Southern Baptist Russell Moore: 'The sexual revolution does not empower women'

Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission

The celebration of sexual promiscuity and the call for a redefinition of marriage were yesterday condemned by US evangelist Russell Moore.

He told a global gathering of religious leaders at Pope Francis' Humanum conference in Rome that "The sexual revolution is not liberation at all, [but] is merely the imposition of a different sort of patriarchy."

"Western culture now celebrates casual sexuality, cohabitation, no-fault divorce, marriage redefinition and abortion rights, as parts of a sexual revolution that they say can tear down old patriarchal systems, but this is not the case," Moore said.

["It] empowers men to pursue a Darwinian fantasy of the predatory alpha male, rooted in the values of power, prestige and personal pleasure. Does anyone really believe that these things will empower women and children when we see the wreckage of sexuality as self-expression all around us, and we will see more yet?"

Moore added that "the stakes are not merely social or cultural or political but profoundly spiritual."

As the President of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, Moore affirms a traditional view on marriage.

President of the Convention Albert Mohler said during the group's conference last month that gay marriage is a "rejection of God's law".

Moore, however, has received praise for his condemnation of anti-gay bullying and "reparative therapy" for gay people.

"The utopian idea if you come to Christ and if you go through our program, you're going to be immediately set free from attraction or anything you're struggling with, I don't think that's a Christian idea," he told journalists in October. "Faithfulness to Christ means obedience to Christ. It does not necessarily mean that someone's attractions are going to change."

"The Bible doesn't promise us freedom from temptation. The Bible promises us the power of the Spirit to walk through temptation," he added.

Yesterday, Moore said his faith "compelled [him] to speak of the conviction of the Church" that human flourishing is "disrupted when we move beyond the creation design of marriage and family".

Also at stake, he said, is "the picture of the very mystery that defines the existence of the universe itself – the Gospel of Jesus Christ."

"With this conviction we must stand and speak not with clenched fists or with wringing hands, but with the open hearts of those who have a message and a mission," he told his audience at the Vatican.

"And we will do so, reminding the world that we are not mere machines of flesh, but rather we are creatures, accountable to nature and to nature's God. And we do so with the confidence of those who know that on the other side of our culture wars there's a sexual counterrevolution waiting to be born again."

Author and pastor Rick Warren also denounced the "sexual revolution" during his address at the Humanum on Tuesday, and called for Christians to affirm traditional marriage structures.

"The Church cannot be salt and light in a crumbling culture if we cave into the sexual revolution, and if we fail to provide a counter-cultural witness. It is a total myth that we must compromise and give up on biblical truth and marriage in order to evangelise," he said.

"In the end, we have to be merciful to the fallen, we have to show grace to the struggling, we have to be patient to the doubting, but when God's word is clear, we must not, we cannot, back up, back down, back off, backslide or just give in."