Will Hall of Baptist Message believes that many Southern Baptists are asking whether the ERLC, under the leadership of Russell Moore, truly represents them. Has Moore shown contempt for Christians who think differently than him, as Hall suggests? He asserts that “Moore’s scale for assessing one’s biblical bona fides appears politically calculated to raise his own stock at the expense of other evangelical conservatives.”
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When an unnamed staffer “boasted” to the online media outlet Think Progress in October 2014 that Russell Moore had “completely rebranded” the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, few could have imagined what this meant.
However, Moore’s all-in campaign against presidential candidate Donald Trump, highlighted by his most recent attacks on Liberty University for hosting Trump at a student convocation, reveals something quite unexpected about Moore when he was elected to lead the ERLC in 2013—a penchant for disdain for Christians who think differently than him.
Moore rightly points out Trump’s moral flaws—and character should count—and he has a right and responsibility to comment on Trump’s policies and to share his view of what these might mean in terms of Christian values.
But Moore’s dislike for Trump goes beyond the pale, translating into disrespect and even contempt for any Christian who might weigh these considerations differently than Moore when comparing the range of personal beliefs and behaviors as well as public records of ability and achievement within such a large field of candidates for the White House.