Jerry Falwell, Jr. Takes On Russell Moore for Calling for Better Treatment of Children at the Border

Scott Slayton | Contributor | Wednesday, June 26, 2019
Jerry Falwell, Jr. Takes On Russell Moore for Calling for Better Treatment of Children at the Border

Jerry Falwell, Jr. Takes On Russell Moore for Calling for Better Treatment of Children at the Border

Liberty University President Jerry Falwell, Jr. took on Russell Moore, President of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, on Twitter Tuesday after Moore expressed his concern about the treatment of children at the nation’s southern border.

Moore shared a tweet from the Associated Press which linked to their coverage of the squalid conditions at a Border Patrol Station in Texas. The report disclosed that most of the children had been removed from the station after the AP discovered that 300 children had been housed there without adequate food, water, and sanitation.

Moore commented, “The reports of the conditions for migrant children at the border should shock all of our consciences. Those created in the image of God should be treated with dignity and compassion, especially those seeking refuge from violence back home. We can do better than this.”

Falwell, who has been critical of Moore in the past, questioned Moore’s authority to speak on the issue asking, “Who are you @drmoore? Have you ever made a payroll? Have you ever built an organization of any type from scratch? What gives you authority to speak on any issue? I’m being serious. You’re nothing but an employee- a bureaucrat.”

Jack Graham, pastor at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas, also expressed his disappointment with Moore’s tweet. He said, “This is a very inaccurate report! I’ve been to the border and seen the great work our Border Agents are doing along with churches like ours which are ministering in Jesus name. Extremely disappointing @drmoore.” 

Moore responded to Graham, saying that he was merely expressing what the President had already said.

He also said that he knows Graham’s church is doing great work at the border. Graham told Moore that “we need more help at the border” and invited Moore to go with him.

As Christian Headlines has reported, this is not the first time Falwell has taken aim at Moore. In May, while the Liberty University President was commending Adam Greenway, the new President of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, he shared that popular SBC pastor Jerry Vines told him that Greenway “is a wonderful man and not part of the @drmoore SBC deep state regime trying to subvert the will of church members.”

Falwell, one of the first evangelical leaders to publicly support Donald Trump during the 2016 Republican primaries, also ruffled feathers earlier this month when he criticized David Platt, who is the lead pastor at McLean Bible Church in northern Virginia. President Trump’s staff called church staff at McLean on a Sunday morning and let them know they would be dropping by and asked if Platt could pray for Trump in their service. Platt spoke with Trump backstage and then brought the President out and prayed for him. The next day, Platt wrote a pastoral letter to his congregation to explain how the events unfolded surrounding the President’s visit and answering the objections of some congregants who were bothered by the event.

Falwell tweeted, “Sorry to be crude but pastors like [David Platt] need to grow a pair. Just saying.” After many questioned how the leader of an evangelical institution could use such language, Falwell retorted that he is not a minister, but rather a trained attorney and real estate developer who focuses on the business aspects of the school while leaving spiritual development to others. Falwell eventually deleted the tweet.

Moore is not alone in his concern about conditions for detained children at the border. According to the Associated Press, on Face the Nation Sunday, Vice President Pence said the situation is “totally unacceptable” and called on Congress to allocate additional resources for border security. The House of Representatives passed $4.5 billion in border funding Tuesday night.

Disclosure: Russel Moore worked as a grader for two classes in which the author was a student in 2000 and 2001.

Scott Slayton writes at “One Degree to Another.”

Photo courtesy: Getty Images/Alex Wong/Staff

Jerry Falwell, Jr. Takes On Russell Moore for Calling for Better Treatment of Children at the Border