White Supremacy and Racism Are 'Anti-Christ,' Russell Moore Tells Southern Baptists

(Photo: Matt Jones)Russell Moore addresses the delegates at the Southern Baptist Convention's Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Wednesday, June 14, 2017.

The president of the Southern Baptist Convention's policy wing called white supremacy and blood and soil racism "anti-Christ doctrines," and urged all Baptists to be "a sign of contradiction to the world."

Russell Moore reported on the efforts of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission at the annual Southern Baptist meeting in Phoenix on Wednesday. The ERLC, he reported, is "focused intensely on racial reconciliation."

Southern Baptists "must have the clarity and courage to apply the Gospel to the anti-Christ doctrines of blood and soil racism and white supremacy," Moore said, reiterating a theme he has often emphasized throughout his tenure as ERLC president.

"What would it say to the world around us if they saw our churches made up of every tribe and tongue and nation and language serving one another, loving one another?" he posed to thousands of Southern Baptist leaders and delegates.

"What they would see is a sign of contradiction to the outside watching world."

Moore was an instrumental figure at this week's annual meeting, facilitating a revision of language in a resolution condemning the "alt-right white supremacy," which passed overwhelmingly on Wednesday and was met with a standing ovation, after a similar resolution hit a snag earlier in the week.

Moore added in his remarks: "When the rest of the world wants to retreat back into ethnic silos, we instead should make it clear that we are one family, that we are one body, and that an attack on one part of the body is an attack on the whole, including the head, the Lord Jesus Christ."

Next year, the ERLC plans to partner with The Gospel Coalition to sponsor an event in Memphis commemorating the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination.

That the church so often lags behind the culture when it comes to issues of racial reconciliation is "to our shame," he said.

"We should lead with gospel clarity and we should do so not with a sense of hopelessness as the lost world sometimes does but with the understanding that Jesus can change people and that the gospel can change things ... the arc of the moral universe is long and it bends toward Jesus."

Moore also reported on the ERLC's commitment to contend for life and engage the culture.

In the face of increasingly complex questions about what it means to be human, the ERLC has dedicated much of its time to producing content to address every issue and every person in our churches, he reported. The ERLC partnered with LifeWay to design a curriculum on the pressing moral and ethical questions for churches and small groups.

In the same way that Martin Luther stood up for the timeless truth of the Gospel 500 years ago, so does the ERLC today, he said.

"That's why we stand, that's why we dissent, from a watching world and culture that would tell us that children are only valuable if they are planned, and only valuable if they are perceived as useful," he stated.

"And over the last year if there is one thing that has become even more clear, it is that Planned Parenthood is no friend to women, no friend to children, no friend to life and human dignity."

He spoke of the videos that continue to be released exposing the abortion provider's selling of fetal body parts. He urged the church of Jesus Christ to continue speaking out against the "predatory" abortion industry, decrying the fact that the government still subsidizes it.

Moore's group has been working to make the case that Planned Parenthood "should not receive a single cent of taxpayer money now or ever."

This is but one of the pro-life efforts the ERLC has been making, he continued, noting how the group has urged legislators to consider the rights of the unborn when confirming judicial nominees, raising up a new generation of pro-life leaders. Together with Focus on the Family, the ERLC hosted an Evangelicals for Life Summit in Washington, D.C., earlier this year.

What unites Southern Baptists is the commitment to share the Gospel, and the recognition that the real battle they face is not against flesh and blood, he said, referencing Ephesians 6.

"We will work to arm the next generation to apply the Bible to the world around us. We will equip them to stand anywhere in any culture and give a defense of the Gospel without fear."

"We'll go anywhere to carry out this work," he concluded.

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