Skip to comments.‘The Bible Belt is Collapsing’
Posted on 08/17/2013 6:46:43 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
A fascinating interview in the Wall Street Journal with Russell Moore, the incoming president of the Southern Baptist Conventions Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. This influential position was held previously by Richard Land, who became a well known face on the cable nets and Sunday shows.
Moore says, in essence, that the culture war has been lost:
The Bible Belt is collapsing, says Russell Moore. Oddly, the incoming president of the Southern Baptist Conventions Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission doesnt seem upset. In a recent visit to The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Moore explains that he thinks the Bible Belts decline may be bad for America, but its good for the church.
Why? Because we are no longer the moral majority. We are a prophetic minority.
The phrase is arresting coming from such a prominent religious leaderakin to a general who says the Army has shrunk to the point it can no longer fight two wars. A youthful 41, Mr. Moore is among the leaders of a new generation who think that evangelicals need to recognize that their values no longer define mainstream American culture the way they did 50 or even 20 years ago.
On gay marriage, abortion, even on basic religious affiliation, the culture has moved away. So evangelicals need a new way of thinkinga new strategy, if you willto attract and keep believers, as well as to influence American politics.
The easy days of mobilizing a ready-made majority are gone. By prophetic minority, he means that Christians must return to the days when they were a moral example and vanguarddefenders of belief in a larger unbelieving culture. He views this less as a defeat than as an opportunity.
He is definitely pushing a new tone for this generation of evangelicals. This is the end of slouching toward Gomorrah, he says. Not only is the doomsaying not winning Christians any popularity contests, but he doesnt think its religiously appropriate either. We were never promised that the culture would embrace us.
He also questions the political approach of what was once called the religious right. Though his boyish looks bring to mind the former Christian Coalition leader Ralph Reed, Mr. Moore is decidedly not a fan of the values voter checklists the group employs. There is no Christian position on the line-item veto, Mr. Moore says. There is no Christian position on the balanced-budget amendment.
Which is not to say that Mr. Moore wants evangelicals to turn inward and reject the larger U.S. culture. Rather, he wants to refocus the movement on serving as a religious example battling in the public square on three core issueslife, marriage and religious liberty.
Politically, the evangelical right isnt going anywhere. They will still play a large role in Republican party politics, and will still be indispensable to the campaigns of dozens of Republicans in many districts.
But to a secularist like me, Mr. Moores words sound like a welcome dose of pragmatism. Achieve what is doable, accept the world not for what you would have it be, but for what it is. This is not to say that there shouldnt be an effort a war, if you will to fight on many issues. But perhaps the battles will be fought on a different kind of battlefield one where moral authority is gleaned not from numbers or political power, but from the light of example.
Read the whole interview for some fascinating insights.
We got overrun with furriners, poor economy and tyrannical leadership. But we’re still here.
Christians were never more powerful than when willing to die for their faith in the coliseum.
I personally have proof (you must find your own proof) that God is right here with me.
We were told that a time would come for martyrdom. Let's go get ours.
Personally, I like the idea of lions' teeth sinking into my flesh and bones...if it is done as evidence of my/our faith in Him.
Yes, the Culture War has been lost. Like a snowball running downhill for the past 50 years. No politics, nor politician, nor Republican party can save us. Whereas the Republican Party is the only cultural force outside of Christianity that opposes this cultural tide. Unfortunately, it can be said for both the Republican Party and the orthodox Christian and Catholic churches is that they have served as an ineffectual doorstop against a door that is intending to swing wide open. And we are looking at nearly swung wide open right now!
Like the 1st century through 3rd century Rome ....there will be martyrs.
We’re winning on abortion, slowly but steadily, which is probably more important as an issue than gay “marriage”. Seems like the wrong time to throw in the towel to me.
Sounds like another good reason to give safe haven to the Copts of Egypt. They aren’t southern Baptists but they are devout Christians.
How blessed we are to have been born in the Bible Belt. When you think about it long and hard...it makes perfect sense. Those outside the Bible Belt reject the Lord (not all...just some).
How lucky we are to live inside the Bible Belt and feel its warmth.
bad for America, but its good for the church”
This seems pervasive today.
Ive often wondered what it was like to live in Germany or Japan in 1945.
It seems to me they, like many in the US, have ceded defeat.. its only the terms of surrender that need negotiation.
Personally I will never accept indifference and willful ignorance over pride in the greatest country mankind has managed to create, with generous help from above.
I will never capitulate say whats best for me me is bad for America..
Exactly! A willingness to go go prison or die for the faith will cluster, confound and defeat metroosexuals.
I sound pretty cynical, don't I?
“he wants to refocus the movement on serving as a religious example battling in the public square on three core issueslife, marriage and religious liberty.”
Fantastic article. He got my attention!
We’re winning on abortion which towers above issues like gay marriage that don’t have its moral importance. Abortion is the left’s sacrament and we’re winning. We are in the left’s sanctuary, overturning it idols. Now is the wrong time to give up.
I went to these money grubbing
“churches “ for 55 years. When babies were being slaughtered— they said nothing. When sexual perversion , an “abomination to God” ran rampant ,they sang hymns or “praise and worship” but they said nothing.( it would hurt collections). They are worthless institutions in the eyes of God. They mean nothing.
“Rather, he wants to refocus the movement on serving as a religious example battling in the public square on three core issueslife, marriage and religious liberty.”
There’s another article floating around here on FR about the homosexual agenda to destroy religion. Looks like this new guy at the SBC is preparing for that battle.
Read the book if you want to understand.
One + God is always a majority.
Lost? seems we’ve been hearing that since Noah landed his boat on the shore.
we actually arent winning, but hearts and minds are shifting in our favor....maybe temporarily, maybe a short lived blip, maybe something better.
As to your comment about me giving up?
You sure do read alot into a few of my compact sentences and incorrectly.
Amen, say it again, Rooster!
You don't speak for God. He draws his people in strange ways, opening their eyes with great care...and you are no one to judge.
You need to offer up an apology for your comment (and not to me).
Freep-mail me to get on or off my pro-life and Catholic List:
Please ping me to note-worthy Pro-Life or Catholic threads, or other threads of general interest.
Actually gay marriage and abortion are the same issue and the losses of GM, I think over compensate for the gains on abortion.
If our pastors return to preaching the Gospel we will have revival. As long as we put our faith in man (politicians) we are doomed.
The Church of Christ is so much bigger than just the Catholic Church. But we true believers are all a part of it.
So please stop fighting amongst yourselves over denominational matters.
Is it not about the Lord?
Our nation will continue in its downward nosedive as long as Christians and conservatives continue send their children into godless and socialist-entitlement single payer K-12 indoctrination centers!
Please remember that nearly every teacher in this nation ( pre-K through graduate school) was trained by godless Marxists in Marxist dominated colleges and universities.
I didnt use that quote in a Catholic way. Its the Bible and I used the sentence in full and underlined the part I was talking about. Is that not clear?
Now Christians have to actually act like Christians in order to gain authority within the Christian community.
Glad to hear of your recent experience and testimony. Spread the Word.
Read the book if you want to understand.
Just ordered it today, actually.
Christianity is not about denomination...it is about the Lord.
I wonder how many of today's Christians, even in the famous "leadership" positions, would have been with those in that crowd calling for His death. If He were to show up today, as He did then, how many would recognize Him or would be like those leaders of His day, witness His miracles, then call it the work of Satan?
How many care more about their egos, their passions and their empires, than about His Word, which they can recite by heart, but whose heart doesn't feel and head doesn't heed? Where are they leading those entrusted to their care?
I worry about US and the government we've created, that mouths the words it claims to believe, like many of us, that violates most of the 10 Commandments as a matter of policy and tax code, not to mention having legalized infanticide and soon, gay marriage.
Look around. The more we allow, the more we attract...and soon will call down upon us, if you catch my drift. There are signs and warnings now, even I can see them, but next comes...?
Here stand I. I can do no other
Whether we like it or not, Nietzsche was correct.
I didn't know you were Catholic...so please forgive me for my criticism.
Christians come in all denominations...
You wouldn’t happen to have atitle or a link would you, FRiend?
Thanks in advance ;)
I wrote a review on Amazon for that book, it was so good I read it twice.
Most timely book of our time.
Goes beyond Richard Neuhaus “The Naked Public Square: Religion and Democracy in America” which itself was a book for its time in the 80’s and 90’s. Since that time we are becoming nearly banished from the public square and our influence for the culture.
Here you go:
Of course they are. Both abortions and marriage “redefinition” involve declaring war on the Genesis 1:27-28 principle and divorcing marriage from the procreative act. While I don’t deny the existence of individual homosexual persons who hold pro-life views, the homosexualist and pro-abortion ideologies are inextricably linked to an anti-Christian and anti-procreative mentality.
Nietzsche is nothing more than a charmer and entertainer, but he is incorrect.
He died insane.
And on the third day, he did not rise again.
They call her Mary, but syncretistically speaking, this is how they were convinced to join the Church...and they are still as active as ever.
I think it is called Marion worship today.
Semiramis redux, eh?
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.