Public engagement of cultural issues in a “Christ-shaped manner” is crucial for pastors and other Christians, ethicist Russell D. Moore said after hosting Southern Baptist leaders at a briefing in the U.S. Capitol.
Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), joined congressional leaders and members of both legislative chambers in speaking to briefing participants June 12 in the Capitol building. The ERLC sponsored the event the day after the close of the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting in Baltimore.
Speakers for the briefing were Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky; House of Representatives Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R.-Va., who had lost his primary race only two days earlier; Sens. Marco Rubio, R.-Fla., and Lamar Alexander, R.-Tenn.; Rep. Frank Wolf, R.-Va.; and Katherine Haley, staff member with Speaker of the House John Boehner, R.-Ohio. In off-the-record remarks, they addressed such issues as religious freedom in this country and overseas, values, an effort to protect church plans in the health care reform law, and living as a Christian on Capitol Hill.
One reason he wanted to take a group of Southern Baptist leaders to Washington, Moore said after the briefing, “is that so many of our pastors think they have to choose between speaking about the Gospel or speaking about issues in the culture, and one of the things we’re trying to do at the ERLC is show that it’s not an either/or situation but rather a both/and.”
“We have a Great Commission that demands we both make disciples and observe all that our Lord has commanded us — including the need to work for justice and righteousness, and be a voice of conviction and kindness as we seek to persuade an increasingly secular society,” he said in a statement for Baptist Press.
Moore said, “We can’t vote to repeal the Fall, but we can and we must engage the culture with the gospel.”
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SOURCE: Baptist Press