Southern Baptist Commission President: Christians Must Fight for Freedom for Other Religions

Moore credit Theology 147WASHINGTON — At a symposium hosted last week at Georgetown University by the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) and the ecumenical Manhattan Declaration, Commission President Russell Moore explained his belief that Christians should fight for freedom for all religions—not just their own.

Andrew Walker, director of policy studies for the ERLC, served as moderator for the event, and fielded questions from various individuals pertaining to the persecution of Christians and the need to speak out in support of religious freedom.

“Are Christians at the forefront of religious freedom for all?” Walker presented to the group. “Do you understand the implications it must include our ‘other’?”

Russell Moore, the president of the Commission, then answered the question by stating that he believes Christians are guilty of only supporting freedom for their own religion.

“Well, that’s the key question, and it must be the case,” he stated. “One of the mistakes that Christians have made in years past is this kind of majoritarian understanding [that] we’ve got to fight for our own rights here and maintain our own rights without being very diligent and making sure we’re fighting for religious liberty for all persons.”

Moore explained that as a leader in evangelical Christianity, he doesn’t see much support for the rights other religions, and opined that it raises concerns.

“[T]hat hasn’t been the case throughout all of American history, but in recent years I think that’s been a problem, especially in my world of evangelical Protestantism,” he stated. “It’s just a lack of attention to this. But when we’re talking about liberty of conscience and freedom of religion, we’re talking about this for all people, and that’s because—not because we believe anything less about the Gospel as Christians…”

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Moore then provided the example of the building of mosques in American cities.

“Evangelical Christians need to be the first people—and Catholic Christians and others standing in any given community—saying [that] we really don’t want the mayor to have the power to keep a mosque out of here simply because it’s a mosque,” he stated.

“And not only because we know that’s eventually going to be turned against us, but also because we believe there is something important about keeping the state within its bounds, not taking on the role of God,” Moore said, “[and that we would] be able to have that free and open dialogue that we must have.”

However, some who have become aware of Moore’s comments have expressed disagreement, stating that the Lord would not be pleased with His people supporting the freedom to worship false gods in the land.

“Seems to me if we ‘fight’ at all, it’s to stand for what God commands us to do in the Bible and spread the message about Jesus Christ,” one commenter wrote. “Not ‘inclusive?’ Take that up with the Lord. Much as may rankle progressives, God isn’t about religious freedom. He didn’t even want his people to associate with those that worshiped other gods.”

“Jesus would never fight for Muslims and pagans to rule over a Christian nation,” another stated. “Christians need to stop living in a fantasy/utopia where they deceive themselves [that] they would be willing to obey Jesus in a future never never land dream, but not now ever obey King Jesus in the here and now…”

The symposium can be viewed in full at the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission website.

Photo: Theology147

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  • Samuel cagumbay

    In most Roman Catholic places, biblical Christianity is ostracized and persecuted unless of course you compromise with them. Actually, looking at the spiritual point of view, “the world hates you because it hated me first.” So the question is not on religion but the devil in that religion and individuals who hates the “Jesus in you.”

    • ll

      Idols are not the same as symbols. Stop the Catholic Bashing.. it’s been 400yrs already — Protest(ants) were formed when a King wanted to divorce.. You’ve had your protest – now stop being self righteous and assuming that you know God’s will..

  • Jordan Burch

    2 Chronicles 31
    New American Standard Bible (NASB)

    Idols Are Destroyed
    31 Now when all this was finished, all Israel who were present went out to the cities of Judah, broke the pillars in pieces, cut down the [a]Asherim and pulled down the high places and the altars throughout all Judah and Benjamin, as well as in Ephraim and Manasseh, [b]until they had destroyed them all. Then all the sons of Israel returned to their cities, each to his possession.

    2 And Hezekiah appointed the divisions of the priests and the Levites by their divisions, each according to his service, both the priests and the Levites, for burnt offerings and for peace offerings, to minister and to give thanks and to praise in the gates of the camp of the Lord.

    The struggle in our day is not giving religious freedoms to non-christians, its the christians who are often singled out! This is noted by Jesus himself

    2 Timothy 3:12 ESV
    Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,

    Seriously SBC? I dont follow the SBC closley, but this is to much! He should step down for saying these things. How did he ever become the president of the SBC? This is truly sad….

  • Allen Christensen

    Of course there should be a continuance of religious freedom in the U.S.- but we know that there is one religion that does not promote religious freedom anywhere in the world, INCLUDING THE U.S. Therefore, should radical Islam have freedom to undermine liberty in America by advocating a Caliphate and the subjugation to Sharia Law?