CONFIRMED ON OCTOBER 8TH AFTER THE ERLC “CARING WELL CONFERENCE ” NO HOTLINE OR ENTITY OR CONTACT IS AVAILABLE FOR ABUSE VICTIMS IN THE SBC.
Rev Thomas Littleton 10-8-2019
( Recently a person of color in the SBC who has been repeatedly abused by superiors and who has watched the Caring Well Conference be planned and executed -asked this writer how they could report the abuse they had suffered . After an extensive search of SBC websites- the ERLC – The Caring Well Report and web site – and combing through a long list of press releases on the topic of addressing abuse and protecting the vulnerable in the SBC (and the Gospel) -no place for reporting or even contacting the proper channels to report abuse in the SBC exist.
The SBC Executive Committee , SBC President J D Greear and ERLC head Russell Moore have been talking about SBC abuse since 2018 but to date NO MECHANISM EXIST THAT IS IN PUBLIC VIEW FOR VICTIMS OF ABUSE TO REPORT TO SBC AUTHORITIES . The compelling question is “WHY?” . How can they address or prevent further abuse with no reporting mechanism in place?
This writer was informed by the Executive Committee that no such place for contact or method of reporting has been established .
Part TWO of this report will examine what IS being accomplished by the Caring Well effort and how it is being used to promote women’s empowerment and eventual leadership roles of women in the SBC .The effort is also working to empower top down authority overriding local church autonomy in matters the SBC Abuse Advisory Board deems under the authority via the newly approved Committee on Abuse from the SBC 2019 meetings in Birmingham June 2019 repurposed “Standing Credentials Committee”.)
CARING WELL OR CARELESS PLANNING ?
ALL THINGS CONSIDERED EXCEPT THE VOICE OF THE VICTIMS
Russell Moore has been planning and scheming -wishing and and hoping to address sexual abuse in the SBC for over a year .The ERLC has now done a profitable conference, brought famous victims of abuse with books to sell and even helped draft a 52 page document to go along with the effort – YET to date -NO phone number- abuse hotline or even contact email for victims to report sexual abuse in the Southern Baptist Convention exist . NOTHING
“During his remarks at the SBC Executive Committee winter meeting, J. D. Greear told EC members and guests, “I think we recognize, with brokenness, that our culture needs to change when it comes to our response to sexual abuse.”
Noting that the SBC has passed numerous resolutions “making clear how we feel about abuse,” the SBC president said it is time for Southern Baptists to “back up our words with actions that demonstrate our commitment to this.”
“We serve a God who laid down his life to protect the vulnerable,” Greear, pastor of The Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, said in his February 18 remarks. “How dare we proclaim that Gospel with our mouths and turn a blind eye when the vulnerable in our midst cry out for help?”
Following his June 2018 election as SBC president, Greear formed a presidential initiative, working in partnership with the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), to consider ways to combat the evil of sexual abuse in a church setting.
At its Fall 2018 meeting, the Executive Committee, acting on behalf of the Convention and the interim, approved up to $250,000 in Cooperative Program gifts to fund the initiative.
At the Winter 2019 meeting, Greear called on Southern Baptists to ten action steps in response to sexual abuse in a church or ministry setting.”
“If an abuser is truly repentant, they will understand the wisdom of them not being in leadership over those whom they have abused.” -“”This is not a time where we need louder pronouncements. It’s a time when we need action.” –
BUT TALK IS CHEAP JD GREEAR -SINCE 2018 THERE IS STILL NO HOTLINE FOR VICTIMS
ROLLING OUT RESOURCES BUT NOT WAY TO REPORT
“Rollout of New Church Resource”
“In the same post, Bethancourt announced that Becoming a Church that Cares Well for the Abused will be ready by the SBC annual meeting. The resource, introduced by Greear in his February 18 EC report, has been developed by a team of survivors, advocates, and experts and is designed to prepare pastors and other leaders to respond well to any reports of sexual abuse within the church setting.”
“Becoming a Church that Cares Well for the Abused is “a free video-based curriculum to equip churches to provide holistic care for abuse,” according to Bethancourt. The twelve-part video series will include a companion written curriculum and will be available in both English and Spanish, he wrote.”
“A handbook by the same title has been published by B&H Publishing and became available for individual purchase for $4.99 on June 4 at LifeWay.com. Discounts are available for bulk orders in increments of 10–49, 50–99, and 100 or more.”
“The B&H website states, “Though the most comprehensive training is experienced by using this handbook and the videos together, readers who may be unable to access the videos can use this handbook as a stand-alone resource.”
SOME OF THE QUOTES FROM THE CARING WELL CONFERENCE
ERLC VP PUTS THINGS IN PERSPECTIVE ON THE IMPORTANCE OF THE ABUSE ISSUE
“Southern Baptists will not have a future if we do not confront our tendency to protect the system over survivors.” –
BUT NO ONE SEEMS TO HAVE NOTICED THERE IS NO WAY FOR VICTIMS TO REPORT ABUSE.
Something else besides victims themselves is occupying the minds of Russell Moore / J D Greear and the SBC anti- abuse /Caring Well Movement . What is on their minds? What goals exist that take priority over the victims access to help?
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE FOR ERLC /SBC EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE AND CARING WELL BRAND TO DO WHAT IT SHOULD HAVE DONE IN THE FIRST PLACE…? HOW LONG BEFORE THE SBC ABUSE HOTLINE IS OPEN AND AWAITING THE VICTIMS CALL?
DR Moore – Once more the people in the SBC who pay your salary and are told to look to you for leadership -are waiting . If this “Caring Well Movement ” with its documents , authority , materials and conferences is about victims of abuse then the victims need the first consideration – not the last.
MORE ON ERLC “JUSTICE SEEKING “WITH GLOBAL NEW AGE PARTNER FETZER
Rev Thomas Littleton 10-5-2019
The current exposure of Southern Baptist and PCA leaders full embrace of the false “justice gospel ” and its efforts to turn Evangelicals toward being “justice voters ” really began in April 2018 when ERLC and Tim Keller’s The Gospel Coalition co-sponsored the MLK/50 Conference in Memphis TN. The Conference was awash with”White Guilt ” “White Privilege” and blaming the White Evangelicals for the woes of the world and the church . The answers provided by the TGC mob of speakers ranged from reconciliation to redistribution and then on to reforming the politics of white conservative Christians to better reflect “justice ” considerations of Christians of color.
Just a short time after these revelations the Dallas Statement condemned this Social Justice approach . The madness continued as the reality surfaced that TGC affiliated seminaries had been filled with CRT and such like for years. By the 2019 SBC annual meetings the SBC passed a resolution promoting the use of Critical Race theory and Intersectionality as an “aid to the Gospel” and the battle front for Biblical conservatives to preserve the historic Biblical Gospel against the TGC progressive political machine has not let up since.
So the latest manifestation of the Russell Moore , ERLC and TGC progressive political activism came out of the closet on September 26th 2019 as the POLITICS of the justice gospel did their full monty .
Note this Fetzer Institute partnership places ERLC and the many TGC “interviewees” in the report in league with the following organizations according to Fetzer’s Azami.
“And while Fetzer’s immediate concern might be political and social polarization, in the long term, we understand our challenges in American democracy as fundamentally spiritual. To that end, Fetzer is committed to exploring diverse perspectives from multiple angles to inform our learning and support for a flourishing democracy. In addition to our work on this report with the ERLC, for example, we are also working with groups like:
Interfaith Youth Core and their IDEALS survey on interfaith perceptions among college students,
“As part of our efforts to engage all segments of American society, the Fetzer Institute collaborated with the Ethics in Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), the public policy arm of the Southern Baptist Convention, to understand the current state of democracy from a Christian evangelical perspective.
The project supports Fetzer’s democracy initiative by exploring fundamental questions around social cohesion and polarization. It will also help us identify pathways for how civil society might facilitate the formation of healthy relationships and connections across difference and foster civic virtues essential for a flourishing democracy.
The idea for this project came about following my participation in MLK50, a conference organized by ERLC on the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. During the event, Dr. Russell Moore, ERLC’s president, spoke powerfully about racial justice in his speech. I was moved by ERLC’s commitment to addressing issues of race and social justice within the Southern Baptist Convention and wondered if there might be a connection with Fetzer’s interest in democracy.
Since then, we’ve established a partnership with ERLC on a project that pursues three objectives: 1) conduct seminars, in-depth interviews and public polling on how American evangelicals might contribute to healing political and cultural divides; 2) engage a broad evangelical community with the findings of the study; and 3) prepare toolkits as a capacity-building measure to empower evangelical individuals, churches, and seminaries to engage with their communities on issues of civic participation.
“Faith and Healthy Democracy,” a comprehensive report on faith and democracy from an American evangelical perspective, is now publicly available. Compiled by lead researcher Paul D. Miller and a team at ERLC and LifeWay Research, it is the result of extensive research, two seminars, interviews with 48 senior evangelical leaders, and a statistically relevant survey of 1,317 individuals who identify as evangelical.
This report raises important questions about the state of our democracy. As I was reading, I found myself contemplating three basic questions:
1) Is political tribalism our response to a growing need for belonging?
2) How does a fear of losing our heritage and sense of identity contribute to the polarizing dynamic; and
3) How do we address our distraction—especially by digital media and the click-bait industry—and be authentically present in our local spheres?
We deeply appreciate the ERLC’s courageous exploration of critical challenges to supporting a healthy public square. And while this is a report for evangelicals and about evangelicals, I want to highlight some of the specific challenges and possibilities that I find are ahead of us all, no matter our religious affiliation, as we shape the next chapter of democracy in a pluralistic society.
Causes of a Polarized Public Square…
All interviewees in the report unanimously voiced concern about the state of the American public square, describing it as caustic, toxic, ignorant, and corrosive. The report identifies the following three causes as major drivers for increased polarization in America:
Technology and Social Media: The report suggests that social media has not only led to increased anxiety and loneliness but has also contributed to an increase in polarization. According to the report, in the public square, social media gives us a false sense of freedom to engage without consideration for the welfare of people with whom we disagree. Moreover, the report asserts that social media is fundamentally shallow: it does not require “accountability, or restraint;” it distorts our perception of reality or facts, allowing us to remain in “echo chambers” that perpetuate our own set of facts.
Loss of Moral Consensus: The report notes that “public Christianity played an important social function: It provided a point of moral consensus,” and that “today, neither Christianity nor the Enlightenment provides a common frame of moral reference for public discussion.” In a sense, as America evolves, we do not have a common moral language to engage in the public square. We have varying conceptions of justice and morality, which in turn may lead to a lack of shared meaning, making reasoned discourse impossible, and thus “public discussion deteriorates into a shouting match, a performative exercise, or a joust rather than an exchange of ideas.”
The Atrophy of Civil Society: As the report indicates, “with the loss of shared meaning, citizens are far less apt to gather together in voluntary associations for a common purpose, or even common hobby.” Among participants of the survey, less than 15% participated in any type of organization, including sports clubs and affinity groups. Because civil society is the bedrock of a thriving democracy, a central question we all must explore is how does a weakened civil society affect democratic participation? Does it keep us from contributing to a flourishing society?
Where Should We Go from Here?
The report identifies important areas of focus for how evangelicals can contribute to healing and reviving democracy in America. Here are some that I think can resonate with everyone.
Create a culture of trust and appreciate difference. The report finds that in the current public square, evangelicals generally do not believe that being civil is productive. Interestingly, there was also this sense of existential threat among survey participants as “over half of evangelicals believed that if their political opponents were able to implement their agenda, democracy would be in danger.” As Dr. Miller notes, we are sort of “cultivating a martyrdom complex, always imagining ourselves to be taking the high ground compared to our opponents’ mendacity. We say we believe the best of others, but we use that belief to justify feeling superior to them.” Moreover, the fact that over “half of evangelicals report that they do not reveal their political beliefs in environments where those beliefs are unpopular” shows that there is deep mistrust in the public square. The report notes that “a healthy public square is one in which citizens are not only legally allowed to express their views but feel cultural permission to do so—or have courage to speak up when they do not.”
An important question for us all is, how might we create such a public square?
Get involved locally. Flourishing local communities are vital for a thriving democracy. The report notes that in the absence of shared meaning around community, “when we lose one kind of community, we invent others to take its place.” The report also stresses that “polarization in voting behavior and among elected officials is only one part of the tribalization of American politics. More worrying is our tendency to sift ourselves into geographically-distinct, politically- and culturally-homogenous neighborhoods and even states.”
It is imperative to explore how might we tend to our local communities instead of abandoning them or self-selecting different communities. At the same time, we should also explore creative and innovative ways of engaging local communities in ways that revive a culture of local civic participation.
Break out of our echo chambers. As noted in the report, “it is good civic hygiene to know and befriend people of a different race, religion, and income level, but Americans are increasingly choosing to live in neighborhoods and go to schools and churches where we never have to meet them.”
How we seek and engage difference is a serious challenge. It requires intention and effort and the incentives to do so are minimal in the current state of polarization. Being in our own tribe is comfortable, but navigating ways to move beyond our own echo chambers is critical for bridging divides and building a robust public square.
Understand pluralism. What diversity means for an increasingly pluralistic America is a critical question that needs serious exploration.The report asserts that“trying to root American democracy in one particular identity, even a Christian identity, fundamentally misunderstands the ideals of the American experiment. It would serve to undermine, not strengthen, democracy in America by exacerbating our culture war and trying, fruitlessly, to work against the established pluralism.”
To these points specific to the report, I would add: Explore a shared language for what it means to be an American today. What is our new American dream? Without a shared narrative for living in a democracy and without committing ourselves to a set of demanding civic virtues, the revival of American democracy will be a daunting challenge. If we cannot begin to articulate the complex story about ourselves, our individual groups, and the country at large, and find a way to articulate to ourselves that we belong to this nation, we will not be able to champion a shared national narrative. We will also continue to have conflicting notions of justice and freedom.
My takeaway from this report is that not engaging diversity in a cohesive manner leads us to tribalism, echo chambers, and loss of shared meaning, which in turn leads to the atrophy of civil society and heightened polarization. We can do so much more to explore and understand the impact of a growing diversity and pluralism on American democracy. As Eboo Patel of Interfaith Youth Core notes, America needs to explore how to become a potlock nation, how to appreciate and live with deep difference. This will require us to do the hard spiritual work to develop the muscle for appreciating difference.
Two important points in the report are also critical to the Institute’s work on personal and societal transformation, namely the building of a pluralistic moral ecology and creating conditions for human flourishing through the lens of human dignity.
And while Fetzer’s immediate concern might be political and social polarization, in the long term, we understand our challenges in American democracy as fundamentally spiritual. To that end, Fetzer is committed to exploring diverse perspectives from multiple angles to inform our learning and support for a flourishing democracy. In addition to our work on this report with the ERLC, for example, we are also working with groups like:
Interfaith Youth Core and their IDEALS survey on interfaith perceptions among college students,
Moreover, engagement with our local community will remain as an integral element of our programmatic efforts.
There are no easy answers to reviving a healthy public square in America. However, active participation in the democratic process coupled with trust building and a sense of goodwill to the “other” are good starting points. As the report concludes, exposing ourselves to different narratives and sources of information and intentionally engaging diversity is critical.
DOUBTLESS THERE IS MORE TO COME FROM THE PROGRESSIVE MINDED RUSSELL MOORE AND HIS ERLC REGIME .
AT LEAST THIS TIME DR. MOORE NEED NOT TELL SOUTHERN BAPTIST THAT WORKING WITH A NEW AGE GLOBALIST PARTNER LIKE FETZER IS “A GOSPEL ISSUE ” UNLESS OF COURSE YOU ARE WILLING TO ADMIT TO THE FACT YOU ARE PROMOTING A DIFFERENT GOSPEL THAT THE SBC .
TO THE SBC EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE : WHY ARE SOUTHERN BAPTIST HAVING TO PAY FOR THIS TRIPE ?
“This report was supported by the Fetzer Institute to contribute to a healthy democracy in America. The Fetzer Institute is devoted to “helping build the spiritual foundation for a loving world.”
OBTAINING CHRISTIAN CIVILITY BY ALL MEANS INCLUDING NEW AGE SPIRITUALITY .
By Rev Thomas Littleton 10/2/2019
The ERLC just released its “Civility Report ” called the “Faith and Healthy Democracy” in Sept 26th 2019 . The White Paper is by ERLC Fellow Paul Miller a professor of the Practice of International Affairs Georgetown University and a long time Intelligence Analyst working in international affairs, political theory, culture, and theology. Before coming to Georgetown Miller worked for Rand Corporation .
The Civility Report is based on polls and research conducted by Lifeway and its “interviewees ” reads like a who’S who from The Gospel Coalition and the usual suspects of Russell Moore “cultural and political engagement” ideologist . Guys like Michael Wear, Jonathan Leeman , Jemar Tisby , Bruce Ashford, Colon Hansen and others from TGC grace every page with the standard TGC political rhetoric .
You can find more information on the Civility Report of the ERLC and its Georgetown author here :
“This report explores how American evangelical Christians might contribute to healing political and cultural divides in America. It also aims to identify gaps in Americans’ civic education and civic practice and to suggest ways to fill that gap. We hope to engage Christians on what healthy democratic participation looks like: how do we love our neighbors politically, and how might our faith lead us to advocate for human flourishing in the public square?”
IN LAYMEN’S TERMS MINUS THE HUMAN FLOURISHING
The Civility Report is to encourage civility in and to rethink how Christians engage political discussion . It also shows great concern over where Christians source their news and discourages reading internet and social media or commenting on politics on social media or worst of all- listening to talk radio or TV interviews. Well given these are the main source of exposure and enlightening the public on the state of the ERLC and TGC progressive politics – it is not hard to understand the reports discouragement of their use.
LIFEWAYS ROLE IN ASSESSING THE BAD POLITICS OF AMERICAN
“LIFEWAY’S CIVILITY INDEX”
“American political life has seen marked deterioration in recent decades, what has changed? One way of answering that question is through our proprietary poll commissioned through LifeWay Research. LifeWay polled over 1,300 evangelicals nationwide to gauge our views on politics and religion (see Appendix A on methodology and definitions). We share those results throughout this report. (We acknowledge polls are declining in accuracy because of falling response rates and changing technology, but they still provide a useful, if rough, gauge of public opinion). In addition, analysts at LifeWay created a civility index drawn from several questions on the poll and ran multivariate regressions to determine what other observable factors might be associated with higher and lower civility scores”
(The Civility Index is similar to the Human Rights Campaign’s “Corporate/ Health/ and Municipal Indexes” and provides a sort of “litmus test ” for compliance to the goals asserted.
LIFEWAY WAS NOT THE ONLY PARTNER-ENTER FETZER INSTITUTE
“This report was supported by the Fetzer Institute to contribute to a healthy democracy in America. The Fetzer Institute is devoted to “helping build the spiritual foundation for a loving world.” It is not a Christian organization, but it shares with the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) a concern for a healthy public square, which we both believe is informed by the unique resources of faith communities. The ERLC is devoted to, “engaging the culture with the gospel of Jesus Christ and speaking to issues in the public square for the protection of religious liberty and human flourishing.” The Fetzer Institute sought to learn more about how American evangelical Christians might contribute to healing political and cultural divides in America. Secondly, and relatedly, this initiative also aims to identify gaps in Americans’ civic education and civic practice and to suggest ways to fill that gap. We hope to engage Christians on what healthy democratic participation looks like: how do we love our neighbors politically, and how might our faith lead us to advocate for human flourishing in the public square?
The ERLC commissioned a public opinion poll (see Appendix B). A team of researchers conducted several dozen interviews with evangelical thought leaders (see Appendix C) and consulted academic and historical work on evangelicals and American politics (see Appendix D). This team talked and debated amongts one another. And we prayed for wisdom .”
THE REPRESENTATIVE FROM FETZER INSTITUTE IN ERLC EFFORTS
“As the Lead Program Officer for the Fetzer Institute, Sharif Azami manages a portfolio of projects in the areas of democracy, faith, and spirituality. Additionally, he provides general support to develop the strategies of Fetzer and build the networks of the organization. Prior to joining Fetzer, Sharif served with CIDA, Oxfam GB, and the United Nations World Food Programme. Sharif earned a master’s in International Development Policy and he holds a graduate certificate in Peace and Conflict Resolution.”
WHO IS FETZER INSTITUTE
“Our work to realize a more loving world is guided by the development of a new conceptual frame—our Theory of Change—that articulates the need for a global movement. We continue to examine and evolve this theoretical approach, even as we make common cause with all who are working toward a shared and transformative sacred story for humanity in the 21st century.”
“Our work today is in collaboration with inspiring partners as we all work to reveal, inspire, and serve this movement. Learn more about our priority initiatives below and engage with the work through stories, events, resources, and other opportunities to add your voice.”
THE CENTRALITY OF
SPIRIT IN OUR THEORY
Since our core goal is spiritual
transformation, at the core of
our Theory of Change must be
our understanding of how this
The opening words of our
Guiding Purpose—To awaken
into and serve Spirit for the
transformation of self and
society—capture the heart of our
theory of transformation. We are
transformed by awakening into
and serving Spirit.
NOTE FITZER INSTITUTE IS NOT SPEAKING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
By “Spirit” we mean that
“something more” within and
beyond physical reality that
binds us together with each
other and with all things in
a deeply interconnected,
meaningful, and sacred reality,
and that calls us to a life of love.
Some traditions conceptualize
this “something more” as God;
other traditions conceptualize it
in nontheistic terms.
The shared experience of Spirit
is the spiritual common ground
for our Fetzer community,
and we believe it can be the
spiritual common ground for
the global community.
In affirming the existence of
Spirit, we are making a profound
ontological affirmation about our
understanding of fundamental
reality—namely, that meaning,
purpose, and love are part of the
very fabric of reality.
This ontological affirmation
informs all aspects of our Theory
of Change and all elements of
GOALS OF FETZERS “THEORY OF SOCIAL CHANGE”
• Spiritual transformation. As
noted above, awakening into
and serving Spirit is at the
heart of our understanding of
• New Narrative. The
affirmation of Spirit is central
to the ontological foundation
of the New Narrative and
infuses it with deep
• Global movement. Spirit is
both the guide and the “wind
beneath the wings” of the
• Spiritual communities. The
shared experience of Spirit
provides the foundation for
our Community of Freedom, as
it does for many life-affirming
spiritual communities within
the faith traditions, and for
many new forms of spiritual
communities emerging outside
*Engagement with science.
We hope to support the
emergence of a scientific
paradigm that opens
space within the scientific
understanding of reality for
Spirit, free will, purpose, and
“Conceptual Framework For The New Narrative’s Overarching Meta-Narrative”
BUILDING BLOCKS OF
THE NEW NARRATIVE”
FETZERS “NEW NARRATIVE FOR A GLOBAL MOVEMENT “
“The Emerging New Narrative
A far better and more complete
account of the nature of existence
and the human condition is
beginning to emerge, brought
forth by a stronger epistemology.
Recent advances in science and
the philosophy of science are
pointing toward an emerging
scientific paradigm that opens
up space within the scientific
understanding of reality for the
possibility of the independent
existence of consciousness, free
will, and Spirit.
“The Role of the New
Narrative in Awakening
and Empowering the
As noted above, myriad
spiritually grounded change
movements are emerging around
the world but are not yet aware
of being part of a comprehensive
global movement for spiritually
grounded personal and social
transformation. Because the
New Narrative provides a
comprehensive vision for
this global spiritual
transformation, it has the
potential, if clearly articulated
and broadly disseminated,
to awaken this global
The Role of the New
Narrative in Aligning
As discussed below, the global
movement will necessarily be
a decentralized web of highly
autonomous individual and
organizational actors. The
New Narrative can provide the
movement with the worldview
that organically aligns the
independent initiatives of these
autonomous actors so that they
add up to a comprehensive and
coherent movement strategy.
The Role of the New
Narrative in Growing
Finally, by providing a rationally
and emotionally compelling
personal and global vision, the
New Narrative will become a
powerful force drawing new
members into the global
FETZER INSTITUTES FOUNDER
John E. Fetzer
John E. Fetzer spent a lifetime inquiring into the interconnectedness between science and spirituality for the transformation of self and society. His search integrated his inner practice (meditation and other mystically oriented practices) to “wake up”, with his outer work in the world. Although one of the most successful persons of his time, He chose not to be constrained by convention, or status, which led him into some of the most controversial fields of his time. Had he lived until now, he would have pushed even further into new frontiers. The reader then is encouraged to re-imagine for themselves where the frontiers lay in current times.
John E. Fetzer and the Quest for the New Age
“John E. Fetzer. Wilson’s biography reveals the journey underneath Fetzer’s worldly achievements. Very few people knew that he attributed his personal and professional success to his spiritual practices and awareness of a higher consciousness. Driven by the belief that personal happiness, positive morality, and peace on earth could be achieved by adherence to a pathway and connection to a greater intelligence, he funded top-flight research to validate mankind’s ability to access that infinite intelligence for personal and global good which continues through his endowments today”
FROM FETZER INSTITUTE BIOGRAPHY
“In his private life, John Fetzer had an intense intellectual curiosity about the “unseen elements” of life. He studied various forms of meditation, prayer, philosophy, and positive thinking, and explored other ways of healing. Throughout his life he was also passionately interested in baseball, an enthusiasm that led him to purchase the Detroit Tigers baseball club. In his later years, the sale of the team and his media holdings resulted in the endowment of the Fetzer Institute.
The interests that shaped John Fetzer’s life can be seen as the seedbed for the questions that define the work of the Fetzer Institute: How can the secular and sacred elements of life be better integrated? How can the insights of science and the powers of technological innovation be utilized to explore the capacities of the mind and spirit? How can the wisdom and insight gained through inner exploration be used to better our individual and collective health? And how can the entrepreneurial spirit and financial resources gained from the American business sector be used in the service of creating a better world?”
ERLC PROMOTING BIBLICAL PRINCIPLES FROM NEW AGE SCIENCE ?
How is the Southern Baptist Convention to survive the politics and the partnerships of Russell Moore and his ERLC regime ?
Not many Baptist are paying close attention to what the influences like TGC and other outside partnerships and funding are doing to their denomination and its associated churches. That needs to change if the denomination is the regain its true Gospel focus. If not then the SBC is bound for the same fate as the mainline denominations and will be little more than a blip on the history of the church in America.
Why is Russell Moore, the ERLC and the TGC so concerned about the politics of Baptist ? Because they are agents of change and are using “Theories of Social Change ” on the church every day . In some ways they appear desperate – desperate enough to engage partners like FETZER INSTITUTE . For now the mission of this Civility Report and the daily shame fest of evangelical believers for their ” conservative voting ” habits is to prevent President Donald Trump from a second term in office at any cost -by whatever means possible .
2nd Corinthians 6:
14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what [d]fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what [e]communion has light with darkness? 15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? 16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you[f] are the temple of the living God. As God has said:
“I will dwell in them And walk amongthem. I will be their God, And they shall be My people.”
“Come out from among them
And be separate, says the Lord.
Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you.” 18 “Iwill be a Father to you, And you shall be Mysons and daughters, Says theLordAlmighty.”
“IT IS KIND OF A FREAK SHOW PEEP SHOW INTO THE COLLECTIVE MIND OF ERLC”
Rev Thomas Littleton 9/30/2019
Things just got creepy on September 26th 2019 when the Southern Baptist offices of the Ethics and Religious Liberties Commission under Russell Moore published its “rules of engagement ” for the 2020 election cycle. Besides the obvious discomfort of taking political civility and engagement advice from the guy who ranted his “never Trump ” nastiness until it actually caused then candidate Donald Trump to call out Russell Moore in a public tweet , the rest of the story here is even MORE strange . The ERLC has just released a White Paper drafted by ERLC REsearch Fellow Paul D Miller .(More on Miller in a moment.) The White Paper is a shocker coming right out of Georgetown University and aimed at Baptist Voters. It would appear Baptist are taken for being too dumb to understand it’s profound Deep State connections. Some tail is waging several dogs in the ERLC kennel on this one.
Even if politics is not your bag – it all just began feeling really creepy .
“These sporadic incidents of political violence are still thankfully rare, and civil war is unlikely. But the violence is a warning sign, a dramatic indicator of a broader breakdown in the American public square—in how Americans perceive their neighbors, their government, and their opportunities for civic engagement. The American public square, as our interviewees unanimously told us, is caustic, toxic, ignorant, and corrosive. The level of polarization, mistrust, and tribal animus is not unprecedented in American history—the 1790s, 1860s, and 1960s were worse—but the 2010s rank close to those decades as among the least flattering to the aspirations of American democracy. We hate our politicians, and we hate each other.”
Ironic concerns coming from the same SBC that is now pushing Critical Race Theory and White Privilege and every divisive and polarizing identity politics in the playbook. While playing heavily on Baptist guilt buttons and pushing voter shame over the 2016 election of President Trump the SBC leadership has been sowing discord in the name of “reconciliation ” and “Gospel Unity” to the point of embarrassment. So how do they now think to advise Baptist on Civility while warning of unrest they have made every attempt to help create?
MISSIONS STATEMENT …MORE OR LESS
“This report explores how American evangelical Christians might contribute to healing political and cultural divides in America. It also aims to identify gaps in Americans’ civic education and civic practice and to suggest ways to fill that gap. We hope to engage Christians on what healthy democratic participation looks like: how do we love our neighbors politically, and how might our faith lead us to advocate for human flourishing in the public square?”
So the ERLC White Paper is to educate us . So listen and learn but reader beware there is a virtual litter of activist puppies from the SBC Seminary kennels in this little document .
1. The State of Public Discourse…………………………7
2. A Christian Political Agenda?……………………….24
3. Initial Recommendations ……………………………..52
” We want to engage our friends, supporters, and critics across the range of issues covered here. We also hope to develop materials for use in churches based on this research, helping equip church leaders to teach their flock about how to love their neighbors politically. ”
REEDUCATION SBC VOTERS?
SEBTS Kern Funded Social Justice Provost Bruce Ashford is quoted straight out of the gate. JUSTICE is number one but “Civility is the Canary in the Coalmine”
“Civility is not the most important virtue of public life: justice has a good claim to that.
As several of our interviewees told us, there is a time and place for incivility when
fighting injustice (war is uncivil yet, sometimes, just). But civility is a proxy variable, an
indicator of the health or illness of the body politic. “The essence of civility is not spinelessness but self-control,” according to Bruce Ashford, professor, dean, and provost at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, “it is the capacity to show love and grace particularly when we disagree with others and even when we dislike them.”3
Civility is especially important because we live in a pluralistic democracy: we share government with people with whom we disagree. In normal times, we can and should expect civility from our fellow citizens. The absence of it is a warning, a symptom of some broader and deeper ailment. Civility is the proverbial canary in the coalmine:
when it dies, we know there is poison in the air.”
NASTY CALLING OUT NASTY
The White Paper declares the toxic nature of the SBC/ Christian Body Politic while ignoring its leaders own contribution to the “dumpster fire ” .
“Our interviewees were unanimous that the canary is dead: they told us the American public square today is caustic, compromised, confrontational, corrosive, demoralizing, discordant, dismal, dispiriting, divided, dysfunctional, emotionally exhausting, a frenzy of political rage, hostile, heated, inflammatory, incendiary, low, nasty, pathetic, polarized, phobic, self-aggrandizing, shocking, strained, superficial, terrible, toxic, unfortunate, unsympathetic, violent, vitriolic, and (our favorites) marked by circumambulatory imbecility and a dumpster fire.”
“LIFEWAY’S CIVILITY INDEX ” Really?
“One way of answering that question is through our proprietary poll commissioned through LifeWay Research. LifeWay polled over 1,300 evangelicals nationwide to gauge our views on politics and religion (see Appendix A on methodology and definitions). We share those results throughout this report. (We acknowledge polls are declining in accuracy because of falling response rates and changing technology, but they still provide a useful, if rough, gauge of public opinion). In addition, analysts at LifeWay created a civility index drawn from several questions on the poll and ran multivariate regressions to determine what other observable factors might be associated with higher and lower civility scores. Their model found, for example, that women are more civil than men, and seniors more civil than youth”
“Lifeway’s model found several variables that were associated with lower civility. Some are not surprising, but they are sobering. Those who believe the stakes of our political disagreements are existential are less civil. ”
ENTER CHRISTIANITY TODAY’S FORMER EDITOR AND REVOICE LGBT+ FLOURISHING LEADER INTO THE RESEARCH NARRATIVE .
Christians scoring low on the Civility Index are just getting their news from the wrong sources RIGHT?
“Those who primarily get their news from social media or other online image- or video-based sources, especially YouTube, scored lower on the civility index. Text-based media is, by comparison, more informationally dense and thus closer to education and further from entertainment; it is “a very cool medium emotionally speaking,” in Andy Crouch’s words, Partner for Theology and Culture at Praxis, a medium almost designed not to engage us emotionally. Discouragingly, those who say that prominent Christian leaders have influenced their political views scored lower on the civility index.”
” Those who are comfortable with their self-imposed bubbles have lower civility scores on LifeWay’s index, including those who say they prefer to follow others on social media with whom they agree on social and political issues and those who prefer to get their news from someone with whom they already agree. When we root ourselves in a homogenous environment—cultural, informational, or socio-economic—we become dull to the needs of others.”
INTERPRETATION – THE PROBLEM IS BEING AROUND PEOPLE WHO THINK LIKE US MAKES US POOR JUSTICE WARRIORS ?
” We need to encounter difference: different people, different backgrounds, and different ideas. When the Bible commands us to love our neighbors, it does not give us permission to choose the neighbors most like ourselves. The Good Samaritan was a lower-class, despised ethnic outsider”
THE PROBLEM IDENTIFIED ACCORDING TO ERLC
“TECHNOLOGY AND SOCIAL MEDIA”
“Other factors emerged as drivers of incivility in our research, including the poll and our interviews with evangelical leaders. Our interviewees were extraordinarily concerned about the influence of technology, especially social media and smartphones (the “glowing rectangle,” as Andy Crouch called it). They believed that social media often replaced actual human-to-human relationships. They cited studies that social media increased anxiety and loneliness, especially for teens. They echoed widespread concerns that social media gave its users a false sense of collective solidarity with a fictional “us,” and that it becomes a surrogate community. ”
ENTER ROSARIA BUTTERFIELD OF ERLC LGBT+ “EXPERTS”
” “We have become ogres through this social media infused world,” in the words of Rosaria Butterfield, author and former professor at Syracuse University.
Thabiti is the not so rogue practitioner of Critical Race Theory in the TGC/ ERLC /SBC Thabitis wife factors in ” Author and speaker Kristie Anyabwile was concerned about “The freedom that people feel like is available to them to engage publicly” on social media. Because of that freedom, “social media makes everyone an ‘expert,’” ready to speak out on any issue with confidence that may not be well grounded. It also “makes us forget that there are people on the other end of our words.”
SO FAR THE WHITE PAPER RELIES ON SBC IN HOUSE ACTIVIST , JOURNALIST AND , LIFEWAY TO VALIDATE ITS POINTS.
” In these “echo chambers,” as Marvin Olasky, editor of World Magazine ( likely the kind of print media the white paper is pushing us toward as it vilifies other sources of news) , characterized them, “we all tend to pay attention to our own set of facts and not facts that are not accommodating to our viewpoint.” Andy Crouch suggested that the increasing availability of all forms of media “changes the scale of what counts as public,” shrinking our willingness to engage with our real-life communities and distorting our perception of what is actually going on around us. ”
BAPTIST PRESS /TGC BLOG GOOD – CHRISTIAN ALTERNATIVE NEWS/ FACEBOOK /YOUTUBE /TWITTER BAD
“We suspect this dynamic may help explain why respondents in our poll who said their political views were influenced by prominent Christian leaders scored lower on the civility index. In the contemporary media environment, “prominent Christian leaders” are often those most successful at reaching a wide audience through television and social media. Their influence is thus impersonal, commodified, and packaged in a format that rewards emotional rather than intellectual engagement. We hold out hope that Christian leaders might still exercise a helpful influence in local settings, print media, and face-to-face encounters.”
“Three-quarters of our survey respondents said they regularly got their news from television—half from Fox News alone—and almost 40 percent from news websites (again, with Fox News’ website the leader by a wide margin) and from social media websites, such as Facebook and Twitter, compared to just over a quarter from a print newspaper or magazine. Half of our respondents check Facebook several times per day and one-quarter visit YouTube with the same frequency. Despite that, the respondents were extraordinarily negative about the impact of TV, websites, and social media.”
CREEPED OUT YET THAT ERLC IS TELLING YOU WHERE YOU SHOULD FIND INFORMATION? IT GETS MUCH MORE DISTURBING .
THE LOSS OF MORAL CONSENSUS
“One reason we so readily immerse ourselves in our media bubbles is to find reassurance amidst a morally confusing world, which points to another major factor in the breakdown of the American public square: the loss of moral consensus in American society. The United States has experienced a profound religious and cultural shift in the past century or so.”
WE HAVE DONE IT TO OURSELVES?
“America’s Protestant cultural heritage has slowly evolved, first in the 19th century from the influx of Catholic and Jewish immigrants, the split of white Protestant churches into northern and southern components, the formation of separate black Protestant churches, and the rise of theological liberalism. The fundamentalist-modernist controversies of the early 20th century and a general cultural and political disillusionment after World War I further contributed to the erosion of Protestant cultural hegemony, setting the stage for dramatic cultural changes in mid-century.”
OBAMA FAITH COORDINATOR TURNED TGC COMMENTATOR FACTORS IN
“As Michael Wear, a former Obama administration official and Founder of Public Square Strategies, told us, “we don’t even share a common moral language anymore.” We not only disagree on which immigration policy is most just; we cannot agree on what “justice” means, or even if there is such a thing.”
9MARKS FABIAN SOCIALIST TRAINED EDITOR GIVES TWO CENTS WORTH
“The breakdown in moral consensus heightens the temperature of public debate. Jonathan Leeman, editorial director of 9Marks, told us, “There are increasingly divergent conceptions of justice, animating our public square engagement—and those competing understandings of justice and morality broadly lead to raise the volume and make the stakes feel higher for everyone such that civility in those conversations is more and more under threat.” Because we lack shared meanings, reasoned discourse seems impossible, and thus public discussion deteriorates into a shouting match, a performative exercise, or a joust rather than an exchange of ideas.”
ANOTHER LGBT+ THRIVING /REVOICE LEADER OFFERS AN OPINION
“Matthew Lee Anderson, a Research Fellow at Baylor University’s Institute for Studies of Religion, shared a similar concern: “Part of the problem with public discourse is that we don’t have a common history about how we arrived here. We start our histories at different points and as a result we tend to select different heroes and villains from within those histories.”
LEEMANS BOSS FACTORS IN
Mark Dever, Senior Pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church, hoped Christians would
“Learn American history better; learn the experiences of people who disagree with them better.”
RACIAL COMMENTATOR AND ACTIVST TISBY MAKES AN APPEARANCE
“Jemar Tisby—president and co-founder of The Witness: A Black Christian Collective—exhorted Christians to study history because it helps “develops empathy for people, particularly for folks who are experiencing an injustice.” The problem is that each tribe wants to believe in and propagate a simple moral narrative in which they are the good guys, rather than recognizing that human history, even at its best, is filled with paradoxes, and contradictions, and ironies—which is what we should expect given our belief in human depravity.”
“THE ATROPHY OF CIVIL SOCIETY”- (Again it is all our own fault .)
“With the loss of shared meaning, citizens are far less apt to gather together in voluntary associations for a common purpose, or even a common hobby. Sociologists have raised alarms for decades about how Americans are increasingly “bowling alone.”12 In our survey, it was notable how few evangelicals are engaged in any type of non-religious civic activity. ”
“The decline in civic associations is both cause and consequence of the deterioration
of the public square. Civic associations mediate non-political friendships among citizens with diverse backgrounds. Outside of public schools and the armed forces, they are probably where citizens are most likely to befriend others of a different income level, religion, or racial or ethnic background. Such friendships, as we saw, are associated with higher levels of civility. ”
FEELING THOROUGHLY CRITIQUED ? YOU TRIBAL ANIMAL YOU !
“POLITICAL TRIBES AS THE NEW FORM OF RELIGIOUS COMMUNITY”
“Human beings are social and political animals. We are made for community. When we lose one kind of community, we invent others to take its place. We have lost forms of community with the decline in civil society, the decline in church membership, and the loss of moral consensus. We have invented new forms of community through social media and self-selected information bubbles, often reinforced by different historical narratives. But that is not the only substitute we have invented for ourselves.”
“Our political tribes are bad for democracy. Because we isolate ourselves from information or news from the other side, we harden and accelerate political division and fuel polarization. We encourage ourselves to think the worst of our opponents and actively cultivate distrust in our fellow citizens. We blind ourselves to our own faults, listening to echo chambers that confirm our existing biases. ”
THUS FAR WE HAVE A GROUP OF IN HOUSE SBC CHANGE AGENTS OFFERING CRITIQUE OF OUR SELF IMPOSED POLITICAL EXILE .
WHAT IS MORE WE ARE GETTING A WINDOW INTO THE COLLECTIVE MIND OF THE ERLC.
IT IS KIND OF A FREAK SHOW PEEP SHOW INTO THE MIND OF THE ERLC !
RUSSELL MOORE NOT ANOTHER IDOL …PLEASE
“In our current moment,
we cannot escape the
conclusion that political
tribalism is idolatry.”
” Several of our interviewees believed that we are treating our political tribes as idol or substitute churches, looking to them to be our primary locus of meaning, community, and fulfillment. Jemar Tisby said, “we have made a god out of a political party or a
political agenda and we look to that party or that agenda for salvation.”
“Michael Wear worried about our increasing tendency to look to the public square for “emotional validation” and “cultural affirmation.”
IS THERE NOT A PROPHET BESIDES THESE TGC/ERLC/ SBC REGULARS?
“Jonathan Leeman criticized “our implicit utopianism,” in which “we set about to create heaven on earth now as if our salvation and the blessing of the nations depended on it.” Samuel Rodriguez argued that “We drink the Republican and Democratic Kool-Aid,”
and that we listen to our pundits as if “they were messengers from heaven.” He called our political tribes “quasi-cultic,” and compared our devotion to our favorite pundits to Jim Jones’ followers. Trevin Wax, Director for Bibles and Reference at LifeWay Christian Resources, worried that we have lost the ability to engage in “self-critique” because of the “religious fervor” with which we hold our political opinions.”
SECTION 2 A CHRISTIAN POLITICAL AGENDA ?
“Evangelicals are comfortable with the idea that their faith informs their politics. Between 75 and 85 percent said the Bible informed their political views; that they look for biblical principles to apply in political issues; and that their faith influences how they engage others politically. Over half said that the teachings of their local church or a prominent Christian leader influenced their political views”
“Democrats appear hesitant to call themselves “evangelical” even when they profess evangelical beliefs, corroborating that the label carries political and cultural connotations unpopular with the left. Consistent with national trends, older and
whiter evangelicals, especially in the South and West, were more likely to identify as Republicans; Northeastern and African American evangelicals were (far) more likely to identify as Democrats. The God-gap is real: weekly church attendance is correlated with Republican identification.”
NO DISCUSSION COMPLETE WITHOUT TIM KELLER’S POLITICS (TIM IS NOT SBC)
“In particular, our interviewees consistently warned that we are mixing our faith with our politics in the wrong way. Tim Keller, Pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church, wondered if evangelicals have become more apt to let politics and partisanship drive their theology rather than the other way around.”
“The biggest story
about evangelicals and
their political concerns
is the obvious and
troubling racial and
ethnic fault line.”
YES THE ERLC IS PLAYING THE POLITICAL RACE CARD
“But the biggest story about evangelicals and their political concerns is the obvious and troubling racial and ethnic fault line. White evangelicals have a different set of political priorities than nonwhite evangelicals. White evangelicals are far more likely to list abortion, religious liberty, national security, or immigration as a top concern than African American evangelicals or black Protestants. African Americans are more likely to list helping the needy, healthcare, and racial injustice. Evangelicals who attend church most frequently are least likely to say that helping the needy is a top concern. At 11
percent, white evangelicals are the least likely to say racial injustice is a top concern.”
OK ENOUGH WITH THE NUMBERS AND THE ACTIVIST AND THE ACCUSATIONS ..WHAT IS THE ANSWER TO ALL OUR SELF INFLICTED WOES?
THINKING ABOUT POLITICS
“In this section, we begin to sketch out the outlines of an approach to politics that we hope can appeal across these divides. What should a Christian public witness look like? How can evangelicals work to improve our public witness, love our neighbors politically, and seek the prosperity of our city? ”
“In this interpretation, we might exhort conservative white Christians to be a stronger voice against racial injustice and poverty in the Republican Party and left-leaning non-white Christians to be a stronger voice against abortion and for religious liberty in the Democratic Party. Regardless of whether consensus is desirable or possible, we note the fact that whites are comparatively less concerned about racial injustice or poverty, and blacks about religious freedom, is evidence that we need to do better articulating the underlying principles that should animate concern for all of the above.”
“Focusing on human dignity would also improve how we make our arguments. Peter J. Wehner believed, “You can be extremely strong and passionate in your convictions and your criticisms, and speak the truth in a prophetic way, and still not be uncivil. You don’t have to engage in ad hominem attacks, you don’t have to try and diminish people as human beings.” No matter what our position on immigration policy, we should speak of immigrants (legal and illegal) as human beings who deserve respectful treatment. ”
“Those who prioritize anti-abortion activism as their primary political concern do so in the belief that it is the frontline of a broader battle against a worldview antithetical in its essence to the Christian understanding of the world and of human life. Anti-abortion activism opposes abortion but also the entire worldview from which it springs.”
NO NO NO -DON’T SAY “SINGLE ISSUE VOTER” YOU JUST DID !
“But other interviewees told us that the prolife movement has sometimes failed to apply the movement’s underlying reasoning to the full spectrum of public policy issues. There is a sense among evangelical leaders, especially non-white leaders, that the prolife worldview has in fact oftentimes become a single-issue campaign.”
” Mark Dever believed both prolife vantage points were morally defensible: “I do think it can be okay to be a single-issue voter on abortion, I do think it is also morally defensible for the person who thinks abortion is murder to not be a single-issue voter on the question of abortion.”
RACE, ETHNICITY, AND THE GOSPEL
THE OVER WORN QUOTE
is still the most
of the week.”
“Rather, the gap is over what constitutes racism and racial injustice. As Michael Emerson and Christian Smith have argued, whites define racism as personal animus while non-whites tend to define racism as systemic or structural inequality. Whites do not feel they are motivated by personal hatred of non-whites, and do not hear expressions of such hatred, and so they believe that racism is not a major problem in the United States today.”
“Whites may be unaware of how their actions help reinforce racial inequalities in American society, and they probably would not even be aware of any racial animus in their own motives if such motives were present. Jonathan Leeman believed that, “whites, at best, have been negligent in empathizing and showing concern for the issues felt acutely by our minority brothers and sisters in Christ and minorities more broadly”
FINALLY TO THE REAL PLACEMENT OF BLAME..TRUMP
It is important to note that Trump did not make an explicit appeal to white identity (though somE of his advocates and campaign staff did)—he more often made an appeal to Christian identity— but equally important to note that his political movement is overwhelmingly made up of whites, while non-whites overwhelmingly suspected what they believed were the racial and ethnic implications of his campaign. Thabiti Anyabwile shared that “I’ve never seen a cultural event like the 2016 election that divided the church.” White evangelicals who supported Trump did not believe he was racist or that their support for him was support for racism. But it became increasingly difficult for
non-white Christians to give their white brothers and sisters who supported Trump the benefit of the doubt. Bruce Ashford suggested “a number of white folks don’t understand,” non-whites’ fears about Trump, “because they never had black people in their home or Hispanics in their home”
“The racial and ethnic dynamics surrounding the Trump campaign and presidency are complicated because, again, Trump rarely, if ever, has spoken explicitly about racial issues or appealed to whites as whites. Instead, he directed his appeal to Christians. In June 2016 he told the Faith and Freedom Coalition “We will respect and defend Christian
Americans.”31 In August 2016, he told a group of Christian pastors in Orlando, “Your power has been totally taken away,” but under a Trump administration, “You’ll have great power to do good things.” In September 2016, Trump told the Values Voters
Summit, “[In] a Trump administration, our Christian heritage will be cherished, protected, defended, like you’ve never seen before. Believe me.” Trump’s appeal to Christianity did not resonate with all American Christians, but it appears to have resonated strongly with a subset of them: white evangelicals. Why did the appeal to Christian identity appeal to that group?”
YES IT IS ALL TRUMPS FAULT IN THE END …ACCORDING THE ERLC !
“We should also ensure
our advocacy for religious
liberty is truly principled,
not only deployed when
our particular interest is
“Ancient Israel is a model for the church, not the state; its practice of punishing heresy is an example for churches to enforce membership and practice discipline, not for the state to privilege Christianity or punish atheism or Islam). Religious belief is not within the rightful jurisdiction of the government or its police powers, as authorized and commissioned by God. There are other, pragmatic reasons to support religious liberty. We enjoy the freedom to meet openly, preach the gospel, proselytize, and organize good works to serve the community through our churches, and we pray for that freedom to continue. We can also agree with some (not all) of the Enlightenment justification for religious liberty, including that we all benefit from a free marketplace of ideas.”
IRONICALLY THE ERLC IS EMPLOYED TO ENSURE RELIGIOUS LIBERTY OF BAPTIST WHILE RUSSELL MOORE MOST OFTEN SEEMS TO BE ATTEMPTING TO TALK BAPTIST OUT OF THEIR EXPECTATION OF IT .
THE LGBTQ+ THREAT
“Some evangelicals and Catholics have warned about the erosion of religious liberty in the United States.43 We are especially concerned by recent moves among progressives to reframe and circumscribe the First Amendment, claiming that evangelicals are abusing or “manipulating” it toshield our supposed “bigotry” against the LGBTQ community.”
THE CULTURE OF DEMOCRACY
“A final issue, or two tightly connected issues, surfaced in conversation with some of our interviewees: the overall culture of democracy in America, coupled with evangelicals’ misunderstanding of the relationship between the United States and the Kingdom of God.”
REPEATED NARRATIVE “NATIONALISM IS ALL BAD” !
“Trying to root American
democracy in one particular
identity, even a Christian
misunderstands the ideals
of the American experiment”
“But even the more benign form of this argument, emphasizing Christianity rather than British culture, results in a kind of Christian nationalism that ends up harming, not helping, democracy in America. It is harmful in several ways. This viewpoint can end up harming the principle of religious freedom by trying to give Christianity a legal preference—which is helpful for neither the church nor the state. This view can also devolve into a form of identity politics for Christians, which is a fundamentally selfish form of politics: if Christians should be known for loving their neighbors and working for the common flourishing of all, asking for privileged status for ourselves does the opposite.”
NOW THE BIG FIX- THE “ANSWERS ” FORM THE ERLC BRAINTRUST OF ACTIVIST
“INITIAL RECOMMENDATIONS ”
(THEY MIGHT SEEM OVER SIMPLIFIED BUT ARE ACTUALLY MORE OF OVERREACH OF ERLC ACTUAL JOB DESCRIPTION )
“FOR THE FAMILY AND THE INDIVIDUAL”
“1. Get news from print media.
It is good civic hygiene to stay informed about current events. TV and social media are very bad at this. They seem better suited to entertainment and superficial connection with friends, respectively. Avoid TV news and talk shows, subscribe to a newspaper or news magazine, and do not debate politics over Facebook or Twitter.”
(INTERPRETATION -GET ALL NEWS FROM ERLC AND TGC WEBSITES )
“2. Put down your smart phone, and don’t give them to kids.
Smart phones are powerful and useful devices. They can also be addictive, overpowering, and ruinous to human interaction because they are a source of constant distraction.”
(ONE THING IN THE HYPED REPORT WE MIGHT AGREE UPON )
“3. Teach your children the importance of gracious social interaction, even if it seems
old-fashioned. Lessons such as “remember your manners,” “be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry” (James 1:19)
(ACTUALLY TEACHING A CHILD TO BE A PRO LIFE VOTER IS A GOSPEL ISSUE )
“4. Get involved locally, and drop roots, for however long you can.
Go to your local parent-teacher association, city council, or home owner’s association. Join a veteran’s group, a bird-watching club, or a neighborhood chess night. Join or coach a sports team. Do something that physically gets you out of your house and into face-to-face contact with people who live in your immediate vicinity. ”
“5. Seek out difference.
If your friends are of the same race or ethnicity, the same political party, or the same income and education level as you are, you live in a bubble and are depriving yourself of the opportunity to grow. Go make friends and seek out those from whom you might learn something new. ”
(HOW MUCH TIME IS RUSSELL MOORE AND ARE ERLC EMPLOYEES DEDICATING TO THIS ONE ?)
“6. Try not to have opinions about everything.
We are blessed to live in a country where we can believe and say anything. That doesn’t mean we should. Nor does it mean that whatever we say or believe has automatic validity. Learn and study before forming an opinion; if someone disagrees, ask why and listen. Do not rush to ascribe malice, foolishness, or stupidity to someone just because they disagree with you.”
“7. Join a church, pray for the nation, and remember they are different.
Our churches are our most important communities outside of our families because they are the company of saints helping us along our pilgrim path to the Celestial City. If you spend more time worrying about America than about the family in the pew next to you, you are doing it wrong.”
FOR THE CHURCH AND SEMINARY
“1. Seek out difference.
If your church members or seminary students are all of the same race or ethnicity, the
same political party, or the same income and education level—and especially if your demographic makeup is disproportionate to your neighborhood or your city—you have created a bubble and are depriving yourself and your members of the opportunity to grow. Ask a fellow believer of a different background to examine your church to see if you have wrongly conflated your culture with biblical teaching. Consider changes in your church’s or seminary’s programming, liturgy, music, service, or outreach to better reach people from all backgrounds.”
PARDON ME BUT ISN’T THIS SOUNDING LIKE A LOT OF THOUGHT POLICING AND SOCIAL ENGINEERING ?
“2. Talk about politics—but talk about it holistically.
The gospel has political implications. Do not avoid politics and do not avoid controversy.
Doing so only cedes the ground to secular sources of commentary. Your members and students will hear about politics somewhere, so you should be a part of the conversation. When you address controversial issues, you are likely to be the only or the best place that models to your congregation how to talk about such issues with truth, grace, wisdom, and compassion. But be careful of talking about only your favorite political issues. If abortion or religious liberty are the only political issues you ever mention from the pulpit or in the classroom, you probably have a blind spot.”
“We are blessed to live in a
country where we can believe
and say anything. That doesn’t
mean we should.”
“3. Don’t just talk about politics.
The mission of the church is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, to reflect the character of God, and to carry out his mission of reconciliation and renewal to the world. If political activism has become your primary focus, you have lost your focus and your political talk will eventually become shallow, partisan, or uncharitable.”
“4. Experiment with different methods of teaching.
For many churches, the Sunday morning sermon is the only means by which it seeks to transmit knowledge, wisdom, and exhortation to its members. But a 30- to 60-minute lecture once per week is inadequate to help form the worldview and lifelong habits of a people. ”
“5. Foster civil society in and around the church, but don’t let it replace the gospel.
Form partnerships with local organizations, or create your own, like veteran’s groups, scouting organizations, neighborhood schools, tutoring programs, prison ministries, homeless shelters, and others. Advertise their events and encourage your members to get involved. Offer the use of your building as a meeting space, if you have one. ”
“6. Model the life of the mind.
Teach your members what it means to love God with our minds. Preach against anti-intellectualism. Hold up wisdom as a model and an aspiration. Have a bookstall or library stocked with quality books. If you have the resources, consider programs to fund seminary studies for your members. ”
“ABOUT THE RESEARCHERS”
HERE IS WHERE THE ERLC DEEPSTATE FEELING COMES IN..WHERE IS FEELS CREEPY AND OVERWROUGHT .THE LEAD RESEARCHER OF THE WHITE PAPER IS :
DR. PAUL D. MILLER, LEAD RESEARCHER
Professor of the Practice and Co-Chair for Global Politics and Security
Senior Fellow, Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, Atlantic Council
Biographical InformationShow profile navigation menu
Dr. Paul D. Miller is a Professor of the Practice of International Affairs at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. He serves as co-chair of the Global Politics and Security concentration in the MSFS program. He is also a non-resident Senior Fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security.
As a practitioner, Dr. Miller served as Director for Afghanistan and Pakistan on the National Security Council staff; worked as an intelligence analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency; and served as a military intelligence officer in the U.S. Army.
His most recent book, American Power and Liberal Order: A Conservative Internationalist Grand Strategy, was published by Georgetown University Press in 2016. In his first book, Armed State Building (Cornell University Press, 2013), Miller examined the history and strategy of stability operations. His next book, tentatively titled Just War and Ordered Liberty, reinterprets the just war traditions in light of contemporary security challenges. Miller taught at The University of Texas at Austin and the National Defense University and worked at the RAND Corporation prior to his arrival at Georgetown.
Miller’s writing has also appeared in Foreign Affairs, Survival, Presidential Studies Quarterly, The Journal of Strategic Studies, Orbis, The American Interest, The National Interest, The World Affairs Journal, Small Wars and Insurgencies, and elsewhere. Miller holds a PhD in international relations and a BA in government from Georgetown University, and a master in public policy from Harvard University.
He is a contributing editor of the Texas National Security Review, a contributing editor of Providence: A Journal of Christianity and American Foreign Policy, and a research fellow at the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.”
THE ERLC WHITE PAPER ON POLITICAL ENGAGEMENT – SOCIAL ENGINEERING -PERSONAL -FAMILY -CHURCH AND SEMINARY COURSE CORRECTION RECOMMENDATIONS IS WRITTEN BY A GEORGETOWN PROFESSOR NOT AN SBC LEADER.
GEORGETOWN -JESUIT – CATHOLIC- LIBERAL ..FEELING MIGHTY STRANGE .
MILLER IS KNOWN FOR DOING SOME NEVER TRUMP COMMENTARY TOTALLY LACKING CIVILITY OF HIS OWN .
THE NEVER TRUMP END GAME IS OBVIOUS FROM THE START AND BECOMES GLARING TWO THIRDS OF THE WAY IN WHILE BEING COMPLIED BY A LONG TIME INTELLIGENCE OFFICER /CIA GUY WHO WORKED FOR BOTH BUSH AND OBAMA ADMINISTRATIONS .
ISN’T THERE SOME CONFLICT OF INTEREST HERE ? SHOULD A CURRENT INTELLIGENCE ANALYST WHO DID NOT LAND A POSITION IN THE TRUMP WHITEHOUSE BE DRAFTING A WHITE PAPER FOR THE ANTI TRUMP SOUTHERN BAPTIST ETHICS AND RELIGIOUS LIBERTIES COMMISSION AND BOSS RUSSELL MOORE ?
“Russell Moore is truly a terrible representative of Evangelicals and all of the good they stand for. A nasty guy with no heart!”
THIS ENTIRE EFFORT IS CONTRIVED- OVERWROUGHT – DEEP STATE ESQUE AND TOXIC ACTIVISM FROM THE INBRED BRAINTRUST OF USUAL ERLC /TGC SUSPECTS.
CREEPY METER ALERTS SOUNDING ON ALL POINTS
RUSSELL MOORE STAFF INVOLVED
“DR. ANDREW WALKER
Andrew T. Walker is the Director of Research and Senior Fellow in Christian Ethics at the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention.”
( YES THE GUY WHO MOCKED THIS WRITER AS HE HAD DALLAS POLICE ESCORT HIM FORM THE SBC ANNUAL MEETINGS IN DALLAS FOR ASKING HIS BOSS RUSSELL MOORE ABOUT LGBT+ FLOURISHING ACTIVIST IN THE ERLC. YES THAT GUY)
“Brent Leatherwood currently serves as the ERLC director of strategic partnerships. He attended the University of Central Florida and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Government”
By this time we get it. Many in the SBC do not like Trump. They do not like us or the way we vote. Some of simply Democrats and others are change agents and hirelings . Some are down right deceivers out to transform evangelical voting patterns as a whole and Baptist voter convictions in specific. They have seized controls of many of our seminaries and institutions and now are taking over our denominations and churches. If they have their way -they will gladly own the hearts and minds FAITH AND FUTURES of our children. Their shame and insult tactics are as rude as they are obvious and their arrogance is become legend .
Only two questions remain unanswered. Will Baptist let these kinds of manipulations and social engineerings go unchallenged ? And will Baptist continue to pay money into the SBC to support these purely progressive political operatives?
Jeremiah 5:31 “The prophets prophesy falsely, And the priests rule by their own power; And My people love to have it so. But what will you do in the end?”
Ezekiel 22:30 “So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one.”
Jeremiah 23 :28 ““The prophet who has a dream, let him tell a dream; And he who has My word, let him speak My word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat?” says the Lord.”