Russell Moore, the president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), recently spoke at a national conference and decried the trend that many evangelicals are regarding politics as a religion and as a source of identity.
Last Saturday, Moore sat in a question-and-answer (Q&A) panel on the gospel and cultural engagement at ELRC's 2016 national conference at Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville, Tennessee. Moore laments that electoral politics has been getting involved with evangelical life for over several years now.
He explained that for years now, he has heard people say that this upcoming elections will be the "most important election" in their lifetime. And the results of this election will only lead to two undesirable things. First is that "the people who are with you become disillusioned and angry," asking questions like "Why don't we have all of the things you told us we would have?" Next is that some will be "burned-over and cynical because of the way the original sin and common grace interact with one another, due to which there are no final victories or final defeats."
That is why Moore said he's concerned about the future of evangelicalism in a pivotal election such as this year. He indicates that the church will become more multi-ethnic and multi-generational, so it will be best that evangelicals be clear on what the Gospel says and what it means to be truly Christian.
"We have a responsibility not only to speak truthfully. But we have a responsibility to contextualize not only to the present culture but to the future," he said.
The ERLC 2016 national conference has invited over 900 pastors, academics and authors to provide guidance toward the definition of biblically based cultural engagement and how to deal with issues of cultural Christianity.