This article was originally posted at my site. I’m married with four children, an SBC pastor, a PhD student at SBTS, and an average Southern Baptist. I’ve authored two books. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Udemy, YouTube, and iTunes (Podcast).
The church I pastor, Cumberland Homesteads Baptist Church in Crossville, TN, is planning to take up an offering for the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) on June 4, 2017. I want to encourage your church to do the same (Add it to your Church Calendar). Why June 4? This date is the Sunday before June 8, which marks 228 years from when James Madison first presented his constitutional amendments (Bill of Rights) to the House of Representatives (Source). Madison included religious liberty (the 1st Amendment) in large part due to the work of Baptist pastor John Leland, who threatened to run for Madison’s seat if he did not plead the Baptist cause for religious liberty (Source). Madison kept his word to defend religious liberty and the rest is history.
What is the ERLC’s purpose? “The ERLC is dedicated to engaging the culture with the gospel of Jesus Christ and speaking to issues in the public square for the protection of religious liberty and human flourishing. Our vision can be summed up in three words: kingdom, culture and mission” (Source).
Who leads the ERLC? The ERLC President is Dr. Russell Moore. He has courageously and faithfully lead the ERLC since 2013. He has lead the ERLC to speak and act in accordance with our confession (BF&M2K, especially Article XVII. Religious Liberty), to carry out their responsibilities in accordance with the ministry statement approved by Southern Baptists (included below), and he has spoken in line with the SBC resolution “On Moral Character of Public Officials” (1998). By all accounts, he is a faithful Christian, husband, father, Southern Baptist, leader, and preacher of the gospel of Jesus Christ. God has used him mightily and I look forward to seeing how God uses him and the ERLC in the future.
All love offering checks can be made to the “ERLC” and mailed to
901 Commerce Street
Nashville, TN 37203
If you would like to make an individual donation, you can also donate online here.
The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission
of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC)
Ministry Statement Approved (by the SBC) June 1997
The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission exists to assist the churches by helping them understand the moral demands of the gospel, apply Christian principles to moral and social problems and questions of public policy, and to promote religious liberty in cooperation with the churches and other Southern Baptist entities.
1. Assist Churches in applying the moral and ethical teachings of the Bible to the Christian life.
Provide research, information resources, consultation, and counsel to denominational entities, churches and individuals with regard to the application of Christian principles in everyday living and the nation’s public life.
2. Assist churches through the communication and advocacy of moral and ethical concerns in the public arena.
Represent Southern Baptists in communicating the ethical positions of the Southern Baptist Convention to the public and to public officials.
3. Assist churches in their moral witness in local communities.
Provide information resources that inform and equip churches for active moral witness in their communities.
4. Assist churches and other Southern Baptist entities by promoting religious liberty.
Provide information and counsel to denominational entities, churches, and individuals regarding appropriate responses to religious liberty concerns; represent Southern Baptists in communicating the positions of the Southern Baptist Convention on religious liberty issues to the public and to public officials.