Now that Christianity is strange to the larger American culture, Christians have an opportunity to reclaim the freakishness of the Gospel message, Russell Moore writes in his new book, Onward: Engaging the Culture Without Losing the Gospel.
"As American culture changes, the scandal of Christianity is increasingly right up front, exactly where it was in the first century. The shaking of American culture will get us back to the question Jesus asked his disciples at Caesarea Philippi: 'Who do you say that I am?' As the Bible Belt recedes, those left standing up for Jesus will be those who, like Simon Peter of old, know how to answer that question.
Once Christianity is no longer seen as part and parcel of patriotism, the church must offer more than 'What would Jesus do?' moralism and the 'I vote values' populism to which we've grown accustomed. Good," wrote Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, in Chapter two. more >>
This weekend I was in Charleston for the first service at Emanuel AME Church after the brutal white supremacist terrorist attack of this past week. Walking around downtown, I was struck by the unity of the city.
People stood before the church, singing. The town's churches displayed signs of solidarity and rang their bells together in unison. And the one thing I heard talked about more than anything else was forgiveness, specifically the way the families of the victims said they forgave the terrorist even after the murder of their loved ones. Some saw this as commendable; others were taken aback.
On the one hand, this sort of forgiveness is the reaction most people would hope they would have to evil. At the same time, most of the people who talked about this with me said they couldn't imagine that they could forgive such a thing. Some even wondered if the note of forgiveness was morally right. After all, they reasoned, this is a murderer who should be brought to justice. more >>
Failures of the Church to reach members of the LGBT community were highlighted at a Wednesday panel during the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in Columbus, Ohio.
Russell Moore, president of the SBC's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, advised parents to not throw their gay children out of the house. The sin of pride is what leads them to be ashamed when their children struggle with same-sex attraction, he explained.
"We need to equip parents not to be ashamed" of their gay, lesbian, transgender children, Moore said. "There are many parents who somehow feel, when they have gay, lesbian or transgender children, that somehow that's a reflection on them, that they didn't do something right, that everyone else in the community is talking about them. That is pride." more >>
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Southern Baptists will not bow and they will not be silent on same-sex marriage, Southern Baptist Convention president Ronnie Floyd told the annual gathering of Southern Baptists in Columbus, Ohio, June 16.
Floyd, pastor of Cross Church in Springdale, Ark., and now re-elected to a second term as president of the 15.5 million-member denomination, said it is time for Christians in general, and Southern Baptists in particular, to "stand believing that marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime."
"We have believed this and do believe this, and I believe will continue to believe this as a convention of churches. We stand for biblical and traditional marriage. As Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy said, 'This definition (of traditional marriage) has been with us for millennia. And it's very difficult for the court to say, 'Oh well, we know better.'" more >>
COLUMBUS, Ohio — In a blistering message aimed at Southern Baptists, evangelicals, Americans, the Supreme Court, and the world – Southern Baptist Convention president Ronnie Floyd pointed to some of the nation's most divisive issues Tuesday morning in his convention sermon.
In tackling same-sex marriage, racism, abortion, and the freedom of religion, the Arkansas pastor warned there is an "alarm clock going off in our nation and around the world" and now is not the time to push the "snooze button."
"Southern Baptists, now is the time to lead," he said. "We need to believe and stand on His Word and for His name unashamedly and boldly, but always compassionately." more >>