You may remember the debacle from a few years ago, Southern Baptist Convention Ethics and Religious Liberty (ERLC) leader, Russell Moore spent an inordinate amount of time and resources defending an Islamic group who wanted to build a mosque where the building code restricted it.
Russell Moore joined hands with dozens in an interfaith coalition to lobby the government for the right to build a mosque as Islamic terrorism continues to take the lives of Americans and citizens of other peace-loving nations around the world. And when confronted about his actions at the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting, he responded with smug,
“You know sometimes we have to deal with questions that are really complicated and we have to spend a lot of time thinking them through and not sure what the final result was going to be. Sometimes we have really hard decisions to make. This isn’t one of those things.”
Fast-forward four years, the lobbying arm of the Southern Baptist Convention, the ERLC and Russell Moore, are silent as the State of California and the local governments of Los Angeles County have heaped hot coals of tyrannical wrath upon John MacArthur and his Grace Community Church.
As MacArthur and his church are tied up in legal battles, court appearances, and threatened with prison time and civil and criminal penalties for practicing what the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States guarantees the right to do — worship freely — Russell Moore has offered no aid or even commentary on the situation. John MacArthur continues to be a faithful servant, selflessly taking the wrath of tyranny and in a Christ-like fashion, continuing to serve his sheep modeling a picture of the gospel itself.
Thankfully, the Church still has great leaders like John MacArthur to model what it is like to shepherd a church through persecution. There are few left of such notoriety today, but we must not forget all of the unknown pastors who, as well, are standing in the path of tyranny for the flocks. We should continue to pray for these churches as well as John MacArthur. But one thing is clear, we’re not going to get any help for religious liberty from the leader of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention.