An Open Letter to the Trustees of the ERLC

The following letter was mailed to the chairman of the board of trustees of the ERLC, with copies sent to the trustee from Missouri (my state), and Dr. Russell Moore on December 2, 2014.  The letter included my mailing address, email address, and cell phone number.  I believe my letter is polite, concise, and raises fair questions.  Yet, to date, I have had no response.  I post it here with the belief that no Southern Baptist who reaches out to a trustee in a respectful manner should be ignored.  I leave it to the reader to determine if my concerns are valid:

I am writing this letter to express concerns with the direction of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission under the leadership of Russell Moore, and to get some clarity on some matters.

My specific concerns are as follows:

1)  Dr. Moore recently took part in an ecumenical event at the Vatican, participating with Catholics, Mormons, Buddhists, Hindus, and other leaders of various cults and false religions.  I believe this to be a clear violation of 2 Corinthians 6:14-18.  Some will say it was for a good cause, and Dr. Moore spoke a good word.  I would contend that the ends do not justify the means, and Moore’s very presence at this event lends credibility to these aberrant groups. 

2)  Dr. Moore recently stated at the ERLC National Conference that while he would not attend a gay wedding, he would attend a gay wedding shower or reception.  According to Moore, it would not be right to support the wedding vows, but it would be appropriate to show love and support for the couple at a corresponding event.  I find Moore’s position to be both illogical and troubling.  Can one really separate the reception from the wedding itself?  Is one not a continuation of the other?  Furthermore, when Moore was asked if a Christian family should allow one of its members to bring their same-sex partner home with them for the holidays and share a bed, Moore was ambiguous in his answer, stating there should be no “strict rule” as to how a family handles this situation.  Sadly, this position is nothing short of compromise.
3)  Regarding the civil unrest in Ferguson, MO, the position of the ERLC has been to sympathize with the African-American community, while saying nothing (that I have found) in support of the police officer who was cleared by our judicial system of any wrong-doing.  This is inexcusable.  For instance, the day after the grand jury’s verdict was announced, the ERLC posted an article to social media entitled, “What’s the Big Deal with Race?”  One line from that article read, “We see [injustice] in the recurring headlines of unarmed black teenage boys shot by police officers.”  Again, whose opinion is this?  It certainly was not the conclusion reached by due process of law in the Ferguson case.  As an SBC pastor, it’s offensive and frustrating that this position was presented publicly as the (assumed) position of all Southern Baptists.

4)  It appears the ERLC is taking on a decidedly “moderate” position on various social issues, ranging from interaction with the LGBT movement, to immigration reform, to environmentalism.  If this is an accurate observation, I believe it is in contrast to the convictions of the majority of rank and file Southern Baptists. 

Regarding the concerns expressed above, I would like some clarity in terms of the role of trustees of the ERLC.  To what degree are the trustees involved in the establishment of positions on public policy?  When Dr. Moore states the SBC position on any of the issues mentioned above, is he acting unilaterally?  Or do the trustees serve as a “filter” before those positions are rolled out?  I would also specifically like to know, when Dr. Moore made the decision to take part in the event at the Vatican, did the trustees approve this decision, or did he make it on his own?  In general, can you explain to me the process of oversight/accountability offered by the trustees of the ERLC? 

Thank you for taking the time to hear my concerns and questions.  Please know I respect Dr. Moore as a brother in Christ, and have no personal vendetta against him.  Please feel free to share my letter with your fellow trustees and/or the leadership of the ERLC.  I look forward to hearing back from you.  God bless you.