Russell Moore is taking heat for a broadside at Christian talk radio delivered during last month’s ERLC leadership conference in Nashville.
A Southern Baptist official is standing by a recent comment about Christian talk radio that prompted a network head to request publicly that he apologize or at least explain.
Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, used Christian radio as an illustration of Christians who condemn others without offering a word of reconciliation.
“I listened on the way back up here from my hometown to some Christian talk radio this week, against my doctor’s orders,” Moore said during a 50-minute message at the April 21-23 ERLC Leadership Summit in Nashville, Tenn. “And honestly, if all that I knew of Christianity was what I heard on Christian talk radio, I’d hate it, too.”
“There are some people who believe that fidelity to the gospel simply means speaking, ‘You kids get off my lawn.’ That is not the message that has been given to us,” he said. “If the call to repentance does not end with the invitation that is grounded in the bloody cross and the empty tomb of Jesus, we are speaking a different word than the word that we have been given.”
Janet Mefferd, whose nationally syndicated radio show airs on 100 radio stations across the United States, was first to take offense.
“I find that really offensive, for a few reasons,” Mefferd said April 24. “First of all, I can think of an awful lot of people in the Old Testament who were pretty darn bold preaching the truth and God was awfully pleased with them.”
Mefferd said she doesn’t know if Moore was referring to her program, but she doesn’t know anyone in the industry who is indifferent to whether or not people are saved.
The president of 95-station Bott Radio Network copied more than 70 Southern Baptist and evangelical leaders in a May 5 letter to Moore asking him to apologize for or a least clarify what he meant by his remark.
WND, formerly WorldNetDaily, reported on the dustup in a weekend story headlined “‘Nuclear bomb’ hits Christian talk radio.”
Moore appeared May 9 on the Erick Erickson Show, which airs on secular radio, and defended his comments in the context of his message that Christians who respond to sin only with condemnation without an offer to repent and believe aren’t preaching the whole gospel.
“That doesn’t mean everybody who is in Christian talk radio,” Moore said. “There are just a ton of people who are doing good, gospel-centered work, but most people when they think of Christian talk radio, it’s the same thing when someone says ‘televangelist’ in the last generation, most people didn’t think of the people who were doing it right. They thought of the typical paradigm that they often hear.”
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SOURCE: Associated Baptist Press