A report from the Southern Baptist Convention lays blame for a decline in giving to statements by a never-Trump Baptist ethicist.
In a long-awaited report released Monday (Feb. 1), a task force commissioned to study the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission calls the convention’s public policy arm a “significant distraction from the Great Commission work of Southern Baptists.”
Blaming the ERLC for the loss of more than a million dollars in constituent church donations to the denomination, the task force, led by Georgia pastor Mike Stone, quotes the leader of a state Baptist convention as saying, “The ERLC has been a stumbling block not worth the mission dollar investment.”
But there seems to be as much politics as economics in the report’s conclusions. It notes that in recent years, the fear of a “liberal” drift in the denomination has led some churches to leave the SBC or to withhold giving. Part of that dissatisfaction is aimed at the ERLC, and particularly at the Rev. Russell Moore, who has led the ERLC since 2013.
The inquiry into the ERLC was set up in February 2020, after members of the SBC’s executive committee raised concerns about giving to the denomination’s cooperative program, which funds statewide and denominational ministries.
A member of the executive committee recently called Vice President Kamala Harris a Jezebel.
Following the insurrection at the Capitol this January, Moore called on Trump to resign.
Mr. President, people are dead. The Capitol is ransacked. There are 12 dangerous days for our country left.
Could you please step down and let our country heal? https://t.co/wP3niITQv6
— Russell Moore (@drmoore) January 8, 2021