Playing the Long Game of Cultural Renewal

I first became aware of Dr. Russell Moore two months ago….saw a link to a speech he gave in October titled Can the Religious Right be Saved?

He is Southern Baptist and holds the position of ethicist…President of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.

It was a bit before the Presidential Election and I was morally appalled at the discourse of our Presidential candidates. I also was appalled by seeing evangelicals and other religious conservatives actively supporting (and apologizing for) morally reprehensible behavior.

The speech was about 45 minutes and – by the end – I was riveted to every word. He was knowledgeable, intelligent, caring. He also spoke to my beliefs about culture and character.

His speech contained the following vision on the future institutional needs of religions:

It will mean institutions that have the vision, and the financial resources, to play a long game of cultural renewal, rather than allowing themselves to be driven by the populist passions of the moment. More than that, it will mean a religious conservatism that sees the Church as more important than the state, the conscience as more important than the culture, and one that knows the difference between the temporal and the eternal. We will make mistakes. We will need course corrections. We must remind ourselves that we are not inquisitors but missionaries, that we can be Americans best when we are not Americans first.

The Proper Farmer is about genuine behavior – specifically in care of the land, preparation of food, and awareness of nutrition. It also represents a long game.

We are interested in small, direct, neighborly economic development.

We believe farm and food enterprises represent the most integral economic connections between land/people/living things.

I agree with Dr. Moore’s vision.

In the form he eloquently defines, I do not see the culture and character transformation as limited to conservative religions.