It’s no secret that Donald Trump and Russell Moore are at odds with one another. Moore, the president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, has weathered a slew of criticisms from the President-elect; however, now he faces criticism from members inside the SBC.
Mike Huckabee, an SBC pastor and former governor of Arkansas, voices his criticism by saying, “I am utterly stunned that Russell Moore is being paid by Southern Baptists to insult them.”
Bill Harrell, pastor emeritus at Abilene Baptist Church in Augusta, Georgia, told NPR he has heard from other SBC churches that are considering withholding funds from the ERLC “until this gets straightened out.” And while Harrell does not explicitly state this, we can only assume he means getting things “straightened out” would mean firing Moore from his position.
On the other hand, Dwight McKissic, pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Texas, published a post on his personal blog in defense of Moore and his stance. McKissic’s bold words have garnered attention from Baptist News Global, among others. McKissic calls Moore the most compelling and effective spokesman ever to hold the office of President of the ERLC. Throughout his post, he refers to attempts of Trump supporters inside the SBC to discredit and dismiss Moore from office. McKissic claims, “Russell Moore would have gotten the same kind of treatment in SBC life had he spoken prophetically against slavery in 1845-1863 as he is getting now.”
As for the object of all this discussion himself, Moore published an article titled “Election Year Thoughts at Christmastime” which hinted at the rumblings of the SBC’s discontentment with him. “Over the last month, there have been some pointed conversations in my denominational family about the election and the way forward, and some of them have been directed at me,” Moore writes. The rest of the article presents a strong plea for believers to forgo judgment toward one another in the spirit of unity and respect.
Moore followed up the article with the following tweet on his personal account.
Appreciate all the kind words, y’all. If we’re going to hashtag, let’s #standwithSBC together. Our gospel mission is too important.
— Russell Moore (@drmoore) December 20, 2016
The supportive comments Moore received on his Twitter post are certainly endearing, many even coming from people from other denominations and countries. Even as the backlash continues, the hashtag #standwithSBC circulates, and people on both sides of the debate are trying to hold their denomination together.