On the February 17, 2022 Episode of the Russell Moore Show, Moore interviewed NYT Columnist David Brooks about his recent stupid article in the paper, where he claimed that men and women such as Russell Moore, Thabiti Anyabwile, Tim Dalrymple, Kristin Kobes Du Mez, Karen Swallow Prior, David French, Lecrae, Walter Kim, and Tim Keller were the “The Dissenters Trying to Save Evangelicalism From Itself” a laughable claim we debunked and tore into here.
Of course, wouldn’t you know it, they spent an hour discussing evangelicalism and politics, and if you thought they’d dedicate even one minute mentioning the failings/problems/concern with the Democrat party, rather than being a big Trump hate-fest that talked incessantly about January 6, you’d be very, very wrong.
Still, one interaction caught our attention in a special way:
Brooks: We’ve gone from that period of relativism, where everybody wants to eschew judgement, to now a period of extreme judgement, where everybody is under judgement. And I think it’s this age of politics, leaving the age of the moral individual and entering the age of tribe. And so now on social media, it’s understanding, nowhere, but judgement everywhere. And it’s just a very punishing way to live.
Russell Moore: I was talking to a friend not long ago, who was talking about where he lives in rural Michigan. And he said, there’s a church, he said, it ran about 150-200 people. And now it has suddenly exploded over the last year, and it’s running over 1000.
And he said, ‘Why do you suppose that is?’ And I said, Let me guess, and it’s not evangelism. It’s that the pastor announced that COVID is a hoax, and we’re going to fight against masks and vaccine mandates, and so forth and this assembled the crowd.
And he said, ‘That’s exactly what happened’. And I see that happening all over the country, where pastors are saying ‘crazy’ has become a church growth strategy. Not so much at reaching unbelievers, but pulling believers out of churches because it gives this picture of conviction.”
While there are very few churches that would believe that COVID is a complete hoax, there are many who don’t believe the pandemic is as awful as our lying leaders make it out to be. Furthermore, the reason why pastors fight against masks and vaccines mandates is that the government has spent over a year shutting down churches and refusing to let them gather, in many places giving them crushing fines and even throwing the pastors in jail.
For this reason, it’s only natural that men and women whose own churches have shut down, or whose pastors have instituted mask mandates or vaccine passports to attend church, might want to find other congregations that have not bowed the knee to the government or willingly went along with these restrictions and closures.
GraceLife Church led by Pastor James Coates or Fairview Baptist Church led by Pastor Tim Stephens are great examples of this. They tripled their attendance by being one of the only churches in the province that refused to shut down, even doing underground church in hiding in order to stand by their convictions.
But for the elitist Moore, this is utterly incomprehensible, and he condescendingly surmises or supposes that growing in this manner is in some way illegitimate, embarrassing, or as he put it, just another example of “‘crazy’ as a church growth strategy.”