Grace notes – ‘Losing our Religion,’ finding Christ instead

At one time, Russell Moore was a big wig in the Southern Baptist Convention.

However, when he publicly criticized Donald Trump and then criticized the Southern Baptist Convention’s response to a sexual abuse crisis and what he saw as the increasing tolerance/embrace of white Christian nationalism, he found himself ostracized by many in the denomination.

In 2021, he resigned.

Since then, he has written a new book, “Losing Our Religion: An Altar Call for Evangelical America.”

He also has a weekly podcast, “The Russell Moore Show,” which I listen to.

Lately, he’s been talking about Christianity in crisis.

He recently told of the multiple pastors who, as they preach the Sermon on the Mount and quote the words of Jesus to “turn the other cheek” and tell of Jesus’ teachings to be humble, love your enemies and put yourself last, people will confront them afterwards saying, “Where did you get those liberal talking points?”

When the pastors explain, “These are the words of Jesus,” the response is not, “I apologize,” but something like, “Well, that doesn’t work anymore. That’s weak.”

Moore has said in a number of recent interviews, “When we get to the point where the teachings of Jesus himself are seen as subversive to us, then we’re in crisis.”

He also said he doesn’t think we fix the problem ‘by fighting a war for the soul of evangelicalism.”

He said even though a good portion of evangelicalism is swept up in a political movement, a counter movement isn’t going to fix it.

“I think that the roots of the political problem (in the church) really comes down to disconnection, loneliness and a sense of alienation,” he said.

It comes down to people needing to feel heard and understood, that they have a community with a unity of hearts and minds.

That’s one of the things Jesus prayed for, that his disciples “may be one just as we are one” (John 17:22).

We who are the church are to be Christ to the world, cracked and imperfect vessels for his light, his glory and his goodness to shine through.

If the root of our problem in the church is disconnection, loneliness and a sense of alienation, the solution is not tribalism and factions.

And the solution to tribalism and factions is not warring among ourselves.

We can’t sing, “They’ll know we are Christians by our love,” if we’re dividing ourselves because of our politics.

I, for one, am glad I don’t know the politics of any of the pastors at my church. From the pulpit, it’s always only the gospel of Jesus.

We are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, as revealed in Scripture alone, to the glory of God alone.

If we who are the church truly believed that, I think that would solve a lot of our problems within our congregations.

I’m talking to myself here. I’m a politics junkie. I love talking political smack with people whose politics align with mine.

But once I walk through the doors of the sanctuary, my allegiance should be to God alone and to my brothers and sisters in Christ, regardless of politics.

In Christ, “there is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ” (Galatians 3:28).

In Christ, there is neither red nor blue.

Dear God, please have mercy on us.

Nancy Kennedy can be reached at 352-564-2927 or by email at


Copyright 2021 Priority News Inc.