Would Russell Moore Argue This Way about Cocaine Possession?

I understand why pro-life groups want to disassociate themselves from Donald Trump’s convoluted thoughts about women who seek abortions needing to be penalized. But doesn’t Russell Moore go too far when he says these women are victims of a culture and industry that is pro-choice?

One of the worst misconceptions about pro-life Americans is that we are pro-baby and anti-women. Unfortunately, the pro-life movement hasn’t always done a good job of defeating this notion. It’s true that some rhetoric on our side has lacked compassion and holistic concern for the well-being of mothers, especially unwed moms. But despite our imperfections, the pro-life movement has indeed been remarkably consistent about our desire not only to tear down abortion culture but to build a culture of life and human flourishing in its stead. This is the conviction that has built thousands of crisis pregnancy centers, funded hundreds of adoptions., and come alongside countless numbers of women, and men, with practical acts of mercy and love.

If abortion were illegal, if it were a form of murder, why does Moore assume the mother is innocent or not responsible for her involvement in the procedure? Does Moore think this is true for wealthy professional women as much as it may be for the poor mothers who can’t afford to have a child? And would he be so forgiving of any number of harmful activities that take place in poor urban neighborhoods?

I get it that the public relations of the pro-life movement needs to avoid looking punitive. But think about it. If a woman in a Southern Baptist Convention congregation had an abortion procedure, would her deacons come along side her and grant forgiveness and offer consolation apart from an admission of guilt and an expression of repentance?

This is not 2k. Two kingdoms theology recognizes that the church’s role is forgiveness (in response to faith and repentance) and that the state’s role is to punish the wicked and reward the good. But a blanket public policy that says mothers walk away scot-free from an activity that has drawn and quartered the United States for the last four decades seems a tad cynical. If something is illegal and someone engages in an activity that breaks the law, law enforcement doesn’t assume that law breakers are victims.

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33 thoughts on “Would Russell Moore Argue This Way about Cocaine Possession?

  1. Russell Moore is revolutionizing the face of Public Christianity. Out with the harsh, judgmental, hateful tone of the Jerry Falwell, James Dobson, Pat Robertson Moral Majority, and in with the New Tone of Winsome Cultural Engagement that Speaks Truth in Love. Moore is juggling a lot of balls lately: Immigration Reform , Refugees, Racial Reconciliation, Sentencing Reform, Economic and Racial Justice, Religious Liberty and Abortion. I wonder which ball will slip out of his hand? Which ball seems not like the others?

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  2. THANK YOU for distinguishing the two kingdoms on this.

    I’ll tell you what I’m sick and tired of – people undermining justice because they’re inappropriately trying to show mercy because it’s the “Christian thing to do”. For example, the Christian boss who can’t ever fire anyone, no matter how incompetent they are.

    Let’s restore the proper limits to mercy, and restore justice to its rightful place.

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  3. Moore, et al have reclaimed the liberal social-niceness agenda of the pre-1980 SBC from the inerrancy insurgents. Bureaucrats and DC dwellers always go native.

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  4. I mean if you make good money working for AMERICA’S LARGEST PROTESTANT DENOMINATION and you quit eating at Arby’s and develop a taste for tapas and cute bistros in the DC suburbs…well, you start liking that shizz and you want to fit in. Nevermind that “educated,” “urbane,” and “baptist” don’t really go together. Cognitive dissonance on the personal level leads to cognitive dissonance on the public level. That’s my theory anyway.

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  5. Greg, isn’t common ground a nice place? But don’t try holding my hand over here or using any of that greasy familiarity and “brother” me. And the second you pass the mega phone and picket sign, ta-ta.

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  6. Ah yes, victims of culture. Doesn’t all of this line up with the leftist mindset that culture can be manipulated and mandated? i.e. “look at all the bad things people want to do, we must and can and therefore will stop them.” And he’s not even saying that we should outlaw abortion along these goals (though he likely believes that), he’s really saying that the problem is “the abortion clinic appears to be an escape route from a life of unbearable shame, secrecy, and hardship.” So he wants everyone to be nicer to pregnant, single, women so they’ll have less abortions. Probly a good idea. Good luck.

    But then he goes on to say that it is the Devil who is driving these women toward abortions by lying to them about abortion as an escape route. So they need Christ. I agree they need Christ. But, Jesus does not protect me from the lies of false advertising (I’m still regretting that frozen pizza from yesterday).

    Maybe if the eeevangelicals had not already betrayed conservatism (cowbell), they would remember that maybe cultures change as individuals change. Culture (and the spreading of gospel) is not top down, but bottom-up. Isn’t this like protestantism (and conservatism) 101? But maybe Moore is done with being “protestant” and “conservative” as well since Trump also claims to be those things.

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  7. Walt, “gospel-centered” is rapidly replacing “evangelical” with this crowd ’cause it’s way less waxy a nose, right? #rebranding

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  8. Zrim says: “Greg, isn’t common ground a nice place? But don’t try holding my hand over here or using any of that greasy familiarity and “brother” me. And the second you pass the mega phone and picket sign, ta-ta.”
    I have no idea what you’re saying here.

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  9. Chorts, I can see it now. Trump comes out as gospel-centered. TGC throws whoever came up with “center-bounded” under the bus claiming “seriously, it’s not even a word.”

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  10. Greg, that we have some common ground here but I’m betting it’s less rather than more. I could be wrong but I’m guessing you have sympathies for the mega phone and picket sign ethos.

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  11. I had this debate last year on this site with one of the Catholic ladies (can’t remember her name). It simply lacks credibility to use the rhetoric of murder, Nazis, slaughter, etc., and then suggest parents who abort should receive no civil penalties for doing so, even after more than one abortion, only doctors should be penalized. As far as I can tell, Ireland puts mothers in prison up to 14 years for an abortion unless the life of the mother is threatened. Germany’s laws may be a bit more reasonable. Those who attempt to abort a fetus can either be fined or face up to three years in prison, depending on the circumstance. Abortions are legal in the first trimester only under certain conditions. If the pregnant woman aborts her fetus, she faces up to one year in prison or a fine, again depending on the circumstance. Again, seems reasonable, but then we’d have to admit European governments can do some things better than the U.S. government. Can we say that?

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  12. Chortles, I think “Follower of Jesus” has replaced the TGC inspired “gospel-centered” and “missional.” The Gospel Industrial Complex is bringing Christianity up to date with new linguistic paradigms. Don’t judge.

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  13. The only way the logic makes sense is if you are seeing through feminist lenses. When Mohler commented on the topic the other day, he immediately started talking about pro-life roots in feminism, as though he wholeheartedly agreed with what they had to say. Feminists believe that women are an oppressed class, so therefore they are always the victims. They can’t be blamed for what they do, because they did it in their oppression. Simple as that.

    Andrew Alladin’s point above is correct. Moore and Mohler are not conservatives. They are progressive feminists. According to them, you need to vote Mitt Romney in 2012, and if you vote for Trump in 2016, you’re probably not a Christian. If you think of them as progressive feminists first, then that makes sense.

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  14. Zrim says: “I’m guessing you have sympathies for the mega phone and picket sign ethos.”
    I’m afraid, again, I don’t know what this means. I’m being serious. I don’t understand what you’re saying I believe.
    And what is this “greasy familiarity” stuff?

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  15. All I’m saying Zrim is that I agree that Moore’s position here (and quite a few other places), is inconsistent and unbiblical. If you think I favor Moore and Keller and the ERLC and TGC and the Lifeway/cultural engagement/transformation crap, you haven’t been paying attention. Which is what I’ve been saying all along. You pay no attention wen I speak and then attack all manner of positions I do not hold.

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  16. Greg, no, I don’t take you for a winsome transformer but a muscular moralist, and usually that translates into “mega phones and picket signs” when it comes to this topic. Like I said, I could be wrong, but it’s hard to imagine that the tick which induces tirades from you over film doesn’t go off when the subject is that old chestnut in America about reproductive legislation.

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  17. I think Russell is still recovering from Jeb!’s horrific campaign and flame out.

    The insulting subtext here is that women don’t have any agency at least in regards to abortion.

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  18. This reminds me of the hypothetical Monty Python-esque exchange between the Islamic Jihadist and a Leftists:

    “We did this because our holy texts exhort us to to do it.”
    “No you didn’t.”
    “Wait, what? Yes we did…”
    “No, this has nothing to do with religion. You guys are just using religion as a front for social and geopolitical reasons.”
    “WHAT!? Did you even read our official statement? We give explicit Quranic justification. This is jihad, a holy crusade against pagans, blasphemers, and disbelievers.”
    “No, this is definitely not a Muslim thing. You guys are not true Muslims, and you defame a great religion by saying so.”
    “Huh!? Who are you to tell us we’re not true Muslims!? Islam is literally at the core of everything we do, and we have implemented the truest most literal and honest interpretation of its founding texts. It is our very reason for being.”
    “Nope. We created you. We installed a social and economic system that alienates and disenfranchises you, and that’s why you did this. We’re sorry.”
    etc….

    In other words, “Women, I know you think you are doing this to further yourself in your life, but really you’re just a victim and it’s our fault for not changing culture to prevent this kind of behavior. We’re sorry.”

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  19. No disrespect to you Nate, but isn’t the following prettier and easier to read? I’m demonstrating why I format my comments like I do. It’s easy and works better in my opinion. These guys are always giving me a hard time for it.
    =======================================================

    THIS reminds me of the hypothetical Monty Python-esque exchange between the Islamic Jihadist and a Leftists:
    ————————————————————————-
    “We did this because our holy texts exhort us to to do it.”
    “No you didn’t.”
    “Wait, what? Yes we did…”
    “No, this has nothing to do with religion. You guys are just using religion as a front for social and geopolitical reasons.”
    “WHAT!? Did you even read our official statement? We give explicit Quranic justification. This is jihad, a holy crusade against pagans, blasphemers, and disbelievers.”
    “No, this is definitely not a Muslim thing. You guys are not true Muslims, and you defame a great religion by saying so.”
    “Huh!? Who are you to tell us we’re not true Muslims!? Islam is literally at the core of everything we do, and we have implemented the truest most literal and honest interpretation of its founding texts. It is our very reason for being.”
    “Nope. We created you. We installed a social and economic system that alienates and disenfranchises you, and that’s why you did this. We’re sorry.”
    etc….
    —————————————————————————
    In other words, “Women, I know you think you are doing this to further yourself in your life, but really you’re just a victim and it’s our fault for not changing culture to prevent this kind of behavior. We’re sorry.”

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  20. Horrible formatting. Hate it. Are those perforations? Am I supposed to mail that in? Is the bolding a compensating behavior? I think it is. Is the red lettering like an altering manifestation? Are you triggered? Which one am I interacting with now? Does the voice correspond with the bolding and coloring? Where’s Nurse Ratched? What did you do with her? Put her back. What would Geddy Lee think? You celebrated a pentagram band(humanistic underpinnings trying to hold back the deveel). Knuckle Tattoos are forever, you did it so you could keep them closer to your heart when you pledge your allegiance to the priests of the temple of Syrinx. Devil Horns and tongue.

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  21. Gregitsagoodthingyoudontreadtheoriginalgreekmanuscriptsbecausethatwouldbeatotalnightmareimeanhowcouldpeopleunderstandpaulspointwithoutproperformattingboldtextcommasquotationmarksandmorewhatwasgodthinkingwhenheinspiredthattext

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  22. There is an understandable reason for not punishing those who seek abortion at this time. Yes, aborting an unborn child is murder. But recognizing the humanity of the unborn child has been greatly complicated by societal norms. Such cannot be said when the victim is an adult or child. So the recognition that one is committing murder is not the same when the victim is born compared with when the victim is not born.

    Here, we need to decide whether we should take an all-or-nothing approach to legally prohibiting abortions or a stagist approach.

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