Russell Moore isn’t exactly rejoicing over the decline of the Christian moral majority that once dictated the social landscape of America. Issues like abortion, gay marriage and freedom of religion coupled with Christian apathy have pushed American culture to a dangerously far-left level.
However, the newly installed Southern Baptist Convention Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission president views the shift as a tremendous opportunity for followers of Jesus to develop a new strategy for attracting—and keeping—believers.
“We are no longer the moral majority,” Moore told the Wall Street Journal. “We were never promised that the culture would embrace us. We are a prophetic minority.”
By that, Moore means believers must step it up to make an impact on what has become a largely unbelieving society. He believes Christians should avoid retreating or taking an introverted approach to the perils society currently presents.
The manner in which the religious right has handled politics in recent years doesn’t sit well with Moore.
“There is no Christian position on the line-item veto,” he says. “There is no Christian position on the balanced-budget amendment.”
In essence, Moore tells Christians they must “refocus the movement” and publicly fight for Christ when it comes to “three core issues”—life, marriage and religious liberty.
“This is the end of slouching toward Gomorrah,” Moore told the Journal.
Concerning the abortion issue, Moore likes to refer to himself as a “long-term optimist.” He doesn’t believe there will be a short-term solution to the problem, and he thinks it might get even worse if chemically induced abortions become the norm.
And actually, Moore doesn’t feel Washington will solve the problem. Faith-based pregnancy crisis centers, he told the Journal, must make an impact on women who believe abortion is the only option. The evangelical adoption movement, which has emerged as a common practice across the country, will also be a big factor in reducing the number of abortions in the U.S.
Moore says it's up to pastors to talk to their congregations about same-sex marriage and the Southern Baptist Convention's opposition to the Supreme Court’s decisions on the subject in June. He says Christians need to love gays but cannot budge on the issue of redefining marriage.
“We don’t hate our gay and lesbian neighbors,” Moore told the Journal. “There are reasons why Christians are losing the debate over gay marriage. One is that even many Christians don’t have a real understand of what marriage is. We have embraced certain aspects of the sexual revolution, like the divorce culture. A couple’s marriage decision was once thought to be of church concern.”
Moore told the Wall Street Journal his “most profound political task will be defending religious liberty from the assaults of a secular government." He is most focused on Obamacare and the issue of forcing religious employers to pay for contraception, sterilization or the morning-after abortion pill.
“We are not adjusting to the new normal,” Moore said. “We are not going to go away or back down. The separation of church and state is not a liberal issue.”