Brent Leatherwood’s tenure as president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention has been marred by controversy from the very beginning. His pro-abortion activism in Louisiana, his support for gun control in Tennessee, and his noticeable absence on pressing issues like transgenderism and religious liberty for Christians have made him an unpopular liability to the current regime of the SBC.
Yet the apple did not fall far from the tree. Leatherwood’s predecessor, Russell Moore, was also a subversive liberal hack. Russell Moore was instrumental in the SBC’s embrace of Critical Race Theory, the Me Too Movement, and illegal immigration. Russell Moore was always a liberal. This is evident when in 2009 he wrote that Jesus had AIDS.
Yet despite how this article should have been a preventative factor in Moore being hired as president of the ERLC, Moore was a popular figure in the SBC for several years. In 2016 when Donald Trump attacked Russell Moore, several big names, many not woke, circled the wagons for Moore’s defense.
Yet there was a voice in the wilderness calling Moore out very early on: JD Hall, the founder of Pulpit & Pen. JD Hall paved the way for going after Russell Moore when it was unpopular. Only after MLK50 was Russell Moore’s liberalism widely acknowledged. After MLK50 and Resolution 9 (2019), there was a critical mass of those awake to the liberal drift in the SBC. It should have seen through Russell Moore’s predecessor, Richard Land, but I digress.
But before that, JD Hall took the heat for going after who is now considered an obvious wolf, and for that, he deserves acknowledgment as Brent Leatherwood is not able to adorn himself in sheep’s clothing without the sheepdogs barking. Currently, the petition to remove Brent Leatherwood has nearly 700 signatures. This is not an insignificant number of people considering this petition will go to the trustees of the ERLC. Brent Leatherwood has brought reputational harm to the Southern Baptist Convention by lobbying to suppress the Nashville Manifesto and gun control in Tennessee. The pressure is definitely on the ERLC trustees, even if they were all appointed by liberal SBC presidents. Leatherwood is damaged goods for the liberals in the convention. He lacks the colloquial charm of Bart Barber. He lacks the money and secrecy of Kevin Ezell. And he’s not an institutional mob boss in Al Mohler.
If Brent Leatherwood is taken out, it will be due to the hard work of those who called out his predecessor, Russell Moore.