Dr. Russell Moore took over as president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s (SBC) Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) in June of 2013. By April of 2014 his new direction on homosexuality was already visible. From the NPR story Southern Baptist Leaders Seek Softer Approach To Homosexuality
The Southern Baptist Convention held a gathering of pastors at its Nashville headquarters in April. For an organization that has previously used opposition to gay marriage as a rallying point, statements here from church leaders, like Kevin Smith of Kentucky, shocked the auditorium of pastors into silence.
“If you spent 20 years and you’ve never said anything about divorce in the church culture, then shut up about gay marriage,” Smith said.
Pastor Jimmy Scroggins warned Southern Baptist pastors that the culture war was over, and mocking gay marriage was “redneck theology” and no longer acceptable:
“We’re all in agreement that the cultural war is over when it comes to homosexuality, especially when it comes to gay marriage…
“Let’s stop telling Adam and Steve jokes and let’s be compassionate, because these are people that are in our community,” he said at the convention. “These are people that are in our churches.”
NPR contrasts Moore’s progressive stance on homosexuality to that of Richard Land, Moore’s predecessor as president of the ERLC:
[Land] can still be heard from time to time on Christian talk radio saying things like this:
“I know that the dirty little secret that nobody wants to talk about is that a high percentage of adult male homosexuals in America were sexually molested when they were children.”
The man chosen to replace Land, Russell Moore, is trying to rein in the flame-throwing.
“When I hear people who are simply screaming in outrage right now, let me tell you what I hear,” he says, “I hear losers.”