Russell Moore was a high-ranking figure in the country’s main Protestant church.
Moore, who is now the editor-in-chief of Christianity Today, tells NPR that Christianity is in “crisis.”
Evangelicals are asking pastors if Jesus’ teachings are “liberal talking points,” according to Moore.
A former top official of the Southern Baptist Convention, the country’s largest Protestant organization, feels Christianity in America is in “crisis” after witnessing how politics influences evangelicalism’s beliefs.
Russell Moore, the former president of the SBC’s policy arm, recently spoke with NPR on the future of Christianity in the United States and how tribalism and politics are infiltrating the faith.
He claimed that “multiple pastors” had told him the “same story” about being approached and questioned after speaking on the Sermon on the Mount, one of the most popular teachings from Matthew’s Gospel that urges people to “turn the other cheek.”
Pastors are being asked, according to Moore, “Where did you get those liberal talking points?”
“And what was alarming to me was 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 answer would be, ‘Yes, but that doesn’t work anymore.'” That’s inadequate.’ And when the teachings of Jesus Christ are considered as subversive to us, we’ve reached a tipping point.”
Moore believes the problem originates in part from the fact that “almost every aspect of American life is tribalized and factionalized,” including the church.
He feels that the solution cannot come from a “movement level” or a “war for the soul of evangelicalism,” but must come from a “small and local” level.
Moore, who is currently the editor in chief of Christianity Today, has previously slammed Donald Trump as a presidential contender as well as the Southern Baptist Convention’s reaction to a bombshell study that revealed how the denomination disregarded sexual abuse complaints for decades.
An SBC spokeswoman did not react promptly to a comment request submitted over the weekend.