in public office, and a Christian understanding of sexuality. Most importantly, he has endeavored clearly and graciously to articulate the Christian gospel and its implications. For us not to stand in affirmation of the principles that Dr. Moore has espoused would be unfaithful to the mission entrusted to us by the Convention.

Speaking to these issues is rarely convenient and often unpopular. While the manner, tone, and extent to which we speak to these issues is a matter of wisdom and timeliness, the fact that we must speak to these issues is clear. Christians, however, can disagree on delivery, tactics, and approach, and we find that many of the criticisms levied against Dr. Moore fall into these categories. Even still, some of the criticisms in this vein Dr. Moore himself has received and apologized for. Meanwhile, some other criticisms we have heard have voiced objection to stands Dr. Moore has taken in affirmation of our Convention’s stated doctrine, resolutions, and the mission established by the Convention for the ERLC. We believe we would be in error to accept these criticisms.

Over the last few months, Dr. Moore has engaged in numerous private conversations with many of those who had criticisms of him. As an Executive Committee, who historically have worked most closely in advising and evaluating the performance of the president, we have encouraged these conversations and received updates. We have also encouraged private efforts rather than public comments. These conversations will remain private, but we are convinced that Dr. Moore has sought to be attentive and responsive to those who have brought concerns to him. At the same time, as he has pursued these conversations and listened to others, Dr. Moore has expressed a desire to make a public comment beyond these private conversations, which we have shared with our entire Board and happily affirm.

In many respects, it was the trustee system that allowed for the Conservative Resurgence in our denomination. As committed Southern Baptists with a great appreciation for our Convention, we take our fiduciary responsibility as trustees of the ERLC as a sober and serious stewardship. As an Executive Committee, we believe that Dr. Moore has taken appropriate measures to address this situation. We realize that divisions do not heal overnight, and as needs arise our Board will be happy to address them. But in terms of leadership and support, Dr. Moore is the man to whom it has been entrusted to lead this entity—speaking prophetically both to our culture and to our Convention. He will continue doing so with the confidence of our support.

From Russell Moore

Some of my earliest memories are of Sunday mornings, putting quarters in offering envelopes, to tuck in my Bible. Those envelopes would go with me to my little Southern Baptist church to fuel missionary advance all around the world. On Sunday nights, I was right there in Baptist Training Union, learning what it meant to be distinctively Baptist—including a believers’ church and of a free church in a free state. On Wednesday nights, I was right back there, in Royal Ambassadors, learning the names of our missionaries and why it matters that we cooperate together to hold the rope for them.  

As the son of both the long Baptist tradition of missionary cooperation and of the Southern Baptist conservative resurgence, I consider it a privilege to carry out my assignment as a servant to our Southern Baptist churches, for the sake of our mission together, so that the kingdom of God would be seen in gospel churches of those from every tribe, tongue, nation, and language.

As I look back over the last year, I am grieved by the tensions in our denomination over the state of American politics and the role of religion in it. I want to do everything in my power to be an agent of unity, because I still believe in what those offering envelopes represent: the joy of cooperation together to see the world won to faith in Jesus Christ.

As I thought about my own role in this division, I attempted in December to write a reflection on how I sought to go about the task of attempting to speak to issues of conviction for me during the tumult of an election year. Some who saw things differently than I did received those words, and we’ve gladly joined arms in unity. Others didn’t receive them, not because of any deficiency of grace on their part, but due to my own fault. So I want to share my heart in trying both to foster unity and to explain what I was trying—and sometimes failing—to do.

First, let me say that my concerns last year were not primarily about the election as the election. My main objective is not normally the questions of who is up and who is down in political races (though some are called to do just that, and do so well). I see my calling as seeking to offer resources to help churches form consciences of Christians to connect the gospel to ethical and moral and social questions. Citizenship is one part of that, though not by far the most important part for those of us who belong to a kingdom that is not of this world (Jn. 18:36).  

The 2016 presidential election was different than any in our lifetime. Good and godly people had to make very hard decisions. Even when Southern Baptists differed about how best to talk about the potential difficulties facing us, we all were united in biblical convictions we share about such matters as the sanctity of all human life, the scriptural definition of marriage and family, and the importance of religious liberty. I give thanks for these shared convictions even when we were led sometimes to different conscience conclusions about the best way to get to our common goal.

What I was concerned about primarily last year were three things: gospel clarity (as it applies to telling the outside world and those inside the church what we consider it means to be saved and what it means to be an evangelical), the importance of affirming sexual morality and the effect that sexual immorality has on both personal character and on society, and racial divisiveness and injustice. Those are convictions at the core of my ministry for 25 years. Not everyone saw the same challenges to those convictions that I did, and for reasonable and defensible reasons. 

I was asked often during the election about evangelicalism as it related to moral issues and character, and in so doing I spoke, often quite sharply, about those Christians who said or implied that such concerns don’t matter or shouldn’t be talked about. I was not, in so doing, intending to talk about Southern Baptists and others—and there were many—who were open about all of these issues but believed in supporting candidates, however flawed, who would appoint good people and carry out good policies on some issues. Again, I understand that, and find it reasonable and defensible, even when my own conscience differs. The Bible teaches us to give latitude to one another’s consciences on matters not explicitly defined in Scripture since “whatever does not proceed from faith is sin” (Rom. 14:23), and my prayer is to be quick to extend this kind of charity towards others.

To be clear, I was also not meaning to suggest it was sinful for Southern Baptists or others to advise candidates or to serve on advisory boards in order to bear some influence there. I was almost never asked about that, and I didn’t see it as a point of confusion, either for lost people or for the church. What I was attempting to talk about were those—most often prosperity gospel teachers—who were willing to define the gospel in ways that I believe untrue to the plan of salvation, or to dismiss the moral concerns other Christians had.

As the year progressed, I felt convicted—both by my personal conscience and by my assignment by Southern Baptists—to speak out on issues of what the gospel is and is not, what sexual morality and sexual assault are and are not, and the crucial need for white Christians to listen to the concerns of our black and brown brothers and sisters in Christ. I stand by those convictions, but I did not separate out categories of people well—such that I wounded some, including close friends. Some of that was due to contextless or unhelpful posts on social media about the whirl of the news cycle. I cannot go back and change time, and I cannot apologize for my underlying convictions. But I can—and do—apologize for failing to distinguish between people who shouldn’t have been in the same category with those who put politics over the gospel and for using words, particularly in social media, that were at times overly broad or unnecessarily harsh. That is a failure on my part. 

I was aware that there were many—including many very close to me—who were quite vocal in critiquing on those areas even candidates they were able to support. These people made clear what they were supporting and what they were rejecting on the basis of the biblical witness, and did not celebrate or wave away the moral problems. I did not speak much about those people because I wasn’t being asked about them, and I didn’t think they were causing the confusion that frustrated me as I was talking even to people I was seeking to win to Christ. But I didn’t clearly enough separate them out. Again, that is a failure on my part, and I apologize.

One of the strongest convictions that I have is that I am a sinner. That’s been clear to me from when I first prayed the sinner’s prayer for mercy from Christ. That means that I am not a competent judge of my own heart or my own motives. Instead, I am a man under authority, and I happily have submitted and will continue to submit to both my board of trustees and to the elders of my local church to make those kinds of determinations.

What I do know is that I—or anyone in this job—will have to talk about all sorts of controversial things. There may be times when what I believe is an issue of biblical truth or Baptist distinctive is wrong. There may be other times when I might be right, but many—maybe even most—people disagree with me. I don’t expect people to agree with me. My job is to speak to consciences, and to endeavor to provide the resources to pose the right kinds of biblical questions—even if you come to different answers.

When my predecessor, Richard Land, spoke to issues, I often agreed with him and sometimes disagreed, either in content or in tone or in emphasis, but he always made me think and go back to God’s Word to sort out how to live the Christian life and how to disciple others on issues of thorny cultural or moral consequence. I endeavor to do the same. I also pray that you—and lost people overhearing or, most importantly to me, my children—will always know that whether right or wrong I am trying to tell you the truth as I honestly see it, not trying to evade issues I think will get me in trouble. I may fail at that, but I pray not to fail at that, by God’s grace.

My goal is to redouble my commitment to stand for what I believe in—on seeking first the kingdom of God, on the need for personal character and sexual holiness, on racial justice and reconciliation. I also commit to work together for our denomination’s cooperative consensus. 

When I look out across our denomination, we have too much at stake, and too much for which to be grateful, to be divided. The gospel wins over everything in the end. I pray that the gospel would win in our denomination, in our churches, and in my own heart. The same gospel that reconciles us to God is the same gospel that allows us to be reconciled to one another. I learned that from y’all. That’s why they gave me those Southern Baptist missions offering envelopes. I pray that our quarters, and more importantly our gospel unity and clarity, go out to our first-rate Southern Baptist missionaries and church planters and evangelists and seminary students for the sake of what will outlive our ministries and will outlast the Southern Baptist Convention—the glory of God and the souls of those redeemed by the blood of the Lamb.

By / Sep 19

WASHINGTON, D.C, September 19, 2016—Russell Moore, president of The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, has appointed Travis Wussow as the new vice president for public policy and general counsel.

In this position, Wussow will direct the ERLC’s Washington office, coordinating all its legislative, coalition and legal efforts. Wussow will also coordinate international affairs for the ERLC.

Prior to assuming this position, Wussow served as the ERLC’s director of international justice and religious liberty, launching the ERLC’s first international office located in the Middle East.

“Travis Wussow is the natural choice to serve with me in this vital capacity in Washington,” said Moore. “Travis has modeled conviction and skill in law, in advocacy and in ministry. During his time at the ERLC, Travis has brought unmatched insight and effectiveness in areas of international justice and freedom. I look forward to working together in our nation's capital, connecting the vision of the kingdom of Christ to the pressing issues facing the country and the world.”

Prior to his tenure with the ERLC, Wussow served as executive pastor and general counsel for the Austin Stone Community Church in Austin, Texas, and prior to that served as a Fellow with International Justice Mission. Wussow began his career at Jackson Walker LLP in Austin, Texas, the largest law firm in Austin. At Jackson Walker, Wussow represented clients in the energy sector, practicing administrative and legislative law before the state legislature and federal and state agencies.

“I am honored and humbled to have the opportunity to lead ERLC’s work in Washington,” said Wussow. “Our country and our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world face significant challenges, and ERLC is well-positioned to provide policy and advocacy leadership in the years to come.”

Wussow received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in finance from The University of Texas at Austin and a Juris Doctor from The University of Texas School of Law.

Wussow’s appointment to this executive role was unanimously confirmed by the ERLC board of trustees at their most recent meeting. He will assume his new position in January 2017.


The Southern Baptist Convention is America’s largest Protestant denomination with more than 15.2 million members in over 46,000 churches nationwide. The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission is the SBC’s ethics, religious liberty and public policy agency with offices in Nashville, Tenn., and Washington, D.C.

The ERLC has recently opened fully-functioning insert studio equipped with a dedicated fiber optic link to Vyvx for on-demand and cost-effective access for live and pre-taped television interviews seven days a week.

To request an interview with an ERLC representative, contact Elizabeth Bristow by email at [email protected] or call 202-547-0209.

By / Feb 9

Russell Moore speaks at the 2015 National Conference about how the gospel reshapes a community that, in turn, speaks to the world from consciences that are shaped by Scripture.

To learn more about other ERLC events go here.