Russell Moore was a top official at the nation’s largest Protestant denomination.
Now editor-in-chief of Christianity Today, Moore tells NPR that Christianity is in “crisis.”
Evangelicals are asking pastors if teachings from Jesus are “liberal talking points,” Moore said.
A former top official at the Southern Baptist Convention, the nation’s largest Protestant denomination, believes Christianity in America is in “crisis” after seeing how politics influence evangelicalism’s teachings.
Russell Moore, the former president of SBC’s policy arm, recently shared his concerns with NPR about the future of Christianity in the US and how tribalism and politics are bleeding into the religion.
He said “multiple pastors” have told him the “same story” about being approached and questioned after their preachings on the Sermon on the Mount, one of the more popular teachings from the Gospel of Matthew that, among other lessons, teaches people to “turn the other cheek.”
Moore told NPR that pastors are being asked, “Where did you get those liberal talking points?”
“And what was alarming to me is that in most of these scenarios, when the pastor would say, ‘I’m literally quoting Jesus Christ,’ the response would not be, ‘I apologize,'” Moore told NPR. “The response would be, ‘Yes, but that doesn’t work anymore. That’s weak.’ And when we get to the point where the teachings of Jesus himself are seen as subversive to us, then we’re in a crisis.”
Moore said the problem partly stems from how “almost every part of American life is tribalized and factionalized,” including the church.
He believes the solution cannot occur at a “movement level” or through a “war for the soul of evangelicalism” but rather at a “small and local” level.
Moore, now the editor in chief of Christianity Today, has previously criticized Donald Trump as a presidential candidate and the Southern Baptist Convention’s response to a bombshell report that revealed how the denomination ignored sexual abuse allegations for decades.
An SBC spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment sent during the weekend.
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