While munching away last week on one of the best stone baked pizzas I’ve ever had, I listened to a friend in ministry tell me with tears about his infant son and how he came to be in the arms of he and his wife. It was an astounding story with ups and downs and it was one of the most beautiful stories of adoption I’d ever heard. He told me, “but it didn’t start out that way, I always wanted my own.” I said, when did that change? His answer, “three or four years ago.” I asked how he came to his conclusion. His answer? “I read a book entitled Adopted for Life by a pastor or something.” He continued, “When I held my son, I knew, he was my own and I would do anything, even fight, for him for the rest of my life, because God does the same for me.”
I chuckled a little to myself that my friend struggled to recall the name of the author, Russell Moore, current president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention . However, I am certain Dr. Moore could care less but would be joyful to know the impact his precise and pastoral counsel had on this youth pastor who could not name him. This says a lot about the character and witness and persuasive winsomeness of the man from Mississippi that many of us have learned to look to with hopeful expectation as he rapidly articulates important cultural and political concerns with theological precision and Biblical fidelity week in and week out.
I have had the joy of meeting Dr. Moore on a couple of occasions he may or may not recall but have never felt dismissed as he warmly shook my hand and maintained eye contact with his eyes of boyish wonder, wry smile, and firm handshake. Dr. Moore has taken this presence all over the Southern Baptist Convention from coastal Mississippi, to Louisville, Kentucky, to small rural churches and big humming mega churches. He has even taken it directly in to the Oval Office where he shocked the press by praying an unscripted prayer . It is that presence that wins him an ear and has even won some of the most unlikely of converts to the Kingdom he faithfully proclaims. He is a country music listening, crawfish eating, dedicated family man who walks the line.
It also so happens we are using a curriculum in our young adult Sunday School class published by LifeWay where our current lessons are built around his book Tempted and Tried and not a few of us have already greatly benefitted from this cold splash of Gospel learning we need to look not only to the atonement of Christ but the active work of Christ to fight the battle of temptation in our own lives.
I say all this to come to this point. This is the same man this morning, that Donald J. Trump, GOP presidential hopeful said of, “Russell Moore is truly a terrible representative of Evangelicals and all the good they stand for. A nasty guy with no heart!”
.@drmoore Russell Moore is truly a terrible representative of Evangelicals and all of the good they stand for. A nasty guy with no heart!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 9, 2016
Fellow Baptists, Christians, decent people, if you cannot find a problem there, then there are no problems to be found.
“I’m thankful for Russell Moore, a truly terrific representative of Evangelicals and the Gospel they stand for. A nice guy with a big heart!”
Thankful for @drmoore a truly terrific representative of Evangelicals & the gospel they stand for. A nice guy with a big heart!
— John Blackmon (@JohnRBlackmon) May 9, 2016