Southern Baptist Convention leader Russell believes that an important way to raise sons in the age of the #MeToo culture is to redefine masculinity to the standard of Jesus Christ.
During a Facebook live Q&A that aired on Tuesday, a viewer asked the president of the SBC’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission how he believed parents should raise their sons amid the increased awareness of sexual misconduct by prominent celebrities and politicians.
Moore responded that parents need to work toward “redefining what masculinity means,” going “away from cultural stereotypes” and toward “the example of masculinity” given by Jesus Christ, which Moore explained was a combination of “tough and gentle.”
“It’s a toughness that is not defined by self, self-protection, or exultation of self, but a toughness that is for the sake of gentleness, of pouring Himself out,” said Moore.
Moore saw it as being important to teach sons “from a very early age” about moral dangers associated with power and “the appetites.”
“If you have an appetite that is unhinged and selfish, and isn’t defined by the cross, then you’re going to end up with something that is predatory,” Moore continued.
“Sometimes we don’t address issues early enough, because we think these are things our children can’t handle. … But there are age appropriate ways to come in and say, look around at all of these awful things that we’re able to see, that are just now coming out. So you have people who have been hiding for years and years and years, doing Satanic things. That ought to be a word of warning.”
Moore added that while he felt that overall parents have done a decent job of telling children “how to recognize predators,” they also need to teach children “how not to be predators.”
Moore’s comments come not long after the resignation of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary President Paige Patterson due to various allegations of tolerating sexual misconduct.
Last week, The Washington Post released an article in which a woman alleged that Patterson discouraged her from going to the police after she was raped by a man she was dating in 2003.
Earlier, a blogger posted an audio interview Patterson did back in 2000 in which he said he never counseled couples to get a divorce even in abusive situations, but said there were cases in which he advised a temporary separation due to the danger of abuse.
“It depends on the level of abuse to some degree. I have never in my ministry counseled that anybody seek a divorce, and I do think that’s always wrong counsel,” he said in a 2000 interview.
Moore is not the only Southern Baptist leader taking to social media to call for the church to better tackle the issue of sexual misconduct.
Pastor J.D. Greear, head of the Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, and nominee for SBC president, released a Facebook live video last week in which he called upon the SBC to recommit to “protecting the vulnerable” and “exposing the abuser” because “God hates abuse.”
“God cannot tolerate impurity,” stated Greear. “We need to deal with the sin among us seriously and somberly but also just with grace toward each other.”