Russell Moore, who replaced Richard Land as the head of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, is supposed to be more moderate than his predecessor. You wouldn’t know it from the demagoguery he displayed in a panel discussion with Rick Warren, Samuel Rodriguez and David Platt.
The title of the panel discussion was “Hobby Lobby and the Future of Religious Liberty,” so named because of a vital case before the U.S. Supreme Court. Hobby Lobby – which is owned by the Greens, a family of evangelical Christians – has refused to abide by the federal government’s abortion/contraception mandate, which requires employers to provide abortion-causing drugs to their workers. Their challenge to the requirement awaits a decision by the high court, which is expected to announce its ruling before it adjourns in late June or early July.
“The justices will decide whether “there is the freedom to dissent and the freedom to accommodate these conscientious objections in the governing of people’s lives and the running of their businesses,” Moore said. “This will have everything to do with everything that your church does for the next 100 years.”
“I’m spending all of my time right now making sure that we stay out of jail,” he told the audience. “But there is one thing worse than going to jail, and that’s staying out of jail and sacrificing the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
Warren responded, “This issue may take – just as it did with Martin Luther King – it may take some pastors going to jail. I’m in.”
Platt, also a popular author and pastor of The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Ala., said he wants to raise “an army of church members who are in, who are in regardless of what happens in this case.”
A reason for the church’s complacency on religious liberty is many members “are not taking the risks for the gospel that we need to be taking, proclaiming the gospel,” Platt said.
Oh, you brave, brave souls, willing to risk going to jail for preaching the gospel. How inspiring to declare one’s courage in the face of a threat that doesn’t exist.