|We call this the humble surroundings of a brave servant leader|
I thought of that as I saw a story about my old classmate, Russell Moore of the Southern Baptist Convention. Now Russ may be the luckiest fellow in the world since he always seems led by the Holy Spirit to be just where the latest ascending movement happens to be.
Born in a family aligned with Democrats, he embraced conservative Calvinism just as Al Mohler was kicking off the Calvinist Renaissance wtihin the Southern Baptist Convention in the 1990s. What his own opinions were, I don't know, but he happily stood by as Mohler and the gang made strides to sever the SBC's ecumenical dialogue with such heretical sects as the Catholic Church.
Later, when GW Bush was elected, Moore led the charge for conservatives around the world to unite, put aside differences, and win one for the Culture Wars. Then, toward the end of Bush's disastrous presidency, as conservatism became fractured and a progressive tidal wave was brewing, Moore had a change of heart and realized 'culture war' was just stupid talk for silly, ignorant little people.
When Obama won handily in 2008, Moore began his swing toward the center, openly disparaging more traditional believers and finding a place of prominence on the Obama White House guest list. Then in 2016, Moore led the Evangelical Never-Trumper charge against Trump and his deplorable followers. While doing this, he became quite the icon among a desperately not-Trump Catholic culture that embraced him and heard of, for the first time I was knew, his lifelong gushing admiration and love for the Catholic tradition.
Of course Hillary lost, so we'll never know what may have happened to Moore as he followed his conscience during a Clinton Administration. But now that Biden is back, Moore has stepped forth and once more cheered the new administration for its work reaching out to the faithful.
It's worth noting that not all is well within Moore's SBC family. A report by the SBC has found that Moore is increasingly alienated from the sizeable part of the SBC not in line with liberal Democrats. He is also increasingly portrayed in ways not charitable by a manipulative press seeing him, no doubt, as quite the useful fool. I know some from my old SBC days who believe he is not working from some deep desire to aid the denomination, but rather is embracing a clever throwing of his fellow Baptists under the bus to curry favor with the Leftist State.*
Whatever it is, I know he's either the most fortunate person in the world who always seems led in the right upward direction, or he's joining a growing number of other leaders who feel the battle is lost, the war is over, and it's time for the Left to learn who its friends are, and who its enemies are. I saw this and pondered it just as I was pointed to a pertinent little scene from the wonderful film A Man for All Seasons:
Given all we're seeing among our various Faith traditions' leadership, such a scene is worth watching again and again.
*Contrary to the article's suggestion, it is not only Moore's opposition to Trump that is the problem. It's his condescending attitude toward those in the denomination who don't share his approach to compromise with the modern Left, as well as his willingness to embrace decidedly leftwing narratives and interpretations of those who fail to conform to leftwing ideologies and agendas. Among other things. Also, I could bring up a few problems with the heavily quoted David Gushee, a former mentor, but I'll leave that for another day.