The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission’s governing board is defending Russell Moore, the president of the commission, for his opposition of President Donald Trump.
In a statement released this week, the commission’s executive committee said that Moore has been speaking with “clarity and conviction” about “religious liberty, racial reconciliation, character in public office, and a Christian understanding of sexuality.” The statement did say, however, that Christians can “disagree on delivery, tactics, and approach.”
The Southern Baptist Convention has launched an investigation into the issue after there were numerous complaints over Moore’s criticism of Trump and his campaign. Many have questioned if such vocal opposition is within the role of the ERLC president.
In December, Moore apologized for his criticism of Trump defenders during the campaign season.
“I witnessed a handful of Christian political operatives excusing immorality and confusing the definition of the gospel,” he said. “But there were also pastors and friends who told me when they read my comments they thought I was criticizing anyone who voted for Donald Trump. I told them then, and I would tell anyone now: if that’s what you heard me say, that was not at all my intention, and I apologize.”
This week, along with the ERLC statement, Moore apologized for confusing voters.
“I stand by those convictions, but I did not separate out categories of people well—such that I wounded some, including close friends,” said Moore. “I cannot go back and change time, and I cannot apologize for my underlying convictions. But I can—and do—apologize for failing to distinguish between people who shouldn’t have been in the same category with those who put politics over the gospel and for using words, particularly in social media, that were at times overly broad or unnecessarily harsh. That is a failure on my part.”
The results of the SBC investigation into the issue are expected to be complete in September.
Publication date: March 21, 2017