Southern Baptist Convention
For Russell Moore, whose sharp criticisms of Donald Trump voters nearly cost him his job as the public voice for America’s largest Protestant denomination, the path to regaining a prophetic platform is just beginning.
Moore started down that trail this week. After apologizing for being “unnecessarily harsh” during the campaign, he received a vote of confidence from the executive committee of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, the public policy arm of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission have affirmed ethicist Russell Moore, despite his criticism of President Trump that caused some to consider withholding funds from the denomination.
“For us not to stand in affirmation of the principles that Dr. Moore has espoused would be unfaithful to the mission entrusted to us by the Convention,” wrote the Executive Committee of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission in a statement posted on March 20, on the website of the agency that Moore leads.
In her sermon on the last Sunday of Black History Month, the Rev. Maria Swearingen preached about her belief that black lives, “queer lives,” and immigrant lives matter.
And since it also was Transfiguration Sunday, she pointed to the story in the Gospel of Matthew where God declared Jesus “beloved.” That is a term, she said, that can be used for everyone.
President Donald Trump had promised last week evangelical Christians would “love” his nominee for the Supreme Court.
And in fact, said evangelical author and president of The KAIROS Company Johnnie Moore, a member of Trump’s evangelical advisory board, “Evangelicals are ecstatic.”
On Jan. 31, Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch to fill the open seat on the Supreme Court left by the unexpected death of Justice Antonin Scalia nearly a year ago.
Sessions has long been, in the words of one prominent immigration advocate, the “most anti-immigrant senator in the chamber.” When George W. Bush, a self-styled “compassionate conservative” and born-again Christian, pushed a comprehensive immigration reform bill in 2007 that was supported by many business and law-enforcement officials, Sessions railed against what he called the “no illegal alien left behind bill” and led the charge against the failed effort. “Good fences make good neighbors,” he said at a press conference the year before.
Calvary Baptist Church, a progressive Baptist landmark in the heart of downtown Washington, has named a gay couple as co-pastors.
Sally Sarratt and Maria Swearingen were presented to the congregation during worship services on Jan. 8 and will begin their new jobs on Feb. 26.
Some of my friends have been talking about giving up the “evangelical” label, because of what it has come to be associated with, in this year’s political campaign. I’m not ready to make that move. I spent a good part of the 1960s trying hard not to be an evangelical, but without success.
When I marched for civil rights during my graduate school years, I helped to organize “ban the bomb” marches and protested the Vietnam War. I was clearly out of step with much of the evangelicalism of the day.
Canadian researchers are revisiting a hotly debated sociological question: Why do some churches decline while others succeed?
Since the 1960s, overall membership in mainline Protestant Christian churches has been dropping in both the U.S. and Canada.
But some congregations have continued to grow, and a team of researchers believes it now knows why. It’s the conservative theological beliefs of their members and clergy, according to researchers from Wilfrid Laurier University and Redeemer University College in Ontario.
As it is, white evangelicals made up a little more than a quarter of those who turned out to cast their ballots. And by winning 81 percent of their vote, Trump was assured the presidency.
Now, evangelicals are expecting much in return from a president-elect who did not mention God in his victory speech, who was “strongly” in favor of abortion rights until he was against them, who has said he does not believe in repentance, who has made lewd comments admitting to sexual assault.
In recent years, Southern Baptists have made racial reconciliation a top priority.
This week, delegates (called “messengers”) to the SBC’s annual meeting in St. Louis overwhelmingly passed a resolution urging Christians to “discontinue the display of the Confederate battle flag.”
Southern Baptists are usually the first to defend religious freedom. But when it comes to Muslims, some want to draw a line.
At their annual meeting in St. Louis, an Arkansas pastor said Baptists shouldn’t support the right of Muslims to build mosques, especially “when these people threaten our very way of existence as Christians and Americans.”
Southern Baptists turned a sharp focus on racism during their annual meeting, welcoming the president of a historically black denomination in a rare address to their national gathering.
“Those who would like to suggest that racism is not indeed a problem for the church but rather it is a sociological problem, I would argue it is without question a sin problem,” the Rev. Jerry Young, president of the National Baptist Convention, USA, told the predominantly white Southern Baptist Convention on June 14.
The Southern Baptist Convention, born in 1845 in a split over its support for slavery, passed a resolution calling for Christians to quit using the Confederate flag.
“We call our brothers and sisters in Christ to discontinue the display of the Confederate battle flag as a sign of solidarity of the whole Body of Christ, including our African-American brothers and sisters,” reads the resolution adopted Tuesday at the convention’s annual meeting in St. Louis.
Religious freedom is a foundational tenet for Southern Baptists, but apparently one church official in Georgia didn’t get the memo, at least as it applies to Islam.
Now Gerald Harris is facing sharp criticism, but also the prospect of a Ramadan meal with local Muslims who have invited him so he can get to know them better.
The Southern Baptist Convention is the largest Protestant denomination in the country, but it continues to lose members and baptize fewer people each year.
The latest statistics, compiled by LifeWay Christian Resources from church reports, show membership has dropped by more than 204,000, down 1.3 percent to 15.3 million members in 2015. It’s the ninth year in a row there has been a membership decline.
Pastors Frederick Haynes and George Mason both lead Baptist churches in Dallas, but they had never met until the not-guilty verdict in the death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin brought them together in 2013.
Now the two men — one the leader of a predominantly black megachurch, the other of a mostly white congregation — have signed a “covenant of action” spearheaded by former President Jimmy Carter.
Russell Moore may be president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. But don’t call him an evangelical — at least not until the current election cycle ends.
Moore started introducing himself as a “gospel Christian” a few weeks ago. That’s because, he said, “The word ‘evangelical’ has become almost meaningless this year, and in many ways the word itself is at the moment subverting the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
The Southern Baptist Convention will cut as many as 800 employees from its overseas missions agency to make up for significant shortfalls in revenue, officials announced Aug. 27.
The International Mission Board anticipates an annual budget shortfall of $21 million this year, following several consecutive years of shortfalls.
The developments are particularly painful for a denomination that was founded as a missionary-sending organization and that prides itself on making Christian converts across the globe.
Russell Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, is in the spotlight after interviewing former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio at an evangelical conference in Nashville on Aug. 4. Moore spoke with Religion News Service’s Jonathan Merritt about a range of pressing issues and the message of Moore’s new book, Onward: Engaging the Culture Without Losing the Gospel.
Fighting to allow people to live by their religious convictions, even if those convictions are unpopular or criticized, is a battle Jeb Bush believes the next president must lead.
The former Florida governor and GOP presidential candidate pledged to defend religious liberty in front of an estimated 13,000 evangelical pastors attending a massive Southern Baptist Convention event Aug. 4 at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.