Hobby Lobby family, Saeed Abedini highlightedcomment (0)
June 19, 2014
Russell D. Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), initiated a time of prayer during his ERLC report June 11 for the Green family of Hobby Lobby and Saeed Abedini for their heroic efforts in fighting for their faith and religious liberty around the world. Ronnie Floyd, newly elected SBC president, led the prayer for Abedini’s release and courage as he continues to fight for his faith from an Iranian prison. He also prayed for a favorable Supreme Court decision for religious liberty. Floyd was joined on stage by Moore, Fred Luter Jr., former SBC president; Frank Page, president and CEO of the SBC Executive Committee; and ERLC trustees and staff.
Moore awarded the Green family of Hobby Lobby with the John Leland Religious Liberty Award for demonstrating a commitment to religious freedom. He also awarded Abedini the Richard Land Distinguished Service Award for his exemplary service and faithfulness to the kingdom of God. His wife, Naghmeh, received the award on his behalf.
In the ERLC report, Moore told Southern Baptists that Christianity will “sound increasingly strange and freakish to the culture around us.”
This was Moore’s second address to the SBC since becoming ERLC president in 2013.
Throughout the last year, Moore said the ERLC filed amicus briefs on behalf of marriage, public prayer and religious freedom against the Department of Health and Human Services mandate.
“We’ve worked in the United States Congress to speak out for the unborn and for protection for these little ones endangered by a culture of death,” he said. “When the Supreme Court stepped toward legalizing same-sex ‘marriage,’ we mobilized to equip churches to think biblically what this means for evangelizing our neighbors, for protecting religious liberty, for rearing children in a world in which even the word ‘marriage’ is contested.”
Moore said Southern Baptists must equip the next generation for a “world where following Christ will be seen as strange and maybe even subversive.”
“The gospel didn’t come to us from Mayberry,” Moore said. “The gospel rocketed out of a Roman Empire where the strangest idea in the world was a community of people who cared for the vulnerable, the widowed, the orphaned, the unborn, a community of people who confessed that a crucified Man has presented Himself alive, a community of people who looked to those hiding in guilt and in shame and in fear of death and said, ‘For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.’”
Moore ended his report by saying the ERLC will continue to equip Southern Baptists and other evangelicals with the gospel.
“We are ready to answer a questioning culture about what we believe about moral principles,” Moore said. “But we don’t stop there. We also say, ‘Yes, and we believe even stranger things than that.’”
A full transcript of the ERLC report will be available soon on erlc.com.