The Southern Baptist Convention plans to host a summit about human sexuality and its relation to the Gospel in order to equip pastors and church leaders to speak about related issues within their own congregations.
The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) Leadership Summit, led by President Russell D. Moore, will address topics ranging from pornography and teen sex to homosexuality.
"As technology advances and the culture changes, the questions that we have to grapple with are often increasingly complex," said Moore, in a statement. "We'll talk about these questions, and how we can be faithful in ministry, gospel-focused in engagement and Christ-shaped spiritual warriors in the ways we seek to wrestle with the principalities and powers of this age."
The event scheduled for April 21-23 in Nashville, Tenn., will include speeches, panel discussions and breakout sessions that will focus on "how the gospel shapes our sexual identities, redeems sexual desire and sets free those who are held captive to sin's bondage."
Speakers will include several Southern-based pastors and ministry leaders who will moderate dialogues related to sex trafficking, biblical manhood and American sexuality, among other topics. According to Moore, these and other issues have become critical conversations within the church that pastors did not deal with a generation ago.
Speaking on sexuality and marriage during an SBC annual meeting in Houston last year, Moore noted that churches are always on the cusp of what is "next" within American culture and urged churches to openly address such topics.
"I think there's a tendency sometimes for Christians to wring our hands and see the world around us falling apart and to act as losers. We're not losers…[we] should speak clearly, teach and disciple what the scripture says about marriage and sexuality…if we love your neighbors, we need to be ready to provide an alternative within our congregations," said Moore.
The ERLC is an entity of the Southern Baptist Convention and is dedicated to "engaging the culture with the gospel and speaking to issues in the public square for the protection of religious liberty and human flourishing."
The event will be the convention's first ERLC Leadership Summit and the main sessions will be live-streamed on www.erlc.com