The ERLC controversy of a month or so ago has thankfully died down. I do not wish to revisit that controversy except to say that I am thankful for an open letter that was released today by the Louisiana Baptist Convention’s Executive Board.
This letter was written because a motion was made at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the Louisiana Baptist Convention asking the LBC’s Executive Board to “study the recent actions of the SBC Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission with regard to issues of concern to Louisiana Baptists.” The messengers voted to refer the matter to the Louisiana Baptist Convention Executive Board.
It’s no secret that one of the places where Moore was receiving the most strident criticism was from some within the Louisiana Baptist Convention. It was the state paper in Louisiana that broke the news that Prestonwood would be escrowing CP funds until further notice. Prestonwood has since resumed CP giving.
The study is over and the LBC released an open letter addressing the situation. Below are some quotes from the letter.
The heart of the letter:
We want to commend Dr. Moore for plainly confessing his failings that had resulted in the serious breach of fellowship we were observing in our Southern Baptist family. Although the statement did not address all the various particular complaints people had lodged, we believe it has encouraged folks to look for positive, rather than punitive, ways to work with the ERLC going forward. We want to encourage Dr. Moore, as he deals with the many serious and complex issues that face our people in the moral and social concerns arena, to listen carefully and respectfully to Southern Baptists even as we listen to him. We hope that we will be able to forge consensus among Southern Baptists as we attempt to bear witness in cultural conflicts. We encourage the ERLC to tread carefully in those matters where our people have genuine differences of opinion.
Regarding Dr. Moore’s leadership in areas where Southern Baptists are in agreement:
We also want to thank Dr. Moore for his leadership and contribution on important matters such as the sanctity of human life, the biblical view of marriage and sexuality, and racial justice. These years have seen an ominous rise in malicious anti-Christian sentiment in our nation. Southern Baptists are most encouraged when they are confident their ERLC is vigorously representing their cherished spiritual convictions in the public square.
A pledge from the LBC Executive Board:
For our part, we pledge to pray for our Lord to make the ERLC “strong and courageous.” Neither will we leave it to our agency to fight the battles alone but will engage the task as the church of the Lord. Furthermore, we will encourage our people to be thoughtful in their judgments, forbearing in their disagreements, and generous in their continued financial support for all our convention work.
Again, I am thankful for this letter and trust that this issue has been put to rest.