Changing of the guard for SBC ethics commission

Meredith Flynn —  June 11, 2013
Russell Moore (right), the new president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission explains that the ERLC will support principles, rather than specific legislation. President Emeritus Richard Land (left) led the commission for 25 years.

Russell Moore (right), the new president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission explains that the ERLC will support principles, rather than specific legislation. President Emeritus Richard Land (left) led the commission for 25 years.

HOUSTON | Richard Land, President of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission for the past 25 years, turned over the organization’s leadership reigns to new president Russell Moore during the ERLC’s report Tuesday afternoon.

The two men only stood together for a moment, to tag-team answer a question about the ERLC’s stance on immigration reform.

Land’s contribution to the ERLC and to Southern Baptist history was celebrated in a video that showed a lighter side of the long-time culture warrior. Footage of Land telling humorous stories from his past was intercut with words of appreciation from SBC leaders like Al Mohler and Paige Patterson, and from conservative stalwarts on Capitol Hill. Land received a standing ovation from the audience in Houston.

Then, Moore took to the podium. Repeating a phrase he used at Tuesday morning’s “Marriage on the Line” breakfast hosted by the ERLC, he committed to lead churches to act with “convictional kindess” in a world that presents questions that wouldn’t have been asked a generation ago. And referencing Ephesians 6, he urged Southern Baptists to remember who the true enemies are.

“We oppose demons. We don’t demonize opponents.”

He also tried to put in perspective Christians’ ideological differences with the culture.

“We have no reason to be fearful or sullen or mean. We’re not the losers of history,” Moore said.

“Since Jesus is marching onward and since the gates of hell cannot hold Him back, why on earth would we be panicked over the Supreme Court?”

 

Meredith Flynn

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Meredith is managing editor of the Illinois Baptist newspaper.