This past weekend, President of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention (ERLC of the SBC) Dr. Russell Moore came to speak at The Village Church. Saturday morning, he led a forum entitled “Is Christianity Dying” Forum and Saturday night, preached a message entitled “God and Country Crucified Sermon at The Village Church”.
In August 1st’s forum, Dr. Moore’s own words answered the very question the forum was trying to answer: “We are not in a post-Christian America. We are at best a pre-Christian America.” With all that is going on politically in America, it seems as though the overwhelming response from Christians is being overwhelmed.
Christians feel out of place, rejected by society, and no longer in the majority of controlling ethics. For the first time in history. But not really. Russell Moore argues that this is familiar ground for Christians, and it’s time to embrace our roles.
Nominal Christianity in Decline
At one point in time, as Moore argues, being affiliated with Christianity had its perks. It took a lot of courage to step forward as an atheist or agnostic in the 20th century, because what American culture distinguished itself from others was a belief in God. God is what separated America from all the savage, communist nations.
Dr. Moore also argues that there was a dual shift happening in American society in the 1960s. On one side, useless traditions in religious settings seemed to be losing their place, while secularism was on the rise. This rising secularism claimed itself to be the ‘real America’ and the ‘silent majority’.
Secularism Breeds the Sexual Revolution
In an attempt to stay relevant and compassionate, says Moore, Evangelicals began to compromise without realizing it. They weren’t outright denying Biblical ethics—though rising Mainline Protestantism was—but were denying there was a problem at all. In not debating the issue, Evangelicals were not addressing questions that needed to be answered, therefore conceding before even discussing.
Polarizing of Society
Though it may seem like there are many more atheists this side of the millennium, Russell Moore insists that this is not the case. In his own words, “we do not have more atheists in America, we have more honest atheists.” This has led to Christians panicking and watering down Christianity.
Disappearance of the Miraculous
Upon the polarization of society, the religious against the irreligious, the idea of the miraculous was being deemed as illogical. Material logic became holistically the sole decider for all things true. In order to make the Gospel palatable, the miraculous part of the faith was being done away with. This is a major problem however, because the foundation of Christianity itself rests upon miraculous events such as the virgin birth and resurrection from the dead.
Dr. Moore presents a very solid case for the fact that—in his own words—God does not call America to the Church, but He calls the Church out of America. Hiding behind a veneer of somewhat Judeo Christian values isn’t the mission of the Church. Our mission is the Great Commission: to make disciples of all nations, spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ sacrificed and risen.
“Is Christianity Dying” forum with Russell Moore
“God and Country Crucified” sermon by Russell Moore
The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the SBC
“Onward: Engaging the Culture without Losing the Gospel” by Russell Moore