Evangelical Leader Delivers a Firm Word to Roy Moore's Christian Defenders

Christians must be the "most dogged opponents of sexual predation and violence in the universe."

On Monday, a letter signed by 53 Alabama pastors, supporting Roy Moore's Senate run was circulated by Moore's wife.

Moore, as we all know by now, has been hit with multiple accusations of dating teen girls while in his 30s, and two separate cases of inappropriate touching and sexual abuse, with a 14 year old girl and a 16 year old girl, both in the late 70s.

Other reports that have emerged is that Moore’s preference for high school girls was well known in his home community of Etowah County, Alabama, when he was serving as a district attorney.

It is Moore’s later life, as a judge and an outspoken, controversial proponent of religious liberties that earned him his reputation among evangelical circles.

Just from my own attention to this case over the past week, what I’ve found is that those who are supporting Moore now don’t want to have the conversation about character.

They certainly didn’t want that conversation during the run up to the 2016 election.

Alabama voters don’t want anyone telling them who to support, either, feeling it to be very much their business.

In a sense, they’re right, but it is those closest to Moore, the longtime residents of his community who know his past that are rolling their eyes now, when someone asks about the character of the man.

According to most, he was a character, alright.

More recent tales of a younger Moore are that he was banished from the local mall in the early 80s, as well as the YMCA, because he was harassing the teen girls.

And a 30-year old man who signs a 16 year old girl’s high school yearbook, speaking of her sweetness and beauty… is just weird.

All of this presents a conundrum for Christians. As I’ve said before, we can’t really know exactly what happened with Moore and the women who now say he victimized them in their young and formative years.

As Christians, however, we should leave room to consider that there may be something to what they’re saying.

That’s not saying that Moore couldn’t have changed his ways, but it also does not give Christians the green light to ignore the pain that may still be lingering with those women.

Christians are to uplift the broken and to act as a balm to the hurting heart. We extend grace and acceptance. It should never be our position to victimize these ladies all over again, especially not for the sake of political partisanship.

Dr. Russell Moore (no relation, I’m sure) a preacher and president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission took to Twitter on Monday to express his disgust over how evangelicals are, once again, taking the low road, threatening the stability of their witness to the world.

In a short tweet storm, Dr. Moore made his case:

Russell Moore also called on evangelical Christians to be the "most dogged opponents of sexual predation and violence in the universe," while pointing to the Bible.

Roy Moore may be completely innocent of any wrongdoing, but it is beginning to look bad for him, and for those evangelicals defending him, he’s becoming an anchor around their necks.

Now, those pastors included in the previously mentioned letter, they seem to be rethinking their support. The letter that is being circulated now is apparently from before the primary election that gave Moore the nomination, with a few tweaks at the beginning. His wife is passing it around as "new" support. At least three of those pastors have asked to have their names removed and object to suddenly being used this way.

I'd say good for them. For those who continue to allow their name to be connected with Moore and the stories that are now clinging to him like smoke in his clothes, they will have to deal with the fallout as best they can.

There are bigger concerns.

If he goes down, what does that do to the reputation of the church? Where is the Christian church’s moral authority to help the hurting or preach salvation to the lost?

I promise you, the world will not look at those Christians who determined that for the sake of propriety, Roy Moore must step away and quietly fix this problem, and discern between those Christians and the Christians that called possible sex abuse victims “liars” and supported their abuser, no matter what. Those bad apples will spoil the whole bunch, and we will all be considered abusive and corrupt.

It’s no longer about whether he’s guilty or not. It’s about his witness to the world.

And ours.

Comments
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thewordgirl
thewordgirl

It's all about separating the wheat from the tares, a necessity that Jesus spoke often about. And He wasn't talking about believers vs non-believers; He was speaking about true, obedient believers vs hypocritical believers. We're watching the beginnings of the "separating" right before our eyes!

J_pat
J_pat

The truth is that he should be above reproach. We should not be trying to determine "what the definition of is ... is. We are so desperate to "Win" the culture war, or Ensure our seat at the political table we are compromising the higher standard we should be striving for. Perhaps instead of pursuing political power and our place at the table we should instead concentrate on bringing ALL to Christ. Our mission is not to pass laws to protect the American dream or even protect tradition. Our Mission is to make disciples of ALL. Teaching them to first Love God them to love each other. Instead of focusing on temporal power Focus on the eternal. Pray and work for a Great Revival. Then and only then can the trajectory of this Country be changed.

J_pat
J_pat

Here is the thing. We are trying to parse. Was he creepy? was what he did illegal? etc..

Alex Wilson
Alex Wilson

I agree generally, but at what point is a guy so old that it's creepy? Do we apply the standard creepiness rule where the older person's age is divided by two and 7 is then added to see if their partner is too young? That would have ruled out the relationship between CCM artists Shane and Bethany Bernard who were about 32 and 20 when they got married. Do we rule out all relationships between minors and Adults? That means that a relationship can go from acceptable to creepy when the a 17 year old dating a 16 year old turns 18. Ultimately I think if the two individuals agree that their relationship isn't creepy (and in the case where one or both are minors, their parent or guardian consents to the relationship), I don't think it's any of the government's business. (note that I am referring to the specific case of parents giving their approval to a relationship chosen freely by minor in the 15-16 or older age range, NOT a case where a parent pressures their child to enter into a relationship with an adult).

Bdsconserv
Bdsconserv

I agree with you perronepj. Mitch McConnell is one of the most nefarious players in the swamp and he's behind all this.

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