The SBC 2016 in St. Louis brought many memorable moments. One of which came when Dr. Russell Moore, President of the ERLC–the public policy arm of the Southern Baptist Convention–fielded a question on “how in the world” Baptists could support the religious freedom of Muslims to build mosques in the US.
A sad reality of the SBC is that our convention carries in the minds of many undertones of racism and bigotry. While we have taken definite steps forward in the past decade, the SBC in St. Louis in many ways represented a watershed moment. We as a convention overwhelmingly voted to repudiate the display of the Confederate Flag (See Merritt and the SBC on the Confederate Flag), and in response to this question Dr. Moore stood with courage and conviction on the issue of religious liberty for all faiths. As he climactically stated, “The answer to Islam is not government power; it is the gospel of Jesus Christ and the new birth.”
Praise God that we have gospel-minded, courageous leaders like Drs. Moore and Merritt who can lead the SBC to outright denounce our racist stereotype, warranted or not, and move forward with gospel clarity to truly be the Great Commission Convention.
Baptist 21 is also very thankful for the ERLC’s continued sponsorship, having been a key supporter of our most recent panel in St. Louis. Stay tuned for the video of the panel to be posted!