Published by The Alabama Baptist Newspaper March 2014.
By John Morgan
As President of the Southern Baptist’s Ethics and Religious Liberties Commission (ERLC), Russell Moore has been trying to straddle the fence on same sex marriage since he took office in May of 2013; reassuring his flock that the church opposes it, while telling the homosexual community that they will be loved with “convictional kindness.” Moore, who had been the dean of the School of Theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY, took over the helm of their ethics commission after Richard Land’s tenure of 25 years.
Moore has complained about the disappearance of biblical language from our vocabulary: “In the most recent issue of Touchstone magazine, I argue that the loss of the words “fornicate” and “fornication” implicitly cedes the moral imagination to the sexual revolutionaries because the words “fornication” and “premarital sex” aren’t interchangeable.” However, in response to the issue of same sex marriage, he said: “The increased attention to the question of marriage also gives us the opportunity to love our gay and lesbian neighbors as Jesus does.” Merely using the unbiblical terms gay and lesbian made him the poster child for their internet blogs that week. Not to mention the fact that in the Bible they are homosexuals and sodomites. Not gays. So the ERLC is uncomfortable using the unbiblical phrase “premarital sex.” But on the other hand, perfectly comfortable using the unbiblical word “gay.” The inconsistencies add up.
When a Christian photographer expressed his misgivings about photographing a same sex wedding, Moore agreed with him. And he reassured the photographer that his “situation takes place at a moment of concerted cultural revisionism on the question of marriage as conjugal union.” I didn’t know Baptist ethics changed with the culture and each passing moment. However, he passed his blessings on to other unbiblical marriages (unequally yoked, divorced, etc) because they they are not “obvious deviations.” Even though Moore supported the photographer’s boycott of the same sex marriage, he did not support the boycott of Starbuck’s Coffee that ensued after their affirmation of same sex marriage.
With so much freedom and acceptance, the ERLC is hosting a “sex summit” in April in which “breakout sessions will focus on how the gospel shapes a person’s identity, redeems sexual desire and sets free people held captive by sin.” I’m not sure which version of the Bible they’re using now, but the gospel has nothing to do with redeeming sexual desire. They probably need to worry a little less about the redemption of sexual desire and more about the redemption of mankind from his sins through the blood of Jesus Christ. There is no easy way to the stars from the orbit of the world and moral relativism and acceptance.