Is it time for Southern Baptists to get new leadership in Washington?
A new president of the greatest nation on earth will be sworn into public office in just over eight months.
Eight years of Barack Obama's butchered policies and broken promises have choked to death the American spirit. He promised he'd unite us both racially and politically. However, only the most obtuse observer could deny that racially and politically, the United States of America has perhaps become more hostilely divided than in any known era of American history.
Why Washington's Oval Office needs a new leader
The President's latest disruptive incursion into the local culture of heartland America is attempting to impose far leftist gender psychology upon local school boards and city governments by making children (along with their parents) and adults both acknowledge and accept culturally, legally, and psychologically--not to mention morally--sexual transgenderazation as a government protected civil right. In other words, the only two genetically categorized sexual identities on the globe--male and female--must now leave their lawfully and individually protected ponds of privacy only to now swim in the murky waters of a genderless swamp. Normal girls and boys and psychologically stable men and women are now being forced to share community restrooms not only with each other, but also with the psychologically disturbed and criminally-minded sexual perverts who literally thrive in murky, muddy backwater. Is it too much to call this societal insanity? Not for me it isn't.
But don't think you get to publicly debate the issue. For Barack Obama, it's not about debate. Rather it's about duty. President Obama's default modus operandi, fits the stature of a classical dictator. And while our democratic republic shows definitive signs of cracking apart, there remains enough gas in the tank to keep us traveling close enough to see our founding freedom mountain and consequently keep constitutional disorder at bay.
But make no mistake. While Obama is limited in his dictatorship, Obama nonetheless possesses the political heart of a dictator. Thus, for him, debate is not only wasted time, debate is disobedience on display, and therefore debate is criminal. Debate demands punishment. It requires immediate action. If not debate, what then? Duty. Simple duty. Duty is all that is required from its citizens in a dictatorship. Duty not to law as in republicanism but duty to the dictator.
So, President Obama is just being himself; just fulfilling the modus operandi of his dictatorish instincts, when he calls on North Carolina to fulfill its duty. Comply. Obey. Debate is not good. To be good citizens in the Obama regime is to obey the Obama regime. Duty. It's North Carolina's duty to obey the law, to obey the Dictator. But if they act unlawfully and disobey, the President is prepared to put teeth into his planned, top-down, around-the-law social transformation of American society by pulling federal monies earmarked for those arrogant, divisive, and disobedient state and local governments that refuse to readily march according to the beat of Obama's far leftist political drum.
Time for a definitive change in the White House. We need less dictatorism and more republicanism from all political parties in D.C.
President of Southern Baptists' Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, Russell Moore, continues to relentlessly ridicule and insult conscientious political conservatives as well as convictional evangelicals--including many within our own denominational base of Southern Baptists, Moore's denominational base of Southern Baptists-- who've become cautiously but convincingly minded to politically support Donald Trump as president. The majority of them do so for the simple reason that, if they do not, come Jan 2017, Hillary Clinton will be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States.
For them, there's just too much at stake to politically horse around with either starting a new party or uselessly writing in the name of an impossible-to-be-elected-candidate--namely, issues like SCOTUS, 2nd amendment rights, abortion-on-demand, immigration, religious liberty, IRS, among many others on a long list of concerns. Too, for these convictional evangelicals and political conservatives, neither is Trump their first pick for the job, but, given the hand the American people dealt them during the 2015-16 presidential card game, Trump became the only man for the job.
Even so, Dr. Moore continues to verbally harass and ridicule political conservatives and conservative Christians on many fronts in the national media like he does so in his condescending and arrogant remark happily recorded by The Baptist Press:
In this snide remark, Moore implies that evangelicals who support Trump are on the wrong side of Jesus, many evangelicals of whom belong to Moore's own denomination and are respected, dedicated members of churches that faithfully send money to the entity where he comfortably sits as president.
The salaries of Russell Moore and his staff are faithfully funded by the very churches whose respected members are routinely ridiculed and harassed by Dr. Moore for their personal political decisions. Talk about the dog biting the hand that feeds it!1
To suggest the question is whether evangelicals are politically on the right side of Jesus remains morally absurd on any number of levels not to mention such an implication politically and personally insults countless, dedicated, life-long Christian conservatives many of whom came to support Donald Trump out of a careful, prayerful, and at times, painful thinking-through process which reluctantly but convictionally led to the decision they finally embraced--I'm votingfor Trump as president.
However, to glibly ignore, as does Moore, many evangelicals' excruciating process in coming to grips in voting for a candidate in whom, all things equal, they would not support, but instead verbally spank them with an insulting soundbite about being on the "wrong side of Jesus" remains far too much to easily dismiss. When we start down that dangerous path of publicly divvying socio-politics according to whom we judge is "on God's side," we have effectively abandoned our most primitive instincts as Anabaptist/Baptist believers including an unintended but nonetheless indirect assault on our fundamental right to freedom of speech. After all, what evangelical or even mainstream denominational Christian would not want to be on God's side?
Thus, for Moore to insinuate evangelicals who've decided to vote for Donald Trump are on the wrong side of Jesus, seems, at least to me, nothing less than a religiously-designed bullying tactic that publicly brands them as second-rate, committedless Christians-in-name-only (CINO) who've sold their evangelical birthright for a bowl of cowardly political pottage.
If I am correct, and since it's time for a definitive change in the White House, could it also be time for Southern Baptists to consider new leadership in their Washington D.C. office?
Hence, while I'm confident it won't win me many friends or influence masses of Southern Baptist people positively my way, it's nonetheless time somebody should publicly (or privately, if need be) call for a leadership change at the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention.The door is surely all-but shut which made it probable or now even possible that Dr. Moore either could or should remain an effective representative voice in Washington D.C. for all Southern Baptists. It pains me come to this conclusion. But Dr. Moore's verbal abuse of and sometimes weird behavior toward2 not only political parties and candidates but also evangelical believers, believers a large part of whom support the entity over which he sits as president, cannot be so easily dismissed.
At minimum, no matter who wins the White House now--either Trump or Clinton--the Oval Office will remain an excluded domain for the ERLC.
And not just a deaf ear on any number of social issues mind you.
Rather the President's ear to listen to our concerns and convictions for our most cherished fundamental religo-socio-principle as Southern Baptists--a free church in a free state--will undoubtedly deafen toward anything we might contribute. And, if it's Donald Trump, who could blame him really, given Russell Moore's relentless personal, verbal attacks against him and his family?
In conclusion, as far as I am concerned, given Moore's record--both behavioral and verbal--over the last year, especially his record during the presidential primaries, it's beyond difficult to see how the ERLC can effectively and successfully fulfill its stated role in Washington D.C. Indeed until a new vision is cast for the ERLC's contribution to Southern Baptists, churches have every right--and perhaps even a moral obligation--to demand a full accounting from the trustee board as to precisely why Southern Baptists should continue to spend millions of Cooperative Program dollars on an entity which seems to be self-destructing before our very eyes. An entity that surely has, through systematic and unstymied verbal abuse by its president--abuse not only directed toward political personalities in the public square, but also toward faithful evangelicals for the convictional political positions they embrace by denouncing, ridiculing, and publicly condemning them for being on the wrong side of Jesus--fallen from grace in the eyes of Washington.
The narrative of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention has become a tragic drama religious freedom lovers everywhere lament. Once a great freedom-voice crying in the wilderness amongst the countless kingdoms of this world... once an undeniable mega resource center where Baptists could plow its rows and harvest its scholarly corn all day long, reaping dependable biblical and ethical assistance for virtually any issue imaginable facing pastors and churches today...
NOW, the ERLC has deteriorated from its once-great scholarly status to hardly more than a cheap blog site publishing light-weight posts by light-weight authors... a site the featured resources of which are mainly books for sale authored by the president and his staff... a site which majors in social-media and building a social-media platform and presence so people can keep up with the latest tweets by the president, the latest media-appearances of the president and all his staff. The scholarly aura ERLC once possessed is definitively vanished before our eyes.
Now, the ERLC focuses a large block of its time not on issues assisting the churches but on gaining followers on Facebook, Twitter, and other social-media platforms. More sadly still, when ERLC does focus on issues, the focus comes via the conference venue which costs hefty prices to benefit from the resources it provides. It's a demonstrable fact, conference venues, if planned and promoted properly, remains a cash cow for revenue, not to mention a coveted market-place to sell speaker resources. Is it now clear to the reader why ERLC focuses so much on successfully building a social-media platform? At least one reason, even if not the chief reason, is to advertise and sell its wares, wares of which are, please recall, mostly books by ERLC authors and the president's circle of friends he invites to grace the conference circuit platform.3
With the president's verbal abuse rehearsed above, coupled with the deterioration of the ERLC from a once-great scholarly resource center to a mediocre albeit popular blog-site, I'd have to say...
I must say...
I'm compelled to say...
It's time for a change in both Washington's Oval Office and Southern Baptists' ERLC office.4
1for the record, the visionary mission statement of the ERLC clearly indicates the entity's role as assisting churches with applying the gospel in the marketplace not denouncing them or ridiculing them or harassing them into submission in supporting or not supporting any given political party or political candidate. And that surely includes implicating convictional Baptists as posturing themselves on the wrong side of Jesus. Nor does the visionary statement mention a "prophetic" role the president possesses in denouncing particular political organizations or personalities like Dr, Moore has repeatedly behaved toward many of the primary presidential candidates albeit with an observable obsession with repeatedly singling out and denouncing Donald Trump as a Republican presidential candidate. As I see it, absolutely no assistance whatsoever is offered to either the American public at large or the evangelical community by simply calling people names or denouncing people's morals. These are smear tactics frequently used by the political organizations and candidates themselves--both Republican and Democrat--and should be completely discarded from entities supported by the Southern Baptist Convention, a convention made up of churches and members holding a variety of views on political parties and candidates.
2one example of Dr. Moore's weirdbehavior toward a political candidate and university president included Moore's twitter feed during Donald Trump's speech at Liberty University. All during the speech, Moore was on his keyboard tweeting responses to what either Donald Trump or LU president, Jerry Falwell, Jr. had to say. Among some of the more memorable, "Evangelicals can love a golden calf, as long as Aaron promises to make Mexico pay for it"; "Winning at politics while losing the gospel is not a win"; "Being faithful to the wife of one's youth is succeeding in real life." One critic suggested Moore looked more like a Junior High boy shooting spit-wads than the president of a major evangelical organization.
3conferences planned and promoted well through social media can profit conference planners hundreds of thousands of dollars from the admission fee alone; add to that the profits from resources and you've got a multi-million dollar business.
4some might assume I'm publicly calling to swiftly dismiss Dr. Moore like we would someone who has committed gross moral failures or acquiesced in potentially criminal behavior. I am not. No one who's read Moore's works or watched him on many occasions do exceptionally well before media cameras could miss his obvious giftedness on many levels. Nor should one assume I'm questioning either Dr. Moore's rightness with God or his scholarship as an ethicist. Rather the questions I raise infer a definitive new leadership at the ERLC which results in a new Southern Baptist face for Washington D.C. Hence, there's no reason--at least initially--to dismiss Dr. Moore from the ERLC. There is, however, plenty of reason--significant reason as rehearsed above--to dismiss Dr. Moore from his present roleas presidentof the ERLC. Thus, Dr. Moore could remain in any number of significant capacities at our Washington office, capacities, however, which would not include the presidential role. The office of ERLC president would be filled by another man suited and qualified to successfully represent all Southern Baptists in our nation's capital (It seems to me, that the perhaps the only reservations why Dr. Moore could not remain in our D.C. office in some other capacity would stem from either a) whether or not the new president could valuably accept Dr. Moore's giftedness contributing to the new vision he casts; or, b) despite the new leadership at the ERLC, Washington's elected politicians would still not bend an ear to the ERLC's concerns as long as Moore is a part of the equation.