Roger Moran, SBC and Emerging Church

I have never heard of Roger Moran (of MBLA) but he is sure blowing up a tornado in the Southern Baptist Church. His statement concerned with the emerging church, [not Resolution 5– thanks Marty for correction], is being discussed at SBC Outpost (lotsa comments) where there is a re-write of his resolution. I would be happy to give a defense for the emerging church inside the SBC, for which i have just given the last ten years of my life (California and Texas, and visits to every state except North and South Dakota), but i don’t want to waste my time if no one takes him seriously. Anyone know about Roger Moran?

Related: We Baptists do not drink . . (in front of each other)

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Andrew Jones has been blogging since 1997. He is based in San Francisco with his two daughters but also travels the globe to find compelling stories of early stage entrepreneurs changing their world. Sometimes he talks in the third person. Sometimes he even talks to himself and has been heard uttering the name "Precious" :-)


  • Hello Andrew,
    Frankly I’m not familiar with Moran yet but I have seen there are many who are. It seems there are many who do listen to what he has to say.
    As an SBC minister myself I would love to see you give a defense for the emerging church in the SBC. I would not see it as a waste of time at all.

  • Andrew-
    A quick note: Resolution #5 refers to the SBC anti-alcohol resolution from the 2006 annual meeting; it is Moran’s anti-alcohol stance that led to his condemnation of Darrin Patrick and The Journey Church in St. Louis.
    Moran’s statement to the Executive Committee was in support of a different motion. Thanks.

  • Ken, when i write it, it will be an honor to have you critique it. You might be quite wrong in your assessment of the emerging church (my opinion) but you are man of good character and reputation and you seem to give us a hard time from pure motives.

  • I don’t know Moran, but I’m very familiar with Journey, and the beer story. I also found it humorous that the church I helped plant in Missouri was tagged an SBC plant, when it wasn’t. They gave us some training, but it never was official. Go figure.

  • I want to add to Matt’s comment above.
    I am the pastor of the Springfield church in question, called The Core Fellowship (which, as Matt correctly stated, is not a member of the Convention.) It is my blog, The Core Blog ( that is quoted by Mr. Moran. The post in question is called “The Sound of the Underground”
    The reason am directing everyone to this is because it is quite obvious that Mr. Moran omitted any details when referring to our church, or my blog, that would allow anyone to hold him accountable for his rhetoric. Read the post for yourself, and see what you think.
    Also, Mr. Moran accuses us of passing out copies of Brian McLaren, as if we had him cloned. He does mention the title of the book, which is “More Ready Than You Realize.” Although I am aware of McLaren’s reputation, I believe that all but the most stodgy and legalistic Christians would find this particular book agreeable and highly motivating.
    Peace in,
    Ryan Wiksell

  • I’m not familiar with Roger Moran at all… and I was afraid to click on that MBLA link because all I could think of for it to stand for was Man-Boy Love Association! But that’s NAMBLA, I think (North American, etc.).
    For anyone else who’s unaware, MBLA stands for Missouri Baptist Laymen’s Association.

  • Hello Andrew,
    I appreciate what you said and I would pay you what I see as respect in reverse. 🙂
    We’ve got very different views but we don’t let that stop us from honest dialogue. You are welcome in my home, as it were, any time.
    It’s like I used to teach my high school football team: One can play hard and clean, by the rules, but we always respect those who have the guts to play this game.
    I appreciate those willing to make their stand and living by Phil. 3:15-16 I know God will honor this. Because but for 1 Corinthians 15:10 our roles would also be reversed.

  • NAMBLA? Yes – i saw them at the San Francisco Gay parade one year. Frightening!
    Noooooooo . .. not to be confused with MBLA!!!!! sorry.
    actually, that thought crossed my mind when Home Mission Board changed to NAMB – again . . not to be confused!!!
    Ken . . what are those STRANGE numbers and letters? Never seen them before . . . those are’nt references to the Bible are they? [he he he]
    Ryan. are you the heretic mentioned in Moran’s article? You will have to do a lot better than that to be a real heretic! I will check out your site when i get a chance to see why you upset poor Roger so much.maybe tomorrow.

  • andrew, I would love to see you write such a defense and believe that it would be very valuable. moreover, it would also be interesting to give ken the opportunity to respond and then to also read your response to any concerns he might address. this would also be helpful in terms of modeling irenic theological disagreement which it appears you both would be able to pull off.

  • Andrew, it just doesn’t sound to me like that guy is looking for a dialogue. Investigations are very much not about dialogue they are about the investigator questioning and the investigated answering with little or no chance for nuance or explanation. I, for one, agree with one of Pete Rollins’ assertions that for genuine dialogue to occur both participants must enter the conversations prepared to *change their mind*. It doesn’t mean that you *have to* just that you would do it if convinced to. I don’t sense that in that resolution. The problem with anyone trying something that might be deemed “innovative” is that the fundamentalists will always condemn it… if someone could figure out how to get them into a genuine conversation then maybe we could get somewhere but when the rule is that one has to subscribe to a certain doctrine before there will even BE a conversation then none will ever happen and endless charges will be filed wasting people’s time.

  • stephen – hi! – i actually am writing up an account of the emerging church and the SBC, based on my ten years with them. but it will be more historical than theological – and not really something to argue about.
    i was hoping to release it last month but its not written yet.

  • MR. MORAN showed up pn the scene in Texas when the Southern Baptist of Texas Convention (SBTC) and Baptist General Convention of Texas (BGCT) “conflict” was in its early public stages. He practiced similar tactics then by printing pieces of articles written by leaders/pastors of BGCT thus qualifying them as heretics as he does Ryan. As a pastor of a BGCT church at that time, I had to deal with a number of people who took his word as “the gospel.” Needless to say, I don’t have fond memories of Mr. Moran.

  • Yes, Andrew. To misquote a certain cartoon cucumber… “I… AM… THAT… HERETIC!”
    I have to apologize for not proofing my earlier comment. I meant to say that Mr. Moran DID NOT mention the title of McLaren’s book, thus making it easier for him to criticize me, and proclaim me guilty by association. When I offered to pass out “More Ready Than You Realize” I was indeed endorsing the book itself… just not necessarily the author, or any of his other books.
    I just added a new post to The Core Blog in rebuttal to the charges: Publicity Anonymity (or, Stuck in the Middle With You…)
    And I promise… From here on out I will try to be a real heretic 😉

  • Maybe some of you all have a different opinion, but I read an interview with D.A. Carson a few months ago that I thought was very fair and fairly thorough. Haven’t read Becoming Conversant… yet, but he sounds even handed from the article. I would say he gave a good defense of the (many) positive elements of EC, as well as critiques of the areas where they (we) too closely toe the line.

  • Andrew,
    Roger Moran has been at the heart of the intra-denominational fighting going on in the Missouri Baptist Convention for the past 13 or so years. The two news papers (Word & Way & The Pathway) that cover the MBC have articles with Roger’s name mentioned.

  • Mr Moran and people like him have caused trouble within the MBC for as long as I can remember.
    But you have to remember, among Baptists,
    “We’ve never done it that way”. People don’t like change….
    I don’t want this taken wrong.. but if everyone on both sides spent as much time witnessing to the people around them as they do playing politic
    none of this would be an issue.

  • According to the St. Louis Post Dispatch, Mr. Moran is “Missouri’s most powerful baptist”. I guess according to Mr. Moran’s school of theology, Jesus was wrong to go to where the tax collectors & sinners were. I echo James’ comments, let’s spend more time reaching the lost than beating up our brothers. The world is watching…

  • The emergent, or emerging church, in their desire to reach the young, have catered a little too much to the youth, and need to pull back, but they are mostly, from what I have seen sincere. Back in the early 70’s, as a member of the hippy society, I became a believer without the need for anyone to cater to my immaturities. So, if I can get saved without any of that, surely this generation can also. They don’t have the market on “post-modern” thinking! Dude, I helped invent it!!!
    Having said that, I’ll move on to my main point, Mr. Moran’s view of alchohol evangelism, as I term it.
    In regards to the subject of drinking, I refer to these comments by Paul:
    Romans 14:13 Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.
    ….and that was written in partial conclusion to these comments by Paul:
    Romans 13:8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.
    9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
    10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
    11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.
    12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.
    13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.
    14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.
    I contend: It is a matter of love that we do not make provision for the flesh, and if you think it is just for yourself, think again: there are MANY alchoholics out there, inside and outside the church who struggle – and we dare put a stumbling block before them?! How is THAT the love of Christ?!!! ‘SPLAIN IT TO ME!!! PLEASE!!! This former hippy wants to know.
    Mr. Moran has every Scriptural right to speak out against this. Everyone these days wants to “rethink” things, however I would suggest you “rethink” the Scriptures and try to understand why your elders have come to their conclusions and stop judging their motives as “legalism”, which is what this all boils down to anyway. Ever been hit by someone runnin a red light? I have! I appreciate the law, for what it is! The law of Christ is ever higher than even this, not lower. “Love works no ill towards its neighbor.”

  • hi tim. sorry to hear of your incident with the red light – i can see how that would flavor your opinion against drinking.
    the Scriptures seem quite plain and clear to me. john did not drink and jesus did. the kingdom of God is not about eating or drinking. Paul’s admonition of not putting a stumbling block out is not connected with drinking alcohol although i see many churches offer grape juice as well as wine in their communion as a practical option for alcholics. and of course they do not insist that others drink, but they also uphold their freedom to drink (Romans 14) with the same Scriptural backing.
    if this arguement is about the Bible and drinking alcohol, it will be a short argument.

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