Southern Baptist Trump Resign

Southern Baptist Policy Chief Calls on Trump to Resign

Jeffrey Walton on January 8, 2021

The top official at the Southern Baptist Convention’s (SBC) public policy office has called on U.S. President Donald Trump to resign, following the storming of the U.S. Capitol building Wednesday by a mob immediately following a Trump rally before the White House.

“Mr. President, people are dead. The Capitol is ransacked. There are 12 dangerous days for our country left,” Tweeted Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) President Russell Moore on Friday morning. “Could you please step down and let our country heal?”

While a number of officials on the Religious Left have repeatedly spoken out against the President, Moore’s public call for a Presidential resignation marks a first for a top official within a theologically conservative Evangelical denomination. The SBC counts participating churches with approximately 15 million members in the United States, making it the largest Protestant denomination in the nation.

Moore regularly speaks on behalf of the SBC on issues of morality and Christian ethics. He was an early outspoken critic of Trump’s conduct before and following the 2016 U.S. Presidential election.

“Regardless of the outcome in November, his [Trump’s] campaign is forcing American Christians to grapple with some scary realities that will have implications for years to come,” Moore wrote in a 2016 New York Times opinion piece. “This election has cast light on the darkness of pent-up nativism and bigotry all over the country.”

Then-candidate Trump responded, tweeting in June of 2016, “Russell Moore is truly a terrible representative of Evangelicals and all of the good they stand for. A nasty guy with no heart!”

Moore’s criticism placed him at odds with supporters of the President, including 100 Baptist pastors who threatened to withhold funds from their congregations that support ERLC work. Moore effectively went silent on further public critique of Trump after facing strong opposition at the annual convention. Friday’s statement marks a reemergence.

On Wednesday Moore addressed the President on Twitter, writing “President @realDonaldTrump, you have a moral responsibility to call on these mobs to stop this dangerous and anti-constitutional anarchy. Please do so.”

The Nashville-based SBC policy chief has been visible in conversations with those who do not share his theological orthodoxy or social conservatism.

In early December, Moore refuted claims that religion is a unique point of division in American society today.

“I don’t agree that religion is a divider but rather that religion is divided,” said Moore, one of four panelists hosted by the Associated Press and Religion News Service. Moore emphasized the need to work together when in agreement but not capitulate beliefs when not.

“Getting into a mode where we can oppose one another on five issues and work together on one issue is a healthy place to be,” asserted Moore. He pointed to criminal justice reform as an issue in the past that has united conservative and more progressive religious groups.

Moore spoke in November alongside Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Michael Curry in an online event hosted by the Washington National Cathedral on the healing of national divides.

  1. Comment by Jeff on January 9, 2021 at 12:22 am

    Big surprise here; a bit of research shows that Russell contracted Trump Derangement Disease in the 2016 pandemic. One day he’ll explain his political calculus to the Supreme Judge, Almighty GOD Who sits on the throne of Justice and Righteousness. Present will be a “cloud of witnesses” to include millions of the innocent unborn deprived of their life on earth by Moore’s alignment with the ‘Rat party that satan holds in his evil thrall. Although Moore believes himself wise in his own understanding, I do not desire to trade places with him, as I believe in the GOD that Jesus revealed to us in the Word.

  2. Comment by Loren J Golden on January 9, 2021 at 2:23 am

    Please desist from this malicious, bitter, and senseless backbiting and name-calling.  Unlike voting for a presidential candidate other than Donald Trump, it is a very serious sin (Ps. 15.3, Mt. 12.33-37, Gal. 5.15, Eph. 4.29-32, Heb. 12.15, Jas. 3.1-12).  And remember: It is God and God alone who “removes kings and sets up kings” (Dan. 2.21), and “the king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD; he turns it wherever he will” (Prov. 21.1).  After all, “Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases.” (Ps. 115.3)  It is idolatry to look to politicians and political agendas to set things to right in this world—even so great an evil as abortion.  We look to God, for He alone is able to make things right.

  3. Comment by David on January 9, 2021 at 6:20 am

    The second comments illustrates that the only form of government to come out of the Judeo-Christian tradition was divine right monarchy. Fortunately, most people reject this today and consign it to the dustbin of history.

  4. Comment by Mike on January 9, 2021 at 9:16 am

    David, you need to be reminded that kings were around a long time before “the Judeo-Christian tradition”, and that those kings who claimed “divine right monarchy” were merely dictators by another name. The best example of a government produced by “the Judeo-Christian tradition” is that of the United States.

  5. Comment by Jeff on January 9, 2021 at 5:36 pm

    I’ll continue to speak the obvious truth as it is put on my heart to do.

    I’d encourage you to read Jude; it’s a short letter, perhaps you overlooked it.

  6. Comment by floyd lee on January 9, 2021 at 5:48 pm

    There’s less than 10 days left on President Trump’s watch. Dr. Moore correctly wants to see America heal, as do many Christians. Also, Moore correctly doesn’t want to give Trump a Free Pass, in light of the tragic Capitol Riot. Got it.

    But Moore’s response is highly incorrect. It appeases Trump’s political and media enemies, giving THEM and their angry, vengeful Trump-Hatred a Free Pass. That’s not how you get a nation healed. Besides, Trump’s Rally Speech did NOT actually call for violence or illegality (see online transcript.)

    And make no mistake: Many Biden supporters do NOT have clean, holy, Riot-Free hands anyway. So the best move, is to just let these final few days pass quietly.

  7. Comment by Gary Bebop on January 9, 2021 at 6:03 pm

    Russell Moore, bless his heart, wants us to swallow the prevailing narrative. Before we rush to judgments like his, let’s have a real investigation of who prepared for, participated, and egged on the Capitol riot. We can’t trust the opening volleys that issue from these events. Haven’t we learned that as hard lesson? The truth will come out. We will be surprised, and sometimes embarrassed, by its revelation. Dismount the high horse.

  8. Comment by David on January 9, 2021 at 7:22 pm

    The United States government was based on the pagan Roman republic and the pagan democracies of ancient Greece. This was in fact a rejection of the Judeo-Christian tradition by the Founding Fathers. “Fear God and honor the king” was not exactly the motto of 1776.

  9. Comment by Loren J Golden on January 9, 2021 at 11:59 pm

    About what “obvious truth” are you speaking?  “A ‘cloud of witnesses’ to include millions of the innocent unborn deprived of their life on earth by Moore’s alignment with the (Democratic) (P)arty”?  Dr. Moore’s call for Mr. Trump to step down from the Presidency was not based on Mr. Trump’s stand on abortion or actions to limit it, but rather on Mr. Trump’s deplorable statement to the rioters who three days ago invaded the US Capitol:

    “I know your pain.  I know your hurt.  We had an election that was stolen from us. … But you have to go home now.  We have to have peace.  We have to have law and order. … There’s never been a time like this, where such a thing happened, where they could take it away from all of us—from me, from you, from our country.  This was a fraudulent election.  But we can’t play into the hands of these people.  We have to have peace.  So go home.  We love you; you’re very special.  You’ve seen what happens; you’ve seen the way others are treated that are so bad and so evil.  I know how you feel.  So go home, and go home in peace.”

    There was no condemnation in Mr. Trump’s words to those who quite illegally and quite dangerously took it upon themselves to break into the Capitol building, in order to disrupt Congress, steal the electoral ballots, and then burn them.  Instead, he used his statement as a platform to again air his own bitter grievance that the election was rigged and stolen from him, when there is no evidence whatsoever that any Republican votes were suppressed or Democratic votes manufactured, especially in the swing states where Mr. Biden narrowly defeated him.  In so doing, Mr. Trump demonstrated a profound dereliction of duty by speaking a word of division and divisiveness when the country needed him to speak a word of unity and strength against lawbreakers in a moment of national crisis.  It was on this basis that Dr. Moore called on Mr. Trump to step down, not because of Mr. Trump’s stand on abortion.
    Furthermore, Dr. Moore and the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention which he heads are very much opposed to abortion, as quick searches of both his blog and the ERLC website reveal, and there is no evidence whatsoever that Dr. Moore is “align(ed) with the (Democratic) (P)arty” on abortion rights.
    “I’d encourage you to read Jude.”
    Yes, I have read it.  Several times.
    In v. 4, which states Jude’s purpose in writing the epistle, and to which I assume you are specifically referring by this comment, the author writes, “For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.”
    By the reference to Jude, are you suggesting that Dr. Moore is a false teacher?  If so, where is your evidence?  To make such a suggestion against an elder in Christ’s Church is a very serious thing indeed.  As Paul wrote, “Let elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching. … Do not admit a charge against an elder except on the evidence of two or three witnesses.” (I Tim. 5.17,19)  I, for one, see no evidence of Dr. Moore being a false teacher.  If this is not your intention, then why did you reference Jude?
    So again I ask, about what “obvious truth” are you speaking?

  10. Comment by Mike on January 10, 2021 at 3:25 pm

    Davis, you keep ignoring the fact that the Founding Fathers were Christians and Deists who based their work on their understanding of God’s word. They took into account the depravity of man, and formed a government which limited the amount of power each branch of government could hold, while allowing the maximum amount of freedom to the people. If this showed some similarity to the governments of Rome and Greece, it is because they saw some merit in those governments, while desiring to improve upon them.

  11. Comment by floyd lee on January 10, 2021 at 3:33 pm

    Let’s just impeach Joe Biden right now and get it over with. Oh wait, I forgot about Kamala Harris. Impeach her along with Joe, while the nation is still in one piece. Go all the way down the liberal lineup if need be.

    No, I’m not joking, sorry. Black babies and the Black nuclear family are in genuine danger, now that the Democrats control both the White House and the Senate. Likewise for the Latinos, Asians, Whites and other groups. We are **all** going to be in trouble at a fundamental level, as of Jan. 20, 2021. And as a black American, I affirm THAT is no joke.

  12. Comment by Anneke on January 10, 2021 at 5:43 pm

    “Many Biden supporters do NOT have clean, holy, Riot-Free hands anyway. So the best move, is to just let these final few days pass quietly.”

    Amen. If Russell Moore is not willing to criticize both sides of the aisle, especially those who are inflaming and capitalizing on this situation for political gain, he should keep his to tongue in check.

  13. Comment by Loren J Golden on January 10, 2021 at 6:54 pm

    “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities.  For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.  Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.  For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad.  Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority?  Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good.  But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain.  For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.  Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience.  For the same reason you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing.  Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.”
    —Romans 13.1-7
    “Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or as governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good.  For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people.  Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.  Honor everyone.  Love the brotherhood.  Fear God.  Honor the emperor.”
    —I Peter 2.13-17
    “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.”
    —I Timothy 2.1-2

  14. Comment by Mike on January 11, 2021 at 9:19 am

    With all due respect, Mr. Golden, I think you may be barking up the wrong tree. Russell Moore has come under fire quite often for not actually representing the views of those who pay his salary. Quite often he speaks more like a liberal, not like a conservative. He definitely is more in sympathy with the Democrats than with Republicans, unlike the majority of those that he purports to speak for.

    As a former Southern Baptist (I now live in an area where there are no Southern Baptist churches), I have followed some of the happenings within the Southern Baptist Convention, and the perceived drift of many of its leaders toward liberalism. And I think that Russell Moore is a perfect example of this.

    As far as your Bible quotes go, consider this one: “But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” Acts 4: 9-10 Also “But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men. ” Acts 5: 29

    Many of us still stand for what President Trump has done for this country. We do not hold him responsible for the desecration of the Capitol building, and feel that he is being blamed wrongly. And we have strong feelings about it. For him to step aside now would be an admission that he was responsible,

    While we will pray for the new leadership of our nation, those may take the form of asking God to either remove them or blunt the effects of their policies.

  15. Comment by Loren J Golden on January 11, 2021 at 11:15 am

    In what way is Dr. Moore “speaking more like a liberal (than) a conservative”?  And more to the point, what does that matter?  What matters is whether or not his teaching aligns with Scripture, not whether or not it aligns with conservative ideology or Republican Party agendas.
    If a liberal or a Democrat is speaking in favor of government subsidies for the poor, universal healthcare, or for fair or humane treatment of immigrants or prison inmates, you might disagree with his specific policy statements, but that in itself does not make what he says unbiblical.  After all, the Lord Jesus explicitly commands us to care for the poor, the sick, the immigrant, and the prisoner (Mt. 25.31-46).
    Conversely, if a liberal or Democrat (or anyone else, for that matter) is speaking in favor of mandating legal recognition of homosexual acts and/or other forms of sexual immorality, or of keeping abortion legal for purposes other than as medically necessary to save the mother’s life (e.g., in cases where the zygote attaches to the fallopian tube instead of the uterus), what he says is unbiblical, for Scripture condemns as sin both sexual immorality, including homosexuality (Gen. 19.4-7, Lev. 18.22, 20.13, Dt. 23.17-18, Judg. 19.22-25, I Kg. 14.24, 15.12, 22.46, II Kg. 23.7, Rom. 1.24-28, I Cor. 6.9-11, I Tim. 1.8-11, Jude 7), and abortion (that is, Scripture teaches that all human beings are made in the image of God [Gen. 1.26-27, 5.1, I Cor. 11.7, Jas. 3.9], that human life begins at conception [Ps. 51.5, 139.13-16, Is. 49.5, Jer. 1.5, Mt. 1.18, Lk. 1.13-15,31-36], and that the taking of the life of an image-bearer of God is sin [Gen. 9.5-6, Ex. 20.13, 21.14,22-24]).
    So again I ask, if Dr. Moore is speaking unbiblically, where is the evidence?

  16. Comment by Douglas E Ehrhardt on January 11, 2021 at 11:59 am

    Jesus commands believers to take care of the downtrodden.Not the government. Mr Moore should keep.out of this.

  17. Comment by Mike on January 11, 2021 at 12:16 pm


    Dr. Moore presumably is speaking for the Southern Baptist Convention, and should be more careful in what he says. As this article says, he landed in hot water before for criticizing President Trump. He also has been accused of being in league with George Soros, in of favoring Democrat positions on abortion and other issues. He is a former Democratic party staffer, and by no means a conservative. Indeed, I find myself wondering if the man is even a born again believer.

    I would suggest that you take time to find out what he stands for. You might find out some things that will surprise you.

  18. Comment by Jeff on January 11, 2021 at 1:41 pm

    LOL! My goodness, Lauren Golden, you Trump haters can be TEDIOUS!

    You and I, we’ll be called to account one day, Lauren. I for my support of Donald J. Trump and, most importantly, what he has accomplished for America and Israel and the Kingdom against vicious evil headwinds. You, for your consuming hatred of the man and your support for the deeds and goals and policies of his ‘rat opponents and their party of theft, lies, destruction, and death.

    I believe I am ready. Are you?

    Bye now, Lauren. Have a nice life.

  19. Comment by Loren J Golden on January 11, 2021 at 1:49 pm

    1. Criticizing Donald Trump should not be a controversial issue; after all, the man’s moral character (or lack thereof) is deplorable and well documented.  To say that he lacks humility is an understatement—he is the most self-aggrandizing president in American history.  In his mind, he can do no wrong; he refuses to acknowledge culpability for his administration’s failures, passing the blame onto others.  He has been married three times, and he has cheated on his wives multiple times—he had an affair with model Marla Maples, who later became his second wife, while he was still married to his first wife, former model Ivana Zelnícková (the affair led to their divorce); he obtained sexual favors in 2006, the year after he and his current wife, former model Melania Knauss, were married, from porn star Stormy Daniels, to whom his lawyer facilitated a substantial payment in 2016 to keep from talking about the affair, and from Playboy model Karen MacDougal; and besides these, a number of women have accused him of making unwanted sexual advances, and in 2005 he boasted on tape that women allowed him to grope them because he was a star.  The man cannot control his tongue, often lashing out bitterly and pettily at anyone with influence who dares criticize him publicly—his naming as a “loser” the late Senator, Vietnam Veteran, and 2008 Republican US Presidential candidate John McCain, as well as his reaction to Dr. Moore’s criticism, quoted above, being cases in point.  And he was impeached by the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives in a vote of 230-197 on December 18, 2019, on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, although the Republican-controlled Senate acquitted him of all charges by a 53-47 vote (67 votes would have been required to convict and remove him from office).
    Personally, I do not believe that policy advantages—even policies regarding abortion—outweigh serious character deficiencies in an elected official, and I could not in good conscience vote for him in 2016 or 2020 (I voted for Ted Cruz in the 2016 Texas Primary Election, and I voted for third party candidates for president in the 2016 & 2020 general elections who supported unborn children’s right to life), despite having otherwise voted for a straight Republican ticket in those elections and having voted for every other Republican presidential candidate since I became eligible to vote in 1985.  If one is voting for a political candidate because he is the lesser of two evils, one is still voting for evil.
    2. Being a registered Democrat—or even a Democratic Party staff member—is no more a sin than being a member of the party of the Pharisees, of the Sadducees, or of the Republicans.  The Lord Jesus neither aligned Himself with any political party nor established a political party of His own to contend with the others—His Kingdom is not of this world (Jn. 18.36).  To be sure, at least one of His Apostles, Simon the Cananaean (Mt. 10.4, Mk. 3.18, Lk. 6.15), was affiliated with the Zealots, a political party among the Jews who sought to overthrow the occupying Roman government, but his inclusion among the Apostles by no means meant that the Lord Jesus endorsed that party.
    3. Again, accusations against an elder of the Church are a very serious thing.  As the Apostle Paul wrote, “Let elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching. … Do not admit a charge against an elder except on the evidence of two or three witnesses.” (I Tim. 5.17,19)  I did a search of both the ERLC website and Dr. Moore’s blog for abortion (see the links in my second reply to Jeff, above), and found no evidence that he supports Democratic Party positions on abortion.  If you have such evidence, then please present it.

  20. Comment by Warren R Brown Sr on January 18, 2021 at 1:32 pm

    If Moore’s viewpoint represents the Southern Baptist position, I have a problem with the denomination leadership. I am retired and have been a Southern Baptist all my life.
    If the denomination has gone to the left, I can no longer claim the denomination. I dare say I will not be standing alone. A left leaning Southern Baptist convention will be like a branch on a grape vine that has been cut off from the trunk. It will wither and dry up.

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