When Southern Baptists appointed a fresh-faced Russell Moore to head their public policy arm in 2013, many believed a new day had dawned for the nation’s largest Protestant denomination. But when Moore became one of Donald Trump’s most vocal opponents, some leaders who once celebrated his ascendency suddenly came down with a bad case of buyer’s remorse.
“Some Baptist pastors are considering cutting funds that flow from their congregations to the Southern Baptist Convention — or to its policy agency, which Moore heads — in a potentially dramatic rebuke,” The Wall Street Journal reported.
A news story about Southern Baptists having a good ol’-fashioned fight is hardly surprising. The denomination seems to be swept up in an endless fight over all things theological, social and political. But this time, Baptists should beware. The denomination’s combative posture and partisan reputation has likely contributed to its shrinking membership and baptisms. Moore may be the best thing going for Southern Baptists, and marginalizing him will only exacerbate the denomination’s problems.