Southern Baptist Convention's Moore: Christians Can't Be Political 'Mascots'

Image: Southern Baptist Convention's Moore: Christians Can't Be Political 'Mascots'

Tuesday, 22 Oct 2013 07:42 AM

By Elliot Jager

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Russell Moore, President of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, the main public voice of the Southern Baptist Convention, told The Wall Street Journal that it was time for evangelicals to tone down their partisan political rhetoric.

Asserting that Christians may be involved in the political process, but must be wary of being co-opted by it, Moore urged evangelicals to "Remember that we are not Americans first. We belong to another kingdom" and therefore must not become "mascots for any political faction," according to the Journal.

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Not long ago, he approvingly re-tweeted this witticism attributed to Mississippi State House Speaker Philip Gunn: "I recently was introduced to a crowd as a 'Christian politician' and someone in the back yelled 'make up your mind!'"

Moore adheres to traditional Baptist theological positions. He has equated abortion with  slavery, views homosexuality as a sin, and vigorously opposes gay marriage. He emphasizes, however, the doctrinal distinction between sin and sinner.

He is on record as saying that some conservative Christians had been seduced by "populist God-and-country sloganeering and outrage-generating talking heads."

A registered independent, Moore, age 42, took over the Baptist Convention in June and is known to be concerned about the generational shift in the movement. Some younger members are more moderate on personal freedom issues and in political outlook. He does not want politics to push young people away from their faith. To keep Millennials engaged in the church, he advises pastors to be "winsome, kind and empathetic."

Many evangelicals of all ages find politics increasingly distasteful, the Journal reported.

The Southern Baptist Convention is the country's largest evangelical group with nearly 16 million members.

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