June 9, 2016


Russell Moore to Justice Conference: Don't be Silent on Unborn, Sexuality, and Hell (Chelsen Vicari, 6/08/16, Juicy Ecumenism)

Too often, Moore said, Christians are tempted to solely focus on the social issues that their peers or "tribe" approve. "When I'm speaking to people in my tribe of conservative confessional evangelicalism," explained Moore, "I often have to say you are pro-life, and rightly so, but because you recognize the image of God and the humanity of God in the unborn child and in his or her mother, you must also recognize the humanity and dignity of God in people who might not be politically popular with you right now: with prisoners, with refugees, with immigrants. And that works the other way too."

The bulk of Moore's discussion urged his audience to recognize the dehumanizing of the unborn as equally unjust as the dehumanizing of other vulnerable groups more popular among younger Christians. "There are other justice-oriented Evangelicals who sometimes are very willing to speak out, rightly so on these issues of trafficking and racial injustice, but who are afraid to speak up on the issue of abortion..."

"If we are unwilling to speak to what is happening not only in our country but around the world with the dehumanizing of children because they are hidden with the wounding that takes place with women and men and societies by an industry that promises people an easy fix," said Moore. "Then we will empower injustice and we will also signal to the rest of the world if you can just get the oppressed small enough and hidden enough and politically powerless enough, we will have nothing to say.

Moore's comments were indeed a change in tone for the Justice Conference. Last year, evil was discussed largely in terms of white supremacy. But Moore pointed out that evil also looks like America's abortion giant, Planned Parenthood. He encouraged his young listeners "to be the people to stand up to Planned Parenthood and say there are no unloved women and there are no unwanted children" and to recognize women in crisis are being sold "a violent so-called solution to their problem and they're being told that all of this will happen in anonymity and with no consequences as an industry works to create both a supply and demand for this violent act."

Apart from the sanctity of life, Moore briefly touched on Christian sexual ethics. He noted some Evangelicals are "afraid to speak up on a biblical view of issues of human sexuality because they're afraid that somehow that means they will be associated with people in polyester somewhere that they don't want to be like. How cowardly."

After this particular comment came an audible "wow" from somewhere on the other side of the sanctuary.  Among the chatty youth group I had been sitting among all morning, there was a moment of shocked silence. Then came snarky murmurs soon afterwards.

Undeterred by my youth group friends' murmurs, Moore continued, "If we are silent about what the Scriptures and 2,000 years of Church history has taught us about human sexuality and what it means to be right with God and what it means for children to grow up with both a mother and a father, if we are silent at any of those points then we're really not the justice people, we're really not Gospel people. We're just people who are protecting our platforms and we're just choosing on which one to stand."

Posted by at June 9, 2016 7:34 PM