If you’ve been watching the news, you’ve probably noticed the push among Democrats to set prisoners free in cities like Philadelphia, New York City, and Chicago amid the coronavirus outbreak. Democrats — who never let a good crisis go to waste — have argued that the coronavirus outbreak could overwhelm the prison system and we would be unable to maintain a healthy environment for prisoners to live.
Their solution: let thousands of violent criminals out into the streets of already crime-ridden cities during times when police have already been ordered to prioritize the enforcement of the law and leave citizens — who aren’t even allowed to buy guns during the epidemic — to fend for themselves.
Brilliant move. And, well, Southern Baptist Ethicist, Russell Moore has already expressed his agreement with this sentiment.
Last November, Moore joined Prison Fellowship activists to begin a push to set prisoners free. Below is what I wrote at the time:
When the church abandons the gospel for social activism, Russell Moore is what you end up with.
Russell Moore isn’t a Christian leader, he’s a political activist — and a far-left one at that. Russell Moore is the head of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) and a political change agent. A former Democratic staff member, Moore has taken his leftist political ideology and transformed the Southern Baptist Convention into a progressive organization wrought with anti-Christian ideologies such as Critical Race Theory.
Putting a Christian facade over these progressive ideas and cloaking them in Bible verses, Moore has been able to turn a large portion of the once conservative denomination into a religious organization that now largely elevates social issues such as financial and economic equality over and above biblical issues such as abortion and homosexuality.
Now, Russell Moore has joined with a progressive Christian social justice prison organization that advocates for lower sentencing for criminals in an effort to lower the imprisonment rate.
According to Prison Fellowship’s website, they adhere to a “holistic approach” to breaking the cycle of crime and restoring prisoners to society. One of those approaches? Well, let’s just stop imprisoning people for certain crimes, especially drug crimes. Their position on drug crimes states that they believe that “federal and state drug penalties are often disproportional to the crime” and that they support “critically evaluating how drug penalties may play a role in contributing to racial disparities.”
They also believe in raising the felony threshold for larceny.
Comparing the civil justice system to the cross is a foolish move, at best. The Church and the civil government are two separate God-ordained institutions for a reason. The Church is to show compassion by preaching the gospel to the lost while the civil government is to weild the sword of authority (Romans 13:4).
Telling the Church that we need to support setting prisoners free because Jesus set us free at the cross is just plain dumb. The issue here is that Russell Moore likes to call his arbitrary acts of social justice “gospel mandates,” and since he gets to decide what constitutes a “gospel mandate,” he gets to add to the gospel. The Bible does not call the church to interfere with the civil government’s justice system. The Bible does not call the church to fight for economic equality for all people. The Church is called to proclaim the gospel and point to Christ.