I weep in joy.
For ten years – day in and day out – I have chronicled one particular plague upon my (now previous) denomination who was an essential force driving evangelicalism left. It has been an unwavering exercise in stubbornness to do whatever possible to rid the Christian church of one cancerous sore. His name is Russell Moore.
Since 2011, we have published a total of 597 articles about Russell Moore’s hard-left progressivism, his undermining of Southern Baptist faith, his attack on Christians, his support of the religious liberty of Muslims but not believers, and his role as one who “sneaks into the church privily, to spy out its liberty and take it captive.”
These articles represent thousands of hours, years of toil, and constant attention to his public words. No one in mainstream Christian media – especially and including the Baptist Press – could be bothered to report the truth on this influential figure.
You must understand that when we set about to expose this man and his strategies, we were excommunicated by larger evangelicalism. We were blacklisted and boycotted and banned and blockaded. Back in circa 2011 to 2016, conservatives and Calvinists heralded him as a *conservative* leader. He had them fooled.
We chronicled his support for animal rights. We chronicled his support for illegal immigration. We chronicled his communitarianism and socialist beliefs. We exposed his former career as a Democrat staffer. We exposed his *stated* desire for his wife to “be more like Hillary Clinton.” We exposed his partnership with George Soros. We chronicled his rejection of Christian liberty. We chronicled his support for the LGBTQ movement. We chronicled his sojourn into Social Religion and Social Justice every single day, 365 days a year, for a decade.
People did not believe us, until they did. That started in about 2016. Since then, the tide turned. Public pressure mounted. Hundreds, if not thousands, of churches have left the SBC or stopped paying their salaries due to our coverage (praise God). Our chronicles were the ammunition used for tens of thousands of salvos launched against him by men both small and great.
When we began, conservative blogger, Frank Turk, told me that reporting negatively about him would “ruin me” because – and I quote – “he is solid.” We stuck to our guns and continued to report the truth.
James White said on the Dividing Line in *about* 2015, “I don’t know who this Russell Moore guy is, and I don’t care. Pulpit & Pen seems obsessed with him for some reason.” He seems to have figured out who he is now (this is an understatement) and might *slightly* better understand why we were obsessed with him at the time. It seems that our obsession spread to him as well, eventually.
It was not easy being told we were wrong so frequently, so fervently, and by so many of our friends who refused to look at the evidence presented. I carry scars of which you don’t know.
Today, Moore announced his resignation for a more lucrative (higher paying) gig at a “Big Eva” (Big Evangelicalism) parachurch ministry as a professional celebrity (he refers to this as being a “public theologian”).
I had already predicted that this would occur and that Russell Moore would use the SBC as merely a means to promote himself, and he would wind up **after enough pressure mounted** in greener pastures that were procured by the influence 4 million dollars a year of Cooperative Program money could afford him – with each penny designed to magnify his personal agenda of self-promotion.
I won’t post a picture all “Kyle J Howard” style, but I and my discernment buddies have a shed a tear of happiness tonight. It is what we have worked for, for so very long. It has been a long, hostile, and dangerous journey. But it now seems that the denomination with a hard liberal trajectory has now been able to quarantine the plague to a left-of-center organization, Christianity Today (or, as we call it, “Christianity Astray” or “Critical Theory Today).
This publication, as we have also covered, published an article from a lesbian claiming that worship was “like masturbation, only done to God.” They endorsed the impeachment of President Trump. They daily platform every form and kind of rank heretic under the sun. And most importantly, Christianity Today makes absolutely zero pretenses that they are conservative, but boldly and emphatically clarify daily that they are on the far-left side of the theological spectrum. This is where Moore belongs, along with his new (and old) colleague, Ed Stetzer, who we also proudly ran out of Lifeway Christian Resources (a denominational entity) with applying polemical pressure.
This is a win for the church. “Marking and avoiding” is part of the Christian’s job. We can’t remove someone from the world, but we can occasionally remove them from the church, so as to mitigate the damage they do by misleading people under false pretenses.
Ultimately, Russell Moore resigned *not* for greener pastures, but because he had to. He is the weakest link of the chain of Albert Mohler’s persona. Everyone knows he was Mohler’s main man, who has thus far not criticized Moore for a single thing he has ever said and done. Mohler, who desires to cinch up his total control of the denomination in a few weeks at the annual convention, could not have Russell Moore hanging like an albatross across his neck. He has been sufficiently marked.
Moore resigned for the same reason Moore asked Karen Swallow Prior to resign from the ERLC. We have sufficiently marked him as aberrant and sufficiently proved our case. While Mohler and Moore are in ideological lockstep, just as were Moore and Pryor, Moore is a liability to Mohler, and so Moore had to go.
That said, I have some further predictions. Discernment is not infallible, but it is more accurate than charismatic prophecy *every time*.
Here are my predictions:
1. Within 90 days (or so) you will see or read Moore in a podcast or article (my guess would be CT or RNS) explain that he left the SBC because they grew too narrow for his view of wide-tent Christianity (of course, the opposite is true). He will point to Beth Moore as one of his reasons for leaving, holding true to his word that “a denomination that doesn’t have room for Beth Moore doesn’t have room for a lot of us.”
2. Within 90 days (or so), you will see or read Moore make some significant hard-left turns in his ideology. He will more boldly come out in support for the Democrat Party, his version of being “pro-life” (socialism), and his denial of essential Christian doctrines.
3. Within 90 days (or so), you will see Russell Moore throw the SBC (an organization that he only used as a piggy bank) under the bus. He will accuse it of unrepentant systemic racism, misogyny, and bigotry and portend that he took the moral high road by separating from it.
Meanwhile, this is a lesson. Slaying dragons is hard work. In the end, God does the heavy lifting.
I was largely alone in those early days (2011-2016). Utterly…completely…alone in my criticism of Moore. I lost friends, and to some extent, family, over it. I lost business. I lost – for a time – my reputation, which became mud in that niche audience. Countless blogs have been written *against me* for speaking what now, has proven to be the truth.
“Let God judge betwixt us” has been my answer, and time has pronounced the verdict.
However, beginning in about 2014 – and heavily in 2016- others picked up the fight. Praise God for the Wrecking Ball method of guerilla journalism, out-writing and out-fighting the opposition. Praise God for:
Rod Martin (and company)*
The Social Justice Contras
The Evangelical Dark Web
Ultimately even Founders’ Ministries – by far the *slowest* organization to speak an ill word of the man – got on board by eventually understanding the clear and present danger he presents to the Body of Christ. It is always better late than never.
Additionally, many thanks to Dustin Germain and all the volunteers and co-laborers at P&P who have spent YEARS toiling alongside us to chronicle his departures from orthodoxy, to report the truth, and to expect the Lord’s will to be done. Thank you to our team of a dozen-plus people who have put in the hours to do God’s work of truth-telling. Thank you to the 3k warriors in our Pulpit Bunker, our steady financial patrons, many thousands in our listening audience, and millions who have read our articles.
The publishing organizations and parachurch ministries all fought the good fight against him. It was a group effort and although they began the fight slightly after we began it, it would not have been done without them. Moore has been purged from the Body of Christ like a fowl bowel movement, and God’s people should rejoice.
Moore’s allies will consider it a victory for him. He showed himself the door (shame on the SBC), rather than having him thrust out of it. And, he got a better gig for more money. But the rest of us realize that it’s a stinging rebuke to Albert Mohler, who has until this very day insisted “there is no liberal drift in the SBC.”
Hogwash. Consider Moore’s head on a platter, or handed over to the devil, whichever you prefer.
Is this post ‘spiking the football’? Maybe. But you can write, “I told you so” on my tombstone.
Pastor and Publisher JD Hall
* Martin and I have had no direct interaction (the only exception to the groups listed above), but he largely tarries with a group with whom I’ve sparred many times known as the “traditionalists.” I’m pleased to announce that the traditionalists and I have largely become personally reconciled after bickering for a number of years over Calvinism and have learned to be amicable. While they’re still wrong on the issue about which we had animosity, I feel that both our sides saw that bigger enemies besides one another are on the horizon. The work of Martin and the Conservative Baptist Network in helping Moore pack his bags cannot be over-stated.
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