ERLC National Conference 2016: Russell Moore Says ‘Gospel-Defined Conservatism’ Is Needed Among Christians

Russell Moore urges Christians to conserve Gospel authority and community in his keynote speech at the ERLC National Conference Aug. 26 in Nashville. Photo by Rocket Republic
Russell Moore urges Christians to conserve Gospel authority and community in his keynote speech at the ERLC National Conference Aug. 26 in Nashville.
Photo by Rocket Republic

Christians need to make certain what they are seeking to conserve in America is distinguished by the Gospel of Jesus Christ, Russell Moore told attendees of a national conference on cultural engagement.

“[I]f what we are conserving is not defined by the Gospel, defined by a righteousness found in the lived life and shed blood of the resurrected Jesus Christ, a Gospel that is seen in the authority of the Bible as the Word of God, a Gospel seen in the community of the redeemed, a Gospel seen in that ministry of reconciliation, then we have nothing worth conserving at all,” the president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) said Friday evening (Aug. 26).

Moore’s keynote speech came in the final session of the ERLC’s two-day national conference titled, like his address, “Onward: Engaging the Culture Without Losing the Gospel.”

Many Christians may be interpreting the great cultural shifts in America wrongly, Moore said.

“We have many Christians who are fearful and panicky because their illusion of a Mayberry-like, Christian America is falling apart,” he said.

“Brothers and sisters, the shaking of American culture is no sign that God has given up on His church. The shaking of American culture well could be a sign that God is rescuing His church from a captivity we didn’t even know that we were in.”

The dramatic cultural change does not mean this is “a time for fear,” Moore told the audience at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville.

“This is good news, because with the changing of the culture around us, what is falling is the almost Christianity of cultural Christianity,” he said. “Mayberry is great unless there’s a hell, unless there’s a judgment day. And if there’s a day of judgment, an almost Gospel is worse than no Gospel at all. So we must be prepared to be the people who stand and stand fast and, if necessary, to be the people who are willing to stand alone.”

Basing his remarks on Galatians 1:10-2:14, Moore said Christians should be the kind of people who conserve a Gospel authority and a Gospel community.

If Christians “are not consistently preaching and teaching and holding fast to the word of the Bible, some other authority will fill the void,” he said.

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SOURCE: Baptist Press
Tom Strode