Later this month, Russell Moore – President of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethic and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) – will be attending a conference at the Vatican meant to bolster a defense of “traditional marriage.” As wonderful as it is that most Southern Baptists and the Bishop of Rome (and self-pronounced “Vicar of Christ on Earth”) agree on marriage,there might be another topic where they disagree so strongly they’ve anathematized one another…the Gospel. Russ, at least, might have heard of it. Apparently, it’s an issue of first importance.
If it concerns you that the SBC’s leading ethicist is partnering with a church widely considered the spirit of antichrist in order to coalesce around a cup with a clean exterior – who like a dog comes when his master whistles – you’re probably not alone. Brannon Howse and Mike Gendron will be discussing this on Tuesday’s Worldview Weekend.
Al Mohler wrote a stirring piece on the history of the Southern Baptist Convention when it comes to ecumenism, and speaking of the SBC’s traditional stance against partnering with the lost (or even those with whom there is significant doctrinal disagreement), Mohler says:
“…the Convention has avoided entanglements that would compromise doctrine, restrict the freedom and independence of the Convention, or violate basic issues of Baptist conviction.”
If there was ever a religious institution or entanglement that would “compromise doctrine or violate Baptist conviction,” it would be Roman Catholic Church.
In 1914, the SBC adopted a “Pronouncement on Christian Union and Denominational Effeciency,” in relation to an invitation to take part in the creation of a world council of Christian churches. The SBC’s official statement:
“We have not dwelt upon the truths and doctrines in which there is substantial agreement among evangelical Christians. We rejoice that the measure of agreement is already so great. We regret that it is not great enough to remove our separateness from brethren in Christ who bear other names.”
In short, “Thanks for the invite. But no thanks.” This has been the Southern Baptist mindset when it comes to ecumenism, almost from the very beginning.
Or, consider the 1925 Baptist Faith & Message on the topic of cooperation…
“Christian unity in the New Testament sense is spiritual harmony and voluntary co-operation for common ends by various Christian denominations, when the end to be attained is itself justified, and when such co-operation involves no violation of conscience or compromise of loyalty to Christ and his Word as revealed in the New Testament.”
Would you call the Roman Catholic Church a “Christian denomination” with which cooperation can be tolerated if it violates no conscience or speaks of no compromise? Would Moore consider the Roman Catholic Church, Christian?
But, have no fear. It’s not just Roman Catholics with whom Moore will be participating, but also Rick Warren and adherents of 14 other religions. Apparently, the Gospel isn’t of first importance after all; human sexuality is.
Our message to Rome does not need to be, “We’ll stand with you to protect traditional message.” Rather, it must be, “Repent of your idolatry, the pagan Mass, and believe the Gospel.
JD will discuss Mohler’s article and Russell Moore’s ecumenism on Friday’s program, prior to the Voice in the Wilderness segment.